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

1,795 Reviews
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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium | website

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

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Reviews: 1,795 | Ratings: 5,982
Photo of JamieDuncan
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My beer guru had someone pick this up and he was gracious enough to share. This one definitely lived up to the hype. I suppose that maybe now I know what the style is meant to taste. Very little to complain about, clean, tasty and smooth. I really want to go back through some of the other beers I gave great ratings to and compare.

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Photo of rand
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From 330 mL bottle to Westvleteren chalice.

A: Mahogany in color, the beer pours less viscous than expected and forms a small, wispy head. Leaves almost no lacing.

S: The nose is comprised of distinct notes of maple and toffee, toasty sweetbread and alcohol. Esters are readily apparent, as notes of holiday spice linger in the boozy bouquet.

T: Malt-forward, caramel and toffee notes leap to the front of the palate. The sweet overtone reveals distinct banana esters and cherry-ish phenols. The candy-like profile is kept in check by ample hop presence and spicy alcohol, as subtle notes of cinnamon and clove work to dry the palate. Remarkably, the beer finishes relatively short and clean, leaving a touch of cherry and caramel lingering.

M: Much more chewy and viscous than the beer appears, but the ample carbonation scrubs the palate clean between sips.

It seems there are a lot of beers in the top of the list that've climbed by inertia (especially the top beer). This isn't one of them. A couple hundred years of trial and error, coupled by the fact that the brewers don't make a profit...at least monetarily speaking, makes this one of the most interesting and satisfying experiences you can have imbibing a brew.

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Photo of danostrat
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-complex dry fruit.

S-mellow spice blended with earthy dry fruit.

T-perfect balance of sweet fruit, wood, mild pepper; spice taste changing with each sip.

M-nice warm pleasant.

Served in a chalice at In De Vrede, across the street from the abbey. It killed me that no beer was available for takeaway this day, but 4.80 euro a glass was a nice consolation prize. Without a side-by-side comparison I can't say that this is the best beer in the world, but it's easily in the top three that I've ever tasted.
The head and lacing maintained throughout. The color against the light was thick and dark with a lovely glow. Each sip brought out an ever-changing taste.
Compared side by side with the 5 and the 8, this was easily my favorite, and I happily ordered a second round. Well worth the trip!

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Photo of Mpollard
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just my opinion...I have seen the reviews of this beer fall after the sale of the gift packs in the US. I must say that those who rushed into drinking one right away missed out. I know it must have been very difficult to wait however, to let this beer ripen for a few years one would find a more earthy, well balanced flavor, without the alcohol burn at the end. I love this beer, just opened a bottle dated 14/12/14 which I bought at the Abby in 2011 and based it against one bought last month. The favors of the fruits are more pronounced/distinctive throughout. If you have any left, store it properly and let it sit for a few years, then review it again.

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Photo of baos
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle into large snifter

A: Heavy brown color with a nice creamy-tan head sweet lacing and nice head retention considering the alcohol content.

S: Very sweet: caramel, Belgian candi, molasses, and raisins with other dried fruits, i.e. plums.

T: Sweet lots of dried fruits, heavy wheat malts, Belgian candi-goodness.

M: Full bodied. One of the best I have ever had in this repects.

O: A plus plus. Try one on for size!

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Photo of Roman5150
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle into Westvleteren 12 Tulip, dated 5.10.14

Purchased from Het Beste Biertje in Málaga, Spain (drank 2 there, and 1 to take away)

Appearance: Cloudy dark mahogany brown with a decent amount of sediment, 1 finger highly carbonated white head, intricate lacing

Smell: Lot's of breadiness initially, followed by the typical trappist dark fruit notes. Also getting a lot of figs, plums, raisins, apple, and biscuity notes. Belgian yeast is highly pungent, you can smell the sweetness. Also some wood/oak smell.

Taste: Follows the nose with huge dark (almost overripe) fruit flavors off the bat, which slowly fades into a plethora of biscuity, bready notes. Roasted malt backbone is rather dark and sweet, and there's a lot of raisin and sherry presence mid-palate. Probably the lightest quad i've ever had, alcohol is distincly hidden, more so than a St. Bernardus ABT 12 or Rochefort 10. The lingering aftertaste is very sweet and leaves some wood, oaky notes in your mouth. This is one of the few beers that actually tastes better once it warms, all the flavors come out full force.

