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

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

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

5,188 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,188
Reviews: 1,662
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,135
Gots: 1,595 | FT: 118
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

(Yellow Cap)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,188 | Reviews: 1,662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NiceTaps
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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.

Photo of mvice001
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So.... I have read all the hype about this beer and I must say that for the most part.. the hype is true.. To start off with, I'm an IPA drinker so when all things are said and done I prefer a very good IPA such as 3F, Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, or Bells HopSlam. With that being said, this is probably the best Belgium beer I have ever had.. I recently went to Belgium in Feb. of 2009 and let me say that it was somewhat of a challenge to find it. I had lots of angry retailers tell me that it is illegal to buy it and would ask me to leave.. I had finally located some and brought some home with me in the US. While in Belgium, I had located a bar in Brugges that had some and I was impressed, but not particularly taken away (I'm skeptical if this was indeed a true westy... at the same time it may have not been as aged

since then I had been really into Chimay, Rochfort 10, and St. bernardus.... So... it has been about 8 months since Belgium and I had bottles of Westy 12 waiting for a special occasion and aging and I don't know how old the bottle was to begin with. the cap said a date of 2011 so I'm not sure if that is when it expires or the best time to drink it..I brought a house and I figured that it was time to open one of my Westy's so here are my notes of last week's tasting

Smell...Brown sugar raisin malts.. Mellow and sweet smelling.. at some point I could have sworn I smelled a very faint hint of cinnamon, but intertwine with brown sugar

Appearance: dark brown... had a nice head which allowed the aroma to seep in my nose

Taste: Are you serious... this beer is 10.2% alcohol!! Very sweet, but not overbearing.. slight mild hops... only word that I can say is complex....

before I enjoyed the beer completely I actually did a taste test with all my favorite Belgiums (Chimay, Rochfort 10, St. Bernardus)... West 12 won.... hands down..the closest to complexity was Rochfort although they are two different beers and do not resemble one another at all.. the other beers seemed watered down and somewhat bland compared to Westy... don;t get me wrong.. they are great beers, but it doesn't compared.. Many people say that St. bernrdus is closest... I think it is to an extent, but it tasted very watered down in flavor...

Nevertheless. I will still prefer drinking a great IPA on a regular basis.. on occasions I drink Belgium's... But if I had Wests 12 all the time, I may possibly drink them all the time... unfortunately they are hard to find.. I have two left... One for when I get married and the other when I become a father...

Photo of Viggo
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very cloudy hazy brown, some orange around the edges, thick off white head forms, perfect lacing and plenty of legs, this head lasted until the end. Smell is very vinous, aged wine/port, fruity, some chocolate cranberries, little bit of alcohol. Taste is insanely complex, its a shape shifter of a brew. First very vinous and port like, chocolate toffee middle, dark cherries, tart bitter finish. The mouthfeel is amazing, silky and smooth, absolutely no rough edges, the carbonation was perfect, this beer just glides. Aged a couple of years, thanks a ton to the man who made this possible.

Photo of midaszero
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

200th review

Thanks to xpimptastikx for trading this to me.

Side by side with MiguelMandingo. Mine was 9 months old his was 3 years old.

For the longest time I figured this was just going to be a another over hyped beer that when I finally got to have it I would just be like meh. I will honestly say this has to be pretty much the best beer I have ever had and I would love to get more of it.

A - Very dark brown body with one finger of slightly off white head that leaves good lacing.

S - Raisins and toffee with some awesome floral notes, lots of lavender and some apple as well. Very solid and pleasant smell.

T - Just like the nose a solid mixture of raisins, toffee, lavender, apple, and other generic floral notes. Pick up a little bit of booze in the taste but nothing to bring down the taste just it can be noticed. Leather and tobacco notes in the back as well.

M - Silky smooth and creamy. Excellent medium body with the perfect mixture of medium carbonation. A beer has never felt so good in my mouth.

D - Easy to drink and super enjoyable. Even with the high ABV I would totally try to session this.

Photo of Stockfan42
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap dates 26. 04. 06

Thanks to london1o1 for this opportunity.

It pours a dark brown body that in the light seems more of a ruby brown color. Lots of dark yeast floating around and a thinly laced head right from the start. Not much head at all.

Lots going on in the aroma department. Dark fruits like raisens, figs are right up front along with some sweet caramel, lemon peel and a nice spicy kick. There is a little heat as well.

Taste held up incredibly over the years on this one. Sweet malts and belgium spices are right up front. Brown sugar, lemon peel, honey, caramel and dark fruits linger around in the back. A little bit of heat on this one but not over the top, just enough. Man this beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel is almost velvet like. Carbonation held up good, very smooth and goes down pretty easy. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting.

Overall this is an amazing beer. I've yet to have it fresh but I cant imagine it tasting any better than this bottle does right now. This is a beer I will always be seeking out.

