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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,820 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,820
Reviews: 1,621
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,932
Gots: 1,391 | FT: 105
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:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,820 | Reviews: 1,621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beejay
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Medium to dark brown with a Ruby Hue - slightly cloudy with some floaties hanging around in the bottom of the glass. Beautiful thick head on top. Luscious and Full.

S: Very subdued at first but I picked up raisons and bread. Slightly tart and yeasty. The slightly sugary scent of dark berries, and a almost wine like smell. A slight hint of citrus in the finish.

T: Beautiful. Just a hint of dark berries up front, then that fades into a lovely syrup flavor and a malty kick with just a hint of roasty-ness. Big fruit and yeast come all the way through. There is a little bitter twinge right in the finish. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Medium thickness with amazing carbonation. Very fine bubbles, and a whole bunch of them. This finishes fairly dry. Perfect for the style. This thing is easy drinking, and delicious, very dangerous.

D: My 300th review on my Birthday, and the #1 rated beer in the world. Awesome. I would definitely love to get this baby again, but the cost is considerable. For what the 'real' price is (vs. what I actually paid for it) this beer is unbelievable. Rich, beautiful, and complex. I know why you are on the top.

Beejay, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of Damian
3.78/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 33 cl bottle
Date on cap read 17.01.10
Served in a chalice
Acquired in a trade with nathan15

Review #500

After a few years of cellaring this holy grail of the beer world, I finally decided to pop the cap for this landmark review.

The beer poured a cloudy, deep chestnut brown with a creamy, light tan, one-finger head that quickly dissipated to a thick, lasting mass of bubbly froth. Tiny streaks of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was somewhat restrained initially, yet pleasant. Sweet and plummy. Caramel malts were noticeable. Spicy and just a smidge boozy. As the beer warmed, the unique, floral, fruity boquet that is a signature of Westvleteren beers came alive.

The taste was semi-sweet and quite nutty. Fruity Belgian yeast notes came through up front. Raisins, plums and figs were noticeable. Caramelized candi sugar notes appeared as well. A slightly sour flavor was also detectible. The finish was pithy, dry, slightly bitter and a touch woody. It was also fairly hoppy for the style. Overall, the beer was very well balanced but it was not nearly as flavorful as I anticipated.

The mouthfeel was perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this beer. It was quite thin for the style with an extremely fine and mild carbonation. The liquid almost seemed flat.

Drinkability was quite impressive however. The flavor profile was rather well integrated and the 10.2% ABV was remarkably well masked. It drank like something half its strength.

I loved Westvleteren 8 but I was unimpressed with the 12. This beer had no real qualities that distinguished it from its counterparts. In fact, many of its characteristics seemed rather ordinary. I definitely planning on sampling another bottle in the near future to see if my opinion should change.

Damian, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of eternaljester81
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you so much to BA-er Brabander for sending me two bottles of this heavenly liquid. Westy 12 has been a "holy grail" beer for me since first getting into Belgian brews (as I'm sure it is for many), so this was quite the treat.

A - Pours a nearly opaque, dark brown, while what little light gets through shows some burgundy hints. A creamy, off-white head topped the pour, settling into a thick, sticky lace. Not necessarily outstanding, but spot-on for the style.

S - Oh wow! The scent of candied, fruits dominates (dark chocolate covered cherries maybe?), followed by a nearly Port, or even Sherry-like presence from the alcohol. The nose is wonderful, and very dessert-like.

T - Nearly right there with the smell, the first taste is of cherries and raisins mixed with a helping of caramelized brown sugar. The alcohol is almost undetectable, although there are some similarities to a sweeter brandy. The slightly "funky" Belgian yeast imparts an immediately identifying flavor, assuring that you'd never mistake the beer's origin. The dominating sweetness is balanced out by a somewhat drying finish.

M - A bit thinner than expected, and even slightly more carbonated, the mouthfeel is, well, different. It's "tingly" on the tongue (for lack of a better description), but still, somehow, very creamy.

D - For the ABV, this is definitely one dangerously drinkable beer - only offset by the difficulty of procuring a bottle by most would-be drinkers. If I could head to my local beer store and buy a bottle whenever I wanted, I could easily open bottle number two right now.

Taken on its own, or consumed as a dessert, this is simply heavenly. I can certainly taste the similarities to other, more easily obtainable beers of the style, but Westvleteren 12 somehow stands apart. Whether it's because it's truly that outstanding, or because the hype machine has a grip on my soul remains to be seen. Regardless, this is definitely a beer everyone should try.

eternaljester81, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of ericwo
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, thanks to Thijs for hooking me up with this beer. Also, this is my first review on BA. Date on cap is 7.10.12.

Opened on Easter Sunday and poured into my Chimay goblet. Pours a murky brown with a thin white head. Smell is not overpowering but is pleasant. Taste is great, slightly sweet with a hint of raisins. It's strong, but easy to drink.

While not my favorite style of beer, it's easy to see why it is on top of the Best of BA. It's a very enjoyable beer and one that certainly lives up to its reputation. I was not disappointed at all by this beer and will drink it again some day.

ericwo, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of gratefulstu
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Brabander for generously helping get this great beer into my hands. I split a single bottle of this quad with my wife. We poured it into two .2L Rastal tulip glasses. This bottle had 27.08.12 marked on cap.

A: Deep brown with red or amber undertones. Very dense dark walnut color. Nice carbonation, appears light with tiny bubbles that dissipate quickly and and reform with the slightest bit of agitation.

S: Smells wonderful. I spent the a few moments trying to taste the beer through my nose. A slight smell of alcohol is apparent along with caramels and yeast. Candied sweetness drifts over the dark malty base.

T: This brew is so well balanced. We were surprised it wasn't as sweet as our noses had led us to expect. Alcoholic presence subsides into a balanced bitter hop finish. We tasted it chilled, and then let rest and warm for additional condition sampling. Very smooth for a quad. We found the flavors subtle but not lacking.

M: We scored the mouthfeel the lowest. We found the beer was heavily carbonated. After allowing the beer to sit for a few minutes to de-gas, the mouthfeel was more to our liking. Carbonation aside, the mouthfeel was crisp, clean and creamy.

D: The drinkability is great. Having never tried this brew before, I was expecting a big, sweet mess. I was so wrong. This beer is smooth, crisp and delicious. It just makes me wish I could enjoy it more often.

gratefulstu, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well I've had this a few times now, and it's about time I review it. This bottle was a 2005 (Date stamped 10.02.10 on the cap) received by none other than Brad! He's the man!!! My buddy Jeff was stopping by to drop off an empty growler he borrowed and some other brews, and I just happened to be picking up a couple boxes from the mailroom at the same time.... so we decided to crack a 2005 westy 12 at 2pm on a Thursday afternoon. Why the fuck not?

Poured deep dark brown sugar color with some lighter burnt orange hue at the edge. Impressive appearance in my cantillon stemware. Tiny bubbles compose an impressive beige head that lasts almost too long... permitting me from taking my initial sip.

Well this was right out of the box into my glass, mailroom temperature... both Jeff and I noted a distinct apple cider aroma... it was uncanny. Really just dark, unfiltered, unpasteurized, spiced apple cider. Along for the ride, some pumpernickel bread, caramelized brown sugar, barely a hint of oxidation, but it is very well integrated. Raisins, pears and some brandy. One of the things that is so impressive about this beer, is that it's 10.2%... it's not 'light' tasting, but still just feels so pleasant on the palate. It's not as 'dark' as previous times that I have had it (or as I remember)... a little less of a dark fruit presence than some other bottles I have been a part of. Low-medium but well-executed carbonation perfectly accentuates the delicate and more subtle flavors of this beer. It's just a masterfully concocted beverage and one that I hope to be able to enjoy for years to come. This review is for the 2005 bottle, but numerically reflects what this beer is fresh, and what it can be with a little time on it.

Ineedabeerhere, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I stop over my friend Joe's apartment one Thursday afternoon for a quick visit. I was in the area and had to pick up/drop off some things. The timing was good, because he had to pick up some boxes from the mail room.

The box is opened, and there are a ton of goodies. One of them is a 5 year old bottle of Westvleteren 12.

