Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 4,443 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
4.43/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
HUGE thank-you to frissianwits for this one...the generosity blew me away.
Presentation: Classic Westy 330ml brown pop top with no label; cap says 27.05.13
Appearance: Murky walnut beer with a light beige cap with good retention.
Smell: Spicy, sweet, and beguiling...there are a host of different spices here, but everything is so well-integrated I'm having a tough time pulling them all out...I do get a definite hit of cinnamon sugar, however. There's lots of fruit as well, and more light fruit (apricot, maybe?) than I was expecting...some very light booze as well, and I'm getting sugared dates now as this warms a bit.
Taste: This courses across the palate, constantly changing and showing a new side. It starts out with burnt caramel, toasty malts (like an amped-up Munich Dunkel), some light minerality, and some dark fruit...cotton candy makes its presence known as well, as well as various sweet baking spices...there's a bit more bitterness than I was expecting, though there's no real hop flavor. The bitterness is actually just a bit stronger than I'd like. Eventually apple and other light fruit make their way forward, as well as mild alcohol as this warms. In a word, complex.
Mouthfeel: Fairly high carbonation levels, but remarkably light for the high abv, which keeps the drinkability...
Drinkability: High...though it's so complex, it begs to be mused over...so complex you just want another taste, and it'd be easy to drink more than the 1-2 of these that you could have without starting to get goofy
Conclusion: Was it the earth-shattering, worldview-changing epiphany I was awaiting? No. But I don't think a beer that's this hyped could *ever* meet expectations. That being said, it was by FAR the best Belgian Strong Dark Ale/Quadrupel I've ever had. I think if the bitterness had been just slightly less, this would have been an A+. Better than Chimay's Blue and Rochefort's 10 w/out question (though those are both delicious beers; I haven't tried Achel's Extra yet, so I can't comment on it). I would love (someday) to have 3-4 of these so I could drink 1 a year or so and see how they change. I broke this open to celebrate passing my MA defense that day; again, thanks to frissianwits, I cannot think of a better way to have celebrated.
Serving type: bottle
07-20-2010 21:47:02 | More by BedetheVenerable
More User Reviews:
4.83/5 rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Cap dated April 20, 2009, making this about six years and three months old. Stored at cellar temp since it arrived in the States in 2006. Last one; I drank the most recent in the spring of 2008. 330ml bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Dark copper with a minimal but dense and persistent beige head. Head dissipates into a very swirly crown. Very hazy with pieces of sediment (unsurprising due to the age) floating around, despite my careful attempts to avoid pouring them.
Massive, complex bouquet. Huge alcohol and esters. Rum-like fusels with a ton of fruit flavors; cherry, plum, raisin, dark berries. Medicinal and slightly spicy phenols. Toffee, bready, and caramel malts and candi sugar. Molasses. Slightly nutty.
The flavor is just as ridiculously complex as the nose, but a little more subdued. Soft, sweet candi sugar combines with a ton of fruity esters. The cherries give it almost a little vinous flavor, but it combines with dates and raisins. The malts are big and sweet and indicating toffee and caramel(along with the candi sugar), but not even remotely close to cloying. Warmth from the alcohol brings about an excellent balance, and the yeasty esters and phenols give it a little bit of sharpness.
Moderately carbonated; it may have dropped after six years in the bottle. Medium body, but it stands up to the alcohol and massive flavor profile. The alcohol gives it a more substantial feel and some warmth, but it is still fairly smooth.
For the first few years I was on this site, it was considered the Holy Grail beer. I have drank it before but never rated it, but this one is utterly phenomenal. Even if not the best beer in the world, it lives up to its hype. Apparently six years isn't too long to age it either. Absolutely wonderful and I hope I get the chance to drink another one of these again.
Serving type: bottle
07-22-2014 18:42:58 | More by Phocion
4.88/5 rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
Nice hiss and carbon smoke on open.
Effervescent like champagne as it hits your tongue, then melts into figs, raisins, grapes, chocolate... no alcohol on it at all.
For a quad, this is superb, as expected.
**When I got this, I wasn't expecting it to live up to the hype. In all honesty, this surpassed all the hype and expectations. It's a fantastic beer.
Serving type: bottle
07-22-2014 16:36:01 | More by bbarclay
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,443 ratings.