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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,707 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,707
Reviews: 1,617
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,890
Gots: 1,357 | FT: 104
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,707 | Reviews: 1,617 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OakedCanuck
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle into chalice. From notes. Bottle dated 21.04.13.

A - This gem pours a murky, swampy brown with slight reddish and purple edge accents. Faint bubbly beige head quickly dissipated.

S - Lots of ripe purple fruits of plums, currants, raisins and black cherries. Distinct Belgian yeastiness adds that desired bread nose.

T - Very complex. Epitome of quad brew flavour profile, dark fruits, cherries, some pepper and amazing cloves. That bready yeast profile is nicely integrated and somewhat subdued. Wonderful experience

M - Ridiculously smooth, no ABV to me picked up, medium and caressing.

O - I was a bit skeptical going in as this is quite the highly hyped, idolized beer. However, the beer speaks for itself and completely crushes any of the perceived 'hype' surrounding. Delicious, and that's all.

OakedCanuck, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of tsatem
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle at In De Vrede, in a chalice. Been dreaming of having this beer at this cafe for awhile.

A: Dark brown that lightens toward the edges. Frothy one and a half finger head with decent lacing immediately. A small layer stays suspended forever.

S: Huge cornucopia of dark fruits, candied figs, caramel, small esters, rather sweet. Sublimely balanced - it's really hard to pick anything out. Everything blends in an incredible way.

T: Full! So much, very rich. Rather sweet, a bit light. Alcohol presence has a great warming but not hot character. Some toasty grains. All the dark fruit is in there just like the nose. Wonderful Belgian yeast flavors. Just as well balanced as expected, everything blends to create a phenomenal flavor that seems unique in its complex unity.

M: Medium-heavy but still lively. Great.

O: Incredible! I don't know how much of that is the rare talking, but at the first sip I was blown away. Huge and bold, but still tame and so well balanced.

tsatem, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of msfoster77
4.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown with an off-white head. Almost 0 light was shining through the liquid which was pretty cool.

Smell was slightly fruity, some raisins and dark fruits, with mostly caramel and booze coming through.

The taste was very good, the mouthfeel was amazing, the booziness warmed the mouth and gave a great sensory experience while drinking it.

This is an amazing beer, the fact that it is so hard to get and the recipe hasn't changed for thousands of years makes drinking it a great experience. I think the 8 was better, but this one was really good as well.

msfoster77, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of TheTippler
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich, raisiney, well masked alcohol, thick. Complex like a big meaty red wine. This is one of the finest quads I have had, but I can't say it lives up to the hype. I would rank this right along side the Rochefort 10, yet the unobtainability and buyer's remorse creates a mythical presence in this beer that causes to be catapulted to the top of any beer list. This is a fine beer that should certainly be seeked out. But is it definitively the best beer in the world? Probably not.

TheTippler, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of s1ckboy
4.03/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown with a small head

S - Bready, sweet.

T - Bready, sweet, vanilla, spices. I got a lot of dark fruits mainly raisins, figs. Very malty, a bit of alcohol in the finish. Very smooth. There is a lot going on, flavors kept going.

M - Medium, on the thicker side. Nice light carbonation, again very smooth.

O - Very good.

s1ckboy, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

THE beer. Finally got another one in a recent trade. I decided to open it with a friend of mine and tonight just happened to be that night. Bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Pours murky brown with a start white one and a half finger head leaving small wisps of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of dark fruits; like figs, prunes, and raisins; mixes with the sweet malt, chewy belgian yeast, and some damp earth. The alcohol creeps in as it comes to room temperature.

T - Starts off with a sweet mix of dark fruits and candied sugar slowly giving way a mix of bready malts, spicy belgian yeast, caramel, toffee, molasses, and some chocolatey sweetness. The alcohol begins to rear its head as the ale comes to room temperature, drying the pallet. The finish is a mix of sugary sweetness and light heat from the alcohol. Amazingly balanced overall.

M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. So damn smooth with a little bit of chewiness. The alcohol does become a bit tiresome over the course of the glass.

O - This is still one of my favorite beers of all time. From the dark, complex, flavors to the soft, velvety, feel you would be hard pressed to find a better quad. I can't wait for my next encounter with this amazing beer.

orangesol, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of seabass87
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 18.09.08 and cellar-aged. A wonderful present from my girlfriend for our anniversary.

