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

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

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1,715 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,715
Hads: 5,608
Avg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,424
Gots: 1,852 | FT: 139
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,715 | Hads: 5,608
Photo of gcrfire3
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As tasted, this was an offering/bottling of March 2015...relatively young. I tasted this at a buds house alongside St. Bernardus abt 12, KBS, FBS, Wootstout, and some non-related FFF IPA/APA's. I drank/sampled the St. Bernardus 12 first and then the Westy 12 right after. Although I'd say this beer and St. Bernardus have a similar backbone, the Westy 12 wins hands down for complexity. Upon the first swig, the complexity hits you and leaves you wondering how such a small taste can produce so many exquisite flavors in a beer! The same taste as St. Bernardus 12 is there, yet has so much more going on, including more alcohol in the front. As the beer warms up, it opens the flavor even more and made me want to savor each sip slowly and methodically to get all that this beer had to offer, which is more than any beer I've ever had has. Enough said! Totally worthy of the hype and a top three world wide place in history!

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

This may be the best dark beer I have ever had! Clear brown port colored with ruby highlights that glimmer in the glass. A creamy white pillow of head that laces the glass but dissipates rather quickly. Thin appearance on the pour.

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

Bottled 2014. Had this side-by-side with a St. Bernardus Abt 12 - no contest the Westy is superior in every way.

Westvleteren 12 looks like fizzy molasses and smells like a cake that was baked in an enchanted forest by elves. Barely any head, though the beer decided to start rising slowly from the bottle the moment the cap came off. Taste is complex, rich like a spiced cake, boozy but with a heat that only threatens to burn, then gracefully segues into the smoothest finish. Incredible mouthfeel, carbonation was just right. Obviously I had high expectations going into this and I'm glad I had it next to the St. Bernardus Abt 12 (supposedly based upon the same recipe) for some enlightening context.

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Photo of csaxon128
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Glad to finally get my hands on this.

Aroma: Lots of dark fruit. Dates, raisons and plums. Sweet with less yeast character than I anticipated.
Taste: Follows the aroma. Sweet thick body

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Photo of BeerBrose
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was a really old bottle that was given to me by a friend about 2 years ago. I was worried to open it and wanted to save it for a special occasion. It was cellared and forgotten. The best by date on top was 2/2015 so I'm drinking it a bit late. I normally wouldnt post a review of something that's gone bad, but let me tell you this is by no means bad!

Look: Tawny brown/reddish almost like nice leather, a foamy thick white head and some noticeable sediment. Could be build up from it being old.

Smell: Deep dark figs/raisin. Bready yeast aroma. Smells absolutely delicious.

Taste: Wow!!! you can tell this has developed. Its extremely well balanced and has a lot going on. Sweet caramel booze, dark raisins and plum, bread. Exactly what I wanted to taste from a legendary quad.

Feel: Medium body, no lingering bitterness just a nice sweet bread like flavor left behind.

Overall: I wish this bottle wasn't empty.....

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Photo of Jesstyr
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this on an incredible summer day at the In De Vrede Cafe at the monastery, served in Westvleteren chalice.

Pours perfect for a Belgian Strong Dark - off white head which settles into a cloud and dark amber body. Nose is light for the flavor, but you get the fruit and sugars from the taste. Flavor includes plums, raisins, figs - sugary fruits.

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perhaps the best beer ever brewed.

Tons of flavor. Clove, raisins, figs, yeast, baked pie crust. SO much complexity and depth.

If this beer were ubiquitous, it wouldn't change my rating one bit. The rarity makes it mystical, but this one lives up to the hype.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.34/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a flute glass here at Ceveceria Esparte in Conil, Spain.

Appearance: Cloudy Amber brown with ridiculous amount of bubbles. Head is an off-white thin piece hanging off the body rising about a notch above a finger's length.

Smell: Weakest property of the brew doesn't make it bad at all, yeast and grapes. Dissipates very quickly from the nose after a sniff.

Taste: Malts with grapes and a shot of yeast. Moves you, makes you think is it an after dessert drink or dinner brew. It's perfect for any occasion.

Mouth: Sticky and thin bodied with medium to heavy carbonation. Settles more to the level of bread with a smooth light sour finish.

Overall: Honor and a pleasure, lives up to the hype. Not loving this beer means you don't love beer. Salud!

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Worth all the hard work searching in Brussels. Balance of malt, sweet under tones and balance perfected over time. This is an example of difficulty to find not being justification for a fad.

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Photo of Pete_IV
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This bottle has two years on it. Dark brown with no trace of head. Smells of dates and sweet malts. Taste is so earthy fruity, dates raisins a small bite of maybe brandy booze? Very nice but I think I preferred fresh at the abbey.

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Photo of Louski
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a bottle for 10 Euros at Bierparadijs in Beligum during a recent business trip. Poured into a Corsendonk goblet. Thick creamy head, deep ruby color led the way for spicy, fruity scents. Taste was spot on. Definitely similar to St. Bernardus Abt 12 but it had something more (maybe just the name?). Mouthfeel was great with a sharp but short kick of alcohol spice at the finish. So happy to finally have this beer.

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Photo of jolly_lynch
3.73/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- Deep amber with more head than expected; pretty murky
S- Dark fruit, burnt toffee, sugar, not much to cut the sweetness
T- Carb definitely plays in the finish, but still too sweet for me
F- Once again, carb really played a center role in this one, not my thing
O- Was nice to try, but won't be seeking this out in the future

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Photo of craftaholic
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly the most difficult beer I've ever obtained. My bottle traveled many lengths to make it into my glass.

This was tasted blind as part of a gauntlet throw Quad throwdown against Rochefort 10 and Bernardus 12.

