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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

4,483 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,483
Reviews: 1,603
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,795
Gots: 1,266 | FT: 100
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)
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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: 4,483 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crnipeter
crnipeter

Slovenia

4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The review comprises notes from separate tastings of two different vintages. Scores are for vintage 2008.

Vintage '08:
The review is based on notes taken in fall/winter 2009.
Yellow capped ascetic bottle with best before date 03.12.2011. Considering that Westveleteren 12 beers are bottled 3 years prior to expiration date the beer is vintage 2008. The pour into St. Bernardus goblet gives muddy rusty - mahogany brown nectar with light tan bubbly head fading into an island of agglomerated bubbles. Aromas of sour cherries, berries, figs & raisins, touch of cocoa, breeze of red wine. The flavor profile is nutty-cocoaish with over-ripened figs, rummy with sweet malt base balanced by mild hoppy bitterness prolonged into lingering subtle bitter aftertaste. Silky smooth and creamy with alcohol unbelievably well hidden the roughly one year old beer is fruitier, with more expressed vinousness and less hoppy character than fresh one. 4 5 5 5 5 = 4.8

Vintage '89
I was told the bottle is '89 vintage therefore 21 yrs old although this cannot be verified as Westvleteren bottles didn't always have BBE date on their crowns. However, the 11% ABV imprinted on the cap indicates this was a pre-1999 bottling. Between 1999 and 2002 the alcohol content of Westvleteren 12 has been gradually reduced from 11% to the current level of 10,2%. Diminishing of ABV was necessary to facilitate the brewing process as high levels of alcohol are more likely to kill the yeast. To the beer.
Into Westvleteren chalice. Clear coppery-mahogany brown body lacking any head apart from short lived bubbly island floating on the surface. In over two decades of aging the beer has undergone a complete transformation from quad to fortified wine or even liqueur: at this stage is highly viscous, alcoholic, sweet and abounds in fruity esters.
Palpable aromas of strongly fortified, port-like wine, intense sugary sweetness, plums, dried fruits represented by prunes, sour cherries , figs and rum soaked raisins. Clear presence of alcohol which is well incorporated into the whole. Each aroma listed reincarnates itself in the flavor department that perfectly matches the nose.The mouthfeel of warming and liqueurish brew is syrupy but not in a sickly manner, with zero carbonation. I'm pouring the beer carefully to keep the black slush at the bottom. Even so the last pour is hazy due to the raised yeasty sediment which adds some spiciness and in contrary with beliefs does not ruin the beer. Fully mature Westvleteren 12 is great, although does not have much in common with what I see as a beer. 2.5 5 5 5 5 = 4.5

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2010 21:41:16 | More by crnipeter
Photo of BeerShirts
BeerShirts

Minnesota

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

1999 Bottle Poured into a over sized wine glass.

A new good friend who is stationed with me at Baumholer, Germany hooked me to share a bottle.

Appearance- Golden brown. The head was very small and did not linger long

Smell- Dark fruit, Carmel, Brown Sugar

Taste- WOW, I can see why this is top beer. You taste what you smell. Rich in the yeast, very sweet tasting. not sure what all to say since it just seems so complex to me

Mouthful- Very smooth!! not much carbonation

Drinkability- Looks like heaven, Smells like Heaven, Tastes like Heaven.. This beer would be very dangerous if it was easier to come by.

I would like to say more about this beer and feel as though it just deserves more but I just really dont even know what to say.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 22:15:24 | More by BeerShirts
Photo of TheFightfan1
TheFightfan1

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a great week. First PTY now Westy 12 and in the end NO comparison really.Thankyou to the seller in which I can't say.

The best by date of 1/12/12. Poured a muddy water looking color into my chalice. Probably the best heading I have ever seen almost overflowing the rim of my glass probably two inches thick.Off White heading which was so fizzy and thick mellowed out to a very nice covering and lace around the glass until the bitter end.

Smell is mainly deep candy sugared covered malts with some hints of licorice and very sweet Belgian yeasts. Subtle aromas of darker fruits raisin's,plum,and some figs.

Taste just explodes on the palate an out and out assault. Spicey and peppery yet a very fruity punch. Then a heavy bubbly action fills the tastebuds and settles into a warming alcohol taste that warms the back of the throat and the belly. Numbs the teeth and finishes with a malty kick.

