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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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5,024 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,024
Reviews: 1,634
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,026
Gots: 1,485 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,024 | Reviews: 1,634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of radioscooter
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So after all the reading about, hearing about, and let's face it - hype - associated with this beer, I have finally opened my single bottle I acquired on eBay.

As always, I will try to comment here away from what has gone previously. My ranking or specific commentary is worthless to pros. I am but a novice. I know what I like. I like quads, strong dark ales with complexity and flavor.

As I pour it into a goblet, I notice the lack of head, and an unassuming semi translucent mahogany hue.

The bottle is colder than I like to drink. But my pattern is to start chilled and let it come up to room temp before I start seriously sipping.

Aroma is very subdued, Earthy, but not heady - not revealing too much of what's to come.

What comes is nothing short of history in a bottle. The mystery and intrigue of centuries of Trappist Monks creating the ultimate ale is present in every sip.

Once again I am forced to reference legend. If there was ever a beer that could eclipse the stories of Mead, Treacle, Butter Beer or Ambrosia - this truly is a magical nectar in our physical mundane, Muggle world. The words "flagon", "quaff" and "tavern" were created to accessorize this ale.

I can't imagine what standardization needs to be in place to vote something the "best beer in the world". It seems like a ludicrously subjective classification. And as amazing as this beer is - I'm not saying that I'd choose it every or all night. But really -there is no "next best contender" to this beer, because it is unique in its approach and scope. A heady breath of dark, slightly figgy, mildly sweet (and I mean mild) malt flavors hits the tongue and then dissipates into... more of the same. Instead of transmuting into some phenol-ridden, frothy fluff - the flavor just exponentially increases and drapes as it travels over your palette.

As I get to the bottom of the bottle, the cloudy sediment shows its presence. Flavors are hard to isolate because the blend has been perfected into a cohesive whole ONEness. But some fig, currant and - as God is my witness - LOAM come to the top of the pile.

The hype is high on this one because of its legendary rareness. One in a while hype is justified. Sometimes, you just need to recognize that the laws of supply and demand are affected by real world lay-lines of taste and appreciation.

There are so many magical fables that we can't reach out and touch. If, as a child - you ever longed for Brigadoon, Narnia, Middle Earth or Neverland to be real - go through the motions and acquire a bottle of this beer. It's worth the trouble to reaffirm your sense of humility and wonder in the world.

Photo of foxbat2500
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brought 2 bottles back from Belgium. Shared with some friends in my office at work. DON'T TELL LEGAL!

A- Reminds us of autumn in Belgium, even tough most people in the room have never been. Nutty and carmel color. With tones of amber and small bubbles on the frothy, lacy top. Looks like a pancake ready to be flipped.

Smell = Sweet caramel apple, with a hint of bitter.

Taste = Strong and yet sublime. You taste but there is no bitter after taste. Its just perfect tasting. Little bit of sweet and sour, apple under tones.

Mouth & Drink = Just smooth. Taste a bit of froth. It warms you up, the first sip you feel it in your stomach.

The drink equivalent of Oh NOM NOM NOM!

Great way to spend a lunch break. I don't think this is the best beer I've ever had, but I am very appreciative of the rare opportunity to try it. Here's to the last sip.

Photo of Naugros
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This will be my 200th review and I wanted to have a special beer for that milestone. My wife delivered that to me for our anniversary by getting her hands on a couple of bottles of Westvleteren 12. Perfect!

I kept putting the instant read thermometer to the side of the bottle to ensure that I was drinking this beer at the recommended temperature.

I poured the beer and took a photo of the bottle and bottle cap next to the Westvleteren chalice that my wife got me to go with the beer. The color of the beer appeared almost purple but on closer inspection it is a deep, ruddy brown that is mostly opaque. The head, the color of toasted marshmallow, rises quickly and thick (more than 2") and had enough structure to exceed the bounds of the edge of the glass by a good 1/2". I dared not go further than that in fear of spilling even one drop of this difficult-to-procure elixir. The head did fall down into a dense, sudsy surface coating with a thick ring that left sheets of foamy lace.

One smell and I realized that I have smelled better. Figs and brown sugar matched with an alcohol warmth greet the nose without overpowering it. Tropical fruit esters are thrown off and are backed up by a barely perceptible sense of black pepper.

