1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,243 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,243
Reviews: 1,677
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,175
Gots: 1,630 | FT: 122
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

(Yellow Cap)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,243 | Reviews: 1,677
Photo of Tim725
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of scottyshades
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of dborginis
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled out my new Maudite glass and poured it. Nice dark amber that sported a thin but lasting head. Very yeasty nose that was pleasant to smell. First taste was new to the tastbuds, almost velvety (not velveeta !) on the tongue. Great aftertaste. I bought the bottle for a mere $6.99 since it has been talked about so on the site. Worth every penny, and I will need to return to the only place I have seen it in NJ and buy some more. Lasting impression that I termed "great Belgian on steroids" to my wife. Her comments were different and interesting. She likes it also.

Photo of JayQue
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this beer. I'M NOT WORTHY!!!

Purchased from Etre Gourmet along with some Pannepot and A Cantillon unblended lambic. Plain brown bottle with a "Trappiste" ring around the neck.

Poured into my trusty Chimay goblet a medium brown color with a little light coming through. Medium size off-white head that fades to a covering of the glass. The covering continues throughout the tasting (about 30 minutes). Lacing consists of a film with dots of lacing contained in it.

Smell is mostly dark fruit (raisins, figs) and some Belgian yeast. Pronounced and very rich.

Taste is out of this world. Belgian candi sugar, yeast, dark fruit, spices and a little caramel malt. Expertly blended, hint of warming alcohol. Absolutely outstanding. Worthy of the hype!!!

Mouthfeel is rich and luxurious. The alcohol is not a negative factor. This is an outstanding beer.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of Buebie
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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!

Photo of BeRanger
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Travis from Roast for this one, complete surprise as I had never had it.

Poured from bottle into a tulip.

A: Deep Amber/Brownish Hue with an off-white head, a far amount of lacing.

S: Perfect smell - lots of darkfruit, brown sugar, yeast and a little booze.

T: Taste is perfect melding of the dark fruits such as the raisins and plums with the brown sugar sweetness and yeast coming through.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation - very smooth.

O: Super complex beer that blends everything together wonderfully. This was fantastic for a quad which I'm not the biggest fan of. I certainly now need to get my hands on a few more of these. Very nice.

Photo of kevinv
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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

Smell:
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.

Taste/Mouthfeel:
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.

Drinkability:
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.

Photo of AlexFields
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Liverpool08
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW!! Thanks to my co-worker Dan for inviting me to tap one of these from his cellar. This one is about two years old.
Pours a a very dark murky red, little head or lacing. Aroma is hints of raisins, plums, prunes, and figs. First sip...Super smooth. Tons of different flavors dance around, cherries, mollasses, brown sugar, raisins and even a hint of chocolate. Each sip brings all of these and others, all perfectly blended and smooth to sip. No notice of the booze, even as it warms. Mouthfeel is smooth yet still a little crisp, not cloying at all. A beer worth waiting for!!

Photo of NT99
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DocJitsu
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of HiGravShawn
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep red brown. Thick fizzy head which settles into some nice lacing.

S: Earth and prunes with a little spiciness.

T: Rich and earthy with tons of dark fruit and deep complex Belgian sugar flavor. The warmth from alcohol is present and blends nicely with the depth for flavor for a pleasant mind dulling enjoyment.

M: Medium to heavy in body with a good dose of carbonation. This is my one complaint as it hides the flavor and took a few sips to adjust to the fizziness. Carbonation with fruitiness initially gave me an initial perception of a carbonated wine.

O: This definitely lives up to the hype. I am not disappointed at all. I have one more bottle so will probably refine this when I break it open.

Photo of BeerRun13
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of HardTarget
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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!

Photo of BierJager89
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark opaque murky brown with a creamy foamy tan head.

S: Hard to describe. Definitely some dark fruit, malt, orange, Belgian yeast and spices in the nose.

T: Starts off a touch citric, but once it spreads across the tongue you get sweet, rummy candied fruits, raisin, dark fruit, malt, with a lingering malty sweet dark fruit finish.

M: Full bodied and smooth. Alcohol warms as it goes down.

O: Is this the best beer of all time? No. It's not my favorite quad. It is an excellent beer. I had been told it lived up to the hype, but 97 is the the highest I've given to a belgian ale, and this, St. Bernardus & Rochefort 10 all got 97s from me.

