Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 4,613 | Reviews: 1,612 | Display Reviews Only:
4.55/5 rDev -1.3%
Hugenormous thanks to buckeysox for this extra!
Poured from the brown bottle into an oversized merlot glass.
A good inch of foamy off white head. Extremely long lasting head. I cant tell if its retention or the head is still receeding.
A brownish color with some light glowing of reds, but still pale and non transparent.
The head has finally fallen leaving a quarter inch of egg white like whipped topping and plenty of white drapeing lace.
Aroma is devine. Smells of french toast with just a little spice/ cinnemon aroma, some dairy like eggyness, lemon zest, vanilla, anise, brown sugar, and some raisin de'extra similarities with, raisin and alcahol aroma. By no means hot, its a super appealing aroma here. Some floral rose pedals, honey, and a mild grassy hop aroma.
Mouthfeel is unbelievably rich and creamy with a thicker feel. Some carbonation present into the foreground but quickly dissapearing into a creamy thickness. God almighty, I havnt had a belgian with a mouthfeel like this ever, awsome!
The taste is also very drinkable and delicious, I'm really enjoying this brew and have waited along time to get it. I honestly didnt think I'd ever get a chance to try one.
Some fermented fruityness up front with fermented honey, spices, anice and plenty of floral honey suckle like taste. Some bready yeastyness, like a sourdough bread with plenty of honey butter, a touch of sour apples, and a bit of earthy piney hops into the finish. Some more citric lemon zest flavors also coming into the linger with a bit of a citric acid likeness, comparable to drinking orange juice with that slightest bit of citric acid after effect.
As its warmed It picked up more of the sweet candy sugar typical belgian flavors. Some burnt toast like grain flavors, they roasty flavors of the grain with that candy sugar sweetness is delicious.
This is hugely drinkable, its not hot, does not bully the tastebuds, its a simple/ humble yet extravagent beer at the same time. Nothing bragging like here, its got a humble bottle with no lable and its just a really enjoyable beer.
Thanks again Dave, I really appreciate this one!
04-22-2009 17:35:28 | More by Buebie
4.5/5 rDev -2.4%
Bottle Pours a murky brown with tan head. The head lasts well. The head laces well. Has a great aroma of fruits, spices, cocoa, and vanilla. Has perfect carbination and an awesome mouthfeel. I waited a long time to get one of these and it is great. The flavors are very complex, tastes dance on your tongue. Has a medium to heavy body. A thick texture. The Finish is smooth and perfect. This truely is an awesome beer. The balance is perfect. I can't think of any bad part of this
04-19-2009 23:26:06 | More by Birdiebeagle
5/5 rDev +8.5%
This was certainly a special tasting for my developing palate. I want to deeply thank my friend Tyler for blessing me with this pinnacle of beer as a 26th birthday present. This superior belgian ale poured an opaque, cloudy dark amber hue from the bottle. The perfection in this brew lies in both the flavor and the balance. The flavor is complex, yet sweet on the tongue at first with hints of banana, raisins, plums, strawberries, and dates. The finish is of smokey dark fruit with a pleasant warmth of alcohol down the throat. This ale truly has every important aspect you could hope for in a beer. The flavors work in perfect harmony together, with neither over powering one another. The carbonation is subdued, yet present enough to remind you that this is a truly special belgian ale. I am truly amazed at the subtle, yet complex collection of flavors present in this ale. For those that are considering trying this ale for the first time, please take my advice and enjoy all of the wonderful flavors at room temperature. This brew achieves true perfection, and I am honored to have experienced the world's greatest ale on my birthday. Thank you Tyler.
04-18-2009 03:48:14 | More by Dopplebock
District of Columbia
4.65/5 rDev +0.9%
(From notes - can't resist reviewing even though my input is negligible with so many reviews already)
A - Dark, deep coppery brown color and poured with a long-staying slightly tan head. Noticeable sediment toward the bottom of the glass, and some lacing through the sample.