Photo of Crundy
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark, dark amber red where light gets through, tan colored head, good amount of carbonation present

S: Heavy dark fruit smell, raisins and plums, caramel roasted malt, slight astringency

T: Caramel roasted malt, brown sugar, sweet dark fruits,

M: very smooth, more mellow flavor, it was sweet with a touch of bitterness towards the end. Slight twinge from the alcohol but I could hardly taste the 10.2%.

O: Very drinkable, very good beer. The best Trappist beer I've had yet. the flavors, while mellow, are blended perfectly and leave a pleasant aftertaste. Kudos to the monks on a superb beer.

Photo of stewart124
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you to Tyler for bringing a 6-pack back from brewery and sharing this with me.

27.05.10 is stamped on the bottle cap.

Deep red almost purple in color. Lovely foam retention. At least an inch of tan head. Beautiful lacing along the chalice.

Plenty of spice, figs, prunes, raisins, some herbal tea notes and mild bready notes.

Whoa! This is so smooth up front with a ton of carbonation. Huge amounts of prune and fig with a nice earthy yet spicy bite of hops. Toffee and honey come through with the sweetness of dark belgian candied sugars. Some currants and raisins litter the palate. The depth of esters and malt characters is unparelleled. Superb.

There is a general warming overall but the alcohol is so well hidden it really is a work of art. Little to no phenolic aftertastes. Just a great amount of balance in the beer. Wonderful!

Photo of tholm273
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

WOW, I couldn't believe I ran into a bottle of this. I am by far not as big a beer snob as some of you, but I love to try and share beer when I get it. This beer goes beyond complex. Each and every sip I took I got a different experience of flavors. The owner of the place I got it from took out a bottle, poured it into a westy12 glass and the head just kept on going thru the tip of the glass, and staying there. Took a frew big, deep breaths into my nose and trying to get a hint of anything going on off the top of the glass. Sipped it, took a bigger sip and let it sit in my mouth, trying to get some of the initial tastes.

Photo of froggyfrog
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is from notes so I will be neither lengthy nor flowery of speech.

First off, thank you to Phatz for going to great lengths and expense to get this bottle and then showing his true nature by being so kind and generous as to share it with me.

A: This beer sits in the bowels of my snifter a dark caramel-swirled brown coated in a full head of sullen khaki with expertly clingy lace.

S: Wildflowers and alcohol. Spiced plums and earthy scents. Mild yeast.

T: Sweetened prunes and melted caramel start things off. After that the taste becomes so incredibly smooth and complex in a way that defies tacked-down descriptions of individual flavor components.

I pondered over my share of this beer for some time trying to identify and capture the flavors that make up the taste of this beer.

Eventually I decided that they are too tightly woven, and mellow, and strong, and muted, and complex to be picked apart and written about as individual elements. Instead, I have decided that this beer must be appreciated and enjoyed in its entirety, and that it does in fact taste like Trappist Westvleteren 12.

M: Very smooth and mild on the tongue. Prickly and tart at first before turning immediately mellow.

D: A strong beer but infinitely quaffable. The combination of flavors and textures in this bottle truly put this beer in league unto itself. If it were more accessible I could drink several of these every day for a long time without tiring of it.

This beer is at peace with itself and the world. There are no internal conflicts or doubts. All the elements and flavors are in harmony working together to bring a sense of quiet stillness and well being to those who consume it.

Photo of korndog
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me start off by saying that I am not really worthy. Nor am I truly qualified to review this beer. Started off pouring this beauty into a snifter at 60F. It poured with a nice three fingers of tan, tight bubbles that dissipated rather quickly, leaving a gorgeous lacing which I am sure would have revealed the future in the hands of a skilled fortune teller. Smelled the obvious sweet maltiness, combined with a fine boot leather most worthy of any fetishist's attention. A slightly alcoholic cream soda came to mind as well. The taste hit me with a heavy sweet and cloying bombardment that didn't yield anything too unusual. Those fig trays with a spiral pattern and the fork in the middle. The first drag of a Marlboro Red was also present; not that I smoke 'em anymore. The carbonation was sublime as it presented the tiniest bed of nails to roll around on while enjoying this sweet beauty. The finish is quite lovely bittersweet, with a faint hop presence and a Jagermeisterish herb sensation low on the Pallete. End of the journey and the lacing is still on high where it started, and so am I. The 10.2 has shown its face as I wonder how on earth I will manage to keep my hands off the other two bottles I have. I think the lacing is now part of my little snifter as though it were painted on.

Update: Oh god, this stuff is so good. I am praying for forgiveness as I buy all I can get.

Photo of mjohn27603
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jkpm
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very top of the heap.
The strongest of the Westvleteren´s beer.
Very difficult to find.
Deep brown colour, large and persistant beige head.
Flavour has a nice deep complexity.
Sweet roasted malts, fruits flavours , and the great Belgian yeast feeling.

