1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

4,817 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,817
Reviews: 1,621
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,932
Gots: 1,390 | FT: 106
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: 4,817 | Reviews: 1,621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of calcio360jrd
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 2003 vintage bottle at a belgian beer tasting at the Funky Buddha in Boca Raton, FL on 4/17/11.

I have to say this is a very good beer, but i didn't see it as the "holy grail of beers"(no pun intended seeing that this is an abbey beer)

I quite enjoyed this beer, the lacing on the glass signaled the quality and the aroma was great. The taste was as impressive, but i personally have had some better overall belgian beers

I am planning another trip to europe this year so maybe i will get to belgium and who knows, maybe get to the abbey to try the other 2 beers they produce!

calcio360jrd, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of IHyphySF
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

IHyphySF, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of 6string
5/5  rDev +8.5%

6string, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of peacemakers48
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

peacemakers48, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of texashammer
3.93/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red-orange or copper color, with a thin head composed of very small bubbles. Beautiful fine resilient lacing. The lacing lasts and glitters in the light. It's gorgeous.
Nose is malty and yeasty with maybe some subdued raspberry -- I know this may sound like blasphemy but it reminded me immediatly of New Belgium Frambozen.
Taste is burnt roasty and smoky with a bite of carbonation. Raisins definitely; here I think of the Raison d'Etre. Sweet malts. As it warms there is more heady alcoholic sweetness. Burnt chocolate, caramelized sugar like creme brulee. There is a lot of yeastiness, very fruity.
The body is medium-full with an incredibly soft and smooth mouthfeel. The finish is like silk. Drinkability is hurt a little by the richness and the alcohol which I can feel.

texashammer, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of BRoss242
5/5  rDev +8.5%

BRoss242, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of abecall98
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thank you Macdommer for the trade.

A - pours a purple thick cloudy dark color. Nice white head after the pour, as well as being retained nicely. Holding it up to the light, the color looks magnificent.

S - very sweet, almost like fresh sweet raisins. Smell is in no way overpowering, and smells of the most fresh ingredients.

T - very sweet, small bitter bite, and the sweet sweet taste of fresh raisins. The sweetness of this beer is beyond belief. For a 10.2% alcohol, the sweetness is definitely the front line taste, followed by brief bitterness and a hint of alcohol.

M - very well carbonated, the taste is able to move freely throughout the mouth. Not very creamy, and for a good reason. This beer is all about a smooth carbonation that leaves a small aftertaste that makes you wanting more.

D - here is where it loses some points. The small aftertaste of the alcohol makes this one less drinkable than other brews. This is drinkable, yes, just not the most drinkable beer I have had. The small alcohol bite at the end is the most unappealing aspect of an almost perfect beer.

abecall98, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of RomanW70
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first Westy 12! Dark brown with a cramy tan that disappears into a ring. Huge thanks to Old Style Cub fan! Huge and beautiful aroma of cherries, brown sugar, raisins, figs. Amazing flavor, fresh and strong, yet extremely complex. Has a strong vineous quality. Finish is beautifully smooth and sweet. There's a lot going on in this beer. It's worthy of its top beer titile!

RomanW70, May 25, 2008
Photo of Cmack15
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahh the infamous Westvleteren 12 one of the most highly sought after beers. The beer is a nice deep brown color but not black. You have to take your time with this beer because of the high abv and all the notes that you can pick up in both the nose and the taste. Toffee, caramel, and malty sweetness capture your nose. The taste is a delicious blend of the aromas plus a little warmth from the abv. This beer is a good beer to end the night with because of its high abv plus your palette will be overloaded after drinking this beer. Take your time and savor this great brew.