I really expected a lot more bold flavors and an orgasmic or, more appropriate, religious experience, but it does not live up to the hype. I suspect the scarcity of this brew and its reputation have driven many of the previous reviews. Don't get me wrong, it's delicious but it's not the be-all, end-all of beer. Cocoa, brown sugar and figs represent for the malts and are in perfect balance with the tropical fruit esters put off by the yeast. Alcohol is well-masked, but is not entirely mitigated, leaving a sense of dark rum laced with one mini-pinch of black pepper. All the flavors work very well together and is the strength of this beer.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth and surprisingly light with just enough bite to express itself nicely without overpowering the palate. This is one wonderful, wonderful, wonderful beer. I would really love to put down quite a few more of these but that is cost-prohibitive due to the efforts needed to obtain a bottle. Due to the ABV it is also equilibrium-prohibitive.

Overall this is one amazing quad, but Rochefort 10 does compare favorably as do a few other quads and Belgian strong darks. It earns its reputation as the "Holy Grail of Beer" by the means needed to get a taste of it but once it has been tasted your efforts could be better used for more reasonable endeavors. I am so happy to have had it though and now need to decide when and where to open the second bottle.

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

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy...ok, so, here we go.

Poured into the Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours a magnificent dark red amber that seems both opaque and crystal clear at the same time, with a 1/2 inch head that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Seriously, this pillow of off-white foam sits proud and strong in the chalice, leaving a great wall of rich, creamy lacing as you drink.

S - Dark, rich dried fruit, brown sugar, slightly boozy, spiced, phenolic. Oh so complex.

T - Right after pouring, it's very boozy and a tad harsh, but given the chance to breathe, it mellows into a malty, slightly hoppy, slighty fruity and sugary sweet nectar of the gods. Liquid joy.

M - Surprisingly light on the palate with a very fine carbonation. Warms a lot right off the bat, then settles down for a bit, then gives off the warming feel again. Lovely.

D - PROTIP: Let this one breathe for a minute after pouring. It was very boozy and in my face right off the bat, but it settled down into a very drinkable brew once it had the chance to aerate. As for the ABV/feel, it goes to your head pretty quick, but it's a great buzz.

Overall - Oh man, this is a damn good one. I was nervous about opening it, but I'm so glad I did. Every sip I take is in eternal thanks to the good monks who brew this divine libation. I can see why they say this is the best beer of all time.

And now my glass is empty. Sigh.

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

A: Medium brown in color, small frothy head, slight lacing

S: dark fruits, slight spiciness, brown sugar (ish)

T:dark fruits, spice, brown sugar, small bit of alcohol. many more layers i couldn't get a read on.

M: Smooth, low carbonation.

D: Simply incredible, something I could drink on a regular basis, if I had the access to it. Warms you up and doesn't disappoint.

Photo of arturorg
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at Orval chalice at Au Vieux Bon Temps and a 2nd one at my house served in a Westmalle chalice.

Appereance: Brown cola like off white steady head that stays for a while (a little bit bit frothy) small bubbles.

Smell: Sweet, caramel, alcohol.

Taste: A little bit nutty, sweet, raisins, medium bodied , no carbonation, creamy feel.

Overall: Delicious beer, a little bit alcoholic but for a 10% it's very bearable. Multi layered. Excellent.

Photo of zimmerbloke
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle split and poured into New Belgium globe glass. Thanks to crazeguy, PaulMPap and hitokirinate85 for gifting me critical mass of bottles to finally warrant trying this one.

A: Very thick, foamy two finger off-white head. Beer is brown and mostly opaque with a hint of red.

S: Bready sweetness, yeasty. Fruity esters. Only a hint of alcohol, but everything as a whole seems slightly muted.

T: Apples, dark fruit. No booze flavor, but warming. Bready sweetness and phenols with a hint of Belgian spice. Really well blended flavors, in that nothing is particularly aggressive and everything is very well balanced. Quite nice.

M: Very mildly carbonated with only the slightest hint of alcohol heat. Sits on the tongue beautifully, goes down very smooth.

D: Pretty high. Delicious, warming without alcohol burn, feels like it just disappeared.

Glad I finally got to try this. Very good, great even... but I think the other Trappist Quads are comparable. Looking forward to seeing how other bottles age.

