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

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

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5,020 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,020
Reviews: 1,634
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,026
Gots: 1,482 | FT: 107
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)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,020 | Reviews: 1,634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of angrybabboon
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for this acquisition.

Consumed 4/28/12

Note: I've wanted to try this for years (not that I am alone in this aspect), and this is truly an epic occasion

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brown color with some orange highlights - a gigantic head forms from a gentle pour, slowly fades to a remarkably thick cap - fluffy, absurdly creamy head, just looks pretty

Smell: Rich layers of Belgian yeast, spices, dark fruits, and malts - Belgian yeast tartness with some gentle clove - the fruity esters here are ridiculous - just about every dark fruit I can even identify, like grapes, figs, dates - lighter fruits, too, including cherries - some fruity sweetness - deep malts, very cooked, with caramel and molasses - a slight touch of port-like booze

Taste: Majestic- a nice, dry tartness that comes from a ton of dark fruit flavors - figs, dates, cherries, some spices, but surprisingly not a Belgian yeast bomb - on the sweet side, but not excessively sweet, and it's nicely balanced by some bitterness - dry molasses, toffee, caramel, with a touch of alcohol - very complex, but actually not as deep as the lovely aroma

Mouthfeel: Nearly full body, smooth, a little dry, creamy and great carbonation

Overall: Damn you monks!

Well, this lives up to the reputation. This is a fantastic quad. So many fruity esters, a great malt profile, and some bitterness that holds everything together. My only complaint is that it's has a little too much dry booze. This is pretty magical, but it's not the best beer I've ever had. I think this is a good thing, as this is not exactly easy to get.

Photo of Slap_and_Pickle
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

After trolling for months, I was finally able to get my hands on a West 12 (thanks to a wonderful person). This brew most definitely lives up to the standard of possibly being one of the best in the world.

A - pours dark red with a minimal tan head. Notable sediments.

S - Enormous aroma, smells predominantly of raisins and a dark chocolate brownie (at least to me)

T/M - I was expecting a boozey tinge however none found; extremely well balanced. Coated my tongue deliciously. Well bodied, carbonation was excellent. Taste was spot on with the scents, impressed on the drinkability.

O - This is the mother of all Quads; the standard set by Westy is impeccable. At the end of it all you're left with a beautiful toasty to borderline malty after taste; licking your lips.

Photo of sommersb
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 03-04-2013
Freshness: Best by 2015
Packaging: 330ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Chalice
Purchased: Received in a trade

Really stoked to finally try this beer! Review #500

Pours a clear and dark reddish-brown color; the last pour adds some yeast murkiness. The off-white head is huge and has a superb amount of retention and excellent lacing. Lots of bubbles are seen streaming from the bottom of the glass.

Aromas feature sweet malt and dark fruits, such as figs, dates, grapes and raisin. Other aromas include musty, oak notes and spicy yeast.

The taste is similar to the nose, starting with dark, sweet malts with hints of molasses, licorice and dark cherries. Also has a woody character to it, although the bitterness is very low if not non-existent. Other flavor notes include an acidity or tartness of tannin, as in a wine. Smooth but complex

The mouthfeel is at first dominated by the very high carbonation level, with a medium to thick body. Has a fairly potent alcohol warming presence. The finish is semi-sweet with lingering dark and ripened fruits. Tastes better as the beer warms up a bit.

Overall this was a pleasure to sip on. Is it one of the world's best beers? Not sure, but probably so; it's hard to evaluate this without being somewhat influenced by the notoriety. It's in the top ten of the 500 ones I've reviewed. Either way, I'm excited to have tried this and would recommend it heartily!

Thanks to baybum for this one!

Photo of kevanb
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle, dated 20.5.14, was bottled on May 20, 2011 as the dating looks 3 years out and is a freshness guide, although let's face it, a quad of this quality can age gracefully for decades. Westy 12 pours a fantastic burgundy brown with nice hints of light amber and caramel brown. A nice big 3 finger tannish, bone colored head sits atop the beer that has pretty decent retention, leaves behind a lot of film atop the beer and around the glass, but also yields a fair amount of soapy lacing. The aroma is wonderful, lots of tart dark fruit, cherries, plums, some prune, that is balanced with some caramel sweetness that also brings out some brown sugar and a bit of the alcohol, but in a nice smooth way rather than something more abrasive and hot. Lastly, there is a great amount of that famous Belgian yeast in the nose that really ties everything together. The flavors are exceptionally complex, nice raisiny start that gets very bready right away, the yeast really comes out and with it, come a variety of wonderful flavors. Tart notes of cherry, plum and dark grape, some smokey tobacco and leathery flavors, some brown sugar, alcohol and caramel also come around at the end that gives the beer a nice smooth sweet finish. Every sip yields more flavor, more complexity and enhances the overall experience. The body is great, higher than expected carbonation, but still big, thick, and smooth, yet finishes quite dry.

