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

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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,426 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,426
Reviews: 1,724
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,297
Gots: 1,739 | FT: 133
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

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: 5,426 | Reviews: 1,724
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finaly got round to opening a bottle of this stuff (had 5 bottles for a number of years), lets see what all the fuss is about.

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice, it looked fairly limp compared to it's 8% brother, wispy head on top of a moody looking dark browny/red body. I tried not to let any sediment out the bottle, but a little managed to leap past me into the chalice, I'll drink the remainder of the bottle (a fifth) with most of the sediment at the end of the review. I am reviewing live as I drink this evening.

The nose is rich red fruits, dried on a bed of dark chocolate and aged with fine English Oak, this is a smell not to mess with.

The taste is fantastic, add some carbonisation and a heap of alcohol to the aforementioned aromas and you're half way there: I found a gargantuan amount of flavours and I now see why beery people clamour for this brew so much. Sweeter than I thought it would be (shared half a glass at the brewery bar when I bought the beer, don't remember the sweetness), but that doesn't detract from the tasting I'm currently having, which I'm really enjoying.

The 10.2% only become evident as the mouth dries, so well is the body and mouthfeel, a truely great beer, certainly now in my top 10, only the appearance letting it down.

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle. Expensive, I think I paid over $7 for this little sucker! Anyway, pours dark and viscous. This stuff is thick, raises a formidable long lasting head. Nose of spices,yeast,earth, currants and musk. Flavor notes of fruit, earth, muskyness and yeast. COMPLEX flavors, yeastyness. Not on the top of my list, cuz its just not all that drinkable , IMHO, Not a beer for beginners. All strong dark Belgian lovers rejoice and seek out this classy, exotic sipper.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a flute. Amber in appearance with foamy bubbles presenting the off white head. Active carbonation apparent with some sediment.

Strong aroma of bready malts, apparant booze. Fragrant and inviting.

Tastes of sweet malts. Very complex malt body. Tart and puckering. Herbal hop adds to the mix. Perfectly balanced. Pronounced dark fruit character. This beer is strong flavored and full bodied, reminiscent of a fine bourbon, only much cleaner on the palate.

Goes down really damn smooth. Crisp and well carbonated mouthfeel that makes me yearn to continue sipping.

Glad I got to try such a fine beer. Sets a benchmark of what a Quad should be. Drink em if you got em.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BA Daus for his opening up his cellar.

Well, this a very fine beer...but I've had better. No problem, I give it props.

Pours a light caramel brown, lighter than expected and for the style. Some particles floating around and a 1 finger head. Head pulls down to a collar.

Aroma is caramelized almost-rotten apple, sweet biscuit and plump young raisin. Boozy, too.

Flavors are extremely well balanced, yet nothing sturdy. Orchard fruits, caramel, candied sugar. Boozy on the end. Some spice comes and goes. A bit light with the flavors. Nice finish on it with the fruit and caramel tailing off nicely, and the alcohol giving a pleasant warming.

Overall, a very nice beer. A tad light for the style, and not a "holy poop, this is great" beer. Worth the adventure to secure one...or two

Photo of DoubleJ
4.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This has been a long time coming. I had a small taste of it years back, but having a taste is not the same as having an entire bottle to yourself. It also isn't the same as being in the cafe across the street of the monastery and having it served properly in its own chalice. The main event is here. On to the beer:

A large rocky head sits on top of this dark, creamy brown colored beer. It retains well and leaves reasonable lace around. The aroma is...not as intense as expected. It features notes of plum, chocolate, and pudding, however I needed to dig deep to find this subtle, lovely notes.

The flavor puts this beer on track. The flavor is as intense as I thought and does feel more so than the 8. Ironincally, soft yeasty fruit hits first, followed by figs, a peppery biterness, pudding, and dark chocolate. Very deep in flavor, and the full creamy body of the beer suits the beer very well. Yum yum yum!

On its own, Westvleteren 12 is an excellent beer. If you're not at In de Vrede, it's a bit of work to track down a bottle, even at bottle shops in Brussels! Everyone shoud try this beer at least once.

Photo of tempest
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A year after trading with Leftmindedrighty, I finally decided to crack this baby open.

It's pours a dark, slightly hazy brown with a thin tan head. The aroma has a hint of cardboard, but otherwise its smooth, Belgian chocolate with a hint of fruit. The flavors going on in the beer are nuts. I'm blown away by the complexity. Just running down the list of flavors in my notes I got: chocolate (lots of it), grassy/herbal hops, caramel, candi sugar, medjool dates (really sweet dates), and cola. Everything is very smooth and one flavor melts into the next.

