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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,581 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,581
Reviews: 1,609
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,841
Gots: 1,306 | FT: 102
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:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,581 | Reviews: 1,609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glazeman
glazeman

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Poured into a snifter

A: Medium dark brown with heavy ruby red accent. The head is tan in color and is about ½ finger. The head faded quicker than I expected, but left some lacing and a swirl of bubbles and crown that remained for the duration of the drink.

S: My initial reaction was that this smelled a lot like plums. There's also some light caramel, and grapes/champagne. Finally I get a bit of alcohol. This is a very layered and interested smelling beer.

T: The flavor is deep and complex with a lot of dark fruits up front, primarily raisins and plums, followed by some dry bitterness and a little alcohol heat. The flavor is a little sweet but is nicely balanced and quite a bit different than the smell would indicate.

M: This has a fairly light mouthfeel, but a nice level of carbonation. The aftertaste is great and the beer is crisp. The viscosity is medium of the road and what I would expect. Overall this may be the weakest part of this otherwise outstanding beer.

D: If I lived in Belgium, I would drink this every night of the week. It is truly amazing. Only if...

02-05-2011 01:31:32 | More by glazeman
Photo of Avryle
Avryle

New York

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Cap dated 18.04.10

Again, huge kudos to drseamus for sharing this on such a beautiful day.

A- Dark cola brown with slight tan head. Residual head does not cap the surface like on the 8. Light spidery lacing.

S- Rich malts, Belgian candi sugar and grapes. There's also a buttery/spiciness hanging out. Very rich.

T- Up-front taste is similar to the nose with rich malts, candi sugar and wine(ish). As it warms the body develops more complexity with notes of caramel, toffee, dates and raisins. The alcohol presence is subdued but leaves a definite warming feeling. The spicy flavors in the body & finish... This is where I cannot put my finger on the tastes. It could just be the yeast, but its this presence that takes this beer from really good to phenomenal. Jayzus, even the burps taste really freakin' delicious.

M- Medium bodied with an ideal amount of tingly carbonation. The body is so creamy and smooth finishing with a crisp and brandy-like dryness.

D- Oye! Amazingly good. This really lived up to the hype. I don't really know what more I could say that hasn't been said by other reviewers.

04-13-2008 13:29:48 | More by Avryle
Photo of IrishCowboy
IrishCowboy

California

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

I didn't want to review this one when I first tried it a year+ ago.

Reason for this was the date on the bottles indicated they were fairly new.
I had read other reviews that mentioned how the brew had gotten much better after a year of aging.

So, I did what any sensible Beer Advocate would do. Tried one IMMEDIATELY and then saved some for down the road.

Well, I tried one at 6 months and now a year+ later tried another one.

Since this beer left such a unique impression on me right away I didn't need to be reminded what it tasted like.

So my impression comparison is based on the difference betwene the young brewed version vs the aged versions.

The Westvleteren 12 is more invasive when it is young. By invasive I mean that the alchohol/phenol elements can take alot of the sweetness off the beginning. The young one assaults your palate and if you are not very verse in beer tasting you WILL NOT understand what is going on. To top this off the different subtle flavors get lost in the potency of the crispness of the young brew. You will be trying to taste it but its too much. You WILL know its a 11-12% alcohol content but will also be surprised how well the brew works with the potency.

Your tongue can pick out flavors but its a wild ride.

Now onto the 6 month and 12 month aged brews.

Here is where the trappist craft starts to show up.

Both the 6 and 12 month aged brews (aged in a wine fridge at 40f) were less invasive then the young brew and to top it off the natural carbonation crispness is reduced a bit.

A - Young brew poured into the westy12 glass and the 6 and 12 month poured into my favorite beer glass, the russian river drinking glass, the brew shows up a dark deep ruby red with an off white head. Again the head was about 1 finger and didn't seem to be much different then the young brew.

