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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.

4,613 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,613
Reviews: 1,612
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,853
Gots: 1,318 | FT: 100
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

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: 4,613 | Reviews: 1,612 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erz316


5/5  rDev +8.5%

oh man, I'm reviewing The Beer. .33l bottle into westvleteren chalice. date on cap is 21.04.12

A - dark opaque brown body, medium tan head, dark brown yeast on top of the head, which is big and made from medium sized bubbles. top of the head is creamy and smooth, with some big crackly bobbles int he middle. tons of lacing. head slowly, slowly comes down; retention is great. let me emphasize how much lace there is on this beer once more. top notch. the colour is perfect, and the head makes it look so incredibly appetizing. the color of the beer and the head compliment the dark green logo quite well. maybe its just the experience but I have never seen such a hot piece of beer ass.

S - has to warm up a bit, but the initial right-out-of-fridge notes are almost clean, except for a light fruitiness of golden raisins. as the brew warms up the notes do not really change that much, except a roasted and slightly nutty malt character comes into play. I am pretty disappointed with the strength of this beer so far; but as I wait the beer gets even more complex: here is the quad I was expecting! slightly spicy phenols, alcohol, and Belgian yeast all come out now. some fresher notes are to be had as well, like lemon grass. that alcohol is quite amazing, really blend well with the spicy aspect. the nose never does get too strong, but the dynamism of how the beer changes over temperature difference is amazing, and gets it the big five (this beer tastes to excellent, anyways, to not be perfect). moreover, the fact that this beer isnt as strong in the nose doesn't actually detract from the excellence of the beer, the nose doesn't need to be powerful to get across the message of this brew.

T - yep, this gets a five. this is so complex and delicious, i just don't even know where to start. the initial notes are like a unsweetened sparkling apple cider, some aggressive alcohol, hops and malts. the hops are bitter an noticeable, while the malts are rich and almost nutty, a bit of mustiness from the yeast. these malts are really masterfully combined with hop bitterness, they create this perfect balance which is then trampled over by the alcohol, which brings another aspect from the hops: this dry like astringent-ness, an even sharper bitterness. this is so complex that I cant get enough of it. the amazing thing is how the beer goes from a semi-mild flavour as it just enters the mouth, malt-hop blend dominating, to something so bold and powerful. the nuttiness from the malts is most prevalent when the beer wafts through the nose via the back of the throat. the finish is hoppy, followed by a slightly sweet malt character, maybe a hint of that Belgian candied sugar? probably not, i bet the yeast has taken care of all of the sugar in this brew. the hops are coupled with a yeast character that adds a sense of stagnation and mustiness, making the brew really feel rustic and unfiltered. the aftertaste is this bittersweet malt-hop brawl. the hops have reverted to their standard bitter character, which can be described an herbal oil kind of bitterness. phenomenal. this beer is not all hype; it is the be all and end all for Belgian beers and the quad style. the taste is so varied and has so many discernible layers that it completely deserves the full score

MF&D - perfect and utterly drinkable. the body is fully that of a medium beer, which is perfect to compliment the capriciousness of the beers intricate flavours; anything heavier might be a detriment and make the beer way too overwhelming, especially when considering the alcohol content, which is not a detriment on the experience at all, rather, it compliments the aggressive hops and rustic malts. The beer is so incredibly good that no matter how much alcohol was in it, I would gladly keep drinking this; the booze is no detriment in any way (maybe that's just my tolerance, but who cares! this beer rocks!)

the only complaint I could have is that the nose is not strong enough. but i find this to be completely irrelevant when considering how synergistic the whole beer is together. keeping this brew from receiving a perfect score, in that respect, would not be right. this is the beer, and will be so in my view until I try something that is even better for its own style.

