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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,058 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4058
Reviews: 1581
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.66%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,058 | Reviews: 1,581 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I hate giving a beer a straight 5, but it is so hard to find fault with this beer. A strong, robust, vinuous beer in the style of an English Barley Wine mixed with all of the Trappist skill of a Belgium Strong Ale.
Dark, with hefty doses of everything from Toffee, Raisins, Cadburys Bourneville Dark Chocolate, Dundee Cake, Caramel, etc. Need I go on? Keeps its head well. Malt dominant and a meal in its own right. Best drunk from a proper Westvleteren Goblet emblazoned with those immortal words in yellow.
Even better when drunk in the unofficial Westvleteren Brewery Tap, the Café In De Vrede opposite the Abbey. Dangerously drinkable for an 11% ABV beer.

There must be something to fault right ?? Well, at the risk of damnation from the Monks - its Bloody impossible to get your hands on it in the US, and you can't down-mark it for that.

Probably the Best Beer in the World.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2002 23:58:57 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of maxpower


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep hazy mahogany in color, huge thick creamy off white head, leaves a thick lace in the glass. Fruity, spicy, bready aroma of caremel and plums, kind of like a cake. Malty bready caremel flavors, full body, thick and creamy, silky mouthfeel, can't really even taste the alcohol, smooth and wonderfull, this is the best of the best, perfect.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2002 15:06:24 | More by maxpower
Photo of goz


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

07/09/02 date stamped on the cap.

Murky brown pour, lots of sediment swirling about in the glass. Thick, medium lasting tan head, huge clingy bubbles initially formed on the side of the glass, then burped their way to the top, never to be seen again. Aroma filled the room with strong apple scents, with some yeast and doughy aroma coming with a more intimate sniff. Taste is strongly doughy and apple, with hints of banana, grape, plum and strong malty sweetness in there. The banana seems to come through more as it gets warmer. Slight alcohol comes through towards the end. Mouthfeel is huge, pummeling the palate with all the different luxurious flavors, feelings, and hints of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2003 07:11:27 | More by goz
Photo of JISurfer

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my "Holy Grail" that I have been looking for and praise be to God that I did! When you taste something like this, you gotta feel bad for the Southern Baptist down here, becuase they either A) Can't drink alcohol or B) Can drink it, but can't tell anyone. This is proof that it is great to be a Catholic. At least something good has come from it lately. Anyways, the beer is a cloudy brown color and had a light brown head for a little bit. It's smell is that of various fruits and nuts. You can taste a hint of alcohol, but it smooths out quickly. The aftertaste is very smooth and also tastes quite fruity. I could drink this all day and night, but it's kinda on the high side for price. I guess that's the only drawback for it though. Aside from the price, all the combinations that are put into this beer, truely make this beer a heavenly experience. Praise be to God in the Highest!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2003 21:25:39 | More by JISurfer
Photo of Boto


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is it: With out a doubt, the best beer I have ever had. It just edges out Rochefort 10 by a whisker, although I have never tasted them side-by-side. Don't drink this cold: let it warm up a bit to get the full effect of the aroma and flavors. Makes me consider moving to Belgium and becoming a monk!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2003 12:10:57 | More by Boto
Photo of philipt

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, hell...if any beer deserves straight 5's, this beer does.

Alright...every other beer stand aside, you too Chimay Grande Reserve and Stone Imperial Stout, Westy 12 has captured me too. I will admit to being slightly skeptical about its reputation and fully expected to be let down, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. I must now spend every last waking moment seeking out this beer. Well, there goes my retirement income.

The beers appearance earned the lowest rating in my scorecard, but at 4.5, who can complain. Actually, I wish there was a 4.75 rating that I could have selected. The first pour was a dark copper in color with a controllable dense, khaki head. Some yeast floating here and there, but remarkably clear. Second pour included the bulk of the yeast sediment, and created a much darker, murky, brownish-amber color. Head creation was good on the second pour as well. The head stuck around and left substantial lace through the beer. The aroma is very aromatic. Smells of sweet toasted bread. The aroma is also quite yeasty, reminding me of a bakery. Hints of honey and caramel round out the smell. Tastes malty sweet. Loads of freshly baked bread and molasses, sweet fruit, caramel, chocolate (to a lesser degree), and toffee find there way into the taste spectrum. The alcohol taste is not blatantly apparent for a beer of 11%. Very viscous and chewy mouthfeel, and incredible smooth. Very easy to drink, with no edges left unsanded.

