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

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

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5,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,119
Reviews: 1,650
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,076
Gots: 1,549 | FT: 116
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

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
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Ratings: 5,119 | Reviews: 1,650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Luckily poured into a Chimay goblet. Thanks to Brabander for this rare gem.

A - Pours an awesome mahogany color witha nice .5 inch head that is off-white and very active and dense. Very attractive beer. Head retention is nice and it is reduced to a nice thin mat.

S - Starts nice and spicy, with some cinnamon and some cloves. Also sweet and malty with some nice bread aromas. Some vanilla, mild vinous character, raisins and also some nice phenols and yeast. Some mild citrus character as well maybe lemons. Absolutely delicious.

T & M - Starts off smooth with a great bready flavor. Then nice sweet malt with cinnamon and many spices. Very malt heavy beer with a greta full body. Fluffy and smooth all at the same time. Some vinous character, nice phenols and spices complement and are perfectly balanced with nice bready malt. Some vanilla and a nice alcoholic sweetness that is very much noticeable but not overwhelming. There is actually some nice dry hop-like character at the end but a great malty sweet aftertaste.

D - Delicious and everything that is expected of a beer of this caliber. ABV is high so its not a perfect 5.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wide mouth goblet pour, dim brown ruddy, pour with yeasty suspended pour capped off with wafer thin sporadic bubbled coating. A 1/8” thin ring collar around the rim. Foaminess is easily arisen with a few healthy swirls.

Syrupy sweet awl-kee-hawl sugars. Maple syrup hints. Dark raisins and figs nose. Plenty of dark fruit aroma. Rarely does a nose display so much pageantry. Molasses and candied fruit. Fig most prominent. Caramel Kraft cube creamy.

First Swigs: Candied Fruit Caramel apple, light rum. Palateable awl-kee-hawl flavors. Canoli in a cup, yeasty sugars, Dole fruit cup, cherry & vanilla ice cream, meets sweet vanilla extract. Dry lingering malt.

Light body for the style yet complex.Sudsy, but not overly foamy.

Last Swigs: Crème brulet. Similar to 8 but boosted. Candied fruit nose. A quad??? Really??? Just awesome. My Christmas present to me.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to brianj555 for trade. Now I know what the hype is about. Pours a very cloudy, chestnut brownish color. A soft off white head with a light tan hue to it. Good retention through the tasting though hid to the side of the glass. I don't know why but I guess I was expecting more viscous of a liquid. Not bad just thinking aloud.

The nose is rich with malt and some very nice esters that blend really well. Overall that is what is great is that everything is present but nothing dominates. To start there is a very complex malt with hints of caramel and sweet bready and light note of biscuit. Hints of cinnamon and cloves but brings the breadiness out. A minor chocolate notes. Great fruity aromas that blend well. Some figs, raisins, plums and olives (yes olives). Some minor cherry and rose peddles. The yeast notes are light with no major residual, most esters. Some alcohol but light as well.

The taste is similar where the flavors are present but don't dominate. Very well balanced. The malt is prominent than what the nose indicated. There is a nice blend of caramel and bready flavors. The chocolate comes out but doesn't give it a lactic quality. There is a bit of roast that is noticeable in the finish. Less spice flavors but still leaves the bready quality in the flavor. Some salty and peppery flavors in the finish as well. The fruit notes seemed lighter than the nose (maybe why the malt came out). Figs and cherries really come out more but limited raisins and plums. Hints of pears and mangos as well. The yeast again is really subtle. As is the alcohol, but some minor solvent notes are detectable.

The body is really key here. There is noticeable body here but finishes dry for style. Just interesting to see all the flavor come out and then drop out with a lingering flavor. Overall a great beer. Loved the complexity and blend overall. I can see why this is a treat for so many!

Photo of Brew33
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 2008 bottle unadorned. Poured into a Spiegelau Crystal Tulip.