A- Deep, opaque mahogany brown. One finger of eggshell white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a mild, creamy cap throughout consumption. Leaves minor silky lacing throughout. Surprisingly, only a small amount of sediment present here.

S- Caramel malt, walnuts, ripe grapes, Belgian yeast. A background of sour cherries and other dark fruit esters. A bit of alcohol.

T- The base is introduced with scrumptious, chewy malt goodness intertwined with rich caramel, bread/biscuit, and wonderfully balanced Belgian yeast. This is paired with a number of rich fruits - primarily red grape peel, figs, and ripe apricots. We are transitioned to a beautiful sweet finish, with walnut banana bread being the best way I can think to describe it. There is only a bit of warmth from the alcohol - it's hidden exceedingly well and what warmth does surface is only complimentary to the flavors present. As it warms, the fruit esters become more pronounced.

M- Wonderfully light for the style, and considering the complexity I was surprised with how easy-going the body was. Just a tingle of carbonation during transition to inject a little excitement. Primarily dry finish that works well with the nutty aftertaste.

O- What can I say that hasn't been said already... This is quite simply the best tasting beer I've ever had. Considering the relative difficulty in obtaining it, I'm not sure how many times in my life I will get to taste this beer again, but I'm very glad I had to opportunity to do so. If you have the chance, make every effort to experience this masterpiece.

seabass87, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of crossovert
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I got this beer I was in the company of some Flemish friends. I took no time to critique it. I didn’t figure out what kind of farts it produces, or count each tiny bubble of the head. Nope, I just drank it in good company. It is thick, sweet, complex, and delicious. Now is it my favorite beer of all time? Close. Top 3 for sure. Just a total experience.

crossovert, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of drowland
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma hints of grapes and some dark fruits as well. The flavor is grapes and dark fruits mixed with wonderful Belgian yeast characteristics - and no hotness whatsoever. This is delicious, well balanced, and very smooth. The mouthfeel is amazingly soft and effervescent like real Champagne.

drowland, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second Westy to get through was the 12, as I decided to lead things off with the 8 the other day. I fell in love with the 8 - how will the 12 hold up?

Thanks again to Jeffo for bringing a crate of this back in the Great Canadian Westy Trade 2011!

Poured into a Duvel goblet. A nice, murky chestnut brown colour, with a slight reddish tinge. A billowing pile of off-white head sat upon the brew and refused to leave. By the end of the bottle, there was still a thick ring and scads of lacing. A terrific looking brew.

Great nose to it as well: raisins, booze, candied fruit, chocolate, all sorts of goodies. Not quite as potent and rich as 8 (which I will inevitably be comparing this to, despite being different styles), but still terrific.

A great quad, rich and spicy, with those same fruit notes (raisin, dry white wine, raspberry), spices, a bit of chocolate, warming alcohol and a drying finish. Exceptional stuff, really enjoying this.

Tart carbonation, but coats the tongue well and leaves a nice slick feel. The booze stings ever so slightly.

Gotta put the 8 a hair above this brew, but damn is it close. I think it comes down to personal preference - I prefer dubbels to quads or tripels (I'd make a lousy figure skater) as a general rule. However, I do enjoy a fine quadrupel, and this is most certainly among the top of its class.

JohnnyBarman, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of jrenihan
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Best before on cap is 24.09.13.

Beer is brown with reddish hints. Minimal white head fades quick;y. Not as dark as I would have expected the beer to be.

Smell is excellent. Dark fruit (plum, red grapes, fig) and brown sugar. A complex and enveloping smell. A bit of alcohol is present, but only slightly. Gives the nose a bit of a sterness that is nice.

Taste is fantastic. Just like smell, but more. Again we have dark fruit, plum, fig, red grape and some brown sugar, with a somewhat dry finish. The beer has a lot of fruit in it, but is not juicy. Almost tastes like a rich syrup. A warming alcohol flavour runs alongside the other flavours, not overpowering but present.

Beer is full bodied, with a medium amount of carbonation that is perfect. Beer is active, but not irritating- very minute bubbles.

