1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

4,451 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,451
Reviews: 1,603
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 2,780
Gots: 1,248 | FT: 97
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)
View: Beers (3) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,451 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drink1121
drink1121

California

4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 with the label that was illegally distributed in the US. Celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship win.

A - pours a deep mohagany with a light tan head and some lacing. I would like a little more head on this off of the pour, but its a 2003, so that needs to be taken into consideration

S- Major raisins off from the start and alll the way through. I get some light oaky-vanilla and cherries at the end.

T- raisins again, but not as much a the smell. more vanilla and tobacco at the end. lots going on here and they blend very very well. very, very light alcohol kick at the end, but a pleasant one.

m- smooothh and creamy with perfect carbonation. slightly light on the mouthfeel and a tiny hot at the end, but great overall.

d- i could drink this beer until i was blue in the face. my oh my, this is not my favorite beer ever, but probably the best beer i have ever had. lived up to the hype for sure

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 04:54:29 | More by drink1121
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

Florida

4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Busted this one out too at our private hotel tasting after Flossmoor Friday on 4/23/10. Thank you very much Brabander. Review from notes.

A - Deep ruby red, huge foamy off white head. Wonderful retention and lacing all over. Lovely deep ruby in the light. 5.0

S - Lots of biscuit and caramel, hint of raisins. Hint of fig and very light alcohol in the nose. This is pretty damn near perfect. 5.0

T - This is hands down one of the best tasting quadrupels/BSDA's I've ever had. Wonderful balance between the sweetness and the caramel, candi sugar, figs, and biscuity yeast. Lightest bit of bittering in the finish but just enough to complement the flavors. 4.5

M - Excellent, rich and bubbly carbonation. Moderately dry finish but excellent indeed. Effing A man. 5.0

D - Impeccable. Fanf***ingtastic. No alcohol detected in the finish, but a very distant warmth returns. 5.0

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 15:53:50 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from a tasting in 10/08

Bottle ordered and consumed at In De Vrede, the abbey cafe.

Poured in to a Westvleteren goblet, opaque brown with a frothy tan head that left fine lace on the glass. Lots of dark fruit in the nose, ripe currant, dark cherries, run-soaked raisins...yes, it smells boozy. Some breadiness too.

In the mouth, the first thing you notice is the alcohol. Having this beer fresh, at the source, has its advantages and its drawbacks and the heat of this beer when so young is one of the drawbacks. But once you get past the alcohol up front, there is a wonder of flavors. A rich maltiness, velvety smooth and all the dark fruit comes through. Raisin, currant, plum and dark cherry, underpinned with sweet spice, a breadiness and sweet finish that is promptly made clean by the strong alcohol. A velvety mouthfeel though. It's pretty damn good.

A beer that lives up to the hype. The only drwaback was drinking it so young; I would imagine that having this with 6-18 more months of age on it would make it heavenly. As it is, the heat of the alcohol is the only flaw.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 19:54:57 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of hoppymcgee
hoppymcgee

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to capra12 for sharing this beer at a tasting on 5/29/10. Poured approx. 2oz. from a 12oz. bottle into a small snifter.

A: Murky brown, carbonation sits on top of the beer beautifully.

S: Sweet malts, fresh baked bread, brown sugar.

T: Licorice, wheat, irish soda bread.

M: The best feature of this beer. Perfect carbonation.

D: Drinks very smooth, but is a little hot.

Overall, always happy to try Westy 12 - now I know to age it a little.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 00:15:31 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of miketizzy28
miketizzy28

Virginia

4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this beer by driving to Sint Sixtusabdij in April 2009; my third trip to the Abbey. Having made the hours long adventure several times from my temporary home in Heidelberg, Germany, Westvleteren beer has a place in my heart like no other. It is only fitting that my first review is it's highly regarded "12."

From the many times I've drank this lovely brew, I know that this is a beer quite susceptible to a "wow!" reaction, and I usually leave it at that. For this review I will attempt to break it down, although my palate, inexperienced in the art of beer review, may prove inadequate to the task.

Served in a Westvleteren goblet slightly below room temp.

Appearance: As I crack the bottle it exudes a characteristic mist. In the goblet, the beer is dark brown, although not 100% opaque. It has a luxurious 1 inch head, which settles a bit with some silky lacing, especially along the sipping side of the goblet.