S - The smell of the aged brews were each less alcoholic in presence and the real berry and chocolate in fresh cracked warm bread smell shows up great. I would smell it throughout the session amazed at the different characteristics.

T - The taste is astounding at the 12 month mark. I would say if you tried a young version of this to do yourself a favor and wait for a year and give it a go. Its the same beer you had but with a much richer and greater range of flavor and the finish leaves you with an even greater need to lift it back to your mouth. The 12 month old one had me begging to slug it down like I would a glass of water after a 5 mile run in the desert. The taste starts out with berrys then moves into the breads and finally levels out feeling as though you had just swallowed a chocolate covered cherry.

M - Mouthfeel is another characteristic that changes alot with aging. I would say after my initial year run that young, 6 and 12 month versions would leave me to believe that a 9 month aged bottle would be the perfect balance between the crispness in carbonation vs phenolic nose. Not flat and still a little edge in the wash.

D - Very few crafted beers make me want to slam them all the way through. Usually I would want to sip them and enjoy the flavor with the occasional mouth slug to accomodate the medium cooked mustard cheese burger. This Westvleteren 12 is really hard to leave alone. Its a trappist that you could easily call a session beer IF you could get over the rareness and your liver can hack the alcohol % since it is hidden well from the senses after a year of aging. The young Westy 12 will make you sip it. Its invasive and still tastes great but the aged one was not asking me to use caution. It was mellowed out and finally the whole idea comes together for, easily, the finest quad on the planet.

01-16-2007 01:26:51 | More by IrishCowboy
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Well I figured I'd make this review count, and get a little cocky and review it before the distribution to the US actually does happen in the Spring of 2012.

12 oz. bottle poured into a Leffe chalice. The cap indicates 16-06-13 as what I would assume is the best bye date. Popped the cap and a small amount of foam started to ball up at the top, waited a minute or 2 for the pour. Sort of a brown dirty water color in the liquid but darker, slightly darker than cider. There is quite a bit of setiment floating around in there, saved a little at the bottom of the bottle so there wasn't too much, but I think it's unavoidable, no big deal. Looks pretty good. Like many Belgian styles, there is a decent sized foamy head, mostly small bubbles but slightly varies. The head is slightly darker than off white. Good looking beer, I wouldn't say it's the best looking beer I've ever seen (even for the style), but you can tell it's quality.

Took my first sniff from the bottle before I poured it and I couldn't believe how good it smelled; it sort of went away, but it was hoppier than I expected. However the more I smell it, I think it's just it's the fruitiness from the other ingredients. Dark fruits come out, plumb, crushed apples, pears, even cherries. Subtle tropical fruits too. Also hints of mild chocolate and maybe even some coffee. None of those gross banana-like aromas that often apply in many Belgian styles. This is all good all the way. My ONLY knock on this is that it's not that strong, decisive, but nothing not that strong, so I'd give it a 4.75 if possible, but this will do.

Taste is truly outstanding and now I understand the hype. I'm not traditionally one to prefer Belgian style brews to others, but Quads were what I like the most of them all and now I totally understand the hype. All the aromas come out in the flavor here. Very malty and fruity ( I don't feel like typing all the fruits again, so read above). Subtle chocolate again, but a little more bitter this time, slight coffee too. Perfectly balanced between bitter and sweet. I'm not overly versed in the Quad style, but this is worthy of being the standard of how this beer should taste.

Mouthfeel is perfect, plain and simple. Huge, full flavor while feeling soft and delicate. Great carbonation level and the yeast doesn't leave that ,well "yeasty" feeling in your mouth, it's very smooth. The 10.2% is WELL hidden in the mouthfeel and the flavor, I NEVER would have guessed that if I didn't know. Crazy drinkable too. This is just an all around wonderful beer all around, absolutely happy to have tried it; maybe I'll get the opportunity again. If more Quads tasted like this, it could be my favorite style.

Huge props to dbexpert, you're the man, thanks a ton for the trade!

