Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 4,579 | Reviews: 1,609 | Display Reviews Only:
4.9/5 rDev +6.3%
Poured from a bottle into a goblet at low altitude.
A: Beautiful nearly opaque brown butter color with a formidable cream-colored head. Excellent lacing.
S: A very complex smell with some fresh yeasty notes, fruitiness and a bit of alcohol. I'm excited to drink this.
T: Everything you could possibly want in a Belgian quad. Perfect rounded balance of fruit and malt with minimal hoppiness. Can't taste the alcohol at all.
M: Definitely an experience on the same level as the taste. Wet at the beginning with some delightful tingling from the carbonation. Drinking water with this kind of mouthfeel would be a pleasure.
D: If I could procure this readily, I would drink it every night.
04-21-2011 20:36:46 | More by schlimenhaumer
4.47/5 rDev -3%
Bottle poured into hotel glass to celebrate my 30th birthday. Cap stamped 16/6/13.
Pours a dark brown, not unlike the color of the bottle it was poured from. Forms at least an inch of tan head which clings to the glass like someone was coming to take it away
Smells of raisins, grape juice, and caramel.
The taste is more of the same. I love that grape juice characteristic, which is not unlike Pannepot Old Fisherman's ale. Very pleasant overall.
Finishes smooth. Very carbonated but not overly so.
Ahhhh, the question that can not be answered: is this the best beer in the world? It is certainly one of the best I've ever had, but I'm fairly new to the ticking scene, so I don't know how I'll ever k ow, unless I get my hands on a case and can compare every year or so to the new beers I've come across. Overall wonderful and one I'm glad to have ticked.
04-20-2011 21:57:33 | More by CruisaC
4.15/5 rDev -10%
Purchased this at de Bier Tempel in Brussels and had it in my hotel room, which was actually equipped with a bottle opener and a proper beer glass. This beer pours deep, ruby-tinted brown with a huge and dense fluffy white head. The nose is malty and complex, with notes of dark dried fruits, cocoa, honey, and faint spiciness. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and the taste is complex with more dark fruit and caramel with almost port-like flavours. Alcohol is present and warming, but not hot despite the ABV of 11%. Probably not the best beer I’ve ever had, but damn good.
04-20-2011 01:22:23 | More by
4.86/5 rDev +5.4%
Like the 8 I had this one straight from the abbaye itself.
Once again super fresh and super tasty!
I want bore you with the same tasting notes that 1000 others have already beaten me to. I will say that whilst I do prefer the 8, this is still an exceptional beer but it also proves that sometimes more isn't necessarily better.
Not quite up there with the worlds greatest quad, Rochefort 10, but damn it came close.
04-19-2011 21:07:16 | More by Bisho
3.85/5 rDev -16.5%
Poured from a bottle, best buy 2013.
A-Gorgeous brown body, lots of carbonation and huge tan head. A real pretty beer.
S-Smells very earthy, lots of brown sugar and caramel with a fruitiness to it. Almost a little bit of fig.
T-Grape flavor overwhelms this one. Lots of grape followed by brown sugar and molasses, not quite what I was expecting. It is very sweet and flavorful but also very fruity.
M-Nice carbonation and flavor, quite drinkable.
O-Not quite the greatest beer in the world at all. Very good but nothing over and above other similar of the style. I feel that the effort for this one is too much for the reward.
04-19-2011 15:42:10 | More by beerhan
4/5 rDev -13.2%
Had a 2003 vintage bottle at a belgian beer tasting at the Funky Buddha in Boca Raton, FL on 4/17/11.
I have to say this is a very good beer, but i didn't see it as the "holy grail of beers"(no pun intended seeing that this is an abbey beer)
I quite enjoyed this beer, the lacing on the glass signaled the quality and the aroma was great. The taste was as impressive, but i personally have had some better overall belgian beers
I am planning another trip to europe this year so maybe i will get to belgium and who knows, maybe get to the abbey to try the other 2 beers they produce!
04-19-2011 13:22:41 | More by calcio360jrd
4.35/5 rDev -5.6%
special thanks to babnate for bringing this to a recent tasting. served from a bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.
a - poured a cloudy dark brown into my glass. had a slight head that laced around the glass very well. when held to the light one can see the sediment goodness that comes along with the beer.
s - fruity prevails at first scent, then gives way to a sweet smell of sugar. also apparent to the nose is a yeasty bread scent.
t - at first sip what comes to mind is that all the tastes from this beer is very well balanced. the fruit flavors are not overbearing and gave way to a caramel/brown sugar flavor. the alcohol was not overpowering at all and seemed almost non-apparent. a dangerous notion with this wonderful beer at 10.2% avb.
m - medium in body which is good for a quad. the amount of carbonation was great which made the beer smooth in the mouth.
d - i cannot help but reiterate that i think this is one of the most balanced beers that i have had. which is what makes this beer very good. i feel that i could drink this beer for any occasion and probably put back more than one if they weren't so expensive. this is definitely a beer that everyone should try one in their life.
