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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,444 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,444
Reviews: 1,603
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 2,774
Gots: 1,244 | FT: 97
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,444 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of roger617


4.56/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into snifter. Acquired this in a trade, and crazy excited to dive in.

A: Deep brown with over 1 finger of off white head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves a little lacing. Love the color on this one, it's almost got a red hue, making it look like rich mahagony.
S: Very sweet, with wafting aromas of dark fruits. Plums, apricot, persimmon.
T: At first taste I wasn't too keen on this beer. After my palate adjusted (I'd been drinking water for over an hour, without having eaten anything in over 2 hours) all the flavors opened up. This is super sweet with such a rich complex balance of flavor. Leaves a sweet lingering aftertaste that just continues to bring more flavors as I exhale after each breath.
M: A high level of carbonation, and silky smooth.
O: This beer has to be the epitomy of the style. So flavorful, complex and balanced. Definitely a beer than any craft enthusiast needs to seek out at least once.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 01:25:35 | More by roger617
Photo of mjtiernan

New York

4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to auroracrisis for sending me this!

33cl bottle best by dated 03.13.13 poured into a tulip

A: Very carbonated. Pours a deep reddish brown. A complex spider web of lacing.

S: Belgian yeast unlike others that I’ve smelled. Red grapes, raisins, and a small amount of caramel.

T: Loaded with flavor. The yeast really stands out. I’m going to pour it all in. Yum! Dark fruit and chocolate. Pretty sweet. Lots going on. The finish is pretty hot...lots of alcohol. Enough analyzing...I’m going to slow down and enjoy this.

M: The alcohol burn keeps me from rushing through this (which is good) but it hurts drinkability a bit. Carbonation was more than I expected, but I’m enjoying it.

O: So glad I got to try the great Westy 12. It’s interesting to think about everything that went into making this. I’d like to try another one with some more time on it. Hope I get another chance to try it again. Next time I'll opt for a chalice instead of a tulip.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 02:23:36 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of blackie


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

given free reign over dirtylou's cellar fridge on this, my final day in madison, the legendary westy 12 catches my eye...

a: poured into my st. bernie chalice, maintains an attractive frothy beige coating over a date colored beer

s: soft and yeasty fruit profile with puree of date and raisin, delicate aged hops, flashes of milk chocolate as it warms, spicy ethanol, tantalizingly deep, rich, and refined all at once

m: gentle carbonation on the high side of medium, medium-full body, almost milky

t: smooth date-raisin-walnut compote over subtle milk chocolate that lingers long into the finish, aged hops contribute a papery flavor, fitting levels of booze

d: no issues here, very enjoyable but certainly a sipper

original scores: 45, 45, 45, 45, 4

acquired by dirtylou in amsterdam, consumed in madison

bottle from the Xmess 2012 stateside shipment, consumed 6/2013: Just a flawless example of the style. Gorgeous brune color with khaki head. Raisins, dates, papery aged hops, and delicately spicy yeast. Alcoholic warmth. Part of my pre-Belgium re-education. Flawless.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 20:21:05 | More by blackie
Photo of scottyshades


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stonequarrywest for the bottle!

A: Pours a rich deep mohagany color that produces a fizzly white head that retains well and leaves nice lacing along the glass. Little brown spots appear in the head over time.

S: Champagne yeast, alcohol, dark fruits (figs/plums/pears/dates/cherries), candy, bubblegum, malts. Very complex...I can only imagine the care and technique that it takes to craft this brew.

T: Soooo good. Dark fruits are nice and sweet while the bitterness is perfectly balanced. Malts are hugee in this brew.

MF/D: Very chew brew for its style (although not as chewy as I have heard). Superbly smooth, finishes clean and velvety.