The appereance is basically par for the course for Quads. Dark ruby color, slightly cloudy, some yeast sediment. The aroma is amazing! Dried fruits and brown sugar dominate. Some alcohol, definitely complex. The taste is truly exceptional. Complex and sweet. Slight alcohol warmth. Very smooth. Demerara sugar, prunes, figs, alcohol, dark belgian candy sugar. Whoa! This is the pinnacle. A truly special treat. Amazing drinkability for the style and ABV. The best Trappist beer I've ever had.

Worth the trouble to obtain, better than the hype. Best Quad ever? Yes. Best beer ever? I'd have a hard time arguing with you.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: 1/8" tan coloured head over cloudy dark brown liquid with plenty of unfiltered floating wonderfulness.

S: Yeast, some alcohol and the dark fruit smells associated with Belgian yeast.

T: Figs, cherries and molasses up front with a rich syrupy malt backbone and a slight presence of alcohol. It seems to envelop every area of your mouth, just beautiful.

M: Thick viscosity with a medium to high level of fine carbonation.

O: A beautiful taste experience and I believe that it lives up to the hype.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Westvleteren 12...the rosetta stone for many beer drinkers. This one was tasted alongside St. Bernardus 12, and Rochefort 10. Poured in to an Ommegang chalice a lovely dark rosewood color, with lighter rosy hues at the bottom of the glass, and a fluffy tannish/white heading that clings the the glass, and has great retention. Nose can only be described as extremely deep, with layers of prune, candy, licorice, caramel, more sweet dark fruit...the list goes on and on. Taste is quite breathtaking, and complex. Begins very rich and sweet, with dark fruit such as plum, prune and date. Chocolate can also be detected lingering in the background somewhere. Alcohol also lends itself perfectly to the flavors, giving it the perfect amount of richness and depth of character without overdoing it. The end of the beer is interesting, in that although there is little bitterness in initial flavor, there is some int he finish, that one might describe as spicy, and perhaps a bit earthy. Mouthfeel is the most exceptional aspect of Westy 12 in that it is just so damn smooth on the palate. It was a sort of cask conditioned beer character to it, yet it is bottled. Sometimes I think cask conditioning beer takes a bit away complexity and flavor wise, but with this one there is not much left to be desired. Drinkability is very very high, despite the high ABV, although I don't think I could bring myself to drinking more than one of these in a sitting....that might just be too decadent for me. As far as the other two beers, I am sad to say that they did not even come close. The Rochefort was a bit more robust and boozy, whereas the St. Bernardus was lighter, more carbonated, and quite a bit spicier. Ok, so final verdict: This is my second time tasting this brew, and the first time I was less than impressed. This tasting, on the other hand blew me away. I now have no problem proclaiming that this is the best Belgian Quad, and one of the best beers in the world. I suspect that this will be a permanent member of my want list for a while. Cheers

Photo of froglord
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I approach the Westy 12 with a little trepidation. I've tried all of the currently available Trappist beers except for the Westvleterens and my experience has been mixed.

There have been some good beers, to be sure. The Rochefort 10, Chimay Red, Koningshoeven Dubbel and Achel Blonde are all tasty beers which I'll be trying again, but the others have been less inspiring, some even disappointing, given the weight of expectation. Could it be true that some of the Trappist ales aren't what they used to be? As a newcomer to strong Belgian beer, I can't really say.

However, I couldn't pass up the chance to try the legendary Westvleteren 12 when the opportunity presented itself (thanks, Thijs!). Could it possibly live up to its reputation? After leaving upright for the recommended eight days (!) to allow the sediment to settle, I cracked open the bottle...

I used an entirely inappropriate Young's pint glass - useful for containing large heads while maintaining a single-action pour that gets maximum beer with minimum chance of sediment contamination. Except that the Westy pours with only a small head for such a strong beer (unlike, say, Duvel, whose foam creeps inexorably out of the freshly opened bottle like an amorphous alien life form oozing from its lair). The sediment is so dark that it's easy to stop the pour before it escapes.

