Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 3,934 | Reviews: 1,569 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by tectactoe:
4.58/5 rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Acquired one bottle from '12 (thanks to cneville) and one bottle from '11 (from Mike) and did a side-by-side with the '11 Westy and a St. Bernardus Abt 12 - just to see what all the fuss is about. Westy pours a murky, dark brown color that accumulates deep at the bottom with light only passing through near the top of the beer, giving it a lighter, copper color. A beige, creamy head forms but remains small, even with an aggressive pour, though it can be coaxed out easily by swirling the glass. So far, so good.
The aroma was beautiful, and in all honesty, simply everything that a Belgian strong ale should be. Raisins, figs, dates - all lightly sugar coated and soaked with a mild boozy flavor. Sweet, smooth brown sugar, faint roses, lightly toasted nuts, toffee malt, and another complex layer of booze that gets a bit stronger as the beer warms up, until it reaches a slightly phenol-like presence. Earthy and dark, fruity esters abound, along with light hints of spices and Belgian yeasty warmth. It all remains wrapped in an array of sugary and savory aromas - the nose on this is one of the most perplexing things I've come across. Just SO MANY THINGS going on, yet it all mingles so strangely well.
A heavily bread and caramel malt backbone leads the way as I take my first sip. I don't have much time to linger with that, however, because my palate is immediately thrust into a flavor profile more stunning than the aroma. Candied grapes, figs, dates, and more dark, juicy, overripe fruits. Sweet red licorice, light booze, honey, calm, earth and fruit esters, mild clove and warming spices, Belgian yeast... I could go on and on. Truth is, the flavor profile on this bad boy is truly an enigma - so many things happening and there's no way you're going to capture all of them with mere words. Some heavy bread and almost rye-like flavors in the aftertaste, buttery and smooth. Somewhat on the heavy side without being thick or syrupy; silky and smooth on the palate, very creamy and not sticky at all - decent carbonation, even for nearly two years of age.
So, is this the "best beer in the world" ? No. Well, in my opinion, anyway. BUT - I can definitely see why some people might agree with that, and I can definitely say that it deserves to be in the discussion. Even though it doesn't necessary top my list, it's certainly one of the best and most well crafted beers I've had, and no doubt a benchmark example of the style. If you love beer, do yourself a favor and seek one of these out. It was really an amazing beer, and the experience of enjoying it for yourself (or with a friend) is excellent.
Serving type: bottle
02-27-2013 13:08:25 | More by tectactoe
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 3,934 ratings.