Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 4,065 | Reviews: 1,583 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by mjc410:
4.97/5 rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Reviewing this beer is a momentous occasion in my life. A bottle was purchased for me from eBay, and sent from the Netherlands. My friends did this for me as a graduation present, and I am again very thankful.
The bottle cap reads 22.11.09, which I understand is the "expiration date," three years after the bottling. So, this is a fairly new bottle.
I pour the beer into my Westvleteren goblet, which has been in my possession for a year or more, awaiting this moment. Carefully decanting, the ale raises a creamy, light tan two-finger head. It seems to fall at a fairly fast rate, but when the majority of large bubbles have burst, it settles to a thick and creamy one-finger layer. The head retention is simply fantastic; it resembles that of a nitro stout. The beer leaves almost no lacing as I move the head about the glass before taking my first sip, as if it's quite heavy. Throughout the whole glass, there's virtually no trace of lacing on the sides. The beer's body is dark brown, but yields up ruby-copper light when directly back lit.
The nose has a dark fruity scent that I pick up in a lot of other Belgians, but there's also a bit of toasted caramel and a touch of acidity mingled with the fruit. I'm even reminded of a less sweet pecan pie, although I can't 100% support this claim, it just feels right. There's also a noticeable grape aroma. I admit that I would prefer this to be stronger, but my sense of smell has always been weak. A great blend of scents, though. I read in another review about the odor of earth, and I didn't notice it at first. But, as the beer approached room temperature, I could pick it up. Very interesting and complex, this beer, which has me raising the nose from a 4.5.
The taste is heady, woody, a bit acidic, and has fruit flavors lead by grape. In some ways, it tastes like a red wine with an incredible body. There are even elements of wood that are in the same vein as a Shiraz, but more balanced with the other taste components. It has a sweetness to it that lasts the whole way through, leaving its mark on my lips. The hops have a metallic feel to them, akin to what I've tasted in every altbier I've had. However, the hops are not overbearing as they often are in alts. I swear I smell caramel, but I only notice a bit of toastiness here. At the very end of the aftertaste, there lingers just a slight sourness, which is indeed pleasant. The taste has a lightness to it, despite its complexity. Oh, and as I said earlier, it's heady, but not in a painful way, just noticeable. By the way, pouring in what little yeast there was didn't make a noticeable difference in the flavor.
The body, the mouth of Westy 12, is truly balanced. For a quadrupel, it is more like a rapier than a claymore. The mouth is of medium thickness, with fine carbonation that just livens up the liquid. It moves easily in the mouth..
Having had Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12, I can say that this is far and above the champion. It has complexity without being overpowering, and drinkability without too much weight. It's an elegant beer that I'm overjoyed to have been afforded the chance to try.
As I said above, this beer, as a gift, might force me to rate it above its true worth. I worried about that a bit, but Westy 12 lives up to all of the hype. A marvel of brewing. Plus, it adds to the pride of being Catholic just a bit more!
Serving type: bottle
04-19-2007 01:31:14 | More by mjc410
More User Reviews:
4.65/5 rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
My buddy went to Belgium and worked for about a week to get the monks to answer the phone so he could buy a case. This was the last beer from that case. What a treat.
A - A deep tobacco brown. Lots of floating sediment. Big cream head leaving some lacing.
S - One of the best smelling beers I have ever had. It was very hard to discern aromas because there were so many. Unlike anything I had ever smelled before. Dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel were what I smelled the most.
T - Didn't taste much that much like the smell, but like something entirely wonderful that I wasn't expecting. A tinge of heat from the booze but so many married flavors in there make the beer go down way too fast. I almost need to drink 2 or 3 more to pick it all out. Prunes, plums, yeast, raisins, brown sugar were what I was able to pick out.
M - Good carbonation, which I expected. Wasn't expecting that much sediment, but it never bothered me a bit. Creamy but not too thick.
O - A bucket list beer. It's like art. I was truly fortunate to have the opportunity to try one. It's magic. Would pay an $ amount for another bottle that my wife would never agree to.
Serving type: bottle
04-19-2014 01:44:09 | More by BrewsforBreakfast
4.83/5 rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Juicy plums are prominent in the nose, along with malty, bready undertones. It's surprising how crisp and prominent the fruit notes are. The taste is actually a solid reflection of the smell. Lively carbonation tickles the mouth while the dark fruit flavors, with a touch of blackberry, intermingle over a gentle bready background. The nose is beautiful yet somewhat understated, while the taste is bold and lively. It combines for one of the best beers I've ever had.
Cap numbers are 15.03.17.
Serving type: bottle
04-18-2014 21:55:19 | More by Mineo
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,065 ratings.