Mouthfeel: HIgh carbonation, medium to light bodied, especially for a quad

Overall: I'll try to keep this short: It lives up to the hype. Honestly I had the mindset that there really couldn't be a much better quad than a Rochefort 10 or a St. Bernardus ABT 12, but all hype aside, this is the better beer. I would love to do a blind test just to make sure... This one is so much lighter in feel but without sacrificing flavor or anything for that matter. It seems to emphasize the bready, biscuity characteristics instead of being dark fruit dominant like other quads. And I guess you can attribute it to the stellar brewing craftsmanship of the monks, but the alcohol in this is even less apparent, you could almost think you were drinking a trippel. Throughly impressed, waiting to try my 3rd one, and hopefully the other's once I make it out to Belgium again.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So the day finally came. It's the 24th of April, one day before celebrating the Liberty Day in Portugal. Westvleteren XII is, until this date, my white wale. Since my first days here in BA, Westy 12 has been my first moonshot, my only European moon shot that comes today to an end.

So I used my Russian River keychain to open up this bottle and pour it to a Leffe glass.

A: The body is dark, coppery to brown hues but a bit crystalline. The head is white with some retention on the the smallest possible iteration and has some great lacing.

S: The aroma is composed with belgian yeast, raisins, blueberries and some alcohol due to the 10.20% ABV. If it wasn't for the alcohol, this aroma would be just perfect.

T: The taste is just perfect with the great taste of this belgian yeast, the dark roasted malts, the prominent raisins and the blueberries. But again, alchohol strikes again because it should, indeed, be a bit more hidden in all these flavors.

M: The body is very high, high carbonation that gives this velvety touch to the beer. If you look at the top of the glass, it seems that the yeast is still alive by creating small areas of activity but it's just the beautiful carbonation making its work.

O: The wait is over. And I'm very happy about this. By the end of this beer, I can say that this is not the perfect beer but it's by far the best quad I've had, which is a very subtle and hard style to make. Or probably is just the romantic side of a successful hunt speaking. I'm very happy at the moment and I feel like the spirit of craft beer is blooming inside of me. :) Thank you all you BAs!

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Photo of Joey2timer
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 poured into crooked stave taster at vintage beer tasting even at taproom.
lots of raison, fig, and dates, the finish has lots of belgian malt flavor. i really digged this.

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Photo of MrDell
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Trappist Westvleteren 12 – bottling date 02.12.2014 – Best Before 02.12.2017

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, slightly off white head. Excellent head retention. Head is very creamy and made up of tightly packed bubbles. Some lacing that has dried out on side of glass as I am taking my time to drink this thick, sticky brew.

Aroma: Port wine and malt.

Taste: Brown bread. Long lasting sweet, malty Horlicks aftertaste. All bran with warm milk taste is quite strong. Port in the middle. What really stands out is just how long the taste lasts after swallowing.

Mouth feel: Smooth, creamy and dry at the end.

Overall: I was extremely tired when reviewing this (did the rating in Brussels on a different occasion) and unfortunately was unable to pick out the aromas as I would have liked. Will revisit. Prefer this over the Rochefort 10 that I had last night, but this is a little older and IF the Rochefort 10 is anything like the 8, it tastes much better with a little longer behind it, once the yeast has settled down.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The infamous.

Pours a dark brown fig color with a one finger off white milk curd color head. The bubbles speak to you as they settle and pop. It's funny how much attention we give to appearance, aroma, and flavor. The sound of the bubbles mid-symphony in a quiet room transports me to the abbey where these monks brew this beer and I imagine how it must transform the atmosphere of there silent fortress.

The aroma tells a story of typical quad nuances. Milk chocolate, burnt fig, sweet date, and a hint of fresh tobacco. The flavor speaks of the same subject but with roller coaster flavor spikes and a semi-sweet yet balanced finish. The vinous notes play wonderfully with the dark malt spirit while the hops balance out the sweetness to create a marvelously crafted beer.

Dark bread, fig paste, vanilla bean, tart cherry, green tobacco with fire on its heels converging on smoke. Those are the prominent characters in this novel of creation via traditional yet soulfully transcending ways. A delightful voyage to say the least.

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Photo of tynian16
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is hard to describe but it's one of those beers you have to have at least once. Everything about it was phenomenal and impossible to realize that it comes in at 10.2%. My wife who is not a beer drinker thoroughly enjoyed this as well.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recieved this beauty via trade from Intriqken. big thanks!

11.2 oz brown bottle (no lable) > Chimay goblet

Westy pours out dark-brown-ish amber color, no ruby hues and almost opaque. The head is a fluffy, creamy but very active and bubbly, mocha-frothe color that stands about 2" high. This clearly has good carbonation due to the head retention, but it's hard to see through the dark body. There is huge and very sticky clumps of lacing all over the glass as the volume goes down.