04-17-2011 19:27:26 | More by nightwing002
4.33/5 rDev -6.1%
A: Pours a dark mahogany ale with decent clarity. Single finger of fine and dense burnt latte head falls over the course of several minutes to a quilt of the same. Spotty lacing.
S: Butter, grahams, toffee, caramel, cream, hints of muscat grapes. Some dark fruits.
T: See above, then specifically highlight figs, prunes, fired sugarcane. Good.
M: Medium to heavy with lower carb. Slicks on the finish.
O: This beer is good. Obviously well crafted. Multilayered and complex. Unfortunately, I disagree it stands up to Rochefort 10, oddly, given the last review I did of that beer. I will have to review it again, as I tasted tonight side by side this beer and found it in the forefront.
04-15-2011 08:38:39 | More by harrymel
4.45/5 rDev -3.5%
Poured into a snifter glass from a bottle with a best by date of 07.01.14. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.
Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear medium to dark brown color with a 1” frothy light tan head that leaves little lacing as it recedes. After a while the head any foam are gone except for a thin layer that partially cover the liquid and a ring around the glass that leaves a few patches of lacing when sipping. These soon slide back down to the liquid so no lacing clings to the side of the glass.
Smell: The aromas leave no question that this is a subtle and complex beer. Even though it is quite complex it seems to me there is caramel and chocolate or cocoa here, along with some fruits like raisins and cherries. I’m also picking up a trace of alcohol.
Taste: The flavors are much as predicted from the nose. Again there is no question this is a subtle and complex beer. There are dark fruits here (raisins, cherries) mingled with lightly flavored chocolate or cocoa. Both the sweetness and the bitterness are well controlled here and neither shoves out the other.
Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is full to medium bodied and quite soft and smooth with the gentle carbonation. The finish is medium to long, begins in sweetness from the malt and candi sugar, and then moves through some gentle earthy bitterness (that almost isn’t) before trailing off to dryness. Interestingly the end is noticeable because eventually it feels there should be something there but it isn’t.
Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is a very drinkable beer. Each sip follows the last quite naturally and easily. But for the ABV I could sit and sip on this beer all night. I’ll certainly be willing to have another should the opportunity arise. My overall impression is that this is definitely a well made, first rate beer. I don’t know that I’d say it’s the best in the world but it well deserves to be right up there in competition for that honor.
04-14-2011 19:54:13 | More by drtth
4.1/5 rDev -11.1%
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
04-10-2011 08:40:25 | More by Mebuzzard
4.78/5 rDev +3.7%
Finally the Westy 12. Cracked open on my first anniversary of joining BA. I can remember the time where I thought I'd never get a taste of the number one beer in the world. If I would have had one then, I would have gulped it down without a doubt. Tonight I appreciated it a little more. I didn't know what to expect from this beer as there is a lot riding on being labeled the number one beer in the world. Was expecting a little let down... far from it after finishing it off. Cap reads 26.5.13. Poured into Westvleteren Chalice.
A- Pours very hazy, cloudy brown in color. Off white 1 and 1/2 finger head. Fades down to a thin cap for the remainder of the beer.
S- The nose starts and ends with dark fruits throughout. Very inviting aroma, as it is not to much, but still enough to make you wonder what is about to come.
T- My first taste leads to a boozy grape, raisin beer. The flavors pour in from here with some sweetness, spices, and dark fruits. Everything is balanced, more than expected. Very smooth drink, makes you want another sip right after you had one. Dark fruits end the drink nicely. Wow, it really is a great beer to drink.
M- Medium body, lighter on the carbonation. A little crisp, coats the mouth nicely though.
D- Only my second quad, and this is by far the better of the two. Didn't like my first quad, so I was a little apprehensive of this, but it lived up to expectations as a great beer. Wish I had the opportunity to get a couple and enjoy with more people.