S - Sweet passion fruits, dark sweet maltiness, candied aromas. (I'm really afraid I'm not qualified to review this brew)
T - Toffee; flavor that reminds me of a melted/reduced cane sugar; pruney and raisiny and deeply maltly.
M - Medium MF, with a nice bubbly carbonation presence. Really coats the entirity of the mouth.
D - Pretty insane drinkability for a quad, though it is definitely a sipper. The intriquing flavors and sweetness definitely piqued my interest and was curious to see how the brew changed as it warmed.
Overall, again very glad to have tried this brew and it is indeed wonderful stuff. The flavors and warming touch of booze really provided a pleasant experience. Against the style, it might just be the best I've had. As to whether it's the best brew in the world, I'm not quite sure. Definitely try it if you have the chance.
04-15-2009 15:12:16 | More by Nickls
4.33/5 rDev -6.1%
A - Pours dark brown, a small amount of light peers through my Dogfish Head snifter. Small amount of off-white head that quickly disappears leaving a small amount of bubbles and a some around the glass.
S - Smell is amazing...sweet candy, cherries, apples, plums, malt, burnt sugars.
T - This beer is sweet, but not overly so. Lots of fruits, sugars, candy, all very balanced...for the taste, perfectly balanced and not overdone with a clean finish.
M - Light (leaning towards medium) bodied, perfectly carbonated, and smooth.
D- I am going to revisit this one as much as possible, but this beer is not something I'd consider going to a bunch. Every now and then will keep this one special.
04-14-2009 04:11:13 | More by Sean9689
4.97/5 rDev +7.8%
I never thought I was going to be able to drink this beer, and then I don't really enjoy Quads all that much, so I was stoked to hear I was going to have it, but fearful I wouldn't like it.
You have to be brain dead to not like this beer. It was a religious experience, it smelled like a church, tasted like heaven and had the body of the Holy Trinity. But if you're reviewing this beer i'm not telling you anything you don't know. Not sure how you get much better than this...
04-12-2009 02:49:17 | More by Murchmac
4.28/5 rDev -7.2%
Hey it's 5:00 on a Saturday. Why don't we review the highest rated beer in the world.
Pours slightly fogged brown. Nose is malty. Darker sugars. Flavor is bringing much of the same. I want to say it is kind of boozy as well. Not sure if some age would mellow that out. Malty plums start to appear as it warms. Rich, yes. Smooth, yes. Feel is quite smooth on liquid. Carbonation is middle of the road. I like this, yes. It's good. But I feel like this is a bit tight and might need more age to develop more noticeable complexities. And it's certainly not my favorite beer ever.
04-11-2009 21:31:06 | More by RblWthACoz
4.75/5 rDev +3%
I bought a bottle of this almost two years ago, then gave another bottle to my brother as a gift, and tonight, on Good Friday 2009, we're drinking our bottles together. They are 11.2 oz bottles - mine has a date of 10.02.10. Unlabeled, with the yellow cap. 10.2% ABV. Decanted into chalices.
Appearance is darker than I expected. Almost like a cola. Nice frothy, off-white head. Caramel color, with reddish edges. Mostly opaque. Great head retention - it lasted the whole time I drank it. You can see multiple columns of carbonation. (Side note: we poured off most of the beer, but not all of it; there's just under an inch of yeasty sludge at the bottom.
Aromas are great, and they only got better as the beer warmed up. The chalice really helped to open things up. Definite yeast aromas, some hints of cola. More smells of dark fruit: cherry, plum. Apples - especially apple skins. As it warms, there's more brown sugar and maple syrup. I really loved sticking my nose in this. There were so many other spices I just couldn't identify.
Tastes were very good, too. Definitely sweet, but not overly sweet. It's balanced, but there's no real bitterness to it - as in, no hint of any hops. Aromas of yeast, apples, apple cider, with a strong bready center. As it warmed, there it grew more tart, like granny smith apples. Tastes of apple skins at the back of the throat. It definitely hides the alcohol, although I can feel it.