Are we really about to crack a Westy 12 out of the blue on a Thursday afternoon?

Before there is any time to discuss it, the "mail room temp" bottle is poured into our glasses. My glass is a stemmed tulip, and is a little wide to hold any head for a 5 year old beer. Joe's glass is a stemmed Cantillon flute, and the beer looks much better there. It's got a solid, yellowish brown head and a murky, dark brown head.

We immediately agreed that this beer smelled a lot like apple cider. I was thinking apple fritters when I smelled the cap, but there is definitley some apple in the nose. It reminds me of a holiday scented candle...apple spice. There is a small amount of oxidation and alcohol in the nose, but not much. Other aromas include malty nuttiness, some dark fruits, and figs.

The taste is complex yet smoothly integrated. Yummy is a good word. It's got a good brown sugar and apple dessert flavor to it. Brown sugar sweetness adds to the dessert characters, and there is also some fruity, fig like flavors. Overall, it reminded me of what a big Belgian brown ale would taste like. I have a feeling that this beer is in a strange spot age wise. I'm guessing it was better fresh, but would go through another transformation with more time and get better in the future.

The mouthfeel is the most impressive part of this beer. It's smooth and rich yet surprisingly light on the palate. The carbonation is a little lower than I'm used to, but is still adequate. The drinkability also shocked me. Compared to others in the style, there is no comparison. Other Quads are slow sippers and hard to finish, but this one begged me to drink more than half a bottle. I don't think I've had a beer this big and flavor that was so easy drinking.

jeffthecheff, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of Dajtai007
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

08, this was poured at the end of a long tasting, but damn did it stand out.
Poured into glasses, three-ways. Beautiful appearance, nice head retention.
The nose was amazing, very complex of dried and tropical fruits, caramel, sweet Belgium yeasts. I smelled the glass for about 10 minutes without even taking a sip.
Taste was transferred from the nose. Smooth, delight, and complexity danced on my tongue. Truly the best beer in the world hands down. Mouth feel was perfect, I was in heaven.
I wish I had several cases of this, I swear it would turn peoples notion about beer. Truly exceptional, to be brewed only by the divine. I can't wait to open up the other bottles further down the road.

Dajtai007, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of randomdanger
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to Brabander for his generosity!!! Saved my first review just for this one.

Appearance: Dark, reddish brown body (mahogany perhaps). Nice, thick tan/off-white head, just under two fingers. Disappeared rather fast but left fair amount of lacing.

Smell: Sweetness upon first whiff followed by a good amount of dark fruit (plum, fig, perhaps grape). A touch of alcohol shows up late with a tinge of yeast throughout.

Taste: A ton going on here. The sweetness was prevalent to me (Belgian Candi sugar and maybe a bit of brown sugar). But it was countered nicely by a peppery spiciness. The dark fruits jump in (a little cherry lends itself to the mix) and the yeast makes a subtle appearance. The warming presence of the 10.2% is only there as a reminder but not overpowering at all.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied without being heavy at all. There's a creamy smoothness here that is very unique and welcomed. Carbonation is there but very light. A slight dryness shows up at the finish.

Drinkability: Easily is the best Quad I've ever had. I could have easily had more than one of these. Unfortunately I only have one bottle left and I'm going to save that for a spell. If it was more readily available, I would drink this every day. As far as I'm concerned, it lives up to the hype. It is "World Class" as stated on it's page. And I cannot say that I would argue against billing it "Best Beer in the World".

randomdanger, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of jt31914
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: 1 3/4 fingers of head; very dark brown.

S: Faint smell; slight pear/fig fruitiness and alcohol.

T: Awesome! Subtle yet full, hard to describe the unique taste. Chocolate w/fig flavors and a char/dry taste.

M/D: smooth and perfect, lives up to the hype.

jt31914, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a deep brownish amber with a off white head. Not that this factors into the score, but it might be the best looking bottle I've ever seen. Simple and understated, comprised of thick brown glass without a label, its simplicity helps accentuate a stately elegance. Very befitting for the holy grail of beers.

S - Smells absolutely beautiful. Sweet notes of fruits such as raisins, figs, apples, and berries.