01-28-2012 23:48:44 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of Sixpoint
Sixpoint

New York

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

The INFAMOUS Westvleteren Abt 12. Nuff said.

We all know the awesome reputation surrounding this beer. Is it deserved?

In this brewer's opinion, most definitely YES. What an awesome creation of mankind and nature.

My sample poured a deep burgundy color - almost brown - as I gently decanted into a goblet. Rather murky, but not opaque. Head dissipated rather quickly, and was not as mousselike as many other trappist ales.

Aroma was of complex esters and fruit. Definitely does not smell like beer at all. Some type of wicked fermented breakfast smoothie for a medieval monk.

Taste? Can't adequately describe it. A nectar - very sweet. A little tartness from the yeast. Complex spice and a slight hop aftertaste. Wow.

A mouthfeel of liquid velvet. Like one of those Elvis paintings. Not too thin, not too viscous. What a great gift from Belgium.

Drinkable? At 10.2%, I can't think of a more drinkable potion on earth. Believe the hype.

08-12-2005 23:52:57 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of Schmittymack
Schmittymack

Colorado

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Cracked two of these on my 50th b-day in February. Poured into GABF glass taster glasses, shared with my girlfriend's youngest son. Poured a nice dark brown/black with a nice head. What else can be said about this one? Taste was F'n Fantastic to put it mildly. I'd honestly have to say that this was/is the best beer I've had to date.

04-06-2011 10:19:54 | More by Schmittymack
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Ive been wanting to try this for ages-thanks to axisjones and Secret Santa I am now able to. Pours a hazy brown color-not cloudy but "muddy" in color. Nice yeasty aroma. Black currants,slight vanilla and raiseny. Malty flavor upfront-nice caramel sweetness,somewhat sugary. Earthy. Theres a spiciness in the finish from the alcohol-reminds me of how horseradish hits the sinuses. Excellent body. An extremely drinkable beer-doesnt have any of the intangibles that I find in some Belgians. Really a classic.

12-24-2004 22:14:45 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of mjohn27603
mjohn27603

Michigan

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

A rare treat. Brought back from Sam's in Chicago by trbeer. The label is very spartan and doesn't advertise the mythical qualities of this beer. Enjoyed after a Rochefort 10. This is a special occasion - late night on a rare day off. I didn't quite get any special aroma until I inhaled deeply. At that point I got a whiff of grapes and bubble gum. Maybe this is unique. Beer in botle was mpale to dark brown with a two finger head. Flavor is of grapes, roasted caramel. A sip reveals fruitiness, followed by bitterness, alcohol taste, then fizz. Enjoying very late, 2AM, listening to some techno music. I'm enjoying this more than the Rochefort 10. A slight bit of hops bitterness in the beer which is nice along with the fruity taste. Drinkability is high - fairly light in body and not much stinging alcohol. Will I ever rate a perfect 5.0 beer? Let's see when I let the other bottle cellar for some time.

05-25-2003 23:24:55 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of MnDCochenour
MnDCochenour

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

We were gifted a bottle of 12 from a long time Dutch friend. We wonder if the beer had undergone temp changes because it did not have a lot of carbonation...but this was truly the best we have ever had. It is a dom of the beer world. It has a smooth, sweet flavor with a nice smell!

11-06-2010 20:37:15 | More by MnDCochenour
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

A: Murky brown/purple pour with noticeable sediment. Very much like the 8, a thick off white to light brown head forms a nice cap atop the brew.

S: Huge hit of dark fruits on the smell, more plums and the like than the caramel malts and raisins present on the 8. Boozy and malty.

T: My word this is good. The flavor of the dark fruits is nothing short of spectacular. Robust, bold, big flavors. Malts, booze, fruits, all balanced together absolutely perfectly.

MF: Full body. nicely carbonated. Dry finish. The mouthfeel really keeps you sipping on this one.

