St Bernardus ABT 12 is brewed in a small village called Watou, in a remote corner in the West of Flanders where so many great beers are made. Even though the brewery is located on "Trappistenweg" (translated as "Trappist Road"), the St Bernardus ABT 12 is not a trappist beer. The bottle is characterised by a bright blue label with a cartoonish drawing of a happy monk holding a glass of St Bernardus.
It is a Belgian Abbey ale, a typical quadruple beer and it is listed among Belgium's best ales. This is the strongest beer that St Bernardus makes, with an alcohol percentage of 10% ABV. St Bernardus ABT 12 is obviously a dark beer with a full off-white, creamy head. It's generally regarded as the star beer of this brewery and indeed among one of the best beers in the world. It's been ranked up to 4th best in the world by the famous Ratebeer website and currently this beer holds a perfect 100 score. The "Abt" part of the name refers to the Abbot of the monastery who is the highest ranking monk.
All the abbey beers from this brewery are internationally held in high regard. The recipe for St Bernardus ABT 12 has been unchanged since 1946 and accounts for more than half the total output of the St Bernardus brewery. St Bernardus ABT 12 has a fruity aroma, has quite a complex taste and is characterised by its long sweet and bitter aftertaste.
St Bernardus ABT 12 is famous for the fact that it used to have the same recipe as Westvleteren 12. Originally this brewery used to brew the beers for Westvleteren until 1992 when the license ran out. Since then they have been brewing separately and under different names. An important distinction between these two beers is that the St Bernardus ABT 12 uses water from a local well, which has a salty taste and is softer. Westvleteren on the other hand simply uses the local municipal water. This would obviously account for some taste differences.
The St.Bernardus Abt 12 is the pride of our stable, the nec plus ultra of our brewery. Abbey ale brewed in the classic 'Quadrupel' style of Belgium's best Abbey Ales. Dark with a full, ivory-colored head. It has a fruity aroma, full of complex flavours and excells because of its long bittersweet finish with a hoppy bite. (10,0?V) Worldwide seen as one of the best beers in the world. It's a very balanced beer, with a full-bodied taste and a perfect equilibrium between malty, bitter and sweet. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren