Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 4,581 | Reviews: 1,609 | Display Reviews Only:
3.7/5 rDev -19.7%
Two vintages shared by PDXHops on 11/18/11.
# 1- Poured into a Chimay goblet. Bottled November 2008.
Deep brown in the middle but brighter around the edges. Thin, wispy head over half the beer with a thick-ish ring of retention holing well. A few drippy spots of lace, too.
The aroma started out incredibly bready - freshly baked, lightly buttered and grainy. Something akin to sugar-drizzled pecans. As it warms, fruit tones emerge - baked apples, tart and still green. Suggestions of black raspberry jam. Biscuit, toffee and candy corn. Very pleasant.
The flavors are much more integrated than the aromas, balanced and blended. Lots of lightly toasted bread; nicely grainy. Toffee and the faintest caramel. I'm shocked at how fruit this isn't; then again, that's probably the reason I like it. Not spicy, either.
The feel is full, though it has watery edges. Carbonation is low. While this isn't the smoothest, the feel is very fluid regardless in spite of a graininess.
# 2- Poured into a La Chouffe tulip. Bottled February 2009.
The appearance is is a swamp water bogged wooden brown; dulled and dense. It's an ugly color. Sediment is suspended throughout. Poured a 1/3rd inch head that hold 1/4th inch retention - quite impressive in that regard. One thick drip of lace.
The nose finds tart and tangy fruit notes - over-ripe apple, especially. Pear, too. Undertones of baked and toasted bread with spicy yeast tones. Buttered biscuit even deeper down. Sugary pastry notes. A vapid, dry aroma catches my attention from time to time. Faint banana. Smooth butter toffee as it warms.
The flavor has an overarching sense of dirt and earth, which turns to dry bread notes - simultaneously fluffy and yeasty. Surprisingly, fruit esters take a back seat. Toasted sugars on the back end aren't terribly sweet - more rounded than anything.
The body is a bit on the plump side of medium. Any smoothness is aggravated by a modest carbonation up top and sandy, granular underpinnings. Warming. Spicy finish with alcohol residuals.
Overall impression: Neither vintage was what I was expecting; I figured this would be a far more potent beer. These two bottles don't even seem like the same beer, they're so different. I like #1 better but, in terms of style, it's for all the wrong reasons.
05-26-2012 00:00:57 | More by Ryan011235
4.78/5 rDev +3.7%
11.2oz bottle served in a snifter glass. best before bottle date 13.08.11
pours an opaque mahogany tone with a solid finger of lush, creamy head... slowly fades to a thin cap, collar around the glass; decent lacing. good dose of sediment.
nose is headlined by dark fruits, with notes of spice, brown sugar and caramel malts; definitely a sweet aroma. very nice. slight but perceivable presence of booze. flavor follows the nose. again, dark fruits - raisin, plum, cherry; brown, maybe carmelized sugar; belgian yeast... very balanced, very complex. also happens to be quite delicious. some warming alcohol in the finish.
medium bodied with adequate carbonation. insanely drinkable, i could happily drink this all day.
worthy to note that there was no eureka moment upon first sipping it, but as you drink, the brew really opens up. hands down a world class beer, but THE best? hmm... not sure i could give any beer that distinction. were rochefort 10 as difficult to come by i think it would marshall a similar hype. that said, it's easily a top 5 candidate in my book.
originally reviewed: 01-25-2011
05-24-2012 23:20:13 | More by BostonHops
5/5 rDev +8.5%
Majors thanks for Rfgetz for sharing a bottle with me... I've been saving this one for a special occasion and the birth of my latest child qualifies... This one is for Andrew Michael, born on May 20, 2012...
Cap Code - 16.06.13
A - Slightly more than finger's worth of rich creamy velvety light cream colored froth with a couple of medium sized bubble mixed in for good measure... There is a bit of an audible fizz... Modest retention gives way to a full lacing of identical characteristics... Lightly carbonated with a few small streaks of rapid paced carbonation seen within.. The color is a medium to dark brown that lets bits of light in at angles... The delicate lacing clings to the sides of the glass...
S - Wonderfully sweet aroma... Loads of dark fruit are at the forefront... Raisins... Dates... Fig... Plums... Brown sugar... Molasses... Light toffee notes... Some light dark bread undertones... A bit of Belgian yeast and booze lie further beneath the surface... Complex and completely satisfying...
T - The expected dark fruits lead the charge... Riasins... Plums... Figs... Dates... Then comes the additional malt sweetness... Caramel... Toffee... Brown sugar... Molassess... Then emerges light of tobacco... A bit of eye heat and booziness on the finish that is potent, but never overwhelming... On the very deep finish are some very very light peppery notes which are a bit surprisingly, but compliment this brew wonderfully... Layers and richness and complexity...