Mouth is medium to full bodied. Every little sip I take just fills the entire mouth with insane bubbling action. A slight lingering of malts and some very nice yeasty aftertones.

I don't really need to say much more. This stuff is amazing. Worth every dime. I think anyone who enjoys beer should give this a try at least once as it is a little pricey but damn it is well worth it.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 19:52:52 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of MrDanno96
MrDanno96

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was truly a special treat and long awaited. I'm glad I got a few, so I can cellar a couple :)

Bottled on Christmas day, 2008!

A: Pours a nice mahogany color with a finger of creamy off-white head. Moderate lacing and decent head retention.

S: I was a little worried initially because I didn't smell too much. However, once this brew warms up a bit the nose really opens up. Lots of dark fruit predominates the nose: dark cherry, fig, plum, and raisin. Some molasses, caramel, brown sugar, and even chocolate as it gets warmer too. Somehow it manages to be very complex, but pleasantly subtle at the same time.

T: Whoa, was not ready for this - so many layers of flavor. Each sip starts as one thing and then finishes as something completely different. Dark, dried fruits up front (figs, dates, raisins, etc). This leads to hints of coffee and chocolate towards the end. Caramel malt and molasses are very apparent throughout. Power of the alcohol is also detectable.

M: A creamy full body with a good amount of alcohol warming.

D: Amazingly complex - I could slowly sip and enjoy this forever. After a year the alcohol seems to be in perfect balance with everything else. I'm interested to see how this ages, but I also wonder what this tastes like fresh.

Best quad I've ever had? Yes, I would definitely say so. I've never tasted anything so complex. Best beer in the world? That's a bit more debatable, but it very well could be.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 02:52:51 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 2008 bottle unadorned. Poured into a Spiegelau Crystal Tulip.

The appereance is basically par for the course for Quads. Dark ruby color, slightly cloudy, some yeast sediment. The aroma is amazing! Dried fruits and brown sugar dominate. Some alcohol, definitely complex. The taste is truly exceptional. Complex and sweet. Slight alcohol warmth. Very smooth. Demerara sugar, prunes, figs, alcohol, dark belgian candy sugar. Whoa! This is the pinnacle. A truly special treat. Amazing drinkability for the style and ABV. The best Trappist beer I've ever had.

Worth the trouble to obtain, better than the hype. Best Quad ever? Yes. Best beer ever? I'd have a hard time arguing with you.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 13:14:52 | More by Brew33
Photo of djbreezy
djbreezy

Washington

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

shared a bottle with squaremile -- good times

bottle date: 17.11.12 (bottled 11/17/09)

appearance - rich brown with lacing that sticks

smell - sugar, apple once it warms, plum, very unique

taste - apple, raisin, plum, alcohol on the sides of the mouth, light sugar, complexity evolves with warmth, a very mature and evolved version of the style

mouthfeel - more dominant than the taste, whipped and light carbonation, smooth finish, unique

drinkability - surprisingly drinkable and smooth

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 05:15:07 | More by djbreezy
Photo of squaremile
squaremile

Oregon

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got to try this thanks to DJ Breezy. The most notable things for me were the sugary, sour apply jolly rancher part of the nose and flavor profile, the complexity that gave new flavors with each sip (dark fruits, apple, pear), and a level of smoothness that is unmatched. Exceptionally complex and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 04:41:00 | More by squaremile
Photo of csais75
csais75

France

4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unique smell, unique flavor. Earthy notes,taste of grape tannin but without winy flavor. Alcohol subtily hidden and very nice body well balanced. It is like drinking honey. So unctuous, so rustic. Maybe not the world best beer but still a wonderful one. Fabulous

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 15:28:29 | More by csais75
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Axic10

New Jersey

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

Thanks to Brabander for this. I decided to have this at midnight on my birthday. Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a half inch of foam that maintains during the entire drink with some nice lacing.

Smell: Sugar cane, candied fruits, burnt banana, belgian yeast, hints of caramel and malt towards the end. Possibly the most complex and best smelling beers I've ever smelled.

Taste: Wow. Candied fruits, burnt banana and clove, bready malt, slight brown sugar, and a very nice yeast character. Very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, yet very smooth.

Drinkability: Yeah, if I could buy this locally, I would never drink any other beer as long as I live. Well worth the effort locating some bottles, would do it again and again.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 05:13:47 | More by Axic10
Photo of tkarsies
tkarsies

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have been saving this bottle for a couple years. Got a job offer and figured this was as good a time as any. Best by 7/8/2010. I know...getting a little inpatient, but I just couldn't wait anymore.

