I’ve been away from the new beer flavors lately, but this one is very new to me. I have seen it on the shelf a few times but hadn’t made the leap. I’m more of a fan of Ommegang (pronounced Ohm-eh-gang) and Chimay (I pronounce this cha-may) though, Chimay is a Trappist style, not quite the same. But that’s all semantics. On to the beer!
The front label reads
St. Bernardus Abt 12
BELGIAN ABBEY ALE
1PT 9.4 FL.OZ.
There are two certification emblems on the front as well, Belgian Hops and Belgian Family Brewers. These are not too common if you look at the Belgian beers sold in the US (at least in Kansas).
Back label reads
Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium.
These exceptional quality ales are brewed by using only the finest malts, local grown hops, yeast and artesian water pumped pumped from a depth of 500 feet.
After the brewing process these traditional ales are matured in tanks for three months, before being bottle conditioned.
The result is a naturally carbonated “living ale,”which can be aged for up to 15 years and will satisfy the taste of even the most discriminating connoisseurs.
“Bringing Heavenly nectar within reach”
(this is printed in an Olde English style script, all else is in Times New Roman)
Abt 12 -abbey ale brewed in the classic “Dubbel” style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales.
Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 52-56° F in a goblet glass to best enjoy it’s delicious bouquet.
Brewed and bottled by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV, Trappistenweg 23, 8978 Watou Belgium
Imported by D&V International Inc.,
Juniper, Florida 33458
Best before End: See Top.
1 Pint 9.4 fl. oz. Store cool and dark.
Product of Belgium
I can’t really read the best before date, the cap is embossed and the numbers have been printed on top. I can make out a 06 and perhaps it ends 18, just guessing.
First of all, I don’t own all the beer tasting glasses that are “suggested” on most of the beers I purchase. I own many standard pint glasses, where as this beer says “Goblet Glass” and I just don’t have room at the moment for chalice/goblets(they’re similar, not the same). I instead drank it out of a Tulip glass pictured here. This particular tulip glass came with a multi-pack of Ommegang bottles I purchased last year and has suited me quite well. I tried to make sure the logos were not in the photo.
Poured carefully so that the head doesn’t foam too much. It has the proper cloudiness and thick off-white foam. The color is nearer to a rusty-brown. Some suggest pouring more aggressively so the beer is more stable, whatever that means. There are conflicting views on this point, I pour so I have about one inch of foam and it dissipates rapidly after I begin to drink.
The nose is a tell-tale darker Belgian malt aroma. But it’s soft at the same time, not overwhelming.
The flavor is subtle, typical of a darker Belgium at first. Effervescence is barely noticeable. No bubbles tickle my nose. Notes don’t linger too long on the palate for an aftertaste. It’s not exactly refreshing. After a few sips it coats the mouth, it stays a while then. There are hints of some spices, coriander maybe and nutmeg comes through though that isn’t necessarily what was used. Often there are some sweet additives when brewing or bottled. St. Bernardus does not seem to have any profound flavors as compared to a Chimay or Ommegang that have more spice to them, which I enjoy.
I was able to purchase this bottle for about 11$ here in Wichita, KS. I probably wouldn’t choose it again if there were others I knew I liked better.
It’s a mild Belgian Dubble, worth a shot if you’re a Belgian fan but not worth a second go around for me.