09-17-2009 22:42:57 | More by erz316
Photo of radshoesbro


4.75/5  rDev +3%

thanks a lot to GCurlow for the hook up via stevemcqueenjr!

after wanting this beer for nearly 5 years i'm finely able to drink it! huzah!!

pours a deep redish brown with very little head and showing a small amount of carbonation.

smell is definitely very hot for my liking and i was slightly worried that this was going to be ultra boozey, but that's not the case at all. the booziness gives way to marciano cherries and molasses.

complex. first sips taste of melted dark chocolates and buttery smooth malts. as you get further in a slight zestiness at first gives way to cherries, plum, and a sweet candied taste at points. other dark fruits seem to pop up every now and then.

very smooth in the mouth, not very much carbonation, but it just adds to how smooth and truly drinkable this beer is.

drinkable? absolutely!

09-15-2009 01:50:18 | More by radshoesbro
Photo of PlaywrightSam

New York

4.78/5  rDev +3.7%

My boyfriend got this for me as a Christmas present, last year, I recently pulled out a bottle for my 28th birthday.

Pours a beautiful brown/mahogany, thick head, lots of lacing, nice retention. The smell is a bit subtle--not as big as I expected. Almost like wine. Also some clove, lots of dark fruit, a bit of booze and yeast, and maybe even some banana? Great, but really not what I was expecting. The taste is just incredible--more dark fruit and wine, grapes, brown sugar, raisins--very faint alcohol. As I continue I'm getting lots of bread, a really surprising, balanced bitterness... With every sip it keeps getting more and more complex. Probably one of the most complex beers I've ever tasted, I'm getting hits of things I've never gotten from beer. Incredibly unique. Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, creamy. Drinkability is amazing for the ABV.

I was expecting a lot, and it delivered.

09-13-2009 23:26:49 | More by PlaywrightSam
Photo of flagmantho


4.78/5  rDev +3.7%

I am very excited that I get to review Westvleteren 12 for my 100th BeerAdvocate review. I have long awaited this day.

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: beautiful slightly opaque mahogany with a nice very light tan head. Gorgeous!

Smell: very subtle; floral with a bit of a spicy yeast character.

Taste: frankly, the aroma did not meet my preconcieved notions of how good this beer is supposed to be; however, the flavor blows them away. The malt is well-rounded and flavors migrate from light berry to tree fruit to a delicious, almost floral je ne sais quoi. Is it too late to become a monk?

Mouthfeel: body is the heavy side of medium, the impression is one of a very light syrup without being at all cloying or over-thick. There is not a lot of carbonation, but I don't think it matters.

Drinkability: the only thing impeding the drinkability is availability. More please.

09-12-2009 01:11:30 | More by flagmantho
Photo of punkrkr27


5/5  rDev +8.5%

Bottle dated best before 08 03 088. Pours a deep mahogany, ruby highlights, and a long lasting huge pillow white head. Smells of rich dark fruit, candi sugar, cereal, a light grassiness, yeasty, a hint of alcohol, somewhat vinous, amazingly complex. Flavor profile is so deep, I'm not even sure I know how to describe it. Getting some candied figs, lightly chocolaty, chewy malts, buttery on the finish. Full velvety body with carbonation just dancing in your mouth. This definitely lives up to it's reputation.

09-11-2009 20:23:24 | More by punkrkr27
Photo of originalsin


4.9/5  rDev +6.3%

My 100th Review! Ah the memories. I've been holding off on reviews lately waiting for a good time to review this. I shared the bottle with two great friends of mine who went to meet the Belgians with me. We're finally settled into our house: just about everything is perfect and we're ready for an amazing year. I couldn't possibly think of a better way to start it: my escapades this weekend coupled with the drinking of a Westy 12 today? Divine. And yes, today was the end of the weekend.

Thanks so much to Filip and the rest of the Belgian Beer Board for this bottle.

Drank relatively warm: put it in the fridge for about 35 minutes to lightly chill it before drinking.

The sound of the cap popping off was so awesome. There's no other way to describe it. The moment it came off some huge dark fruit notes assaulted our nostrils in the best kind of way. My initial pour yielded a very generous head that threatened to spill out of my chimay glass. I waited a moment and then ever so slowly poured the rest of the bottle. My hands shook. So. Much. to live up to here. Poured a beautiful deep, dark mahogany to rival the coffee table we rested the bottle on. The head was a billowing tan-white thing that eventually settled to about an 1/8 inch cap over the beer. Lacing was spot on.