Photo of ddarden
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good beer, like a good wine, must exist in time. This is to say, it must be good at the moment you have it, but also good in the scheme of beers as a whole such that as new styles and techniques evolve it remains well regarded and enjoyable. The fact that this one has acquired a nickname (Westy) is a testament to this. Out of a bottle provided by BA members (THANK YOU!) this legend was a deep, copper color with burgundy highlights. It was visibly viscous, leaving good streaks of lacing off the well-retained head. The aroma was complex and demanding; a sensual blend of ripe plums, dates and dark fruits galore. Behind that was alcohol (esp. dark rum), chocolate, spices and the pungent twist of Belgian yeast. The flavors were just as big and layered. Chocolate, more dark fruits, coffee hints, raisins, wood, cinnamon, figs etc. etc. The doughy notes were hard to discern under the other heavier elements but the impact was like an alcohol soaked fruitcake. Despite the depth of the beer it was indeed a brew with finesse and a good finish. Easy to drink? No. It's rich and intense. Pleasant to drink? Yes, especially if you love beer. A casual drinker could be run over by this thing. The mouthfeel was good and creamy but not amazing, the body full without being heavy and the carbonation right on. Relatively drinkable for all that is has to offer and a genuine joy for the advanced palate. In short, this delivered on every level including living up to its reputation and if you can find it, do so.

Photo of swirldog
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this classic a couple of years ago at a homebrew meeting. A one of a kind very rare thing to get a hold of.
Deep mahogany appearance, strong brown head with excellent lace.
Nose is fruity with strong malt with chocolate notes, hops are low.
Flavor is malt upfront with raisiny/fruity esters. Chocolate flavors predominate in the middle. Hops are very low, bit in the finish.
Mouthfeel is chewy with nice creaminess and carbonation.
Drinkibility is good, a beer for a cold nite.
A classic that I would love to have again.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served in a Westy 12 chalice of course.

A - Hazy pecan brown with a massive creamy head that takes awhile to settle.

S - Brown sugar, dark Belgian candy, spicy yeast, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, leather, tobacco, plumbs, dates, bananas, cherries, walnuts. The yeast become more raw and bready as it warms. Awesome aroma.

T - Dark Belgian candy jumps out long with Belgian yeast, bananas, nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, cherries, tobacco, some hop bitterness is present, the alcohol is present and adds a spicy kick on the palate. The malt is sweet and caramelized but has a rawness that you don't get with alot of ales. There's an earthy and rustic character makes that adds an edginess. The finish is very dry with dry spices and a kiss of rummy alcohol.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium/full body, thins out as it warms.

Glad I got to try this. I've done a blind taste test with this and 2 other highly acclaimed quads and this did well. It's not as fruity as other quads and has a more rustic character. This taste like a true trappist ale.

Photo of BS68280
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hayesez for this one. I've been holding onto this one for over a year now and finally found a reason to open it... Celebrating a wonderful weekend with my new beautiful fiance.

Poured from a bottle which I have no idea how to tell the date on, into a chalice.

A: A deep mohagony with about a half inch of a foamy light brownish head.

S: Lots of dark fruits. Raisons, prunes, figs, maybe a touch of brown sugar and a hint of caramel. Wonderful especially from a style that isn't my favorite.

T: Sweat dark fruits show up once again, this one goes right along with the smell which is nice. There is only the slightest trace of the 10% abv. Very complex and by far the best belgian I have ever had.

M: Full bodied and creamy.

D: I could drink many more of these... well maybe if i lived there.

Not my favorite style, and definately not my favorite beer, but this is by far my favorite beer of this style.

Photo of cratez
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. It is fitting that I have finally sampled this beer in my fifth year of 'serious' craft drinking, on the dawn of a new year with an ambitious set of beer goals for 2010. Since I approached this beer with respect and humility, rather than overloaded expectations, I was thoroughly satisfied with the experience.

Pours a purplish, burgundy brown with ruby red hues and a bubbly ring of tan head. Spotted lacing covers the top half of the glass.

Smell is doughy malts, baking yeast, caramelized fruit, candy sugar, and a trace of alcohol.

Taste is a lovely mix of blueberries, plums, apple cider, prunes and chocolate chips. There's a prominent vinous flavour, very wine-like in character, imparting dark grapes with a touch of tartness. Finish contains a hint of alcohol, boozy and warming. Spicy, fruity bite from the hops with a quick flash of bitterness to end. In a word, delicious.

The mouthfeel is in a category of its own. Lush, resinous, and silky in texture, with a pronounced creaminess in the body. Velvety and clean, yet chewy at the same time. Dangerously drinkable for 10.2%.

It took me an hour to properly savour this brew as the complexity is nearly unparalleled. Like most BAs, I prefer a handful of beers over Westy 12, but it's still a beast that needs to be tamed at some point in your craft beer journey. I feel extremely fortunate to have tried this legendary quad. A tasty and luxurious treat, deserving of its world class status.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,243 ratings.