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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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5,023 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,023
Reviews: 1,634
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,025
Gots: 1,484 | FT: 107
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)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,023 | Reviews: 1,634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Kasteel goblet. Thanks to onedropsoup for this. I think this might be from 2009 due to the dateless cap.

The first (and only other) time I tried this beer I was at a tasting and had several brews before getting to this one. Boy was that a mistake. I couldn't smell or taste much of anything. Anyway, this time I get to fully enjoy it.

4.0 A: Pours a ruddy dark brown color. Initially, it poured fairly clear, but toward the end of the bottle, clumpy sediment started accompanying the liquid. Two fingers of mainly frothy beige head with slightly better than average retention and a formitable ring of lacing.

4.5 S: This is quite a complex brew! Surprisingly nutty, this is by far the nuttiest quad I've ever stumbled upon. Dry as well (I suppose that's expected from the candi sugar). Earthy and musty, and toasty like there is lots of brown malt. Only moderately spicy and nothing really stands out in this regard (maybe white pepper). Fig, tobacco, and pear brandy fruitiness. Ovaltine-like chocolate and just a touch of booze. This is very nice, but I'd prefer if it had some more power.

4.5 T: Not as complex as the nose, but much stronger flavors. Foremost there is brown sugar, caramel, tobacco, and molasses. Booze soaked figs, raisins, and prunes. Raw cacoa powder, nutty, and toasty. Peppery and to a lesser extent, clove, spiciness. Again, earthy and musty. Pretty damn good here too.

4.5 M: Light to lighter medium body. Carbonation is in perfect amounts with a good spritzy quality to it. Good amount of creaminess and super smooth with a touch of warmth on the finish.

4.5 D: I suppose this does live up to the hype. It's an excellent brew, but I'm not so sure that it's that much better that easier to get examples. Still, quite a brew!

Photo of jbbjr0387
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to davolebomb for this one. Been waiting for this one for a long time like everyone else. Drinkin it with him right now. Poured a cola/chestnut like apperance with moderate head. Very nice amount of carbonation that gave a very satisfying tang to it. Very delicious beer, prob not number 1 though thats what its title proclaims. Very nice spicy fruity taste that complements the smooth creamy maltiness of it. A very rich package all together. I wouldn't prob pay this much again for the beer, but I am certainly happy I was able to have it finally.

Photo of joshstevens87
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours a chestnut red/brown with a light tan head
S-dar fruit and raisins up front with a bit of dryness and spicyness very complex
T-tons of fruity malt with a perfect blend of dark fruits raisin figs with the perfect amoubnt of spicyness to balance it out
M-unbelievably smooth, absolutely stunning
D-without a doubt this beer in a class of its own i only wish id could be able to drink this all night long

Photo of nbree00
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you, billinlafayette, for sharing this in a trade. Cheers buddy

A: Slightly lighter in color than I imagined for a quad, almost caramel to brown, with a sort of milky quality from the sediment.

S: Aromas are simply amazing with notes of dates, raisins, licorice, baking spices, dark fruits and fennel.

T: On the palate the flavors were a lot creamier than I expected, almost reminiscent of a barleywine. Notes of caramel, milk chocolate, licorice, cloves, fresh baked wheat bread and rich cinnamon-raisin bread pudding

M: Feel is soft and silky, about as elegant a mouthfeel as I can remember.

D: Drinkability was first class, perfectly balanced, which doesn't strike me as earth shattering, cause lets face it if your 10% ABV quad is overly boozy your probably doing it wrong.

Over all an incredible beer that I was glad to finally try. Can't say I'd climb any mountains to get this again, but I certainly wouldn't say no if one happened to fall in my lap again.

Photo of liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as part of Westy Wednesday at Volo, served in a flute. Anticipation is huge with this one, peensteen and I were drooling waiting to sample this one. Been waiting to get my lips on this one for a while.

