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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.

5,236 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,236
Reviews: 1,676
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,170
Gots: 1,628 | FT: 123
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: 5,236 | Reviews: 1,676
Photo of rhinis23
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of kawilliams81
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a Westy XII chalice.

A- pours a dark brown with a 2 finger beige head. Big walls and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- sweet dark fruits, dough, brown sugar, faint spices.

T- dark fruits, candi sugar, some roasted malts, Belgian yeast at the finish with some alcohol as well.

M- full body and medium carbonation. This beer is very smooth for 10% but the abv becomes more apparent as it warms.

O- very good beer. # 2 beer in the world, not sure about that. Did a side-by-side with Abt 12 and they are very similar. I would give Westy the slight edge, but if you don't care about the hype I would suggest just getting the Abt 12.

Photo of freewill35
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of parris
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of OF001
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL btl from the expansion 6pk w/glasses. served at 3C(for head management), tasted at 5-6 C in a Westy glass.

Dark earthy, and murky nut brown pour; also a light gery tone that, along with some protein clumping (fuck) is worrisome. and a thick 3 finger head that shrinks to about 4cm and stabilizes. Very little lacing , i was expecting much more

Dark browned sweet cooked sugars dominate the nose. Subtle orchard fruits: pear, apple- maybe some cider spices. Toasted nuts and warm alcohol.

The mouth feel is smooth with a surprising lightness from the carbonation that gives a spicy tingle-bubbles at the end, dry on the front of the palate and juicy rear on the finish. Subtly present wood tannin without the overt acidity.

Very warming alcohol. Mulling spices: clove (including the numbness from the alcohol), cinnamon, mace, allspice, and white pepper. Roasted nuts in the middle, hazelnut sweetness, walnut creaminess. Caramel, licorice and hints of dried fruits. Lots of residual sugars especially on the finish. Juicy and oh so subtle.

As a taste experience, drop your pants and blow your load because this it fucking ineradicable. I have had a couple of beers that are about as complex but this was deceptively layered in a tight (not young but condensed) but not muddling fashion. Super complexity that takes only a slight effort to decode the majority and will give more as you look for it.
That being said I couldn't have this beer every day, or even more than special occasions, even if I could afford it. It is easy enough to drink and it hits all the right notes but the alcohol is about 1% too high for me and the finish is a little flat and is neither a complete taste (makes me want no more except to have it again) or left me wanting more .

Therefore I will give it two ratings and the above and a balance.
A - 4.25 : 4.0
S - 4.5 : 4.5
T - 5 : 4.5 (low due to the finish for my tastes)
M - 4.5 : 4.75
O - 5 : 4.5

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

Poured from the bottle into a delicate Westvleteren 12 chalice...ready with an objective palate, skeptical of the hype...

Appearance: dark brown, a bit cloudy with a thin head that dissipates to a clinging ring around the glass and some beautiful stubborn lace.

Smell: to be fair, I'm recovering from a cold...I smell apples. Not a complex smell. No indication the flavor to come...

Taste: Here is where it gets interesting. Here is where I say, "Oh. Okay. I get it." Yes, what people say about the complexity is true. I taste many things. Overall, one might compare it to a really fine, 20-year tawny port. Apples, raisins, prunes, strawberry, and spice but without the over-powering sweetness that you sometimes find in Belgian ales. It finishes with a nice, slightly tart crisp apple that balances it very well. Truly complex and well-balanced. A definite alcohol flavor that melds into the rest of the flavors so well that it just makes it seem like it was barrel aged for a very long time in fine sherry-cask scotch barrels. I don't know when I've tasted anything quite this good. I could drink it all day...what a shame it's so hard to come by!

Mouthfeel: much lighter in body than I expected - it's about a medium-light with a crisp, champagne-like carbonation.

Overall: Amazing flavor, as described, with a million other fabulous flavors that I'm too much of a novice taster to even detect I'm sure. I really like the way the lighter body balances out the richness of the flavor. What more can I say?

Photo of chazasu
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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

The myth. The legend. Extremely happy St. Sixtus sent a few bottles of their brew stateside, and I was lucky enough to pick up one of the bricks. (One good thing about South Carolina, no lines for rare beer releases.) Well, on to the beer.

This brew pours a clowdy tannish-brown with a single layer of lacey off-white head in my Westy glass that came with the beer pack. Some floaties on the second pour. Aroma is excellent, sweet plums, prunes, figs and caramel. Taste is sharp and spicy with many of the dark fruits I mentioned. The alcohol is hidden very well, although this is a heavier-than-most quad. A bit more bitterness than most quad on the follow-through. Noticeable hops.

Definitely can see the hype for this brew. A true classic, though probably not a ton of difference between this and Rochefort 10. Would I pay $85 for another sixer? No, probably not. But for this first chance to try it? Definitely. If I saw a single bottle on the shelves one day, I'd probably buy a bottle though. Well, time to sit down some of the other bottles and see how this beer changes.