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

2005 from Bottle

Wow, this beer lives up to the hype for me. I don't think Ive ever had a beer this complex. Those Belgians are onto something here and very well might have a future in brewing.

The appearance is typical for most quads Ive had. Maybe a bit lighter but nice and almost clear. The thin white heads fades fairly quickly. Very little lacing.

The nose is outstanding. A little sweet but more than anything plums and grapes. Really surprised how much fruit I'm getting on the noise. Maybe some faint vanilla and bitter orange.

For being two years old its still fairly warm but not overbearing. I know its a high ABV by the taste but its doesn't knock me over either.Actually the warmness doesn't come into play until the finish. The taste is self is a nice and balanced sweetness in combination with some plums and vanilla.

The mouth feel is great. The carbonation is low to medium and doesn't not put off any of the sharpness some over carbonated beers tends to do.

Really enjoyed this one cant wait to get the next.

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

We were gifted a bottle of 12 from a long time Dutch friend. We wonder if the beer had undergone temp changes because it did not have a lot of carbonation...but this was truly the best we have ever had. It is a dom of the beer world. It has a smooth, sweet flavor with a nice smell!

Photo of dpnelson1978
2.78/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

330ml bottle into glass snifter.


A: Very Cloudy brown body with a small tan head. Very light lacing and only a small ring of bubbly cover. Significant grit on the bottom.

S: Brown sugar and raisins jump out immediately with a slightly hot and slightly solvent character. No hop aroma.

T: Slight cardboard... may be a bit oxidized. Slightly sweet raisin and maple flavors. Spicy yeast character (not much of a surprised based on the appearance) and just enough hops to balance the sweet body. No lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium to light body and light carbonation. Brief carbonic bite that caught me off guard.

D: This particular bottle is unimpressive and not particularly enjoyable. There is definite potential here, but I'll need to track down another bottle to realize.

O: I think I bought a defective bottle. Very disappointing. I'm sure that this one can perform better, but I'll need to come back and revise when I get a chance to sample the beer again. Hopefully for Christmas.

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

Poured from the bottle into a Westvleteren branded chalice at In De Vrede next to the Abbey of Sint Sixtus in Belgium.

A: Pure brown. Cannot see though it. Awesome color. Head was 1.5 fingers with pretty good retention.

S: Lively aroma with more new notes at each new smell. Dark fruits mostly - raisin, plum, currant. Spicy with anise and nutmeg. Slight whiff of alcohol covered quickly. Slight hint of those baked cinnamon and sugar coated almods you can find from street vendors.

T: Amazingly complex. Dark fruits of course. Slight hint of rum soaked fruits and a bit of rum itself. Fruitcake. Vanilla. Earth. Brown sugar-coated roasted nuts. Clove and other spices. Finish is crazy as well. Somewhat alcoholic then covered with a flood of flavors - wood, yeast, tobacco. Brown sugar. Anise.

M: Very smooth and the alcohol does not dry, amazingly.

D: Alcohol level almost undetectable. Evident in the taste somewhat but not in the drinkability. The experience goes way too fast

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

Enjoyed on one of a few BA/Rare Beer Night Tastings during the month of September 2010. I was not able to take deatiled notes on this one, but I did make some shorthand and took mental notes in order to prepare a small review. I plan to take more detailed notes on my next opportunity to try this rare find.

Thanks to Don Lowman for sharing 3 of Westy 8s & 12s with the group, a very generous gesture indeed.

Appearance is dark brown/chestnust in color with a creamy tan head. Complex aromas of dark fruits, followed by Belgian yeast spice notes and dark fruity malts. Tastses as it smells with and amazingly smooth and well rounded flavor profile. A sacred brew worthy of sacred appreciation. Full body with medium+ carbonation and semi creamy mouthfeel. Surprisingly drinkable at 10% abv. I personally enjoyed the Westy 8 better than the 12, but I am curious to try both again and take some detailed notes.

Photo of megahurts4
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trappist Westvleteren 12

Appearance: Medium brown, some good lacing, and a small head.

Smell: Raisins, dates, other dark fruits, and some very slight brown sugar.

Taste: Raisins, dates, other dark fruits, subtle brown sugar sweetness, and subtle malts.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth medium light.

Beautiful balance. The fruit flavors are nearly perfect. It does have a slight alcohol tinge near the end.

