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Trappist Westvleteren Special 6 - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren Special 6Trappist Westvleteren Special 6

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

56 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 100
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

(Red Cap)

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 03-31-2004)
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by basica:
Photo of basica


4.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trappist Westvleteren 6 (VINTAGE 1998) (Rating 10/10) - 6.2 ABV - 28 September 2007

This one is none other than my toughest find in the world of beers; not only is it the revered Westvleteren, it is a Westvleteren Special 6 from 1998 which is its last year of brew. A mighty THANK YOU to one of my Belgian beer friend, Christelle, for getting this for me. I know that
folks have yearned for this much sought after red cap and I myself had went through much before finally getting to Christelle who managed to get me 2 bottles straight from the Kulminator in Antwerp and have it shipped thousands of miles to Singapore into my very arms! It's a true godsend and now with the rambling out of the way, lets get down to reviewing this great beer. The bottle was capped tight and I had some trouble cracking it open; when I did an immediately vinous aroma flows out; I poured it carefully into my Abdij St Sixtus chalice. The Special 6 pours out a dark brown color with a thick head with good retention; a good looking bouquet. The smell was like some sort of a pie or sweet pastry with a good amount of breadiness; lot's of sweetness packed in it. Of course aged vinous aromas with dark fruits also form part of the aroma; a very good and sweet smelling beer. It is now all set for me to take my first sip. It has a strong taste of aged dark fruits which includes plums, dates, raisins, berries with a light bready malt backing. The sweet pie like nature was only very subtle. The finish was dry, slightly bitter, and it leaves strong vinous dark fruity, floral and sweet malty aromas on the nose; very nice. The after taste started off with strong dark fruit tastes ranging from dates, plums to raisins and a slight bit of pie or pastry sweetness; some malts on the nose and palates too. Also on the nose as the after taste lingers is a nice everlasting fruity floral aroma. The after taste then then becomes more of grapes and raisins with the familar aged vinous tastes; a very lasting after taste which concludes like a fruity tasting candy. The mouthfeel was slightly creamy and the body was between medium to full but what surprised me was how well the carbonation held up over the years and was still at such a
good level. It was generally light and refreshing and definitely very smooth drinking as I drank up the last few mouthful. The taste of the Westvleteren Special 6 was generally reminiscent of most well-aged Belgian Dark Ales; I am not sure if the very well aged 1984 La Trappe Dubbel which threw me off was better than this but both are great beers for sure. I went to great lengths to get this beer and probably I am very slightly disappointed as I intended that this is going to be my top beer but I believe it is still under the blue and gold cap slightly; though I rate it very well on BA. However it is within my top 3 beers and I still have 1 more bottle. I will try to have Christelle get me a few more bottles of this wonderous brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2007 19:20:59 | More by basica
More User Reviews:
Photo of gory4d

New York

4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Will for this one. Shared with my wife.

Pours a dark brown with a lot of white foam that doesn't quite turn into a head. Sort of russet around the edges. The smell is faint leather, some plum, a little wood. It's quite sweet, really, reminding me of a mild cola; lots of melon and fruit, with some rich undertones of tobacco. It's quite effervescent, but creamy at the same time - very pleasant. A nice treat that I'm glad I was able to try.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 21:51:26 | More by gory4d
Photo of PorterLambic


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

09-26-2013 22:47:28 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of mwbrady12

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -28.2%

07-28-2013 23:52:14 | More by mwbrady12
Photo of beerpirates


3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Many thx to Thijs for opening this very rare bottle

Poured into a westy 12 tastingglass

Poured medium-to-deep amber with no head.
The aroma picked up soft, dusty, spicy yeast over well-aged toffee, raisins, and dates The flavor held up as well with some caramel and accents of port , raisins, and faint smoke
Medium-bodied with lower carbonation on the palate..

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 08:35:42 | More by beerpirates
Photo of Doodler


3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

03-23-2013 23:00:30 | More by Doodler
Photo of spdyfire83


3.49/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

307th Review
33cl bottle poured into Crooked Stave tulip
Mid/late-90's, I gather from discussions with the individual who passed this my way. Cheers!

I shared this at a random Wednesday afternoon tasting at Crooked Stave (thanks Chad for welcoming us!) as part of "December to Remember - 2012". Drank alongside Westvleteren Dubbel, amongst others.

A: Light brown. Quarter, (tan) fingernail, bubbly head on medium pour. More carbonated than its brethren!

