1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

5,180 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,180
Reviews: 1,662
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,130
Gots: 1,590 | FT: 118
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,180 | Reviews: 1,662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of robertrunner
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of herrorara
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of phingdong
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Sc0pey
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle picked up from the Brewery. It pours mahogany to deep ruby in colour with a thin foamy beige head. The nose is wood, ginger, raisin, fig, date, orange-zest, leather and dark chocolate. The taste unbelievably complex: wood, caramel, toffee, plum, cherry, date, prune, fig, stewed pear, red grape, banana, vanilla, leather, smoke, charcoal, milk and dark chocolate, rich-roast coffee, liquorice, nice alcohol warmth....the list could go on. The underlying sweetness balances the more savoury flavours. It has fine carbonation, a full body, layers of complexity, surprising smoothness and one of the longest finishes around. Awesome.

Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Fux
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a dark brown colored brew, with copper / mahogany glints to light. Nice head with a good retention that leaves nice lacing above a thin film of foam.

S: The nose is deep and sweet. Malts, some phenolic esters also but nothing disturbing here. Dark fruits, grapes, raisins, plums, peaches, a bit spicy (cloves) and yeasty. Very complex and hard to describe.

T: Sweet malts, caramel, faint notes of chocolate, lots of dark fruits, cherries, bananas, hints of alcohol. Typical Belgian yeasts bready flavors on the finish. Warming. Slightly bitter.

M: Very carbonated but full bodied.

O: Very complex and well balanced but so easy to drink! With 2-3 years on it, definitely one my favorite beers!

Photo of crashoveride
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of time4abeer
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of pcents
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, I was lucky enough to get a bottle made in 2010 and I split it with a friend of mine. This is the best beer I have ever had and I can only hope that I can get my hands on another one before I die. We poured it out of the traditional unmarked bottle into the most ghetto of clear plastic cup, it pains me to even admit that, but good beer will always be good no matter what. It appearance was a dark murk brown and it had a large yellow/brown head. It had a heavy unami aroma that was very pleasant. Up front it has a simple sweet/malty taste with even a hint of raisin while the back-end of it provided a little spice and heat perhaps due to it being aged for two years. I was told to swish it around in my mouth and there was an explosion of flavor as it turned to a cream like consistency. I would also say it had a little bitter and roasty notes throughout the tasting. Would definitely recommend it and I may have to make a trip to Belgium.

Photo of todisht
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ciaomonaco
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The experience of drinking a living legend is unique and one that is obviously better experienced than translated into language, however the latter is possible, to an extent.

The word that best describes this beer - pleasurable. This beer strikes the balance of sweet and beer so perfectly, it literally brought a smile to my face. It is sweet on the front end of the experience with a slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is heavy, it turns into thick cream as you swish it around your mouth. There are hints of raisins and plums that give the beer a rich sweetness, that is surely balanced by some mild hoppiness. Heavy carbonation, slightly cloudy, a light head.

There is a mythical experience that comes with drinking Westvleteren 12 that cannot be understood unless one drinks it.

Photo of jfcaa193
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of groetman
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Adamdc
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Hawkfish
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this last Christmas Eve after service.

Smelled of dark fruits, dark bread, leather, and cherries.

Some sediment, but who cares, it's the 12!

Malty but finishes dry, sweet like dark candi sugar, spicy, caramel, dark fruit, mild coffee.

Tight bubbles in carbonation.

Prefer the Younger as my top beer, but this rocks. Can't wait to try this one day fresh at the Abbey.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well I figured I'd make this review count, and get a little cocky and review it before the distribution to the US actually does happen in the Spring of 2012.

12 oz. bottle poured into a Leffe chalice. The cap indicates 16-06-13 as what I would assume is the best bye date. Popped the cap and a small amount of foam started to ball up at the top, waited a minute or 2 for the pour. Sort of a brown dirty water color in the liquid but darker, slightly darker than cider. There is quite a bit of setiment floating around in there, saved a little at the bottom of the bottle so there wasn't too much, but I think it's unavoidable, no big deal. Looks pretty good. Like many Belgian styles, there is a decent sized foamy head, mostly small bubbles but slightly varies. The head is slightly darker than off white. Good looking beer, I wouldn't say it's the best looking beer I've ever seen (even for the style), but you can tell it's quality.