The beer is a dark bronze and slightly hazy in the glass. The taste is an explosion of dark fruit, Christmas cake, molasses and toffee, with a wine-like intensity that nevertheless masks the full extent of the alcohol (over 10% ABV). There's plenty of rich malt, but the hops put in a decent appearance too. The mouthfeel is luxurious, and I like the low carbonation. There's a great balance between bitterness and a slight sweetness. The aftertaste is a thing of wonder, retaining a huge amount of the original flavour, giving you the impression that you haven't actually swallowed the mouthful yet, even though you have. Some beer, even the very strong rich Belgians, tastes good but seems to have some element missing. The Westy satisfies across the entire taste spectrum. Liquid bread? Liquid banquet, more like.

My wife, raised on much milder English ales and suspicious of anything over 6% ABV, helped me drink this with gusto.

I didn't want to disappoint my supplier by telling him I found it merely pleasant, but I needn't have worried - its reputation is justified. This is my favourite Trappist beer, without a doubt. The hype, the cachet, the rarity: all of these are irrelevant. It simply tastes better than all the others. My favourite ever beer? Probably not, but it's fairly close.

Incidentally, when you pour this, make sure none of the sediment gets through. Once I'd finished my glass, I went back and poured the last inch or so through a paper kitchen towel, hoping to filter out the sediment and get another few sips. I failed and ended up with a very hazy last inch. It didn't taste the same: drinkable, but the complexity was gone. Other beers (St. Austell Clouded Yellow, for example) seem quite tolerant to this, but not the Westy. Remember: store upright for eight days and leave the black sludge in the bottle!

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown body, red tint, small white head.

S: Dark fruit; Belgian yeast which give a hint of clove in the aroma; caramel sweetness, slightly boozy, bit of chocolate malts, some bready notes.

T: Dark fruits- especially raisin and plum; brown sugar sweetness; chocolate malts; a bit of molasses maybe; complex combo of flavors; a very rich and boozy flavor.

M: Full mouth coating feel; very decadent; smooth carbonation.

O: One of the best Quads out there, but it's too difficult to get here in the states. A must try for any beer lover.

Photo of jampics2
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #100. Glad I finally started documenting the beers I've tasted lately!! Here's to the next 100!

The myth, the legend. A beer that sat in my cellar wanting to be opened. Its siren song always calls out, now it must be answered.

Split with family - 4 oz or so in my New Belgium globes. Looks great, caramel brown with a small head that quickly disappears.

Smell is amazing. Plums, grapes, chocolate malt, alcohol, caramel.

Taste is what makes this #1. Is it similar to others like St. Bernardus? Yes, but NO. To say yes would be to liken a Lexus to a Bentley. Both are very nice cars (I'd drive either in a heartbeat) but only one is truly a marvel of engineering and craft. A spicey taste shocks the palatte. A wave of caramel and nutty malt is surfed by a grape/plum taste that never truly "fades". The lingering taste has more dark fruit and yeasty elements, then finally subsides. This is a marvel of taste engineering - the flavor just embodies the word "refined". Something for everyone in this beer, not surprised at all that it's so highly regarded.

Mouthfeel is amazing. It's velvet on the tongue, great body and carb support the flavor explosion. Wow. Wow. Wow. Best mouthfeel ever perhaps.

Drinkability is also unheard-of. To be blessed with great friends, great beers, and great memories is what life is about. This is a beer to celebrate the best of all life has to offer!

Photo of HopDerek
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Major thanks to ralflord for hooking me up with this one.