Smell: Sweet, with hints of coffee, nuts and alcohol blended into a coherent whole. My wife detects grapes or apple; a second wiff, I can't pick out grapes but maybe a hint of cloves, similar to that in a spiced cider. Ultimately, smells like it tastes- amazing

Taste: First sip I detect rich coffee and malt overtones with caramel sweetness resolving into a distinct but not unpleasant alcohol aftertaste. It has a completeness/coherence that I find with very few beers and which makes it difficult to pick out individual flavors. Subsequent sips resolve into a sort of candy with an alcoholic bite, and a slight walnut aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The head is substantial in the first sip. Once the head dies down, the liquid reveals a pleasant heaviness. Swishing small sips, the liquid resolves itself into a silky luxurious foam. Larger sips retain their silkiness in the liquid.

Drinkability: Great overall. Despite the clear presence of the high (10.2%) ABV, I would feel comfortable (as I have on several occasions) drinking several of these in one sitting, although as it shows its effects promptly it's not always a good idea : ) Low diminishing returns; the last sip is almost as great as the first.

Overall, with an unrivaled coherence, great mouthfeel, and a taste unlike any other Belgian ales I've tried (and I've tried quite a few) Westvleteren 12 is in a class all its own and is one of my favorite beers. In fact, the 8 may be the only other beer that really comes close.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 14:47:43 | More by miketizzy28
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an unlabeled bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. The barkeep retrieved the bottle from a cabinet under the bar in an out-of-the-way establishment in Brussels to which I was directed in my search.

A: Dark chestnut, assuming a ruby hue in the light. The colour lightens considerably as it is drunk. A large, appealing head dissipates rather quickly. Little to no noticeable carbonation. Nice tracing on the top complements a delicate lacing left in the beer's wake.

S: Surprisingly unassuming smell. Definite notes of alcoholic fruits, but faintly. Maybe a touch of malt. Honestly, at this point I began doubting the alleged excellence. However, the smell grew on me over time as I became accustomed to the taste.

T: Indescribable. Any doubts I may have had were washed away in an unexpected blast of ecstasy. This beer is damn tasty and complex as hell. Dark fruits assail you, and sharp spices dance across tongue similar to carbonation. Malt follows in force, but the sweetness isn't overwhelming due to the crazy balancing spiciness. (What is this flavour[s]!? Vaguely reminiscent of hops, but as distinctive as it is elusive.) Aftertaste is dry and ever-so-slightly bitter, again alluding to a hop character buried under the fruity maltiness.

M: Punchy alcoholic sweetness butts heads with the aforementioned spice(s), resulting in an extraordinarily complex, but enjoyable, mouthfeel. Tingly and strong, full-bodied and almost nutty. Perhaps not exceptional in and of itself, but as part of the package...

D: Again, the alcohol content isn't shy about showing itself, and the punchiness is considerable. But still, this beer is utterly fantastic, and one I will return to again and again as long as I have the money and opportunity. Worth the trip to Belgium.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 21:31:24 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip. 16-02-13 printed on the cap.

(A)- Pours a dark brown; almost a reddish purple color that produced a huge cream colored fluffy yet bubbly head with unbelievable retention; I still have a good layer of foam with the last sip! It left behind all kinds of lacing here and there all the way down.

(S)- Some ripe dark fruits of primarily plum with bits of banana, lemon, clove, and clay. Has a light biscuit-like grain in the background. Rather earthy too with clay mentioned before and dry yeast.

(T)- A rich body of ripe dark fruits, but is mostly overshadowed by a richness of dense wheat/biscuit grain and a lemon/banana/almost roasted sweetness. One of the richer quads I have had.

(M)- A rather fizzy carbonation level that creates a party in the mouth. Has a good balance of rich earth, dark fruits, and biscuit. Rather dry too, but sweet and a little bitter at the same time. An absolute delight that goes down smooth, and actually hides the ABV extremely well.

(D)- I can definitely see how this has received such high reviews, but does it deserve the No.1 spot? I am not sure. What I am sure of though is that this is a perfect example of the style and yet adds another level of richness into the mix. An absolute joy to drink; it only got better and better after each sip. No matter what position this is in, its just plainly one of the finest belgains I have had the pleasure of consuming.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 02:51:02 | More by sweemzander
Photo of BobZ
BobZ

Massachusetts

4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle thanks to Erik "hayesez" for this beer in trade.