04-10-2011 03:59:43 | More by HosP
4.8/5 rDev +4.1%
I had the esteemed pleasure of having this beer on my trip to Belgium; first a one year old version at me mate's house in Ghent, then straight out of the bottle at the abbey when I picked up 48 bottles of blond, then a two year old version at me mate's house. While having the two year old, me mate brought out yet another bottle of the one year old so we could compare them. I figured aged beers were for snobby pretentious little bastards, but I was proven wrong upon tasting the difference betwixt the two. Touche. I didn't actually review the version straight from the abbey, but I've included my reviews of both the one year old and the two year old below. I know I'm a lucky bastard, for the record. Obviously, both were from the bottle, served into a proper Westy goblet. I tasted the aged versions in Ghent, but I don't recall the altitude there. Note the two year aged review is less specific because I knew I'd already reviewed the one year.
A(1yr): Two finger head of amazing cream and thickness. A dark black colour with an amber bottom. Very appealing. Excellent retention. I let the beer sit for a bit so that it would be the correct temperature; it was fetched from a refrigerator.
A(2yr): Two finger head of lovely cream and thickness. Dark amber colour.
Sm(1yr): Cream. Very subtle spices and esters. Esters are seemingly dominated by raspberry. Some nutty hops. Exquisitely subtle. Balanced. A light strength scent overall, but then me nose is broken.
Sm(2yr): Dark fruit. Cream. Hops. Complex.
T(1yr): Beautiful body of nut, spice, and especially tamed fruit, which bleeds - nay - allows itself into the finish. Perfectly balanced. Fruit hangs on the finish, joined by a symphony of cream. Cream is also present on the open. A perfect injection of bitterness is present just before the climax.
T(2yr): Dark fruit, hoppy body build. Amazing. Incredibly complex. Balanced perfectly. Built perfectly. Fuck me that's delightful.
Mf(1yr): Perfectly creamy, smooth, and wet yet dry. Teases an orgasm from the tongue. Amazing.
Mf(2yr): Silky. Soft and smooth. Amazing. Delicate and incredible.
Dr(1yr): I would down this repeatedly if given the chance and budget (and I did, at In Da Vrede). If you have a last meal, this ought to be a candidate for the drink. Makes you close your eyes to savour the taste. Believe the hype; this is the best beer I've had so far. The best retention I've ever seen.
Dr(2yr): Fecking brilliant-like. Hides its ABV absurdly well.
Note that the numeric review values correspond to the two year.
04-09-2011 19:14:47 | More by kojevergas
5/5 rDev +8.5%
Here it is, the legendary Westvleteren 12. I received this in the mail just today. Could barely contain my excitement as I waited for it to chill. It's in the well known unlabeled bottle with a ring of glass that says Trappistenbier. Bottlecap bears the date 24.09.13. Poured into a snifter.
Appearance: Pours a delightful dark hazel color with a cream colored half inch head. Head retains very long and lacing is also long lasting and thick.
Smell: Amazing. A mouthwatering blend of complexity. I pick up dark and dried fruits, cream, toffee, sweet desserts, and not a hint of ethanol. It's clear to my nose that there is much more here than my meager olfactory senses can pick up.
Taste: Perfect. Everything I expected. This style of beer has proven one of my favorites ever since I tried the excellent Rochefort 10, but this beer is the best I've tried so far. All the smells I mentioned in the previous section are present in taste, including the lack of ethanol. The overwhelming complexity keeps you drinking and wondering what other treasures might be found in the depths of this beer.
Mouthfeel: This beer is so smooth. Syrupy in consistency with light carbonation. But not forceful. Goes down very easy. A very drinkable beer.
Overall: This beer is indeed legendary. It's reputation is well deserved. I know this review has thusfar seemed as if I've been kissing Westvleteren's ass due to the hype. But it really is the best beer I've ever tried, and I've just tried to say why. It is such a shame that this beer is so rare. Because it is a real treat.
04-08-2011 21:22:27 | More by Jeriacor
5/5 rDev +8.5%
A - No label, with a ring around the bottle that says Trappistenbier. The cap has the date 16.06.12 stamped on it. Pouring this into my tulip glass produced 1.5 inches of off-white head that has great retention and leaves some clingy lacing. The beer is clear with a very dark ruby red hue.
S - It has a very pleasant sweet and fruity aroma consisting of prunes, raisins and grapes.
M - Medium in body with perfect carbonation. It has a slight syrupy feel to it that coats the mouth.
T - Upon the first sip dark grapes and prunes dominate the flavor. Next up is a little woodiness before some more dark fruit. I couldn't really detect any alcohol in the flavor, but noticed it a little as it warmed up my chest. It has a good bit of sweetness, but is never sickeningly sweet. It drinks extremely smoothly with no harsh flavors at all.
This is without a doubt a world class beer. I wouldn't have been able to tell you that it contained over 10% alcohol. I want to give a huge thanks to Brabander for sending me 2 bottles and giving me the chance to try this delicious beer. Hopefully I'll be able to try it again next year when I'm in Belgium.