The aroma is very pungent and very unique. Right off, I'm getting...rollo's candies, chocolate covered dates, slightly sour red grapes, black berries, green bean and herb scented hops with some whiff's of wet cedar wood. The malt is most dominant with light chocolate and caramel scent's. Sweet but earthy.

The first thing you notice when you take the first sip is the massively complex, slick and creamy malt flavor. Classic candied sugar sweetness with really amazing depth. There's honey-covered prunes and dates with overly-ripe red concord grapes then comes a layer of caramel and light chocolate. Sure the malt is a marvel but it's really the sublime balance that impresses me most, with an herbal and slightly spicey hop kick and subtle tangy yeast. The 10.2% ABV is just the right amount of heat, not over-powering but a bit sharp which actually adds further complexity right at the end. I love big-ass malt-bombs so naturally this one is right down my alley.

The feel is certainly full-bodied with a luxurious slick and creamy feel, but lively too....classic for the style.

I simply didn't want to see the end of this stuff, I sipped slowly and it still disapeared quicker than I had wanted. This is a masterpiece of brewing.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally broke down, better yet, finally found an establishment that serves this nectar of the gods.

Presented in a labeless bottle with of course, the yellow cap. I decided to go with the yeast. Contained a little more than I normally like, no much to speak of in terms of a head- I am not complaining. Dark caramel color with heather hues.

Smelled wonderful, bananas and of course that unmistakable Trappist aroma.

Something about this beer puts it heads above even the other Trappist type beers. Like nothing I've tasted before. Fruity, balanced, hoppy, refreshing, amazing!!!

Upon finishing the beer, a patron sitting next to me asked. Where do you go now? My response was down. Down in quality, price, taste, and expectation.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big big thanks to MtGoat for the trade that brought this beer to me. What better beer to review for my 300th than this beer right here in front of me.

A: Pours with a slight chill haze and with some yeast floaties, but otherwise looks like a dark apple cider. Poured into a large mouthed gobblet the head really doesn't get a chnage to show off like other beers but it is lively, bubbling up after a slightly aggressive pour to yeild a half inch sandy white head

S: Candi sugar, a splash of dark rum and brown sugar over a bevy of dark fruits like rasins and plums. Nothing overpowering, just subtle and sweet, very very sweet. Smells a bit like cake, if I close my eyes and sniff.

T/MF: Like the smell, the taste is not overpowering. Sweet, not sugary sweet, but rather a bready, a cupcake-sans-frosting kind of sweetness. Mildly fruity, the slightest bit nutty, brown sugar, sweet bread dough, rum covered rasins. Drinking this I can already tell that I am going to be sad when this beer is gone, this is the first beer I have ever said this about. The feel of this beer, high as an ABV as it does have, drinks so smoothly, bubbles so softly on the tonuge that it almost feels like a sessionable beer. It's size is so well hidden. The alcoholic warmth that does come near the end of the each sip, seems to compliment the rest of the beer, rather than hinder it. Finish is rather clean, but long and lasting, leaving a slight nutty sweetness on the tongue.

D: I can see why this beer is ranked as it is, this beer has something for everyone. It is subtle enough in taste to please even the staunchest BMC drinker around, no boozy heat, not raging hop bitterness or cloying malty sweetness. This is just a perfectly balanced, quiet, non-flashy, beer that is just an absolute pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review # 700. .33L bottle, 10.2% ABV. Date on cap appears to be 08 04 09. Pours a chestnut color, with a good deal of sediment, even with a careful pour. Tan fluffy head trickled down to a thin collar very quickly.

To describe the aroma as complex would be an understatement. Figs, raisins, rum soaked sweetbread, ripe fruit, alcohol, and some spices just to start off. What a great combonation. A beer that you could sit and smell forever.

Huge amount of ripe and dark fruit, along with some fig. Good amount of boozy flavor, without being overbearing. Hints of sweetness, but very well balanced. Long lingering rum soaked raisin finish.

Very warming, without being too hot. This could probably age with the best of them. Light body, with a good amount of carbonation aids in drinkability. What a world-class beer!

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one killer beer, those monks sure know what they are doing. They only thing I was disappointed with was the appearance but I have another bottle to be had on another special occasion ( I had this one the day after my B-Day Oct 24th to be exact cause I knew I would be to drunk to appreciate it on the 23rd, I always take notes than type them up on BA). I poured the 12 fairly vigorously ( which is my usual pour) and to my surprise the head was fairly small and there was minimal lacing. The color is very attractive though a hazy brown with a bit of purple tints.