Pours a cloudy dark chestnut brown color with 2 fingers of creamy tan head into a tulip glass. Amazing retention with beautiful lacing that is both thick and sticky and also slides down the glass to reconnect with its brethren. Smells of cocoa, caramel, vanilla, honey, sweet bread, dark fruits, cinnamon, clove, rose petals, coriander, candy, light yeast, and slight alcohol. Tastes of candy, fruits like apple and pear, spices, a touch of citrus juice, caramel, sweet bready malts, cocoa powder, figs, plums, cherries, earthy notes, peppercorns, a touch of yeast, and a slight dash of alcohol. An amazing balance of flavors, each pronounced at first along the journey and then gently fading away, leaving only a hint of lingering taste behind. Smooth and velvety with a nice dry finish and great carbonation. Simply a fantastic beer, not my favorite beer of all-time, but definitely the best Quadrupel I've experienced and among the best beers out there. For as high in ABV as it is, it covers it up beautifully. This is a sipping beer, but only because you don't want the glass to run empty. Definitely worth a try whenever you may find it.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I decided to pick out something good for my 200th review. I do not think it gets much better than this. 11.2 oz bottle purchased at the monastery by my friend for me. Poured into the Westvleteren chalice that he also bought for me at the cafe across the street from the Abbey.

A: Pours a dark brown with small tan head. The tiny bubbles really stick to the side of the glass as the beer is consumed.

S: Belgian yeast, sweet smelling malt, dark fruit aroma (raisin), and alcohol is the best I can describe the aroma. I am sure there is even more to this complex brew, but the aroma is a bit subdued.

T: All the pieces from the aroma mix together to make one of the most rich flavors of any beers I have ever had. There is more going on, but I am too inexperienced to pick them all up. I started into good beer via Belgian ales, and this is easily the best of any of them I have ever had. It deserves the hype it gets.

M: It feels thick bodied at times, but if I was forced I would call it more of a medium body. The in mouth carbonation level is perfection for the style. It is nice and smooth and a joy to just roll around on the tongue.

D: You sip this one because you want to savor every drop. The ABV does cause you to slow down a little as well, but not more than you want to anyway.

Those monks sure know how to brew a fantastic beer.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap dated 18.04.10

Thanks to DrSeamus.

A: Poured like cola. Slightly off white off white head. Tons of lacing.

S: Malt sugar and grapes. The spice looms larger than on the 8. The yeast is nice and strong.

T: This is the best Belgian I have ever had hands down. The taste is so complex that every sip yields something different. Earthy taste in there as well. There are a few things in there that I cannot even pick up on but this was incredible.

M: So smooth. The 8 might have been a little more drinkable but this was drinkable. So creamy and wonderful. Slight dryness just like the 8.

D: Like the 8 this is an incredibly drinkable. No hint of the ABV at all. Some of the hyped beers let you down but this one does not. Makes me wish I would I lived in Belgium. Drink this one if you can.

Photo of RCane1
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of experiencing this in a four-hundred year old Belgian bar. Even so, it exceeded my high expectations given it's reputation. I hardly want to waste time going through motions but:

Dark, even for a quad. Definitely says there's something of substance in the glass. Very nice dark head. My nose was a bit frozen (it was January in Brussels...) but still picked up a nice fruity, nutty smell. Taste was amaaaazing. Smooth, perfectly balanced. No bitterness, offensive funk or alcohol taste.

I can't say "best in the world" because I haven't had them all yet. But definitely, the best I've ever had.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The myth, the legend, Westy 12. Two things complicate reviewing this beer. Both involve the fact that it is hard to get and has a great reputation. Nothing can live up to the legend. At the same time, you want to like this beer because you went through such a hard time to get it.

Poured into a tulip glass with a nice head. Went down into a nice lace that stayed throughout. Dark, but not black as night dark.

Smell is wonderful. You can smell the Belgian yeast esters in a very wonderful way. Hints of candi sugar as well?

Taste is nice and smooth. Belgian yeast esters blend in a way which makes for a smooth, but not overpowering taste. Bananas and cloves seem are present in the taste. I think I'm tasting residual candi sugar as well.

Nice carbonation levels with a good mouthfeel.

Update: Got my hands on a better handled version. Dear me. Wonderful taste. Plums and chocolate.
Exceptionally drinkable for a 10.2%.

Photo of SavoD
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved the mouthful caramel malty flavor. A very complex flavor with a rather deep finish. I just do not understand why it is under so much hype as it is a great beer but the availability should not influence the impression of the beer itself. I just think there are other rather similar excellent beers in the same style. However, I would still like to drink it again ;-).

