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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,123 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,123
Reviews: 1,650
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,081
Gots: 1,549 | FT: 114
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

(Yellow Cap)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,123 | Reviews: 1,650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmarsh123
4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown with an eggshell off-white head that eventually thins out in a nice thin layer.

Smell is yeast with some raisin and plum.

Initial taste is very forward with brown sugar some fig, nut, vanilla and fresh baked bread also make an appearance. Finishes with a little nutty bready sweetness with some bitterness.

Very creamy and smooth. Excellent.

Finally got to try one of these top rated beers and it doesn't disappoint. The velvety smooth mouthfeel is probably the highlight, but the taste is very balanced and complex.

Photo of rarbring
4.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clouded brown brew, an off-white small head leaving little lacing but very good curtains.

The smell is whipped eggs with sugar, sherry, Parmesan and canned fruit.

The smell is sweet, caramelized peaches, boiled sausages, almonds and cheese.

Little carbonation, soft pleasant and oily texture, a good body.

Very complex, many aromas, many dimensions. Must be examined more times.

Photo of korguy123
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Westvletern 12 thanks to Jeffo!
Cap date 22.09.13

A- Totally opaque muddy brown pour. Three finger fluffy egg shell head slowly recedes to finger width cap that doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Lacing is excellent.

S- Juicy apples, cherries, plums, figs sour dough bread with hints of grapes and slight yeast notes. Brown sugar and vanilla with cinnamon as it opens further.

T- Brown sugar, vanilla, figs and plums. Apples and grapes. Fresh baked bread. Subtle chocolate and leather notes.

M- Medium to full bodied, subtle carbonation makes this creamy and smooth feeling.

O- Excellent quad, alcohol is invisible unlike the Rochefort 10 and St. Bernadus ABT.

Photo of heebes
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #200!

Bottle from Against the Grain, unknown dating.

Served in a Rochefort goblet, pours a dark brown colour with a thin tan bubbly head. Leaves a thin layer of lacing down the glassware.
Nose is very balanced; brown sugar, pear, apples, sweet malts, Belgian yeast.
Taste remains sweet, and is well rounded. Malt body highlighted by apple accents, light fruits and the distinct yeast strain. More brown sugar and grapes follow into the finish.
High carbonation and medium bodied mouthfeel.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with this Trappist concoction, figured the hype wouldn't live up to itself seeing as its not a preferred style of mine. However I must admit it was worth its price tag, albeit once...a must try. Top of its style for me, beats St. Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10 personally. Not something I would care to drink regularly thankfully given its rarity, and no where near best beer in the world.
But thats just me.

Photo of Mar02x
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What is there to say about the best beer in the world. In the end of March I got the Westvleteren 12, as a gift from my parents. This opened a hole new beer world for me. Before I have never heard of such rare and special beer. I always thought, and still do, that beer is there to share and enjoy. Therefore beer must be widely available.
After this introduction to very special beers, my learning ladder looked like a speedway and as a result I am now on BA. Because special beers need to be shared.

OK enough chitchat;

A-Nice dark brown, hazy fluid with nice head that disappears slowly.

S- Wood, wine and peat

T- A very nice beer with nut flavors, some vanilla. A bit sweet in balance with the bitterness.

M- Creamy not sticky, just enough, carbonation slowly explodes in your mouth.

O- A good beer, but worlds best??? I don't think one can say there is only one best beer in the world.

Due to the availability issues, I would rather drink Trappistes Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12.

Today (13-09-2011) I tasted a Westy 12 once more at the 'Vrede' next to the monastery Sint-Sixtus. What a great beer!! We discovered (my buddy Ed and I) that when this beer is served, not to cold but say around 17-18 degrees Celcius, it is absolutely World Class. Nothing comes close. You can drink this beer anytime of the day and take any kind of meal with it, it will hold.

Photo of afksports
3.7/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I opened a 2006 bottle the other day with my girlfriend before she began an internship. Special woman, special beer, random day of the week.

