Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 4,444 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JerzDevl2000:
4.43/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Ever meet one of those beer geeks that will wait in line for a limited release of something? That was me last week at Top Hops in New York. When I heard this was coming out, I wanted to finally give it a go and see what all the fuss was about. Seeing that I'm not getting to Belgium anytime soon, I figured this would be my only chance to ever have a review this. It was really cold and and I waited a while but thankfully, it was worth the effort I put into getting my hands on this. Whether it's the best beer on the planet is another question, but it's one that I don't mind attempting to answer!
I thought the pour to this was amazing, with a nice raisin hue, ruby edges, and a head that would rival that of any root beer float. The aroma was the weakest aspect of this beer as it was quite strong with currant and raisin, but not as overpowering as I expected it to be. Thankfully, the lacing was present on my pint glass and the mouthfeel was about as full and balanced as any Belgian beer I've ever had. The alcohol up front gave way to an increasing amount of dark fruit, sugar, apple, and molasses with the booze sticking around in the aftertaste. The back reminded me of amaretto and finished just as clean as a cordial. It almost reminded me of mead because of how smooth and silky this was while having a strong fermented taste and strong alcoholic characteristic to this, while having a natural sweetness.
This was strong and very aggressive but never did the alcohol drown out all of the flavors and nuances that this had to offer. While I don't regret waiting for hours in the freezing cold to get my hands on a "brick" of this, it fell just a hair short of all the hype given to this. Most of that had to do with the unavailability of this beer in North America but there's no doubt that I don't regret a minute of the wait or cost of this beer. It's not #1 in my book but with so many offerings available these days, this easily beats out 99% of what's on the shelf or on tap at the local brewery or brewpub. This was fabulous from start to finish and I don't care what the extra bottles I have would fetch via a trade - they're either going into my stomach or to people that I deeply care about. Great beers like this do not deserve to be pimped out, but savored for the good times around good people. Anything less would be a disservice.
Serving type: bottle
12-23-2012 09:49:24 | More by JerzDevl2000
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 4,444 ratings.