O: No doubt one of the best beers I've ever had. I just can't put the glass down. So drinkable, so delicious, basically perfect.

10-06-2011 10:28:51 | More by russwbeck
Photo of cavedave
cavedave

New York

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Big thanks to Exiled for this beautiful treat! Shared with Paul, my hb partner, and John, my man from HT.

It pours a cloudy brown, with a huge, thick, dark beige head.

What a nose! Crazy complexity, figs, dates, estery yeast hinting every stone fruit, some light spice, myriad underflavors beyond me to describe, but with their presence a superb perfume is created.

Perfectly blended flavor, superior to any quad I've tried. Think of all the best flavors of Rochefort 10 and ST. B's ABT 12, soften them a bit, add the most delicious yeast in the world, and you have this. Stupidly delicious and complex I won't even try to dissect. The finest tasting beer ever.

Mouthfeel, judging as the ability of a beer's feel to highlight it's taste, is perfect.

Drinkability is beyond mere numerical representation. Had I enough, I unstoppably would drink this until algae evolved to be the most intelligent living things on the planet.

Impression: The finest beer I've tasted. Hope to taste a better. Doubt I will. Doubt there is one.

02-17-2011 02:03:26 | More by cavedave
Photo of westweasel
westweasel

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Special thanks to chadspivey for the opportunity to try the best beer on BA!!! According to him, this bottle was aged for about a year.

The beer poured out a hazy dark brown with a french vanilla colored notable head. A few whiffs of it almost blew me away. I was able to detect chocolate, toffee, caramel, raisin, and peaches. Of course now I was really looking for to the taste, and it did not disappoint. I could taste maple, caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. The mouthfeel was very full and creamy.

This beer lives up to the hype - of course I could drink tons of these. Too bad I may never get to Belgium.

06-08-2007 02:08:26 | More by westweasel
Photo of BostonBrewins
BostonBrewins

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

A - Pours a deep brownish amber with a off white head. Not that this factors into the score, but it might be the best looking bottle I've ever seen. Simple and understated, comprised of thick brown glass without a label, its simplicity helps accentuate a stately elegance. Very befitting for the holy grail of beers.

S - Smells absolutely beautiful. Sweet notes of fruits such as raisins, figs, apples, and berries.

T - Wow extremely complex. So much going on here and oh so tasty. Very sweet with a mixture of fruity flavors, particularly apples and figs. Almost wine like. I can barely even taste the alcohol, I can't believe this is 10%. Finishes dry, no cloying at all.

M - Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect. So smooth and creamy.

D - This is the most sessionable high alcohol beer I've ever had. The legendary Westy 12 absolutely lived up to the hype. Such a special beer, truly a work of art. I could drink this every day.

03-27-2010 15:48:36 | More by BostonBrewins
Photo of Chincino
Chincino

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

I could hardly contain my excitement about trying this highly sought after beer. I was fortunate enough to find a beer bar in Brussels, Belgium which served bottles of this beer. This was my first time trying this beer. I found it again being served at the Cambrinus restaurant in Brugge, Belgium.

The beer was served almost at room temperature in a chalice. The color was a deep, dark brown. The aroma was of spices, fruit, and a hint of caramel.

The beer was rich and smooth and full of flavor-you could taste the spice, maltiness, and dried fruit.

I drank this beer slowly both due to its richness in flavor and because I wanted to savor this rare beer.

I feel very lucky to have had this beer more than once during my trip to Belgium!

03-24-2011 10:54:37 | More by Chincino
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

I bought this back in 2005 from The Belgian Shop.

This pours from 12oz bottle( stamped date of 07 06 08) a deep brown that you just can't see through, ok, I'll say murky. The head takes up about 20% of my New Belgium goblet and is an off white and is thick and billowy that I imagine myself being able to a take a bite out of it and it would be chewy. Also, there's a few sprinkles on the top of the head from the sediment.