Verdict: Simply sublime. I may not consider it the best beer in the world, but it has earned its reputation as one everyone should make a point to try in their lifetime. The flavors are balanced so well and have seemingly endless complexity, definitely worth the effort to get.

Photo of lhaqq
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing overall. Haven't had a throughly good Belgian beer since the past time I was at Russian River Brewery.

A: Pours with a generous carmel-colored head, with an opaque but not translucent brownish body.
S: Smells like caramel and sugar.
T: Rich sugary taste throughout, though not uncloyingly so. Hints of spice at the end, though most of the flavor is taken up by the Belgian yeasts and wheat.
M: Deep, satisfying mouthfeel that matches the 11% abc without the harsh aftertaste.
O: Overall, certainly one of the best beers I've had.

Photo of jaasen64
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided I'd open this for my birthday beer.

11.2oz beer poured into snifter. Dated 18.04.15 on cap. Ordered from Etre about two weeks ago.

A- Pours a fairly opaque (slightly translucent in not as wide of a glass) dark mahogany brown with a reddish tinge, about a finger of foamy and fairly bubbly yellowish brown yeasty looking head that fades to about a quarter of a finger, about average carbonation to maybe slightly above carbonation. Leaves nice foamy lacing.

S- Definitely very aromatic, sweet, and complex. Definite floral notes with figs, molasses, honey, brown sugar, brandy, baker's yeast, and much more all combining to form a complex sweet aroma that is very pleasant to smell. This is ideally what I think a beer should smell like. I could easily sit here all day trying to distinguish what smells make up this aroma.

T- Sweet molasses, brown sugar, some yeast that gives it a very light bready component which comes out a little bit more as it warms up, brandy, a nice sweet aftertaste. Again sweet and complex, a tad bit less so then the aroma though.

M- A very tiny bit too much carbonation when first opened (letting it sit for 5-10 minutes definitely solved this), but otherwise perfect. Not syrupy, a little bit on the lighter side for a quad and a beer of 10.2%, extremely smooth, abv almost nonexistent.

O- This was a fantastic beer that definitely lived up to it's hype. Definitely by far the best Quad I've ever had. The beer was very complex, while everything balanced perfectly into a great beer. The only beer that I like more then this is Heady Topper, but that's partially because I prefer DIPAs over Quads. I can see why this one of the top rated beers in the world. Definitely would love to try this beer again. Maybe with a little bit more age on it.

Photo of Rau71
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a reddish brown hue with no head into a snifter. The smell was very boozy which was a bit of a turn off, but as soon as I tasted this beer I forgot it even had alcohol. This had a very sweet and smooth raisin flavor all the way through. Easy to drink and only a hint of boozy-ness in the aftertaste. The yeast took a back seat to the raisins as I could not really taste it at all, over all this is a very good beer that I will search out again. Thanks to chewy08rx for this one.

Photo of timtim
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown with a tan head that holds and leaves pretty lace. nose is plum, roasted nuts (reminds me of roasting pecans and chestnuts a bit), stone fruit pits, golden raisin and some mild spice (anise? dark spice). all of this is on top of a soothing kind of rum soaked alcohol presence. just wonderful. taste is huge, with flavors of plum, nut and raisins just singing in perfect harmony with the booze notes and phenols. full body with the classic belgian-style light-as-air feeling and a healthy pricklyness to open up the palate and dig the flavors in. the booze is there for sure, but it amplifies and harmonizes more than anything. a true world-class classic brew. thanks dan!

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dates and Anise fill out this perfectly rounded and balanced brew that is the color of blood and prune juice with a lovely yeast loaded off white head. Drinking this one was such a thrill and I largely agree with the hype. This is undoubtedly one of the top ten beers I have ever tasted. It is so wonderfully warming and gets richer and more pleasurable with each taste. Well worth a trip to Belgium in my book even if you can get it black market style at the punk bar down the street. Couldn't ask for a more perfect brew for my 200th review.