Photo of Sephiroth
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap dated 29-04-06: I had intended to not drink this until I found another, but that may be awhile. Besides, this is my 100th beer reviewed.

Into the requisite tulip it goes, with some effort needed to coax a slight foam, I wouldn't even call it head. When held to a light source, the body is a beautiful cherry amber, clear save for a small number of floaties. The nose is a luscious blend of dark, dried fruits, and some wood.

The taste is completely blended, there are no layers of individual flavors. The initial flavor is kind of sweet up front, but quickly begins to dry out. The woody, or perhaps leathery, character appears, and then a faint bitterness, as if from hops. The mouthfeel is barely carbonated, but silky smooth, and heavy. I drank three of these the last night of Marvin's rule over Chalkies. It is to him that I owe many thanks for this bottle.

I think that in Europe, the second number of the date represents the year, rather than the third, as in America. And I seem to remember reading in one of the forums that Westvleteran 12 is bottled three years before the date on the cap. As good as this was, I would like to try a slightly fresher sample. And my two cents is that this is head and shoulders above all other Quads, Trappists definitely included.

Photo of DigitalHype
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stamp on the cap is 03.12.11.

Poured into a Westvleteren glass. What else would one use for this masterpiece?

I have to say. I was a bit worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype, and the anticipation. I was not disappointed. Not in the least.

It pours a very rich, dark caramel-like color, with a minimal, but persistent head that remains at the edges, from start to finish. Very tight, crystalline lacing.

Wonderful aroma of candied fruits and warm bread. It is almost unbelievable how dampened the alcohol is here.

I'm not sure where to begin with flavors. This is really complex. Evolving heavily, as I finish it. At first, the sweetness is more than I expected. But, not overpowering. Lots of fig, and stone-fruit flavors. Honey-like sweetness. Bread pudding with raisins comes to mind. Toffee, caramel, and a mild-roast coffee.

The texture is soft and slightly sticky. The carbonation is elevated, but controlled. And, the alcohol is perfectly balanced and masked, as with most all Trappist work. It is still warming though.

This really is wonderful. I can't wait to have another. I only received 8 of these. So, I'm going to do my damnedest to cellar some. But, I have a feeling I will fail miserably. That's okay too. :P

Photo of mmahut
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky to found a bottle of this magnificent beer "under table" in one lost pub in Brussels; cap: 24. 03. 2013.

A: Dark brown body with creamy and solid head.

S: Aromatic smell of dark fruits and sweet sugar, very soft and pleasant. I was stuck at smelling it for pleasure during few seconds, I could just smell it all till there is nothing left. Very sublime and complex.

T: Dark fruits, prunes, caramel with added awesomeness. First time I can rate the taste as exceptional.

M: I think the mouth feel is the best aspect of this beer. You feel like you're in heaven and drinking a cloud. The softness and pleasant after-taste last several minutes.

D: I was very afraid that this beer will be overrated and nothing exceptional, but I was wrong. I must agree it is really exceptional. The high price and unavailability makes me kind of sad but makes me also think about becoming a monk myself, on the other hand :)

Photo of johnd513
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes to slater1313 for including this as an extra!
Cap reads 02 07 11
Smells of bourbon, raisins, dark fruits, honey, candi sugar and a phenol character. Tastes of fruit, honey and dark malts. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, tingles the tongue and finishes smooth. The sweetness, carbonation and alcohol warming character of this beer mend together perfectly. Drinkability is exceptional, I could enjoy this all night.

Photo of byed
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful dark fruits and warming alcohol.

Photo of chemmie
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking at my home, in a Trappist Westvleteren goblet. Both the beer and goblet were purchased a De Bierkonig in Amsterdam.