Overall, truly an excellent beer. Given the availability and price disparities, I would go for the Rochefort 10, but this is just wonderful. Glad I got to try it.

jrenihan, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here it is. What, by many accounts, is the best beer in the entire world. Purchased at Bier Tempel in Brussels, along with the 8 and the Blond. Carried to Bruges until I realised I didn't have a bottle opener. After I attempted to prise off the cap with the edge of the table and the toilet-roll dispenser in the hotel room, my girlfriend became bemused and went out to buy me a bottle opener.

To the big question, however: can a beer this hyped live up to its expectations?

Freshness date of 20/04/14 stamped on the cap.

Pours a murky red brown, deeply coloured with amazingly fine carbonation feeding a modest, but amazingly fine-bubbled head. Lacing is thick and creamy, like uncooked meringue. Body is light, but slick looking, holding some of that fine carbonation when tilted. The bead is what makes this beer look so very refined. It's an absolutely lovely lookjng brew.

Nose is fine and light, tantalisingly giving off its aromas of spicy esters, fruity tannins and portlike booze. Slight tingle of lemon acidity to it as well. To be perfectly honest, though, its a lot less robust than I expected. The characters are very pleasant, and nicely balanced, but I've had beers with similar characters that have been fuller and more intoxicating. I'm not saying the subtlety here is bad. Just surprising.

Taste is lovely, however. Broad and long, giving wonderful complexity over the tongue, and developing as time passes along its length. Characters of raisins, tea leaf, red grapes, banana skin, rosemary, vanilla, cherry brandy, with a boozy and mildly astringent finish that you think is there to clean it up, but in fact just adds its own subtle complexity. Feel is sublime, just so smooth and supple and slick and thinly creamy. Now I understand the lack of body. Any more, and you'd look at overwhelming the subtle complexities.

I don't think I've had a better Belgian. This is top of the style easily, and it does easily warrant such an impressive place in the beer ethos. But, no, it's not the best beer in the world. The best beer in the world is still out there somewhere, tantalising me with its mythical presence. Some day, I will find it.

And unless I want to think that it's all downhill from here, I have to believe that until the end of my beer-drinking days.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of ajsdad06
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received as an extra from?

Pour is liquid caramel topped by a soft yellowish beige head.

The aroma had a complex combination of fruits, brown sugar, moderately sweet caramel/toffee like malts, and vanilla.

The flavor is again very complex: malty, sweet, brown sugar, fruity (raisin, others), vanilla, spices, and some alcohol.

This seemed to have some oxidation going on, but it was spectacular nonetheless. Medium bodied with good carbonation. I may need to seek out more bottles for a follow up try soon.

ajsdad06, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of TaddyPorter
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will probably never forget the afternoon when Andrés, my student at UD, walked into my office with the gift of a bottle of Westvleteren 12. ‘Twas an amazingly generous and extraordinarily well-received gesture. He’d hand-imported it to the States after an enviable tour of Belgian and northern France, where he went to visit his sister. Rebecca and I are splitting this special treat on one of the final nights of packing up for our move from the apartment in Newark to our new place, in celebration of what’s been accomplished, and in anticipation of the glory to come. ¡Salud, Andrés!

Appearance:
Rich mahogany brown capped with a few fingers of foamy white head, which quickly reduces to a sticky film. Very impressive clarity. Inviting, appearance is not the strongest card in this one’s hand...

Smell:
Fruity yeast esters kick things off, tinged toward the dry and dark. Prunes, raisins, wood, dry dark cherry. Layers and layers of complexity; it seems like the longer you smell this, the more you pick out. Figs galore. Creamy, lemony, sweet, light, fruity as well. Maybe even vanilla? Alcohol pokes through but is by no means overwhelming.

Taste:
Juicy, vinous. More dried fruit. Super complex, subtle, and layered. Moreish to an extreme—I would need several more bottles to really wrap my mind around this one completely. Caramel and deep rich pumpernickel crust peek through at the end. Peach soaked in brandy. The alcohol comes out more as it warms.

Mouthfeel:
Chewy and thick, yet light-bodied as it lingers in the mouth. Light, smooth carbonation that is barely noticeable.

Drinkability:
Utterly complex and unique; who wouldn’t want to drink it? Frankly, both the missus and I were expecting this one to disappoint a bit, given its chargin’ hype train, and the fact that a Belgian quadrupel is not really a go-to style for me. This one, however, has won us over completely with its subtle complexity. There are other beers that have blown my mind more personally, but I can’t think of any that have matched this one in its refinement. Subtle, but super-assertive. Certainly nobody’s session beer, but one that I would love to have on ANY occasion.