T - Wow extremely complex. So much going on here and oh so tasty. Very sweet with a mixture of fruity flavors, particularly apples and figs. Almost wine like. I can barely even taste the alcohol, I can't believe this is 10%. Finishes dry, no cloying at all.

M - Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect. So smooth and creamy.

D - This is the most sessionable high alcohol beer I've ever had. The legendary Westy 12 absolutely lived up to the hype. Such a special beer, truly a work of art. I could drink this every day.

BostonBrewins, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of crnipeter
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The review comprises notes from separate tastings of two different vintages. Scores are for vintage 2008.

Vintage '08:
The review is based on notes taken in fall/winter 2009.
Yellow capped ascetic bottle with best before date 03.12.2011. Considering that Westveleteren 12 beers are bottled 3 years prior to expiration date the beer is vintage 2008. The pour into St. Bernardus goblet gives muddy rusty - mahogany brown nectar with light tan bubbly head fading into an island of agglomerated bubbles. Aromas of sour cherries, berries, figs & raisins, touch of cocoa, breeze of red wine. The flavor profile is nutty-cocoaish with over-ripened figs, rummy with sweet malt base balanced by mild hoppy bitterness prolonged into lingering subtle bitter aftertaste. Silky smooth and creamy with alcohol unbelievably well hidden the roughly one year old beer is fruitier, with more expressed vinousness and less hoppy character than fresh one. 4 5 5 5 5 = 4.8

Vintage '89
I was told the bottle is '89 vintage therefore 21 yrs old although this cannot be verified as Westvleteren bottles didn't always have BBE date on their crowns. However, the 11% ABV imprinted on the cap indicates this was a pre-1999 bottling. Between 1999 and 2002 the alcohol content of Westvleteren 12 has been gradually reduced from 11% to the current level of 10,2%. Diminishing of ABV was necessary to facilitate the brewing process as high levels of alcohol are more likely to kill the yeast. To the beer.
Into Westvleteren chalice. Clear coppery-mahogany brown body lacking any head apart from short lived bubbly island floating on the surface. In over two decades of aging the beer has undergone a complete transformation from quad to fortified wine or even liqueur: at this stage is highly viscous, alcoholic, sweet and abounds in fruity esters.
Palpable aromas of strongly fortified, port-like wine, intense sugary sweetness, plums, dried fruits represented by prunes, sour cherries , figs and rum soaked raisins. Clear presence of alcohol which is well incorporated into the whole. Each aroma listed reincarnates itself in the flavor department that perfectly matches the nose.The mouthfeel of warming and liqueurish brew is syrupy but not in a sickly manner, with zero carbonation. I'm pouring the beer carefully to keep the black slush at the bottom. Even so the last pour is hazy due to the raised yeasty sediment which adds some spiciness and in contrary with beliefs does not ruin the beer. Fully mature Westvleteren 12 is great, although does not have much in common with what I see as a beer. 2.5 5 5 5 5 = 4.5

crnipeter, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of BeerShirts
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1999 Bottle Poured into a over sized wine glass.

A new good friend who is stationed with me at Baumholer, Germany hooked me to share a bottle.

Appearance- Golden brown. The head was very small and did not linger long

Smell- Dark fruit, Carmel, Brown Sugar

Taste- WOW, I can see why this is top beer. You taste what you smell. Rich in the yeast, very sweet tasting. not sure what all to say since it just seems so complex to me

Mouthful- Very smooth!! not much carbonation

Drinkability- Looks like heaven, Smells like Heaven, Tastes like Heaven.. This beer would be very dangerous if it was easier to come by.

I would like to say more about this beer and feel as though it just deserves more but I just really dont even know what to say.

BeerShirts, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a great week. First PTY now Westy 12 and in the end NO comparison really.Thankyou to the seller in which I can't say.

The best by date of 1/12/12. Poured a muddy water looking color into my chalice. Probably the best heading I have ever seen almost overflowing the rim of my glass probably two inches thick.Off White heading which was so fizzy and thick mellowed out to a very nice covering and lace around the glass until the bitter end.