Mouthfeel is awesome. It's so wonderfully smooth. Great carbonation, but it doesn't bite the tongue. Very consistent.
This is a very drinkable beer. You need to sip it because of the higher alcohol, but it's really fun to drink. Very dynamic - most definitely worth trying. If you can get ahold of a bottle - do it! This would go really well with a good meal. My wife said this beer was "savory and sweet, like a good roast." I could see this going well with a big platter of fruit, crusty bread, and cheese.
04-11-2009 03:11:40 | More by ndekke39
4.65/5 rDev +0.9%
Here it goes! Thanks to my brother for obtaining a bottle for me (BEFORE the article in the BA magazine scolding us in the US for buying them).
A: Poured into a round goblet, I let some sediment get in there, so there are some floaties goin' around. The color is a deep mahogany with some caramel colored hues as well. The head isn't what I wanted it to be, although I didn't pour it too hard. No lacing for me, really.
S: Lots of dark, ripened fruity aromas: raisins, cherries, and plums. A little licorice, and some yeasty notes too.
T: Some similarities, but others too: again, the dark fruity flavors, but then more sweetness and tartness (apple-like), some bready elements, and a bittersweet aftertaste - not much hoppiness to note, but it is very well balanced. The alcohol was hardly detectable despite the high content, but eventually it sets in.
M: Very, very smooth, despite the fact that it's well-carbonated. Not sticky, but a little chewy. Near perfect.
D: The high alcohol content would prevent a huge consumption of it, but as it's not noticeable, so it doesn't prevent me from wanting more. It actually went down really easily, and overall it was a really enjoyable brew. I'd gladly buy more if I could find it and it wasn't so expensive.
04-11-2009 02:51:50 | More by MDekker
4.43/5 rDev -3.9%
Drank this one the other day with the wife celebrating our 3rd anniversary.
A- Pours a brown color with a moderately sized head. Lacing is really tight to the brew as the head falls, but it doesn't last terribly long. Looks very good and had a few floaters in there as well.
S- Smells of caramel, raisin, dark chocolate, plum, grape, toffee, roasted nuts, and bready. Every whiff I think I noticed something different a lot going on here.
T- A lot more sweet than I thought. The flavours exploded more when I let this one warm up. Tons of sweetness up front with hints of dark fruit, raisins, and banana with caramel and candy. The spice flavour of clove comes in towards the back end with the lingering fruity sweetness coming back in. Nice long aftertaste. Let this beer warm up and all the flavors get more pronounced. Seemed like a ton of brown sugar here as well.
M- Medium in body and carbonation was just about perfect.
D- It was easy to drink and fun for sure. Nothing that I could drink all day or on a regular basis but was damn easy to drink.
04-10-2009 10:38:24 | More by nrbw23
4.7/5 rDev +2%
A nice beer with a unique blend of cherries and brown nut malt caramel malts tones. At first I was "best beer in the world?" but it started to grow on me with each sip. I kept it on my tongue and rolled it around. The mouthfeel is luscious with a perfect balance of carbonation and dryness. I haven't felt that since say St Benardus 12. But St. Benardus isn't a substitute for the fruitiness that this beer imparts. I expected more in the aroma department but the flavor more than makes up for it.
04-06-2009 23:32:01 | More by PAYankeeFan
4.78/5 rDev +3.7%
Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for the bottle in a LIF. Poured into a St Bernardus wide mouth glass. Review #200.
A- Westy is a dark muddled brown with some light seen coming through the top looking beneath the glass. A bunch of tiny balls of debris came from a careful pour but oh well. A creamy dark tan sheet of semi dense foam was good looking. Spider web lacing.
S- A candi sweetness with burnt (turbinado) sugar and a nice malt build. On top of that raisins are up front with some more sweet toffee/caramel. Figs plus some ripe apples and plums. Bubblegum and a hint of heat from the Alcohol.
