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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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4,826 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,826
Reviews: 1,621
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,933
Gots: 1,395 | FT: 105
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,826 | Reviews: 1,621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrIncognito
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is... FINALLY!

A - Dark hazy brown body beneath a thick and fluffy slightly offwhite head. Fantastic retention, the head lasts a solid 4-5 minutes then settles to a 1/4-inch foamy cap that lasts the duration of the beer. Wonderful sticky lacing.

S - Really, really nice and strong aroma. Dark malts, dark chocolate, and then alcohol soaked fruits such as cherries and plums. Slight pruney aroma with a deep breath. Some nice spices in there, almost like all spice, and then peppery perhaps from the alocohol.

T&M - Very peppery taste on the tip of my tongue at first sip then the dark fruits come through very intensely. Definite alcohol soaked cherries and more prune than plum coming through. Lightly sweet but not overly so. The spicey alcohol and smooth dark malts mellow out the sweetness. Nice kick of Belgian yeast as the beer is swallowed and again the alcohol throws pepper at you as it is swallowed. Dark bread crust lingers in the aftertaste with just a touch of cherries. Moderate/high carbonation gives this a dry feel but not overly spritzy or champaign-like. Somewhat sticky on the lips and tongue keeps this from being overly dry. Balanced and complex are the best words for this beer.

D - Obviously a sipper but goes down really well. So complex in the flavors and develops nicely as it warms to room temperature. The alcohol is noticable in the spicey flavor it gives but does not come across boozy, so I think I could easily do two of these. A pleasure to drink and I really would like to have this again and would love to cellar a few as well to see what age will do.

MrIncognito, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of hobojon
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle brough back from Belgium by a friend, bought in the cafe. Cap code: 05.05.12. Served in tulip glass.

Aroma- solvent alc. funky sweet caramel. toast crust, roasty burnt sugar. pils malt. spicy, minty noble hop. dark fruit. sulfur, dissipates with time. much better with some warmth and time.

App- deep red, darker than the 8. big tan foam stays for awhile. laces around glass.

Taste- tart and sweet, pear, alcohol. mouth watering tart berries. plum, raisin, grape and cherries. bread crust, roasty chocolate, caramel. hops are present and minty, herbal, and spicy. subtle grapefruit.

Mouth- full, creamy. dry for perceived sweetness. some alcohol in the mouth.

Overall- very good. great tart taste. complex, great sipper. not the best quad I have had though.

hobojon, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of mikey711
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have been looking forward to this one for a while and split a couple with some great friends and family. Poured into a Chimay Goblet

A: Murky brown like a dark apple cider. Lots of sediment in the glass when viewed in the light. The head was only about a quarter inch thick and did not retain very well but a nice layer of white foam remains on top of the beer throughout.

S: This smelled fantastic. Rich toffee and caramel were pretty dominant. It also smelled a bit like a caramel covered green apple. The green apple esters were very pleasant. There was a mild amount of booziness and a great gram cracker note.

T: The taste was very similar to the smell. What really impressed me was the complexity of this beer. My favorite part was definitely the gram cracker. Also a nice mild grape and green apple note balance out the sweetness from the candied sugar.

M: Very impressed by the creaminess os this beer. I was very pleased that it was not cloying sweet.

D: Definitely worth the hype behind it. I dont know if I could drink this everyday, but it is worth it

mikey711, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been sitting on this beer for a special occasion. Well fellow BA BeerFMAndy shares the same birthday with myself so I believe that qualifies.

Poured and split into two tulip glasses the beer is a muddy cinnamon hue with about an inch of creamy tan head. The head settles leaving slight ring of slippery lace.

The aroma is tad more subdued then I had expected. Candied fruit, brown sugar, fresh baked bread and maybe a hint of spice. Still not the olfactory monster I had hoped for.

The flavor is caramel malt up front. With sweet candied fruit, cocoa, toffee, cinnamon toast and a touch of bitter fruit in the finish. Dryer and more tart then I would have imagined.

