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

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

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4,826 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,826
Reviews: 1,621
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,932
Gots: 1,395 | FT: 105
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,826 | Reviews: 1,621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well...just when I thought nothing could ever dethrone Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout as my favorite beer in the entire world...it's happened. No disrespect to SSOS, but holy christmas! I can only say if you have not yet sampled this brew, seek until ye find, pay whatever ye must, and sit down with this bad boy.

It appeared before me in the goblet as a muddy light brown brew, with a pretty decent head that retained very well. The smell was wonderful at the start, and only got better and more powerful as it warmed. The initial aroma is quite sweet, mostly of yeast and cherries. After a while, I started to pick up darker fruits, plums, and maybe some very light chocolate (?). I thought so. All the while though, the initial sweet smells came through at the same time.

This is by far one of the most complex brews in the world. Flavors of just about everything hit, layer after layer. Sweet flavors initially, then some dark fruitiness, raisins, rum, spicy clove...and then the warm alcohol finish. This is absolutely delicious.

The mouthfeel is pure perfection and probably could not be better. It's indescribable...silky smooth. You would have to try this beer to understand. If you haven't I suggest getting it on your short list, and then attempting to find it very soon. This is a legitimate #1, and as of yet, I have not had a better beer.

Thanks to ElGuapo for so generously giving me a bottle of this wonderful brew, when I randomly showed up at his apartment.

IrishRedRock, Feb 20, 2003
Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 300th review; and what a beer to review for #300, thanks to a fellow northern Colorado B-A who shared this with me in a side-by-side with a Westvleteren 8. What an hour! Amazing! Well, on to the review . . .

Served at about 55 degrees.

Slow pour into a tulip glass yields a smallish tan-yellow head over a clear dark mahogany-cherry body. Lovely beer. The small solid head stays put like meringue on a chocolate pie, hardly diminishing at all over the 40 minutes I savored this baby, and leaves thick sheets of lacing.

Smell is astonishingly rich. Maybe the best-smelling beer I've ever had. I must have put my nose down into the glass fifty times, it smelled so good. Dates, raisins, dark chocolate, caramel, pepper, leather, coriander, espresso, toffee. I don't think I can describe it.

Taste is even more broad-spectrumed than the aroma. The front flavors include all of the above notes from the aroma, all sweet and nice. The mid-palate starts to darken up things, and the spices come up. The finish is all deep and warmly-bitter, with a length that lasts and lasts. BTW, the alcohol is not even noticeable on the tongue. 10.2%? No, it tastes and feels like 5% or less.

Mouthfeel is fantastic, but really not as thick and rich as the aroma and taste. Fine and long-lasting carbonation spreads things around nicely. It's so smoooth, though, and so creamy, I'm giving it a 5.

Drinkability? Wow! So easy on the palate, and the alcohol is totally invisible. I could drink this for hours, because it would take me that long to drink 2 or 3 -- there is so much going on here, your palate would never get bored.

Believe the hype. While a tiny bit lacking in appearance and mouthfeel, the aroma and taste of this beer are matched -- at least in my experience -- only by the 2005 Dark Lord.

Thanks again to my fellow (anonymous) B-A for sharing this amazing and understandably highly-sought-after beer. Dude, you are excellent.

ColoradoBobs, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of paterlodie
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What to say about this beer... Well to say is that I can dream the road to the abbey and to know that it's a day job, just to get a couple of casses; you can guess how we( I never go alone) think about this beer. Just getting the smell of all the fruit and hops makes me dream away! Drinking it you go to (beer)heaven and afterwards you just feel in a green field with beautifull hopflowers of Poperinge. Well that's not too far from Westvleteren so I mostly go for another one because there is no other beer that you want after a 12 then another 12!

paterlodie, Sep 22, 2004
Photo of zeff80
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Ryan for sharing this.

A - Poured out a slightly cloudy, burgundy color with a two-finger head of pillowy, off-white foam. The head was long lasting and left sudsy trails of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Hard to explain how fantastic this aroma was. Everything was perfectly balanced - plum, fig, raisin, yeastiness, caramel, toffee. Nothing was strong or overpowered the other aromas. It was just perfect.

