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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

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5,180 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,180
Reviews: 1,662
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,130
Gots: 1,590 | FT: 118
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

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: 5,180 | Reviews: 1,662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmhart
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of joshrosborne
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of dgilks
4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Either thanks to brabander or one I carted back myself. I'm not quite sure.

A cloudy, slightly chunky dark brown colour which is quite pale at the edges. Small, light tan head with decent head retention.

Sherried malt and raisins. Dried dates. Light Christmas spices. Malt and toffee. Rich and complex.

The flavour maintains a balance between lightness and richness. It is sweet and sherried without being cloying. Light hard fruits. Touches of raisin. Not bad at all.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Eminently digestible.

A delicious and complex Trappist ale. It is truly excellent though I'm not sure I buy into the myth that it is the best of the Trappists.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Bobbydigi
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of bombadil
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BrianTheBrewer30
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mattboyer182
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a dark dark brown. Impossible to see through. Thin Lacey brown head.

S - it's a fairly light smell. Big fruit scent. Tart a bit but still spicy.

T - very sweet at first but becomes a dry more bitter flavor as the beer wears on. Smooth and a little vanilla.

M - medium to heavy body with medium carbonation.

O - hey it's westy. I completely love what it is. But I think I would rather have roc 10

Photo of Kilonad
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't take detailed notes, but...

A - Good dark color, like a great quad should look.

S - Really interesting smell. Cheese, funk, and fruit. Pretty complex.

T - More fruit than cheese, but there was this really interesting and complex cheesiness/yeastiness to the beer. I really enjoyed this one, and it's the most complex beer I've ever tasted.

M - Mouthfeel was solid but nothing out of the ordinary.

O - Worth tracking down, and an excellent beer, but naturally it can't live up to the overwhelming hype attributed to it.

Photo of GallowsThief
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received from my friend Thijs (Brabander), one of the most generous BA’s I know. My thanks. Poured out of a 33 ml bottle into my tulip.

A – Poured out a brown with reddish hues. Luxurious looking creamy one finger tan head. Sticky lacing.

S – Classic Belgian aroma to start. Yeast. Lots of floral qualities. Spiciness. Rum. Dark fruit.

T - Nice dark fruit to start off with plums and raisins included. A nice grape flavor comes along. Some caramel and brown sugar lend some sweetness. Towards the finish you get a spicy, peppery quality along with just a touch of warming effect from the alcohol.

M – Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Incredibly smooth drinker. This beer just coats your palate with flavors.

O – Incredibly tasty brew. More complexity then my palate can even fathom. Taste is out of this world. Lived up to the hype for me. Always on the prowl for more.

Photo of mentaltraveller
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark brown. It smells of sweet fruit, rum, sugar, and malts. The taste is very sweet and complex, with a good deal of alcohol. There is a nice warming mouthfeel from the alcohol, and medium carbonation. I preferred Westvleteren 8, but this was still amazing. I think perhaps this one would have benefited from a bit more aging.

Photo of bobbypaulson
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wyatt for this gem!!!! poured from a 12 oz glass into a tulip glass. pours a brownlish murky red color with a thin head that leaves qucikly. The smell is of yeasty fresh bread and a slight booziness too. The taste is bitter on the front end but that leaves quick and your mouth is filled with a fruity sweetness that coats your whole mouth. The sweetness stays but you still get that bitterness. It is well balanced and not boozy at all like the smell leads. I can see why this one is rated so high. while I do agree with it having a high rating I have to admit I'd take a russian imp stout over this any day. Still a great beer and I'm glad I got to try it!!! thanks Wyatt!!!

Photo of sirosler
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a hazy dark coppery-brown with a small, almost non-existent tan head.

S: Powerful sweet chocolate with a bready, toasty aroma that grew in strength as it warmed, as well as a very faint spicy alcohol aroma and fruity raisin.

T: Lots of sweet caramel malt with prunes, raisins, and figs that mix with a very slight alcohol bite. So complex, in a fantastic way.

M: High carbonation with a smooth medium body and a nice alcohol warmth.

O: Amazingly balanced and complex. Far too smooth for how much alcohol is in there. Without a doubt, a fantastic beer that just about lives up to its hype.

Photo of luisfrancisco
4.77/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a bottle of this into a Duvel tulip glass.

Had a dark brown color with a half-inch head on an easy pour. Compared the beer to a St. Bernardus Abt 12. Westy had a slightly darker brown color.

Smell was amazingly complex. This is probably where the beer shone the most. St. Bernardus had almost no smell compared to the Westy. The smell was of toasted malts, some mixed yellow and dark raisins. Some spices, almost had the smell of red wine and some sour beer.