Medium creamy body with moderate carbonation. Basic quad feel.

Overall not quite the mind blowing experiance I had envisioned for the number one beer. A good beer that I would love to revisit. I'm glad I was able to share this with a friend for our birthdays.

beerwolf77, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz label-less bottle shared and poured into a Unibroue tulip. 10,2% ABV on the cap but no date (although it's fairly fresh).

Many, many thanks to a generous friend; Todd aka Beerwolf77
Happy shared birthday Todd!

A - Clear dark amber with caramel hints and a low, creamy dense head that formed off an aggressive/tall pour into the center of the glass. Good retention with a bit of lacing that tries hard to cling to the glass despite my constant swirling.

S - The aroma is deep and mysterious with toasted, bread-like malts that fade in and out of the foreground complimented by a low but persistent dark fruit nose of raisin, grape, and prune. A bit of dark candi sugar and brown sugar too. Small amounts of spice poke through with the low alcohol nose. Very mild and not hot or fusel at all. The nose is much better and open after a few good swirls, otherwise its a bit timid.

T - Lightly toasted, bready malts that have a really good smooth feel with a mellow candi sugar and brown sugar flavor with lots of dark fruits in the background. Raisin, grape, prune, and dark cherry. A fantastic tasting, mellow quad. Tiny hints of spice with almost no alcohol flavor for its percent. Again, I only wish the flavor was just a SMALL bit more upfront.

M - Super-smooth like velvet and medium-full bodied. A lasting sweetness with a very small bitterness to the finish. Mellow overall and well carbonated but its so complex and smooth otherwise I didn't even think about it.

D - An incredibly easy drinking beer, especially for a Belgian Quad. After all the hype of being the "number one beer" I think I'm a little disenchanted with it. A great beer, that's to be certain of, but had I not had the expectations I had, I'm sure I would have found it to be much better. Still an incredible beer I wish I could get more frequently.

Another huge thanks to Todd for sharing this with me for our shared birthday!

BeerFMAndy, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of WeedKing4
4.13/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the bar manager for informing me this was on the 'secret' menu. Bottle pours a dark ruby brown with a little bit of foam. Tastes of very strong dark fruits with lots of flavour that lingers on the tongue. Its quite easy to drink considering the abv%. Its a decent beer, but it didn't wow me away being the number one rated beer in the world. Glad I got to try this though.

Got to try this again thanks to Jeffo. Very solid quad. It tasted a little hot at first, but it settled and became very drinkable. Lots of brown sugar and dark fruits in the flavour.

WeedKing4, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of Everdrift
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Brabender for affording me the opportunity to try this rare and profound brew.

Pours a deep nutty brown with a smallish head that dissipates rather quickly. I don't feel that the smaller head really counts much against it as a smoother, creamier, less carbonated mouthfeel is achieved through the lack of huge bubbliness.

The smell offers up a fine aroma of plum, pear, and sweet malt. It is not a nose that hits you over the head, but neither is the taste really. This ale is about subtlety, depth, and the interplay of flavors.

The taste is pretty deep. Dark fruity flavors are up front, such as plum and raisin. Alcohol is noticeable, but not nearly as strong as one might expect given the high ABV. Fruity flavors, toasty malts, and sweet belgian sugars all stand up over the high alcohol content. The taste has a special kind of depth that allows you to get into it it further and further the more you drink it.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, especially for such high ABV. A light carbonation is there, but not the dominant element. The alcohol doesn't burn too much, but it does numb the tongue slightly. I found all of this to be very pleasant and complimentary to the flavor.

Drinkability, what can I say? Very, very drinkable. Probably the most drinkable ale at this ABV that I have had. It compares very favorably overall to other Belgians that I've had, though I still need to try a couple of the classics. I just had a nice Maredsous 8 on draft at the Renaissance fair here in Texas and it was lovely but it didn't have the depth of character that this Westvleteren exhibited. This ale is a classic for sure. I don't know if it's the best in the world, but it's certainly in my top few beers I've tried.