Took my first sniff from the bottle before I poured it and I couldn't believe how good it smelled; it sort of went away, but it was hoppier than I expected. However the more I smell it, I think it's just it's the fruitiness from the other ingredients. Dark fruits come out, plumb, crushed apples, pears, even cherries. Subtle tropical fruits too. Also hints of mild chocolate and maybe even some coffee. None of those gross banana-like aromas that often apply in many Belgian styles. This is all good all the way. My ONLY knock on this is that it's not that strong, decisive, but nothing not that strong, so I'd give it a 4.75 if possible, but this will do.

Taste is truly outstanding and now I understand the hype. I'm not traditionally one to prefer Belgian style brews to others, but Quads were what I like the most of them all and now I totally understand the hype. All the aromas come out in the flavor here. Very malty and fruity ( I don't feel like typing all the fruits again, so read above). Subtle chocolate again, but a little more bitter this time, slight coffee too. Perfectly balanced between bitter and sweet. I'm not overly versed in the Quad style, but this is worthy of being the standard of how this beer should taste.

Mouthfeel is perfect, plain and simple. Huge, full flavor while feeling soft and delicate. Great carbonation level and the yeast doesn't leave that ,well "yeasty" feeling in your mouth, it's very smooth. The 10.2% is WELL hidden in the mouthfeel and the flavor, I NEVER would have guessed that if I didn't know. Crazy drinkable too. This is just an all around wonderful beer all around, absolutely happy to have tried it; maybe I'll get the opportunity again. If more Quads tasted like this, it could be my favorite style.

Huge props to dbexpert, you're the man, thanks a ton for the trade!

Photo of bark
4.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unknown vintage, although I think it is quite fresh.

The colour is brown, the liquid a bit cloudy. The low head is off-white, it leaves some nice lacing.

The smell got a distinct note of sponge-cake dough. Sweet Champagne. Red berries. It is very smooth.

The taste is first enormously sweet. Then, fruity jam flavours kicks in. Smooth hoppy-hayish notes with very low bitterness. Wheat flour. Some toffee. The aftertaste is tremendously smooth with fruits and herbs in the finish.

The carbonation is fresh, the bubbles are small. The liquid is smooth and a bit dry.

One of the best beers in the world? I was a bit nervous before tasting it, but it didn’t disappoint me: One of the smoothest and most balanced beers I have had, with a distinct note of Raspberry Swiss roll.

Photo of Gfunk720
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of spdyfire83
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

130th Review
Bottle to Westvletren 12 (small) chalice - as it should be!

From notes. I have enjoyed this beer several times, but this review was as a result of my encounter with it as beer #4 enjoyed as part of a blind Quad tasting - to warm our palates before the real tasting - in Utrecht (December 2011). Thanks Jeffo and doopiedoopiedoo for the hospitality!

A: Burnt brown. Single (tan) fingernail head on Jeffo's pour - I was being honest.

S: Holy smokes. I knew what is was from first sniff, but gosh it doesn't get much better than this! Complex. Dark fruits, caramel, hint of vanilla, cloves, and a touch of heaven. At least I can only hope.

T: Much like the smell, but very, very smooth. Brown sugar, dark fruit, and nice balance of spice. Not overly complex, but just right!

M: Medium bodied and perfect carbonation here.

O: Stand ovation on this and it will never stopping amazing me - the monks of Westvleteren sure know how to brew an excellent beer! You can enjoy a "fresh" bottle or a vintage bottle and the result will always be the same - outstanding! It does age quite well too, but I think this bottle was a bit more fresh. Either way, it is definitely something any beer drinkers out there should have the experience of enjoying (even if you don't like the style). I converted to appreciate the Belgian Quad as a result of my first encounter with this beer.

Photo of NaNach
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of KotR
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Sender
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of NORM4
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of raverjames
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of beast464
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,180 ratings.