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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

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5,417 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,417
Reviews: 1,721
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,298
Gots: 1,735 | FT: 134
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: 5,417 | Reviews: 1,721
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The myth, the legend, Westy 12. Two things complicate reviewing this beer. Both involve the fact that it is hard to get and has a great reputation. Nothing can live up to the legend. At the same time, you want to like this beer because you went through such a hard time to get it.

Poured into a tulip glass with a nice head. Went down into a nice lace that stayed throughout. Dark, but not black as night dark.

Smell is wonderful. You can smell the Belgian yeast esters in a very wonderful way. Hints of candi sugar as well?

Taste is nice and smooth. Belgian yeast esters blend in a way which makes for a smooth, but not overpowering taste. Bananas and cloves seem are present in the taste. I think I'm tasting residual candi sugar as well.

Nice carbonation levels with a good mouthfeel.

Update: Got my hands on a better handled version. Dear me. Wonderful taste. Plums and chocolate.
Exceptionally drinkable for a 10.2%.

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

I've waited a long time for this legend. The weekend of the EBF seemed as good a time as any to finally crack it open, to parallel the enjoyment my roommates were likely having hundreds of miles away in Boston.

It poured a dark, chocolatey brown with a coke fizz-colored head. Innumerable small puffs of sediment were suspended throughout, adding to the murky mystery as the head quickly backed into a stiff, 1/2 finger ring of bubbly lace clinging to the glass.

The aroma is rich, deep, and a touch phenolic, with a soft, malty sweetness peppered by anise and other spices and alcoholic warmth surrounding it all.

One taste and its easy to see why this beer is considered the best of BA. The flavors are big, warm, and smooth, softly melding the high alcohol content into a tremendous malt profile full of myriad flavors. Figs, cloves, rum-soaked raisins, anise, and caramel intertwine with a bready, sweet roll-like backbone, leaving the tongue with an almost milk chocolate-like texture sensation.

Bubbles flutter and bite throughout this beer, adding texture to the perfect, velvet-smooth feel of this brew on the palate.

It's hard to believe that a beer is this good. Despite my high expectations, this has been everything I expected and more, worth every penny of its high purchase price.

So complex. So smooth. So delicious.

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

Recently returned to the states after spending 5 glorious years living in Europe. Visited all 6 of the Trappist breweries while there and Westvleteren was definitely the best.

The monastery is not open to the public except to purchase beer. The day we visited even that was closed so we visited the Cafe De Vrede across the street. Tried all three beers with some of the breweries cheese but the 12 stood out. It's definitely the best beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking.

It pours a deep rich copper brown with a light brown head. The aroma was beyond description. Deserves a higher rating than just a 5.0. Caramel, plum, raisins and possibly vanilla combined to mask the high alcohol content. Definitley the most drinkable high alcohol beer I've tasted. Had I not had a 3 hour drive ahead of me I would have been there all day.

To make this beer lovers dream complete, I had an ice cream sundae topped with a beer sauce made from the 12. Beer and ice cream may not sound tempting to everyone but it was unbelievable! I will never forget this experience and will definitely return to St. Sixtus.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Happy birthday to clvand0 with the drinking of this beer. Although it was a few days ago, I still can't get this one out of my head. The beer poured a beautiful dark brown color with a 2 finger head that barely falls at all. The lace is almost solid around the top of the chalice as I drank the beer down. The nose was very fruity, with lots of sweet fig tones, and an almost appley, crisp aroma. There is a nice spiceyness as it warms as well. The flavor is awesome. Very mellow, wtih a spiceyness and an alcohol burst that play very well together. The flavor moves into the fig, and slightly bready notes, but also with a touch bitter on the finish. The feel was smooth, slightly creamy and moderate to thick. Just a nice beer. I didn't want to put the glass down with this beer. This is definately a world class beer. Thanks to SheepNutz for trading this to me before I knew what a treat it was. What a show of advocacy.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wide mouth goblet pour, dim brown ruddy, pour with yeasty suspended pour capped off with wafer thin sporadic bubbled coating. A 1/8” thin ring collar around the rim. Foaminess is easily arisen with a few healthy swirls.

Syrupy sweet awl-kee-hawl sugars. Maple syrup hints. Dark raisins and figs nose. Plenty of dark fruit aroma. Rarely does a nose display so much pageantry. Molasses and candied fruit. Fig most prominent. Caramel Kraft cube creamy.