To be honest, I was expecting more, but still a ridiculous brew

This brew was born in November of 2008 which makes it only half a year old. I must say that I got a little anxious to try this one. Still have one more that I plan on aging for a long while.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 01:22:31 | More by scottyshades
Photo of BZero007


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a tasting at my house this past weekend and the first beer up was the Westy 12! Appearance was good not allot of head out of every bottle but a good amount. Color was a nice cloudy dark brown and looked very yummy. Smell was not overwhelmingly intense but was there and was a big hint to the complex taste that was about to happen. Sweet malts was a dominate taste with very next up dark fruits like raisins and figs etc. The taste it's self had everyone take a step back and honestly look at each others expressions. Dark fruits raisins and figs powered threw with sweet malts. More flavors were present but could not pick each one out as the beer was so complex. A bite of Alcohol was present and was a pleasant addition. The bit of Alcohol would probably hamper the continuous bottle after another bottle. I feel for me at least this beer was meant to be a one to two bottle a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 18:02:14 | More by BZero007
Photo of barefootbrewer


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark brown with some amber hues. The head was tan with very nice lacing. The aroma is caramel with Belgian candy noticeable - alcohol is also perceptible. The taste is heavily malty with caramel and candy notes quite evident. The mouthfeel is full with a carbonation bite on the tongue – very delightful. This is a compelling beer that is quite elegant.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 22:52:12 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of dborginis


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Brabander for this one, drinking this one relatively fresh. 17.8.14 on the cap.

Was a little worried, the smell during the pour was a bit strange, but it resolved itself in the snifter. Three things hit me in the first taste: the strong solventy Belgian sweetness, alcohol and some hop bitterness. Very rich, after a big meal, this was heavy on the stomach. Very effervescent, strong carbonation. Still with all the strong flavors, it is overall a very tasty beer. As it warms the roasted malts come through. Excellent beer!

Is it better than Younger? I would say they are both excellent, but I don't see the hype. There are many beers more attainable that I enjoy at least as much, but I will say the hype and story makes each try of both an experience.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 01:56:15 | More by dborginis
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer and was so excited to try it due to the many good things that have been said about it. After drinking this I realized that it was one of the most complex and tasty beers I have ever had. It was like velvet, but abrasive. Sweet but dry. I could go on and on, but never the less, remarkable. I know now what everyone has been talking about. A rare beer, but worth every drop.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 21:44:10 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a flute. Amber in appearance with foamy bubbles presenting the off white head. Active carbonation apparent with some sediment.

Strong aroma of bready malts, apparant booze. Fragrant and inviting.

Tastes of sweet malts. Very complex malt body. Tart and puckering. Herbal hop adds to the mix. Perfectly balanced. Pronounced dark fruit character. This beer is strong flavored and full bodied, reminiscent of a fine bourbon, only much cleaner on the palate.

Goes down really damn smooth. Crisp and well carbonated mouthfeel that makes me yearn to continue sipping.

Glad I got to try such a fine beer. Sets a benchmark of what a Quad should be. Drink em if you got em.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 23:17:32 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of stageseven


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring the bottle into the glass was a little whiff of Belgium. The smell was fruity, of cherries, apple, and candied sugar. Around the edges of the smell there's a bit of round hops that have just a bit of bite. It's a fairly strong smell, but mainly sweet, with little bitterness present. Underneath was just a touch of roast, but it's faint.

The beer poured a deep brown color, fairly cloudy, and with quite a bit of sediment in the bottom. There's nearly a finger of yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, in large white flakes. There's almost no head, just a slight dusting of off-white head. The ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass left a touch of lacing.

The taste was initially of chocolate and fruit, with a good candy sweetness, but still some tartness in the mouth. Towards the back of the tongue, a smooth hop bitterness took over. The malty chocolate flavor sat just in the middle of the tongue. I noticed just a hint of alcohol flavor as well, not nearly enough to indicate the 10.2+% that this beer contained. The flavor was very strong though, absolutely filling the mouth, and leaving a fruity and bitter aftertaste for quite a while.

It's a very full bodied drink, absolutely thick and syrupy. There's quite a bit of carbonation though, much more than I'd expect from such a thick beer. It left a filmy coating on the teeth as well. The beer warmed the throat going down, a much better indicator of how strong it is.