Cmack15, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of yasky
4/5  rDev -13.2%

yasky, May 30, 2014
Photo of drlovemd87
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

drlovemd87, May 10, 2013
Photo of KHM
5/5  rDev +8.5%

KHM, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Mcooly
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Mcooly, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of ianroodt
5/5  rDev +8.5%

ianroodt, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of StPaulSuds
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

StPaulSuds, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of Theshooster
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have visited the In De Vrede Cafe located right next door to the Westvleteren Monastery 4 times now and each time is a special treat. My good friend lives in Poperinge, a tiny town just south of the cafe and each time I visit we grab the bicycles and go for a beer. Absolutely delicious and the seclusion of the place is equally wonderful. Nestled in the middle of hops paradise.

A - Dark brown, carmel shades

S - Sweet, spiced, malty

T - The best part! Full, rich, deep spiced textures

M - Silky smooth

O - My absolute favorite for the combination of taste, story behind the beer, and rarity of drinking one.

Theshooster, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of eblythe1
5/5  rDev +8.5%

eblythe1, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of tedsox31
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Served at 55 degrees F, it pours a thick and carbonated, off-white head. The color of the beer is medium brown and somewhere between translucent and opaque.

Aroma: Up front there is a ton of dark fruit character: raisins, cherries, and figs with cherries being the most aggressive. There is also some caramel and toffee flavors, and a touch of yeast and alcohol. As it warms some more of the yeasty character comes to the fore, along with a sweetness that wasn't there in the beginning.

Taste: There is a surprising lack of alcohol in this beer. What alcohol I did detect was well-hidden and not present until I was nearly done with the entire glass. The dark fruits mentioned in the aroma are all there, but there is also a bit of roastiness, similar to toasted oatmeal. The caramel and toffee flavors are there at the beginning, but as it warms they subside into more of an overall malt character. A touch of bitterness at the end is all that lets me know there were indeed hops added at some point in the brew day.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with medium carbonation. The taste of the sweetness lingers, but not in an unpleasant or cloying way.

Overall: Such a fantastic, fantastic beer, and well worth the wait I enforced upon myself. And it lives up to the hype! It's unbelievable to me that there are Belgians out there that have the opportunity to drink this beer on a semi-regular basis. I will seek this beer out again sometime, and encourage all beer lovers to try it at some point in their lives.

tedsox31, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of mrnobody
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Figured review #100 should be for something special. Thanks to Jeffo for the bottle.

330 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown with three plus fingers of thick brownish head with some darker/reddish patches like cinnamon on cappuccino. Great retention and sticky lacing.

S: Smells of yeast, spice, plum, alcohol.

T: Tastes of lots of rich dark fruit (plum, raisin, fig). Starts out very sweet but finishes nice and dry with just a hint of booze. Delicious.

M: Fairly full mouthfeel with subtle carbonation.

D: For a quad, drinkability is very high.

mrnobody, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of BourbonDork
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

BourbonDork, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Tiger33
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Tiger33, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of grze
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

grze, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of marksto
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Tampa BA gathering 5/5/08. I think I'd had this one before but it has been a very long time. Pours a tawny, cloudy, light brown color with thin head of dense bubbles. Medium retention. Aroma displays very nice complexity - fruit, light spice, malt sweetness, even the slight essence of juicy fruit gum. The flavor builds on the notes in the nose. Brown sugar, carmel, light cinnamon, with dark fruit essences. Alcohol is well hidden beneath it all. The key is the wonderful balance of all of them - sweetness, bitterness, and fruitiness all interplay wonderfully.

Reviewing the beer long rated #1 here brings mixed feelings. Certainly it is an excellent beer, but I also believe there are some better ones out there, and my scores on this and those beers reflect that. Then again, it's all about individual tastes and how they reflect on a common scoring system. Any true conniseur knows there really is no #1 - there is a grouping of world class beers and this one belongs in the upper echelons of that group. 'Nuff said.

marksto, May 06, 2008
Photo of mjm47
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

mjm47, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of HOMEPL8
5/5  rDev +8.5%

HOMEPL8, Nov 07, 2013
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,817 ratings.