TaddyPorter, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of BierGartenok
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from Notes: I had this amazing brew on a trip to Europe that was as equally amazing. Sampled at In De Vrede in the shadow of the abbey of Saint Sixtus, it really doesn't get any better than that. This nectar of the Gods pours a lovely dark brown color, aroma is of fruit, plumbs and sugar canes. As soon as you take a sip you realize that this beer lives up to the hype..Does it get any better than this? NO. This beer coats the tongue in sweet fruit flavors and the alcohol is so well hidden that you are not aware of the effects. That is until you walk down the path at Westvleteren to the shrine and realize that you are extremely drunk. This is OK you remind yourself, as you are in Europe at the Mecca for all beer drinkers. If you ever have the chance to visit PLEASE do..you will not be disappointed. We purchased some at De Bier Temple in Brussels. The lady there has plenty to go around, so if you miss the "Beer line" or all orders are full, fear not she has you covered. Do yourself a favor and grab a Westy, it is what the Gods Drink! Cheers!

BierGartenok, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of lr99gt
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Murky Brown with nice head

S: Fruit Cake, dark fruits

T: Very complex with dark fruits from the nose coming through.

M: Beautiful carbonation, nice champagne like bubbles

O: Lives up to its promise. Super hard to get. Lucked out with several bottles from the recent release in Vancouver BC.

lr99gt, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of esperanto
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought a Case of this beer through a friend. He sent it to me to mexico. I opened 2 last thursday with my friends. We all tasted it and it was amazing.

The head was just right, smell and taste are really great. Its a beer to drink while you are in the company of good friends or family.Cant wait to have one with my father.

esperanto, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a chance to share this with an amazing woman, Lauren195. Cheers Lauren!

Bottle Cap dated 29.08.10

A- nice medium brown color. Clear once the sediment settled

S-caramel/chocolate sweetness to the smell

T- Wow. if this one doesn't live up to the hype then I don't know what ever will. A lot like it smells with a little bit of alcohol (very Mellow) and some yeast to it

M-Medium body, smooth and rich

O-Wow. This is amazing.

brew3crew, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of claaark13
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at room temp in Belgium and couldn't note any differences between it and Rochefort (from memory). I suppose a review is appropriate after I've returned to the States for a while.

This review is from a cellared bottle, 20.04.14 dating on the cap. Thijs, you are the MAN!!!

A - Good color. Deep brownish-red. Head retention is great. I couldn't ask more from a beer, especially this style. Once again, I'll give this a top rating for style appearance. Head retention is beautiful after the 30 minutes it took me to review this beer.

S - Wow. It took me a bit, but I've actually pinned the aroma down to white grape juice. Yep, you read that right. The more time I spend sniffing, I guess I would say that it smells like a bready smashed handfull of grapes. I am seriously getting bready grapes here. That may sound crazy, but that's what I get. Then again, the beer is still at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I get a little more bread as I walk away for 15 minutes and return. I still smell some sweet grapes though. I'm not sure if a quad "should" smell like this, but it is a great aroma. Who am I to tell the Monks what a quad "should" smell like.

T - I should put it next to Rochefort 10, and I will, the next time I open a bottle. I get a slight grape that quickly moves to a bready quad flavor, then to a dry grape finish. Grape is the only way I can think to describe it. It isn't like a wine or Lambic. There is a bread-like flavor on top with an underlying sweetness that is comparable to eating red/purple grapes. This is a very unique flavor. I actually think I'm in love. I have given a few of these out to people as extras since I've been back from Belgium, but I think I will keep the rest after trying this one.

M - An odd medium-thick body. It's right in the middle, but I think that it is probably best described as a medium body with creaminess that creates almost a thicker mouthfeel. Fantastic. The flavors stick to the palate after each sip. This is just one more reason for me to love this beer.

O - Damn. Sorry, I hate to use this language in a review, but Damn. I've only had one beer that stood out as an equal or superior to this (hahaha, thanks Urbain!). To each his own, but I love this beer. I could slam this beer upon request. I would happily drink this and only this for the rest of my life if I had to. This is so much better than the one I had in an Antwerp hotel room. And to think that I've been telling people that it is no better than Rochefort.