T - Again, so much balance. A perfect marriage of flavors. Dark dried fruits - fig, plum and raisin. Sweet maltiness with caramle, toffee and some molasses. A touch of yeasty spiciness.

M - So smooth! Medium bodied and crisp.

O - This is fantastic. Lives up to the hype. It was like a fantastic dessert or a flavorful steak that melts in your mouth.

zeff80, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of joshstevens87
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours a chestnut red/brown with a light tan head
S-dar fruit and raisins up front with a bit of dryness and spicyness very complex
T-tons of fruity malt with a perfect blend of dark fruits raisin figs with the perfect amoubnt of spicyness to balance it out
M-unbelievably smooth, absolutely stunning
D-without a doubt this beer in a class of its own i only wish id could be able to drink this all night long

joshstevens87, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of khumbard
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucky enough to get a hold of one of these from a very generous trader. Would this live up to the hype? The answer is yes. This is the best Belgian beer I have had, hands down. This handles all the complex quad flavors so well it's ridiculous. It is actually hard to pick out individual flavors. I found myself saying "wow..." at just about every sip. This is a complex, rich, fruity, malty, awesome beer. The mouthfeel is so smooth, and goes down so easy. If I could get this everyday, I could easily put down a few at once. I kind of feel like I'm fueling the hype train, but it deserves it. Drank this after a Roch 10 and before a Bernardus 12, and it was head and shoulders above those two.

khumbard, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, here it is, Westvleteren 12. The big #1! Super thanks to Douglasjamjak for my first 2 bottles of this epic beer! Bottle date is 11/17/10, so this is relatively fresh for a quad.

Pours dark brown with red highlights, off-white head turns to film and thick ring which retains perfectly. Some lacing left. Sediment settled at the bottom.

Pretty awesome scent. Super fresh baked bread, raisins, caramel, cherries.

Follows the nose pretty closely...warm dark bread I think being the stand out, brown sugar, figs, cherry pie, nutty malts. Explodes with flavor, yet remains subtle...

Mouthfeel and drinkability to me are the true highlights of this beer. 10.2%, uh whaaa? Not even really a hint of that present. Light, extremely smooth and a bit too drinkable. Even as it warmed to about room temperature, this only improved.

Chico1985, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of scottum
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Worlds best beer?

Pours out dark with a small tan head. Served in the proper glassware it looks splended. Velvet smooth mouthfeel makes for so smooth and so perfect smiles. This is a fine crafted beer which is certainly in a class by itself. Best Belgian trappist brew hands down. Best beer? I don't think one can cross compare styles.

scottum, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of TehAnkh
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enormous thanks go out to deepsouth for this opportunity.

Cap is dated 13.08.11 (6 months old at time of drinking)

A: Poured in to a Westvleteren goblet (yes, I bought one for the occasion, and it was worth it). It foamed up a bit when I opened it, but it wasn't a full-on gusher, could've just been a little shaken.
Poured a hazy medium leather brown with one finger of off-white to light tan head. It seemed to recede fairly quickly to a nice froth and thick lacing clings to the glass like soap suds.

S: Oh, oh my... Dark fruits like plum and raisin, hints of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and some chocolate all come through on the nose. Smells sweet and extremely complex, there's also some scents in there that smell so familiar yet so hard to describe, like candy but I'm not sure what kind.
It smells extremely unique, unlike any other beer I've had placed in front of me, and I think those that have tried it know what I mean.

T: Dark fruits run the party. Plum, raisins, and a touch of red apple. Some brandy-like notes come along with the light touch of alcohol, and is completely complimentary to the overall balance. It has a very light sweetness that I find indescribable, along with a sprinkle of bitterness over the tongue in the finish that fades out beautifully and quickly. I've never had a beer with such a perfect finish. The only way I can describe the finish is that it's almost savory, like a perfectly seasoned broth.

M: This beer is sooo silky smooth. Lightly carbonated, but perfect. Tiny bubbles make this beer go down like a milkshake, super creamy and on the heavy end of medium bodied.
The mild hop bitterness in the finish rounds it out beautifully.

D: I could easily drink 10 of these based on flavor and smell alone. The alcohol is subdued enough that this is incredibly drinkable considering the 10.2%.
Whether or not you get smashed in the process, it's nearly impossible to not want another one after you've cracked the first.