I don't see how any beer could get better than this. In fact, I may change my rating to a straight 5 later. Let me think it over a little.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2003 16:46:56 | More by philipt
Photo of feloniousmonk


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: deep, dark burgundy brown, rich as a raisin, with a fine reddish hue 'round the edges. Head is towering, huge, off-whitish color, and slow to sizzle down to size.

Aroma:....requires a new vocabulary! Deep, and heady, rich, full of fruit, grapes, raisins, plums, and spices, a very complex blend, soft, but sensual, deliriously so, and delicious, and the more I breathe it in, the more the flavors become pronounced, more is revealed here, pepper, anise, rich mollasses, rum, sweetness compounded by rich dark flavors...

Now to drink...I...um...serious contemplation is required, for I am seriously, honestly, taken aback by the force of, not only the alcoholic content, but the strong, full, bewitching flavor of this incredible ale! It staggers the senses! Honestly, I reel from it's effects and must wait until my consciousness can comprehend what is going on...many layers, many flavors, many ways that this incredible concoction can impact upon the senses.

I feel thoroughly slayed, laid waste, but utterly uplifted in my oblivion! Let the sword fall upon me more often, if the taste is as sweet!
Have I said heavenly already? No matter if I did, it's a truly transmogrific feeling, it is, and I could be in another galaxy, for all I care...fly me not to the moon, nor Jupiter, or the outer stars, but, merely wherever this impossibly exhilirating nectar may blossom...

Now that I have finally downed a simple sample of this much renowned ale, I can only say..."more, please!"

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2003 01:28:32 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Gusler


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour is a fuliginous deep cherry red color with a behemothic head, creamy in texture, and a beauteous light tan color, as the head unhastingly erodes; a splendid sheet of lace is formed to unite lovingly with the glass. “Heavenly”, is the word that best describes this nose, ambrosial, hints of over ripe fruit, yeast tones also noticeable along with a slight hint of alcohol, start is thickly malt, sweet, the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is pleasantly acidic, the alcohol grasp the taste buds in a Anaconda death grip, the dry vinous aftertaste lingers long after the beer is gone, but certainly not as long as the memory of this fine beer as it stays in your sub-conscience like your first kiss.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2003 00:02:40 | More by Gusler
Photo of egajdzis


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This immaculate elixir poured a beautiful cloudy brown color with a medium tan head. Roma was that of dark fruits such as grapes and plums. It had a creamy mouthfeel and a sweet fruity but at the same time nutty and slightly chocolately tsate. Slight alcohol burn as the beer warmed up. Calling this a beer is an understatement, more like heaven!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 20:30:15 | More by egajdzis
Photo of putnam


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aromas: nougat; poundcake; nutmeg; walnuts; and great boozes such as high-altitude Amarone, Spanish brandy, solera-aged rum, cappuccino and mother's milk. The liquid calms the palate for a moment, stalling, only to move from one archetype to another. The first is coffee liqueur : sweet, yet sharpened with deep etchings of gas. The second is a fantasy realm : baked banana forests dripping with Valrhona chocolate; heirloom oak chests; earth; roasted and raw nut medleys; enlightenment humanity. Sweetness is the life of every layer in this liquid while being shaped with Darwinian structure. Butter-basted tangerine slices drizzled with Turkish honey. Indian perfumes. African coffee.
One can perhaps see why these European lowlanders thought so much blood was worth expending to maintain tropical spice island and plantation colonies in another era. Flavors like these are as cheap today as $12 or so a third liter.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2004 23:23:52 | More by putnam
Photo of ken3c


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge head, recedes slowly. Anticipation. Deep dark brown with a red tint. Beautiful. Bits of sediment are held suspended by the multitude of bubbles. Interesting. Patterns of lacing are left on the glass. Majestic.

Aroma of plums and white grape juice fill my nose. Inviting.