Poured a deep dark maroon, with some burgundy and deep blood red highlights at times. Great lace and creamy, dense head. Nose is of rich dark fruits, figs, rich plums, brown sugar and a vanilla. A sense of some subdued alcohol notes, rich and very pleasant overall. Taste is a cascade of raisin, plum and figs on the tongue, less brown sugar than the nose, some vanilla, light spicing. Long dry finish, and fairly dry throughout. Lingering mouthfeel with some warming alcohol. Begs for sip after sip, this was just fantastic. Best quad I've come across thusfar, absolutely delicious and worth every bit of hype. 5/45/5/5/45

Re-reviewed as this was shared among a variety of other quads as part of the QuadShowdown - amazingly, out of 13 quads, we ranked this the absolute lowest. 2010 vintage. Poured a dark brown, with a dark cream coloured head. Great retention and a bit of lace. Nose is really grape-y, sweet with a lot of Welch's grape juiciness. Some sugary notes and a bit of vanilla. Taste reflects the nose, more grape and Welch's, some balance but there's just a great amount of grape juice here. Some caramel, darker fruits and sugar, but not alot of complexity. Medium-medium heavy mouthfeel with a bit of creaminess, with some lingering saccharine and grape notes. Modest, but feels too young. 4/4/35/4/35

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

3 year old bottle.

A-Hazy deep brown with little particles of yeast and a head that leaves beautiful rings of lacing as it dissipates.

S-Fig jam, bread pudding, fruit cake, cinnamon, earthy sweetness.

T/M-Very lush mouthfeel. Palate is coated with mature fruit flavors, almost reminiscent of a vintage barleywine. The finish is defined by a delicate hoppiness that keeps this from getting too sweet.

D-Is it better than the Rochefort 10? I don't think so. Still, this is fantastic stuff, perfect for a special occasion.

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

What is there still to say about this beer that was not said before. Maybe that fresh, this beer is not supposed to be #1 in the world (rochefort 10 and sint bernardus abt are superior fresh), at least to my opinion. With a little bit of age however, this beer becomes by far the best quad in the world! So, if you get your hands on a bottle, be patient and store it for at least one year. Cheers

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

Backstory: Purchased Sept. '10 consumed Feb. '11 in a Westmalle chalice at about 20 degrees Celcius.

A - thick thick beige head looks memory space foam. So thick it looks like it has resistance. Surface tension high. First beer I've had where the lacing went up the glass not down. Color is cherry mahogany. Slight carbonation on sides. Cloudy about like melted butter.

S - stone fruit figs dates. Blackberries. Rasberry. Cranberry. Cotton candy. It changes then changes again.

T - each sip has a slightly different taste. It changes fast. Strayberry. Citrus. Red wine. Rye bread. Sourdough. Peaches. Aftertaste is slightly fusil burn alcohol and sour wine yeast. Very fruity not light sweet corn sugar but deep and concentrated like grape peels.

M - slightly drying but smooth silky and velvet like rubbing the inside of my mouth with rabbit fur.

D - this is beer you drink with your eyes closed. You want to experience it slowly and methodically.

Photo of corby112
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

24.09.11 stamped on the cap. I think that means bottled in 08 but I'm not sure.

Pours a very dark chestnut brown/plum color with slight murky cooper brown edges and a one finger frothy beige head that slowly fades into a thin lasting cap. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Spicy, estery aroma with lots of vinous dark fruit, zesty pepper and earthy hops. Very complex nose with lots of plum, grape, raisin, fig, date and dark cherry. This is complimented by a nice roasted malt presence with hints of chocolate and caramel and subtle earthy pine. Peppery with coriander and cardamom as well as hints of yeast/bread, phenol and licorice. This beer smells exceptional.

Medium bodied with a perfect balance of sweet, vinous dark fruit, eatery yeast, zesty spice, earthy hops, roasted malt and sweet alcohol. Soft carbonation up front with a heavy spice profile. Lots of zesty pepper and coriander that lingers throughout over the complex body into a sweet yet dry finish. This is quickly countered by a delicious dark fruit presence with hints of plum, grape, dark cherry, fig and raisin. The sweetness from the yeast is complimented perfectly by a prominent malt character. Fuller bodied than other beers in the style with a slightly roasted character giving off hints of chocolate, toffee and caramel. In addition to all of these flavors, there is a subtle earthy hop presence that adds more depth, balance and complexity. It's not overpowering, providing just enough bitterness to balance things out a bit. Toward the end of the swallow there is some sweet alcohol phenols and subtle heat but the ABV is excellently masked with little to no warmth in the finish. This beer is dangerously drinkable at 10.2%.

