St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged by Brouwerij St. Bernardus

1979163_10102669026925610_227415077313366870_oRating: 7/5 * A bucket list beer, just saying 😛

St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged by Brouwerij St. Bernardus is an 11% ABV Belgian Quadrupel Aged in Oak Calvados (Apple Brandy) Barrels

Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 is Brewery St. Bernardus’ flagship and is considered as one the best beers in the world. The Abt 12 is brewed following the original recipe from 1946.

This St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged is brewed using the same recipe and then matured for 6 months in oak Calvados barrels before it is bottle coditioned. This maturation in oak kegs gives the beer a deeper and richer taste, leaving the palate remarkbly satisfied and thirsty for more.

“Bringing Heavenly nectar within reach”

Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 53-56° F in a goblet glass to best enjoy its delicate bouquet.


Never did I ever think that St. Bernardus would step up their game and release a barrel aged version of their Quad. Not just any barrel either, but the Calvados Apple Brandy barrel. Beers that usually are aged in these barrel jump 100 times the price of the original beer. Good thing this one just doubled the price. By that I mean it is still pricey as hell ranging anywhere from 25-30$ for a 750ml bottle. I didn’t care. I just just didn’t care as unlike any beer from the past, the St. Bernardus is a beer that always held a special place in my heart as it was my favorite when I first started trying different beers as early as 2010 and to this day I can always go back and say it is still my favorite despite the fact that there are others like the Weekday Bruery beers that are levels above it, it still don’t matter. Even after trying the Heady Toppers, the Dark Lords, even the Westvleteren 12… still didn’t matter… Abt 12 was my beer along with Trois Pistoles and Three Philosophers and others… So you can see the fact that this exist must be testament to my resolve not only as a reviewer but for myself and what I truly love and even to my first quadruple that I personally made… Cheers from this is like Cheers of the Heavens!

Rich Dulce de leche caramel Apple pie, Brandy oak, vanilla, Goat milk caramel, marshmallows, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, raspberry chambord, tamarind, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peach cobbler, mango, pie crust, Dark Candi sugars, Belgian Bread, Danish cream, Rock Candy, figgy pudding, piloncillo sugar cone,Bananas, plantains, clove spice, bubble gum notes, raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, cinnamon, flan, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Red Apples, Golden Apples, Caramel apples, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cherry pie and burnt brown sugar.

Dulce de leche caramel, Goat milk Caramel, piloncillo sugar cone, vanilla, oak, marshmallows, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, raspberry chambord, tamarind, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, bubble gum notes, raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, cinnamon, flan, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Red Apples, Golden Apples, Caramel apples, Brandy, Port wine, chardonay, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peach cobbler, pie crust, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cherry pie, dragon fruit, passion fruit, old mangoes, honey dew melon, butterscotch, chocolate notes, tangerine preserves, tobacco, leather, anise, grilled funnel caramel cake, Dark Candi sugars, Belgian Bread, Danish cream, Rock Candy, figgy pudding, Rich caramel Apple Pie goodness with vanilla cake and more.

Lingering Apple Pie, dark fruits, stone fruits, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, sweetened condensed milk, Apple brandy, port wine, Danish cream, leather, rye and mild chocolate lingers. No alcohol in the taste, smooth, silky, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel, Dark Golden Brown medium body and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

No surprise why this version of one of my favorite (commonly available) beers in the world is simply another one I needed to add to my bucket list of beers. The original St. Bernardus was my inspiration for making the original quad I made a couple of months back as it was one of my favorites in the world while started trying different craft beers along with Trois Pistoles, Three Philosphers and many delicious others. This version is something that really took it above the heaven into that “Ambrosia of the Gods” status. I really didn’t care about the price, I really wanted to bring this one for a review ever since its announcement and I finally did it! I think the whole Calvados/Apple Brandy aspect is what really did it here taking this liquid caramel into an Apple Pie beer goodness. Who knows what will happen to this in … 15 years!

Anime Corner:
Temari Sabakuno from Naruto, Kos-Mos from Xenosaga, Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach as being my favorite anime characters always get the best pairings in some of the beers I truly feel are deserving of that ‘Heavenly and Godly Ambrosia’ Liquid status as with many of the beers I have tried, I have used them in the previous St. Bernardus Abt 12 review except with the introduction of my recent favorite girl, Ryuko Matoi. Like I said before, the original version of this beer was my world favorite, my desire, my love and passion that became my favorite style of beer and today, the fruit of my labor with my homebrew ‘Las Quad-tro Monjas’. Yes indeed, I don’t have to explain much about this and long time readers can already infer why I choose them. The greatest of the greats.

