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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,394 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,394
Reviews: 1,601
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,759
Gots: 1,227 | FT: 97
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,394 | Reviews: 1,601 | Display Reviews Only:


4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 19:41:09 | More by LANCENUTTER
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4/5  rDev -13.2%

02-06-2012 00:50:19 | More by drumenigma
Photo of Asgeirr

Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

4/5  rDev -13.2%

02-05-2012 16:39:02 | More by Asgeirr
Photo of prender1482


5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-04-2012 23:15:34 | More by prender1482
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 02:25:54 | More by monitorpop
Photo of 4thelvofbeer


5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had the pleasure of enjoying this beer on a regular basis. Having lived in England for three years, I was able to travel to Belgium and acquire numerous cases of this hard-to-get brew. I drank about half of my stock (about 10 cases total) and have saved and began to age the other half. I break one out and drink it about once a month or so. I am fortunate enough to have tried a variety of Westvleteren 12s, some being as old as 30 years (acquired these from a Belgian teenager who found a couple cases of Westy's in his Grandmas basement!) I have found that the "sweet spot" for these beers is about 5 years old (+/- a year). The beers that fall into this range are perfect. There is not much more to be said, they are the perfect beer. Store these beers right and they will reward you with the best that any beer has to offer. Liquid caramel. Smell, taste, everything is spot on. This beer is rightfully the number one beer in the world. I will continue to make trips to Belgium for the rest of my life to enjoy beers in the cafe (In de Vrede) across the street from the Monastary.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 02:21:16 | More by 4thelvofbeer
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-04-2012 02:09:41 | More by dudeabides76
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-04-2012 00:16:47 | More by yeti123
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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

02-03-2012 20:36:53 | More by VierBier
Photo of Sdmurray4


4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a few of these at the "Cafe In de Vrede" at the monastary. Well....it was pretty damn good. The best in the world? debatable. For me it was a lot like a St. Bernadus 12. Which makes sense since it was the monks at Saint Sixtus Abbey which helped to start St. Berny's brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2012 17:57:25 | More by Sdmurray4
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-02-2012 03:14:24 | More by mikul93
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-01-2012 17:41:26 | More by areich6
Photo of pschul4


4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Big shoutout to readbaron for hooking me up!

A- Pours a light brown. Sits in the glass as a dark brown brew. My anticipation is palable. This is friggin Westy!

S- Very sweet dark fruit scent, it smells so good I don't want to stop smelling it.

T- Oh dear sweet baby Jesus... It's exceeding all expectations. Honestly I'm not a huge fan of quads but this is mind blowing. Sweet dark fruits come into perfect harmony with hops, malts, and alcohol. I could go on all night but just rest assured this is everything it's made out to be.

M- Low carbonation and quite think, which is a great thing given how amazing the flavor is. Definitely a sipper which just makes it last longer.

O- First when I traded for this I was glad I wouldn't have to take part in the hysteria. Now I think I might have to give my first born for a crate of this. Seek out at any cost!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 04:11:04 | More by pschul4
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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

02-01-2012 02:31:37 | More by BillHilly
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

01-31-2012 20:32:33 | More by robertrunner
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Ontario (Canada)

5/5  rDev +8.5%

01-31-2012 20:06:29 | More by herrorara
Photo of phingdong

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

01-31-2012 15:50:36 | More by phingdong
Photo of Sc0pey

United Kingdom (England)

4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle picked up from the Brewery. It pours mahogany to deep ruby in colour with a thin foamy beige head. The nose is wood, ginger, raisin, fig, date, orange-zest, leather and dark chocolate. The taste unbelievably complex: wood, caramel, toffee, plum, cherry, date, prune, fig, stewed pear, red grape, banana, vanilla, leather, smoke, charcoal, milk and dark chocolate, rich-roast coffee, liquorice, nice alcohol warmth....the list could go on. The underlying sweetness balances the more savoury flavours. It has fine carbonation, a full body, layers of complexity, surprising smoothness and one of the longest finishes around. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 09:23:13 | More by Sc0pey
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4/5  rDev -13.2%

01-30-2012 23:38:29 | More by eawolff99
Photo of Fux


4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a dark brown colored brew, with copper / mahogany glints to light. Nice head with a good retention that leaves nice lacing above a thin film of foam.

S: The nose is deep and sweet. Malts, some phenolic esters also but nothing disturbing here. Dark fruits, grapes, raisins, plums, peaches, a bit spicy (cloves) and yeasty. Very complex and hard to describe.

T: Sweet malts, caramel, faint notes of chocolate, lots of dark fruits, cherries, bananas, hints of alcohol. Typical Belgian yeasts bready flavors on the finish. Warming. Slightly bitter.

M: Very carbonated but full bodied.

O: Very complex and well balanced but so easy to drink! With 2-3 years on it, definitely one my favorite beers!

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 21:24:42 | More by Fux
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

01-30-2012 21:14:43 | More by crashoveride
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

01-30-2012 17:32:51 | More by time4abeer
Photo of pcents


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

Wow, I was lucky enough to get a bottle made in 2010 and I split it with a friend of mine. This is the best beer I have ever had and I can only hope that I can get my hands on another one before I die. We poured it out of the traditional unmarked bottle into the most ghetto of clear plastic cup, it pains me to even admit that, but good beer will always be good no matter what. It appearance was a dark murk brown and it had a large yellow/brown head. It had a heavy unami aroma that was very pleasant. Up front it has a simple sweet/malty taste with even a hint of raisin while the back-end of it provided a little spice and heat perhaps due to it being aged for two years. I was told to swish it around in my mouth and there was an explosion of flavor as it turned to a cream like consistency. I would also say it had a little bitter and roasty notes throughout the tasting. Would definitely recommend it and I may have to make a trip to Belgium.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 03:11:59 | More by pcents
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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

01-30-2012 01:44:15 | More by todisht
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4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The experience of drinking a living legend is unique and one that is obviously better experienced than translated into language, however the latter is possible, to an extent.

The word that best describes this beer - pleasurable. This beer strikes the balance of sweet and beer so perfectly, it literally brought a smile to my face. It is sweet on the front end of the experience with a slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is heavy, it turns into thick cream as you swish it around your mouth. There are hints of raisins and plums that give the beer a rich sweetness, that is surely balanced by some mild hoppiness. Heavy carbonation, slightly cloudy, a light head.

There is a mythical experience that comes with drinking Westvleteren 12 that cannot be understood unless one drinks it.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 01:37:39 | More by ciaomonaco
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,394 ratings.