Overall, this beer incredibly complex, delicious and extremely quaffable. The best example of the style that I've tried and one of the best beers I've ever drank.

Photo of BS68280
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hayesez for this one. I've been holding onto this one for over a year now and finally found a reason to open it... Celebrating a wonderful weekend with my new beautiful fiance.

Poured from a bottle which I have no idea how to tell the date on, into a chalice.

A: A deep mohagony with about a half inch of a foamy light brownish head.

S: Lots of dark fruits. Raisons, prunes, figs, maybe a touch of brown sugar and a hint of caramel. Wonderful especially from a style that isn't my favorite.

T: Sweat dark fruits show up once again, this one goes right along with the smell which is nice. There is only the slightest trace of the 10% abv. Very complex and by far the best belgian I have ever had.

M: Full bodied and creamy.

D: I could drink many more of these... well maybe if i lived there.

Not my favorite style, and definately not my favorite beer, but this is by far my favorite beer of this style.

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


Poured into a Westvleteren chalice. 21.05.11 stamped on the cap.

A: A deep red mohogany colour. A very tan head with tight bubbles. A lot of sediment in this particular bottle.

S: Raisins, dates, dark cherries, honey, malty goodness accented with vanilla. I cannot stop sticking my nose in the glass.

T: The dark fruits, sweetness of the malts and a fantastic spice. Caramel, caramelized brown sugar and a hint of vanilla are next followed by the alcohol in a very subtle way. So complex and delicious.

M: Very smooth and creamy. The warming sensation from the alcohol is amazing.

D: I wish I had another... and another. I wish I could do this experience justice, I almost didn't write a review.

Photo of stewart124
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you to Tyler for bringing a 6-pack back from brewery and sharing this with me.

27.05.10 is stamped on the bottle cap.

Deep red almost purple in color. Lovely foam retention. At least an inch of tan head. Beautiful lacing along the chalice.

Plenty of spice, figs, prunes, raisins, some herbal tea notes and mild bready notes.

Whoa! This is so smooth up front with a ton of carbonation. Huge amounts of prune and fig with a nice earthy yet spicy bite of hops. Toffee and honey come through with the sweetness of dark belgian candied sugars. Some currants and raisins litter the palate. The depth of esters and malt characters is unparelleled. Superb.

There is a general warming overall but the alcohol is so well hidden it really is a work of art. Little to no phenolic aftertastes. Just a great amount of balance in the beer. Wonderful!

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

11.2 oz poured into an Orval chalice.

A- Creamy, abundant, lacey head that has a hint of a brownish hue to it. Dark as night and can see some carbonation at the bottom if seen with light shone through it. This thing laces a glass like a 2 coat paint job.

S- Malty bread aromas mixed with a spicy hint aside yeasty estery aromas, dark fruits, and caramel.

T- Malty, with biting spiciness that opens into a complex array of caramel, white raisin, anise, clove and hints of brandy, listed in no particular order or relation. Very phenolic, but well masked, albeit hot. Has an herbal quality in the aftertaste accompanied by a lemon like bitterness that lingers in the mouth. The yeast dances around is present no matter what you focus in on, sweetly punctuating every sip.

M- Full, creamy but carbonated in a way that it breaks on your tongue like a way and dissolve into it. It leaves the mouth watering for more.

D- Wonderfully drinkable, but a serious brew. Very strong and dominating.

O- Second time I've had this, first time I had a whole bottle to myself. Hype has been lived up to and exceeded two times now. This is the real deal. Do what you can to get this.

Photo of Jpwv
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap date is 15.12.12 (about 1 year 2 months).

A: Dark cloudy amber with a tight bubbly thick tan head that quickly subsides to a minimal head. Some sediment floating about.

S: Candi sugar, dates, brown sugar...as it warms slight cherry and alcohol appear.

T: Starts creamy caramelized brown sugar covered dates, transitions to a slight alcohol astringency, slight yeast and a hint of chocolate. A candi sugar/brown sugar sweet taste lingers. Very complex to the point where I don't do it justice in my description.

M: Creamy, perfectly carbonated. First Westy 12 so Im not sure what the year has done to the carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden but enough is there to remind you that you are drinking an alcoholic beverage.

