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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.

4,949 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,949
Reviews: 1,632
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 2,977
Gots: 1,443 | 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)
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: 4,949 | Reviews: 1,632 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 33 cl bottle into a Westvleteren goblet.

A: pours brown with a grape, fig-like color, opaque; tightly-beaded head of a light tan color that gently settles into the beer and laces.

S: yeasty, fresh-baked bread, dark fruit/fig, very slight noble hop spiciness. Scores just shy of perfect because I have to work for it a little.

T: Starts with chocolate and quickly follows with lots of dark fruit, fig, plum, grape fruit flavor. Settles into a sweet caramel, molasses taste, ending with a bitterness mixed with noble hops and alcohol that lingers into the aftertaste, which is almost numbing.

M: very light, somewhat fluffy, effervescent. a little sticky, light but viscous.

D: Scores just shy of perfect as this is a strong sipper, Complexity in this beer is unmatched and the balance is better than any I have tried. It seems I get a little more of everything--the fruity, malty, yeasty flavors mixed with just a little hops at the end.

joeysmokedporter, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of Trizzle
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Murky dark brown with a solid finger and a half of head that sits around and leaves slabs of lace.

Sweet malt, raw sugar, toffee and a background of wet grass and hay in the nose. Some liquorice, and warming alcohols in the mix as well.

A medium thick body full of raw cereal, muscovado and candy sugars, molasses and liquorice in the malt. Bitter roasted barley and hops from the boil bring a good hit of dry bitterness in the middle. Finish starts dry and becomes sweeter. A slight alcohol that lingers in the back of the throat is the only real sign of the ABV.

Good medium level carbonation plus the very generous malt body give a good solid chewiness. (I think this is the only area where this beer definitively tops the fantastic Rochefort 10)

I like it. Its my 3rd lash at the 12 and I hope I get another go.

Trizzle, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of Mudpuppet
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from a unmarked bottle (except the cap of course). Pours mud brown with no head. You can see a watery edge on the beer also.

S- There is a very light malty aroma from the beer.

T- This is a very tasty beer with notes of chocolate, grape, raisin and plum.

M- The is a low carbonated beer but it is perfectly carbonated. It is smooth across the tongue and you want another sip asap.

D- I like this beer a lot. I obviously won't be having it often but I am happy to have the chance to try it. This was the last beer of a Trappist tasting so my notes were light even though this was great.

Mudpuppet, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of IPA4LIFE
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Dark brown color with ruby-red hues in it. Tan, effervescent 1 inch head popped up with an aggressive amount of fizz. The head seemed a bit too watery for me. Basically, I expected more of a fluffy, sturdy head. The head is my one mark-down on appearance.

S- Spice notes, with vanilla, brown sugar and clove.Fairly phenolic. Very small notes of fig.Aroma isn't as bold as the taste, but it is consistent and nice.

T- Ok, here we have something special. Deep roast caramel malty flavors, brown sugar, vanilla, clove and allspice, burnt marshmallow,and dried fig are all present. Sweetness that is almost like a Dr. Pepper (in the best way possible). Aftertaste is dark dried cherries and a hint of vanilla. Warm hints of booze matched with strong phenols and a very dry finish make this one of the best tasting, most complex beers out there.

M- Fairly full-bodied, really nice.

O- This is a solid, solid, beer. I am very glad to have tried it, and the taste really is world class. Some of the subtleties of this beer just can't be found anywhere else. With that being said, I don't think I would constantly hunt this beer down or seek it out. Given another chance, I would love to drink it, but the money and effort are at the far end of my tolerance for acquiring beer, when something like St. Bernadaus 12 or Chimay 12 is readily available. With all of that said- I would still have to concur that this is the King of Belgian beer.

IPA4LIFE, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of alwaysanswerb
5/5  rDev +8.5%

alwaysanswerb, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of radioscooter
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So after all the reading about, hearing about, and let's face it - hype - associated with this beer, I have finally opened my single bottle I acquired on eBay.

As always, I will try to comment here away from what has gone previously. My ranking or specific commentary is worthless to pros. I am but a novice. I know what I like. I like quads, strong dark ales with complexity and flavor.

As I pour it into a goblet, I notice the lack of head, and an unassuming semi translucent mahogany hue.

The bottle is colder than I like to drink. But my pattern is to start chilled and let it come up to room temp before I start seriously sipping.

Aroma is very subdued, Earthy, but not heady - not revealing too much of what's to come.

What comes is nothing short of history in a bottle. The mystery and intrigue of centuries of Trappist Monks creating the ultimate ale is present in every sip.

Once again I am forced to reference legend. If there was ever a beer that could eclipse the stories of Mead, Treacle, Butter Beer or Ambrosia - this truly is a magical nectar in our physical mundane, Muggle world. The words "flagon", "quaff" and "tavern" were created to accessorize this ale.