I tried to be skeptical, but this truly is divine beer. I had this back to back with the St. Bernardus 12, but there's not much comparison. The Bernardus is lighter in color and thus has more fruity flavors than chocolate. I love Bernardus, but if Westy 12's were just as available, it'd be my go-to.

Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeffo much kindly for the Westvleteren trade. A fresh one here, bottle cap dated 22.09.13. Poured into an official Westvleteren chalice. Smoke and big gas pop upon opening.

A great appearance consisting of a creamy off tan/white head that has peaks and valleys. Whipped up meringue like topping. Body is a nice dark ruby red and some chestnut/walnut dark brown with a see through quality but dark to actually see through. Lacing while drinking is exceptional consisting of scatters waves of foam while drinking. Once again like their blonde, an amazing appearance.

Nose though is almost non existent. Closed and muted a subtle hint of alcohol heat over top a juicy grape. Nose opens up after a couple of sips more so slightly. Hints of grainy ripping husk sense too after opening, perhaps some raisin/dates sense.

Taste though, is an example I think of why lots of people cellar this beer. A very noticeable and overpowering hot alcohol heat that sits on top of a juicy grape palate. Alcohol masks much of the malt and fruit component but does bring interesting play. Much of the boozy feels like a junipery gin with classic botanicals and so forth. Texture is solid even creamy to some extent giving that juicy feeling. There is a tannic quality to this like the 8 but more like a nut than barrel/wood with a teeth coating chew.

Overall man I wish this wasn't so hot. It feels like a typical hot young wine that needs to age maybe that will make it better? Would love to age this and try it again some day in the future.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm finally reviewing this beer that I've had sitting around for months and months. Thanks to Floydster for the chance to try it. I'm a big fan of quads in general, and especially the Trappist ones. So far my benchmark for the style has been Rochefort 10, which I like a deal better than the St. Bernardus 12. What I like about the Rochefort 10 as compared to the St. Bernardus is the nice spicy hop finish and lingering bitterness wheras I find the abt 12 to be a good deal breadier and maltier. Both have exceptional balance, but I also like the Rochefort's more sustained fruit as compared to the St. Bernardus's creamier finish. I had expected the Westvleteren 12 to be more like the St. Bernardus in flavor given its history and all of the comments about it over the years. At least in these three beers current incarnations, I finf the Westvleteren 12 and the Rochefort 1o to be much more similar than either is to the abt 12. I can't say that I like the Wewstvletern better than the Rochefort, but they are both exquisite beers.

This beer pours dark chestnut with a very tightly knit head that soon settles to a thin ring and leaves some spotty lacing. The clarity is better on this beer than the Rochefort, but the head is not as magnificent. Beautifully balanced malt aromas with quite a bit of dark fruit and a hint of spun sugar. The taste is exceptional with beautifuly balanced sweet malt, dark fruit, and spicy hops. The mouthfeel is slightly heavy, maybe a bit more so than the Rochefort and has a tannic edge to it rather than being super creamy. Regardless, this is a pleasure to drink and parse its flavors and if I had another one I'd crack it right now.

Photo of corby112
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

24.09.11 stamped on the cap. I think that means bottled in 08 but I'm not sure.

Pours a very dark chestnut brown/plum color with slight murky cooper brown edges and a one finger frothy beige head that slowly fades into a thin lasting cap. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Spicy, estery aroma with lots of vinous dark fruit, zesty pepper and earthy hops. Very complex nose with lots of plum, grape, raisin, fig, date and dark cherry. This is complimented by a nice roasted malt presence with hints of chocolate and caramel and subtle earthy pine. Peppery with coriander and cardamom as well as hints of yeast/bread, phenol and licorice. This beer smells exceptional.

Medium bodied with a perfect balance of sweet, vinous dark fruit, eatery yeast, zesty spice, earthy hops, roasted malt and sweet alcohol. Soft carbonation up front with a heavy spice profile. Lots of zesty pepper and coriander that lingers throughout over the complex body into a sweet yet dry finish. This is quickly countered by a delicious dark fruit presence with hints of plum, grape, dark cherry, fig and raisin. The sweetness from the yeast is complimented perfectly by a prominent malt character. Fuller bodied than other beers in the style with a slightly roasted character giving off hints of chocolate, toffee and caramel. In addition to all of these flavors, there is a subtle earthy hop presence that adds more depth, balance and complexity. It's not overpowering, providing just enough bitterness to balance things out a bit. Toward the end of the swallow there is some sweet alcohol phenols and subtle heat but the ABV is excellently masked with little to no warmth in the finish. This beer is dangerously drinkable at 10.2%.