Served at cellar temp in my Westy chalice. Muddy brown with lots of yeasty goodness floating around. Some tan lacing just as a tease.

Smells of brown sugar, molasses, some fruit, malt. Rich and inviting although not overwhelming but increases the temptation to drink.

Taste is....well, it is the highlight. Rich malt with classic Belgian yeast. Sweet with candy sugar. Wow..every sip is different. Similar to St. Bernardus but with less alcohol taste. In fact, I can't really taste the alcohol at all. Minimal hops. Reminds me a little of something like Thomas Hardy with some age on it.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, creamy. Almost no carbonation.

Drinkability, if you ignore the extreme difficulty in getting this beer, is fantastic. The alcohol sneaks into your head eventually but otherwise, I could drink this all day. Worth saving and my only regret is that I only had 1 bottle. A world-class brew!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 02:03:48 | More by tkarsies
Photo of Jberb
Jberb

Wisconsin

4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Celler Temp into a Chimay Goblet. One thousand thanks to BA member Brabander for a true act of kindness

A: Darkened ruby with a thick 2 1/2 finger tan head that slowly settles to a beautiful halo that lasts throughout the experience. The look of pure quality.

S: Fruity and yeasty, dark buttered black breads, overripe dark fruits, and plenty of candy suger, One smell waters the mouth.

T: Powdery sweet, lively, a culmination of all the strong dark Trappist ales, the depth of Achel Extra, the soft sweetness of Rochefort 10, the rich drinkability of Chimay Grand Reserve, the clean drying finish of Koningshoeven quad. An experience I will never forget and one I wish I could revisit weekly.

M: This is where it truly sets its self apart from all others. Full and thick, it clings to the mouth but not at all cloying. I have never felt a beer like this before.

D: Warming and deeply satisfying, but lets not kid ourselves, I easily drank one, but its a dark complex wonder. I would think one would be more then enough seeing as how I spent 1 hour drinking it.

Overall it somehow lives up to the hype and delivers on all fronts. If I never drank a beer again, I could live with that.
This is my favorite style and I think it stands shoulder to shoulder with Rochefort 10 as the best Quad brewed today.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 03:23:00 | More by Jberb
Photo of Pawel
Pawel

Wisconsin

4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Jason for this one. Pours brown with a little slightly off-white head. Nothing too special to look at. Flavor and aroma are lots of dark fruits, with brown sugar and a lot of sweetness. Obviously this beer is well-regarded, as it should be, but to me it's just not the best beer I've had. Glad to have tried it though, and truly a unique experience. If I could get this regularly for a reasonable price, I surely would.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 02:00:28 | More by Pawel
Photo of walows
walows

California

4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Westy 12....
Got a bottle in a trade, thanks stigs!
A: poured into my New Belgium Globe, It is a dark brown/slight reddish hue and with a nice tan rocky head.
S: The aroma consists of brown sugar, dark fruits and cloves. Complex
T: The taste is similar to the aroma, brown sugar, dark fruits like rasins, prunes. With a mild phenolic yeast profile, nice clove flavor. Little bit sweet. Very complex flavors that are all working together.
M: The beer is full bodied and coats your mouth. However, it is not cloying and finishes clean.
D: The drinkability is really good, this beer is just super complex and full bodied. I could drink this for days.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 18:05:42 | More by walows
Photo of gyllstromk
gyllstromk

Belgium

4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark ruby with a rocky head. Aromas of candied sugar and cloves, with some raisins, dates, grapes, and currants. The burnt banana peel often attributed to it is apt. Taste is more caramelized sweetness, dark fruit, and a deep, rounded clove finish. This beer gets more flavor and complexity out of the yeast than probably any other in the world (lambics excepted). A velvety body adds wonderfully to the experience. Worth the hype and a true delight.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 19:08:25 | More by gyllstromk
Photo of ajg83
ajg83

Indiana

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

medium/dark brown in appearance with a good amount of head.
nose of ripe berries and nuts, this is a very complex brew.
taste is extraordinary and probably has the best mouthfeel of any beer I've ever had. It is scary how easy this one is to drink...at 10.2% abv, it hides it very well! I have tried this beer on 3 different occasions and it remains to be one of my favorites!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 17:01:55 | More by ajg83
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #300. Can't think of a better one to review than #1.

