Belgian beers have been an enigma to me. A lot of so called beer “Experts” always have them at the top of their lists as best beers in the world.
So far I have found them and their American imitators very lack luster, and prefer a local craft ale over one of these high alcohol and somewhat fruity beers. From what I’ve been told, I just don’t like the belgian yeast, as it imparts the banana like flavors that I usually just don’t care for. So for today’s tasting I took on what is supposed to be one of the best. St. Bernardus Abt 12
-Color: Medium Brown. Not quite as dark as a porter or stout. A very slight red tint, almost makes it a maroon color. Has a fizzy head that persists throughout the entire session.
-Nose: Definitely get the sweeter Belgian yeast notes on the aroma. Bananas and milk chocolate.
-Flavor: Immediately you get the malt and yeast backbone of this beer. You get the bananas as the nose suggested you would, and what I surmised would be the case given my past experience with Belgians. Also get some nuttyness from the malt, hazelnuts which kinda lends it to the chocolate I got on the bouquet. Toasty bread and Allspice notes in there as well. Finishing with a slight bitterness from the hops. My favorite part of this brew is its super smooth mouth-feel.
-Rating: 2.5/5: Not as boozy as I expected from a beer with a 10% ABV. Especially with my past experience with high ABV Belgians. Still has the fruitiness that I’m pretty sure comes with the Belgian yeast and I’m still not a fan. All in all it’s a pretty balanced beer. A quality that I value above almost anything and I wouldn’t steer anyone away from it.