Smell is mainly deep candy sugared covered malts with some hints of licorice and very sweet Belgian yeasts. Subtle aromas of darker fruits raisin's,plum,and some figs.

Taste just explodes on the palate an out and out assault. Spicey and peppery yet a very fruity punch. Then a heavy bubbly action fills the tastebuds and settles into a warming alcohol taste that warms the back of the throat and the belly. Numbs the teeth and finishes with a malty kick.

Mouth is medium to full bodied. Every little sip I take just fills the entire mouth with insane bubbling action. A slight lingering of malts and some very nice yeasty aftertones.

I don't really need to say much more. This stuff is amazing. Worth every dime. I think anyone who enjoys beer should give this a try at least once as it is a little pricey but damn it is well worth it.

TheFightfan1, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of MrDanno96
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was truly a special treat and long awaited. I'm glad I got a few, so I can cellar a couple :)

Bottled on Christmas day, 2008!

A: Pours a nice mahogany color with a finger of creamy off-white head. Moderate lacing and decent head retention.

S: I was a little worried initially because I didn't smell too much. However, once this brew warms up a bit the nose really opens up. Lots of dark fruit predominates the nose: dark cherry, fig, plum, and raisin. Some molasses, caramel, brown sugar, and even chocolate as it gets warmer too. Somehow it manages to be very complex, but pleasantly subtle at the same time.

T: Whoa, was not ready for this - so many layers of flavor. Each sip starts as one thing and then finishes as something completely different. Dark, dried fruits up front (figs, dates, raisins, etc). This leads to hints of coffee and chocolate towards the end. Caramel malt and molasses are very apparent throughout. Power of the alcohol is also detectable.

M: A creamy full body with a good amount of alcohol warming.

D: Amazingly complex - I could slowly sip and enjoy this forever. After a year the alcohol seems to be in perfect balance with everything else. I'm interested to see how this ages, but I also wonder what this tastes like fresh.

Best quad I've ever had? Yes, I would definitely say so. I've never tasted anything so complex. Best beer in the world? That's a bit more debatable, but it very well could be.

MrDanno96, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of Brew33
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 2008 bottle unadorned. Poured into a Spiegelau Crystal Tulip.

The appereance is basically par for the course for Quads. Dark ruby color, slightly cloudy, some yeast sediment. The aroma is amazing! Dried fruits and brown sugar dominate. Some alcohol, definitely complex. The taste is truly exceptional. Complex and sweet. Slight alcohol warmth. Very smooth. Demerara sugar, prunes, figs, alcohol, dark belgian candy sugar. Whoa! This is the pinnacle. A truly special treat. Amazing drinkability for the style and ABV. The best Trappist beer I've ever had.

Worth the trouble to obtain, better than the hype. Best Quad ever? Yes. Best beer ever? I'd have a hard time arguing with you.

Brew33, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

shared a bottle with squaremile -- good times

bottle date: 17.11.12 (bottled 11/17/09)

appearance - rich brown with lacing that sticks

smell - sugar, apple once it warms, plum, very unique

taste - apple, raisin, plum, alcohol on the sides of the mouth, light sugar, complexity evolves with warmth, a very mature and evolved version of the style

mouthfeel - more dominant than the taste, whipped and light carbonation, smooth finish, unique

drinkability - surprisingly drinkable and smooth

djbreezy, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of squaremile
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got to try this thanks to DJ Breezy. The most notable things for me were the sugary, sour apply jolly rancher part of the nose and flavor profile, the complexity that gave new flavors with each sip (dark fruits, apple, pear), and a level of smoothness that is unmatched. Exceptionally complex and smooth.

squaremile, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of csais75
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unique smell, unique flavor. Earthy notes,taste of grape tannin but without winy flavor. Alcohol subtily hidden and very nice body well balanced. It is like drinking honey. So unctuous, so rustic. Maybe not the world best beer but still a wonderful one. Fabulous

csais75, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of Axic10
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Brabander for this. I decided to have this at midnight on my birthday. Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a half inch of foam that maintains during the entire drink with some nice lacing.

Smell: Sugar cane, candied fruits, burnt banana, belgian yeast, hints of caramel and malt towards the end. Possibly the most complex and best smelling beers I've ever smelled.