The smell has a realy dark fruity nose to it, raisin-prine-plum-fig, along with some chocolate, yeast, coffee, and yeah, a bit of the alcohol.

The taste on first sip has the dark fruits at center stage. Subtly sweet portions of plum, raisin, fig, some dark cherry, a touch of chocolate and cofee(and I do mean just a touch) and a slight bitterness in the form of some citrus near the tail end of the sip and it carries on right through the finish where I also get some of the alcohol that warms the throat during the swallow. This is so darn complex that I fear my words will not do it justice but hey, I'm doing the best I can. ;^)

Ok, I'm about 2/3rds of the way through my glass and the chocolate is a bit more pronounced now and that simply adds to how silky smooth the mouthfeel is. And look at all that sticky lacing on the sides of my glass!

This is the second of my bottles I've tasted(the last one was shortly after I received them) and I'm as impressed now as I was then....a 2 year span.

Bottom line: Yeah, I spent a few bucks to get my bottles of Westvletern 12(and 8) and I could have bought lots of other beers for the cost but, I feel that the money was spent well. I've had other quadrupels before and I liked them. I'm partial to the style. Is this the best example of the style that I've had to date? You darn tootin. Is it because of the scarcity factor? No. It's because my palate tells me that it is *that* damn good. Complexity in the taste? This has it. Complexity that has all the flavours working in harmony? This has it. A great looking appearance in a glass? This has it. A nose that keeps you sniffing before every sip? This has it. A mouthfeel that is both silky smooth and chewy at the same time? This comes very close. Drinkability that goes through the roof? Just about. So, would I buy some again? At current prices?(US$18 per bottle plus shipping from Belgium) Maybe, but if it was as "easily" available as other examples of the style, I'd buy it by the case.

10-12-2007 17:34:53 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of vladtheimpaler
vladtheimpaler

New Jersey

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Last of 5 Trappist brews for me and Mkobes in our Trappist tasting. This is my fourth overall bottle of Westy 12, and will not be the last. This one had a date on the cap of 29/09/03, so I think this may have expired. pours a murkey deep brown color with floaties and a perfect trappist head. Beautiful raisiny musty tobacco and stuff aroma. Big fruity malt flavor, with tobacco and raisins. Rich and satisfying. This one seals it. I am becomming a monk in a Trappist monastary.

04-06-2004 15:17:13 | More by vladtheimpaler
Photo of LANCENUTTER
LANCENUTTER

Iowa

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Starting off with my first review I thought I would go for the so claimed best beer in the world. Bottle dated 17.08.14 poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance (4): Poured a dark golden brown, non-translucent somewhat murky look. An aggressive pour yielded a 2-3 finger tight small bubbled head. Head retention good throughout the drinking process. Mildly creamy head. Not the prettiest beer in the world IMO but still enticing.

Smell (4.5): Wow, a lot going on in this first initial sniff. Automatically I got plums, raisins, figs, banana bread, slight cherry, and prunes. All the fruity goodness as you would expect with a world class belgian quad. One thing I was expecting was a alcohol scent with the ABV being what it is, 10.2%, but couldn't smell it.

Taste (5): Holy cow, right away you pick up on the palate the smells you took in from the scent. Sweet bread malts, dark sugars, candied raisins, figs, and oddly a tiny cherry twinge. Not cloying whatsoever. Just the right amount of sweetness I care for, its there but not overpowering. A small and I mean small hop flavor comes through in your search for it. Just like in the scent portion of the review the alcohol was hidden and it holds true to the taste. The only time I could pick up on the alcohol was by the time it reached my gut. It would warm your esophagus on the way down and continue through your stomach. Masterfully done, least boozy presence of all the belgian quads I've had.

Mouthfeel (5): Good carbonation, medium body. Has a slight coating tendency but not even close to syrupy thanks to the moderate carbonation. Slight creamy feel, very smooth on the swallow.