First Swigs: Candied Fruit Caramel apple, light rum. Palateable awl-kee-hawl flavors. Canoli in a cup, yeasty sugars, Dole fruit cup, cherry & vanilla ice cream, meets sweet vanilla extract. Dry lingering malt.

Light body for the style yet complex.Sudsy, but not overly foamy.

Last Swigs: Crème brulet. Similar to 8 but boosted. Candied fruit nose. A quad??? Really??? Just awesome. My Christmas present to me.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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

Done in a vertical X-mas Day tasting as a special treat from my beerbud! Thanks to the BlitheringIdiot for the Westy 6,8, and 12 that we shared for a Christmas day celebration!

Deep rootbeery brown, with a ton of teensy little khaki bubbled carbination. Beautiful swirling going on up top, nice! You can see a lot of carbination rising up past the yeasty chunks. Scents of dark fruits, alcohol, sherry, buttery sugar and kraft's caramel cubes. Tastes of coconut macaroon, cherries and dark fruits. The Blithering one said that he tastes vanilla ice cream, yep. Much sweeter than the others, yet not cloying, just caramelly and warm sherry. Very good mouthfeel. The carbination rolls all over your mouth, froths up just a bit. Smooth and flowing. Wonderful.

Each of the Westys we had became progressively better to me, and this is definately my favorite over the 6 and 8. This one is damn nice.

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

Ive been wanting to try this for ages-thanks to axisjones and Secret Santa I am now able to. Pours a hazy brown color-not cloudy but "muddy" in color. Nice yeasty aroma. Black currants,slight vanilla and raiseny. Malty flavor upfront-nice caramel sweetness,somewhat sugary. Earthy. Theres a spiciness in the finish from the alcohol-reminds me of how horseradish hits the sinuses. Excellent body. An extremely drinkable beer-doesnt have any of the intangibles that I find in some Belgians. Really a classic.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cl unlabeled bottle; cap dated best before 5/13/2006. Pours a deep coppery brown with a fluffy light tan head. Caramel and apple aromas with some healthy yeast notes. Sipping is the true measure of this beer. Mostly malty and sweet, however there is the most intriguing floweriness in the finish, like a blossom. Appley esters come into play a lot and work well to hide the alcohol. Good mouthfeel, not too sticky like other quadruples. Overall, a wholly excellent brew that is quite elusive to many. It's worth the effort to seek it out.

Photo of walleye
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

sat. 11/27/04 at Kuhnhenns with bierisgut and clark v v from rate beer,who brought this wonderful bottle to share. redmosquito and one of the kuhnhenn brothers where at the table to. poured a rich brown with a light tan head.aroma got a nice hit of alcohol, than came the malts, caramels, honey, cherry, and some apple. flavor, didn’t want to swallow this , the creamy smoothness of this beer was great. got malts, caramel alcohol, honey, raisins, chocolate or maybe chocolate covered raisins.this is only the 3rd bottle I have seen I know bierisgut has got one so maybe in the middle of the night under the cover of darkness I’ll see if I can get it.

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

Coppery amber in color with an off white head and a little cloudy yeast sediment. Interesting aroma, definite alcohol smell, then a wine like aroma, oakey yet it still has some creamy malt fragrance. Alcohol warms as I taste this, malt sweetness dominates, nutty, caramelly, and creamy vanilla in the finish. The beer sits on the tongue and lingers with a warm malt creaminess. This is a great beer, the only thing keeping this from being a daily beer is the availability.

Photo of santoslhalper
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a stunning hazy brown with a frothy head. Smells very sweet and caramelly. Malty upfront with a nice floral hoppy back. Now for the taste. I also love wine, and this is almost a wine to me, except far surpassing any wine I've ever had. Tastes so complex and smooth, and fruity, and malty, and sweet, and hoppy, and bready, and so, so much more. This is a beer words cannot describe. This is one of my first attempt's at trappist beer, and I must say I've never been more impressed with a beer. This is beer perfection. This is beer paradise. This is beer bliss. This is beer. Period.

