Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus
St Bernadus is an abbey brewery based in Watou, Belgium and was founded rather recently in 1946. Since then it has slowly established itself as a well-known brewer in the Belgian beer scene, especially with its flagship product the Abt 12. The abt is the highest ranking monk in a monastery so it’s only right their main beer is named after the leading member of their clergy. The laughing monk on the label is synonymous with the St Bernardus brand. It is said that on one bottle in a thousand the monk is actually printed with a wink on his face as well. I first tried this beer around 2005 and it’s been a mainstay in my drinking selection since then. I thought it was a perfect example of a quad to show off the excellence of the style.
The beer had a deep chestnut glint to it as it was poured and quickly formed a big, heavy ivory coloured head. You can see it had a good body to it as it decantered into the glass. One quick whiff showcased the deep dried fruit tones. You could smell the alcohol and traditional Belgian sweetness permeating the aromas. On the tongue there was plums, raisins, spice and sugar syrup. A boozy and heady strong alcohol hit were all quickly noted. The aftertaste was rather short that faded to just leave a nice warming sensation in the chest.
This is a great quad. It showcases the lovely dried fruit, sweetness and deep warmth usually associated with the quad style. If I had to be picky I would probably choose the Chimay Blue over this but it’s still delicious. A winter warmer if ever there was one.