Notes: This may not be the best beer on earth. This may not be worth ALL the hype, and this may not be everyones idea of perfection. However, this is the best beer that I, personally, have ever had.
Will I seek this out within the United States again? Probably not.
Will I go way out of my way to buy 3 cases and get them home from Belgium one day? Damn right I will!

TehAnkh, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of ypsifly
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2oz with no label and a best before date of 28.02.08 ink jetted across the yellow, black and silver cap. Acquired via trade and carefully decanted into a Val-Dieu chalice.

Mahogany under a huge off white head that slowly falls and leaves thick sheeted lace.

The aroma is an incredible mix of fresh bread dough made with cinnamon, raisins, dates and dark cherries with some peppery warmth from the alcohol. Brown sugar from the malts and suggestions of licorice and a sprinkling of powdered chalk. Wow!

Tastes malty upfront then fades into ripe dark fruits such as cherries, plums, and ripe red grapes all dipped in brown sugar. The middle brings a tart flavor followed by some more suggestions holiday fruit cake. Not the cheap fruit cake we all hate to recieve at Christmas but rather like the one made from scratch with a little apple liquer that has that yeasty just pulled from the oven flavor. The alcohol registers only as a pinch of pepper in the finish yet I don't feel any heat upon my breath. Amazing!

The mouth is velvety fullness with just the right amount of carbonation. You bet your ass this is drinkable.

I'm giving this the exact same score I gave to the Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer. I think it might be a little better, or maybe that's the hype talking.

ypsifly, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of alohaspicoli
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip. Date on the cap reads 06.07.14.

A: Darker brown w/some red. Has a creamy/smooth, 1-finger head that's an off-white or cream color.

S: Great blend of subtle sweetness. Dark fruit. Definitely getting fig.

T: Again, subtle sweetness that's VERY smooth and unbelievably well-balanced. Some bitterness and alcohol in the finish but not much. I did my best to savor this bottle but at the same time, I know I could put down a lot if an abundant supply was in front of me.

M: Carbonation is there but it's not very noticeable (the perfect amount, IMO). I wouldn't say it's thick although I am leaning in that direction.

O: Wasn't sure what I'd think after reading so much about it, but this definitely lives up to its reputation IMO. The overall balance is unreal and it was a complete pleasure to drink in almost every way. It is going to be a total challenge to save my 2nd bottle.

alohaspicoli, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of pzrhsau
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark reddish brown body with a robust creamy colored head.
S: Smells like oak. Very woody aroma and has some notes of dried fruits such as figs and dried plums.
T: The beer has a nice bitter woodiness balanced perfectly with some nice sweet dried fruit. Not too heavy but really has a good weight
M/O: Very good carbonation and presentation even after aged for a year. Very good balance with strong alcohol aroma but not overpowering the flavor or the texture This beer is balanced on a knifes edge presenting weight and superior drinkability.

pzrhsau, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of Wasatch
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First I would like to thank BitterBill for this awesome brew, thanks buddy. I would most likely not go thru all the hoops to get this, but now I just might, lol I believe the cap said 09/08 date, no label.

A - Pours a dark brown/red color, lots of carbonation, nice small creamy head which leaves pretty quick, lots of nice lacing throughout the drink in forms of islands in some spots.

S - Scents are very complex, lots of stuff going on, but could detect plums, raisins, toffee.

T - The taste is very very nice, I believe I've had nothing like this so far. Nice tart/tangy/sweet flavor. Could taste plums/grapes I think. The finish is dry and clean.

M - Medium body, well rounded, with a carbonated feel.

D - Very drinkable. This is my first Westy, and what a powerful/excellent/awesome brew. Just might have to try and get some soon.

Wasatch, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of yen157
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour gave this brown, murky, ugly beer a nice chunky, off-white head which quickly melted into a thin, lacing layer. The great charm about the appearance of this beer is the fact that the CEOs of the macro producers would find this to be the farthest thing from acceptable. Looking like swamp water with a few sediment chunks, it must be completely repulsive to a drinker of crystal clear, yellow beer. It is an offensive thing of beauty.