Waited to set this up in context, the event being my 45th birthday (yesterday), and a "horizontal" tasting including Trappistes Rochefort 10 & St. Bernardus 12. Conducted as a "blind tasting".

Appearance: Dark brown with a rich head about 1/2", poured into a Chimay chalice. Perfect lacing sip after sip throughout drinking the beer.

Smell: Deep, deep complexity, fragrant, chocolate, malt, dark fruit.

Taste: My God, how deep, rich dark chocolate at the outset, then the dark fruit, some sweetness, then some gentle hop bitterness all working perfectly in concert. Unmatched balance.

Mouth: Smoothness beyond compare, really better than any other beer I have ever had.

Drinkability: Are you kidding? I could drink this forever.

I was hoping that I would prefer the St. Bernardus or the Rochefort 10; I was hoping this beer was all about the hype. My hopes were dashed, if this beer was as available as the other two mentioned it would still be number one. It deserves its reputation and rating.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 03:08:26 | More by BobZ
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opening this gem for my brother's graduation. Glad to share it with some good peeps. 2006 Vintage...

A: Deep deep ruby red with a small white head that fades to a small lace on the glass. Good.

S: Port wine upfront blended with booze, sweet sugar malt, grape, bananas, raisin, oak. Sheesh perfect blends. Awesome!

T: A little boozy blended with tons of grape port. Hints of raisin and dark fruit. Taste not as extensive as expected. Good.

M: Leaves a nice stickiness that is not overpoweing. Perfect blend of carbonation. Awesome.

D: Goes down good. Once you get past the winey booze, it goes down very easy. Good.

All in all, this one was definitely not as good as expected. Very good, but not amazing. I'd say top 10 for me, but not #1. You definitely gotta try this one at least once if you're beer geek!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 00:37:54 | More by steve8robin
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am extremely excited to finally get an opportunity to try this beer after hearing so much about it. Pours a beautiful dark brown color, with a nice, fairly quickly dissipating beige-colored head. Aromas of candied fruits, dark brown sugar, caramel, Belgian yeast and sherry. Flavors of freshly baked brown bread, stewed plums, toffee and port wine. An exceptionally complex beer, and one that definitely lives up to its reputation. Is it the best beer in the world? No, but it's certainly in the conversation.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 03:42:18 | More by emmasdad
Photo of AlexTheAleMan
AlexTheAleMan

Oregon

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Before i go ahead and write a few words about the my new favorite beer i have to say that i would not give a beer that wasnt perfect a perfect score. I had this beer in a vertical tasting with saint bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10. westy easily stands out as the best among these two.

The beer has a deep amber brown color with a beautiful rocky head. Seriously this is the best looking head i have ever seen!

Surprisingly it smells just like a Pilsner, very different from the other two beers in the tasting. Not overly sweet, not overly fruity, just a little plum like. very balanced.

Taste is so good that i cant even believe it. I cant really find the words to describe it. It clearly stands out among its peers as the best. Very, very balanced with a hint of plums and raisins, i tiny bit of bitterness. I am stuck wanting to keep drinking but also wanting to slow down to savor the beer. UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING

Full mouthfeel. Very rich but not too rich. Fills the entire mouth with westvleteren goodness. pretty carbonated.

Outstandingly drinkable for a 10.2%er. I could drink it all day and all night and never tire. I might get very drunk, but i would never ever get tired of this master piece of a brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 15:23:10 | More by AlexTheAleMan
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here it is - beer of beers. I raised my tulip to billab914 before enjoying this one. I have to preface this review with a promise that in 2 years, I've only ever given one other perfect rating. I can't say I can think of anything to possibly improve this one, either. A beer that not only lived up to, but exceeded expectations.

There's possibly no prettier beer out there. I mean, perfection in appearance in a glass. Ruby-tinged chestnut brown, with only the slightest clarity that reveals light bubbles running throughout. An exceptionally well-retained 1 1/2-finger off-white, soft, foamy head lies atop the beer, and it leaves behind glass-swathing rings of soft, fluffy lace.