Everdrift, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of digitalbullet
3.23/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark mahogany and... OH no! not a trace of a head!!!
Smell: Sweet candi sugar. Good malt in the nose. Minimal hops. Slight vanilla twang.
Taste: NOOO! this is supposed to be the holy grail!! It is overwhelmingly sweet. It has some redeeming qualities however. It is malty with some complex vanilla flavors.
unfortunately it tastes somewhat like the sweet unfermented mash.
Mouthfeel: thin, thin, thin, Not a trace of carbonation.
Drinkability: If this is the holy grail its one and done for me. I hope that I have been duped and I bought one of those counterfeit beers. I have one more in the cellar (my closet). Will edit my review if this was just a bad bottle.

digitalbullet, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of IronDjinn
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A massive thanks to Goldorak for giving me this treasure, hand delivering it no less. Yer a gentleman and a prince Martin! Bottlecap is dated 06.04.07.

Pours out a deep, nearly opaque murky brown in appearance, thin, quick creamy tan head that disappears quickly.

Well then, the aroma is absolutely gorgeous, if this is as good as it gets, then I'm content. Rich, vinous dark dried fruit, brown sugar, light caramel, plum and candi sugar, mild alcohol warmth and spice.

Bready, nutty, some toffee in the malt up front, sweet sugary alcohol warmth, candy-like berry sweetness and vinous dark fruit. Finish is dry, sweet yet earthy, low alcohol warmth into the aftertaste, spicy with a Turkish Delight savoury sweetness. I had this at a 4.5 starting out, but really, near the end of the glass, this is some 5 star flavour as good as and greater than the sum of its parts.

Mouthfeel is the only slight against it, thin and a bit watery, very low carbonation with some light stickiness.

One of those few beers that lives up to its hype and delivers, certainly does not disappoint, I now know the exemplar to hold all other quads up to. Wow.... Once again thanks to Goldorak, how am I gonna follow this one up?

IronDjinn, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of ShadesOfGray
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally had the oppertunity to devour a bottle of the holy grail of beers...aged 2 years mind you. I tried hard to have low expectations since a lot of Belgians beers have been letting me down lately. Better too to be pleasantly surprised than let down.
Let down? That didn't happen.
A: Medium dark brown with decent head.
S: From the moment the bottle was cracked open...the aroma was so strong, it filled the room and made my mouth start watering. Very strong Belgian strong dark ale/quad smell. Lots of dark sweet malts and fruits. A slight wine smell on the backside.
T: Just like the smell. Very complex. Tons of dark overripe fruits, sugars, slight booze, smooth.
I wish Westy 12 came in a 750ml, so tasty and easy to drink, it's gone before you know it. Don't pass up an oppertunity to try Westvleteren 12 atleast once in your lifetime!

ShadesOfGray, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night after having it sit in the cellar for quite a while now. Received it in a trade a few months ago and the best after date (to which I have been informed was three after it was bottled) had passed over a year ago, so I'm thinking this bottle was an '05.

Poured into a chalice and away we go.

Appearance: Dark orange-amber with huge amounts of sediment and floating yeasties and goodness. Nice head and lacing, but the yeastiness was the biggest surprise.

Smell: Holy cow, this is where the beer really picks up. Big notes on just so many different levels, the complexity is fantastic. Pour was still a little on the cool side, but as it warmed it smelled as fantastic as any beer I've ever smelled. Grapefruit, fig, anise, molasses, slight leather, caramel, and grape-raisin. Booze is a little present as well, but nothing too off-putting. Just excellent and complex, everything I had hoped for and more.

Taste: Wow, just keeps on coming. Fantastic dark fruits and licorice, with a slightly peppery alcohol that only really adds another dimension to the beer, in no way boozy. I can see where this beer probably was a bit sweeter a few years back, but it mellows beautifully. Part of the reason this beer is so loved I would have to feel is you can just tell it ages like a charm. Three tiers of taste, starting fruity, going more peppery, and finishing with a malty creaminess that is just awesome. Bravo.