Overall, this beer incredibly complex, delicious and extremely quaffable. The best example of the style that I've tried and one of the best beers I've ever drank.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a de Struise chalice. 2001 bottle. Best by 9/7/2004. Won this bottle in a raffle at the Funky Buddha.

Appearance - Pours a murky reddish brown with a surprising off white head. Chunky and sedimenty. Collar of foam.

Smell - Sherry and other oxidized flavors. Very fruity. The caramel malt still comes through.

Taste - Significantly better than the aroma. The oxidation makes it a little creamier. Lots of sherry. No booze. Buckets of dark fruit. A touch sweet with a somewhat rough cardboard finish.

Mouthfeel - No booze. Low carbonation. Way too oxidized, but it's still pleasant to drink.

Overall - I should really review a fresher bottle. This is really oxidized but the quality of the beer still comes through. Westy with sherry.

Photo of weeare138
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'05 bottle...
Appears a deep mahogany color with a beautiful 1/2" beige head that slowly fades out. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of candy sugar, raisins, brown sugar, and some black grapes.
Taste is of sweet brown sugar, rich malt, vanilla, raisins, nuts, and dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is lingering with chewy, malty sweetness, lip numbing stickiness, but very much balanced with the malt and hops melding together for a superb finish.
The ABV is well hidden.
I had this next to a 15 year old bottle of Westy 12 and while the older bottle was more complex(and mildly oxidized), the fresher bottle's flavors and mouthfeel outdid the elder bottle.

Edit 11/25/06: I just popped a 3 year old bottle received in a trade from prop13. This one seemed near flawless. I had it side by side with a Rochefort 10 and it slightly edged out the Rochefort by a hair with it's smoothness, gentle hopping, and a boozy brandy-esque enjoyability. Heaven in a bottle.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here it is. What, by many accounts, is the best beer in the entire world. Purchased at Bier Tempel in Brussels, along with the 8 and the Blond. Carried to Bruges until I realised I didn't have a bottle opener. After I attempted to prise off the cap with the edge of the table and the toilet-roll dispenser in the hotel room, my girlfriend became bemused and went out to buy me a bottle opener.

To the big question, however: can a beer this hyped live up to its expectations?

Freshness date of 20/04/14 stamped on the cap.

Pours a murky red brown, deeply coloured with amazingly fine carbonation feeding a modest, but amazingly fine-bubbled head. Lacing is thick and creamy, like uncooked meringue. Body is light, but slick looking, holding some of that fine carbonation when tilted. The bead is what makes this beer look so very refined. It's an absolutely lovely lookjng brew.

Nose is fine and light, tantalisingly giving off its aromas of spicy esters, fruity tannins and portlike booze. Slight tingle of lemon acidity to it as well. To be perfectly honest, though, its a lot less robust than I expected. The characters are very pleasant, and nicely balanced, but I've had beers with similar characters that have been fuller and more intoxicating. I'm not saying the subtlety here is bad. Just surprising.

Taste is lovely, however. Broad and long, giving wonderful complexity over the tongue, and developing as time passes along its length. Characters of raisins, tea leaf, red grapes, banana skin, rosemary, vanilla, cherry brandy, with a boozy and mildly astringent finish that you think is there to clean it up, but in fact just adds its own subtle complexity. Feel is sublime, just so smooth and supple and slick and thinly creamy. Now I understand the lack of body. Any more, and you'd look at overwhelming the subtle complexities.

I don't think I've had a better Belgian. This is top of the style easily, and it does easily warrant such an impressive place in the beer ethos. But, no, it's not the best beer in the world. The best beer in the world is still out there somewhere, tantalising me with its mythical presence. Some day, I will find it.

And unless I want to think that it's all downhill from here, I have to believe that until the end of my beer-drinking days.

Photo of Zorro
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark brown brew.

Smell is malty and spicy, lots of grape and apple smells. Brown sugar and maple add to the sugar smells.