It had a very pleasant aroma that can only be described as smooth. It was slightly dusty with heft, nostril filling doses of cookie dough, milk chocolate, and something reminiscent of the flavor of browned saltines. Stunning nose, simply stunning.

While it’s appearance is lovable like a retarded kitten, and it’s aroma is unforgettable, the taste of the beer is hefty, but in an elegant sort of way. It’s not delicate like a fine pils, but it’s beauty is in its strength. Sweetness and unadulterated malt immediately fill the mouth, and after swallowing yeasty bread lingers for some time playing with ripe fruit and the flavors fade. A very complex brew, but simple in that nothing is hidden, only meticulously layered. The alcohol wasn’t a huge factor in this beer, but it wouldn’t be the same without the same with out the unmistakable warming of the gullet.

It was silky in the mouth, carbonation perfect. This was a truly great beer.

yen157, Mar 21, 2003
Photo of waughbrew
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap marked "03.09.05" If I remember correctly, that means this was bottled on 9/3/02.

Paler than I remembered - a dark brown with a head that has strangely large bubbles but settles to a creamy top. The aroma is godly. The esters that come out of that yeast just lend a complexity that is more refined than just about anything else I have smelled or tasted. Taste is soo smooth and has everything in perfect balance. The dark caramel, the raisin, the chocolate, the sweetness, the hops, the yeast, the esters, the alcohol. Wonderful and extremely drinkable. The last bottle that I had of this I thought the alcohol flavor was too present, but I find this one to be just right.

Many thanks to Paquette for importing this gift by hand.

waughbrew, Jan 30, 2004
Photo of uberkane
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 Bottle traded from masterhomebrewer. Thanks so much!

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown, hazy. Didn't pour aggressively, and the head dissipated to a ring. Decent lacing.

S: Juicy dark fruit. Complex, resiny... dark gushers? There is a musty cherry woodiness as well. Wow.

T: Right up front I got that dark-fruit gusher taste mixed with an almost leather-mahogany taste. In the middle of the palate it produces a sweetness that reminds me of raw, dark agave syrup. The slightest hint of spiciness and bitterness at the very end. Aftertaste is of pleasant dark cherry. As the beer warms, more pleasant spiciness (like cinnamon and cloves, not peppers) appears.

M: Velvety smooth on the tongue, with a little bit of carbonation. Body is surprisingly light for a darker beer. There is some stickiness on the tongue.

D: WAY too drinkable for a beer that is booth 10%abv and very hard to find. I could have easily see myself drinking two or three of these in a sitting, despite the higher abv. It just went down so nice. A lot of this may be due to the 7 years it's been aged.

Notes: I can't believe how good this beer is. For years I've wanted to try it. I tried to calm myself recently so as not to over-hype it, so I approached this tasting with level-headedness. It blew me out of the water.

My wife LOVED it. She has tried (mainly sipped) almost every beer I have and isn't really a huge fan of many. This, on the other hand, she tried to drink all of. I had to pry it out of her hands a few times. She says she likes it more then most drinks in general.

Is it the best beer in the world? Well, I still have a lot of beer to taste before I pass that judgment. I would also need to taste a fresh Westy as well as an aged St. Bernardus Abt 12
and/or Rochefort 10 (only had them fresh) before I truly make the call. Any which way, it is a phenomenal beer.

uberkane, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of ericj551
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to bring back a case of this amazing beer while visiting Belgium last fall. When I finally got to the front of the line, I asked for a case and the monk asked me, "You know you can have two?" It was very tough to take only one, but we had enough trouble getting it back.

Poured into a Westvleteren glass, the beer is a deep brown, maybe slightly hazy but it's hard to tell. The fluffy head fades, but lingers nicely as a thin, off white layer.

The aroma is rich, ripe dark fruit, sweet and estery with a bit of powdery yeast. Just a bit of alcohol pushes its way through.

The flavor is sweet upfront with nice dark fruity malt. A bit of sharp alcohol pushes in, but the estery sweetness fights it off. There is a bit of chalky, powdery yeast flavor in the finish, but the sweet, candied dark fruit and light herbal hops push it out.