Mouthfeel: Very nice, not too bitter in any way, and alcohol is more of a flavor than a harshness. Carbonation is still great after all these years too, and just works well.

Drinkability: I kept pulling it back and was saddened when it was gone. I have to say, when I had Bernardus 12 on tap a few times on tap, I really loved it, and this beer was everything it was and just a hint more. I don't know if I had them both aged to the same point what they would look like in comparison, but both are worthy and amazing beers. Worth its' post in the pantheon of great beers, this is for certain, and like everyone always says, I just wish I could grab this more regularly for a special occasion.

nomomentwasted, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of muttyd
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber/brown with some floaters. Thin tan head that slowly dissipates. Aroma is of plums, burnt sugar, & yeast. No hop aroma whatsoever.

Massively complex flavor. Brown sugar, fig, and plum sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden, but catches up with you in the end. Very creamy mouth feel; this beer completely coats your mouth and stays sticky throughout.

muttyd, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Dark fruit and a unmistakable Belgian quality. Also a nice amount of spice.

Appearance - Lots of tan head that slowly dissipated without leaving much lace. Red amber color.

Taste - Fruity and complex with alcohol heat to remind you of 10% ABV. Tons of fruit complexity hangs around in the flavor. A little too much alcohol warming than I would have liked at first. Really just a lot of fruitiness and alcohol. However even as it warmed it never got worse. Just an awesome amount of flavor.

Notes - This beer grew on me. My first impression wasn't wow but this beer's complexity takes time to appreciate. I still have five more so hopefully a little age will lower the amount of heat.

jwhawkins81, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of willjschmidt
4.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Westvleteren chalice. Date on cap reads "27.09.09"

A: Pours a ruby red color with a brown tint. Large chunks in the bottom of the bottle.

S: The nose is slightly sweet with some dark fruits.

T: Slightly sweet with some molasses, licorice, and other dark fruits such as raisins and figs. A hint of alcohol in the finish.

M: Nice mouthfeel, creamy and medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D: A very nice beer. Is it the best in the world? Not in my opinion but still worth seeking out.

willjschmidt, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of satowns
4.03/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich ruby brown color. short lasting single finger of tan foam recedes to liquid and then just hangs out to provide great lacing.

High alcohol fusels and sweet wine in the aroma.

Extremely savory. rich toasted wheat bread. caramel malt.

very full body. nice and chewy! medium carbonation and subtle creaminess.

A great beer all around.

satowns, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of SirSketch
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

100th Review! Acquired this beer at Gollem in Amsterdam. My profile pic is actually of me enjoying my first Westy at Gollem.

A - Stiff, tan head. Dark red to leathery brown in color. Looks very appetizing!

S - A plethora of delicious aromas. Very sweet vinous properties, brandy character, dark fruits and candied sugar.

T - Very wine-like. High ABV comes through as hot. Some bourbon qualities. Such a complex beer it is hard to pinpoint any one flavor.

M/D - One of the creamiest, smoothest beers I have had. I think the mouthfeel may actually be my favorite part of this beer. Not the 'best beer on planet earth,' in my opinion, but absolutely worth tracking down.

SirSketch, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of Travlr
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep brown color. Strong lacy tan head. Malty, nutty aroma. Full mouth. Complex malty, vinuous, nutty flavor with hints of dates, raisins and dark cherries. Amazing complexity grows with each year of storage. I've tasted brews aged up to 8 years, with amazing results. Also tasted in a Westvletern-flavoured ice cream, believe it or not, at the monastery tap. In a class of its own.

Travlr, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Jeffo
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a chalice.

Note: Part of the Quad Showdown, including Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus 12, and Westvleteren 12, in that order.

Note II: Bottle says best before 2011, which means this bottle is about a year old.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking tan head that quickly fades to a thin film leaving some clingy lacing down the sides. Colour is sepia or raw umber brown, slightly clearer than average, with medium levels of carbonation evident. A bit of a film remains until the end and leaves some lacing down the glass. Pretty quad for sure.