Photo of AndrewNations
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 from Bottle

Wow, this beer lives up to the hype for me. I don't think Ive ever had a beer this complex. Those Belgians are onto something here and very well might have a future in brewing.

The appearance is typical for most quads Ive had. Maybe a bit lighter but nice and almost clear. The thin white heads fades fairly quickly. Very little lacing.

The nose is outstanding. A little sweet but more than anything plums and grapes. Really surprised how much fruit I'm getting on the noise. Maybe some faint vanilla and bitter orange.

For being two years old its still fairly warm but not overbearing. I know its a high ABV by the taste but its doesn't knock me over either.Actually the warmness doesn't come into play until the finish. The taste is self is a nice and balanced sweetness in combination with some plums and vanilla.

The mouth feel is great. The carbonation is low to medium and doesn't not put off any of the sharpness some over carbonated beers tends to do.

Really enjoyed this one cant wait to get the next.

Photo of bowyerbe
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of basica
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (1998 Vintage) (Rating 9.5/10) - 11 ABV - 26 Nov 2007

Not too long ago, in my haul from CrackedKettle's online beer sales, I have a Westvleteren 12 from 1998 and the date on the cap is for the year 2001. (I am not sure if it shld be 1997 instead) So I had a contemporary Westy 12 2 days ago and I clearly recall the taste as well as the full experience and gratification level; let's see how this one does. It is interesting to note that in 1998 (when I was in middle school), Westvleteren 12 is 11 ABV as opposed to the 10.2 ABV that it is today; it was also 10.6 ABV at a certain point in time. Man this baby is crowned tight; it took some effort to get it off and immediately a vinous grassy aroma can be can be detected at the opening of the bottle; some dark fruits but not really impressive here. I poured it out into my old Abdij St Sixtus oversized wine glass and a one finger thick head developed over a dark amber brown liquid below. What surprised me was the way this head grew to a 2 finger thick head which persisted for a while. the head was creamy and bubbly but more bubbly and I prefered the creamier head on the contemporary Westvleteren. The smell was not very strong but the vinous part of it was clear; there was this light yeasty bready smell with a little bit of fruits underneath and I think I sense a dash of malts but in general the smell was not fantastic. Moving on to the taste, the nutty/almondy goodness from the contemporary Westy was still present though the intensity probably halved. Other than the nutty entry, there was a well pronounced vinous taste of aged beers that was well within expectation along with the a nice maltiness which followed behind. Sweetness was clear but it was not a "thick" sweetness like in the contemporary Westvleteren; it became a more mellow sweetness. The fruitiness was also more subtle and mellow on this one; I can raisins, grapes and some plums which were kind of buried under the malts but stil detectable along with the sweetness. The finish was a pleasant nutty/almondy dryness with nice vinous aromas, maltiness and plums on the nose. The maltiness and the fruitiness towards the finish was a very pleasant part of the taste that somewhat reminds me of the greatly aged 1985-1988 La Trappe Dubbel that I had which was so called one of the best aged beer I ever had thus far; up there with the Special 6. On the whole I still prefer the taste of the contemporary Westvleteren though I prefer this one's finish. It was clearly a very much mellowed down taste which had it's unique strengths. The after taste was flooded with malts, brown sugar sweetness and dark fruits starting with plums and moving on to raisins and grapes after a while. The mouthfeel on this was about medium bodied; clearly the aging compromises on the thickness and the creaminess as well. It was still slightly creamy to drink and the carbonation was clearly going low but still pretty sufficient. 11 ABV seems deceivingly smooth and light and I almost thought this was a 7 or 8 ABV if I did not know from the start that it is 11 ABV. Again I prefer the mouthfeel of the contemporary Westvleteren 12. Let's now break things down further, the smell was largey vinous aromas which was obviously different from the contemporary's intensely fruity and sweet smell. Taste was a classic mellowed down version which was generally not as good except for the slightly pre-finish and finish which was in a greatness realm of it's own.Mouthfeel lost thickness, richness and creaminess as well as some carbonation over time but surprisingly, the nuttiness was still there. Very nice and I can really appreciate it but I still prefer the contemporary Westy to this particular bottle of 1998 Vintage; I mean aging really produces different results... We all know that. Cheers for the season folks! :)Ok, I am v.slightly intoxicated.. maybe it is my lethargy and lack of food... and... 11 ABV heh... In case I forget my individually ratings (BA disabled reviews till Sunday) Taste: 5, Appearance: 4.5, Smell 4.0, Drinkability: 5, Mouthfeel: 4.5 (Overall: 4.65 I believe...)