Photo of hwwty4
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to funkybuddha for this one.

2003 vintage. I've been lucky enough to try this several times but this is actually the first time I've ever had one in my possession. They always get cracked at tastings but its never found its way into my possession. My willpower lasted about 2 months before I i was forced to crack it open. The beer pours a muddy brown with just a bit of a head that leaves no lacing. Actually the heads kind of ugly. Big fish eye bubbles. No lacing. The aroma is chocolate and dark fruits. Sweet maraschino cherries with toffee. A hint of booze. Nails. The flavor is fairly similar. Pure coco powder up front with date and fig. Big sweet cherries with dark fruits. Caramel and toffee with just a hint of toast. Just a bit of sweet molasses. The mouthfeel is honestly the worst part of the beer. It honestly a bit thin. I don't know if its the prolonged aging that has thinned out the body but its not quite what I remember. Overall, this beer is fantastic. There's really not much more then that.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.13/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big ups to Thijs, 11.2oz into small scotch glass. Fresh bottle, from notes-

A- Nice brown body, minimal head and it settles quickly. Beer is lighter in color than I was expecting.

S- Wonderful nose here- plums, pears, all sorts of brandy-soaked fruit. Molasses or brown sugar.

T- Lighter presence on the tongue than the nose was leading me to expect. Dark fruit, a bit of peppercorn, a hint of orange peel and cinnamon. A bit of earthy malts. As it comes up to room temperature, it opens up a bit and lush malt notes come out.

M- Lower carbonation works well for it.

D- Moderate. Easy enough to drink, a pain in the ass to procure, and no better than a handfull of other top-tier quads that are sitting on local shelves. A delicious beer- but not the stuff of legends.

A big thanks again to Thijs for the hookup. Saving my other bottle to do a quad comparison tasting.

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

Thanks to dvelcich & lurchingbeast!

Poured at room temperature into a big 25 oz snifter on 10/26/10. The cap carries a date of April 29, 2013; had it right after Rochefort 10 so there's some comparison in notes.

Appearance 5/5
Clear mahogany brown with a massive, very light brown, rocky "Belgian" head, with good head retention and good lacing.

Aroma 4.5/5
Little alcohol, compared to Rochefort 10. Toasty malts with warm richness, raisins and dried plums; like a pie that's still in the oven! There's some chocolate as well, but no coffee. Little, if any, phenolic notes: I have heard that Westmalle & Westvleteren use the same yeast but I can't see any similarity.

Taste 4.5/5
Effervescent and slightly sweet at the beginning, with elements of caramelized sugar along with dark fruit in taste. A long, long finish that is dark, slightly bitter, rich, comforting, and warm, with a slight tannic astringency. This is not the best tasting beer I have had, but this sure is a magnificent beer. Only a fool could underrate its merit. Very complex with dessert like sweetness, very present hop bitterness, and wine and over brewed tea like tannic finish; the finish wouldn't have been as clean without that sharpness of character. This beer deserves to be the legend it is. I have rated some other beers higher and I will do so in future too, but this beer is quite an experience.

Mouthfeel 5/5
I have the exact same comment as I had for Rochefort 10: "The body is medium, but its presence immense." However, the mouthfeel on this one is lighter than Rochefort 10.

Drinkability 5/5

Had it again two days later, side by side with Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus 12, Rochefort 8, Chimay Blue, Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw, and Trois Pistoles. Although I am rating Westvleteren 12 higher than Rochefort 10, it's only because of better looks and absence of alcohol in aroma; these two, although very different, are just as good as each other in my opinion. My taste preferences lean more towards Rochefort 10, which is a good thing because that's way easier to come by.

Photo of ElGordo
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired at some small, excellent store I don't remember the name of in Brussels in April 2009. Decided to crack open the bottle with my wife on our third anniversary. Poured into the Kasteel chalices we used for our wedding toast.
Pours a pretty reddish-garnet color, topped by a big, thick, creamy tan head that holds its shape for a good long while. Aroma of sweet malt, brown and candi sugars, and lots of dark fruit (fig and plum). Palate is smooth, strong, sweet, and complex. Sweet dark fruit and dark brown sugar up front mellow into a malty, more balanced profile in the back of the mouth. A nice, nutty character (toasted hazelnut?) comes through on the swallow, adding depth to the sweetness that's akin to dark fruit dipped in honey.
Body is silky smooth, well-carbonated but not bubbly, full and creamy but not overly thick. A warming dose of booze comes through on the swallow, accentuating the complexity of the beer. On the whole, this is just a masterpiece. I wish it were easier to obtain, but I understand and appreciate why it is not.