Sweet. Expansive. Fruit. Tart. Watering. Bitter. Receding. Sweet memory. The tastes come like that.

Effervescent. Chewy. Warming. Very warming.

I'm delighted. I want it. I miss it already.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2004 03:58:33 | More by ken3c
Photo of beerdrifter


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recently returned to the states after spending 5 glorious years living in Europe. Visited all 6 of the Trappist breweries while there and Westvleteren was definitely the best.

The monastery is not open to the public except to purchase beer. The day we visited even that was closed so we visited the Cafe De Vrede across the street. Tried all three beers with some of the breweries cheese but the 12 stood out. It's definitely the best beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking.

It pours a deep rich copper brown with a light brown head. The aroma was beyond description. Deserves a higher rating than just a 5.0. Caramel, plum, raisins and possibly vanilla combined to mask the high alcohol content. Definitley the most drinkable high alcohol beer I've tasted. Had I not had a 3 hour drive ahead of me I would have been there all day.

To make this beer lovers dream complete, I had an ice cream sundae topped with a beer sauce made from the 12. Beer and ice cream may not sound tempting to everyone but it was unbelievable! I will never forget this experience and will definitely return to St. Sixtus.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2005 18:14:55 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of BeerNutta


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap read 26.10.07.

Trappest Wesvleteren 12.
What can I say? I was seeking this beer ever since I first started reading reviews on this site. I figured, search for the best... then drink the rest. I was hoping that my taste buds would over time mature enough to taste this beer. Well, I don't know if the tastebuds are mature enough, but I just could not wait any longer.

Placed it in my fridge and when it was cold enough I took it and poured it into a goblet. Poured a dark ruby - brown, with a finger foam head that lingered slightly. The beer smelt sweet but nothing note worthy. Took a sip... Dark coffee taste hits immediately. But once again nothing note worthy. So I then let it sit.

GOOD MOVE. Once the beer started warming up, you could smell the aroma of sweet fruits and chocolate.

Also, I found that as the beer warmed, the more viscous it became. When cold, it was watery, but as it warmed it became more syryp like. Liquid butter. The taste was much different as well. It became much fruity with hints of chocolate and coffee. The finish was a slow alcohol burn that soothed the throat.

AHHH the smell I just can't get over the smell. I'm sniffing the damn bottle.

I find this to be the best beer I've ever had. PERIOD. Rochefort 10 is a good alternative if you cannot find this beer. Worth the money I paid for it. I still got one bottle. So tempted to drink.. MY PRECIOUS.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2005 13:25:55 | More by BeerNutta
Photo of JackTheRipper


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh. My. God...
A: Cracking open this bottle was like a mini-religious experience. I had had the bottle standing upright in my fridge for a bit to chill it some and to let the yeast settle to the bottom, didn't work. Carefully pouring this beer, I was rewarded with a beer that is a dark umber brownish color. Head was moderate, maybe an inch if lucky. Very dark brown color, seems to absorb the light and let through only a scattering of photons. I noticed some heavy sediment floating in the body of the beer like some lovely zero-G yeastbeasties, suspended and apparantly quite happy with where they are.

S: Dark purple wine, the smell takes me back to communion, recieving the Blood. Faint hints of sweet caramels and sugar coated nuts. Strong alcohol smells give a heady experience

T: Initial taste is a thick layer of flavors that show themselves, then give way to the next, layered is the best way I can describe it. Sweet grape/raisin flavors, then a strong malty sweetness. Next I tasted a peppery spicy zing. There's also a faint alcohol hotness that works well, it keeps this beer from being too sweet, but isn't strong enough to detract from the flavors. Everything here plays it's part to perfection. Superb balance.

M: Moderate body. Low feel of carbonation. The feel of the alcohol is very well masked, doesn't feel anything like 10.2%

D&N: This beer is everything it's cracked up to be and more. Much more. The wait I had to endure (over a year) while aging this was worth it, and I confirm it with each heavenly sip of this marvelous elilxir. I have never in my short beer drinking life had an experience like this.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 06:21:29 | More by JackTheRipper
Photo of connecticutpoet


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The result of a wonderful trade with GClarkage... poured into the accompanying St. Bernardus chalice. A lovely brown, slightly hazy ale with a one finger head that eventually settled to a one-eighth inch layer of foam that never went away. Lots of lace on the glass.