Photo of MnDCochenour
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of AgentMunky
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an unlabeled bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. The barkeep retrieved the bottle from a cabinet under the bar in an out-of-the-way establishment in Brussels to which I was directed in my search.

A: Dark chestnut, assuming a ruby hue in the light. The colour lightens considerably as it is drunk. A large, appealing head dissipates rather quickly. Little to no noticeable carbonation. Nice tracing on the top complements a delicate lacing left in the beer's wake.

S: Surprisingly unassuming smell. Definite notes of alcoholic fruits, but faintly. Maybe a touch of malt. Honestly, at this point I began doubting the alleged excellence. However, the smell grew on me over time as I became accustomed to the taste.

T: Indescribable. Any doubts I may have had were washed away in an unexpected blast of ecstasy. This beer is damn tasty and complex as hell. Dark fruits assail you, and sharp spices dance across tongue similar to carbonation. Malt follows in force, but the sweetness isn't overwhelming due to the crazy balancing spiciness. (What is this flavour[s]!? Vaguely reminiscent of hops, but as distinctive as it is elusive.) Aftertaste is dry and ever-so-slightly bitter, again alluding to a hop character buried under the fruity maltiness.

M: Punchy alcoholic sweetness butts heads with the aforementioned spice(s), resulting in an extraordinarily complex, but enjoyable, mouthfeel. Tingly and strong, full-bodied and almost nutty. Perhaps not exceptional in and of itself, but as part of the package...

D: Again, the alcohol content isn't shy about showing itself, and the punchiness is considerable. But still, this beer is utterly fantastic, and one I will return to again and again as long as I have the money and opportunity. Worth the trip to Belgium.

Photo of PrinceDarren
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The reason this beer is so highly rated is because it is so very drinkable. On a scale of 1 to 5 this gets a 10 for drinkability.

We tried Westy 12 along with a Westy 8 and a Rochefort 10 so we could have an appropriate comparison. Taste-wise, this is very similar to the Rochefort 10 with the exception that the Westy 12 is less profound, and less "in-your-face". The alcohol is very well hidden. It made the Rochefort 10 seem almost like an extreme beer with too much alcohol presence and too much power on the palate by comparison.

Westvleteren 12 pours a dark, reddish-brown with very little head. The aroma is moderate with a touch of spice. First impression was that there was no defineable characteristic that jumps out at you that explains why this beer is so highly regarded. It is soft and very well-balanced with a creamy, light mouthfeel. As it warms in the glass, the tastes of fig and soy sauce come alive on the tongue. The finish is pleasant and reveals a touch of nutmeg.

That is the secret to this beer's success. It is moderately flavorful and complex while still being soft and gently balanced.

I agree with other reviewers that the alcohol is well-masked and I think that is the reason why this is the highest rated beer on the site. While I have occasionally struggled to get through a whole bottle of the similarly structured Rochefort 10, the Westvleteren 12 is a kinder, gentler quadrupel that I could see myself drinking all day long.

Photo of Slatetank
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mac300 for sharing this at Phatz' tasting.
A - A beautiful dark ale w/ compact bubbles and light tan head

S - Roasty, spicy and sweet with scents of currants and dark sugar.

M - Mellow, sweet and spiced. Layered and balanced with a subtle feel of alcohol and lightly nutty finish.

T - A malty supple masterpiece. So much flavor figs, nutmeg, gentle herbal notes. So layered and yet the flavors blend seamlessly. Nuts, toffee and honey with a tinge of spice and light grain flavors.

D - A great nuanced ale - lives up to the hype.

Photo of leokbelo
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich, dense dark velvet brown into a chalice. 2 inch foamy head dissipates very slowly into an inch cream lace.
Sweet grapes, with some figs on the nose, very subtle and very inviting.
Extremely chewy on the palate, sweet malts, brown sugar flavors with grapes and raisins in there also, mixed in with the spices making it one damn complex brew! Just amazing!
Alcohol creeps up, warming the body, very soothing.
An extremely amazing beer! Hail to the Trappist Monks of Belgium, once again and always!!
Could not recommend this one enough!
Thank you, Merci, Dankje!!!!

Photo of sixthglass
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Medium brown in color, small frothy head, slight lacing

S: dark fruits, slight spiciness, brown sugar (ish)

T:dark fruits, spice, brown sugar, small bit of alcohol. many more layers i couldn't get a read on.

M: Smooth, low carbonation.

D: Simply incredible, something I could drink on a regular basis, if I had the access to it. Warms you up and doesn't disappoint.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful, world-class brew. As good as anything I've had. Every time I try it, I like it more. Yes, it's quite pricey, but costs the same as just a fairly good bottle of wine (and it's one of the top 5 beers in the world!). Probably the best body-mouthfeel of any beer I've had. CREAMY! Smooth, deep, and complex. Fruity, perfect balance. Nothing negative to say. If I could get this close to home, I'd have it (at least) once a week. As good as it gets, beer fans!