The flavors in this beer are extremely complex yet unified. I don't know if this is really the best beer in the world, but it is certainly one of the greats.

ericj551, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of lpayette
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Details- 33cl bottle received in trade from ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad! Best by 13.09.08. Enjoyed 12.06.07

4.5/5.0 - Appearance- Poured into a wide-mouthed chalice this most wonderous beer appears a medium brown with a slightly reddish tint. The head is composed of an interesting combination of very small champagne-like bubbles and largish bubbles scattered throughout. Head is what I'd consider to be perfect size upon pour- about 2 fingers worth. Dissipates slowly leaving lots of brussels lace behind as the head dwindles to a thin cover on the top.

5.0 - Smell- Here's where you know the hype is justified. The gas released from the opening of this bottle was amazing... almost not sure where to start... Fruity with leanings towards raisins and raspberries. Subtle (all of the following) molasses, honey, clover, blueberry, toasted malt, plums, figs, sour apple, muted eathy notes, inviting alcohol that you would never guess is 10.2% ABV. Oh, and a bit of a maple syrup smell as well. Is there anything I missed? probably

5.0 - Taste- To sum it up: incredible. Brown sugar, molasses, at times- banana, very subtle yet balancing hops have a piney characteristic, grapes, a warming alcohol(yet very subdued), honey, figs, toasted malt (that I would liken to toasted marshmallows on a somewhat sticky night with fireworks in the background), raisins, and a definite yeasty/earthy characteristic that is particularly strong and lingering at the finish

Endlessly complex. I could probably list off a ton more characteristic, but I'd like to finish this review sometime before sun-up... literally- it's 4:45am.

5.0 -Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy. Full bodied and full-flavored, yet somehow it rolls so gently across the palate that it seems almost thin at times. Perfect carbonation gives a nice feel right down to the very last sip.

5.0 - Drinkability- Despite all the complexities of this beer, I could easily guzzle this in a heartbeat, but I never would because I know it's too hard to get and every sip should be savored. I enjoyed this beer by itself, but I can only imagine what it would be like paired with a simply, yet delicious monk-like meal- I was thinking just simple rice at the time of drinking. Not sure why... I've got 5 bottles left of 3 different vintages... I am hooked and want more.

lpayette, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of CaptainTripps
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing from notes - 12/25/10

Bottle Date: 15.12.11 (approx 2 years old, would turn three this december).
Tasted on christmas day in what i called "battle of the quads." Was compared to Rochefort 10 and St Bernardus Abt 12.
Poured into a Duvel Tulip.

Well Westy, we finally met. It was a excellent christmas day beer.

A: Fairly dark brown, lighter then a stout, but darker then your usual brown ale. Pretty sexy looking if you ask me. Poured about two inches of creamy off white head and left tons of lacing.

S: If you are a fan of Quads, it really can't get any better than this. Dark fruits are just coming out of the wood work with this beer. You name it - Plums, figs, dates, raisons and maybe some cherry. Semi-sweet on the nose, some carmel notes present as well as of course, some belgian yeast i have grown to love.

T: WOW, what a beer. One of the beers that really puts you back in your seat and takes you for a ride. Going along with the smell in perfect harmony, dark fruits are present along with a sweet belgian brown sugar after taste. Just wonderful.

M: Heaven on the tongue. Perfect amount of carbonation, very well balanced beer. Very tasty! Alcohol so well hidden its barely there.

O: Overall, this beer is INSANELY good. I just wish it was more available to get, but oh well. I would recommend that any who likes belgian beers, especially Quads and Strong Dark Ales, this is a MUST try.

CaptainTripps, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of clvand0
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer gods have smiled down upon this brewery. Absolutely the most satisfying beer that I have ever tasted. It pours a dark and murky brown with hints of red and an impressively large head that dies down quickly. The aroma reminded me of a barley wine with a lot of fruity scents and a hint of alcohol (I'm not a fan of Barley Wines, so I was hesitant). As I poured, the aroma strangely filled the air in the room making me aware of the aroma from about three feet away - first time for such a strong aroma. The flavor was incredibly complex. The flavor is so incredibly smooth that I was in shock (considering the strong aroma) I think I notice a hint of chocolate in the taste as well as some different fruits and a couple spices. The mouthfeel of this beer is extremely smooth and satisfying. I could drink this beer all night long - although I'd probably not last more than three because of the alcohol. Again, this is THE best beer I've ever had and I would recommend it to anyone regardless of the $8+ per bottle price.

clvand0, Apr 22, 2003
Photo of theboozecruise
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I shared a few bottles with a handful of friends, poured into a Rochefort goblet.