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

Finally i opened one of my two bottles purchased and send it by BRABANDER (THANKS!)in Netherlands

put it in the fridge for short time to enjoy flavors, brown color,

Served in a flute glass with 2 fingers of foamy head, oustanding complex aromas predominant raisins,bread... sweet aromas..candy..

the mouthfeel was so great! wow...

the best beer!

Photo of fear025
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma:Malt and grapes. Nice sweet aroma.

Appearance:Brown in color, nice head that's ecru in color.

Taste:Caramel and Malt, wine notes. The aftertaste leaves some leather, earthy notes.

Mouthfeel:Medium to thick in body. Hot alcohol, a little astringency, great carbonation.

Drinkability:It's a really easily drinkable, flavorful, complex, and smooth beer.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes. obtained in trade, back in 2009, and tasted in june of that year.

cap is printed with 18.06.11

dark reddish brown. yeast easy to disturb, so it's hard to decant, even after settling in fridge for 3 weeks. thus, pretty murky. 1-finger off-white head fades to wispy layer w/ sudsy ring. splotchy, thin little rings of lace all the way down the glass. the dregs do integrate smoothly tho; no chunks.

aroma: port and sherry, spiced rum note. caramel, brown sugar, licorice, candied orange peel. mild whiff of hops. raisins, dates, gentle phenols and alcohol in back.

taste: very much like a sweet fortified wine, w/ notes of rum again. very caramelized, then fruit esters. mild grassy hopping w/ mild to moderate bitterness, intermingling w/ spices (nutmeg, anise, licorice, candied orange peel) and "cleaned" up by mild phenols and alcohol.

medium body, smooth despite ABV, almost silky, but punctuated by alcohol and phenol bite. mild carbonation helps body somewhat. dregs are creamy.

quite drinkable despite the high alcohol and richness.

a very good beer, but seems to me that rarity and hype have pushed this one to extreme heights. still have several other bottles, so will try again, and revise scores if my opinion changes.

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

33 cl bottel poured into my westvleteren glass ,

A: Nice dark Brown colour with à 2 finger white head ( looks like whipped cream ) leaving some nice lacing

S : lots of belgian yeast , raisins and à bready smell , very intense ,

T : now its getting interesting , very tatsy , sweet malts , bread , belgian yeast and à massif amount of raisins , Brown sugar , à slightly bitter hoppy aftertaste , awesome , and when its warming up its only getting better , very Nice

D , very smooth and creamy , nicely balanced , good carbonation, i could drink this al day long , alcohol is very well hidden

Photo of Chronofied
4.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

54 degrees, poured in a Chimay goblet

A: Small head, with decent lace, murky in appearance and a darker dun color; quite visible sediment.

S: Some smell I can't quite identify, almost smells slightly burnt. Yeast aroma is most prevalent, with prominent malt smells following.

T: Taste is sweeter than expected, slightly sugary with a taste of raisin. Musty yeast and malt flavors. A sort of sawdust pull follows the sweetness that suggests the contents of the bottle might be slightly oxidized. The finish is spicy and a little bit hot. Taste, especially in the yeast and esters, is very rich.

M: Mouthfeel is slightly oily, light with carbonation, a little bit syrupy but not out and out thick. Goes down fairly light, but leaves a slickness behind.

D: Fairly drinkable, but a bit to sweet and rich to be drinking often. A little bit of solvency was a deterrent also, but also likely to be a result of oxidation. Slight burn is a reminder of the ABV.

NB - I would like to revisit this beer again when I can be sure that I am not tasting a compromised sampling. Enjoyable despite that, though.

Photo of jlindros
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a chance to drink this. About to buy an awesome new house, so figured it was time to crack this baby. A huge thanks to Brabander for getting my a couple fresh bottles I can age a bit. In the mean time I also have to thank kkipple and nickd717 for pre-aged bottles to try in the mean time. I believe this specific bottle is from nickd717.