Recent studies suggest that our perceptions have a lot to do with how we taste. Rarity, for example, has something to do with a positive reaction. Same with group pre-approval. So opening the A+ "best in the world" beer from BeerAdvocate, I suppose my expectations were already through the roof.

Sadly, they were let down. The appearance was dark, reddish at the seams, with good head and lacing even after five years in the bottle. But it's a bit too ruddy, and appears like it hasn't completely held together. The smell is pure, complex, and holds dates, raisins, caramel, candy, roastiness and smoke. It doesn't appeal strongly to my palate, but it's all there.

The taste is more of the same. Dates: dried and sugared. Sweet, with a yeasty alcohol finish. In the mouth it's relatively thick despite the age, and there's no doubting it's complexity. That said, I look forward to trying one fresh, because Rochefort 10 blew this out of the water.

Or maybe that's just my perception...

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BA review #500 and brewery review #200. Thanks to BrianTheBrewer for this one (and thanks to Jeffo for trading me another one to cellar).

Poured in to Duvel tulip.
Bottle date on the cap was 3/12/11.

A - Poured a very murky dark brown colour with a small amount of khaki coloured head that disappeared quickly and left good lacing behind on the glass.

S - A very interesting nose. Lots of fruit - raisins, figs, pear and apple come through. Sweet caramel, brown sugar and a slight sticky candy scent round out the nose.

T - Similar to the nose. Apple, pear, plum, raisin and fig contribute a spectrum of fruit flavours to this beer. They are complimented by a sweetness with hints of dark caramel and brown sugar. The alcohol is slightly noticeable as well but is generally well hidden. The sweetness in this beer is perfect, which is something that I don't get very often. It is just enough to be noticeable yet not enough to dominate the palate, which makes this beer all the more complex. The apple flavour is really noticeable at times but without dominating either. Incredibly delicious and complex.

M - Medium body. Smooth and somewhat chewy. Light carbonation.

O - Absolutely lived up the they hype for me. Belgian ales are typically not one of my preferred styles and this is the first one I have had that I would drink every day if it was available. Truly remarkable.

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

Words cannot describe. Rich, complex, and delicious. The epitome of ultimate beerdom! Cherry, yeast, bread, full bodied, beautiful color, and packs quite a punch. Sampled at the Trappist Tasting @ The Moan and Dove, Amherst, MA. At that point I was quite libashed, so apologies for a less specific review. Try it if you can!

Photo of Soonami
3.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rich (phillybeer7779) for sharing a bottle of Westy 12 with me and the gang, one of the beers I've most looked forward to trying.

A little ripe, dried fig flavor nice malty sweetness, and a bit of bitter alcohol. There are other flavors of sweet stone fruit (cherries and dried peaches) in the beer and aroma. Clove-like phenols and toasty bread are more highly expressed when the beer warms.

This beer is a bit underwhelming, and maybe it was the age, but I found that I've liked St. Bernardus 12 and a couple other Quads I've had in the past better.

Photo of zeff80
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Ryan for sharing this.

A - Poured out a slightly cloudy, burgundy color with a two-finger head of pillowy, off-white foam. The head was long lasting and left sudsy trails of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Hard to explain how fantastic this aroma was. Everything was perfectly balanced - plum, fig, raisin, yeastiness, caramel, toffee. Nothing was strong or overpowered the other aromas. It was just perfect.

T - Again, so much balance. A perfect marriage of flavors. Dark dried fruits - fig, plum and raisin. Sweet maltiness with caramle, toffee and some molasses. A touch of yeasty spiciness.

M - So smooth! Medium bodied and crisp.

O - This is fantastic. Lives up to the hype. It was like a fantastic dessert or a flavorful steak that melts in your mouth.

Photo of impending
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Into a tulip, it looks fine. simply dark

Held to the nose the scent is a siren song. Reluctant to sip as the scent may diminish. Quad defining.

The flavor justifies existence. Aftertaste lasts forever, till it doesn't.

