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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5,045 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,045
Reviews: 1,638
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,030
Gots: 1,506 | FT: 107
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)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,045 | Reviews: 1,638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yeah buddy! I got me some Westy in a trade, and now that it's harder to find than all hell, i'm gonna drink it and review it. Blank bottle (no label), brought back directly from Belgium. Yellow cap is dated 05/04/08. Poured out to a dark brown color that became bright auburn red when held to the light. Lower carbonation, with some notes of lace in the glass. Nice 1/4 inch head was consistant through the entire glass. Aromas of fruits, buttery malts. Very sweet smelling overall. The taste, hands down, is a 5. I find this beer to be everything it is touted to be; flavors of sweet bread, smooth malts, ripe fruits and roasted elements all perfectly balanced made this brew exceptionally enjoyable. A thick, silky mouthfeel was ever present, reminding me that this brew really is quite heavenly (that's probably what the monks had in mind). Finished crisp, with some bitterness and sweetness in the aftertaste. The nearly 11%ABV was well concealed, a point that is well noted, as this could be very powerful in doses of more than one bottle (but really, who could honestly afford or even want to drink more than one bottle a sitting). A world class brew, and even better now that it is becoming a rarity. Highly recommended. Special thanks go out to kevinl6 for the hook up of this brew and his highly professional and friendly trade.

Photo of etaggie09
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Blackish brown with a long lasting mocha colored head. Very nice lacing and the head never disappeared.

Aroma: Holy hell! I can smell this thing from across the room! Upon closer inspection its smells like a fine red wine. Flowery with some spicy, fruity notes and some alcohol and malt with a hint of caramel. Quite enjoyable.

Taste: Smooth brandy, ripe fruit, raisin, wine, a little hops with a sweet balance of malt and hops. Alcohol plays a perfect role in the taste. Aftertaste is a lingering somewhat bitter taste. This beer's taste is the basis on which to judge other beers of the style. Absolutely wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Absolutely perfect. medium body with a moderate-low carbonation. Wonderfully coating. Flawless.

Drinkability: Well obviously its 10.8% ABV; its not a session brew. This was a great beer to sip because it was just so damn smooth. You don't know how much alcohol is in it until after a few minutes.

Notes: How lucky am I that the wine cellar in my city carries this beer that almost no one knows about? I really could drink this forever. Too bad its so expensive. Ah well. It was worth the 12 bucks. A wonderful and godly brew, not to mention my favorite as of now. no wonder its rated number 1.

Edit: I got the chance to try both the Rochefort 10 and the St. Bernardus 12 and I think that the St. Bernardus was good, but a tad watery and I will have to try the Rochefort and Westvleteren again, because the Rochefort was so good.

Photo of DNICE555
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was hesitant to pick up a sixer of these bad boys because I do not like the style. I am very glad I decided to.

A: This beer dishes out more head than Jenna Jameson. It sticks around for a while too and leaves some serious lacing around the glass. Color is dark amber.

S: Malty,Caramel, yeast, alcohol.

T: Malty but really sweet at all. Lots of caramel, plum, yeast, and alcohol. Flavors are very complex. Has an amazing dry bitter finish that really balances all the malt that punches you up front. The alcohol is present but very subdued for 10.2 percent... it provides a bridge for the flavors to linger on the palate long after it goes down.

M: Very full and rich yet not completely balanced. Really makes use of every taste bud.

O: I've only found a few beers I like in this style. This is my new favorite. In the words of THE GREAT DALSA... BOOOSH!

Photo of jascox2
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a belgium strong ale Westvleteren goblet style glass at the actual brewery cafe. Reduced the smell point due to any volatiles may have been missed.

A - Pours a dark brown/red color, average carbonation, nice creamy stable head, lacing is sporadic on the glass wall.

S - Very complex, in order of effect, toffee, raisins, fig.

T - The taste is so balanced, Toffee, with a yeasty bready background. Bitterness supports the malt, without any components such as resin/ harshness being apparent.

M - Medium body, well rounded, with a smooth carbonation. Tiny, tiny bubbles. No cloying affect. Wonderful.

Overall - terrific, its a shame this is so hard for people to try. Its also a factor to bear in mind when trying to objectively review this beer.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

200th Review!

A: Pours a very dark and murky Coca Cola-looking brown color with very little head. I wasn't super impressed by the appearance.

S: And here we go. Simply put, I have never smelled a beer that smells this good. It's incredible. I found it nearly impossible to pinpoint all the smells. I got notes of brandy-soaked raisins, fruitcake, chocolate, tons of dark fruit, molasses, some overripe banana and a bit of jackfruit. Unbelievable.