Brandy Barrel Bois (5th Anniversary ale) by The Bruery

10154900_10101867879731010_6459360768481902051_nRating: 6/5

Brandy Barrel Bois (5th Anniversary ale) by The Bruery is a 15% ABV World Class Old Ale aged in Brandy Barrels.

Commercial Description:
The traditional fifth anniversary gift is something made of wood, or “Bois” in French.

Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.

This variant of the Bruery’s 5th anniversary beer has been sitting around for about a year aging. This variant is aged in Brandy barrels, the whole dynamics of the original Bois are either enlightened more or possibly stays just as delicious as when I first tried Bois last year. So here it is, Brandy Barrel aged Bois for your reading pleasure.

Here is the original review of the Bourbon Barrel one: (

Rich dark fruits, dates, bananas, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toasted coconut, dark chocolate, pecan pie, cherry cordial, dark cherry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, Flan, crème brulee, Tres Leches, wine grapes, brandy, oak, apples, Leche Nestle sweetened condensed milk, toffee, marshmallows, brown sugar, raspberries, maple, molasses, sherry and port wine.

More dark fruit like prunes, raisins and figs forward than the original, brandy barrel, wine grapes, raspberries, cherry cordial chocolates, oak, apples, Tres Leches, dulce de leche caramel, marshmallows, toffee, coconut, macaroons, apples, dark cherry yogurt hints, flan, vanilla ice cream, dark cherry ice cream, crème brulee, wine grapes, port wine, sherry, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, leather, black berries and blueberries.

The Brandy with the wine like tangy notes linger along with the sweet caramel, flan, vanilla, dark cherry, coconut hints, and chocolate port linger for a little but dry up. No alcohol in the taste. Smooth yet sipping beer. Full to syrupy mouth feel.

Simply outstanding!! Somehow, Brandy always something very amazing to beers that Bourbon does not. Each spirit barrel adds an additional component that really makes the beers vary. With Bois, it is like taking an already over the top beer and modifying it into new ways it was maybe never meant to go before. This one I got directly from the Bruery. If you go there, you should definitely get this one, I highly recommend it!!

Anime Corner:
Rei Ayanami was used in last year’s Bois and I brought Asuka Langley Sohryu Shikinami from the previous beer (Fruet) to represent the addition of the Brandy barrel to Bois. They are from Neon Genesis Evangelion. In this picture they sit holding each other like really close friends. They are both very powerful in the series. The addition of brandy adds more fruit to the beer, like in the Fruet represented by Asuka. Her colors also represent the Red Wax addition to Bois.


Figgy Pudding (2 year aged) by Block 15 brewing

1460991_10101539123790550_1482820932_n1424532_10101540492447750_1758508559_nRating: 5.75/5

Figgy Pudding (2 year aged) by Block 15 brewing is an 11% ABV English Strong Ale brewed with molasses and matured in Brandy Barrels with figs and spice

Our holiday offering brewed with English pale and specialty malts and molasses. Matured in freshly emptied brandy barrels and conditioned with mission figs. Gently spiced with the world’s finest Ceylon cinnamon and whole nutmeg. ‘Now, bring us some figgy pudding!’ the carolers demand. We are pretty sure this ale is what they mean though you will will want to keep some for yourself.

Our brewers are dedicated in bringing beer enthusiasts traditional, unique, and challenging bottle conditioned ales brewed with the finest ingredients from our region and around the world. Drop by our brewpub and enjoy over 13 hand crafted ales and lagers in our historic downtown location. View our bottle our aging journal , real-time tap list, menus, and events at

As the Christmas song goes, wishing people a Merry Christmas then goes to saying, bring some Figgy Pudding and a cup of good cheer! I think this beer suffices as to everything that is Christmas. I was able to find this beer online at If you are lucky, you will find it for a good price. Yes, it is quite the pricey one, but in order to bring forth what this beer is like, some chances are taken. So think of it as a gift from me to you. If you like the beer review, then seek it.

Rich reminiscence of the Lost Abbey’s Sede Vacante, Brandy, vanilla, prunes, rich figs, raisins, sugar plums, nutmeg, fruit cake, cinnamon, ginger bread, apples, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cherries, black berry preserves on rye bread, hazelnut notes and oak

Rich Raisins, Figs, Plums, prunes, Brandy, dark cherries, chocolate notes, caramel, oak, vanilla, rich fruit cake, toffee, cherries, red velvet cake, apples, apricot, butterscotch, blackberry preserves, ginger bread, cinnamon, apples, pear notes, nutmeg, molasses, rye bread, raisin bread pudding, pecan pie notes, wine like sangria and communion wine

The aftertaste is rich with raisins, caramel, raisin bread pudding, fruit cake, oak and some brandy hints . There is no alcohol present in the taste from what I can tell. It is a big sipper never the less.