It's definitely a very good drink, and well worth getting your hands on one. I didn't like it quite as much as the 8, but it's probably more a style preference than anything else. I'm not sure exactly how old the bottle was, at least 4 months, and probably older.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 20:09:59 | More by stageseven
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

21.04.12, poured into a snifter.

Color is a lighter mahogany in direct light and a deep red at the thickest part of the glass. Pours with little to no head. Very clear. Smells pretty crazy for a beer! More like a plum wine, white grape juice, mead, sherry or even Manischewitz. Very sweet, fairly alcoholic.

Tastes smooth, barely carbonated but slightly sharp. Again, very sweet with a medium body that starts with those same aromatic notes of white grape and evolves into a pleasant caramel malt before leaving a lingering hoppy bitterness. This reminds me very much more of a sherry with its flatness and the fruit notes, but without some of the mouthfeel. Alcohol fumes are quite effervescent here despite the low carbonation. There is a lot of cake at the bottom and it loosens a little as poured, so leaving the final inch or so in the bottle. Refilling the glass has produced a slightly cloudier pour that retains the same characteristics except with slightly more malt shining through as it warms a little and slightly more yeasty aftertaste... which makes sense.

Pretty good, I'd say! Not sure if this becomes my definitive quad, but for sure it's a very interesting one and appreciably complex. I wouldn't mind sipping away at it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 01:12:00 | More by abuliarose
Photo of emmasdad


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am extremely excited to finally get an opportunity to try this beer after hearing so much about it. Pours a beautiful dark brown color, with a nice, fairly quickly dissipating beige-colored head. Aromas of candied fruits, dark brown sugar, caramel, Belgian yeast and sherry. Flavors of freshly baked brown bread, stewed plums, toffee and port wine. An exceptionally complex beer, and one that definitely lives up to its reputation. Is it the best beer in the world? No, but it's certainly in the conversation.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 03:42:18 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Buebie


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hugenormous thanks to buckeysox for this extra!

Poured from the brown bottle into an oversized merlot glass.
A good inch of foamy off white head. Extremely long lasting head. I cant tell if its retention or the head is still receeding.
A brownish color with some light glowing of reds, but still pale and non transparent.
The head has finally fallen leaving a quarter inch of egg white like whipped topping and plenty of white drapeing lace.

Aroma is devine. Smells of french toast with just a little spice/ cinnemon aroma, some dairy like eggyness, lemon zest, vanilla, anise, brown sugar, and some raisin de'extra similarities with, raisin and alcahol aroma. By no means hot, its a super appealing aroma here. Some floral rose pedals, honey, and a mild grassy hop aroma.

Mouthfeel is unbelievably rich and creamy with a thicker feel. Some carbonation present into the foreground but quickly dissapearing into a creamy thickness. God almighty, I havnt had a belgian with a mouthfeel like this ever, awsome!

The taste is also very drinkable and delicious, I'm really enjoying this brew and have waited along time to get it. I honestly didnt think I'd ever get a chance to try one.
Some fermented fruityness up front with fermented honey, spices, anice and plenty of floral honey suckle like taste. Some bready yeastyness, like a sourdough bread with plenty of honey butter, a touch of sour apples, and a bit of earthy piney hops into the finish. Some more citric lemon zest flavors also coming into the linger with a bit of a citric acid likeness, comparable to drinking orange juice with that slightest bit of citric acid after effect.
As its warmed It picked up more of the sweet candy sugar typical belgian flavors. Some burnt toast like grain flavors, they roasty flavors of the grain with that candy sugar sweetness is delicious.

This is hugely drinkable, its not hot, does not bully the tastebuds, its a simple/ humble yet extravagent beer at the same time. Nothing bragging like here, its got a humble bottle with no lable and its just a really enjoyable beer.

Thanks again Dave, I really appreciate this one!

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 17:35:28 | More by Buebie
Photo of kevinv


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cap dated "16.02.13." Thanks for the chance to try this elusive beer, D13Logan.