SMELL: A very nice, but mild nose. Carmel malt up front with toffee and lost of dark fruits as well. Raisins and plumbs are prominent, as well as some nice spicy elements, such as cloves and coriander. Needs to be a little bolder bring it over the hump.

TASTE: Ok, this part really is exceptional. Caramel malt, toffee, with lots of dark fruits again. Like the nose, raisins, plumbs and grapes come out well. Some spicy qualities, cloves for sure, and some spicy alcohol at the end. A nice dose of Belgian yeast provides the foundation for it all. The aftertaste is sweet and spicy with hints of alcohol, and is mild and long lasting. Much more complex and interesting than the nose had indicated. Very nice job here. One of the best in the category.

PALATE: Medium-thin body with higher end carbonation, means you get quite a bit of air on the swallow. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with no bite at all, which is surprising for the ABV. Finishes slightly sticky on the palate. Decent, but a bit too thin and airy for my tastes.

OVERALL: A very tasty quad, no doubt, but the look wasn't all that spectacular and the feel definitely held it back some. A little too thin and airy, a thicker more robust palate would bring it over the hump and set it apart from the masses for sure. Unlike their dubbel, which is world-class to say the least, and despite the superb taste profile, this one doesn't quite live up to the hype. In the Quad Showdown, it's a toss-up between this and the St. Bernardus, while both are well behind the superior Rochefort 10.

Jeffo, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of californiakulak
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got three bottles at De Bierkoning, a great beer store in Amsterdam. I drank the first one while sitting along a canal outside of the apartment that my wife and I rented for our short stay. Great environment to say the least.

Poured into a La Trappe glass that I purchased at the same store.

A. Poured a beautiful dark auburn with a small tan like head.

S. The aroma may have been the best part. The smell reminded me of raisins and over ripe plums. I also got a hint of alcohol along with some yeast in the nose.

T. The taste was a composite of dried and undried fruit (raisins, cherries, plums, and prunes) and molasses. I also thought that it had a good amount of carbonation. At the end I felt some warming alcohol flavors.

F. More carbonation than I am used to for this style of beer. I liked that.

D. Almost scarry how drinkable this beer is. At over 10% abv this beer could do damage fast.

I drank all three of my bottles on my trip so I doubt that I will have another anytime in the near future. So I must ask the question; is this the best beer in the world? It was great. But I think that I like Rochefort 10 a little better.

californiakulak, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of mmager
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a maroon brown with copper highlights at the edges. A bit cloudy, some small sediment particles even with an extremely careful pour. Thin slightly off-white head, only a few millimeters, which goes down a bit a first but then lingers for quite a while.

S: Initially bready/yeasty smell is most apparent. Light phenols. A hint of alcohol, but not boozy smelling at all. Very subtle hints of fruit, possibly bruised apple? Full rounded malt character and just a hint of grape as it warms up a bit more.

T: Not the typical heavy dark fruit of most quads. Instead an initial rich bready flavor. Rich caramel follows as it warms up a little bit, then transitions to almost a tart flavor. A little bit of spicy bitterness on the (long) finish. Malt notes also last long into this extended finish.

M. Extremely full but not heavy or coating. Carbonation level is nice to balance. Some warming alcohol on the finish but very subdued, not at all harsh.

D: For its strength, quite good. The alcohol content is very very subtle. I would almost prefer that it be a bit more apparent, in fact. The aroma is lovely, but I wouldn't mind a bit more warming in the mouth.

mmager, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to open this bad boy up on a day in which I was brewing with my good friend Mike. Poured and shared from a 12 oz. bottle (or close to it) in a Bruery tulip glass.

A: This brew exhibited an overall dark brown hue with lit edges piercing around all sides of the glassware. The head was decent in the beginning, but didn't avail towards the end. The same thing can be said about the lacing as well.

S: Licorice, dark fig, raisin, green apple, both light and dark grapes, tree bark, booze, and brown sugar. A multifaceted beer aroma to say the least and probably the most complex for any Quad I've run into yet.