Photo of meathookjones
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this first about a year or so ago when I was really starting to get into craft beers. I decided to wait a while though before I tried it again as it had so much going on I couldn’t appreciate it all. Bottle is dated with 07-09-04, so I will have to pick up a few to age. This poured out a murky brown with a tall light tan head that filled the goblet. There were some floaties that could be seen occasionally and the beer coated the glass in rings of lace. The head managed to stay afloat till the end, which was impressive. Aroma is very fruity with raisins and other dark fruit. It was quite sweet and spicy as well with a touch of yeast. The taste starts of with a strong fruity sweetness before a good bit of spice comes through to even things out a bit. Earthiness is also in full swing here adding a touch of bitterness before the spicy sweet after taste. Wow there is just so much going on here I feel like I am still missing out on plenty. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with good carbonation. This bottle went down easily but I would be reluctant to grab another right after, not sure why but one was plenty. Amazing beer that everyone should get a chance to try.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.81/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

600th review...

The beer poured into the chalice clear deep amber brown and then the sediment decided to crash the party and ended up with a cloudy and chunky mess. The head was very, very low, but what little was there was persistend and tried to lace the glass. Alcohol most likely impaired the head retention.

The aroma was deep, deep, deep dark caramel maltiness with a huge biscuit and aromatic presence. The fruits present were dark and were raisins and prunes. Some alcohol presence enhance the deeply malty and deep dark fruits that comprised the aroma. The alcohol gave the aroma a vinous complexity.

The flavor was deep dark caramelized maltiness with dark fruits or raisin and prune. The beer contained a slight spiciness that was endhanced by alcohol flavors and fruty esters. The biscuit and aromatic aromas carried over into the flavor and enhanced the complexity along with the malty, fruity and spicy flavors.

The finish was malty with dark caramel, biscuit and dark fruits lasting long into the aftertaste and alcohol warming adding to the complexity but never detracting. The body was full, slick, and viscous with carbonation only impaired by the alcohol content of the beer.

33 cl bottle. Date code of 30.03.02 on cap. No price on bottle, but seem to recall $8 as being the price. None of the Westy beers poured very clean. The sediment separated no matter how carefully the beer was decanted. With the higher alcohol in this beer you could not drink a ton, but the smooth viscous nature of the flavors and the deep maltiness make you want to try.

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

Finally decided to open this bottle and see what the fuss is about. Poured a rich Mahogany colour with an nice fluffy offwhite head. Smell is or dried fruits, prunes, spice and a brown sugar. Flavour was huge. Well rounded caramel flavours combined with liqour soaked dried fruits. A bit of dark sweet bread in the middle i think. Exceptionally well balanced. Carbonation was good and the alcohol was well hidden. Drinkability.... would I have another of course. This was a very tasty brew. Was it the best of the best. Not in my opinion, but then again tasting is subjective and can vary with time and place. A top-notch beer to say the least, but not the holy grail to me

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5's Oct. 21st and it's my birthday today so I decided to have this much anticipated brew...the Westy 12. It pours out of the bottle a deep brown color with a fluffly 1 inch head that seems to produce instant lacing. Yummy. The smell is a mix of candied fruit, raisins, alcohol tones, spiced plums. It has a very vinous, almost red wine aroma. Quite complex.

The long awaited first sip is a smooth earthy malty ride. Raisins, fresh baked bread and dark candied fruits are the first things I notice. It has a pleasant caramel sweetness that's not overpowering. Alcohol is non-existant in the flavor and each sip makes we want to take another sip. The velvety texture is freakin amazing...this is an exceptionally well balanced delicacy.

Mouthfeel is good, really spot on. Carbonation and body are well balanced and make for a lucious drinking experience. A little more body wouldn't hurt though. Drinkability...well damn...I could drink this all night..problem is I'd be drinking it on the street because my home would be repossesed. If this was a bit more affordable it would be a 5 for drinkability. If you have yet to try this gem, track it down's worth the hunt.

Photo of etaggie09
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Blackish brown with a long lasting mocha colored head. Very nice lacing and the head never disappeared.

Aroma: Holy hell! I can smell this thing from across the room! Upon closer inspection its smells like a fine red wine. Flowery with some spicy, fruity notes and some alcohol and malt with a hint of caramel. Quite enjoyable.

Taste: Smooth brandy, ripe fruit, raisin, wine, a little hops with a sweet balance of malt and hops. Alcohol plays a perfect role in the taste. Aftertaste is a lingering somewhat bitter taste. This beer's taste is the basis on which to judge other beers of the style. Absolutely wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Absolutely perfect. medium body with a moderate-low carbonation. Wonderfully coating. Flawless.

Drinkability: Well obviously its 10.8% ABV; its not a session brew. This was a great beer to sip because it was just so damn smooth. You don't know how much alcohol is in it until after a few minutes.