Pours a dark mahogany brown with ~1-1.5 inches of an off-white head that lasts for a few minutes. Perfect carbonation levels.

It smells beautiful. Smells of dark fruits - plums, raisins, cherries. Only a hint of alcohol and a faint caramel smell. As it warms, the cherry fruit really comes out.

The taste is rich and creamy. Lots of dark Belgian malts. The fruits shine and have a sweet and slightly sugary taste. This beer definitely needs to be drank at the correct temperature as you'll miss much of what the beer has to offer if it's too cold. Long lasting dark finish with brown sugar notes and a slight bitterness. It drinks like a 6-7% beer, not a 10% ABV beer - only a small alcohol burn.

This beer is almost scary drinkable as it goes down so easy with almost zero hint of alcohol. In my opinion, the Westy 12 deserves every bit of hype that it gets.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 21:33:53 | More by kevinv
Photo of kajerm


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Austere, unlabeled brown glass bottle with "Trappistenbier" embossed around the neck. Gold cap with location information, brewery name, ABV, and small 12. A date that appears to be 07.06.03 is printed over the cap text in the hardest possible place to read-- get with the program, monks.

Pours dark, cloudy brown with loads of sediment and no head to speak of. The aroma is pretty complex-- belgian yeast, esters, some medicinal phenols, dark fruit, mixed malts, and some port-type wininess.

Tastes like it smells: awesome. Esters and malt are even more pronounced, with just a little candi sugar. Phenols and wine notes appear mid-palate. Wininess persists to the finish, where some berry flavors and maybe diacetyl show up. Some alcohol flavor, but not overwhelming.

It's been talked up a little, but damn is it exquisite.

The mouthfeel is modestly chewy, lightened by the port wine flavor. Balanced as hell.

Even setting aside the fact that I had to give up both kidneys, three of my girlfriend's ova, and my firstborn to get it, this beer is a sipper. It drinks like a fine cognac, and if I read the date on my bottle properly, it ages just as well.

EDIT: I recently found out that the date on the cap is a freshness date, marked for three years after the date of bottling. So this was vintage 2000. Wow. It was probably madeirized, but whatever it was, it was fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 00:37:24 | More by kajerm
Photo of DocJitsu


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very murky horehound brown color with a thick, foamy caramel colored head. Dates, brown sugar, caramel, notes of maple, and very light bourbon without the alcohol on the nose. The moutfheel is medium- to full-bodied and lightly oily. A bit of carbonation on the rear of the tongue. Nutty up front, caramel apple appears shortly after. Alcohol warmth shows up late and lingers in the throat. Some alcohol bitterness appears as well. So much balance from start to finish in all aspects of the beer. The only drawback is the cutoff at the finish by the alcohol bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 02:03:42 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of allengarvin


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to 1759dallas for the bottle. Best before 15-02-09 according to the crown cap. Served up in a Trappiste Rochefort chalice. Dark ruby-brown color, topped by a lovely off-white head of foam. Rich, malty-caramel aroma laden with ripe, fruity overtones. Big sweet malt flavor bursts out on initial tasting, followed by dark honey esters (with notes of raisin and plum) and enough bitterness to keep it all firmly in check. Finishes with delightful lingering maltiness. Surprisingly light-bodied for the strength.

What I really like about this is how lightly drinkable it is for a 10% trappist... it dances on the tongue in a way that I've not experienced before in an Abbey quadruple. Quite amazing.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2006 02:51:26 | More by allengarvin
Photo of BigMike


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review # 250

Big thanks to Chris from The Blue Dog for sharing his case of Westy 12. Thanks to him I was able to try what many consider the #1 beer in the world.

A super slow pour produced about a 4 finger head. The beer is a murky brown iced tea color with a huge fluffy beige head that's going nowhere anytime soon.
The nose is lots of spice, lots of sticky dark fruits, figs, raisin, plums and sugary molasses. A bit of alcohol also.
Flavor is just like the nose. The dark fruits, the spice and caramel and candied figs go along nicely with the Belgian yeast.
The mouthfeel is where this thing really shine. Light and fluffy, smooth and creamy and oh so soft on the palate. Very impressive.
Best beer in the world? In my opinion no. But I can definitely see why it gets all the accolades it does. It's an amazing beer and would love to drink as much of this as possible.