S: Notes of dark fruit, raisin, light brown sugar, and breadiness. Touch of mild cherry here too.

T: Hidden cherry starts things off followed by soft dark fruit, caramel, and cardboard. Touch of sour too and I know this thing is past its prime.

M: Medium/full bodied with soft (nearly flat) carbonation.

O: Surprisingly bad and over-the-hill. Quite strange to me considering this bottle is younger than the Red Cap. I find it amazing that the lower ABV withstood time more resiliently than this. Granted they are different styles, but they generally have the same characteristics in my opinion. My recommendation, do not bend-over-backwards to get this.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 17:02:29 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of bmwats


3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 33 cl bottle, into a tulip.

A: Hay colored. Lots of carbonation. Pours a cascading bubbly head. Settles fairly quickly, but does leave a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Sparse spiderweb lacing.

S: Fresh cut grass and hay. Sourdough.

T: Fresh cut grass, a little honey, bitter rye, and a little bready.

M: Light, crisp, bittersweet finish.

D: Not much resistance. Go for it.

Atmosphere is good. Nice hue, carbonation, and head. Nose is bittersweet and grassy. Flavor is fresh cut flora, with some sweet notes. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2013 06:06:30 | More by bmwats
Photo of digita7693


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

12-15-2012 08:07:18 | More by digita7693
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev -4.3%

11-15-2012 02:12:19 | More by t0rin0
Photo of eric5bellies


4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank at Kulminator, Antwerp 98 vintage from a st sixtus chalice

A - Pours a nice deep mahogany colour with a an off white two fingered head that stays the distance, amazing

S - Port, toasted bread and raisins. Very pronounced.

T - Wow, this beer has held up amazingly well, the yeast and raisins are very evident still with a little port like flavours as well. The finish is so smooth and not boozy at all.

M - the carbonation is almost all there with the body medium. Smoothness is impressive.

O - Although this beer is 13 years old I'm amazed at how well it has held up. So much flavours and complexity still exists in this beer. It's a privalidge to taste masterpieces like this and although a little past it's best I cannot mark it down because it has truly lasted the test of time and for a beer that is only 6.2% that is quite remarkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2012 20:37:15 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of hanlonrn

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

07-10-2012 11:52:44 | More by hanlonrn
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to drabmuh for sharing this whale of a beer with us on his birthday.

The beer is orange hued, displaying a thick, lasting head that coats the chalice with a sheet of lacing.

The aroma offers malt, butterscotch, basement, rain water, canteloupe. Interesting. It does smell old...like a monk's closet.

The flavor was decent, especially given the age of the beer. Interesting to say the least. Dank basement, melons, butterscotch, caramel malt.

I was really impressed with the mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation and silky smooth on the palate.

Overall, what an experience. Thanks Matt!

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 23:00:23 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of BeerBaron


5/5  rDev +19.6%

03-04-2012 22:59:06 | More by BeerBaron
Photo of drabmuh


3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has been a long time coming, a personal "whale" of mine, drinking a Westvleteren 6 out of a Westvleteren goblet...doesn't get much more "baller" than that in my mind. I loved this experience.

Beer is amber to brown with a slight haze, almost no head, low carbonation, no lacing, no retention.

Aroma is sweet, almost cherry like, mild sherry notes, thin, perhaps a bit oxidized.

Beer is sweet, bright on the palate, not funky at all, drinking pretty nicely, mild notes of oxidation on the palate, a strong finish on the beer overall. I enjoyed it and if possible I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 16:01:09 | More by drabmuh
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/25/12 notes. Bottle shared by drabmuh at his birthday tasting; thanks Matt, was very excited to try this one. Tried in line with a 25 year old bottle of Westy 8, a relatively newer Westy 8, and a Westy 12.

a - Pours a murky mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fruity malts, raisins, dark fruits, a little musty, bready malts, light caramel. Smell is sweet and a little oxidized, but still very nice.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, raisins, sugar, fruity malts, earthy notes, more musty then the nose, sweet. A step down from the nose and oxidized again.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a nice beer but a bit oxidiized and I'd guess a bit past its prime. Taste was a little too sweet for me. Very cool to try and was better then the 25 year old Westy 8, but didn't compare to the fresher Westy 8 and Westy 12. I'd suggest drinking yours now if you've got one left.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 22:18:42 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Thorpe429


3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to drabmuh for acquiring this bottle. Served in a small Westvleteren chalice.

