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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.

5,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,119
Reviews: 1,650
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,079
Gots: 1,549 | FT: 116
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

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: 5,119 | Reviews: 1,650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of splax23
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of cjohal85
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of AdamF625
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Dimos23
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Gretlawn
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of mojiboo02
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TemplofBeer
4.75/5  rDev +3%

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

The best thing about this beer is it goes through several different changes during the process of drinking it and all of them are great. The pour was a dark brown but not black. The nose came out with dates, caramel, leafs, and strong yeast. The texture was some what like champagne. Tasted way lighter then it looked. I almost could not taste the alcohol at all. When it started to warm up I started getting a heavy tobacco taste, would have even been good with a cigar or what ever it is you put in your pipe. Also some strong licorice flavors. The malt is perfect and not heavy at all. Not sure of the date of mine but I would love to try one of these that as quite of bit of age on it.

Photo of geetlord
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My friend braught this bottle back with him from Belguim and I am very glad that he shared it with me.
This beer poured a very dark amber with excelent lacing
its aroma was full of dark berries, black cherries, black currnts and teh like, it had some ints of mollasses and some yeastyness.
the flavore was wonderfulyl complex. it initialy tasted of fruis and berries, but subsided to a more bitter unsweetened chocolate like flavor and finished with a smooth tartness at the back of the toung with hints of alcohol.
overall this beer was excelent and if i ever stumble uppon it again I intend on getting some.

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

2009 bottle.

Pours a dark brown with a good amount of off-white head, lots of lacing.

Scent is of dark fruits, raisins, a sweet sugar presence, and a hint of booze.

The taste is similar - dark fruits, figs, raisins, and a sugary sweetness in the back.

This is medium-bodied and creamy with a well-balanced moderate level of carbonation.

This is a great beer. A quadrupel that I can drink all night (I wish I had enough to do that). I had this at a tasting with Westy 8 as well and I found it interesting that this was less boozy than that. Is this worthy of the title of "best beer in the world"? That's for you to decide. But I'll doubt you'll call it anything but a great beer regardless.

Photo of cdrogers
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured straight from the bottle into a tall goblet. It had been stored for a couple months from the date of purchase in an light-free and cool place in the house.

It poured a strong "cola" color with a dark-brown and almost milky head. The carbonation was quite visible and more so then most beers I've had. The head seemed to stay, very slightly, throughout drinking. For the dark color it was still a pretty clear pour.

It smelled so sweet. Not a bad sweet though, not like a pot of warm, double-boiler chocolate type sweet, but somewhat cinnamony(?). It wasn't overpowering and it pulls you in.

After taking a sip the sweetness seems to dance over the tongue and into the cheeks. For this sweetness it goes down very smooth and has a minimal aftertaste. I had it by itself, but I could see it going well with a nice creamy cheese for some reason. I think the flavors would balance well.

I received six of these from someone in Belgium and sold all but two of them. I wanted to keep a couple and try it out and I'm glad I did. I wish it were widely available in the states. Of course the value or mystic of it would go down, but regardless it is a beer that I could see myself drinking any day of the week. More so in the winter months, but a nice relaxing evening would work well. I recommend this to anyone who has the chance to taste it.


Photo of pvequalsnrt
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of dudeabides76
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of caresville
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

split bottle with PaulMPap, poured into unibroue chalice.

a- deeep, dark, murky brown with some floaties. nice little fluffy head with good but not great lacing.

s- hype or not this stuff smelled amazing. baked bread, brown sugar, figs, cinnamon, prunes, raisins, licorice, basically smells like if you mixed everything that is the color brown that tastes fantastic and liquify it.

t&m- pretty much what i expected... a heavy, earthy hop tone with hints of malts, sugars and dried fruits. liquid alcoholic cinnamon teddy grahams. cant even taste the alcohol, very well masked and truly a thing of beauty to drink.

d- smooth and delicious, lives up to the hype for me!! IMO not the best beer in the world, but damn near close. looking forward to getting my own bottle very soon and not sharing!!

Photo of hotmanflab666
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of jonandhisflask
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of seanmonaghan13
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of epicbeard85
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of etreesh
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dmkaz
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of thestupidpunk
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of mjh0527
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of jbmalta
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of k3n
4.16/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received bottle from Tangfoot (all hail!).

Disclaimer: This bottle was the casualty of the shipment, arriving wet and leaking. I'd lost about 20% of the beer in transit. I rinsed the bottle, and stuck it in the fridge. After 3 days of hemming and hawing, I decided to trhow caution to the wind and crack it. Hence...

A: Dark brown, murky gold on the edges. Eureka! Still has bubbles! I got about 1/2" of dense bubbles which died down almost immediately, leaving no lacing, but plenty of swirly patterns on top of my beer.

S: ::cautious:: not skunky. Smells of malt and alcohol, maybe some raisins. Not much smell, unfortunately, could be due to leakage?

T: Ahh. Malty-caramelly-figgy-molassesy. A hint of alcohol heat underneath, but very understated.

M/D: Thick and syrupy, but not cloying. Excellent for sipping, just take it easy, and enjoy the bottle.

I'd love the chance to try one that's aged a bit!

Photo of ThirdLap
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In a nutshell, this beer is markedly better after about ten years of aging.

Several months ago I put out a last minute request to secure a bottle of Westy 12 for my best friend and I to share on the night before his wedding. A gentleman who is a member of BA and a pioneer in the world of craft brewing came through, and provided us with nine-and-a-half year old examples of Westy 8 and 12. Both were phenomenal, and arguably the best beers either of us had ever tasted.

I'd since acquired another 12 in a trade, and figured now was as good of a time as any for my friend and I to split another bottle. While excellent, it was very different from the aged bottle. What we noticed most about the newer bottle:

- noticeably darker
- lots of alcohol on the nose and palate; the old example was much more muted. The heavy alcohol presence does take away from the experience.
- smell and taste were similar, but an inoffensive tangy bitterness that stuck around after the swallow was much more apparent in the newer example

I will likely give any future bottle of Westy at least five years of aging. I am absolutely amazed by what time does to this beer.

At the moment I'm sipping on a St. Bernardus Abt 12, as I could not resist the urge to do a back to back comparison. Here's what I've noticed:

- Bernadus 12 looks a bit better
- Westy smells slightly better
- Westy is more complex on the palate... while the two beers are similar, the individual notes of the varied flavors are simply more pronounced in Westy
- Bernardus 12 has a lot more carbonation.
- Finish is stickier with the Bernardus
- Westy tastes a bit more 'pure'; Bernardus has a slight chemical-like 'off' taste not found in the Westy

Westy is outstanding, and quite possibly the best quad on earth. That said, there are a number of other big Belgians that provide just as an involving and complex experience that are far more widely available.

Anyhow, here are my nearly undoctored notes for the 'newer' Westy 12, as I imagine that is how most will experience it.

A - Deep murky caramel with burnt orange edges, off-white, short-lasting head, minimal lacing, resilient halo remains until nearly the end

S - Raisins, prunes, varied dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, spices, big alcohol presence

T - Sweet dark fruits - raisins, dates, spices, nice malt balance, vanilla, yeasty Belgian funk, tangy bite on the sides of the tongue

M - Chewy, soft, and creamy. Carbonation is medium for the style, and the finish is sweet, but leaves a bitterness that coats the mouth between sips. Alcohol burn is far too apparent.

Drinkability is off the charts.

I've now had eight of the top 10 beers on BA, and can confidently say that the Westies, Dark Lord, and the Plinies are not overhyped. They are the best examples of their respective styles that I've tasted.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,119 ratings.