The only component of this beer that didn't blow my mind was the smell. From the bottle a heavenly aroma wafted towards our nostrils but once poured it was far more subdued and I had a hard time reconciling my initial perception with the one to follow. The smell of dark fruits: figs, plums, raisins were present. Additionally, some roasted nuts and Belgian yeast. One thing I didn't pick up on was any alcohol notes.

I couldn't dream up a more complex tasting beer. I only wish I had more Belgian Quads under my belt- the only ones of truly spent some time with are the Rochefort and St. Bernadus. Nonetheless, I detected a lot going on- big dark fruit notes...it's so hard to pick apart this flavor profile. That balance is beyond beautiful. It's perfect. Molasses, dates, caramel malt. Better than exceptional.

What I really noticed first and foremost with this beer was this: the mouthfeel was the most incredible of any beer I'd ever tasted. Drinkability, too, was absolutely off the charts. It's full bodied with a light dryness and perfectly rounded smoothness.

Here's to hundreds and hundreds more beers!

I need more. Please send.

09-10-2009 00:41:28 | More by originalsin
Photo of projectflam86


4.97/5  rDev +7.8%

First of all, I must give a shout to a great trader, a061183, for hooking me up with a few Westys. Cheers!

I'm hoping that this will be a fitting brew for my 200th review here on BA. I'm guessing that it will...

Date on Cap: 23.04.11
Served in a chalice @ approx 50˚ F

A- The cap pops off with a gentle hiss. I poured this ever so slowly into my favorite chalice. Pours a deep murky burgundy color with tiny little floaties hovering around. A thin but rocky crème colored head leaves some scattered lacing behind. Lots of carbonation bubbles stream up the sides of the glass as I sip.

S- As soon as I opened it I was hit with waves of dark fruits and Belgian yeast. The alcohol is quite noticeable in the nose but it doesn't take away or detract from more subtle aromas of sweet roasted malt, figs, and chestnuts.

T- I imagine that trying to name all of the different contributions to the flavor profile would be futile to say the least, but I'll give it a shot anyway. Sharp initial sting of alcohol that is quickly whisked away by massive amounts of dark fruit flavors including plums, raisins, white grapes, and figs. A sweet caramel malt takes over and brings in flavors of anise, licorice, toasted nuts, oak, and honey. A slight characteristically funky Belgian yeast flavor in the finish that helps to round out the overall taste. To say this beer is balanced almost seems like an insult. I think that 'harmony' is a better word than 'balanced' in this situation.

M- Big and smooth with a tannin like dryness that leaves you wanting another sip. The high level of carbonation helps disperse all of the intricate flavors across the tongue. The aftertaste lingers of sweet grapes and the alcohol creates a gentle warming effect.

D- I must admit, I had pretty lofty expectations for this brew, but I can easily say that this is one of the best beers that I have ever had. By far one of the most complex and drinkable beers around.

09-04-2009 03:22:01 | More by projectflam86
Photo of waltonc


4.47/5  rDev -3%

Cracked this in celebration of my third anniversary. Currently listening to Dr. Dre's Chronic Re-lit "B***hes Aint S**t."

Guess I'm one of those people that likes Westy 8 more, as my score isn't as high for the 12. Pours a swampwater brown but plenty of tan head salvages the appearance. Smell is sweet, malty, dark fruit, stone fruit, grapes, yeast, and bread. Tastes similar, but add brown sugar to the mix. I don't find this as complex and layered as the Westy 8. Maybe that means my palate isn't as complex, but it is what it is. Body is medium with medium to high carbonation. Highly drinkable. Could drink 3 no problem. But I disagree with the characterization of this beer as best in the world. It's great but easily eclipsed by several brews. I wonder to what extent the beer's high rating self-perpetuates additional high scores.

09-04-2009 02:53:40 | More by waltonc
Photo of eduardolinhalis


4.98/5  rDev +8%

330ml bottle served in a Westvleteren chalice.