Taste was not sour. This is one smooth beer. Raisins and spices shine through. Excellent malt sweet taste. Yeast is present but not overpowering. Warming but subdued alcohol presence. St. Bernardus was way more boozy than the Westy.

Carbonation was also silkier in Westvleteren. St. Bernardus had more carbonation and felt a little invasive, like it detracted from the beer.

An excellent beer overall. Very, very drinkable. This is definitely the easiest drinking 10.00 ABV beer I've ever had. I could have this beer every day. It is complex and well rounded.

St. Bernardus is also a great beer, but really, I do believe Westvleteren is in another class.

Photo of Ynot2
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy dark brown to ruby color with minimal tan head that lasted through entire glass.

Smells of figs and raisins soaked in alcohol. Sweet yeasty smells like a cinnamon bun with extra fruit.

This a 4 year old beer and it holds up nicely. Sweet fruit up front with some sugary spice in the middle and ends with Just the right touch of heat. Complex and tasty.

Mouthfeels is medium and nothing spectacular, but nothing bad either.

A really nice beer inline with or slightly better than Rochefort or St Bernadus. The monks do it right.

Photo of ssznyter
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I only got to try about 1/4 of a bottle of this exceptional beer but it has definitely lived up to it's reputation. Amazingly enough a bartender at a bar me and a friend frequently attend and joined a beer club at got a bottle from a friend who had been to Belgium recently. He was kind enough to share it with us and give us a each about a quarter of the bottle. I would definitely like to try this again but I savored each mouth-full of the little I tried.

A: Dark brown and somewhat opaque. Small head but difficult to judge what the head would be like on a full pour from the small amount sampled.

S: Fruity, malty, and sweet notes rose out of the glass with each smell. Even after the initial smell and taste complex and intense scents still shined through.

T: Amazingly complex. Fruity, sweet, and malty with yeast flavors coming through. Apparently the bottle we tried was extremely fresh and strong flavors really pushed through and popped. Flavors of this beer lingered long after it was finished and I hoped they would have lingered even longer.

M: Fairly high carbonation but still very smooth. Each sip was savored and taken very slow in order to get as much as I could out of the small sample and the texture was perfect for a quad.

O: Overall I would say this may have been one of the best beers I have ever tasted. I wish I could have had a full bottle of it but from what I had it was outstanding. I feel as though there is much more to experience from this beer because it is just so complex. If I ever get the opportunity I will definitely try this again and hopefully unlock more of the complex secrets this beer offers.

Photo of dragonofblood
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing from notes.

I've finally found a bottle of this holiest of holies locally and for a very reasonable price. I have wanted to try this one since the very first time I saw it atop the Beer Advocate Top Beers. I asked the bar tender if he'd let me open it myself and he kindly obliged.

Appearance: Poured into a chalice. Dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Very little head, a few floaties. The head retention is minimal.

Smell: Full and complex, red wine grapes, rum soaked raisins, candied fruit, molasses, some yeasty bread-like aromas, dark caramels, some spices, black pepper, little bit of alcohol. Wow. Just wow.

Taste: Big vinous flavour, some alcohol warmth, caramel. Spices, some chocolate, big malty backbone, esters, dark fruits, clove.

Mouthfeel: Thick and effervescent. Pleasantly coats the tongue.

Overall: Best beer in the world? Damn good chance of it. This beer was well worth the wait and easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Definitely top 2 or 3. I don't know when I will get the chance to have this one again, but I certainly hope it's soon.

Photo of auroracrisis
4.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz dated 06.10.13 on the cap. Got this for free in an order from Beer Planet. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Roasty chestnut in color, almost ruby with an off white brownish head that sticks around. Lacing as the beer is drank down.

Spice and bready yeasty qualities prevail through the nose at first with highlights of nutmeg and dessert bread. Much more spice than what I experienced in a Rochefort 10. Subtle highlights of raisin and figs but not as much as I would have liked. Alcohol is present throughout the smell and can become a little overbearing, in my opinion. Almost smells like rubbing alcohol at points.

Fig and raisin more apparent in the taste of this, which I let a sigh of relief from. Candy sugars and Belgian spice, with some yeast qualities which are more subtle in the flavor. Spice is similar to holiday spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice. The yeast gives a good dessert bread quality to the beer and only accentuates the spice, fruit, and candy flavors. Alcohol much less apparent than the smell. A touch of chocolate too.

Smooth, delicate, and medium body. Almost silky in it's texture, with low carbonation. Might be one of this beer's strongest characteristics behind the flavor.