Photo of jradams76
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass

A: Color is dark amber brown. Excellent lacing.

S: You can smell hints of plums, figs, and other fruitiness.

T: Perfect rounded balance of fruit and malt with minimal hoppiness. Hides the alcohol very well.

M: A very tastey beer indeed. I really love this beer it is a good beer. It reminds me more of the Rochefort 8 than the 10.

D: Easy to drink and would drink another but want to save one for a couple years.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Goblet

A-Deep caramel brown, very light head that lingers around the edges. Very dark brown yeast floats all over, not sinking to the bottom just stays suspended in the glass.

S-So incredibly much going on here its crazy notes of bannanna, sweet fig, maple syrup, white grape, spicy hops. Also a woody note to go with the slight alcohol undertone.

T-Bitter malt and yeast with a very earthy wine flavor in the middle. On the very tip of your tongue it is incredibly sweet while on the sides and back it comes across incredibly bitter and boozy. The complex nature of the hops, yeast and malt all blend like nothing I've ever tasted before, and the alchol flavors that it finishes with give it a nice burn in the back of your throat. As rich and complex as the beer is the most amazing thing is the way it just goes away off your palate but leaves a very flavorful burn in the back of your throat.

M-Rich and oily, but not bad oily a very sliky smooth feel. Carbonation even on the 3 year vintage is near perfect. Feels very much like a wine in your mouth.

D-This is an amazing beer but I would never want it all the time. What I would like to do is get hold of a few of them or even be lucky enough to try one fresh.

Photo of mlaroche
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from beerinvest.eu (De Struise shop) on 4/29/2010, consumed 1/17/2011. Best before date on cap is "24.03.13" Served in a Bruery tulip.

Appearance - Opaque brown - lighter than a stout. 1cm head, subsiding slowly to consistent lacing.

Smell - light alcohol, raisins, caramelized sugar (but not as heavy a caramelized sugar as Westy 8). Warm and inviting. Light spicing - perhaps anise?

Taste - some roasted malts. I'm usually not a big fan of quads -they're usually overwhelmingly cloying. But it seems to have a nice balance of noble hops. Slight orange peel flavor.

Mouthfeel - nice carbonation - helps bring out the flavor. Not sickly sweet, but thick.

Drinkability - much like Westy 8, I'm picking up new things on each sip. I wish I could keep picking up this beer and figuring it out.

I figured the "best beer in the world" would be more mind blowing - but this is more cerebral. It doesn't stand out in any one way, but it seems a great exercise in balance. Don't get me wrong, it's strong, but restrained.

Photo of BeTheBall
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet after getting a HOLE IN ONE yesterday. What a way to celebrate. Dark opaque brown with a frothy two finger head; some minor lacing down the glass. Smell was heavenly; dark fruits, malty with some spice, sweet. Taste was similar, very complex; sweet and dry at the same time, very rich fruit flavor; figs, raisins, dates? Amazing how long down the throat the flavors continue. As it warmed it was slightly easier to taste the 10% ABV. Mouthfeel was really good, with a high degree of carbonation to keep all corners of the pallette involved in the pleasure. Drinkability from a flavor standpoint is good, but this one sneeks up on you. A powerhouse of alcohol.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to akorsak for this bottle from a few months ago. Cap date is 09.08.09. This is to celebrate the completion of my second year of law school.

a - pours a deep dark mahogany with a slight red tint, thick two finger head with great retention, slight lacing

s - lots of caramelly sweetness, dark fruit, definite alcohol presence, quite spicy, black pepper, slight clove

t - big maltiness, caramelly sweetness, dark fruits, raisins, prunes, slight milk chocolate, nice alcohol bite on the end, but not overwhelming, quite spicy on the finish, lots of pepper, very, very complex

m - medium-bodied, very creamy, coats the whole mouth well, very nice warming, moderate carbonation

d - this is definitely a sipper, but it's so complex and the alcohol is there but not overwhelming

Wow, I wasn't sure what to expect with all the hype, but this is one fine beer. Certainly the best Belgian I've had. I don't think I'll be trying this again anytime soon due to the trouble/cost involved with getting one, but it's definitely one of the best.