Muddy brown pour with a rich finger of foam. Nice rings of lacing on the glass.

Ridiculously complex nose. So much going on. Dark fruits, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, candi sugar, tobacco, leather...the list goes on. I'd be perfectly content just smelling this beer, but, come on, it's Westy 12. Down the hatch.

Every component of the nose shows up in the flavor. Unbelievable. Just a really earthy flavor of figs and plums, brown sugar, tobacco...light bitter finish. Outstanding flavor.

Great texture. Tingly and soft at the same time. Absolutely no hint of the ABV. Such an easy drinking quad, too. Clearly the best.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 23:28:42 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #600. Bottle brought back from Belgium by my wife - thanks Bryna! Served in a Westvleteren goblet. Best before February 10th, 2011, so roughly two years old.

A - Thank god! After the flat bottle I had in Toronto I was worried. The cap comes off with a hiss and a touch of gunsmoke. Pours with a voluminous two fingers of dark tan foam (impressive for a goblet!), that dissipates quite slowly and leaves glass-coating lacing and a thick cap. The body is a nearly opaque dark plum color.

S - The smell literally explodes out of the glass, with an initial wave of dark fruits and berries. Plums, prunes, raisins, black cherries - they're all here. There's some vinous red wine notes that emerge, along with a touch of sweet tobacco, apples, and nuts. There's a caramel malt backbone that ties things together, but stays in the periphery. As it warms a touch of booze peeks through to remind you that this is for sipping.

T - The taste is very grape-forward, with notes of port, red wine, dark fruits, rum-cake, and caramel. It's not as saccharine as Rochefort 10, as it's balanced by a dryish and slightly woody finish. While the taste isn't quite as complex as the nose, the alcohol is better hidden.

M - The body is chewy and viscous, without becoming heavy or syrupy. Carbonation is present, but soft. Finishes surprisingly dry with only mild residual stickiness. Not much in the way of alcohol heat at all. It's everything I'd want in a quad, and maybe even a bit more.

D - So, is it the best beer in the world? Probably not, but it's a superb one nonetheless. It's shockingly drinkable for a 10.2% quad, and I could actually have more than one of these without feeling diabetic too. There's been a lot written about this beer, and I'm not sure there's much I can add - it's excellent, highly recommended, and worthy of the acclaim that has been heaped upon it.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 03:49:46 | More by MasterSki
Photo of ericj551
ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

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

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to bring back a case of this amazing beer while visiting Belgium last fall. When I finally got to the front of the line, I asked for a case and the monk asked me, "You know you can have two?" It was very tough to take only one, but we had enough trouble getting it back.

Poured into a Westvleteren glass, the beer is a deep brown, maybe slightly hazy but it's hard to tell. The fluffy head fades, but lingers nicely as a thin, off white layer.

The aroma is rich, ripe dark fruit, sweet and estery with a bit of powdery yeast. Just a bit of alcohol pushes its way through.

The flavor is sweet upfront with nice dark fruity malt. A bit of sharp alcohol pushes in, but the estery sweetness fights it off. There is a bit of chalky, powdery yeast flavor in the finish, but the sweet, candied dark fruit and light herbal hops push it out.

The flavors in this beer are extremely complex yet unified. I don't know if this is really the best beer in the world, but it is certainly one of the greats.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 01:25:17 | More by ericj551
Photo of Mosstrooper
Mosstrooper

California

4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into Orval Chalice

Appearance: Dark, nearly opaque brown with a large, long-standing tan head. Foam stays.

Smell: Sweet bread and yeast notes, with grape and happle hints. Also, some slight floral aromas.

Taste: Sort of a "dirty" flavor. Yeast throughout, finishing with notes of alcohol and heavy tart apple flavors and a slight hint of red wine.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and chewy, smooth, with balanced, natural carbonation. The finish warms you up a bit.

Drinkability: This is an absolutely outstanding beer. It tastes great, smells great, looks great, and, unsurprisingly, drinks great. If you can get your hands on this beer, do it- now.

Thanks to Brabander, who sent some bottles of this and thanks to my roommate, wahmaster, for allowing me to have one.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 19:33:25 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of kjyost
kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to deliriumfest for pulling this one out of the cellar when I was visiting. The bottle was split equally among three glasses. This is my first quad, so I may as well start at the top.

