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 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:
4.65/5 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.