T: Lots of raisin and brown sugar flavor upfront along with some brandy. Hints of plum and raisin on the finish along with a nice warmness on the way down. Some spiciness and a bit of white pepper to be found in this as well. Well worth it's reputation. I don't know if it's my favorite beer ever (still a sucker for Abyss), but this is a stellar beer.

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet at low altitude.

A: Beautiful nearly opaque brown butter color with a formidable cream-colored head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very complex smell with some fresh yeasty notes, fruitiness and a bit of alcohol. I'm excited to drink this.

T: Everything you could possibly want in a Belgian quad. Perfect rounded balance of fruit and malt with minimal hoppiness. Can't taste the alcohol at all.

M: Definitely an experience on the same level as the taste. Wet at the beginning with some delightful tingling from the carbonation. Drinking water with this kind of mouthfeel would be a pleasure.

D: If I could procure this readily, I would drink it every night.

Photo of Danny2321
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

248 reviews and counting, what can I say that hasn't been already? I'll just add to the glowing reviews.

This was the one that did it for me. I didn't even like beer all that much, I was a college kid used to macro crap and the occassional SNPA. Then I went to Belgium for a spring break trip . Then I ended up at a little bar in Brugges one afternoon that I only wish I remembered the name of. Asked the barkeep to bring me the best thing they had, and sure enough, he did...and I haven't had anything better since. Believe me, I've tried.

Photo of bark
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unknown vintage, although I think it is quite fresh.

The colour is brown, the liquid a bit cloudy. The low head is off-white, it leaves some nice lacing.

The smell got a distinct note of sponge-cake dough. Sweet Champagne. Red berries. It is very smooth.

The taste is first enormously sweet. Then, fruity jam flavours kicks in. Smooth hoppy-hayish notes with very low bitterness. Wheat flour. Some toffee. The aftertaste is tremendously smooth with fruits and herbs in the finish.

The carbonation is fresh, the bubbles are small. The liquid is smooth and a bit dry.

One of the best beers in the world? I was a bit nervous before tasting it, but it didn’t disappoint me: One of the smoothest and most balanced beers I have had, with a distinct note of Raspberry Swiss roll.

Photo of jayhawk73
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a super dark brown color with a perfect two finger chocolate head. Head sticks around a long time, and there's massive lacing on my goblet. Good carbonation too. Can't really see through this one, but it's not a black hole like some beers are. This looks like one serious Quad, and I really can't find a fault w/ it- it's really a beautiful looking beer.

S- The smell is slightly less pungent than I thought it would be, but it's still really good. Caramel, malt, fruit, yeast, alcohol all make their presence known. Maybe some nut in there as well? It definitely gets better the warmer it gets. Really opens up. Very nice.

T- Wow. Super complex taste. Caramel, malt, raisin, prune, date, hint of chocolate, licorice.. Maybe some more as well. There seems to be no end to the flavor profile of this beer, and it keeps improving the more I sip it. Warming also really opens this beer up. Pretty amazing! I don't get much alcohol, just a little on the aftertaste. This beer definitely lives up to the hype- it's a remarkable brew, and I can understand why it lives in the top 3 beers in the rankings.

M- Big, smooth, slightly chewy without being overwhelming or heavy. Exceptional feel. I can't really imagine it getting much better than this for the style.

O- I've had Westy 12 a couple times now. Once was pretty good, but this batch seems to be a step up from the last time I had it. Definitely one of the best beers I've ever had, and one of my favorite styles as well. If you get a chance to try this beer, you'll never forget it. It's a masterpiece that gets better w/ every sip. Cheers, Advocates!

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Based on notes from 7/21/11 bottle date:11-17-13 It was a bottle split with me by a good friend. Also, this is my 300th review.

A-Chestnut with a billow tan head. I am disappointed that there was no lacing or cascading.

S-Yeasty, boozy, dark fruits consisting of plums and raisins, but also some pearl and apple, with a hint of caramel. It is a complex nose.

T-Cocoa, alcohol, caramel, with some toffee and dark fruits. Surprisingly there is a slight hop bitterness which was unexpected. It was also fruitier than expected.

M-Slightly thick and somewhat chewy, balanced by a nice amount of carbonation. Honestly, it is not as thick as I expected it to be.

D-Complex, rich and satisfying-a beer I could drink for days.

Overall, I will admit I was slightly disappointed by the greatest beer in the world. That was obviously due to the extremely high expectations I had. That being said it is a great beer, but honestly I think St. Bernardus Abt. 12 is slightly better. However, I will definitely drink this again in the future. A must try for all lovers of beer.