Every other aspect of this brew is amazing. The nose is full of dark fruits ( plums, raisins), candy sugar, a bit of malt, some spices and so much more. I can only imagine how many different scents I could pick out of this beer after having it a couple of times ( and I don't even have a great nose).

Tastes like heaven will ( if I make it). The alcohol is almost completely hidden, has notes of raisins, plums, sweet malt, spices and yeast. No wonder this is rated so highly. Believe the hype.

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Photo of ThomasKoren
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thank you from the fellow beerfanatic that brought this to finland for me.

A great dark and strong abbey beer, despite it's high alcohol percentage it is very drinkable though a bit sharp down the hatch.

A must try if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this across the road from the monestary, at the cafe.

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a thin layer of foam. Beautiful body, but I was a bit disappointed with the head. damn. But still worth a 4.

Smell is figs and dates. A little sweet. Not much alcohol. Smells clean and crisp. Very nice. Wow, there are a lot of layers to this. Very, very nice.

Incredibly smooth taste. It's hard to believe this is 10% alcohol. Fruity smooth. Plums and raisens. So well balanced. Clean aftertaste. This is everything I hoped it would be. The best I've ever had.

Mouthfeel is ridiculously good. It's creamy beyond belief and the carbonation bubbles are microscopically tiny and tickle the tongue in an entirely new way.

Drinkability is out of this world.

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Photo of marcpal
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gracias goryshkewych for trading me this puppy. Let us now see if it was really worth the hype. Been waiting a while to try and here goes nothing.

Lovely nondescript Westy bottle poured into a nondescript chalice. Served mildly chilled at what seems to be the right temperature.

A: Oak brown color with a head that is incredibly lasting. Lacing surprisingly strong as well, a looker by all means. The puffy chestnut head stayed creamy through the entire drink.

N: Raisins, dates and dried figs. Sweet belgian malts, deep caramel and spices. Pleasant in every sense of the word. Like the smell of a floured, sweet mapled waffle.

T: Fabulous, figs and dates. Just like chewing on those figs that have the natural sugar on the outside. The warmth of this drink balances out the taste perfectly. The sweetness lasts on the front, the back, and all other parts of the tongue. Packing this amount of sweetness from all you can ask for in a Belgian into something so drinkable and balanced is artwork.

M: No cloning the mouthfeel of this one. Unlike anything Ive had before. This is where it really sets itself apart from other quality quads like st. bernadus. The creaminess is perfect.

D: Most complex beer I have had for a belgian like this. Almost hard to describe. It takes on different character throughout drinking it. Cant wait to have more at some time.

Was it worth the hype and hope? Indeed.

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Photo of WertMaker
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle dark chocolate brown with a light creamy head into a short tulip snifter. The deep aroma of chocolate and spice invited you to sip. As this nectar dances on your taste buds you notice that although the ABV is over 10%, it is almost unnoticeable as the rich body of the beer and robust flavors reminiscent of dark roast coffee, figs, and roasted barley fill your mind. The experience is likened to a display of fireworks, with each new wave of flavors replacing those previously held and combining to form a symphony on your mouth. You swallow, and immediately you want to taste it again, but refrain; allowing the finish to further tease your senses.

One of the most complex brews I've ever experienced....

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Photo of crnipeter
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The review comprises notes from separate tastings of two different vintages. Scores are for vintage 2008.

Vintage '08:
The review is based on notes taken in fall/winter 2009.
Yellow capped ascetic bottle with best before date 03.12.2011. Considering that Westveleteren 12 beers are bottled 3 years prior to expiration date the beer is vintage 2008. The pour into St. Bernardus goblet gives muddy rusty - mahogany brown nectar with light tan bubbly head fading into an island of agglomerated bubbles. Aromas of sour cherries, berries, figs & raisins, touch of cocoa, breeze of red wine. The flavor profile is nutty-cocoaish with over-ripened figs, rummy with sweet malt base balanced by mild hoppy bitterness prolonged into lingering subtle bitter aftertaste. Silky smooth and creamy with alcohol unbelievably well hidden the roughly one year old beer is fruitier, with more expressed vinousness and less hoppy character than fresh one. 4 5 5 5 5 = 4.8

