Beer Me at The Mayor: Abt 12 from St. Bernardus

Gabe Pocrass

Video by: Gabe Pocrass, CTV 11

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For my first beer review at the Mayor of Old Town, I reviewed the beer named “ABT 12” by the St. Bernardus Brewery in Belgium. This beer is 10.5 percent alcohol content, and because of this, it was served in a 10-ounce glass instead of the standard 12-ounce. Believe me, this is for your own protection — let’s just say I felt pretty warm after this one.

Upon first tasting this beer, I honestly did not like it very much. It was heavy, it had a funky aftertaste and it was slightly bitter. However, as I have now learned, this beer is supposed to be served in a “Globe” beer glass, which looks like a bulkier and stumpy wine glass. This glass design is created to encourage the beer drinker to hold his hand under the beer itself so his hand-heat warms the beer up, thus releasing more of the aroma and flavor. And, I must say, it worked.

At about halfway through my Abt 12, I started to taste the fruity undertones in the beer – undertones such as plums and raisins. These fruit pairings proved to be fitting for a beer like this because a heavier beer deserves heavier fruits – a lemon zest would simply not compliment this beer well. Since Abt 12 is a Quadrupel, it is a pretty heavy beer.

Another cool thing about this beer is that monks brewed it. Monks run the whole brewery, actually. It is referred to as a “Trappist Brewery” and there are only 11 of them in the world. There are six in Belgium, two in the Netherlands and one in Italy, Austria and the United States, respectively.

However, upon finishing my beer, I gained a lot more respect for both the beer and the brewery. The beer grew on me and where I could taste the alcohol at the start of the beer, I no longer could toward the end. In some respects that speaks to the quality and intentionality of the beer; it was designed that way.

I give this beer a 7.3 out of 10. I enjoyed it, I really did, but since plums are not my favorite, and rather, Quadrupels aren’t either, this would not be my go-to beer. I definitely could though see myself having specific cravings for this beer and that I attribute to its uniqueness and overall quality and smoothness. The Mayor rates this beer a 9.4 out of 10.

Collegian Brew Reviewer Gabe Pocrass can be reached online at blogs@collegian.com.