T: Light brown sugar or dark fruit sweetness, caramel, candied sugar, wood, and raisin are most of the flavors that my palate could distinguish and pick up. Again, there's a lot going on in both the smell and taste and feel like I'm missing out on tons of minute flavors. The only criticism I have is the over-the- top harsh finish.

M: Mild carbonation, slightly drying, and the sugary malts seem to cling to mouth long enough bring out some sort weird sweet bitterness.

D: A perfect fall/winter brew that is somewhat easy to drink and full of complex flavors; extremely impressed. I'm not sure if I could have more than a bottle, but again...wouldn't complain if someone shoved another glass of this right in front of me.

Overall: #1 in the world? In my opinion...no, but I can definitely see why this beer is enjoyed by so many people. I've had the pleasure of drinking this mighty fine brew and hope one day I can enjoy it again. Cheers!

OlieIPA, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Brabander
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my 25th wedding anniversary i have opened and drank my very first Westvleteren 12, last mondayevening. I can tell you that the reviews as given before tell (mostly) the truth. What a beer! In spite of a cold i had which makes it difficult it felt like coming home when i had the fist sip.

The first taste i had was a bit of a sweet taste.

Tonight, the 30th of april 2011 i drank a westy again. Although i am buying a lot of crates of the 12 i rarely drink a westy 12 myself. Tonight i drank a fresh one but what a taste this one had!

Rich, full of taste sweetnes but not too much...

Brabander, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

December 2008 release, acquired via trade from jojox so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramelized malts, Belgian yeast some fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit. There's a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast backbone that come in to provide a good deal of substance. The hops presence is very mild but is enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky but clean for the style.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, very good representation of style, as it is ranked #1 on BA at the time of this review and has been for some time, I was expecting something a bit more demonstrative from this beer, but the only things that stood out in this beer above other were its sweetness and its smoothness. While I don't consider it the absolute best beer on Earth, it is indeed very good.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of callmemickey
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saved this brew for when my fiancee found out if/where she would be working during her second summer of law school / after graduation. Today was the day. Woo hoo!

A: Dark, reddish-brown body. Lighter along the edges. Large, frothy egg-shell head. Good retention. Dense coating of lacing.

S: Raisin, caramel, brown sugar, grape skins, figs. Complex and pungent, yet remarkably subtle.

T: Much like the nose, there are lots of subtle undercurrents of various dark fruits. Figs, raisins and cherries are prominent. Somewhat less sugar and caramel than is represented in the nose. The grape skin quality has trickled off and been replaced with a more boozier flavor. As the beer warms the flavors really pop out.

M: Somewhat thinner than expected for a quad. Perhaps its the booze thinning it out? Regardless, there is a nice lively carbonation up front and a good, clean finish.

D: Incredible. I tried to savor this guy, but I couldn't put the glass down for long. All in all, it lived up to the hype. If the body was a bit more substantial, this would have been even better.

Now, the question is: when do I drink my two remaining bottles???

callmemickey, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of vacax
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Side-by-side tasting with Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus Abt 12, and Westvleteren 12. Thanks jerz for sharing the Westy.

Pours a ruddy brown, somewhat reddish. Comparatively tiny head to other quads, but what does remain has fine bubbles with good retention and lace.

Smells of wine, with the alcohol well integrated into it. Fructose, raisin, brown sugar, and earth round out the bouquet. Tastes of wine and cloyingly sweet candi sugar with lots of floral notes and some earth. Full bodied with a light, smooth carbonation.

A large feat this beer accomplishes is integrating the alcohol so well into the fruit that it resembles wine in many ways. Is this why this beer is so world-renowned? Because it so tastes like wine? Additionally, the intense sweetness leaves me wondering as well. Other quadrupels or sweetened lambics leave beer geeks complaining over the sugar content, but still they are not as sweet as this beer. It is all quite perplexing. A very good beer this is, yes, but drinking it sheds a lot of light on the biases of the beer world. This beer took third place in my three-way side-by-side.

vacax, Oct 15, 2009
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,826 ratings.