As with the 8, this beer smells nearly too good to drink. Impeccably delicious nose full of candi sugar, figs, spices, perfumey florals, toasted grains, sticky raisins and brandy. It smells like I'm about to drink some fine spirit that's been aging in someone's cellar for decades, and then I realize it's something much better - beer:)

This beer is so delicious that I have to force myself to drink more slowly. Malts are toasted and sweetly caramelly, the combination yielding a nice, robust and buttery toffee flavor. Sweet and sticky fruitiness of figs, raisins and prunes, along with the sugar give a honey-like sweetness that reminds me a little of meads and glaze the palate to prolong the enjoyment. The alcohol peeks out a little from the aftertaste, and it has an overall pleasant warming effect. This beer continues to open up as it warms, and the flavors grow deeper and fuller. Feel is gently carbonated, creating an effervescence that balances the fullness of the flavors and the body with a lightness on the tongue.

Drinkability isn't even worth discussing. I could drink this beer every day and never tire of it. While high in the ABV department, you'd never know by the taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 04:03:58 | More by kels
Photo of Beerisheaven
Beerisheaven

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is third time that I have had a Westy 12 and finally decided to review it.

Pulled one of the older vintages I have with best by date of March 2010 on the label. Although I have had this three times, I stil get a very special feeling when opening one.

Very interesting to read the reviews about the appearance of this beer. For the one I poured Sat night, it poured a chestnut brown with very little head being generated. These have been stored with great care; the other ones that I have sampled of fresher vintage produced a much greater head and lacing than this 3 year old sample.

S & T - What else can you add that has not already been said. I stil think this has a magnificent flavor profile. The three years have mellowed it some and made it a bit sweeter than I remember fresher vintages. Figs, prune, raison, and a delightfully sugary candy taste are all present. Truly an epic experience for your taste buds.

M - Maybe not as creamy as I remember the fresher versions. A little thinner than I remember but still delightful.

D - Here is where I think the 3 years has done well. No hints of booziness at all. Smooth as silk. Wonderul.

Stil a masterpiece. I have about 6 bottles of the gold still remaining. Another one won't come out until X-mas eve but I am looking forward to a couple of blondes (who isn't) this summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 22:40:48 | More by Beerisheaven
Photo of MortNoire
MortNoire

Netherlands

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Inspired by the reviews on this and other sites, I rode all the way down to the abbey's meeting center "In de Vrede" to taste this famous beer and see if it would beat my fave sofar, the Rochefort 10, closely followed by the St Bernardus Abt (12).

First impression, what a beautiful deep red (when looking through it towards the sun) and dark brown, with an awesome white, firm and steady, foam; unlike many other quads whose foam turn cream or beige colored). A=5.

The scent was a delight, no overpowering alcohol hue, but a tapestry of sweets and something undefinable spicy, made my mouth water and urged me to bite into the foam. S=5.

The taste, how can I describe the taste. a myriad of different sensations, with every sip becoming more and more magical and define. This brew did not just surpass the "Roche 10" it humiliated, no... obliterated it. The brew slowly getting a little warmer in the late aft sun changed flavor patterns with the temp, but all so intricate, so seductive to the taste buds, I almost decided to knock on the abbeys front portal and join the order ;-) T=5 (but should be a 10)

A full frothy and beautiful white foam, a light sparkle, not to strong carbonated, yet just right on the money, love making to the tongue, another 5: M=5

And lastly the drinkability: the Westvleteren 12 tries to make you belief its way lighter a brew then it is, everything on it is perfect, scent, looks, above all the amazing taste completes itself with a wonderful and (hangover free) buzz, that will hit you while you still think you could drink 5 bottles more before noticing anything. D=5

This is indeed the best beer I ever had, and I had many, Quads, triples, doubles, stouts, ales, lambics, witbiers gotta go now hit the phone see if I can order a crate of Westys...