A: Pours a very slightly-hazed amber-copper color with a half-finger white head and just a bit of spotty lacing on the way down.

S: The nose carries a pretty heavy amount of fruit. Slight oxidation plus a bit of cherry and other dark fruits. Almost a touch of melon waiting in the background.

T: The flavor is a bit less traditional. Some melon-type flavor comes through along with a bit of bread and a touch of caramel. Really quite interesting. Maybe a bit of strawberry. There are definitely fruits present, but not in the traditional way. Hard to place.

M: Body is light to medium with good carbonation and a semi-dry finish. Very light bitterness.

O: This has held up fairly well. Good fruit presence and a bit of malt. Assuredly past its prime, but still certainly worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 21:12:44 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Mar02x


3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With thanks to BA Brabander, I was able to try this beer. Brabander brought his beer to a tasting organized by Fiona de Lange (the Dutch beer lady).

A - A murky fluid with no head whatsoever.

S - It has got the smell of a sweet sherry.

T - Gone! This beer is long gone! It became sour. Not that I mind though, because of the sweet sherry it is very nice to drink.

M - A very light carbonation, no bitterness.

O - I would love to try one that is still good.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 17:27:10 | More by Mar02x
Photo of cpetrone84


3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had at Akkurat. Pour is slightly murky brown with ruby red edges and a light tan head. The nose has tons of sweetness, loads of raisin, caramel malt, syrupy dark berries. The taste is more balanced but also less bright. Seems a touch oxidized, raisins and caramel are most dominant, syrupy dark fruits almost artificial berry-like, flavor thins out in the finish. Full bodied, very thin finish, syrupy texture on the tongue, light carb and slightly oily.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 19:51:23 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Lee45102


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

12-27-2011 00:10:57 | More by Lee45102
Photo of kojevergas


4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown glass bottle with no label and the distinctive Red Westvleteren cap served into a goblet at Akkurat in Stockholm, Sweden, in July 2011. Vintage was 1996, making it roughly fifteen years old. Cost was a brutal 295 SEK (~43 USD at the time). They had to fetch this from the cellar for me, and it was opened pretty carefully. Served fairly cool but not too cold.

Reviewed from detailed notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of brilliant beautiful cream, good thickness, and bad retention for the ABV. The head is white in colour, while the beer is a very appealing dark ruby-black. I can't wait to dive in.

Sm: Cherry, raspberry, strawberry - all light fruit hop esters (as opposed to 'dark' fruit like in the other three Westvleteren beers I've tried). It's a very excellent fruit aroma all around. Refreshing, and evocative of fruli or framboise summer beers. I didn't expect the fruits to smell as bright and pleasant as they do. Amazing, pleasant, and perfect. Incredibly subtle; I think the age has done the aroma well.

T: Creamy foundation with bright fruit ester hops atop. Everything from the nose is present; lots of strawberry dominates. There's a bit of a water note, no doubt from the aging. Structurally, each act is quite brief but impressively flavorful. The climax is bright ester laden. It's brilliantly balanced, ignoring the water (which is easy to do). It's beautifully artfully constructed. Complex and wonderful.

Mf: Masterfully complementary of the flavours of the body. It's a bit vinegary/watery after the climax, but that's not the brewer's fault. It's delicately soft, subtly creamy, and incredibly well suited to the complexity of the taste. Very carefully crafted indeed.

Dr: The obscene price is to be expected. No alcohol comes through. It's a wonderful beer but sadly it seems to be getting steadily worse with time; it probably peaked five years ago. Drink it while you can, because soon it will be shite vinegar (see La Trappe Amber). I've given is a score based on its full character as is now, but I suspect at its peak it was an A- or even an A. Either way, it's fantastic.

[Note that I gave it a B+ at time of review, prior to the new number system coming in. A B+ at that time was 3.76-4.00.]

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 20:38:50 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Beertracker


5/5  rDev +19.6%

12-19-2011 03:18:49 | More by Beertracker
Photo of davod23


5/5  rDev +19.6%

12-12-2011 23:31:20 | More by davod23
Photo of sideshowe


4/5  rDev -4.3%

11-15-2011 13:48:33 | More by sideshowe
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

11-15-2011 02:21:33 | More by ygtbsm94
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Trappist Westvleteren Special 6 from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
92 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.