Photo of monitorpop
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark amber/chocolate brown with a 1.5 finger off white head and thick lacing.

S: Subtitle vanilla and caramel notes.

T: Rich and malty with some sweet caramel. Noticeable alcohol in the finish.

M: Active medium to high carbonation with warming alcohol in the finish.

O: A great quad that I was fortunate enough to drink fresh right at Cafe 'In de Vrede' across from the abbey. However, I preferred the bottle that I had with some age on it, which mellowed out the alcohol.

Photo of genog
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here it is, my first taste of the Holy Grail. Pour is a dark mahogany brownish color, with a creamy off white, light brown 2 inch head. The head color seems to taper off and slowly fade into the top of the beer, very beautiful presentation. The head leaves lacing and large bubbles of dark and light brown color.

Smell is yeasty, doughy, malty, slight esters,

The taste is sweet at first. Seems fruity with cherry, grape, molasses flavors, but the strong alcohol and malty presence covers up those flavors to create a perfect balance. These sweet candy like flavors are also present that are meshed well with the doughy, malty presence that creates an indescribable experience. I felt like I was drinking a deliciously rich piece of cake... I have no idea how.

Mouthfeel is very warm because of the high ABV. Carbonation is very filling too.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 100th BA review.

Picked up two bottles of this much sought after beer at the Bier Tempel in Brussels. No Labels, just a lot of information on the cap. Sampled in a 'Trappist Westvleteren' chalice, my Brussels souvenier.

The beer pours a mysterious extremely dark brown with no light penetration. Theres a massive off white head that lasts the entire glass and leaves behind huge swathes of lace in its wake.

The aroma is of dark fruits, apples, christmas pudding, nutmeg, cloves and some other incredibly aromatic components that defy my olefactory cabilities.

The taste is so incredibly smooth and subtle with a whole range of different flavors that blend seamlessly together. Theres an immensely fruity malt character upfront with berry, apple, mango, plum and pear notes. Theres also nutmeg, clove, black licorice and a great fresh raisin bread flavor. Hints of caramel are also there. The hops are evident only in the back of this cacaphony of interesting flavors. This beer tastes remarkably perfumey and floral.

This beer is the smoothest Belgian beer Ive ever tried. It doesnt hit you with overt malt or alcohol flavors right off the bat like Chimay, Orval or Maredsous its much more understated and subtle. The flavors start softly and build to a crescendo, lingering for a long time with an excellent aftertaste. The flavors also change from sip to sip.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth, with a warming blanket of bubbles. The 10.5 ABV is evident but hidden very well, and what you do taste simply adds to the flavor (which isnt usually the case for me.

The massive hype surrounding this beer is absolutely justified. Pure beer perfection. Definitely the best Trappist Ive ever tried. Worthy of its long held place at the top of the vaunted Best of BA list.

Photo of Everdrift
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Brabender for affording me the opportunity to try this rare and profound brew.

Pours a deep nutty brown with a smallish head that dissipates rather quickly. I don't feel that the smaller head really counts much against it as a smoother, creamier, less carbonated mouthfeel is achieved through the lack of huge bubbliness.

The smell offers up a fine aroma of plum, pear, and sweet malt. It is not a nose that hits you over the head, but neither is the taste really. This ale is about subtlety, depth, and the interplay of flavors.

The taste is pretty deep. Dark fruity flavors are up front, such as plum and raisin. Alcohol is noticeable, but not nearly as strong as one might expect given the high ABV. Fruity flavors, toasty malts, and sweet belgian sugars all stand up over the high alcohol content. The taste has a special kind of depth that allows you to get into it it further and further the more you drink it.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, especially for such high ABV. A light carbonation is there, but not the dominant element. The alcohol doesn't burn too much, but it does numb the tongue slightly. I found all of this to be very pleasant and complimentary to the flavor.

Drinkability, what can I say? Very, very drinkable. Probably the most drinkable ale at this ABV that I have had. It compares very favorably overall to other Belgians that I've had, though I still need to try a couple of the classics. I just had a nice Maredsous 8 on draft at the Renaissance fair here in Texas and it was lovely but it didn't have the depth of character that this Westvleteren exhibited. This ale is a classic for sure. I don't know if it's the best in the world, but it's certainly in my top few beers I've tried.