T- Yes, Yes, Yes. Twelve has a nice sweetness with a bunch of raisins intermingled with some prune and other dark fruits. The sweet consists of Dates and some burnt sugars and some bubblegum. Toasted malt as well. In the middle a well warm leather comes forth. When warm the belgian yeast comes forth giving off a slighty sour vibe. The sediment really gives this another character all together plus a nice spicy finish.
M- Very sweet and medium bodied. The flavors just keep coming ounce after ounce leaving the mouth wanting more. Perhaps the best mouthfeel I have ever had within this style, it just goes glides down without question. Smooth textured and a breeze to drink. A bit of a hot patch felt in the back of the throat but im thinking it's from some of the spices, in other words not a problem.
D- Not sessionable but the 10 plus percent is hardly evident in the taste or feel and this is a wonderful quad. What else can I say. Well one thing is each sip is better than the last sip I took. westy 12 is a creamy sweet ride with a body of epic proportions. Cant wait till I try it again
04-05-2009 06:03:33 | More by BARFLYB
4.93/5 rDev +6.9%
Many many thanks to jojox for this in a recent trade. I am sooo excited to finally try this masterpiece of a brew. When opened it did spew a little like many belgians but not too much of the precious brew was wasted.
Pours an amber brown with a small head that quiclkly fades away. The nose on this baby is amazing. Lots of sweet malts, dark fruits, plums, figs, raisins and candi sugar. There is soo much complexity. some alcohol in there as well. Taste is similar to smell. Very complex, dark fruits, candi sugar not as much alcohol as the smell would indicate. Feels nice in your mouth good carbonation and kind of creamy when swallowed. This was an amazing beer what else can I say. I mean its Westvleteren 12.
04-04-2009 02:41:14 | More by scifan
4.72/5 rDev +2.4%
Review #1. Poured into a Dogfish head glass. All I have right now.
A - Pours a brownish, slightly red with little khaki head, and slight amount of lace.
S - Just as advertised, smells like so many dried fruits. Hint of alcohol, which is amazing seeing its 10.2% ABV.
T - Incredible taste of raisins, not the black ones, more like the golden ones. Reminds me of alittle bit of lemon and orange rind. Great spice and minimal alcohol, which again amazes me. Webster should change complex to Westvleteren 12.
M - This is the best part. I really don't want to swallow it. If this beer was served worldwide we would have world peace. A nice slight burn from the alcohol is just what I wanted. Good amount of carbonation but not like a can of coke thank god. Really is balanced, these others have it right.
D - I have said it a few times but you really have no idea that this is a 10.20% ABV and that is evident by how easy this is to drink. I would say this may be the perfect comfort beer as it alters the doldrums.
What an experience. This is my first review on this site but by no means is this my first beer or review. At this rate I doubt I will find a better beer. If you can find it, try Belgian stores or trade here, pull the trigger on it and don't think twice.
04-03-2009 01:02:36 | More by chiguy2420
4.5/5 rDev -2.4%
Pours dark brown with tan head that slowly fades to a dense layer, downsliding lacing. There is quite significant yeast sediment accumulating at the bottom of the bottle. Aroma is sweet malt, light esters reminding of dark fruit, mostly plums, alcohol can be felt.
Taste is rich and complex sweet malt, lots of dark fruit, figs, dark plums with slowly drying and light sweet finish. There is also a presence of alcohol in the taste. Mouthfeel is smooth full, light carbonation with nice alcohol warming sensation.
03-31-2009 11:37:23 | More by atis
4.83/5 rDev +4.8%
A - Pours a ruddy brown with a minimal head. Lacing is light at best. Ruby highlights when held to a light source. not exactly a pretty beer.
S - Yeah, boy! Everything you want a quad to be. Huge plum, fig, raisin, and other dark fruit aromas coupled with some leathery earth and spicy alcohol.
T - Equally joyous. Lands right between Rochefort 10, St Bernardus ABT 12, and Chimay blue. not too thick, not too hot, and complex as you can get. Beauty.