Photo of kfsv034
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shawn for this brew.

A- Pours a Dark Carmel brown with a nice finger head that leaves lacing all the way down the glass. When held up to the light there are lighter carmel hues on the edges of the glass

S - Smells of Carmel, brown sugar, some dark fruits and Booze.

T - Is a bit more complex than the nose, Brown Sugar, Carmel, Dark Fruits specifically plum, raisin, fig and hints of apple, belgium yeasty flavors, vanilla?, followed by some booze on the backend, overall very tastey.

M - Medium bodied, what you would expect from the style.

D - Taste is magnificent, ABV be damned I could drink this all night.

Photo of davey101
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cap reads 20.05.14 making this born on 5/20/2011 I believe. Huge thanks to a kind soul on another forum for sending this to me! Poured into a chimay goblet and allowed to warm up for a while.

A - Great dark brown body that allows a bit of light to pass through. There is a little bit of sediment that settled at the bottom of the glass. Fantastic off white/light khaki head that sticks around forever. Really creamy and tight bubbling with some moderate lacing and retention.

S - Loads of dark candied/caramelized fruits. Figs, prunes, plums, raisins etc. This is followed by a great spice note and some light yeast and alcohol. Extremely well balanced.

T - Follows the nose. Candied dark fruits, caramel, and then the spices. The aftertaste is of Belgian yeast. The flavor is so well balanced and delicious. I could down pint after pint of this stuff. The alcohol is not noticeable at all.

M - Creamy, medium mouth feel with just the right amount of carbonation. It coats your mouth but doesn't stick around for too long. Fantastic.

O - I actually wanted to not like this beer as much as I did. I know it has a great deal of hype and I figured since I invested $0 on the bottle I would be going into it unbiased. It blew me away though. This is an excellent quadrupel and its worthy of its high ranking. I enjoyed it much more than the easier to find examples, and the only other quad that I have had that surpassed this was pannepot grand reserva.

Photo of jgasparine
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/20/2010 Review @ In De Vrede

A- Poured from the bottle into a Wesvleteren chalice with a good 1" of rocky khaki colored foam, and some lovely lacing observed along the glass. The body is a turbid garnet-tinged brown. No visible carbonation, but that may have something to do with the opacity. Looked gorgeous. (4.5)

S- Initial impressions are rich candy and roasted malts, some Belgian yeast aromatics, some candi sugar, as well as some faint stale hops. As the beer warms up, much more of those fruity esters- rich complex aromas of chocolate, cherry, dried dark fruit, and leather begin to emerge on the nose. (4.5)

T- This was a rollercoaster in the mouth. Initially, when served cool, the taste was comprised of extremely rich flavors of caramel and roasted malts, candi sugar, some stale hops and some fruity esters. The finish lingers wonderfully with esters. As the beer warmed, the malts were perceived as more bready, and the sweet fruity esters emerged as well (chocolate, cherry, dried fruit, and leather). The warmer beer peaked in the mouth with increased candi sugar, some faint hop bitterness and just a *touch* of booziness, which was non-offensive, simply warming and pleasant. More perceived caramel, chocolate and molasses emerged in the middle as well, and now the finish lingers with malt and just a touch of hop bitterness. Amazing how the beer continually evolved throughout the drink. (5.0)

M- A medium to full body. Not a ton of texture there. Some unattenuated sugar. The carbonation is not as soft as I would have liked, but it's not quite bloating. As the beer warmed, the carbonation began to soften and create for a creamier mouthfeel, which was just wonderful (4.5)

D- The alcohol is very well hidden throughout the drink. So smooth and creamy, the aromas and flavors are incredible. This is dangerously drinkable. (4.5)


7/20/2009 Review

A- Pours an opaque dark brown; medium head with some nice lacing. (4.5)

S- Raisins, figs, dates co-mingle with candy sugar and yeast in the nose. (4.5)

T- The dark fruit now seems to meld with some dark chocolate notes, and a slightly warming alcohol burn. Finishes slightly yeasty and metallic, but in a non-offensive way. Just a lot going on here. All good stuff. (4.5)