The medium bodied mouthfeel is caressed by creamy goodness.
cheers
jd

Photo of sarro
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle shared by Weisguy.
Pours a super syrupy brown with nearly zero head on a careful pour. Smells very bready along with nuts and dark fruit. The taste is delicate brown sugar malt with several layers of sweetness. I pickup lots of belgian dark sugar and it reminds me a bit of a well aged barleywine, but not as thick or heavy. The mouthfeel is slick and a tad syrupy with a nice medium carbonation. Mild alchohol finish on it, but I loved it.
Leaps and bounds better than the first Westy 12 I had that was full of sediment and aged on its side.

Photo of Azurescens
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330mL bottle with best by date 24.03.13 printed on cap, poured into Trois Pistoles goblet, reviewed on 8/15/11.

A: Pours a dark brown with tan head that leaves some lacing around glass. Clear and maroon when held to the light.

S: Aroma is wonderful, sweet dark malt, brown sugar and molasses, dark fruit, herbs and spices with a hint of spicy alcohol. Everything that I want in a quad.

T: Wow, so flavorful and absolutely delicious. Layers upon layers of flavor. Starts sweet with dark malt, brown sugar and some molasses, followed by candied fruit with herbs and spices, a slight hint of alcohol and more brown sugar in the end followed by a long lingering melody of all the aforementioned flavors.

M: Super smooth, somewhat creamy medium body with some tingling from the carbonation, finishes on the sweeter side.

O: So delicious and drinkable, could easily drink this every night for the rest of my life. Definitely the best quad that has crossed my taste buds. Simply incredible, wish this glass would last forever.

Photo of seanyfo
3.62/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle poured into Grimbergen chalice

Best Before date 04 December 2010

A- Dark mahogany body with a lot of sediment. 2 finger creamy head with average retention and minimal lacing.

S- Toasted almonds, a little dark fruit, some rose petal sweetness and a touch of wholemeal bread. Overall aromas are subtle

T- Malt forward again. Wholemeal bread qualities come through again supported by a sweet malt backbone. No real suggestion of alcohol heat, very smooth.

M- Creamy with medium carbonation, full body. Very smooth considering abv

D- Appearance wise not amazing, Flavour/aromas are subdued i guess with age. Mouthfeel retains a lovely creaminess and full mouthfeel. Overall, not a beer i would say has enhanced with age. Certainly no developing complexties. Eventhough not drinking this beer before, i cant help but feel its lost some former glory. Would love to try fresh!

Photo of seeswo
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with a buddy. Didn't catch the date, but it was about 3 years out.

Pours a hazy brownish copper with a tan head. The nose is slightly caramel and bready with dark fruits and plum. The taste is big, bready, yeasty plum with a touch of banana and other dark fruits and slightly caramel malts. Very smooth flavor with a very subtle complexity. Blink and you miss it. Good carbonation, good body. Overall, this is a very good beer, but it did not top the 25 year old Extra 8. Maybe worth trying once, then grab a Rochefort 10 given the relative difference in ease of acquisition.

Photo of bcostner1
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Brabander and another buddy of mine, I was able to procure 3 bottles of the Westy 12. Just cracked open the first one and it absolutely lived up to the hype. Amazing...

A: Dark brown with an aggressive tan head at the pour, the remnants of which linger for a while as I drink it.

S: Perfect. Dark fruits, delicious yeast are the most predominant aromas.

T: Wow...incredible. Dark fruits, yeast, brown sugar, a hint of molasses maybe. Absolutely delicious.

M: This beer is so incredibly easy to drink. It's actually kind of "light" feeling for a quad. Slightly overcarbonated to me...hence the deduction. Lingers on the palate just long enough but not too long to be cloying. I could definitely do multiples of this (if I were lucky enough to have a limitless supply).

Overall, this beer is phenomenal and worth of it's reputation. I love Quads, have tried a number of them, and this one is the undisputed king. I can't wait to have occasion to drink my last 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of tsatem
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

M: Medium-heavy but still lively. Great.

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

Photo of msfoster77
4.06/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of s1ckboy
4.03/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown with a small head

S - Bready, sweet.

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

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

O - Very good.

Photo of orangesol
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of seabass87
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of drowland
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,123 ratings.