NOTE: eBay prices are far too much for a bottle. Please don't buy these bottles from that site. The practice is against the wishes of the Monks and in an unbelievable inflation of the prices for each bottle. If you really need a small number of bottles, please post to the Belgium forum and I'm almost certain that you will be taken care of.

claaark13, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of distantmantra
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle at Au Bon Vieux Temps in Brussels, BE. Review based on notes from April 2011.

A: Dark copper brown color with a small tan head of foam.

S: Sweet chocolate aroma with a hint of bread and raisins. Alcohol is slightly present.

T: Sweet caramel front with a backing of raisins and figs. The alcohol becomes more noticeable as you get further into the beer.

M: High level of carbonation with a warm alcoholic feel.

O: Extremely complex and impressive quad. I was absolutely impressed at how well the alcohol is masked. Sure, you can tell it's there, but at 10.2% you'd think it would be more noticeable. Definitely worth the hype. I brought a bottle home with me to cellar. Current plan is break it out for a special occasion in a year or so.

distantmantra, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of pdoran10
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a very hazy brown color into a Sam Adams pint glass. Split two ways, thanks to Taylor and Frank for this bottle! One finger of tan head that leaves nice lacing.

I get i big wheat presence and slight caramel sweetness in the nose.

Taste is a complex mash up of sweet elements. I get plum, cotton candy, banana and vanilla. Big smooth sweet presence and really nice taste.

Mouthfeel is creamy and thick with moderate to high carbonation. Very well done here.

Overall there is just something amazingly drinkable and smooth about this big flavorful beer. Almost silky on the palate. Rounded flavors, I'm impressed.

pdoran10, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of SDDanC
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours cloudy amber with a tad bit of reddish pink hue. Minimal, but creamy head around the edge of the glass. The nose is pounding with grape/honey/wood. On the tongue it is sweet, quite sweet, grapes or raisins, then the alcohol bites you in the rear, but subtly. Mouthfeel is excellent, goes well with the fruity explosion. Overall, the Westy definitely lives up to the hype and I was very excited to drink it.

SDDanC, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown with a foamy white 2 inch head.

Smells - like a grape juice. I don't know how else to explain this other than welchs grape juice.

Taste - follows the nose to a T. Super fruity grapes and furctose sugar. A hint of bitterness from grapes citric acid.

Overall - super smooth and easy to drink. I concur on the hype to this. Super smooth and savory!

badboyrsl84, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of Tschnab
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have reached the pinnacle of beers...

A- pours a dark ruby with a one inch head that fades into an active film of offwhite carbonation.

S- Smells of candy sugar, raisons, belgian yeast, cherries, yadayada. Just amazing.

T- Even better than the smell; woody, sweet cherries, rum-soaked raisons, warm alcohol esthers, and belgian yeast converge to make an incredibly drinkable beer despite its abv, easily the best Belgian beer I have ever seen.

O- This beer is incredible. Believe the hype.

Tschnab, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First had: bottle from Brouwerij Westvleteren (via a German friend)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Qh-YmW2SM

Oh the hype! Was it worth it? Well, sure. I've heard mixed reports on this beer, and from my experience, many true beer aficionados out in the "real world" will tell you, that the main appeal of this beer is it's unavailability, not it's features, and that in fact, a fine Rochefort or even St. Bernardus is as good as or even better than a Westvleteren. So in the end, it's just a matter of opinion, like anything else.

That said, this was a great beer. I acquired the bottle legitimately: a friend of a friend of mine traveled to Westvleteren and respectfully procured me a few bottles from the elusive monks.

My at-the-time fianceé and I each had a bottle, we shared one with friends at our engagement party, I used one for a video review, and I have four that I'm cellaring, with one or two perhaps for trade.

Anyway, on to the review, as you can see from the video, this beer was properly poured into a signature Westvleteren goblet. Dark caramelized brown in color, hazy, moderately carbonated, with a beautifully crafted light tan head that settled right around the "Trappist" logo of the glass, retained throughout the session, and exhibited some fine lacing. Robust aroma, dark fruits, dark sugars. Extremely full of flavor, smooth, candi sugars, toffee, dark cherries, raisins, alcohol is noticeable but not at all detrimental. Earthy, organic, chewy, complex... Medium mouthfeel, but full of flavor, slightly bitter aftertaste, and very drinkable.

Rifugium, Jun 28, 2011
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,707 ratings.