St. Bernardus Abt 12
December 20, 2005
Belgium) - Belgium
is filled with magnificent examples of fine brewing.
Some are light, some dark, and a fair amount are kind
of like wine. Picking one as the best is like choosing
the best Swiss chocolate. Tastes differ, senses are
delightfully overwhelmed and each sample brings with
it a new challenge to one's skill at crafting hyperbolae.
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (blue label) certainly inspires
us to elevate that particular craft to new levels.
in the town of Watou in the Southwest of Belgium, this
brew brings with it every bit of the tradition and charm
of the region. We were lucky enough to have sampled
both draft and bottled versions of this beer. There
is a slight difference in head and perhaps a dash more
fruit note in the draft variety, but otherwise the brew
is similar in form no matter how it is dispensed. We
do, however, recommend a nice beer chalice for this
Bernie (as we like to call it) pours nicely with a foamy,
light tan head that doesn't diminish significantly.
A nice webbing of lacing remains behind as the brew
is consumed and almost makes a permanent impression
in the glass. Color is dark brown with a hint of red
coming through in the light - a beautiful color nearly
matching the complexity of the taste itself.
smell is of malt, yeast, dark fruits and cherries trying
their best to mask the alcohol. It takes a while to
journey through the complex tasting experience, with
notes of fruit and tinges of hop making the perfect
balance complete. The finish is long and dry with the
bold carbonation tickling the nose for a bit as well.
I mention the alcohol? at 9% ABV, this is no simple
drinking expedition you're on. This beer will smash
you up, if care is not taken. It drinks so nicely that
it is easy to find yourself useless and babbling to
your friends about things you won't remember in the
morning. Trust me, I know what I am talking about here.
Pace yourself, limit yourself, hydrate yourself and
be careful not to get carried away, because if you don't,
they'll carry YOU away.
our journey to date we've been fortunate to sample some
of the world's best. Dogfish Raison
D;Etre and Skullsplitter
are the only ones scored as perfection so far, and now
they have company. This is one of, best beers in the
world. Find the Blue Bernie. Try the Blue Bernie. Love
the Blue Bernie. You'll worship it as we do.
Can you imagine, the St. Bernardus brewery in Watou,
Belgium has a Bed & Breakfast on its grounds? The
writer is trying to get his wife to agree on this as
a second honeymoon spot. He is hopeful, if not diluted...
Bernardus Abt 12
For more information on
Bernardus Abt 12, visit their
website at www.sintbernardus.be