Photo of DrJay
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a bottle that's been aged ~2 years. Murky reddish brown with a moderate head of very fine bubbles. Extraordinary delicate lacing in the chalice (it actually looks just like lace) that didn't budge even when the beer was agitated. Superb retention as well -- I don't think the head dissipated at all from beginning to end. Nice aroma, lots of fruity wine/vinous character along with a bit of more acidic fruit, possibly cranberry. Soft maltiness with a bit of light roast and faint hops. Mild fruit flavour throughout, malt sweetness fills out the middle and end, but stays fairly subdued. Some chocolate and roasted malt creeps in, but this is very mild. Caramel and toffee appear at the mid-point briefly. Moderate bitterness with a bit of grassiness. Complex flavour that stays balanced and round all the the way through, but keeps changing. Soft carbonation with an airy texture. Off-dry finish, a full body, and slight alcohol warmth. This is a wonderfully balanced, yet complex brew. A rare treat. A big thanks to Ralph for sharing this truly exceptional beer. It didn't disappoint!

Photo of gford217
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rating #100! Bottle courtesy of deepsouth poured into a snifter. Bottle cap dated 18.12.10. Big, big thanks Jason!

A: Pours a beautiful deep brown with mahogany hints around the edges. The head is a rocky off-white two fingers thick which lingers for quite a while and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Where do I start with the aroma? Sweet bready caramel malts with huge dark fruit aromas of raisins and plums up front. Big and complex with molasses, brown sugar, and some spices on top of that. Just a wonderfully aromatic brew.

T: Just like the smell, the taste is just incredibly complex and wonderful. There is a prevailing sweetness that pervades the entire flavor with molasses, dark fruit, caramel, and vanilla. Spices are also present but perfectly balanced with the sweetness and malts.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but with a nice big carbonation that tickles the tongue. I honestly don't think you could improve the mouthfeel...exceptional.

D: Well, what else to add to the praise? I'm not sure if this is the best beer I've ever had, but it's pretty damn close. It's unbelievably complex but extremely drinkable and is certainly the best of the style I have ever tasted.

Thanks again to Jason for sharing the wealth!

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from it's signature unmarked bottle into my Westy chalice.

A: Dark copper to brown in color, slightly cloudy, with an eggshell colored head that does not want to go away. Lacing is excellent.

S: Insane aromas of brown sugar, spice, fig, dried dark fruits, and toast. Hops are not prominent on the nose, but still noticeable.

T: Wow! Much like the aroma. Dough, sugar, spice, raisin, prune, fig. You name it, it's there! Alcohol lends a slight warming sensation, but less than would be expected. The finish is somewhat dry, with slight hop notes lingering.

M: Full bodied, and has a mouthfeel unlike any other beer I have ever tried. This is liquid silk.

D: I can see what the hype is about. Westy 12 is near perfect. Extremely easy to drink. This may be the best beer of any style that I have ever had the opportunity to try.

Photo of Wobbly
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%

A: Deep amber-brown color, almost lavender with the light. Considerable bloom that slowly evaporates. Some lacing. Yeast sediment is clearly seen. Hardly any carbonation.

S: Sweet, toffee-like notes (almost like cotton candy, as some other reviewers have noticed) give way to a delightfully dry bitterness. Alcoholic content obvious but very appetizing.

T: One of the most complex flavor profiles of any beer I have tried. At first, definite sweetness (toffee, cotton candy) and pleasantly warm alcoholic flavors dominate the palate, eventually giving way to a wonderfully dry bitterness, which accentuates the fruity, sweet malt flavors. Really good with fine chocolates or sweet, soft cheese.

M: Medium but firm body. Very smooth but rich and substantial.

O: A really decadent beer, best used during the dessert course or perhaps as an after dinner drink. As fine a quadrupel as any I have ever tried, and perhaps the best. Since I have only had this beer once, I resist the temptation of declaring it the best. But certainly right up there with Rochefort 12 and St. Bernardus 12.

Photo of Longstaff
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best dark Belgian beers I've had yet. It was perfect pour into a Westvleteren goblet with the head rising to the top of the glass when I had poured all but the last ounce leaving the yeast behind. The head dissapated to about a quarter inch and lasted to the end. Its heavenly dark malty body is offset perfectly by the tannish head. Smell is somewhat weathish with a slight tinge of bananas and chocolate. Went down smooth and creamy with chocolate, caramel, and fruity flavors of bananas and dates. First few sips were somewhat crisp and dry but as you drank more, it became sweeter but not overly sweet and the fine alcohol flavors became more pronounced. Had a nice floral hop flavor and there wasn't much bitterness, just enough dryness from the hops and alcohol to balance the sweet malt. As close as you can get to perfection in the style.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours with a large off-white head that just wont quit. Carbonation is very pronounced, right up the middle and color of the beers is a very deep delicious looking amber.

Smell- Notes of fruit with an undertone of alcohol. Smell is definitely the weakest part of this beer but it is still quite lovely. Smell almost seems to be running away from the beer and into my nose.

