393. Brouwerij St. Bernardus – St. Bernardus Abt 12

Brouwerij St. Bernardus - St. Bernardus Abt 12As I mentioned in my last post, I’m out at happy hour with my coworkers, celebrating my move into a new position within the company.  After the New Belgium Belgo IPA, I decided to try this beer they had on draft.  I’ve always seen it ranked fairly high, and have heard good things about it, so I wanted to give it a try.

Location: Enjoyed the draft beer in a tulip glass, at Medici in Normal, IL.

Numbers: 10.5% ABV, ~ 306 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It was mahogany brown in color and seemed to be slightly hazy.  There was a very thin tan head on it, and there didn’t seem to be much carbonation in it.  The aroma was dark caramel malty and a bit fruity.

Taste & Feel: The body was medium-full, a bit lighter than I think I was expecting.  The mouthfeel was smooth with some caramel and nutty roastiness up front.  In the middle, there was some darker caramel, bready, and malty sweetness, mixed with flavors like raisins and dates.  The finish was slightly warming with a bready and light caramel flavor.

Food Pairing: As I drank this beer, all I could think about was bread pudding.  The bready, caramel, and raisin flavors reminded me a great deal of bread pudding.  The warming finish on this beer even reminded me of a slight bourbon addition in bread pudding.  I can’t think of many things more delicious and decadent than a glass of this beer and a warm bowl of bread pudding.

Overall Impression: This was a very complex and flavorful beer – with bready, caramel, raisin, and fruity flavors – yet I found it to be extremely drinkable.  It had the unique ability to deliver all of those flavors with just the right amount of subtlety in a velvety smooth sip.  I’ll definitely have to stop and get a bottle of this one.

My Rating: ★★★★½

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Author: Kevin

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