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 20:21:52 | More by MortNoire
Photo of BeerSingh
BeerSingh

India

4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well, owe it all to Thijs (Brabander) for having had the nerve to ship it all the way to India.
What should I say ? That this one pours a beautiful, dark ivory colour with a beautiful and puffy tan coloured head ? Or should it needs to be described as a beer with unmatched complexity in taste ? Should I use adjectives like dark fruits, cherries and figs for the taste or maybe that the Westvleteren 12 is truly the nectar of the gods and goes down like honey ? I think I will leave it here, there are enough reviews on BA to give you an idea of how great the beer is, but it really needs to be had to do justice to its persona. It is incredible and desrves the reverence.
The monks don't think about us while making the beer, nor do we think about them while having it, but we miss them when we think about the Westvleteren. Worth the trouble and hype. Worth review No 100.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 09:54:15 | More by BeerSingh
Photo of chalsk
chalsk

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally. Got it for a college friend's graduation from law school. Pours a deep amber brown with a generous caramel colored head. Has an aroma of dark fruit, caramel and malts. Some breadiness. The taste was worth the wait. This beer is not overrated. Sweet up front, then dark fruit taste. Chocolate notes show up. The carbonation hits at the perfect spot. Nice dry clean bitter finish with a subtle tart aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 23:53:13 | More by chalsk
Photo of JNewbs
JNewbs

Ohio

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Everything I could hope for. Big head, great color. The mystery bottle and identifying cap add to the alure.
Smell - Figgy, fresh, a bit boozy.
Taste - Indescribable. Delicious.
Mouthfeel - Very carbonated, smooth, as good as anything I've had, though I don't typically discriminate by mouthfeel unless a beer is flat or thin.
Drinkability - I could drink two of these with no issue. After that, the booze would be too much. But I'm sleeping by then anyway.

This beer was absolutely incredible. I've been drinking St. Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10 to prepare myself to try it. Then this puppy blew them out of the water. Unbelievable, the difference. More fruity taste, and a delicious warmth. Not as boozy as other quads I tried, and I can easily say if this ever comes across my path again, I won't be trading it away.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 12:26:14 | More by JNewbs
Photo of liquidcraft
liquidcraft

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A generous friend shared the wealth with me on this one, you've got to be motivated to get a bottle of this in our area. I did my best to keep myself level headed in reviewing this.

Poured with near zero head or apparent carbonation. Murky, apple-cider color, looks like its going to have a little thickness to it. Smells sweet and deeply fruity, expectations of raisins.

Taste followed the smell, got plenty of raisiny fruit and a yeasty sweetness. Definitely no misgivings about it being a belgian quad. The combination of creamy, cask-like texture and the powerful sweetness is not my preference but I'm enjoying this beer. Belgians are not my favorite beers, this was my 4th quad (seems appropriate) and I found this to be the most interesting one I've had. Also less drinkable than others due to the sweetness and thickness.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 23:38:53 | More by liquidcraft
Photo of elvisnj
elvisnj

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle.

Upon opening we have a light gusher.

Pours dark ivory with slight head that does not stick around beyond a slight skimming.

Nose is light. Phenols are detected along with classic Belgian Trappist yeast. Not much hop scent.

Taste.. is good. Its definitely a high quality brew. Its got some similarities to the Westvleteren 8 but I think it has less flavor. Its got dark fruits but they are not as evident. Raisins, plum, cola... I get just a hint of alcohol. Pretty smooth mouth feel.

Overall its good but definitely not as good as the 8. Being as how I lucked upon this and might never get another, I think the St Bernardus Abt 12 will do just fine as its equal.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 00:20:16 | More by elvisnj
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Brad for sharing several of these with me over the last few years.

Westvleteren 12 pours a somewhat thin looking brown hue with a nice sized head and decent lacing. Ooo...there's some abbey floaties in my glass...straight from God. Amen. Sweet malt with raisins, figs, and seductive Belgian yeast fill the senses throughout the smell and taste. What deliciousness! The beer is a bit thin in the feel, but on a positive note, this makes it silky smooth and easy to drink. The aftertaste is great and lingers for a considerable time between sips. This is remarkable beer.

Edit: July 21, 2012

Split a 2005 vintage with Brad. Rain water, earth, malt, yeast. Sublime. Hard to find any fault with this.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 03:25:15 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Shumista
Shumista

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After a bit of bartering I was able to get a hold of a Westy through a trade. Been waiting around for the right time to try it but yesterday was finally time. Shared the 33 cl bottle three ways. Just a big enough pour for each of us to get a good feel for the beer. From notes.