Taste- WOW!!! Very thick on the tongue, alcohol is very well disguised and beer is incredibly balanced. Hints of chocolate, ever so slight bitterness, candy, and some candied fruit flavors. Carbonation has slight pop on the aftertaste that really leaves the taste to linger.

Mouthfeel- So thick! I can almost chew this beer, its truly wonderful, fills palate and the taste just lingers for ages.

Drinkability- A+ no doubt about it this beer is delicious and has no peer that Ive yet tried.

Update to review: Tasted this beer again at the 2013 "The Festival" in Portland, Me.

This is only my second time ever seeing or having this beer. What struck me most about it upon a second try was the predominance of chocolate that I tasted. It is very delicious, perhaps a little boozy once it starts warming up, but a very, very tasty beer.

Photo of edchef1850
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Monks must make this stuff because only god could tell you how to do this. Deep brown liquid poured into a westvleteren chalice, minimal head , off white color on the head, wonderful aromas, sweet, slight alcohol, caramale, and maybe liquorice at the same time, incredibly complex in the nose. big in the mouth, sipping beer at its best, savor this its great with a heady ripe cheese and some crusty bread. This beer gives a nice alcohol warmth going down, but not overpowering. I want to go to Belgium just to have this at the cafe adjacent to the monestary and soak it all in.

Photo of bcostner1
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Brabander and another buddy of mine, I was able to procure 3 bottles of the Westy 12. Just cracked open the first one and it absolutely lived up to the hype. Amazing...

A: Dark brown with an aggressive tan head at the pour, the remnants of which linger for a while as I drink it.

S: Perfect. Dark fruits, delicious yeast are the most predominant aromas.

T: Wow...incredible. Dark fruits, yeast, brown sugar, a hint of molasses maybe. Absolutely delicious.

M: This beer is so incredibly easy to drink. It's actually kind of "light" feeling for a quad. Slightly overcarbonated to me...hence the deduction. Lingers on the palate just long enough but not too long to be cloying. I could definitely do multiples of this (if I were lucky enough to have a limitless supply).

Overall, this beer is phenomenal and worth of it's reputation. I love Quads, have tried a number of them, and this one is the undisputed king. I can't wait to have occasion to drink my last 2.

Photo of ncvbc
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ruby brown in color with shades of rust and copper. Medium head but not near the retention of some in its class. It's still falls slowly to a ring, leaving random lacing down the glass. Smell is amazing. Not as big and rich in the malt department. It makes you anticipate a slightly less full body compared to others. Great scent of fruits. Some grape, raisin, plum, pear, and fig. More fruity than anything. Still a good touch of candy(i) sugar and light yeast. Leather. Some caramel is evident also. Taste is just as amazing. Good fruit flavors again, not too thick from caramel and the like. Candy sugar and a lightly toasted bready yeast. Also some subtle bubble gum flavor. A delicate touch of spice and candy sugar. Mouthfeel isn't as velvety as possible but very nice. More on the medium bodied side with a bit of spice. Alcohol is hardly noticeable in this brew. It's a pleasure to sip on, if possible. So full of flavor and complexity that it's tough to beat. Unbelievably drinkable for what it is.

Photo of herbg
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

We picked up three cases of 12 at the St. Sixtus Abbey. The head stays until the last drop, even if it is an hour later. The taste is very complex and almost indescribable. Three of us shared one that I brought back to the states. Each of us had different impressions. It has hints of spice, sweetness, caramel, and very rich mouthfeel. Even my wife, who does not like any beers other than lambics and flanders red, really liked it a lot. I guess I should not have let her taste it. Less for me.

Photo of regspeir
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of a trade with digita7693
I had this "young" with a 2013 "best by" date. 12-oz bottle poured into a chalice. Poured a ruddy-red tinged, dark brown. A moderately aggressive pour yielded a huge three-finger white head. It settled to 1/2' which lasted throughout. I sipped this beer and there was that fluffy head at the very last sip. The nose was coffee, caramel, plums, lemon, clove, and chocolate. The taste? My goodness...dark, sweet fruit (plums, grapes) with some chocolate at the start and some spices. Belgian (bready) yeasts were evident. The finish moved to dry and even a little bitter, providing a wonderful, complex and balanced evolution. Mouthfeel was thick without being syrupy. Carbonation was surprisingly high, but seemed to fit. It's hard not to gush but this is just an amazing beer. I wanted to find fault with it but could not. Nothing in this review does it justice because it is the subtleties that make it special, and most of them defy description. It is NOT over-rated. You MUST have this.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,045 ratings.