Photo of bigclydeoliver
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of akylles
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of DangerDawg
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of pgaveau
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of spencerberus
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of ystazi
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of markbxl
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of cdayb1
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of rickyleepotts
3.32/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Here it is… the best beer in the world. Not only is this supposed to be the best beer in the world, it is also one of the hardest beers in the world to obtain. Outside of scheduling an appointment with the brewery in Belgium, this beer is nearly impossible to get. We lucked out and got ours on eBay. We grabbed two bottles for $50. Cheaper than a plane ticket, that’s for sure! I do want to see the brewery, regardless of how good the beer is.

We are writing this review on 12/12/12 for a reason. Today, in most cities and states, this beer was released for sale in limited edition (VERY limited edition) gift sets. The set came with six bottles and two glasses for $84.99. The bottles have commemorative labels on them, making it the first time they have ever put labels on this beer. You see, the monks that make this beer are not allowed to take a profit from it. But the brewery needs some TLC and to help raise money they decided to release the beer for the first and what may be the last time. We didn’t buy a gift pack, but a LOT of my beer drinking buddies online did.

Some folks say that this recipe is similar to the St. Bernardus Abt 12. That beer is easy to get, and I am actually not a huge fan of that one. It has a tolerable flavor toward room temperature, but has a weak aroma and basically no flavor. That, and the amount of hype behind Westvleteren… my expectations are REALLY high. I am excited to try it, and to write about it. I am even more excited that we were able to get a bottle without much trouble and without spending an arm and a leg. So today, as many wait in line to spend $84.99 on this beer… we toast you and your first experience with the best beer in the world. Bottoms up, people!

In the Glass: The beer is VERY carbonated. More so than I expected. It had a soda pop sort of head when pouring it into the glass. The head settled quickly leading to a deep dark brown, nearly black color in the glass. There is a very nice lace on this beer, as well. A thin head sits on top of the glass begging me to take a sip.

Nose: It smells like a quad. It is somewhat sweet, and has a subtle fruit aroma. I am getting almost fig on the nose. It is not ice cold, but is chilled. I wanted to make sure we gave it time to warm up as we reviewed it. I love the bottle, too. No labels… just says TRAPPIST on the neck. The bottles that were released today (in Arizona at Total Wine & More) came in a commemorative box and had labels on them. But this bottle, straight from the monks, doesn’t have a label. The cap says what it is… but that’s it! Oh, and I smelled the beer once again. Still sweet, and might be getting sweeter as it sits. OK… here we go. I am about to drink the “best” beer in the world.

Flavor: Yeah, that’s a quad. It has a nice mouthfeel (which I will get to) and slides across the tongue coating your palate with that same sweetness that I was getting on the nose. Maybe it’s just me, but this beer isn’t that impressive. I am not sure why people would rate this the “best” beer in the world. I like Belgian beers, but this is nothing special. If you would do a blind taste test next to the St. Bernardus Abt 12, I wouldn’t be able to tell a difference. It’s good, but this is not the best beer in the world. I have beers in my fridge that are better than this!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is really nice. It is thick and does a great job of coating your tongue with flavors that lead to a nice aftertaste. On a second sip, I swirled it around in my mouth for a minute. It really opens up the flavors when doing that. It also heats the beer up just a tad, providing more sweetness than before.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice. The sweetness hangs around and some malty flavors start to come forward… but they are here and gone again just as fast. If you have had a Belgian quad before, it is a very similar flavor. We had some quads in Belgium a few months ago… and they do taste better over there. But still. The aftertaste here is nice, and seeing as how I like sweets, that makes sense.

Photo of Godfava12
1/5  rDev -78.3%

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

Westvleteren 12 Trappist has a thin, fizzy, off-white head and an opaque brown (orange-brown, under light) appearance, with tiny bubble streams and rather minimal lacing left behind. The aroma is of fruity, sweet red wine and possibly some malt. Taste is of figs, raisin, dates, zingy yeast, bready malts, and just the slightest hint of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and one gets a tingle on the tongue from the bitterness. Westvleteren 12 finishes very dry, crisp, and highly drinkable. Overall, it really is a perfect beer! I beg you to try it!


Photo of Treb0R
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of GregoryMo
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of ajramirez1
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beervana bought at belmont station. Good looking out. Got 3 gftboxes. Aging some for awhile...special occasions...

Beer is g damn $$$$. Im a belgian fan and im so glad i waited to try this after trying alot of belgian beer. Great look to beer. Smell is pleasing. Taste is $. Beer is just a must try. Hands down worth every penny.

Just a great beer. I would put PtY ahead of this but its not far behind at all.

Pacific NW 12/12/12!

Westy 12!!!

Aged and had 1/6 from this 12/12 crop. Beer is awesome with a few years on it...congrats to my brother on wedding as well!!!


Photo of Mcooly
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TubbyDullard
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of djaeon
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from the "brick" release. Poured into a tulip.

Pours solid dark brown, with a nice thick light-tan head. Excellent retention, and nice sticky lacing. Full of rich aromas, leather, tobacco, fig. Tastes of fig, raisin, alcohol is evident, but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Perfectly carbonated.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,236 ratings.