Lots of anticipation for this one... had to work hard to make a personal goal before I rewarded myself with this one. So I was ready and eager.

The aroma was of sweet plums, raisins, dates, and other dark fruits, dark malt, and a hint of brown sugar. Many layered and complex.

Taste... heaven in a glass. I wanted to compare this to St. Bernardus Abt 12, but the two beers are so distinctive I couldn't. It was a thing unto itself. Dark malt, a hint of spiciness, chocolate, caramel, and a blast of alcohol at the end that was not overpowering and not out of place. Wow.

Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Not like your average drinkin' brewski. Wonderful and sliky.

Drinkability was excellent... I could do several and not get tired of them (although I might not be able to see straight at the end).

I tried to find fault with this beer, I really did... it was almost like a challenge, rating the #1 beer in the world. But I couldn't.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2005 02:51:13 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of dauss


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12oz. bottle. No label, yellow cap. Date printed is 21.06.08. 10.2% ABV. I had bought this one at In de Vrede in Westvleteren, so it is quite fresh.

Appearance: Deep brown amber with a small yet fluffy light tan head. The beer was pretty clear, but I was careful to reserve most of the yeast in the bottle.

Smell: Rich sweet caramel malt with a ton of fruity esters. A lot of dark fruits, cherries, and prunes. Absolutely wonderful.

Taste: There is a lot of upfront sweetness. The alcohol is strong, but it compliments the beer. Light medicinal phenols and estery alcohol with more fruits, and a very faint bitterness plays on the back of the tongue. There is a light coffee and toffee finish.

Notes: I hate to do it, but this beer is just so good. The complexity and the amazing balance of this beer is just awe inspiring. I think that is what makes this beer so great the balance. Its full bodied, but not thick, sweet, but not cloying, phenolic, but not overpowering, estery, but not over the top, with the perfect amount of bitterness to contrast the sweetness. Absolutely wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2006 01:34:34 | More by dauss
Photo of ygtbsm94


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: This is the absolute best Trappist beer I've tried out of the six brewed in Belgium. 33cl brown bottle fresh from Saint-Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium. Freshness code has 13/08/08 on the yellow bottle cap and no label; 10.2% ABV.

Appearance: Smooth creamy off-white head with very tiny lacey bubbles which settles to a thin layer after warming. Color is Dark brown

Smell: Very aromatic. Fantastic malt aroma, along with different kinds of sweet fruit.

Taste: The flavor hits as soon as it enters the mouth. The velvety carmel complex flavor with little to medium carbonation is something savor. All these flavors throughout tasting are just incredible. Its amazing how this beer keeps its complexity and taste throughout the duration of tasting even as the beer warms.

Notes: I usually just read the ratings and don't post reviews. However, I felt I had to submit something for this beer; but I must say of all the beers I have tried so far, nothing has compared.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2006 23:18:56 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of dogfooddog


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bottle dated 30.03.02 - this bottle is 7 years, 2 months old, more or less. I had forgotten I owned this and it is now the oldest Westv. 12 I have tried. This one was brought in by D&V and is probably part of the first batch of westv.12 i tried in early 2002; 2 of these got lost in my local store's (case and keg) large cooler and I acquired this one after more than 3 years of being hidden. I think I have had it over 6 months. Notable it has been refrigerated for probably 4 years.

cap abv says 11%, this has been reduced from even higher levels and today AFAIK is around 10.2%.

Pours 10% head; nose is a gentle glowing sweetness with some sweet raisiny notes, not so much bread-sense yeastiness as the 07.09.04 bottle reveiewed earlier.

Taste is somewhat drier and more subtle up front, with more sweet-type fruity notes and less sense of yeast or bread. There are so many different tastes active in this beer it is very hard to put into words for me. the sweetness slowly becomes bitter and by the finish is bittersweet, dark, and a little heavy. the alcohol is invisible in this bottle. Overall the intensity of taste is less pronounced than the previously reviewed bottle.