*From notes taken on 6-28-10

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 00:40:29 | More by BigMike
Photo of BeerRun13


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finaly get to try this one. Big thanks to HimmerMan.

Pours a mostly clear burgundy cranberry color. A fluffy eggshell head fades a bit and leaves some sticky lace.
Malty, candi sugar, spice in the nose. Also some fruity notes and quite noticeably a plumb like aroma.
Fruity flavors are abundant banana clove for sure. Plumby, pruny flavors. A nice spice element. Some alcohol. A light hopiness in the midst of everything.
Medium to full bodied. Perfectly carbonated. Perfectly dry. Warming to the palate.
Don't know if this is my # 1, but can certainly see how this is one of the best beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 00:16:43 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of Quaffer


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle. The cap states 11% abv as opposed to the 10.2% listed here.

Appearance: After removing the crusty and rusty yellow cap, this beer poured a deep amber with blood-red highlights. I was trying not to get any sediment into the glass, but when it started coming out, it came out fast. Therefore, there was a decent amount of yeast floating around in the beer. Where it settled on the bottom, thick streams of bubbles rose up to from patches on the surface of the liquid. The initial head only reached about one finger in the wide-mouthed chalice and settled down rather quickly. A few freckles of lace were left behind.

Smell: Thick with caramel malt, raisins, and molassess. Apples and grapes provided a strong dose of fruitiness. It was a little spicy, too, reminding me of apple pie on occasion. Yeast and some round alcohol hovered in the background. There were light cherries and bread present at times.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to full-bodied with a thick, mouth-filling feel to it. Chewy and light coating. A light, velvety carbonation developed in the back of the mouth. Very nice.

Taste: A big combination of flavors that developed early and continued on well into the aftertaste. This one really lingered. Bread, raisins, molassess, and sweet caramel provided a thick bottom end. I could taste the caramel malt when I licked my lips after each drink. Cherry liqueur and white wine provided a bit of a kick. A little bit of cocoa lingered on the finish, along with the flavor of over-cooked muffins (like when with bottoms get a little too brown). The alcohol was definitely present, but it didn't overpower. No cloying sweetness either, just a nicely balanced beer. The flavor itself might not merit a 5, but the richness, complexity, and the way the different flavors lost and gained ground as the temperature of the beer changeed warranted it.

This was a hard beer to open. Graciously gifted to me by Bruiser81 a long time ago, it's the only bottle that I have ever layed eyes on, let alone possess. Does it live up to all the hype? Almost. Is it freakin' delicious? Hell yeah, it is!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 21:27:46 | More by Quaffer
Photo of HardTarget


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Cap has a date, but I can only read the first two numbers: 11/08/? Cap is worn on one side and the bottle has the "American" label.

Aroma: Rich malt nose, hints of fruit, mainly fig, and a good dose of spicy alcohol.

Appearance: Clear tan amber glass with a good cover of off white head that lasted as a collar (impressive given the abv), but didn’t lace. Last pour was murky with a fair amount of blackish sludge (you KNOW I drank it all).

Flavor: Belgian yeast and dark fruit are the main flavors with a touch of almond liquor (Frangelico). There is a hint of the "fresh Christmas present" taste that I get from Rochefort 10 as well. A well put together taste overall and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than expected but silky smooth texture

Overall Impression: Impossible to be objective with this one. In some ways I was a touch disappointed. I imaged angels dancing on my tongue and some sort of beer epiphany that would allow me some sort of deep beer insight into the nature of things.

It’s just a beer. A good beer, heck, a Great Beer! But, beer.

That said, it is massively drinkable and if the monks lived next door, I’d drink this daily! I’m not going to fly all the way to Belgium just to drink this though. If you get the chance, by all means, give it a shot, but if you don’t get the chance, don’t feel like you’ve missed out of what beer is about.

