Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 4,065 | Reviews: 1,583 | 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:
4.65/5 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.