A nice balanced tasting quad with flavors of dark fruits, spice, with dessert and candy qualities. The nose was a bit strong on the alcohol but for this alcohol by volume, I feel that is forgivable. I've never been overly impressed with this one like everyone else is, but it certainly is a great beer. I believe the scores more have to do with the elusive character the beer maintains, due to it's limited availability and the monks choice to not commercialize their beer.

Photo of Dunkle
4.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2 year old bottle poured into a snifter.

It pours a nice cloudy dark brown with a small sized head. Smells great (and complex). I sensed some dark fruits, and a hint of caramel and sugar.

The taste is exceptionally complex. Each sip was different. It tasted of yeast, candied sugar, and dark fruits (think figs and raisins). Although the alcohol was hidden well in some sips, it was not hidden at all in others. The mouthfeel was pleasant and smooth, though a tad thinner than I excpected.

Overall, this is a fantastic brew, although overrated. It is on the same level as St. Bernardus and Rochefort, and I would actually prefer St. Bernardus.

Photo of stormywaters
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For a quad, the appearance of this was a bit light. Previously i had the rochefort 10 and was used to a VERY dark trappist quad

I rented a car in Paris France so i could drive up to Belgium for the sole purpose of getting this beer. Luckily my wife(we were on our honeymoon) was quite happy to join me on this excursion. I can say that with the build up of the then top beer advocate rating i was not even slightly disappointed once i was able to taste this exceptional beer.

This put every trappist that is available in the states to shame. I did a side by side comparison when i got home and the old favorites paled up against the Westy.

Photo of Stockfan42
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap dates 26. 04. 06

Thanks to london1o1 for this opportunity.

It pours a dark brown body that in the light seems more of a ruby brown color. Lots of dark yeast floating around and a thinly laced head right from the start. Not much head at all.

Lots going on in the aroma department. Dark fruits like raisens, figs are right up front along with some sweet caramel, lemon peel and a nice spicy kick. There is a little heat as well.

Taste held up incredibly over the years on this one. Sweet malts and belgium spices are right up front. Brown sugar, lemon peel, honey, caramel and dark fruits linger around in the back. A little bit of heat on this one but not over the top, just enough. Man this beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel is almost velvet like. Carbonation held up good, very smooth and goes down pretty easy. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting.

Overall this is an amazing beer. I've yet to have it fresh but I cant imagine it tasting any better than this bottle does right now. This is a beer I will always be seeking out.

Photo of BDTyre
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper brown colour with a nice white head. Sweet malts, brown sugar, light wine and raisins. Rich malt taste, light bitterness. Definite suggestions of sugar, raisins and a very light spice profile. Light alcohol burn. Rich, but not heavy and a light, but effervescent body. Up there with Rochefort 10, but a bit rarer and a bit more expensive. An ideal quad, but not one I'd buy often if only because of the price.

Photo of MsRif
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this beer is awesome. Beautiful color (warm medium/golden brown) with a nice thick head. The lacing is marvelous...probably one of my favorite aspects of this beer. Aroma definitely offers a strong dark fruit character...there is a sweetness as well, along with a touch of Belgian yeast.

Taste is strong in raisins/dark fruits. Belgian yeast is present throughout. A touch of malty flavor is there as well, mostly as the brew warms. Very drinkable, especially for a quad. Nice mouthfeel...carbonation is good, and overall this beer is pretty smooth.

Did it live up to the hype? Honestly, my favorite quad is still Rochefort 10. I'm actually relieved because this beer certainly isn't an easy one to get! I'm happy that I had the opportunity to try it, and I recommend that if you can try it...keep an open mind. Maybe it will be the best thing you ever had, but I really feel a lot of the strong ratings come from the rarity/hype around this gem. Still an AMAZING beer...no doubt about that...and it is world class. Just not my personal favorite quad!

Photo of tenaciousp65
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i am fortunate enough to be studying in london this fall and was even more fortunate that my dad wanted to visit and see belgium and him and his friend were willing to drive to the middle of nowhere to try a beer they had never heard about. As i walked into In Dre verde my whole body was shaking with anticipation and i must say the 12 didn't let down. It was poured into the Westvleteren glass and it looked so elegant. It had a perfect one and half inch head right up to the lip. And from the first sip i could tell what an amazing beer it was. Just like the other Westys it has a full and I mean FULL body and right away you can taste 4 or 5 different flavors coming through. What most impressed me was the smoothness. From start to finish it was incredibly consistent. After all of my hyping my father and friend were also very impressed and could see why we made the trip. Can't wait to try another bottle of this when i get home

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,180 ratings.