Undying thanks to the premier sack kicker on BA: Stonecrusher for the bottle. Look, I finally drank it! It only took me a year!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2005 06:13:57 | More by HardTarget
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle from Mikkeller and Friends bottleshop in Copenhagen - poured into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a deep ambered ruby; with a light tan, inch of creamy foam; nice retention leaves a few strands of lace, and sticks around until the beer is finished.

S: So complex... Dark fruit - primarily plum, fig and black cherry; nutty; some light chocolate notes; toffee; lightly phenolic; a touch of alcohol.

T: Darker flavors and complex like the aroma... dried cherry and plum; toasted banana bread; light toffee flavor; molasses; almost vinous; heavy phenol (bubble gum, cotton candy, light banana) presence and a bit of hot alcohol; surprisingly bitter... earthy / leafy touch of dryness.

M: Medium-full; creamy; lively carbonation; a touch sticky; alcohol heat on the end.

O: A delightful beer; a lot of complexity in the aroma - maybe one of the best aromas on a beer I've experienced; taste is not quite on the same level, although still very good and satisfying; mouthfeel is a bit lighter than expected, but helps bring this 10.2% to more drinkable levels. Glad I stumbled upon this and was able to try it!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 02:52:50 | More by jpro
Photo of ddarden


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle dated best before April 2, 2007

I poured this gem into a tulip glass and it produced a wonderful off white head with tight carbonation. It is deep reddish brown and cloudy with yeast particles floating around. The head drops down to about a 1/4" from a 1 1/2". A small head remains through the rest of the beer and leaves a little bit of lacing.

The first smell is of strong Belgian yeast and dark fermented fruits. Plums and cherries seem to accent the sweet smell coming from this anticipated beer. Alcohol also seems to be in the aroma.

My first taste of the beer is complex and hard to describe: Dark malts, chocolate, espresso, and a grainy cherry. Also an unexpected dry grassy, bitterness at the end. The alcohol is very well hidden in this fabled beer. This is a very creamy tasting beer

The mouthfeel is nice and full. It coats your tongue like a fine wine. This is a very creamy tasting beer. Also the carbonation is wonderful. The drinkability of this beer is excellent for something with such a high abv. I hate to say this, but I like the Westvleteren 8 a little better than the 12. That said, this is truly one of the best beers in the world.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 19:09:00 | More by ddarden
Photo of kirok1999


4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Obviously had huge expectations for this one but I put the objective goggles on and just treated it like any other beer. Poured deep ruby, crystal shiny in the glass but 1/2" of yeasties in the bottle. Lots of grape wine in the nose, sweet fruity, not dominant. Very nice taste, more like a wine than a beer, lots of heavy fruity grape notes. Tight carbonation and dense mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn in the end. I could drink this all night long but, seriously, it's not that much better than Trappistes Rochefort 10. If I can get another one I'll do a blind side by side with the 10. Very good but not the best beer in the world.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 05:48:19 | More by kirok1999
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4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super excited to try this bottle...

Pours a deep, hazy, dark brown with an incredibly foamy, tannish head. The nose is not boozy at all and has a very distinct cherry- breadiness. The smell is super clean and refined, even when it warms there is nothing out of place. It's almost like a freshly baked cherry pie.
The taste is quite crisp as well. There is a sweet malty body with intense, ripe pit fruits like those detected in the beer's nose. No off flavors appear to be present, but there is a pungent, residual aftertaste. Unfortunately, the tobacco bitterness is a little intense that kind of throws off this beer's clean presentation in the other categories. I would have liked a less intrusive aftertaste, although it's good to know the beer was potent enough to sit on the palate for awhile. Honestly, each sip is different and offers a new level of complexity.

Overall, this beer was hard to get. And at $20/bottle, it's rather expensive as well. I'm glad I tried this beer, but will most likely view it as a novelty than something I'll actively seek out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 03:26:48 | More by ThePorterSorter
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,444 ratings.