Taste is sweet and very sugary. Prominent sugar and fruit tastes. Lots of brown sugar and cinnamon flavors. Delicious spice flavors, Pepper and cardamom are foremost. Nice bitterness in the aftertaste. Malt and Biscuit flavors come through after a bit. Woody and earthy flavors complete the brew, mushrooms and oak flavors.

Mouthfeel is very good, thickish with champagne bubbles.

Really drinkable...If you can find a bottle! I have been storing these two bottles for a long time.

Photo of HopHead84
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8/22/2010

1996 vintage.

The beer appears deep burgundy tinged brown with a large frothy beige head. The aroma displays a complex and complimentary sherry-like oxidation quality. This aged iteration is reminiscent of a fine port, with notes of ripe plum and prominent cherries. It's somewhat nutty, with an effusion of caramel, dates, and prunes. The flavor is rich and malty with sherry oxidation and a touch of cardboard, just a touch. Notes of ripe cherries accompany dates, prunes, and a strong caramel profile. The beer is highly carbonated with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and noticeable alcohol warming. A rare aged treat, thanks!

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

A: Poured a dark cola brown with a small head. Had some sediment in the bottom

S: Nose smelled of figs, caramel, brown sugar and grapes.

T: Taste is good with lots of grapes, figs, caramel raisins. Amazing. Very smooth

M: Mouthfeel was good, ABV was well hidden and it kept this beer very drinkable. A very smooth and silky element

O: Overall I can def see why this is world class. Amazing beer

Photo of wl0307
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's great that finally I get the chance to try this legendary ale, on my birthday! The BB date of this bottle coincides with my birth-date, albeit in a different year of course: 07/03/10; served cool in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: very dark brown with purple-ish hues, chunks of yeast sediments keep floating in the nectar due to the light fizziness in action, topped with a semi-dirty dark beige froth that settles slowly to a thin blanket to last.
S: intensely malty and estery, witnessing good work of the candy sugar and yeasts; the aroma is full of fat dessert dates, fig jam, sweetened berries/raisins, treacle, and surprisingly light honey-ish note, all elements are rolled into one integrated aroma on top of a rather refreshing touch of relatively light brown malts. Not a wee bit of alc. is detected on the nose, even after several serious swirls. Not terribly complex; or, the complexity reveals itself in the most subtle way.
T: an effortlessly enticing foretaste mixed of oily toffee, caramel, longan-fruit soup, raisins, and brown malts with a touch of toasted nuts comes in full swing, laced by sweetened roasted tea, roasted malts, honey-coated walnuts, then slowly transforming into an remarkably dry & spicy-estery aftertaste where a high level of bitterness of hops flows elegantly & freely vis-à-vis a generally herbally-spicy backbone. Here, my taste buds can still pick up lingering undertones of candy-sugary maltiness, albeit more in terms of aroma than taste; these mildly sweet elements seem to linger as a reminder of the body and depth of a giant malty brew.
M&D: the texture is blissful, incredibly satisfying and rounded, with utterly smooth carbonation to complement a full (but never thick) body... All in all, there's no drama here, no BIG flavours or overpowering elements to dominate the scene; only a brilliantly structured, evolving flavour profile proceeds from one stage to the other just seamlessly. I can't work out how dry and bitter it could smoothly transform into in the rounded finish given the oily malty foretaste, while consistently there's neither any trace of big alc. nor sticky sugary mouthfeel. This might have been the smoothest and harmonious Quadruple that I've had the luck to try - if it could be obtained at a much lower price (I was charged US$18 by the "Belgian Shop"!), I wish to sip one bottle of this ale a month, just to remind myself how blissful and tranquil the beer world can be, without much pretence and loudness.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
this beer is from 27.04.02

A- This beer pours a deep warm dark brown with lots of little suspended bits. The head is a thin web of bubbles around the rim.

S- The smell of sweet dark cherries, caramel malt and a faint sour cherry in the finish. Note of oak and vanilla come through aswell. This is a wonderful complex aroma with lots of depth.

T- The taste of dark caramel malt with some notes of lighter grain mixed. The taste of oak and vanilla come through in the finish with some slight sweetness in the finish but very faint. The notes of brown sugar and cherries are faint in the front of the taste along with some raisins.

M- The mouthfeel is very light and there is no alcohol warmth or astringency to this beer.

D- This is a very nice beer. The notes of malt and sugar are balanced with a nice oaky flavor and some cherry characteristics come through but it is not a sweet or hot beer. This has done well with age and I hope to review it fresh one day.