Vintage '89
I was told the bottle is '89 vintage therefore 21 yrs old although this cannot be verified as Westvleteren bottles didn't always have BBE date on their crowns. However, the 11% ABV imprinted on the cap indicates this was a pre-1999 bottling. Between 1999 and 2002 the alcohol content of Westvleteren 12 has been gradually reduced from 11% to the current level of 10,2%. Diminishing of ABV was necessary to facilitate the brewing process as high levels of alcohol are more likely to kill the yeast. To the beer.
Into Westvleteren chalice. Clear coppery-mahogany brown body lacking any head apart from short lived bubbly island floating on the surface. In over two decades of aging the beer has undergone a complete transformation from quad to fortified wine or even liqueur: at this stage is highly viscous, alcoholic, sweet and abounds in fruity esters.
Palpable aromas of strongly fortified, port-like wine, intense sugary sweetness, plums, dried fruits represented by prunes, sour cherries , figs and rum soaked raisins. Clear presence of alcohol which is well incorporated into the whole. Each aroma listed reincarnates itself in the flavor department that perfectly matches the nose.The mouthfeel of warming and liqueurish brew is syrupy but not in a sickly manner, with zero carbonation. I'm pouring the beer carefully to keep the black slush at the bottom. Even so the last pour is hazy due to the raised yeasty sediment which adds some spiciness and in contrary with beliefs does not ruin the beer. Fully mature Westvleteren 12 is great, although does not have much in common with what I see as a beer. 2.5 5 5 5 5 = 4.5

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle, poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Bottle cap stamped 25-05-15

A: A beautiful hazy ruby or deep maple colour. A small tan head of about 1 finger appears, but some halo sticks around for your enjoyment the entire time.

S: The first smell I pick up is the yeast. It is gentle and pleasant. Dark fruits are there as well as hints of caramel and yes a bit of alcohol.

T: Carrying over from the smell, the dark fruits come to the fore on this beer. It is fantastically flavorful with so much going on. What jumps out at me is the fact that the yeast is somewhat hidden in the taste.

M: Incredibly smooth. Carbonation is perfect and there is little boozy finish on this. The beer leaves a lovely memory in your mouth with a great warm finish.

O: This is a superior beer. I hemmed and hawed as to whether I should actually pay the price for this, and in the end, it was well worth it (and quite reasonable considering). I prefer Belgian quads and tripels so to me this is like nirvana. What was surprising and pleasant was the complexity of the smell/taste. The fruitiness hid the yeast and the alcohol stayed in the background until the end. I've had Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus Abt. 12 and Westvleteren just reaches above those making it well worth the chase.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice it forms a whispy tan head that is very creamy as it settles and leaves sporadic lace. Brown body with small amounts of super fine carbonation.

Smell is of dark fruits, namely plumbs, raisins and suggestions of chocolate and caramel in the backdrop.

Taste: This is where the rubber hits the road and this is where this brew excells to perfection. What I don't pick up in the smell is the hops and spices that make up the finish of this offering. It has everything you'd expect from a quad and then blammmo right towards the finish is a spiced up, alcohol warming, and a touch of hop bitterness that really keeps this huge offering in check and adds to the drinkability as well.

Notes: I was taken back by the complexity and depth of this offering. You could tell me there is a woody presence and I could find it. You could tell me there are exotic fruits and in the depths of this brew I could get a slice of mango. Its all over the map and perfectly executed. The spices and slight bitter balancer towards the finish was the sealer for me. I bought 4 bottles of this and I will pull one out when the mood hits me although they may stick around for very special occasions.

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Photo of gcrfire3
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As tasted, this was an offering/bottling of March 2015...relatively young. I tasted this at a buds house alongside St. Bernardus abt 12, KBS, FBS, Wootstout, and some non-related FFF IPA/APA's. I drank/sampled the St. Bernardus 12 first and then the Westy 12 right after. Although I'd say this beer and St. Bernardus have a similar backbone, the Westy 12 wins hands down for complexity. Upon the first swig, the complexity hits you and leaves you wondering how such a small taste can produce so many exquisite flavors in a beer! The same taste as St. Bernardus 12 is there, yet has so much more going on, including more alcohol in the front. As the beer warms up, it opens the flavor even more and made me want to savor each sip slowly and methodically to get all that this beer had to offer, which is more than any beer I've ever had has. Enough said! Totally worthy of the hype and a top three world wide place in history!

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Photo of rkhaze
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aaah yes..the Westy 12. This bad boy poured a cloudy dark brown with a medium sized dense head and suspended yeast. Aromas of sweet malt, brown sugar, loads of ripe fruit, honey and alcohol.
Complex taste of sweet grainy malt, brandy soaked ripe stone fruits of all colors, and a bit of nuttiness. There was a tangy bitterness and mildly raw alcohol flavor that actually contributed to the overall experience by cutting the almost cloying sweetness.
Full viscous, sticky, creamy mouthfeel with killer carbonation that made it feel smooth, velvety and supremely drinkable.
Another masterpiece from my brown hooded brothers!

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,795 ratings.