M - In the lighter side of full bodied... Uber lush... Uber rich... Uber creamy... Surprisingly light... Starts sharp with a touch of dryness... The finish is ever so slightly chalky yet saliva producing... An excellent and complex mouthfeel that delights with each sip...
D - This one lives up to the hype... After 974reviews, I have finally found the elusive perfect 5... This one exceeds lofty expectations in all categories... So tasty and satisfying, it's hard not to gulp this one down... A truly satisfying and enriching reward for any BA who has the honor of putting their lips to this fine offering... Complex and completely satisfying in all facets... Now if I could only get another bottle...
05-23-2012 01:44:47 | More by philbe311
4.93/5 rDev +6.9%
Served in my trusty Westy chalice; pours a deep brown with a big tan tightly bubbled head, fades to the edges and leaves a nice lacing. Held to the light, the body is a beautiful cherry amber, clear save for a small amount of setiment at the bottom.
A-The nose is a luscious blend of dark, dried fruits, and an unidentified wood; oak? Much yeast in the nose with fruits such as prune, fig, and raisin.
T-The taste is completely blended, there are no layers of individual flavors. The initial flavor is kind of sweet up front, but quickly begins to dry out. A light touch of effervescent which I find is typical or bottle fermented Belgian Ales, and I love it. The palate is sweet and yeasty and a blend of darkish fruits like the prune, fig, and raisin I got in the nose. The whole flavor profile seems to settle right on the center of my tongue, lingering with a hint of dryness. Like a good Belgian, Westy warms beautifully, bringing out even more of the tangy yeasty sour goodness.
M-The mouthfeel is barely carbonated, but silky smooth, and heavy.
O-Head and shoulders above all other Quads, Trappists definitely included. Westy 12 finishes beautifully, much to my sadness, because I really didn’t want this wonderful Belgian beer to end. A true Trappist quadrupel, bless those monks. For a high ABV, Westy 12 is very drinkable, and I could easily put a couple of these away
05-19-2012 20:18:24 | More by mtbdonn
4.45/5 rDev -3.5%
bottle poured into tulip - thanks to Brabander
Pours a deep, dark almost black color with some purple and reddish hues. Thick crop of lightly tanned head rests on top, retaining exceptionally well, lasting throughout the entire pour. Sticky lacing littered across the glass.
Bold and robust in the nose with a warming bouquet of fruits. Dates and figs with some caramelized tones and a light whiff of burnt sugar. Soft boozy glow, tempered by rich layers of malty complexity.
Plenty of dark fruit layers up front, weaving flavors of dates, figs and raisins together. Candied and caramelized notes with a decent amount of sweetness and a touch of burnt sugar. Thick malty backbone with some caramel and heavy bready tones. Dark and roasty for a brief moment. Finishes with a warm boozy spike and some residual sweetness.
Fuller body, decent carbonation, thick and full on the tongue. It's fair to say this lives up to the hype, although it's difficult to say that it's worth the price when St. Bernardus and Rochefort are sitting on shelves everywhere.
05-19-2012 17:33:46 | More by xnicknj
5/5 rDev +8.5%
Ain't nothing like this beer, it's one in a million. There's simply no comparison. The fact that you can only pick up one crate per car, at the abbey where this stuff is brewed by monks (!), only adds to its exclusivity. It's taste is like honeysuckle dipped in angel sweat. Best beer in the universe bar none.
05-18-2012 13:26:50 | More by joseph82
4.83/5 rDev +4.8%
A - Pours a very dark brown with some amber highlights in the glass. Fairly thick and didnt let a lot of light through. A nice puffy 1-1/2 finger head.
S - Smells of dark fruits and berries. Grapes, raisins, cherries, vinous red wine and some tobacco. Also a strong caramel malt backbone to balance.
T - Very complex. Up front there's nice bready malt with toffee and rich dark fruits. Then comes some tart green apples and a bit of spice from the yeast. Finishes a bit warming that brings a nice carmel/toffee sweetness and slight tartness that lasts and lasts.
M - Very smooth with good carbonation. The beer just seems to go down.
O - This lived up to the hype for me and was worth the price and hassle to get. I'm very glad I finally got to try this beer. Is it the best beer in the world? It wouldn't be number 1 on my list but it's definitely a world class beer worthy of a high ranking.
05-17-2012 16:39:55 | More by SkiBum22
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,581 ratings.