A: Pours a light brown color which is very cloudy. Many particles can be noticed floating around. Forms a medium, creamy and medium bubbled beige head. Good retention and only few thin molasses lacings left in the glass. A thin layer remains forever on the top

S: Very sweet and fruity upfront. Strong notes of dark fruits like, plums and grapes. Raisins. Strong notes of brown bread, caramel malts and roasted malts. Candy sugar, brown sugar, Belgian yeasts and some alcohol

T: As suggested by the nose. Sweet and fruity upfront. Strong notes of dark fruits (grapes and plums) and dry dark fruits (dates ans raisins), brown bread, caramel malts, candy sugar, Belgian yeasts and earthy hops. A bit of bubblegum sensation. Nice light bitter end. Hops are bit grassy and bit citrus. Great bittersweet balance

M: Heavy, creamy and molasses body. Medium to low carbonation. Fruity and mainly bready aftertaste. Bittersweet

O: Deliciously drinkable despite of the high ABV. Perfect Belgian Trappist. Perfect Belgian Quad. Not as good as Rochefort 10 but, this is another story... ;)

09-03-2009 22:24:42 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of drabmuh


4.93/5  rDev +6.9%

Finally, Westy 12. Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass (its the only Trappist glass that I own). Beer was brown, mostly clear until the mud at the bottom of the glass came out, this was avoidable, i know how to pour. The head was diffuse but present and the carbonation was slow but steady, continuously replenishing the thin head. The smell was amazing. Beautiful yeasty and sweet smell. The taste and mouthfeel were out of this world. It was smooth, I could have drank the whole thing in a few minutes but I savored it for as long as possible. Taste was sweet and pleasant. More yeast, no aftertaste. A perfect beer. I wish I could have ti year round.

09-02-2009 04:14:58 | More by drabmuh
Photo of gory4d

New York

4.78/5  rDev +3.7%

Many thanks to Masterski for throwing this one in to our last in-person trade.

Pours a rusty brown with a thin but dense white head, leaves lots of lacing. The color is not terribly appealing. The smell is of roasted nuts, hijiki seaweed, sweet grape, a rich caramel malt -- very complex. The flavor is sweet grapes (like cognac, almost), caramel, grain, with a lingering bitter earthy finish. It's creamy but clean in the mouth, not at all viscous, very nice. Really just too delectable for words. More.

09-02-2009 02:23:23 | More by gory4d
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.68/5  rDev +1.5%

A- A nice hazy/opaque chocolate brown. Medium white head with good lacing.

S- Grapes, cherries, cloves, a hint of alcohol. Smells delicious and balanced.

T- A barrage of roasted malt, cherries, grapes, some alcohol, big herbal hops. One of the best quads out there, no doubt, but I don't think the best beer in the world. Some bread malt in there too. The beauty of this one is in its balance.

M- Refreshingly creamy and smooth. Pretty much exactly what it should be.

D- I'm loving this, although I'm not sure it soundly beats out others like the Abt 12 and Rocheforte 10. Definitely a great drink, worth the try, although I probably won't get it again because of the price.

09-01-2009 19:37:14 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of KCHopHead


4.2/5  rDev -8.9%

Had the 3 bottles in order Blond, 12 then 8. Split the bottle 3 ways for a tasting.

A - Not sure if it was the weather but I didn't get a lot of lacing or head from this beer. What head it did have formed the larger bubbles that some Belgian yeasts help produce. This was very transparent for being so dark. I got some crazy floaties from the yeast sediment. No problem with me though.

S - I smelled the alcohol there but a lot of fruitiness was there as well.

T - The balance was great on this beer. Not as good as the 8, but still well done. I remember there being a ton of left over sugar taste. I'm still not sure how to get that raisin taste in my homebrew but I'm sure the yeast and fermentation temp plays a big role. The alcohol was present but not overwhelming for a 10% beer.

M/D - Very good carbonation. I would have like to have this on tap at my home.

I think I built this up too much in my head. It is definitely not on the top of this hophead's list, but still an amazing beer that I would highly recomend.

09-01-2009 18:21:47 | More by KCHopHead
Photo of blaje

Quebec (Canada)

4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

First, lets admit it. How can you be absolutely honest when you have the chance to drink this beer? Only in a blindtasting session... This was not the case!