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Okay, the hype makes more sense now. I had the 8, I rated it highly, but it wasn't mindblowing. This beer is an entirely different animal. Quite simply, this are masters brewing a recipe that has been passed down from masters. Fantastic, so deep and broad, yet because it is surprisingly light, extremely drinkable. Find it if you can, it will be worth the hassle.

Photo of Brabander
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my 25th wedding anniversary i have opened and drank my very first Westvleteren 12, last mondayevening. I can tell you that the reviews as given before tell (mostly) the truth. What a beer! In spite of a cold i had which makes it difficult it felt like coming home when i had the fist sip.

The first taste i had was a bit of a sweet taste.

Tonight, the 30th of april 2011 i drank a westy again. Although i am buying a lot of crates of the 12 i rarely drink a westy 12 myself. Tonight i drank a fresh one but what a taste this one had!

Rich, full of taste sweetnes but not too much...

Photo of canucklehead
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Malto for this aged bottle.

It pours out subdued brown with a white cap that it wears like a crown. The nose is plummy, old leather and tobacco but the taste is a oh my god experience. Beers like Double Bastard, Storm King
and even other Trappiste beers assert their greatness with a raised fist that makes you take notice. Westy is amazing because it is complex as the best Bordeaux and subtle in ways that are hard to describe. I had a bottle of Rochefort 10 before this beer and it tasted less balanced than the higher alcohol Westy.

This beer is so far away from Macro beers that I can't believe they are related.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled February, 2004; Hop Leaf, Chicago
Total 4.8
An immediate rich, bready aroma wafts from my glass as I pour this beer. This beer is topped by a light brown head that sits atop a brown beer. There are notes of sherry, plum, and raisin (though the raisin is definitely the most dominant aroma) in the nose. The beer smells sweet & rich as well. Well the taste is fairly rich & sweet; there is lots of fig and plum notes, which are joined by a woodiness that is in the taste as well. This beer was an awesome way to finish my great dinner at the Hop Leaf. There is an astringent complexity to this beer that just brings it to a whole other level, and there is a slightly musty character that integrates well with the rest of the flavors. I can fully understand why many consider this a world class beer. I really like how this beer is quite fruity in both the aroma and in the taste. The alcohol is very well hidden here, I can't really detect it at all. The rich sweetness is very conducive to being an after dinner drink. This beer is like a rich, dark, sweet traditional German bread. What makes this beer so good is that it is extremely well integrated; absolutely world class.

Cap Best By Date November 2007; Sampled February 2009
Total 4.1
4/4/4/5/4
A vigorous pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two-finger thick, creamy, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that when held up to the light shows that I poured quite a bit of the sediment from the bottom of the bottle into my glass, but is also a hazy, bright cherry color. The aroma smells of spices and fruit with a rich, caramelized maltiness to the finish. Aromas of fig cake, brandy soaked fruit cake, some marzipan, clove, dried cherries, white pepper, candied ginger form the bright aromatic notes. There is a nice backbone here of must and damp earth, as well as some toasted malt character that provides a biscuit malt aromatics. Some higher alcohols provide a bit of spiciness as well as some warming character to the tail end of each draught of the nose. This has quite a rich nose to it, both the fruit and spices accentuate the perceived sweetness of the aroma.

Up front this beer is a bit lighter than I expected, as it rolls across my tongue though it starts to pick up a viscous richness and heft, though it still maintains the drinkability that I like to have in a strong Belgian ale. The beer has a definite sweetness (though not as much as the aroma might have suggested), but finishes with a spiciness that helps to dry the palate out. The beer is a bit carbonated still after the vigorous pour and it provides a prickly carbonation as it rolls across the tongue. fruit notes of prunes, musty figs and raisin are brought out by a touch of tartness as well as the sweetness in this beer. There is a definite mustiness to this beer, it is oxidation character that it has picked up over the years, and it mixes nicely with the spiciness in the finish. Speaking of which, the spiciness provides notes similar to white pepper, clove, a nutmeg like bite, some woody ginger and a touch of menthol in the long finish as well as some bitter cocoa. This definitely gets more complex as it warms up from the high 40°F (~8°C) that it started out at. The alcohol in the finish combines with the fruitiness to reminds me of Brandy.

Well I had a bug dive bomb this beer, so it must have though there was something worth drinking in my glass (one of my dogs got a tasty, Westy soaked morsel because of that). While this beer is quite good, I am quite disappointed in some ways. I haven't had this in a couple years, and I am thinking I need to try a fresher version to see if it is more like my memory of having this in Belgium and at the Hop Leaf (where I had it last).

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
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
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,188 ratings.