Notes: How lucky am I that the wine cellar in my city carries this beer that almost no one knows about? I really could drink this forever. Too bad its so expensive. Ah well. It was worth the 12 bucks. A wonderful and godly brew, not to mention my favorite as of now. no wonder its rated number 1.

Edit: I got the chance to try both the Rochefort 10 and the St. Bernardus 12 and I think that the St. Bernardus was good, but a tad watery and I will have to try the Rochefort and Westvleteren again, because the Rochefort was so good.

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

From my tasting notes (tasted on 1/14/04); How lucky was I to find a case of this in PA. Expensive but well worth it! Poured a beautiful dark mahagony with a small tan head. Initial aromas of maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses and fruits.Soft tastes (sugar, fruits, molasses, prunes, dates, so many tastes coming thru). Alcohol content well hidden. I can't say/put into words the depth and greatness of this beer.

Photo of ken3c
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge head, recedes slowly. Anticipation. Deep dark brown with a red tint. Beautiful. Bits of sediment are held suspended by the multitude of bubbles. Interesting. Patterns of lacing are left on the glass. Majestic.

Aroma of plums and white grape juice fill my nose. Inviting.

Sweet. Expansive. Fruit. Tart. Watering. Bitter. Receding. Sweet memory. The tastes come like that.

Effervescent. Chewy. Warming. Very warming.

I'm delighted. I want it. I miss it already.

Photo of fingolfin72
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is deep mahogany with a fine, palamino-colored head which dissipates to lacy remnants fairly soon.

The nose is somewhat restrained, but it contains sugar, oranges, banana, and croissants.

The palate is smooth with an abundance of flavor. I get toffee, brown sugar, banana, nutmeg, chocolate, quinine and fresh grapes.

The finish is long. The bitterness, reminiscent of quinine or campari, becomes slightly more prominent as the sip of beer fades. It does not, however, overexpress itself.

This beer has extraordinary balance and complexity. It does not hit you over the head; it just states itself perfectly with nothing out of place. I equate it with Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame.

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

What to say about this beer... Well to say is that I can dream the road to the abbey and to know that it's a day job, just to get a couple of casses; you can guess how we( I never go alone) think about this beer. Just getting the smell of all the fruit and hops makes me dream away! Drinking it you go to (beer)heaven and afterwards you just feel in a green field with beautifull hopflowers of Poperinge. Well that's not too far from Westvleteren so I mostly go for another one because there is no other beer that you want after a 12 then another 12!

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

Aromas: nougat; poundcake; nutmeg; walnuts; and great boozes such as high-altitude Amarone, Spanish brandy, solera-aged rum, cappuccino and mother's milk. The liquid calms the palate for a moment, stalling, only to move from one archetype to another. The first is coffee liqueur : sweet, yet sharpened with deep etchings of gas. The second is a fantasy realm : baked banana forests dripping with Valrhona chocolate; heirloom oak chests; earth; roasted and raw nut medleys; enlightenment humanity. Sweetness is the life of every layer in this liquid while being shaped with Darwinian structure. Butter-basted tangerine slices drizzled with Turkish honey. Indian perfumes. African coffee.
One can perhaps see why these European lowlanders thought so much blood was worth expending to maintain tropical spice island and plantation colonies in another era. Flavors like these are as cheap today as $12 or so a third liter.

Photo of bditty187
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I’ve had this beer in my possession for many months (thanks to Bierman9); I don’t know why I kept waiting to try it. I pledged I wasn’t going to drink it for a “BA Milestone.” Oh well, this is my 800th BA Beer Review.