Poured ina Delirium Tremens sniffer, This gem pours mahogany brown with reddish tone, hazy. It forms a nice white to off-white head, 1cm thick. Unfortunately disappearing to quickly. Is this one's to cold?

Nose: Rich malt, medium roast. very faint smoke wood. Caramel. Fig. Alcohol nose is present and fruity but not dominative event though this one is 10.2% ABV.

Mouth: Carbonation is medium-low. Taste... very complex. Extremely complex and evolves as its temperature changes. So as the nose. Bitter chocolate. Faint cherry flavours comes up after a few sip that's reminds me of Flemish red beer. Bitterness is present but really nicelly balanced. Alcohol note is fruity and delightful. It blends all the flavours together and brings warmth. It carries this beer very well. In the finish, sweet roasted sugar cane or brown sugar even and hint of oatmeal flavour.

Conclusion: Wow, truly one of its kind. Deserves an A+ easily. Perfectly balanced beer. Outstanding.

08-29-2009 02:01:49 | More by blaje
Photo of nickd717


4.9/5  rDev +6.3%

Had this beer several times now, including once paired with Westvleteren 12 ice cream at Cafe in de Vrede and one '04 bottle (consumed in '09) at Kulminator in Antwerpen.

A - Hazy brown color with a large tan head that lasts and leaves awesome lacing.

S - Heavenly aroma of dark fruits, sweet malt, caramel, spices, and Belgian yeast.

T - Really complex with sweet caramel malt, candi sugar, prune, fig, raisin, plum, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, spices, and a touch of hops. Phenomenal.

M - Incredibly full-bodied and velvety smooth on the palate with soft carbonation. Gives you an excellent warming sensation on the way down.

D - Ridiculously drinkable. It took quite a bit of restraint to not put down the Westy 12s I had at in de Vrede in two minutes. Every time you take a sip of this stuff, you instantly want another.

08-21-2009 22:04:01 | More by nickd717
Photo of fiver29


4.8/5  rDev +4.1%

Bottle pours dark brown with a white head. Has a brown sugar aroma to it with some malt undertones. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lot of tiny bubbles for carbonation. I really like the feel of this beer. Taste is very complex. There is candi sugar, dark fruit, some sweet malt, and a small amount of hop spice. Alcohol is hidden very well. The blend of malt, hops, mouthfeel, and finish makes this a supreme beer. Truly world class.

08-21-2009 19:28:31 | More by fiver29
Photo of TheViolator666


4.7/5  rDev +2%

Can't believe I got my hands on one of these so easily, excited to drink what is the reigning "World's Best Beer". Cap says 21.04.12 I'm guessing that means it's good 'til 2021?

A: Haven't had many quads yet, but this one pours without any head at all. The color is cloudy dark brown with a reddish/yellow tint. Very slight, if any, lacing.

S: There's alot going on in this one. Smells of sweet raisins/grapes/wine. Sugar coated plums and fermented dark fruits also. Slightly earthy scents as well.

T: The taste is big. The raisiny/fruityness is very forward and is followed by sugar sweetness. I get sort of a caramel covered apple aftertaste, which is extremely delicious. There is somewhat of an alcohol presence, but not as much as expected.

M/D: This is a full bodied, thick beer. Would love to have a bottle to myself in the dead of winter, as this could definitely warm one up.

Just excellent.

08-17-2009 05:45:07 | More by TheViolator666
Photo of ClevoPiwo


4.7/5  rDev +2%

Here we go, Westy12....

Poured a deep amber, reddish brown color. The head is very faint, only a foamy ring around the outside of the glass at its maximum and quickly dissipated down.

The smell is great, slightly vinous and very complex. Big malt presence in the aroma; caramel, earthy grainy notes, dark fruit or perhaps raisins and a hint of cider all compliment each other making this beers bouquet very rich and complex.