Poured an opaque and perhaps cloudy brown with a nice head that left good lacing. The predominant aroma on the nose was one of apple and a malty sweetness. Upon sipping the beer has a number of flavours each momentarily landing on the palate: fruit, light bitterness, a surprisingly sweet malt. The beer was balanced with none of the strong ABV apparent. The beer was nice, but not mindblowingly good.

I have had better beers (that night even).

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 04:43:16 | More by kjyost
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urwithdave

Florida

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into my imperial pint glass. I split it with Gtreid! I owe him this one and soooo much more.

A- Poured a caramel color. It was brown with shades of orange. Had a frothy head that was 3/4'' of a inch. It left nice lacing on the way down.

S- Figs, malts, apples, caramel, brown sugar,molasses, and orange zest. I felt like I was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when they were licking the candy flavored wallpaper. I couldn't wait to dive into this beer.

T- It was funny, Gtreid and I both stated at the same time that it tasted like caramel apples and apple pie. It was AMAZING! All the flavors stood out on their own yet at the same time they blended together perfectly. It seriously was a gr8 experience. I didn't get alot of alcohol in the taste and if you would've told me the ABV was 10+ I wouldn't have believed it.

M- Nice and creamy. Perfectly balanced. I def want more!!!!

D- I have never been happier knowing that my father in law travels to Belgium on a regular basis. I want to drink this everyday. I will def revisit this masterpiece as often as I can.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 05:32:07 | More by urwithdave
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khumbard

Indiana

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

Lucky enough to get a hold of one of these from a very generous trader. Would this live up to the hype? The answer is yes. This is the best Belgian beer I have had, hands down. This handles all the complex quad flavors so well it's ridiculous. It is actually hard to pick out individual flavors. I found myself saying "wow..." at just about every sip. This is a complex, rich, fruity, malty, awesome beer. The mouthfeel is so smooth, and goes down so easy. If I could get this everyday, I could easily put down a few at once. I kind of feel like I'm fueling the hype train, but it deserves it. Drank this after a Roch 10 and before a Bernardus 12, and it was head and shoulders above those two.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 03:44:29 | More by khumbard
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silasmoon

Arkansas

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

I have had this beer in both Brussels and Antwerp, it is by far the greatest gift the art of beer brewing has ever received.

Westvleteren 12 is a Quadruple style Belgian ale. Pouring a beautiful rich dark caramel color with a thick frothy head it's armoa is a mix between a bakery and a ripe orchard. It tastes of fresh baked wheat bread, honey coated cinnamon, sweet cloves, sticky molasses, and ripe figs. At 10.20% ABV it is a forced to be reckoned with and demands patience and respect.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 22:00:37 | More by silasmoon
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spratmi

Maryland

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

I was definitely worried that the considerable hype would lead to disappointment - boy was I mistaken.
A: Poured a dark hazy copper brown with a rich one finger head that receded to a light cap with thick lacing.
S: Very complex with notes of malt, molasses, figs, cloves, butter, bananas, yeast, and alcohol. There was an earthy undercurrent hidden at the bottom - almost like mushrooms. For me, the aromas were intense at the beginning and remained strong throughout the tasting.
T: Wow! Incredibly smooth with a multitude of extremely well layered notes. Dry with sweet caramel maltiness and cloves. Notes of molasses and sugars with rich fruits like bananas, raisins, and figs. Mellow butterscotch notes with hints of yeast followed by citrusy bitterness. Sweet malty residue on the lips at the end.
M: Decadently smooth and creamy. Full bodied with decent carbonation.
D: I could drink many. The alcohol is well hidden - a true delight!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 05:13:46 | More by spratmi
Photo of hophead247
hophead247

California

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Harpreet..Pours mahogany, semi-cloudy, with a medium tan head that leaves only a little bit behind. Awesome aroma of dark fruits (plum, date, raisin, fig), caramel, malts, spices, and faint alcohol. The flavor lives up to the nose, with the same dark fruits, caramel, and malts, as well as mild spices, nuts, wood, and warming alcohol. Medium bodied, really smooth, and alcohol is pretty subdued for being 10%. It's hard to find flaws in this one- maybe the body is thin for the style, and the color isn't the most beautiful shade of mahogany. But those are just tiny observations that mean virtually nothing compared to this beer as a whole. I never thought this could live up to the hype, but it absolutely satisfied all expectations. I can't wait to visit the place someday and try some there.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 18:44:58 | More by hophead247
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,483 ratings.