Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 4,457 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Everdrift:
4.9/5 rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Many thanks to Brabender for affording me the opportunity to try this rare and profound brew.
Pours a deep nutty brown with a smallish head that dissipates rather quickly. I don't feel that the smaller head really counts much against it as a smoother, creamier, less carbonated mouthfeel is achieved through the lack of huge bubbliness.
The smell offers up a fine aroma of plum, pear, and sweet malt. It is not a nose that hits you over the head, but neither is the taste really. This ale is about subtlety, depth, and the interplay of flavors.
The taste is pretty deep. Dark fruity flavors are up front, such as plum and raisin. Alcohol is noticeable, but not nearly as strong as one might expect given the high ABV. Fruity flavors, toasty malts, and sweet belgian sugars all stand up over the high alcohol content. The taste has a special kind of depth that allows you to get into it it further and further the more you drink it.
The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, especially for such high ABV. A light carbonation is there, but not the dominant element. The alcohol doesn't burn too much, but it does numb the tongue slightly. I found all of this to be very pleasant and complimentary to the flavor.
Drinkability, what can I say? Very, very drinkable. Probably the most drinkable ale at this ABV that I have had. It compares very favorably overall to other Belgians that I've had, though I still need to try a couple of the classics. I just had a nice Maredsous 8 on draft at the Renaissance fair here in Texas and it was lovely but it didn't have the depth of character that this Westvleteren exhibited. This ale is a classic for sure. I don't know if it's the best in the world, but it's certainly in my top few beers I've tried.
Serving type: bottle
11-28-2009 05:58:58 | More by Everdrift
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 4,457 ratings.