M- Creamy full body that coats the mouth, allows for extended enjoyment after each sip. (5)

D- Exceptionally drinkable given the ABV. Could have 3 or 4 of these in a sitting if I were so lucky. (4.5)

Photo of CraigKodish
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, To get this beer here in California. That in it's self is quite a feat. The much sought after Westvleteren 12 - 6 pack finally arrived after weeks of pursuit. Refrigererated to only 12 degrees C per Saint Sixtus' website.
Appearance - Pours a beautiful mahogany brown with just the slightest head.
Smell - Smells of caramalized sugar and dark fruits. Some spices too. You know this will be something special.
Taste - Candy sugar and cocoa; Hop bitter palate. Dark fruits evident. WOW ! Considering this is a 10.2% you would not know it incredibly smooth. Rochefort 10 is great but heavy alcohol taste evident. This beer is very complex but tastes excellent.
Mouthfeel - Carbonation slight, not overbearing. Almost creamy/frothy.
Drinkability - What can I say. For a 10.2%abv this has got to be hands down the most drinkable quad I have ever had. PERIOD ! So smooth.

Overall - This is a great beer. Worth the painstaking time, effort and money to get it over here ?? Probably not. I would never turn this beer down, but thank god for Rochefort and St. Bernardus which are here and a lot cheaper.
All beer connoisseurs must at least try the #1 rated beer in the world. Excellent !

Photo of WonderWoman
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once this was poured it had a cloudy mahogany hue to it.
The smells were so complex I had trouble deciding what was all in there. The only prominent smell was fruit filled pastries.
I could taste barley and molasses with an oaky finish. There was so many subtle flavors mixed in I couldn’t decipher many of them. Once it warmed the flavors changed.
The mouth feel was syrupy and creamy. The texture was smooth with light carbonation.
I think this beer was a bit too overwhelming for me right now.
There was so much going on I didn’t know what was going on. I especially enjoyed letting it warm and seeing the changes that occurred in the flavor.
Once my palate is more refined I’d love to try this again and see what I can decipher.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cl unlabeled bottle; cap dated best before 5/13/2006. Pours a deep coppery brown with a fluffy light tan head. Caramel and apple aromas with some healthy yeast notes. Sipping is the true measure of this beer. Mostly malty and sweet, however there is the most intriguing floweriness in the finish, like a blossom. Appley esters come into play a lot and work well to hide the alcohol. Good mouthfeel, not too sticky like other quadruples. Overall, a wholly excellent brew that is quite elusive to many. It's worth the effort to seek it out.

Photo of bhalter8
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A special treat for my wife and I on our anniversary, as she is a huge Belgian fan. Pours a hazy deep brown color, with huge (2 finger), thick head that quickly evaporates into my goblet. Little darker than I expect from a quad. The smell was striking to me, and in a good way. It was nice mix of the sweetness of raisins and honey and an almost red wine alcohol smell. A very unique, and very enticing smell. The complex aroma is definitely a forebearer of the taste. A blend of a malty, sweet backbone, with spices, and that red wine character (I am not a huge wine advocate, so I cannot describe it any more specifically, and have never used a wine reference in a beer review, it just fits here). Medium carbonization and a medium density makes this rest nicely in the mouth, allowing you to enjoy all the complexities of the flavor. The ABV is also superbly masked by the complex flavor. Worthy of its lofty status indeed.

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4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark red color with very little light coming through. Lots of sediment in the bottle, some of which ended up in the Duvel glass I poured the beer into.

Smell: Sweet caramel with fruit tones. The fruits seem like cherries, strawberries and even banana. Crisp and malty wtih distinct candy-like sweetness.

Taste: Very rich and sweet. Vinous is probably the best overall descriptor. Clean maltiness with a dry and sandy finish. Well hidden 10% ABV. Dry grass, apple, berries, tannins, and a refreshing carbonation. Some light caramel notes linger delicously. This beer is absolutely delicious. No offensive flavors but very well rounded and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick bodied with a great feel on the palate. Not sticky but nice and dry at the end. The dryness seems to amplofy the aftertaste a bit. Well done.

Drinkability & notes: There is no question that this is an excellent beer and very drinkable. This is the second time I've drank and review this beer and I must say I enjoyed it much more this time. The flavor is much more appealing and tasty to me this time around. This was definately worth a re-review

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,020 ratings.