Overall (5): Awesome! Very well balance with the alcohol and deep rich complex flavors keep you searching for something you havent yet tasted. Tasted this with the other 2 big contenders in the belgian quad category, St. Bernies Abt 12 and Rorchefort 10 and have to say the Westy won out. Each of the two aforementioned beers are great without a doubt, but if money was no object I am drinking the Westy over the other two. Will definitely age out the remaining four I have left to see how it matures year by year. Yes, this beer is expensive and hard to get but I have to say I now know what the hype was about. It's a freaking fantastic beer that has made it's way into the top 3 best beer I've ever sampled. Best beer in the world as people say? Cant say, because I havent tried them all! But it is the best belgian ale I've sampled without a doubt.

02-06-2012 19:41:09 | More by LANCENUTTER
Photo of brendaniel
brendaniel

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Gonna be hard to top this one. Poured a golden brown, medium head minimal lacing ... and a terrific aroma of candied sugars, figs and raisins. Excellent body with medium sweetness, hints of vanilla, dark fruits and some caramel. excellent carbonation and a solid finish. I think what sets this one apart form others it the incredible balance between the carbonation, flavors and alcohol. Hard to live up to the hype of being the highest ranked beer in the world - but definitely something everyone must try if you have the chance. It is worth it! Great beer for my 40th!!

11-17-2011 02:08:57 | More by brendaniel
Photo of Arithmeticus
Arithmeticus

Maryland

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Poured in short drinking glass; shared with friends

A: modest head, orange brown, moderate carb, not much lacing
S: cherry, plum overtones with some molasses in the mix
T: Wow! Lambic-like flavor; very strong cherry, malt; very complex and sweet

This beer is amazing. Get it. Try it.

05-22-2011 23:48:08 | More by Arithmeticus
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DannyS

New York

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy...ok, so, here we go.

Poured into the Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours a magnificent dark red amber that seems both opaque and crystal clear at the same time, with a 1/2 inch head that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Seriously, this pillow of off-white foam sits proud and strong in the chalice, leaving a great wall of rich, creamy lacing as you drink.

S - Dark, rich dried fruit, brown sugar, slightly boozy, spiced, phenolic. Oh so complex.

T - Right after pouring, it's very boozy and a tad harsh, but given the chance to breathe, it mellows into a malty, slightly hoppy, slighty fruity and sugary sweet nectar of the gods. Liquid joy.

M - Surprisingly light on the palate with a very fine carbonation. Warms a lot right off the bat, then settles down for a bit, then gives off the warming feel again. Lovely.

D - PROTIP: Let this one breathe for a minute after pouring. It was very boozy and in my face right off the bat, but it settled down into a very drinkable brew once it had the chance to aerate. As for the ABV/feel, it goes to your head pretty quick, but it's a great buzz.

Overall - Oh man, this is a damn good one. I was nervous about opening it, but I'm so glad I did. Every sip I take is in eternal thanks to the good monks who brew this divine libation. I can see why they say this is the best beer of all time.

And now my glass is empty. Sigh.

11-20-2010 03:50:58 | More by DannyS
Photo of rdespain
rdespain

Washington

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Just had at In de Vrede today. The beer is pretty fresh and has a bit of heat. Might be better aged a bit (says the beer can age up to 20 years). Nice dark color, more amber than black. Lots of raisin, fig, caramel flavors. Very heavy bread smells, almost like going to a bakery. Might write a follow up review since we snagged a few gift packs at the abbey at 2pm.