It has been over 3 months since I last had ANY westvleteren 12 or 8, but this reaffirms that this truly is a masterpiece of the art of brewing

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2006 06:18:42 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of OStrungT


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this beer from thomashardy for an AleSmith Barrel Aged Wee Heavy. I have been sitting on it for a few weeks, and now, on my birthday, I think it is the time to try it.

This beer pours a dark rust brown color with a light brown head. The head is quite fluffy. It fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a spicy peppery aroma. I can detect some alcohol. It also smells of dates and maybe prunes and raisins. It has a rich caramle sweet aroma also. It has an earthy yeast aroma.

This beer tastes very complex. It is very well balanced. I taste some spicy flavor. Also, the dark fruit flavors are present. Raisins, prunes, dates. It tastes sweet. It has a slight bready yeast flavor.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a caramel sweet aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

This beer would probably make an excelent session beer if you could get it. It is a little high in alcohol, but the great well balanced flavor more than makes up for it.

Is this the best beer in the world? Apparently so. If you want my opinoin, and you must since you are reading this review, it is definately a great beer. I have had other beers of different styles that are equally as good though. It is definately the best Quadrapel I have had though. Thank you thomashardy for helping me finally try this great beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2006 01:51:47 | More by OStrungT
Photo of neonbrown82


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was every bit as awesome as I was hoping, and thus much better than I was expecting. Very appropriate for my 500th review on BA. Thanks to dogfooddog once again for the trade. This is a 3 year sample, and a much fresher review will be forthcoming.

The beer pours to a nice dark reddish brown. Decent frothy head that doesn't quite stay around for too long, but it laces to the glass fairly well.

The smell is great. Very complex. Sweet and nutty with lots of fruit and berry esters. Nice roasted barley flavor as well. The taste is just as great and equally complex. Very smooth. Mouthwatering bubblegummy, cotton candy sweetness. The sweetness is not cloying, but just right. Has a great roasty nuttiness that pairs brilliantly with the sweetness. The alcohol is no more detectable than it is in the blue cap, which is not at all. Awesome. I can't wait to compare the fresher version to see if this is still the case.

Body is full and creamy. Residual sugars stay in the mouth forever, punishing you with the fact that you probably can't drink another bottle right then and there. Awesome through and through. I can't wait to go to Belgium myself. This beer is every bit deserving of a 5.0 rating. That being said, I think Rochefort 10 is every bit as brilliant as this, much cheaper, and readily available here in Iowa. That simply cannot be beat, number one rated beer or not.

edit: I just had the fresher ~6 month version of this beer tonight (8/24/06). I did the Rochefort vs. Westy challenge, and the Westy prevailed on all fronts. My roommate and I were even biased towards the Rochefort. Had a much cleaner flavor and finish. Not quite as roasty. Lots of bubblegum esters. Phenomenal. I want more.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2006 05:51:09 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

sampled a bottle that has been stashed away since 2002. to the person who let me sample this, you are truly a (beer) good among men. thank you so much for sharing this with me.

pours pale brown with ruby highlights. a thin layer of very fine dense head on top that lingers and pops back up with a gentle swirl.

aroma is awesome. i almost can't find all the right words to describe it, there is so much depth there. dried fruit, like dates or currants more so than raisin. a little alcohol in the end. slightly spicy with a nice earthyness.

taste is spectacular. all the elements of the aroma are here and more. nice malty background. toasted rye bread. currant and dates again. moderate sweetness. a little alcohol warmth. superb balance between all aspects of the beer, mellowed and meshed together to perfection. wow.

mouthfeel is great. out of the bottle it was too cold and came across a bit thin, but letting it sit for a while to warm really brought out its true self. a bit thicker than i thought it would be.

drinkability is great. i could easily drink this with dessert every day if it was available. a truly wonderful beer.

i can't call any category on this beer anything other than exceptional. wonderful beer that i can happily give a solid 5 review.

i almost don't want to remove it from my 'wants' list so that i can have it again, but feel it's more important that anyone who would have potentially hooked me up sends it on to someone who has never tried it.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 12:47:43 | More by grub
Photo of drumline

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle with a 30.08.09 freshness date

Appearance - Pours a very dark red/brown, with around half an inch of head that clings to the side of the glass with each swirl.