04-07-2011 01:08:54 | More by boralyl
4.85/5 rDev +5.2%
Cracked two of these on my 50th b-day in February. Poured into GABF glass taster glasses, shared with my girlfriend's youngest son. Poured a nice dark brown/black with a nice head. What else can be said about this one? Taste was F'n Fantastic to put it mildly. I'd honestly have to say that this was/is the best beer I've had to date.
04-06-2011 10:19:54 | More by Schmittymack
5/5 rDev +8.5%
Split two ways and poured into my chalice. Great two finger creamy light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aromas of light brown sugar, molasses, caramel, toffee, dates, plums, and cherries. Taste just like it smells with a dominant dark fruit taste. Creamy mouthfeel and smooth. Best beer I have tasted. Couldn't find a single flaw
04-04-2011 00:14:20 | More by LHOwasFramed
4.88/5 rDev +5.9%
Tasting Date: 3/19/2011
Service/Appearance: Poured into two Duvel glasses to share with my father. Since it was a one bottle split, it obviously didn't come close to filling it, but still poured a deep amber color with a creamy off-white head. Nice lacing as it settled.
Nose: boozy but a bit fruity at the same time. I got fig, maybe dates, some spice, but pretty subdued.
Taste: A lesson in quad balance. No over-the-top alcohol here. This is not to say that the alcohol was not apparent, just that it was balanced well by the other flavors - different from a Rochefort 10 in that regard, I think. Complex and delicious. Fruits apparent, some sugary sweetness, balanced out by the yeasty, biscuit-like notes and alcohol.
Mouthfeel: I think this was the weakest aspect of the beer -- though still good, I felt that the feel was a touch thin, though as I've been drinking more stouts recently, it might just be an adaptation bias.
Overall: Excellent beer. If you like good beer, it's worth trying to find. Even if you're an IPA or Stout drinker, it's an experience worth trying at least once. If you like strong ales, it's very probably top of the heap.
03-31-2011 23:12:46 | More by Eldritch
4.7/5 rDev +2%
Ah, the fabled Westy 12. I acquired this bottle about 6 months back in one of my first trades. I said this was the beer I wanted to toast when my daughter was born. Although she was born a little less than 2 days ago, this is my first chance to sit back and enjoy one. This one is for you, Samantha! Welcome to this world...cheers!
A - label-less bottle with a glass ring around the stem of the bottle that says "Trappistenbier" and a cap telling me that this is the Westvleteren 12. Dated 27.05.13. Opened the bottle and poured into my La Trappe chalice. The entire bottle perfectly filled the glass and had a nice brownish purple color with a picture perfect frothy head. The head was creamy and wonderful. As a big fan of Quads, it is wonderful to see that this beer looks perfect.
S - Sweet grapes nutmeg and booze. My mouth is watering.
T - Oh wow. Just as the nose suggests, this beer is sweet boozy grape juice. I may have opened it a bit too fresh from the fridge because it got much better as it warmed and really came into it's own.
M - Creamy and smooth. The alcohol is HOT on this beer. Tingles like crazy in my mouth and leaves a somewhat bittery yet biscuity after taste. Once I got used to the heat, the flavors and creaminess ruled the roost. Beer felt great.
O - Overall, I am not disappointed one bit. However, I am a bit surprised on the booziness of this beer. Amazing Quad. Best beer in the world...? Maybe. Worldclass...? DEFINITELY. I'd really love to try one that has some solid age on it...I bet it would be insane. I do understand all the comparisons to some of the other better known quads and I do understand some folks choosing other Quads over this one. I'd love to do a blind test next to some of my other favs.
03-27-2011 02:57:46 | More by cosmicevan
4.35/5 rDev -5.6%
I poured from a 11.2 oucne bottle into a snifter. The pour is a cloudy caramel with a massive, sticky white head. The aroma is sweet with heavy dark fruit notes. The flavor starts with sweet plums and dates. It rounds out with an almost candy like sweetness and finishes with hot alcohol. It has a creamy full mouthfeel, nice carbonation. The beer is a great quad. Definitely world class, very glad to have tried it.
03-26-2011 01:42:54 | More by bonkers
4.85/5 rDev +5.2%
I could hardly contain my excitement about trying this highly sought after beer. I was fortunate enough to find a beer bar in Brussels, Belgium which served bottles of this beer. This was my first time trying this beer. I found it again being served at the Cambrinus restaurant in Brugge, Belgium.
The beer was served almost at room temperature in a chalice. The color was a deep, dark brown. The aroma was of spices, fruit, and a hint of caramel.