The taste has a big malt sweetness up front. Raisins, dark fruit, caramel, cider and earthy notes come from big malt flavor up front. The alcohol is present but not too overpowering. Huge flavor with a big sweet chewy and syrupy mouth feel that is just right and not over done. The aftertaste is warm with a hint of hop bitterness that lingers on the palate balancing out the big malt presence up front.

I can definitely see why this is the reigning champ of beers!


08-17-2009 01:18:18 | More by ClevoPiwo
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.7/5  rDev +2%

First Westvleteren 12, very excited to try this one.

Pours a dark reddish-brown, with very little head that dissipates to almost nothing. The smell is ripe fruits with a syrupy sugar glaze. With this comes some fruity esters from the high ABV. To be more precise, I would say the smell is almost vinous, fermented grapes.

The flavor is extremely sweet upfront, followed by fruits and maltiness. The finish is very warm with an alcohol mixed malt flavor. This beer is like liquid candy and warm alcohol. Tastes delicious.

The mouthfeel is smooth and warm. The consistency seems about perfect. Aside from the huge sweetness factor and the high ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. However, I don't think I would want more than two in a sitting.

So, I have finally had the highly renowned Westvleteren 12. Tonight I tried this beer along side the St. Bernardus 12, which was my favorite trappist beer up to this point. I've also had the Rochefort 10, but after drinking these two I think I need to try it again. Drinking the St. Berndardus and Westvleteren head to head has really helped define the differences in these beers. In terms of appearance, the St. Bernardus looks much more attractive to me. However, I found myself liking the overall flavor of the Westvleteren more, and since beer is mostly about flavor, I tip my hat to the Westy. It truly is an exceptional beer.

08-16-2009 01:18:22 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev -1.3%

21.04.12, poured into a snifter.

Color is a lighter mahogany in direct light and a deep red at the thickest part of the glass. Pours with little to no head. Very clear. Smells pretty crazy for a beer! More like a plum wine, white grape juice, mead, sherry or even Manischewitz. Very sweet, fairly alcoholic.

Tastes smooth, barely carbonated but slightly sharp. Again, very sweet with a medium body that starts with those same aromatic notes of white grape and evolves into a pleasant caramel malt before leaving a lingering hoppy bitterness. This reminds me very much more of a sherry with its flatness and the fruit notes, but without some of the mouthfeel. Alcohol fumes are quite effervescent here despite the low carbonation. There is a lot of cake at the bottom and it loosens a little as poured, so leaving the final inch or so in the bottle. Refilling the glass has produced a slightly cloudier pour that retains the same characteristics except with slightly more malt shining through as it warms a little and slightly more yeasty aftertaste... which makes sense.

Pretty good, I'd say! Not sure if this becomes my definitive quad, but for sure it's a very interesting one and appreciably complex. I wouldn't mind sipping away at it again.

08-16-2009 01:12:00 | More by abuliarose
Photo of jdubjacket


4.93/5  rDev +6.9%

Ah, I am reviewing the granddaddy of them all. Thanks to my dad for getting me a sixer of all three Westvleterens.

Pours a deep brown with amber hues. Almost no head to speak of. Good amount of sediment in the glass. Only some lacing.

Smells like angels tears. Very sweet, likely the malt coupled with the alcohol presence. Traces of prunes and raisins.

Tastes like...joy. Plain and simple joy. Brown sugar, lots of malt, alcohol, dark fruits, toffee, a hint of chocolate, and mildly spicy. Aftertaste provides a delicious malt aftertaste that lingers with you.

Perfectly carbonated mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable despite the ABV.

Well, I have had it. Nothing else to drink now. Overall, this is one beer that lives up to its hype. Coupling its quality with its rarity makes this beer a real treat.

08-12-2009 23:14:07 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of degerbah


4.45/5  rDev -3.5%

Here we go...the big one. Thanks to Mwa423 for making this possible. Poured a hazy deep brown into my delerium tremens glasses. Almost no head at all in the glass. Smell is somewhat boozy with a lot of malt presence.

The first taste was extremely sweet with a lot of malt presence. Thick taste sits on the tongue. After just a few sips and I can feel the alcohol in my face.