Taste: Wow. Candied fruits, burnt banana and clove, bready malt, slight brown sugar, and a very nice yeast character. Very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, yet very smooth.

Drinkability: Yeah, if I could buy this locally, I would never drink any other beer as long as I live. Well worth the effort locating some bottles, would do it again and again.

Axic10, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of tkarsies
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have been saving this bottle for a couple years. Got a job offer and figured this was as good a time as any. Best by 7/8/2010. I know...getting a little inpatient, but I just couldn't wait anymore.

Served at cellar temp in my Westy chalice. Muddy brown with lots of yeasty goodness floating around. Some tan lacing just as a tease.

Smells of brown sugar, molasses, some fruit, malt. Rich and inviting although not overwhelming but increases the temptation to drink.

Taste is....well, it is the highlight. Rich malt with classic Belgian yeast. Sweet with candy sugar. Wow..every sip is different. Similar to St. Bernardus but with less alcohol taste. In fact, I can't really taste the alcohol at all. Minimal hops. Reminds me a little of something like Thomas Hardy with some age on it.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, creamy. Almost no carbonation.

Drinkability, if you ignore the extreme difficulty in getting this beer, is fantastic. The alcohol sneaks into your head eventually but otherwise, I could drink this all day. Worth saving and my only regret is that I only had 1 bottle. A world-class brew!

tkarsies, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Jberb
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Celler Temp into a Chimay Goblet. One thousand thanks to BA member Brabander for a true act of kindness

A: Darkened ruby with a thick 2 1/2 finger tan head that slowly settles to a beautiful halo that lasts throughout the experience. The look of pure quality.

S: Fruity and yeasty, dark buttered black breads, overripe dark fruits, and plenty of candy suger, One smell waters the mouth.

T: Powdery sweet, lively, a culmination of all the strong dark Trappist ales, the depth of Achel Extra, the soft sweetness of Rochefort 10, the rich drinkability of Chimay Grand Reserve, the clean drying finish of Koningshoeven quad. An experience I will never forget and one I wish I could revisit weekly.

M: This is where it truly sets its self apart from all others. Full and thick, it clings to the mouth but not at all cloying. I have never felt a beer like this before.

D: Warming and deeply satisfying, but lets not kid ourselves, I easily drank one, but its a dark complex wonder. I would think one would be more then enough seeing as how I spent 1 hour drinking it.

Overall it somehow lives up to the hype and delivers on all fronts. If I never drank a beer again, I could live with that.
This is my favorite style and I think it stands shoulder to shoulder with Rochefort 10 as the best Quad brewed today.

Jberb, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of Pawel
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Jason for this one. Pours brown with a little slightly off-white head. Nothing too special to look at. Flavor and aroma are lots of dark fruits, with brown sugar and a lot of sweetness. Obviously this beer is well-regarded, as it should be, but to me it's just not the best beer I've had. Glad to have tried it though, and truly a unique experience. If I could get this regularly for a reasonable price, I surely would.

Pawel, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of walows
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Westy 12....
Got a bottle in a trade, thanks stigs!
A: poured into my New Belgium Globe, It is a dark brown/slight reddish hue and with a nice tan rocky head.
S: The aroma consists of brown sugar, dark fruits and cloves. Complex
T: The taste is similar to the aroma, brown sugar, dark fruits like rasins, prunes. With a mild phenolic yeast profile, nice clove flavor. Little bit sweet. Very complex flavors that are all working together.
M: The beer is full bodied and coats your mouth. However, it is not cloying and finishes clean.
D: The drinkability is really good, this beer is just super complex and full bodied. I could drink this for days.

walows, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of gyllstromk
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark ruby with a rocky head. Aromas of candied sugar and cloves, with some raisins, dates, grapes, and currants. The burnt banana peel often attributed to it is apt. Taste is more caramelized sweetness, dark fruit, and a deep, rounded clove finish. This beer gets more flavor and complexity out of the yeast than probably any other in the world (lambics excepted). A velvety body adds wonderfully to the experience. Worth the hype and a true delight.

gyllstromk, Mar 01, 2010
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,820 ratings.