I have read many times that Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus Abt 12 are good substitutions for Westy 12. I have had both on multiple occasions and could not disagree more. There is no substitute for this beer! May have found a new favorite beer.

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

Bottle dated "16.06.13". 2010 vintage, I believe.

A: Pours chestnut, a large khaki head quickly develops.

S: The aroma good yet not incredibly complex. Hearty bread, and a ton of "dark fruit". Im going to call it raisin bread....Also getting hints of candi sugar, yeasty under tones, and a touch of alcohol. Dark, yet sweet.

T: Dark fruit is the biggest player here by far. Dark cherry, figs, raisin are all well pronounced. Candi sugar and spice really shows in the finish, pleasantly sweet. Tons of flavor here, yet somehow so delicate. Theres lots to discover as the glass warms.

M: Bubbly, medium all around. Expressive, silky smooth.

D: Alcohol heat is barely discernible except in some pleasant warming. This is something to savor yet nothing about this beer would stop me from sucking it down if I wanted to. All things considered, drinkability is great.

Masterfully crafted, oh and uh...better than Rochefort 10!

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

Pours dark mahogany with vibrant ruby red tones showing in the light, tight sticky white head and nice lace showing along the glass. Smells of subtle alcohol, fig, brown sugar, yeast, plum, raisin, cherry, faint leathery notes, dark fruit. Nose is stunning on this one. Tastes of yeast, dark fruit, alcohol, toffee, vanilla, fig, plum, raisin, dark sugar and something almost oak like that are behind the vanilla notes. Every sip of this opens up something new or complimentary. Medium to full mouthfeel that is smooth as silk with a delicate, light carbonation. Dangerously drinkable, ABV is hidden well and its so very tasty and flavorful. Does it live up to it's hype? it certainly comes close. Maybe the best I've ever had and absolutely in my top 3. Thanks to Volo for doing a side by side of all three Westy's that was an amazing idea!

Photo of cavedave
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Exiled for this beautiful treat! Shared with Paul, my hb partner, and John, my man from HT.

It pours a cloudy brown, with a huge, thick, dark beige head.

What a nose! Crazy complexity, figs, dates, estery yeast hinting every stone fruit, some light spice, myriad underflavors beyond me to describe, but with their presence a superb perfume is created.

Perfectly blended flavor, superior to any quad I've tried. Think of all the best flavors of Rochefort 10 and ST. B's ABT 12, soften them a bit, add the most delicious yeast in the world, and you have this. Stupidly delicious and complex I won't even try to dissect. The finest tasting beer ever.

Mouthfeel, judging as the ability of a beer's feel to highlight it's taste, is perfect.

Drinkability is beyond mere numerical representation. Had I enough, I unstoppably would drink this until algae evolved to be the most intelligent living things on the planet.

Impression: The finest beer I've tasted. Hope to taste a better. Doubt I will. Doubt there is one.

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

Okay, the hype makes more sense now. I had the 8, I rated it highly, but it wasn't mindblowing. This beer is an entirely different animal. Quite simply, this are masters brewing a recipe that has been passed down from masters. Fantastic, so deep and broad, yet because it is surprisingly light, extremely drinkable. Find it if you can, it will be worth the hassle.

Photo of cbutova
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very unexpected surprise shared by Chico1985 a few days ago. 11.17.13 (2010, super fresh)

A- Murky dark brown with a nice creamy off-white head that looks silky and has pretty nice retention. Certainly some nice spots of lace and a bubbly cloud atop the ale.

S- Lots of bread, very nice and freshly baked bread. A good amount of dark fruit, general spice feel, raisin and some darker brown sugar toast malt, nutty hints.

T- Dark fruit, raisin and fresh bread come off as the biggest thing to me. Underlying notes of nutty malt, brown sugar, citrus zest?, toasty brown malt, slight roast, vanilla and even oak add complexity. The dark fruit is less medicinal than some other strong Belgian ales.

MF- Quad body, lighter overall feel but a strong beer nonetheless. Very little warmth, impressive for 10%. Somewhat creamy with carbonation at a level that suits the flavors.