Smell - Dark fruity smell of raisins, plums, and cranberries. Yeasty smell as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very creamy, malty mouthfeel. Taste of belgian candi sugars and dark fruits. Light hop bitterness, and the perfect amount of carbonation. The closest thing to an orgasm of the mouth. Absolutely wonderful.

Drinkability - The 10.2% alcohol is barely even noticeable. Very drinkable brew; my 33cl glass was empty before I knew it, and left me wanting more and more. I could drink this everyday for the rest of my life, if it was readily available.

At first I was hesitant to give this beer straight 5s, but I honestly can't find anything I'd want to change about it. Perfection in a bottle. Easily the best beer I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 03:13:02 | More by drumline
Photo of jpagewatts

New York

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of those beer pilgrimages that you dream about. From Paris, we took four trains to get to Poperinge, Belgium, not knowing if the café across the street from the brewery would be open (it was Sunday). We hitchhiked through hop fields to get to Westvleteren.

All the beer is poured from bottles, even in Westvleteren, but the quadruppel gets a glass with a gold rim. Nice touch. Wonderfully dark, rich color. Deep malty smell. The taste is enough to make you weep. It’s a rollercoaster, really. The hops give you a nice introduction while the malty richness round out the flavor. The first hint of the alcohol is a appley overtone that is complemented perfectly by the hops. Truly spectacular. This is beer that I could drink for the rest of my life. Undoubtedly.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 02:21:37 | More by jpagewatts
Photo of peabody


5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Last of the birthday brews. 12/22
Pours out a very nice dark coffee with mabey a 1/2 of finger of offwhite suds. The chunks are in the bottom of this one for sure.
If you want a pure pour you have to be very careful. I might do that on the next one. I want every part of this in my westy chalice.
Smell is like a fine wine. So subtle with fruits and spices galore.
Raspberry and cherry hit me first and the yeast is so impressive.
I smell coffee and sugar and caramel and malt. The yeast is the strongest though as it burns the nose.
Taste is a malty sugarness with hints of cherry and orange that dance on the tip of the tounge. Coffee and grapefruit come to mind.
This is a very sweet beer. The aftertaste is the best part because it lingers such a long time in the back of the throat.
Mouthfeel is perfect with the spices and the alcohol mixing to leave the tounge coated with so many memories.
If I were either a rich man or a monk, I could drink this all day and all night.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 02:19:03 | More by peabody
Photo of ncbrewerbun

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A Christmas present from my daughter who is spending a year near Amsterdam. She made the trek, made the calls for an appointment, took the trains and got a few rides....There is no way that I thought this beer could ever live up to its hype. (A group of us just got back from a vacation to Belgium and we could not get this beer anywhere.)

It lived up to its hype!

A plain brown bottle with only the cap signifying that you have a Westvleteren 12 in your grasp. On the cap in computer print is 22.11.09...it was just a month from being picked up at the brewery. The beer pours into my official "Trappist Westvleteren" tulip glass (also part of the present) a burnt amber with an offwhite head that lasts a good while before disappearing into persistent lace.

The aroma is a delicious combination, perfectly balancing sweet malts and dark fruits. There is raisin, some plum, backed by caramel and light toffee.

The flavor is just amazing. Again, the perfect balance of malt, dark/dried fruits with a hint of alcohol. A little taste of brown sugar, fresh plum, dried cherry, and the slightest hop presence to wrap everything together. The aftertaste stays with you, making you not want to eat or drink anything else to help you savor this beer.

Medium body, velvety smooth, and a nice alcohol warmth.

This beer is close to perfect. It's freshness no doubt really helps the intangibles come out, but I happen to have another couple of bottles that I plan to stash away to try later. The smoothness and balance are so hard for any other beer to capture, and this beer does that impecibly. What a great Christmas present!!

edit: OK...I did find the date and put it in my review. I put the rest of my bottles away to cellar, taking out for special occasions. I hope a few last a year or so. Fresh it's, well, exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 19:15:31 | More by ncbrewerbun
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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,058 ratings.