Unbelievably drinkable for the alcohol content. Extremely hard to get unfortunately and althought it is easily one of my favorites of all time, but I think I just prefer my RIS's better.

08-10-2009 01:16:44 | More by degerbah
Photo of CoolJosh


4.75/5  rDev +3%

I finally got to try this beer! Huge thanks to Deuane and Carolyn (Sierrags), I owe you two big time!!!

Poured into a stemmed tulip from a 12oz bottle. The appearance defines eye candy. A very hazy and viscous brown with no visibility through the body. Pours an initially foamy creamy light khaki head with streaks of what looks like cocoa powder. The head retains at a creamy, thin layer. Slight lacing rests about an inch above the body.

The smells is mind numbingly complex. Every time my nose takes a whiff, I smell something different. I want to break this down as far as I can so hear goes... Tons of toffee/bitter caramel scents, light belgian candied sugars, raisins, white grapes, brown sugar, light coriander, semi tart cherry, and some light cocoa scents. The smell isn't in your face, but it blends so well together.

The taste is exceptional in the same way that the scent is. Everything noted in the scent is visible in the taste in some form or another in addition to some figs, vanilla, and some plum and red grapes. This beer is so smooth, I don't know if this has come with age (2.5 years cellared) or what, but this is such a well crafted beer.

Initially, the high carbonation is a little bit off-putting, but as it warms and dies down it becomes much more pleasing. I didn't really understand the darker complex belgians when I began my journey. Beers like this, Rochefort 8/10, and St Bernardus 12 really help in making sense of the magical and mythical works of the trappists!

08-07-2009 23:28:15 | More by CoolJosh
Photo of Arbitrator


3.73/5  rDev -19.1%

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a magnificent chestnut brown with moderate light penetration. Despite a vigorous pour, the only bubbles churned up are from agitation; retention is nonexistent, no donut, no lacing. Meh.

S: My first thought was that this smells like a wine. Lots of ripe, pungent dark fruit (red grapes, dates, figs) with the slightest hint of a boozy warmth. Phenolic spice character, candied sugar, and some yeast in there as well. At times I get a cinnamon-infused banana bread character. Wow.

T: It starts off with yeast, but progresses into a restrained sweetness consisting of bread, graham crackers, and dark fruits. I taste a lot of grape/raisin, and some lesser dates and figs. Spiciness is actually pretty mild, pricking the tongue just slightly here and there. Very light candi sugar is tasted throughout. Despite all this, the beer finishes, amazingly, a tad on the dry side. Impressive. Kind of expecting more spice though.

M: I'll be honest, I expect lively carbonation in Belgians. This beer poured flat, and suffers a bit for it, but it makes it up with a fairly attenuated body that doesn't let the sweetness become too much. Despite smelling a touch of the booze, I never tasted it and never felt it while drinking -- although walking straight was a challenge afterward.

D: It's a great beer, but in almost a dozen bottles of having this, I can't recall one that was above a wisp of carbonation. Maybe I have bad luck or maybe this beer just lacks in that department. I don't care for that. Given the difficulty of acquiring it, I give the nod to St. Bernardus 12 here.

08-07-2009 06:01:42 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of natasharai


4.33/5  rDev -6.1%

Appearance: Poured with a tan creamy head that dissipated to no head leaving very little lacing. The beer is dark dark brown with a reddish tint, and is pretty cloudy. No light shows through when held up to a light source.

Smell: Dark fruit, figs and plums. Sweet candied sugar, sweet red grapes, strong honey, sweet allspice berries and cardamon spice.

Taste: What I expect after the smell. Sweet grape and cherry, alcohol spice that remains throughout, plums and figs, allspice berry, honey, and sweet malty grain.

Mouthfeel: Thick body, good carbonation, very sweet and syrupy, alcohol burn, leaves mouth a bit sticky but also somewhat clean.

Overall: Good drinkability, a bit more alcohol spice than I would like, nice sweet fruity character. Very complex sweet flavors, but the spice could be more prevalent. Overall great beer! Worth trying despite the cost or troubles.

Thank you Hophead101!!!

08-07-2009 05:46:46 | More by natasharai
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,613 ratings.