Pours with no carbonation, absolutely zero head with just a few light bubbles from air being mixed in as I poured. I wonder if that was a mistake capping, or something, I'll have to try another one sometime and see if that's better. The beer is super thick and a yeast chunked swamp. It's so thick looking the yeast is completely suspended in it like Jello. It's the color of maple syrup mahogany brown wood.

The nose brings tons of fruit, apple, pear, apricot, raisin, and more. Then plenty of Belgian dark malts, not so heavy though, more delicate actually. Some chewy like malt aromas, a light essence of dark candi sugar, some sweetness, and almost no booze aromas.

The taste comes rich and somewhat creamy, lots of Belgian dark malts, and some light ones too. It is kinda barleywine like with the way all the malts and fruits come together. The fruit flavors bring a lot of various fruits, a light apple, pear, fig, raisin, etc, and a light caramel apple flavor. A bit of dark candi sugar, some candy bar flavors, touch of brown sugar. A very light bitterness too. It's extremely smooth and drinks like a 7-8% beer and not 10+%. It finishes with some light sweetness, a little candi sugar, lingering fruits and Belgian dark malts, and a very light toffee. It really is delicious.

The mouth is somewhat thick, creamy, and very smooth, a little syrupy, but the lack of carbonation gets it.

It drinks very smoothly and very well. It's not sticky at all either, and no off flavors. I could easily pound this like it's water, if it didn't taste so good. Again the only thing that hurts it a bit is the lack of carbonation.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to lurchingbeast for sharing this one in a recent trade. Poured into a long-stemmed tulip during the Eagles' game today. Best by date on the cap reads 17-11-12.

The color is a deep brown, as garnet only shows up when viewed at an angle with a bit of backlighting. The head is full, creamy, and well retained, and there are clumps of foam indicating active yeast cultures that form on top of the beer. there is a good amount of irregular lace that sticks all over the walls of the glass.

Full of toffee and caramel from a distance, the aroma develops to include some cocoa, dark fruits (dates and raisin), and some nutty malt notes.

The taste is similar, as the dates, raisins, toffee, caramel, and some spicy, funky yeasty notes start of the profile. Cocoa powder makes a subtle appearance later, bringing with it the nutty maltiness that really rounds out the flavor.

The body is full and creamy without being too heavy or overwhelming. It works nicely with the carbonation and the flavors to create a sublime drinking experience. While I am not completely blown away, this is still a phenomenal beer. I do wish it was easier to obtain, as this is a top-notch BSDA/'quad' that certainly sets the bar high for the style.

Photo of mdfb79
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 0.33L bottle into my Duvel tulip. Cap is dated 29.03.09, so it is about 4.5 years old. I've had Westy 12 3 times before this, but always relatively fresh and never more than 2 oz.'s or so, so excited to have a full bottle.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two to three inches of off white head that lasts for four or five minutes. High carbonation evident and a tiny amount of sediment. Left the last oz. or so in the bottle as the amount of sediment was very high in the bottle.

s - Smells of dark fruits, especially cherries, plums and raisins, as well as Belgian yeast. Also getting some grapes/wine smell in it as well. Hints of caramel malts, sweet fruit malts, spices, bready malts, and a touch of alcohol. Very enjoyable; it's very complex and balanced, especially as it warms up and the cherries come out.

t - Tastes of raisins, plums, figs, other dark fruit, bready malts, caramel malts, Belgian yeast, and a hint of spice. Not really getting any alcohol in the taste. Was hoping for more cherries like the smell, but still wonderful. Tasting amazing.

m - Medium body and high carbonation that stings the tongue. It has a nice, smooth body, but the high carbonation hurt it a bit and keeps it from being great.

d - There's a reason it's #1 of BA; it's pretty amazing. While it isn't the #1 beer on my list, it's safe to say it's high on my list. The good news is that the taste and smell are the highlights of this beer. Both are complex and enjoyable. While the high carbonation hurt the mouthfeel a bit, the smell and taste are amazing. It also definitely helps to let this one warm up a bit, so you can fully appreciate everything in the nose and mouth. If you like quads, I think it is safe to say you'll love this beer. I was also surprised how easy it was to drink and how little alcohol was noticable in the taste. I think I like this slightly better than Westy 8, but it's close. I look forward to aging my other 2 bottles and see how they do with even more time on them.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,024 ratings.