I can't imagine what standardization needs to be in place to vote something the "best beer in the world". It seems like a ludicrously subjective classification. And as amazing as this beer is - I'm not saying that I'd choose it every or all night. But really -there is no "next best contender" to this beer, because it is unique in its approach and scope. A heady breath of dark, slightly figgy, mildly sweet (and I mean mild) malt flavors hits the tongue and then dissipates into... more of the same. Instead of transmuting into some phenol-ridden, frothy fluff - the flavor just exponentially increases and drapes as it travels over your palette.

As I get to the bottom of the bottle, the cloudy sediment shows its presence. Flavors are hard to isolate because the blend has been perfected into a cohesive whole ONEness. But some fig, currant and - as God is my witness - LOAM come to the top of the pile.

The hype is high on this one because of its legendary rareness. One in a while hype is justified. Sometimes, you just need to recognize that the laws of supply and demand are affected by real world lay-lines of taste and appreciation.

There are so many magical fables that we can't reach out and touch. If, as a child - you ever longed for Brigadoon, Narnia, Middle Earth or Neverland to be real - go through the motions and acquire a bottle of this beer. It's worth the trouble to reaffirm your sense of humility and wonder in the world.

radioscooter, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of Cstromberg57
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Cstromberg57, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of Heff19
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

Heff19, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of DevinK
4.75/5  rDev +3%

DevinK, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of Pipelovejoy
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Pipelovejoy, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of wanderlust389
5/5  rDev +8.5%

wanderlust389, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I received a mix crate of the celebrated Westvleteren for Christmas, I cracked open the 12 and 8 for New Years.

Poured into a plain Goblet

I won't even bother breaking down this brew into smell, taste, overall, etc.

This is just a fantastic beer, Its almost insulting to call it beer, its a sweet elixer that must have been handed down by the God(s).

I don't just hand out good ratings for beers, and selectively review beers. This one is all that its reputation says it is, some of the best beer in the world. So smooth, so good, so very very good. I'm happy I have more of these, and will have to work on getting some more. I just can't live without this beer (elixer) now. Find it, Get it, Be thankful you did.

leftmindedrighty, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of Big78CJ
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I will keep my comments brief as there are enough people contributing their opinions on this beer.

I recently returned from Belgium where I visited the abbey with a friend and consumed/purchased each of the Westvleteren trappist beers (in addition to an old red cap I obtained at De Kulminator in Antwerp). The beer is fantastic, my ratings clearly show I do not diagree with this. However, I find myself hard pressed to declare it the best beer in the world. I think it is hard to claim any beer is the best in the world as temperature variations, storage conditions, age, not to mention quality of that year's ingredients can alter the taste of any beer to make it better or worse.

As a result, I think it is actually the scarcity of this beer that drives up the desire and thus the eventual payoff. It is not that the beer is the best in the world (though I would rank it in my top 5), it is simply that after so much longing, one cannot alloe oneself the disappointment of not calling it the best in the world. Many of you may think my comments blasphemous but I do not contest the goodness of the beer, I only wish to point out the effect of expectation on perception....

This beer continues to grow on me every time I drink it, or as is more often the case, drink another beer out of my silver-rimmed westvleteren chalice

Big78CJ, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of Mahlik
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Mahlik, May 20, 2012
Photo of yspiff
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

yspiff, Friday at 04:31 AM
Photo of modidia
5/5  rDev +8.5%

modidia, Dec 21, 2012
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 zdauber
4.75/5  rDev +3%

zdauber, May 19, 2014
Photo of RedDon
4.75/5  rDev +3%

RedDon, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My soon to be brother in law brought back a few bottles of this from Amsterdam and invited me over for a surprise.

A - Split the bottle into two servings. Poured into chimay goblets. Very hazy, dark copper. Light tan headed retained well but not as thick as expected for style. Possibly due to splitting among two servings.

Smell - Very evident bread smell, like a fresh cooked raisin bread. There is a subdued alcohol smell. And then into fruits raisin and plum, very sweet fruit.

T - Perfection. It is so well balanced, one note blends into the next, I cant describe whats happening. It starts off with a bread pudding, then into sweet plum notes finishing off with just a hit of hops leaving me in a state of nirvana

M - Deceptive. I feel Like I could inhale the entire glass. But there is a full body and lots of carbonation.

O - Perfection. This is the most complex beer yet so perfectly balanced. The malt and hops are transformed into something completely unworldly.

I can now die a happy man.

DwnTwnBwn, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of BrettHead
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

BrettHead, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of Cottzilla
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Cottzilla, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of dwitt24
5/5  rDev +8.5%

dwitt24, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of JammyV
4.75/5  rDev +3%

JammyV, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Shoo65
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Shoo65, Jan 14, 2013
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,949 ratings.