Pours a muddy dark brown, no head at all. Barely looks carbonated. Smell is dominated by juicy ripe dark fruits. Also there is some spice, brown sugar and subtle yeastiness. Taste is very port like, definitely a dessert beer. And I don't mean it is a beer to be paired with dessert but rather is a dessert in and of itself. More unctuous sweet juicy ripe dark fruits, apple cider, candied sugar, a spice that is somewhere between cinnamon and nutmeg, and a subtle yeastiness. Surprisingly clean taste, much less funky than I would have expected. Very little aftertaste, each sips leaves a sweet warming sensation. It is thick and mouthcoating with very little carbonation that borders on being cask-like. Drinkability is difficult to judge with such a small pour, but I think the sweetness would get to me pretty quickly. I'm not sure if I would want to do an entire bottle. That's ok though, beers like this are way more fun to drink when shared anyways.

Best beer ever? What does that even mean...? Anyways it certainly was great, and definitely one of the best Belgian beers I have had yet.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 02:03:28 | More by Shumista
Photo of FreshmanPour77
FreshmanPour77

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 5-10-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass but really took my time!

Private tasting with Shango42 and Phidelt
Real big thanks to Shango42 for sharing this 2010 vintage!!!!

A - A finger of foam, mixture of browns and yellow's, a bit cloudy with a finger of foam and a good lacing ring

S - Caramel, malts, brown sugar maybe some vanilla plus a wine smell that reminded me of grapes. Lighter hop aroma but nothing to strong

T - Sweet caramel taste at first but then moved in the brown sugar vanilla flavor. I picked up some grape taste, not sweet for grapes but a wine sour taste but the blend of everything is close to perfection

M/D - Medium bodied brew, so ever so smooth. A brew that lived up to its name for sure a must try for anyone who can get their hands on one. I hope to have a chance to have another someday but if not I am for sure glad at least one!!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2010 04:18:46 | More by FreshmanPour77
Photo of stingrayvr6
stingrayvr6

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lucky enough to try this from a friend who picked it up from the abbey in Belgium in 2008. Poured deep red with thick white head, great lace and retention, something very appealing about it. Smell was intense, sweet cherries, raisins, caramel and malt, alcohol in the nose too. Taste was equally intense, incredibly smooth and complex, sweet and bitter fruit and bready malt followed by spice and alcohol warming, yeasty with some more spice and alcohol bite in the finish. Incredible balance and complexity.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 04:10:08 | More by stingrayvr6
Photo of superwombatgodde
superwombatgodde

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was recently on holiday in Belgium when I had occasion to stop by Cambrinus in Bruges where I was fortunate to order the last bottle of Westvleteren 12 in the bar. It was such a momentous event to me that I decided to journal the experience of drinking this beer in a style similar to a "play-by-play" analysis, only it is "sip-by-sip" in this particular instance. This is what I recorded:

After the first sip, the only question I have is "Who are you in this terrible form?"

Second sip - It was an explosion of grapes. All I could say was "Oh my god."

Third sip - In which I sniffed at the glass so hard that a portion of the beer made it into my left nostril. It is hard to say the taste seeing that it is mixed with day-old snot.

Fourth sip - This was Bacchus giving birth in my mouth. And, I was just informed that this is the last 12 in the bar, which means it is the god's only child.

Fifth sip - It must be wine. (and here I drew a picture of the beer)

Sixth sip - Left me destitute. I thought, "Yes, I can survive this." But then I held it in my mouth longer and longer until I held the precious nectar so long that I thought my tongue would disintegrate and my mouth would invert from concave to convex. It blew my synapses. Somewhere, a vineyard blossomed. And that place was inside my face.

Seventh sip - Unbelievable!!!! Unbelievable!!!

About an hour into the experience, I am approaching the end of the beer. At that point, I have only this to say:

I cannot even begin to describe the end of the Westvleteren. It sits there...waiting....

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 00:36:00 | More by superwombatgodde
Photo of chefmikeanderson
chefmikeanderson

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: murky brown with small white head and a touch of lacing

S: caramel fruit. some apples and little alcohol and some golden raisins

T: tastes like a pear and a raisin mixed with a bite of a caramel apple that amazingly sinks into my tongue and dominates my mouth. really nice

M: coats my mouth really well with the right amount of carb

D: really goes down easily. the alcohol is almost non-existant.

Notes: did a mini tasting with rochefort 10 and st bernardus 12 and the westy just to see which was the best... hoping it wasnt the westy so i wouldnt have to seek out another bottle.. and the westy won hands down. for sure the best tasting quad ive had

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 17:28:08 | More by chefmikeanderson
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,451 ratings.