Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 3,936 | Reviews: 1,569 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by nhindian:
4.78/5 rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
11.2oz bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice.
Huge thanks to some great BAs for this.
After a rat race to get this beer (asked a girl I had class with if she had any family in Belgium, who then got me in contact with her uncle in Holland, who met a contact I met through BA to pick up the beer, who then delivered the beer to her grandma who traveled in this winter for her graduation, who then gave it to the girl, who gave it to a friend of mine from college who finally gave it to me), I finally received 8 bottles from this abbey after two bottles and a chalice broke in transit. I got three 12's, two 8's, and three blondes. Cracking the 12 in celebration of the New Year, bowl season (damnit PSU), and the Winter Classic tonight (go Pens!)
A - This beer kind looks a bit similar to other Belgian-styled Quads in that shows as a murky brown, copper, almost muddy purple color. Head is a nice, 2-fingered frothy cap, but retention is a bit on the poor side. Not much lacing at all, surprisingly.
S - As this beer warms up, the aroma really picks up and grows in complexity. Initially a bit muted, as it aerates the bouquet of Belgian yeast, sweeter malts, grapes, plums, and apples. There is that noticeable alcohol smell that is common for the style, but not bad at all. What really stood out to me in this beer compared to others in the style is that while it does have some of the candied sugar smell, it is definitely more toned down compared to some beers which seem to be swimming in it. It just seems more blended and complex as a result. As it approaches room temperature, the grains start to show through which adds an even deeper layer to this already multi-faceted bouquet.
T - If the smell was deep and complex, the flavor profile is that and more. While its possible to note individual flavors in this beer, such as the slight sugar at the front, then the juicy apples and grapes which give way to the alcohol, the overall taste combines all of these elements without giving a clear distinction or transition between them, especially as it warms up. This is both good and bad, as I enjoy being able to pinpoint exact flavors, but it is a testament to how complex this beer is while keeping it from appearing muddled and haphazard. The finish is sweet, long, with a bit of alcohol, but also with the sugar.
M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Given the relatively poor head and retention, I wouldn't be surprised if this had a bit of a carbonation problem, but the flatness doesn't kill the beer. Coats the mouth and has a great finish.
D - Drinkability is high. The mouthfeel, flavors, smell... everything comes together to work here. For the 10.2% alcohol, it is really hidden well and is dangerously drinkable.
So is it the greatest beer in the world? That's hard to say. It certainly has an appeal to it due to the rarity and trouble taken to get it, but I'm not sure if that should be taken into account too much. In my opinion, it's an incredible beer, but I think I let the hype get to me a bit and was expecting a bit more. I have a few more bottles, so hopefully in a few years I'll revisit this beer.
Serving type: bottle
01-02-2011 04:10:56 | More by nhindian
More User Reviews:
4.99/5 rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Pretty much the perfect Belgian Quad. Doing two seperate blind tastings with this Abt 12 and Rochefort 10 this came out on top both times. I wish I had more of them to really savior and notice the subtle differences between all three. This is great fresh and with some age on it. I have one that is now three years old and will be opening later this year.
Poured with almost a 2 finger head into a Westy glass.
Smell is that of a Belgian Quad with a little bit less sweetness to it and a little bit more spice.
Both taste and mouthfeel live up to the hype. Little bit more spice to go with the fruits and sugars. Taste opens up more as it warms up.
Serving type: bottle
03-06-2014 21:43:40 | More by ShaneGoodhew
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 3,936 ratings.