Murky reddish-brown in hue, the liquid looks a bit like apple cider fresh from the orchard. The head reached one finger in height on a soft pour. It was off-white in color. Head retention was fair; it subsided hastily to a big, bubbly collar, soapy in the middle. In my goblet there isn’t much glamour to this beverage. Is this a sign of high expectations? I’d say no. Really there isn’t much excitement in the appearance. I’ll also add there was not much subsequent lacing, just some unorganized spottiness. The nose on Westy 8 failed to arouse me. I took a sniff of Westy 12 and there are more aromas with a little more to say. (Which is a good thing.) Still the bouquet is far from impressive. The malt is pleasantly rich with sweetness like caramel covered chocolate fruit. I like the spicy green apple aromas at the back, faint hints of cloves and ginger. Bready. Raisins soaked in rum. There is admirable intricacy in the fragrances, however the strength just doesn’t electrify me. It is still inviting. The palate is very impressive. First of all, there is a tremendous liveliness to the taste. This is the first step to a great beer, IMO. Big beer needs to be talkative. This one is chatty. The rich, malty qualities blend with alcohol and fruit. Surely it is not that simple? It is not. Luscious malt depth, rich caramel flavor that is very wide and it dances with the raisins, purple grapes, plums, figs, coriander, clove, more malt (this time chocolate), and just enough alcohol heat to add yet another layer. What a tasty beer! There is tremendous complexity. If I ever get to drink this beer again, I will pair it with bananas, apples, grapes, cheese, and crackers. That would be a meal fit for a king. I am impressed at the fullness of this beer, medium/medium-full in body, low carbonation, which helps make a bigger than real mouthfeel. Lovely. To ask if this beer is drinkable is to ask if water is wet. I wish this beer were available locally. I know that John’s in Iowa City will get this on occasion. That won’t cut it. But this bottle came from Bierman9. What a generous guy! Thanks. I really like this beer. I now personally understand why this beer is so legendary. The back-story and history of the brewery and the monks connect perfectly with a terrific beer. Recommended.

Best before date of 21.12.02 stamped on the bottle cap. How good is this SOB fresh!?

Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I brought 6 bottles back from Belgium and decided to open one up to celebrate the anniversary of my birth last night.


Heavily aromatic, complex, winey nose of cherries, plums, currants, caramel and toffee.

Complex, melded flavor. Up front, the beer is lacking in my opinion but does possess notes of cherries and grapes. Mid-palate leans into a brandy-like sweetness, notes of caramel and pepper and finishes with hints of plums and berries. The alcohol is precisely hidden throughout the brew and it simply just doesn't show its potency. That being said, I truly don't find this beer to be all that flavorful and I never have. It's a great beer but I don't think its the best beer in the world. I can see why others do though.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 100th BA review.

Picked up two bottles of this much sought after beer at the Bier Tempel in Brussels. No Labels, just a lot of information on the cap. Sampled in a 'Trappist Westvleteren' chalice, my Brussels souvenier.

The beer pours a mysterious extremely dark brown with no light penetration. Theres a massive off white head that lasts the entire glass and leaves behind huge swathes of lace in its wake.

The aroma is of dark fruits, apples, christmas pudding, nutmeg, cloves and some other incredibly aromatic components that defy my olefactory cabilities.

The taste is so incredibly smooth and subtle with a whole range of different flavors that blend seamlessly together. Theres an immensely fruity malt character upfront with berry, apple, mango, plum and pear notes. Theres also nutmeg, clove, black licorice and a great fresh raisin bread flavor. Hints of caramel are also there. The hops are evident only in the back of this cacaphony of interesting flavors. This beer tastes remarkably perfumey and floral.

This beer is the smoothest Belgian beer Ive ever tried. It doesnt hit you with overt malt or alcohol flavors right off the bat like Chimay, Orval or Maredsous its much more understated and subtle. The flavors start softly and build to a crescendo, lingering for a long time with an excellent aftertaste. The flavors also change from sip to sip.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth, with a warming blanket of bubbles. The 10.5 ABV is evident but hidden very well, and what you do taste simply adds to the flavor (which isnt usually the case for me.

The massive hype surrounding this beer is absolutely justified. Pure beer perfection. Definitely the best Trappist Ive ever tried. Worthy of its long held place at the top of the vaunted Best of BA list.

Photo of ppoitras
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

200th review, cool...

11.2oz bottle from Vienna Whole Foods, Vienna, VA.

Poured into a Rapscallion snifter, formed a 1/2" creamy beige head over the murky chestnut brew, with red highlights. Foam is here to stay, apparently, not fading, and laces well. Swirlign for aroma raises the head back to its original heights. Creamy, dark, fruity aroma, with tremendous depth of scent, if that makes sense. Needs to be experienced to be understood, I think.

Taste is sweet initially, with fruity notes. Almost seems to evaporate on your tongue, leaving the slight alcohol flavors to mingle with the dark fruits. Mouthfeel is great, creamy and smooth, and drinkability is excellent, as you'd have to sit and drink a few before nailing down everything that's going on for the senses. Unfortunately, abv kind of prevents you from re-examining many in a row, and then there's that whole availability problem. As was the 8, worth the search to enjoy...

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,417 ratings.