Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 4,046 | Reviews: 1,581 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by JudgeRoughneck:
4.71/5 rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
AROMA - very refined dried cherry, light and lean malty aroma with a nutty dimension, ever so slight hint of alcohol, a whisp of banana, another aroma which is moderate in intensity and could be diacetyl, caramel malt, or a combination of the two -( pleasant), bass notes of rum-raisin, all coming together to give a wonderful character of warm banana bread, lightly peppery, fresh plum skin, perhaps a faint herbal hop aroma, - this all comes off spectacularly fresh, clean ,and in balance. This is a bouquet which is noticeable upon quaffing but hardly leaps out of the glass. The overall intensity of the aroma is moderately-strong at best and very harmonious. The malt and fermentation elements stand out most and speak no louder than a robust dopplebock might.
APPEARANCE- This is a really beautiful beer. It is stark crystal clear with a gorgeous deep-ruby hue, and modest (less than one finger), but healthy and persistent off-white head. It gently gives up sparkling-wine style carbonation without being foamy or difficult to manage (3.5 volumes?). Wide legs that creep down the glass at a snail's pace.
FLAVOR- A bit simpler than the aroma. Overall impression is a lightly peppery alcohol keeping a creamy caramel/nugat malt base lively on the palate with a soft nut and vanilla finish. Malt character takes on a brown sugar/ light molasses character as sample warms. Fresh cherry, plum, red apple, red grape, and raisin notes tumble across the palate, but you must really focus to corner them. Banana notes in the aroma are nowhere to be found until sample hits room temp. No diacetyl. Barely perceptible hop bitterness that does not linger. Moderately strong peppery/ spicy quality is probably some combo of phenols, alcohol, and possibly hops, but it is not possible to determine where one begins and the other ends. Moderate malts sweetness is a big player in the balance but does not dominate impression.
MOUTHFEEL- medium-full bodied at most with a lively but never fizzy carbonation. The peppery alcohol character does grow to moderate or moderately-strong as you work through the glass, but never gets hot. Really overall a very lithe and graceful beer considering its size. I would never call it thick, slick, sticky or sweet, but would also never call it dry.
OVERALL- This is not only an extraordinarily well-made beer, but really quintessentially "Trappist". I have now sampled beer from every Trappist brewery and I don't know if it is for better or worse that most will try this one last because it makes you realize what the other breweries are aiming at. It has that semi-sweet (never dry, never cloying, but teasing you with moments of both), lightly tangy quality that must surely come from the sugar usage. Like all great strong beers, it is dangerously drinkable and unlike so many US big beers or "extreme" beers, it is not intense in any regard really. The alcohol comes on a bit strong at times, and so it is possible that aging this beer might be wise, but I'd hate to lose the wonderfully fresh malt and ester qualities that really make it sparkle. Belgian and Trappist beer fans would do well to seek this out, but those looking to get their minds blown by an intense beer would do better to spend their time and money pursuing something state-side.
Serving type: bottle
09-24-2013 08:53:24 | More by JudgeRoughneck
More User Reviews:
4.75/5 rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
From the 2012 American release. Pours a hazy chestnut, lots of sediment, with a thick, off-white head that diminishes to a frothy cap that remained throughout. The aroma is full of dark fruits, brown sugar, malt, and warm spices. On the palate there's the dark fruit, but unlike the aroma, these are reminiscent of holiday fruit-cake dark fruits - sweet, but not cloyingly so. Nice bready malt with hints of clove. The 10% ABV adds a nice warming feeling but doesn't overwhelm. Velvety, medium bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Overall, this is a very complex and well crafted quad. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it, but hunting this down is hardly worth the effort with so many other readily available outstanding quads, especially Rochefort and St. Bernardus.
Serving type: bottle
04-12-2014 12:18:29 | More by JohnG190
4.46/5 rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet. This is from the American release so has around 1.5 years of age on it. Served at cellar temperature.
Appearance: Pours a hazy iced-tea brown, with plenty of sediment, and leaves a big two-fingered spritzy head which fades quickly to a layer atop the beer. The bottle gushed a bit upon opening.
Smell: Dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs) come out first along with big malts, spices, cloves, brown sugar, hint of banana, hint of alcohol.
Taste: Very interesting. Much different from the aroma. Alcohol soaked raisins and figs, malts, cloves, mixed nuts, molasses, maple candy, belgian yeast, brandy. Boy, this is complex.
Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a thick, yet slightly choppy mouthfeel. Hard to explain. Definitely the thickest quad I've tasted.
Overall: Truly a unique beer. Very interesting sweet flavors and a milder yet still somewhat sweet aroma. Definitely worth trying. I'd drink again if I found the opportunity - a great experience.
Serving type: bottle
04-10-2014 23:15:26 | More by Resuin
United Kingdom (England)
4.5/5 rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottle from GBBF 2013. Well done to the international bar for sourcing these. Drunk on Bank Holiday Monday August 26th 2013. First sniff from the bottle and this is surprisingly beery and malt grainy. Not the overpowering hit of alcoholic complexity I was expecting. Pours dark reddish brown, with some nice reddish clarity in the glass. Thin off white bubbly head. First full on aroma is very malty. Caramel, ripe fruit, particularly a banana estery aroma, dark rye bread. Lots of banana and caramel, ripe plums. Taste is tangy and estery, but surprisingly quaffable and drinkable. It’s caramel, banana estery, some light dark fruit, plums and a bit of brandy or cognac alcoholic kick on the finish, with some of that black rye bread. Texture is medium, not heavy really, and it’s quite sticky and sweet. It’s less complex and heavy than Rochefort 10, but way more drinkable IMHO. I really like it. Could knock one of these back every day. 17.01.14 - comparison with St. Bernardus Abt 12. The Westy is definitely maltier and dryer compared to the fruit of the St. B. and the Westy 12 has a beautiful malty banana nose, which out-rates the St B. The Westy 12 although more subtle does have a bigger alcoholic kick than the St B though.
Serving type: bottle
04-10-2014 22:42:38 | More by EdKing
5/5 rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
This may be the best dark beer I have ever had!It has a dark fruit blast that literally places you into euphoria. The ABV is completely hidden which makes this incredible treat that much more drinkable. The carbonation was crisp and the aroma was magnificent. This beats the Roc 10, ABT 12, Pannepot and any other brew I have ever had that even remotely resembles this beer. Just a flat out masterpiece! At one time I argued that ABT 12 was the same beer as history has recorded, well I was wrong its not. I have a good quantity of this brew and its hard for me to age it as I want to drink it all.
Bottom Line: Legendary beer that lives above the hype!
Serving type: bottle
04-09-2014 02:14:22 | More by themind
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,046 ratings.