M - Again, right in the middle. perfect balance.
D - Leaves me aching for more. I envy the Belgians that much more now.
Not the best beer in the world, or the best beer I've evr had, but goddamn does it rank up there.
03-31-2009 03:38:01 | More by 0110x011
4.03/5 rDev -12.6%
Thanks to brianj555 for this one, aged a year or so...
Served in my Allagash chalice.
A. dark chestnut brown w/ruby highlights, thin head, nice lacing.
S. the first thing I thought of was fruit Kool-Aid... raisins, candy sugar
T. very complex... dark fruits, caramel malt, spicy finsh
M. carbonation is well balanced, body is almost perfect.
D. this is well balanced and very enjoyable.
I was'nt expecting perfection but I was hoping for more... very good. If I get another bottle I'll take more notes and compare the results.
03-28-2009 02:36:17 | More by mikeale
5/5 rDev +8.5%
It's finally time to review this beer. I'll be updating and changing as time goes on I think. I used to live in Paris and went to the Abbey 3 times with reservations, to buy cases. I had so much Westvleteren 12 at one point that I used a bottle to make a roast. Those were the days!
Bottle from batch February 12, 2008. Tasted March 25, 2009.
a - Dark brown. Not crystal clear. Thin, pale head. Fading but steady, islands of creamy bubbles sail down the whole way to the bottom of the glass when it's finally empty.
s - Malt. Caramel, alcohol, prunes, raisins. Strong smells. Complex sweetness-smells.
t - Wow. Dried fruits. Well carbonated. Alcohol/port bite is slight. It's not.. sweet, but malty, and yeah.. a little sweet. Deliciously sweet. This is awesome. This is the best malt profile ever. Belgain yeast creates a smooth, slightly estery aspect that perfectly marries the malt sweetness. It's difficult to say it's sweet because it's not cloying, at all. There is no hop character in the flavor, but clearly enough bittering to balance the rediculous malt profile.
m - creamy, well integrated CO2. Activity happening in the mouth but it's.. balanced.
d - In for a couple, but it's not a session beer due to the strength. But I could drink it 'till I passed out. Very Sad that it's over.
Note - Take a long time to drink this. Start it cold, and drink it slow enough that it's room temperature when it's done. That way you can experience all of the nuances.
My only perfect beer. There can be only one.
03-26-2009 13:53:39 | More by jojox
4.7/5 rDev +2%
Poured into Tulip
A- Poured lighter out of the bottle than in the glass. Good dense cloudy reddish brown nice frothy head
S- Raisin, apple, yeast, it's sweet & spicy
T- Beautiful, caramel, yeast, some hops, Biscuit
M- At first high and spicy carbonation, poured too cold. Then as it warms, nice & smooth with slight bitterness on the tongue
D- Really drinkable, not easy to get but nice balances of flavor and alcohol.
Overall: Must go to Belgium
03-26-2009 01:56:04 | More by brokenleadedcask
4.5/5 rDev -2.4%
Thanks to redtailjet for trading me this.
Best before date 29.10.11, so I guess this was bottled 5 months ago. Poured in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.
Opaque clowdy brown color. Small dense head. Terrific sprawling patterns of sticky lace.
Nice complex malty fruity aroma, like crusty brown bread, grapes, apples, plums, nuts, spices, and mild bubblegum. Deep, cohesive, quite alluring.
Complex fruity malty spicy flavor, with a bit of warming alcohol and solvent. A bit like Christmas pudding, sweet, dark and mysterious, with apple, and dark fruit like prune and mission fig, laced with warm spices and a moderate splash of brandy. Complex and very tasty. A bit of astringent sharpness like plum skin contributes to good balance. Long warm finish.
Rich smooth texture. A pleasure to drink.
Great beer (not that it needs my endorsement); I look forward to trying this with some age on it.