Exceptionally awesome. Reminded me a lot of the Lost Abbey Sede Vacante in the flavor and smell. The only difference is that it was not as strong or super complex as that one but anything that can match it close enough is definitely worth the extra credit and my attention. If you can find this one, give it a try. It sure is cellaring pretty nicely and the 11% ABV is hard to find. If this is true Christmas in a bottle then they did a damn good job of representing it

Anime Corner:
Ignis from Jingai Makyou is used in this pairing to represent a more laid back feel to sitting down and enjoying a glass of ale. Although, even if it looks like wine, the glass she is drinking could be represented by figgy pudding as some of the brandy and rich flavors do also include some wine and dark fruit characters. She fits the label perfectly as the person on the label and her raise the glass to toast the holidays. The strength in the alcohol comes in her strength of fighting demons. She is a kind and friendly woman which is represented in the sweet figgy and dark fruit flavors. Are there any other things you can find from this pairing?

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

1477982_10101531821254890_1963810206_n 1472989_10101531821145110_108429905_n 1470280_10101531821185030_808038373_n 579314_10101531821195010_287334108_nRating: 5.79/5* (Just like last years version, more difficult to explain. Strategy guide included)

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13.3% ABV Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale

“We blended together 220 oak barrels and seven different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.” – Brewmaster Matt Brynildson
Bravo / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 30% of Final Blend
-Imperial Brown Ale

Sticky Monkey / Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey Barrels / 25% of Final Blend
-English Barley Wine Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar

Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout

Parabola / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Double DBA / Aged in retired Firestone Union Barrels / 8% of Final Blend
-Double strength English Pale Ale

Helldorado / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 4% of Final Blend
-Blonde Barley Wine Brewed with Buckwheat Honey

Wookey Jack / 100% Stainless Steel / 3% of Final Blend
-Black Rye India Pale Ale

XVII ABV: 13.3%

This year’s batch is very special using. The strategy guide is even longer since they had winemakers assist with the project to get the right types of blends in constructing this beer. Holy shit is all I can say about the information of how much work and effort it took to make this. 

Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, brandy, port wine notes, dark cherry, raspberry, coconut, oak, caramel, toffee, oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies, banana notes, marshmallow, rocky road ice cream, Mexican piloncillo, pecans, hazelnut, raisin bread chocolate pudding, flan, bourbon, rich brandy, candied apples, smoked wood, hint of tropics but very small and other complex fragrances. Crazy part is that it kept changing as the beer got warmer. 

Big Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond joy, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, Barley wine, rye bread, flan, hazelnut, pecan pie whiskey, brandy, bourbon, chocolate, rich chocolate chip cookies on rocky road ice cream with cherries, strawberries, hazelnut, ferro rocher chocolate, pecan pie, special oak wood, oatmeal, maple, peach notes, pear, anise, mint, rich rye bread, butterscotch, brown sugar, marshmallows, tropical notes as it got warmer, and lots of other complex flavors. Damn, I ran out of lives, gonna have to start at the last save point.

Finishing off with like nice chocolate, port wine, maple syrupy notes, dark fruit oatmeal chocolate chips, marshmallows and oaky vanilla. Boozy notes here an there but everything plays well with the flavors

Every year much more complex, much more exceptional. Does it beat out it’s predecessor XVI? Well, yes and no. By that I mean, let is age for a while. You see, the early XVI did not but damn, XVI 1 year later was doing complex virtuoso rock solos around my palette. Do not let that fool you though finding the complexities is difficult even if you have Tequila added like when XVI had PNC, “holy shit nice” is what I was tasting. Parabola by itself wins over all of them only because of the extra chocolate push into into the 6/5 range for extra credit for me. XVII was able to get super close to XVI 1 year later and actually beat the younger age one especially because of the Velvet Merkin complexities to have a hug back up. Magic maybe the bloodstream of the universe like Merkin is the bloodstream of this powerhouse beer. Longer strategy guide and all, this beer still kicking your ass .

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from the series Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipe is used in this pairing to show the hard work and dedication that was used to make this beer. Also, the colors of her armor are close to the colors of the beer label and box. Along with her companions, they represent the selections of individual beers that were selected in order to bring this beer blend into fruition. The colors may also be used to represent the dark fruit flavors, brandy, bourbon, chocolate and others. The Strength of the alcohol and the hard work are also represented by the Bushido code she follows as a samurai.