DB- The fresh bread and yeast profile here surely make this one a treat. At 10%, the ABV is a ghost and this one drinks dangerously smoothly. I could easily throwback a few bottles of this a week if it were available to me. Complex but balanced.

Photo of Chico1985
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, here it is, Westvleteren 12. The big #1! Super thanks to Douglasjamjak for my first 2 bottles of this epic beer! Bottle date is 11/17/10, so this is relatively fresh for a quad.

Pours dark brown with red highlights, off-white head turns to film and thick ring which retains perfectly. Some lacing left. Sediment settled at the bottom.

Pretty awesome scent. Super fresh baked bread, raisins, caramel, cherries.

Follows the nose pretty closely...warm dark bread I think being the stand out, brown sugar, figs, cherry pie, nutty malts. Explodes with flavor, yet remains subtle...

Mouthfeel and drinkability to me are the true highlights of this beer. 10.2%, uh whaaa? Not even really a hint of that present. Light, extremely smooth and a bit too drinkable. Even as it warmed to about room temperature, this only improved.

Photo of psiweaver
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this today at Westvleteren's Cafe served in their glassware thanks to Yapi who took me out to see the abbey.

Pours a brilliant rich brown with some reddish tinge to it with a soft 1" off white light brown head.

smell of honey and candi sugar and some dark fruits with some alchoholic burn in there. nice yeasty smell as well.

taste has a good amount of candi sugar with some nice rich fruits a bit of bread and some burn to it. There is a bit of vanilla in here as well. This would really improve with some aging and I can clearly see the potential.

great mouthfeel very smooth and viscous

easy to drink, much to easy to drink.

Photo of SmilinMofo
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a December 2008 bottle. Into the Westi tulip glasses Thanks Grant.

Appearance: Looks great in their own glasses

Smells: like the old country. Rich and earthy with some floral scents as you sip.

Taste: This one is a little tricky. It has a lot going on and it is the most complete brew I have ever tasted. Banana and malts spice and sweet. Overall Delicious

Mouth Feel: In the glass it looked a little thin. Nice feel once I began to consume.

Drinkability: This might be sacrilegious but, I feel I money were no object that this would be my session beer. A few of these would be great after mowing the grass.

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

Super Bowl victory celebration beer #1.

Thanks to Sweemzander for this treat.

A- Pours a chocolate brown with a huge head, three fingers and some sticking out of the top of the tulip. The head takes forever to die down and leaves great lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Some nice notes of milk chocolate, and dark fruits such as dates and fig. There is also just a hint of sweetness and no alcohol whatsoever.

T- This beer does not disappoint. Some nice chocolate notes to go along with some malt and some dates and currants. There is a creaminess that adds to the flavor.

M- Full bodied that coats the mouth. For as big as the head is, the carbonation isn't very apparent. Just a little heat on the back of the throat from the alcohol.

D- I could sip on this beer all night long. Great flavors and great mouthfeel make this a winner. I will be seeking this out for future Green Bay Packer Super Bowl celebrations.

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

Huge thanks to Urbancaver for splitting this bottle with StayWhatYouAre2, w113raf, and me. After a great weekend at Jackie O's, this was an amazing way to kick off our tasting.

A: Pours a dark brown with amber hues, especially when held to light. Small tan head that dissipates slowly, leaving decent lacing.

S: A plethora of dark fruit are dominate ... especially plum, fig and cherries. Yeasty with sweet carmel and syrup. No booze in the nose at all. Very, very nice.

T: Much like the aroma, the taste is dominated by dark fruit. Sweet, but not overly sweet. Toffee and maple syrup perfectly meld with the fruit and yeast to create something truly special. Just a bit of alcohol on the back end, but certainly not what you'd expect for a 10.20% quad.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation with fine bubbles, creating a smooth, silky presence on the palate. Warming alcohol and just a bit drying.

I really enjoyed this, and would highly recommend it. Thanks again to Urbancaver for his generosity.

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

Pours a darker brown. Almost like brown sugar with lots of frothy head. Very very pretty. Smells yeasty and flowery. Lots of light and dark fruity flavours. Tastes very smooth and clean. Amazing on the palette. Especially as it warms up. A slight sharpness and hint of the alcohol content but very drinkable

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,023 ratings.