It had some age on it but still had the largest head which was downright mindblowing to me. The flavors had softened with time and it makes me thing it would be an outright 5 if tasted brand new but the alcohol was still present in the aroma and the flavor profile. It was without a doubt worth the effort to get her but I don't foresee myself putting up the effort to do it again.

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Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I won a bottle of Westvleteren XII in a charity raffle. I was very excited to try this beer because it was before it bottled for sale in the US. Me and a friend both tried the beer and we are both big fans of Belgian beers. The aroma and flavors we muddled and did not seam like a good example what I had heard people rave about.

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Photo of sokol_1993
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a bottle in middle of Brussels, Belgium on Dec 29, 2014.
Decided to open it for a celebration on June 1st, 2015.
It blew me away. Very complex taste. A lot of dark fruit smell and taste. Some maltiness.
The dark fruit taste of grape and prune came out even more when it is warmer. Some hint of alcohol, but not that much. With every taste, it is even better.
Worth the hype and is somewhat cheap for the quality. I would love to have another one again, if it's not too damn difficult to find in the US.

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

I was GIVEN a bottle of this by a great guy at work. I shared it with some great friends at a great bar. None of that matters to this fact: this beer is INCREDIBLE.

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Photo of MA_hops
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply divine! I saved a couple bottles and finally opened one up. It reminds me of champagne. Freshness date: 2/25/2018

A: Dark red/amber in color with a thin, white head which appears to be a thick, creamy foam. It never dissipates and seems to coat the top of the beer. There is also an abundance of fizzy bubbles within the beer.

S: Raisins, grapes, mixed fruits, some sweetness, hint of alcohol. Smells a lot like red wine and has some banana, cloves and mixed spices as well.

T: No flavor stands out as it is extremely balanced. Some mild sweetness to it combined along with notes of grapes and raisins.

M: Medium amount of carbonation, champagne like. There really is no bitterness or dryness either. Has a creaminess/smoothness to it that is simply divine.

O: Very good!! I wish I was able to acquire more, but I guess i'll save my last bottle for a very special occasion!!

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Photo of Short-Pour
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from Westy 12 chalice. This was last of a case ordered a few months ago. Stored at 57 degrees and drank the same temp. The case was fresh, so this was only a two to three months old - very young for this beer. Below is a summary of that wonderful case.

Look: Dark Brown with a one finger head, smallish bubbles which would mostly go away in about ten to twenty minutes

Smell: Fruit and brown sugar - can pick up the Alcohol but not overpowering.

Taste: Fantastic and consistent this quad is. The flavors are not trumped by the the alcohol at any point. Wonderful flavor that lasts long after the last swallow.

Feel: Wonderful thick mouth feel.

Best dark powerful beer I have ever had. Won on multiple side by sides with the other trappest quads. But not by a huge amount, but definitely a noticeable edge. I don't agree with those who say this is not as good as Rochefort 10. But Captain Obvious wil tell you (and I agree) that the difference is not as great as the cost differential ($20 for the Westy against Rochefort at 6 bucks)

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Photo of augusttag
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12oz bottle that my uncle brought from Belgium. Approx 60 degrees F. Opened 5/25/15 Freshness date 1/14/18.

Look: Poured into tulip glass. Foggy dark brown color with tiny particles floating in it and with a finger of off-white head of small bubbles that faded quickly. Beautiful in the glass.

Smell: Malt. Toast. Dark Fruit. Cherry. Yeast. Alcohol.

Taste: Extremely smooth through the whole process of drinking. All of the above flavors with a nice sweetness towards the end which hides the alcohol.

Overall, the best beer that I have had. Definitely the best Quad that I've had. A joy and pleasure to drink. Unfortunately my uncle insisted on sharing it with others who don't know beer and who appreciated it a lot less...frustrating.

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Photo of Herky21
3.47/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Warming. Alcohol is noticeably present. The darker malts come together with a flourish of dark fruits under the aroma. Good, but I'd rather have several other quads that are easier to get and probably a bit better. A good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

A beautiful beer. Smells and tastes like fresh baked bread. I have had the pleasure of tring a 3 year aged version and a fresh 4 month old one. Aging improved this beer. Both were excellent but the aged version gave new flavors and put the yeast as a role player rather than the main character. Subtle sweetness not normally found in the style. Worth all the hype.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured about 4 oz at a tasting into a snifter.
A- nice brown with a golden tint. Slight off-white head.
S- great smell of burnt sugars, stoned fruits, dates, figs, raisins. Awesome smell. Hype is high and the smell is there.
T- follows the nose with the addition of some alcohol burn. Really nice.
M- nice smooth sip.
O- definitely worth the wait.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This used to be the number one beer in the world.

Is it worth the hype? No. Is is a good beer? Yes.

I have tried two different "vintages" of this beer; one was aged for five years before consumption, the other for two years. The tastes really did not change that much over time.

I would not want to drink much more than a one or two ounce pour of Westy 12. A small splash at a tasting is enough to give you a sense of what this beer is about and an appreciation for what it represents.

I had it once and felt that was enough to satisfy a curiosity for this lifetime.

Do not go trading whales for it.

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

King of the Trappist ales.
The malt sweetness is just on the verge of sticky, but does not detract.
More body than the SB Abt12, which of course is the comparable.
Love it.

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Photo of Nachojon
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had mine at De Spuyt in Amsterdam served in a Westvleteren glass. Admittedly not my favorite style, however, I really enjoyed this. The depth of aroma and flavor are amazing. The slight bit of sour at the finish is a nice surprise. It's obviously a beer made with great care and skill. Great experience.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,715 ratings.