The beer was rich and smooth and full of flavor-you could taste the spice, maltiness, and dried fruit.
I drank this beer slowly both due to its richness in flavor and because I wanted to savor this rare beer.
I feel very lucky to have had this beer more than once during my trip to Belgium!
03-24-2011 10:54:37 | More by Chincino
4.7/5 rDev +2%
Served in a Chimay chalice. Thanks Thijs aka brabander (He stopped trading Westy a long time ago so don't bother him).
Murky dark brown body with no head or lacing to speak of. The lowest of the rating tiers for sure.
Aromas of prunes, dates and baking spices.
Brown sugar, dried fruits and spices. Oak aging is evident. Has a tiny bit of sour funk to it. Pretty sweet overall. The yeast dominates. Quad Heaven!
Silky full body with low carbonation. This is "beer juice".
No obvious alcohol presence to speak of. Any difficulty you will have drinking this beer would be from the richness of flavor, which is expected, and not the harshness of the alcohol. It's so incredibly smooth for the abv %. The smoothness of this beer is unparalleled. If I could rate this an A++, I would.
Probably one of my favorite beers ever and I'm usually an American hops kinda guy. Trade more of this with me and I'll be your best friend!
03-22-2011 21:56:45 | More by aficionado
4.43/5 rDev -3.9%
Ahh the infamous Westvleteren 12 one of the most highly sought after beers. The beer is a nice deep brown color but not black. You have to take your time with this beer because of the high abv and all the notes that you can pick up in both the nose and the taste. Toffee, caramel, and malty sweetness capture your nose. The taste is a delicious blend of the aromas plus a little warmth from the abv. This beer is a good beer to end the night with because of its high abv plus your palette will be overloaded after drinking this beer. Take your time and savor this great brew.
03-22-2011 21:09:49 | More by Cmack15
4/5 rDev -13.2%
update score: ....
appearance: The most amazing thing about the beer. I give it 5 plus.... amazing forever head and laces the glass the whole way down. the sediment at the bottem even forms a cinnamon like residue on the top of the head making this look like a latte. Beer Latte!
smell: the weakest part of the beer. although still a 5 the aromas were sublte to what I expected. but still world class spices like nutmeg and cinnamom fuming from the top of the glass.
taste: the high alcohol didn't take over the beer like rochefort does. I'm expecting this beer to be under a year. lots of cocoa and amzing spices. really makes me wonder if anything was added. Like nutmeg
mouthfeel: medium to nearly full bodied
drinkability: world class and amzing expereince. glad to have tried it
03-22-2011 19:55:55 | More by CampusCrew
4.88/5 rDev +5.9%
Pours a murky dark brown color with a huge, pillowy tan head that slowly settles. Very puffy looking.
The aroma is of grape juice and light prune. There are some musty yeast notes that bring an earthy character to the aroma. Some light tobacco notes round out the aroma.
The taste starts off with grape juice and prune flavors as well as some honey and caramel. This is quickly balanced by some stark earthy notes. Some nice tobacco notes bring balance to the flavor profile. There is some ash that actually gives the beer a lightly bitter finish. Some light medicinal characteristics are detected but nothing really stands out, perhaps some clove. A really well rounded flavor profile that has great balance.
Moderate feel with fizzy and airy carbonation that makes the beer feel lighter than it actually is. Very creamy feel. Sweet on the palate but does finish with a light bitterness. Great balance.
Great quad/BSDA. Exactly what I look for in the style. Not overly sweet with raisin and prune flavors but more of an earthy flavor that makes the beer very drinkable. Glad I got 3 more.
03-19-2011 23:32:15 | More by Gmann
4.65/5 rDev +0.9%
While in Belgium on my honeymoon, my wife and I stopped at the Abbey St. Sixtus (the last of our stops to all seven of the Trappists). I didn't know much about Westvleteren 12 and had no idea what I had.
The first one I had was poured almost room temperature from the bottle into a matching chalice. Dark brownish/red hue. Dark brooding scents of prunes and other dark fruit.
Taste was absolutely amazing (even warm - which normally I don't care for). I was sold in the first few sips. Tastes of prunes, sweet dark fruit and spices. Very little aftertaste and almost no hint of alcohol at all. Heavier mouthfeel but drinkability was fantastic.
I turned to my wife and said "this is without question the best beer I've ever had". I felt vindicated when I found out later that I was sampling one of the highest rated and most sought after beers in the world. Brought a couple bottles home for my first wedding anniversary and I can't wait to drink them.
03-19-2011 04:46:31 | More by AZbelgian
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,579 ratings.