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

Many thanks to Matthew at Capone's for selling this beauty to me. Thought this beer would be an appropriate selection for my 100 BA review.

Paired this beer with the Rochefort 10 (a beer I'm pretty familiar with), just for a reference point. I don't want to suggest the Westy blew the Rochefort out of the water, but the difference was pretty striking.

Considering what this beer had undoubtedly been through coming into my hands, it was incredibly fresh and lively. The beer poured an impressive cloudy, amber red color, with excellent head retention. There isn't a huge amount of foam, but what there is lasts and lasts. Very nice lacing throughout my tasting of this beer.

The nose is incredibly complex and, like the taste itself, continued to change the longer it sat in the glass. Initially I got lots of Belgium spice and orange citrus in the nose (but much more subtle then the type of citrus you'd get in an IPA), with a hint of sweetness. Later, this turned to an aroma of cherry, ginger and chocolate. The flavor profile replicated the nose, but was even more complex. Initial flavors were of melon, pear and cherry; later on I started to get flavors of ranier cherry, chocolate, butter and a hint of licorise. Later still there was a cola flavor (not unlike the Bernadus abt 12, a beer I have heard this beer likened to) intermixed with the cherry and chocolate. The beer is amazingly supple on the palate, and oh so easy to drink.

This beer is a joy to drink, though it was nothing like what I expected. I guess I sort of expected a Belgium version of the Thomas Hardy or JW Lee, but it was nothing like that. This beer is incredibly light on it's feet for such a big beer, and was way too easy to drink. It finishes with a whisper, a very smooth, satisfying end to a nearly flawless beer. Most excellent.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had the chance to try this with a non ba friend of mine.
Pours a cloudy dark brown. Would have been clear, but I got over zealous with the pour and let some yeasties in. Thin whitish head doesn't stick around very long.
Aroma starts off with some vanilla and slight chocolate, but really comes to live as the brew warms. Banana's, plums, lots of malty goodness. Taste is caramel, dried fruit some alcohol as she warms. Medium mouthfeel with a bit of stickeyness. Nice carbonation. Definately worthy of the hype.

Photo of akorsak
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 33 cL bottle purchased from BelgianShop.com.

A: The beer is a deep, dark brown color. When held to light, a few red hints emerge, but not enough to radically change the color. The head is a billowy white crown, pouring to 2 fingers and leaving lace throughout the goblet.

S: The beer has a big, bold alefruity aroma. The scents are thick and lucious, with raisins, milk chocolate, figs and yeast dominating the nose.

T: The ale has as many flavors as it does scents. The malty body is thick and chewy, full of candi sugars that are sweet without overloading the tastebuds. The candi sugars are followed by an array of dark fruity flavors: raisins, figs, dates. All of the flavors occur at once and never dominate each other. Truly an incredible beer.

M: The flavors are so intense that they almost overwhelm the senses. Every sip, especially as the ale warmed, was a pure treat.

D: The 10.2% abv is a whopper, as is the thickness of the taste. The abv is gonna limit you to one or two and the thickness is gonna fill you up quick. Absolutely drinkable and well worth the cost.

Photo of biegaman
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An unmarked, unlabeled 12 oz bottle purchased from the Bier Tempel in Brussels. I saved this, my first taste of the Westvleteren 12, for the last night of my first trip to Belgium, August 2007. I refused to brush my teeth before bed that night...

It glows a gorgeous burgundy when held up to the ceiling but is quite dark away from the lights. The beer is, at normal angle, only a shade or two deeper than scarlet or the aforementioned burgundy; such a lovely colour. A dusty white coloured head perches atop, appearing thin but is, in actuality, quite thick and sturdy along the perimeter.

The aroma is a soft mix of nuts, caramel and bready malts. The yeast seems to accentuate something akin to pralines or walnuts. I finally would place creme brulee in the smell as well. Almonds maybe, raisins for sure. Became increasingly fruity. Even though I didn't find the aroma to live up to other aspects of the beer, no arguments here, this is one beautiful yeast! In this beer's case, the smell mimics the taste (not vice versa), although it hardly hints at how great it is...

A very neat water profile. The yeast and mineral character of the water seem to play with one another. There is little carbonation with a sandy texture. The flavours don't seem to last too long on the tongue, they are very gentle.