This is (I'm still drinking as I write) a great beer.
Nice smell. A little bit of natural vanilla and some figs. It's a very sweet smell. It gives you a good clue as to the sweet taste that is to come.
Not too hard hitting like some of the other stronger Belgians out there. I'm suprised this is as drinkable as it is. I could drink a few of these.
The carbonation is nice and bubbly, but fades rather quickly. The immediate taste is of sugary figs. It leaves almost a licorice aftertaste behind, that sticks around for a couple minutes after each sip.
It is a very complex, and very sweet, flavor without being too hard on the palate.

I'd have to say this beer was worth the money, and worth the wait. It certainly lives up to the hype.

Photo of peacemakers48
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is definitely the best belgium beer I have had. It is the perfect beer to sip and enjoy every last drop. Nice aroma and color but the taste is unmatched. Since this is really hard to get I had to be careful to rate it based on what I feel it really is, but is is fantastic. Since there was no 4.95 review, I had to give it 4.75.

Photo of drink1121
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 with the label that was illegally distributed in the US. Celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship win.

A - pours a deep mohagany with a light tan head and some lacing. I would like a little more head on this off of the pour, but its a 2003, so that needs to be taken into consideration

S- Major raisins off from the start and alll the way through. I get some light oaky-vanilla and cherries at the end.

T- raisins again, but not as much a the smell. more vanilla and tobacco at the end. lots going on here and they blend very very well. very, very light alcohol kick at the end, but a pleasant one.

m- smooothh and creamy with perfect carbonation. slightly light on the mouthfeel and a tiny hot at the end, but great overall.

d- i could drink this beer until i was blue in the face. my oh my, this is not my favorite beer ever, but probably the best beer i have ever had. lived up to the hype for sure

Photo of bainard
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Orval chalice.

A - Translucent dark brown-amber with a white-ish head that diminishes. Not much lacing.

S - Dark dried fruits, candi sugar, and some yeast present. Not a huge smell, but gorgeous overall.

T - YUM. Normally I hate raisins, but I get the point of them from drinking the notes in this brew. Caramel, molasses, yeast, and of course malt. It's everything you'd want from a candy store sans chocolate.

M - This is honestly my favorite part of the beer. Lively carbonation gives it a unique sort of creaminess unlike any other beer I've had, period. It honestly feels perfect.

D - Each sip unfolds new themes and flavors. Like any good work of art, one's appreciation deepens as you delve further into it. Wonderful.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Soapy and variable pale tan head on the initial pour was 3 fingers and settled to to a thin skiff across the entire glass. A hazy tobacco brown in colour with flakes of sediment suspended throughout.

S: Sweet, juicy dark dried fruits, Italian plums, black cherry, musky black grape and black figs mixed with spices of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Entirely sweet with brown sugar and caramel malts, similar to a slow baked and deeply dark christmas fruit cake. The alcohol notes of brandy offer a base note to support the sweetness and fruitiness while a subtle yeastiness is barely detectable in the background.

T: Bold and assertive the flavours are sweet and spicy, while offering unpinnings of woody earthiness and rum alcohol. The sweet notes come forward first with brown sugar and pales malts steeped with the sweet spices of cloves, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Mid palette the belgian yeasts shine through, although recognizable as yeasts - this is unlike other quads and offers a distinct & unique flavour profile that tastes especially of ripe bananas and warm bread. Mid palette also reveals a woody earthiness and worn leather - suggestive some something old world and calling back to a old tradition of crafting. On the back end of the palette the flavours are of rum and alcohol esters - warming and delightful.

M: Slick and smooth in the front with a warm and smooth alcohol chaser at the back.
Slightly higher carbonation than other quads with pin pricks up front. Like a tiny jolt to waken the palette.

O: Unlike any other quads, Westy is unabashed in its bold approach to the complexity and mix of sweet, spices, yeasts, earthiness and alcohol presence. It's complexity is worth the price point and effort to search it out. The drink is worth sharing with another BA who'll enjoy and appreciate the experience & appreciate the complexity compared to quads. Good to note - Westy pairs incredibly well with strong cheese, dried fruit and a good BA buddy, do yourself a favour and get one to enjoy and savour.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,119 ratings.