Sunday, July 09, 2006

ST. BERNARDUS ABT 12

These days it’s about randomly choosing a Belgian beer off the shelves, filing it away in the garage, & pulling it out when the spirit moves me to try something different with dinner. Perhaps you’re the same. Recently the spirit told me to grab this ST. BERNARDUS ABT 12 from the store shelves, and it was transported from retailer to dinner table to esophagus within a mere two hours. It has this happy grinnin’ monk on the bottle – look at him, ain’t he cute? The brewer? Why, the Brouwerij St. Bernardus, of course. The style? It’s a Quadrupel! Not a “dubbel” or a “trippel”, no sir. Here’s what the always-helpful Beer Advocate site has to say about this style:

Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian style ale of great strength with bolder flavor compared to its Dubbel and Tripel sister styles. Typically a dark creation that ranges within the deep red, brown and garnet hues. Full bodied with a rich malty palate. Phenols are usually at a moderate level. Sweet with a low bitterness yet a well perceived alcohol.

I think I’ve made this comment before about such beers so do forgive me, but I appreciated this one more “intellectually” than I did “gastronomically”. That means that I knew I was drinking a fine ale of great breeding with every sip – a beautiful amber/black, huge malty taste, creamy, somewhat fruitish flavor – but in the end it fell down the scale for me a bit. I reckon it just didn’t have the je ne sais quoi of, say, the TRAPPISTES ROCHEFORT 8, say, which is one of the best beers I’ve ever had. The St. Bernardus Abt 12 was just good enough but maybe a little too deep for me, and hard to see myself drinking repeatedly. In appreciation I signed off with a respectful 6/10 with my final sip, and got busy thinking about the next Belgian to conquer.

1 comment:

tom said...

You gotta love the St. Bernardus brewery's street address (Trappistenweg 23). Who wouldn't want to live on "Trappist Road"?