05-15-2012 20:31:34 | More by rdespain
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

It's great that finally I get the chance to try this legendary ale, on my birthday! The BB date of this bottle coincides with my birth-date, albeit in a different year of course: 07/03/10; served cool in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: very dark brown with purple-ish hues, chunks of yeast sediments keep floating in the nectar due to the light fizziness in action, topped with a semi-dirty dark beige froth that settles slowly to a thin blanket to last.
S: intensely malty and estery, witnessing good work of the candy sugar and yeasts; the aroma is full of fat dessert dates, fig jam, sweetened berries/raisins, treacle, and surprisingly light honey-ish note, all elements are rolled into one integrated aroma on top of a rather refreshing touch of relatively light brown malts. Not a wee bit of alc. is detected on the nose, even after several serious swirls. Not terribly complex; or, the complexity reveals itself in the most subtle way.
T: an effortlessly enticing foretaste mixed of oily toffee, caramel, longan-fruit soup, raisins, and brown malts with a touch of toasted nuts comes in full swing, laced by sweetened roasted tea, roasted malts, honey-coated walnuts, then slowly transforming into an remarkably dry & spicy-estery aftertaste where a high level of bitterness of hops flows elegantly & freely vis-à-vis a generally herbally-spicy backbone. Here, my taste buds can still pick up lingering undertones of candy-sugary maltiness, albeit more in terms of aroma than taste; these mildly sweet elements seem to linger as a reminder of the body and depth of a giant malty brew.
M&D: the texture is blissful, incredibly satisfying and rounded, with utterly smooth carbonation to complement a full (but never thick) body... All in all, there's no drama here, no BIG flavours or overpowering elements to dominate the scene; only a brilliantly structured, evolving flavour profile proceeds from one stage to the other just seamlessly. I can't work out how dry and bitter it could smoothly transform into in the rounded finish given the oily malty foretaste, while consistently there's neither any trace of big alc. nor sticky sugary mouthfeel. This might have been the smoothest and harmonious Quadruple that I've had the luck to try - if it could be obtained at a much lower price (I was charged US$18 by the "Belgian Shop"!), I wish to sip one bottle of this ale a month, just to remind myself how blissful and tranquil the beer world can be, without much pretence and loudness.

03-07-2009 20:31:11 | More by wl0307
Photo of celticfutblclub
celticfutblclub

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

A - dark brown with an off white to light brown head. great retention and nice lacing.

S - dark fruit right up front mostly fig. phenols are there as well. perfect nose on this.

T - dark fruit hits up front with a bit of caramel. some spicing around the edge as well. top class.

M - low carbonation full bodied with a great booziness thats just right.

O - hands down the best quad and the best beer i've ever had to date.

10-11-2011 02:46:48 | More by celticfutblclub
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Bisho

Australia

4.86/5  rDev +5.4%

Like the 8 I had this one straight from the abbaye itself.
Once again super fresh and super tasty!
I want bore you with the same tasting notes that 1000 others have already beaten me to. I will say that whilst I do prefer the 8, this is still an exceptional beer but it also proves that sometimes more isn't necessarily better.
Not quite up there with the worlds greatest quad, Rochefort 10, but damn it came close.

04-19-2011 21:07:16 | More by Bisho
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NiceTaps

New Jersey

4.86/5  rDev +5.4%

0.33l bottle, about 11.16 oz., into a stemmed tulip glass.

A- Caramelized brown color, golden and ruby hues. Massive and durable mocha-tan colored head that has a scoop of mass in the center. Just translucent enough to see the abundant micro-carbonation and slight bit of sediment. Hearty foam lacing.

S-Rich malts, sweet and sour dark fruit. Not boozy, but the alcohol provides enhancement and muskiness to the aroma. There's some Eastern-European baking influenced aroma as well, sweet and dark raisin bread. It gets better as it warms.

T- Once again, hearty malts with dark fruit. Raisin in particular. Just enough sugars for sweetness without being a sugar bomb. Tastes of anise, coffee, spice, and tobacco bounce around.

M- So full and sturdy, yet incredibly smooth. It makes me think of cooking roux as a base, thick rather than water based. Nice tingle of carbonation in each sip. Some alcohol bite. Lasting sweet finish.

O- All the hype and more. Drinkable at 10.2% abv. Maybe too drinkable.

02-16-2014 21:14:47 | More by NiceTaps
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,581 ratings.