03-24-2009 07:14:44 | More by Beerzebub
4.25/5 rDev -7.8%
2005 vintage. Blind tasting next to 2007 Rochefort 10.
Pours a deep amber brown with a large tan head. Loads of lacing.
Aroma is of sweet caramely malts and plums, figs, and spice.
Flavor is of rich and complex malts. Tons of dark stone fruits. Pie cherry. Alcohol.
Medium in body with moderate carbonation and alcohol warmth.
A very good beer. Made the Rocherfort 10 seem rather boring.
03-21-2009 16:15:19 | More by iasanlee
4.55/5 rDev -1.3%
Had a tasting at my house this past weekend and the first beer up was the Westy 12! Appearance was good not allot of head out of every bottle but a good amount. Color was a nice cloudy dark brown and looked very yummy. Smell was not overwhelmingly intense but was there and was a big hint to the complex taste that was about to happen. Sweet malts was a dominate taste with very next up dark fruits like raisins and figs etc. The taste it's self had everyone take a step back and honestly look at each others expressions. Dark fruits raisins and figs powered threw with sweet malts. More flavors were present but could not pick each one out as the beer was so complex. A bite of Alcohol was present and was a pleasant addition. The bit of Alcohol would probably hamper the continuous bottle after another bottle. I feel for me at least this beer was meant to be a one to two bottle a session beer.
03-15-2009 18:02:14 | More by BZero007
4.65/5 rDev +0.9%
HUGE thanks to yesac for sending me this without setting up a trade, or wanting anything in return. youll get yours buddy, dont worry. 11.2oz bottle with no label and the famous yellow cap with 19/11/11 on it.
A- this pours a murky dark brown with a finger of thick looking cream colored head that lasts a while and leaves a solid ring on the sides of my glass. cant ask for anything more.
S- sweet malts first and foremost. lots of fruits. raisins/tobacco, figs, plums, grapes, and maybe a bit of apple. some alcohol odor comes through.
T- sweet caramel and toffee malts. lots of ripe dark fruit. cherries, raisins/tobacco, plums, figs and grapes. a hint of alcohol, that adds to the experience. extremely complex and leaves me wanting another sip immediately after i finish one.
M- light, fluffy, and highly carbonated which i was expecting for the style. what i wasnt expecting was how smooth this one was going to be.
03-15-2009 03:23:14 | More by jwinship83
4.28/5 rDev -7.2%
Poured into a snifter. Murky amber-brown that lightens to a hazy gold near the top. A thin, cream colored head that remains. Leaves thick lacing around the glass above.
Smell is not intense. Raisins, plums, hint of banana. Slight floral aroma.
Very complex taste. Perhaps too much for my relatively uncultivated palate. I am probably not truly worthy of this beer. I am, however, appropriately humbled. I do know it's delicious. Raisins, bananas, little bit of booze. Nice, soft, leathery tone on the exhale.
Mouthfeel is crisp and slick with a very slight alcohol warming.
Alcohol presence is well-concealed. I have a few more bottles and would love another, but I must resist. If this wasn't as hard to come by as it is, I would have two more and call it a wonderful night.
Have a few more bottles and am looking forward to how this one tastes with age.
03-15-2009 02:02:38 | More by WilliamD
4.83/5 rDev +4.8%
Got this from a trade with ralflord, thanks to him for that.
A - Poured from a little brown bottle into a goblet. Pours a nice, raisiny shade of garnet/brown, brown sugar colored highlights around the edges of the glass, with a thin brown head.
S - Raisiny, plump ripe dark fruits, warm alcohol, cocoa, licorice
T - Earthy dark fruits, plums and raisins, berries, other assorted goodness. Ends with a sweet finish that is not as strong as the ABV would lead one to expect.
M - Velvety, decent carbonation.
Notes - The best of its style, easily. I see why it is held in as high regard as it is. Exceedingly drinkable despite the high ABV percentage.
03-15-2009 00:30:41 | More by HeyItsChili
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,613 ratings.