It's a cloudy brown color very similar to the 8, with a finger or so of off-white head.

The aroma is heavenly, a blend of toffee, dark fruits, rich caramel, spices, a little floral hops, and just a slight tinge of alcohol. It's inviting, warm, and top notch.

The taste is more of the same, rich with flavors, each bursting through but none overpowering. It's like everything you would want in a good quad is there, toffee, dark fruit, floral hops, esters, a slight yeast funk, brewing spices... it's all there but nothing in so much quantity that it takes away from the rest.

A pure joy to drink, there's a reason this beer is considered by many to be the #1 beer in the world. I was worried it wouldn't live up to all the hype, but it absolutely did, and everyone else tasting it felt the same way.

theboozecruise, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of marburg
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm drinking this one as I type this. And man, is it a treat. Poured a dark, deep brown color. Head dissipated reasonably fast but left colonies atop the brew for the duration of my drinking experience.

Alcohol, alcohol, and more alcohol in the nose underscored by a grainy, malty smell.

Buttery, silky, velvety texture... smooth and cold on the tongue. Tastes of alcohol, pine trees, bread, toffee... Shit -- this beer is so rich and flavorful, I'm surprised there's not pizza flavoring in there. Alcohol and pine taste turns to chocolate and caramel as the beverage sits.

This beer changes dramatically over time. The somewhat dry, crisp finish turns to a more flavorful, lingering aftertaste over time.

You could write a friggin book of poetry on this beer.

marburg, Feb 19, 2003
Photo of markman
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap), 23.09.06 on the cap:

Not much of a head, but crystal clear cola-colored from an easy sedimentless pour (though there is much to swirl in later). An avalanche of aromas and flavors: molasses, ripe fig, malt, etc, etc. An easy hop bite finishes this big-bodied brew. Very nice beer…hard to imagine how they pull these flavors out of a minimal number of ingredients. Incredible.

Big thanks to cooperrip for parting with it.


markman, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of Toddv29424
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just about perfect across the board. Poured (sadly) into an Orval chalice with very small head and a murky brown color. Smell is very aromatic, like raisins and candied fruit with not one trace of alcohol. Taste explodes in your mouth. First is of sweet fruits like apricots and plums. Next has more carbonation but a similar candied taste. End taste is just as sweet, like a sugar drink trickling down your throat. Not a hint of alcohol in the entire thing--remarkable. I can see why this one is always rated #1.

Toddv29424, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of Cs1987
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark reddish-brown, with some sediment. Poured with a very small head in a goblet, although this is no doubt due to poor handling when transported overseas, as I know this beer is supposed to have a large head.

Smell - While still fairly cold, this beer has a strong, sweet and fruity odour, nothing too special. As it warms, it acquires an amazing, very complex biscuity, fruity and spicy odour. I had to give this a five, because I couldn't imagine a beer smelling any better.

Taste - I ensured I did not have any preconceived notions as to what this beer would taste like before trying it. However, even though I poured it slightly too cold, I was hooked from the first taste. This beer has a perfect balance of dark fruits, cinnamon-like spices and sweetness. The alcohol is slightly noticeable, but is nothing to complain about. The flavour develops slightly with warming, but actually seems to weaken a fair bit if it is too warm. My first 5/5 for taste has most certainly not gone undeserved.

Mouthfeel - Amazingly light and smooth, not too sticky like some other Belgian ales.

Drinkability - I could totally see myself sessioning this. No, really.

Overall - My brother got this beer delivered for my 21st birthday (and I know he'll read this review, so thanks again!). However, I had many fears that what I had received would not live up to its reputation. I had heard stories about Westvleterens supposedly deteriorating significantly when transported overseas. Also, the fact that one of the beers I received was not in the usual Westvleteren bottle sparked fears that I may have received a cheap, recapped ripoff. However, the first taste assured me that this was the real deal. Though I have given this a much higher score than any other beer, I do not feel that I have been generous in any way with my scoring.

Cs1987, Nov 01, 2008
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,826 ratings.