I was completely and utterly taken away with the flavour - it is loaded and lovely. Notes of dates, prunes, plums, and increasingly, a strong taste of grapes. Slightly chocolaty alongside flavour of nuts and raisin. My first impression of the Westvleteren 8 was 'chocolate covered raisins' which is the same idea here.

Sampling the trio all in one night I wasn't sure, initially, which one I like best. But I simply kept upping the marks in the 12, growing to like it more and more and more and more. I wish I was a monk...

Is this damn good? Yes. Great? Yea. Amazing? Well... yea.
This is unique, as all Trappists are. Is it better? Not necessarily. Each Trappists is unique and to be appreciated in its own right. Is this deserving of the title of worlds best? Well... I overheard a server here in Belgium put it best: "whatever beer you like, then that is a good beer"...

Photo of Axnjxn
4.06/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

early 2013 bottle side by side the USA release. snifter

both pour a dark brown with a slight head. the smell of the belgian one is less fruity than the american one... both have a lot of dark fruits tho. the taste is the opposite, the belgian release is a tad more complex and fruity than the USA release...but both are extremely close. full bodied with medium carbonation. smell the edge goes to USA release taste to Belgian. But close.

overall its a good quad but not outstanding. not sure how this is world class...

Photo of Wasatch
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First I would like to thank BitterBill for this awesome brew, thanks buddy. I would most likely not go thru all the hoops to get this, but now I just might, lol I believe the cap said 09/08 date, no label.

A - Pours a dark brown/red color, lots of carbonation, nice small creamy head which leaves pretty quick, lots of nice lacing throughout the drink in forms of islands in some spots.

S - Scents are very complex, lots of stuff going on, but could detect plums, raisins, toffee.

T - The taste is very very nice, I believe I've had nothing like this so far. Nice tart/tangy/sweet flavor. Could taste plums/grapes I think. The finish is dry and clean.

M - Medium body, well rounded, with a carbonated feel.

D - Very drinkable. This is my first Westy, and what a powerful/excellent/awesome brew. Just might have to try and get some soon.

Photo of liamt07
3.7/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as part of Westy Wednesday at Volo, served in a flute. Anticipation is huge with this one, peensteen and I were drooling waiting to sample this one. Been waiting to get my lips on this one for a while.

Poured a deep dark maroon, with some burgundy and deep blood red highlights at times. Great lace and creamy, dense head. Nose is of rich dark fruits, figs, rich plums, brown sugar and a vanilla. A sense of some subdued alcohol notes, rich and very pleasant overall. Taste is a cascade of raisin, plum and figs on the tongue, less brown sugar than the nose, some vanilla, light spicing. Long dry finish, and fairly dry throughout. Lingering mouthfeel with some warming alcohol. Begs for sip after sip, this was just fantastic. Best quad I've come across thusfar, absolutely delicious and worth every bit of hype. 5/45/5/5/45

Re-reviewed as this was shared among a variety of other quads as part of the QuadShowdown - amazingly, out of 13 quads, we ranked this the absolute lowest. 2010 vintage. Poured a dark brown, with a dark cream coloured head. Great retention and a bit of lace. Nose is really grape-y, sweet with a lot of Welch's grape juiciness. Some sugary notes and a bit of vanilla. Taste reflects the nose, more grape and Welch's, some balance but there's just a great amount of grape juice here. Some caramel, darker fruits and sugar, but not alot of complexity. Medium-medium heavy mouthfeel with a bit of creaminess, with some lingering saccharine and grape notes. Modest, but feels too young. 4/4/35/4/35

Photo of kscaldef
3.99/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Christmas Day beer :-)

A: Good pop of carbonation opening the bottle. Appealing garnet color in the light. Minimal, loose, irregular head.

S: Candy, brown sugar, strawberry. Mild fusels, raisin.

T: Date, raisin, fig. Bready malts. Candied orange and cherry. Mild phenolic finish.

M: High carbonation, a bit prickly. Finishes a little too clean; carbonation is scouring too much of the flavor. After about 15 minutes, the beer seems to have gotten some of the carbonation out of it's system and it's a lot more pleasant, although the body seems a bit light and I'd like more linger.

O: Is this one of those cases of unrealistic expectations? I'm not sure. The excessive carbonation definitely takes this bottle down a notch for me, as the first half was almost impossible to taste. But beyond that, I'd say this is a nice, but not amazing beer. I'm curious to see if it's substantially different on tap when I have a chance to visit Belgium next spring.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,426 ratings.