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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

4,459 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,459
Reviews: 1,603
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 2,784
Gots: 1,254 | FT: 98
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,459 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mac300 for sharing this at Phatz' tasting.
A - A beautiful dark ale w/ compact bubbles and light tan head

S - Roasty, spicy and sweet with scents of currants and dark sugar.

M - Mellow, sweet and spiced. Layered and balanced with a subtle feel of alcohol and lightly nutty finish.

T - A malty supple masterpiece. So much flavor figs, nutmeg, gentle herbal notes. So layered and yet the flavors blend seamlessly. Nuts, toffee and honey with a tinge of spice and light grain flavors.

D - A great nuanced ale - lives up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 01:16:48 | More by Slatetank
Photo of bradford
bradford

California

4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

i acquired this bottle in a trade with leftmindedrighty and waited until today to drink it with a buddy who has been overseas for a while. We enjoyed this while brewing an old ale.
Looks good, dark with a light head that stays with the beer and laces the glass with a sticky film
Smells good. Lots of complexity in the nose, as well as the distinct alcohol
Tastes great. Loads of alcohol, the right balance of malt and hop, and a spicy flavor from miscellaneous ingredients
Mouthfeel is a winner again. Very smooth, with a coating from the alcohol
Drinkability is very good considering the strength

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 03:18:23 | More by bradford
Photo of Timmace
Timmace

New York

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

F*CKING DELICIOUS! Well worth the extravagant amount of money spent on it. It seriously tasted like an explosion of flavour in my mouth. I would recommend this to anyone who is a serious beer drinker and especially anyone who likes belgian style ales. This is the best of trappist market. The best the world has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 01:37:45 | More by Timmace
Photo of jj21
jj21

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frosted pint glass served from Nitro tap at...Yeah Right!!
Received in trade from brewedlyhooked13
Poured carefully into a Chimay Goblet. Date ? (I'll have to check the cap later) Dense, creamy light brown head with great retention eventually leaving a nice lacing. Body is slightly murky brown. Not much carbonation after the pour, at least that I could see. Beatuiful sight. Heavenly aromas! Yeast, dark fruit, caramel, candy sugar- everything you would expect from a quad but nothing out of the ordinary. Complex flavors hinted by the aroma with some dry bitterness. Very well balanced. Such a smooth mouthfeel! Hardly any sign of the alcohol. Incredibly drinkable for a big beer.

This was my first, and more than likely last, experience with Westy 12. As good as it was there are other more accessible Quads (St. Bernardus 12, Trappistes Rochefort 10) just as good that don't break the bank like this does. One of those "At least now I can say I tried it" beers. Now onto the Dark Lord!!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2007 16:03:17 | More by jj21
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

4.95/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this one!!

06.12.09 on the cap

A: Pours into a small chalice with a reddish brown color and a bubbly head. Moderate lacing.

S: Beautifully complex smell. Raisins, figs, caramel, candy sugar, and several more aromas. Too many to identify, but they're all good.

T: Sweet but balanced with a multi-dimensional flavor. A taste of dark fruits is first noticable and is complemented with a sweet toffee-like flavor. Alcohol is very well-hidden. Blissful.

M: Full-bodied with carbonation that is a bit light for most Belgians, but just how I like it. A wam, fuzzy sensation from the alcohol.

D: Damn. An amazingly superb beer that is worth the hype. This one easily makes my top 3.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2007 01:10:52 | More by klewis
Photo of ColoradoBobs
ColoradoBobs

Colorado

4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 300th review; and what a beer to review for #300, thanks to a fellow northern Colorado B-A who shared this with me in a side-by-side with a Westvleteren 8. What an hour! Amazing! Well, on to the review . . .

Served at about 55 degrees.

Slow pour into a tulip glass yields a smallish tan-yellow head over a clear dark mahogany-cherry body. Lovely beer. The small solid head stays put like meringue on a chocolate pie, hardly diminishing at all over the 40 minutes I savored this baby, and leaves thick sheets of lacing.

Smell is astonishingly rich. Maybe the best-smelling beer I've ever had. I must have put my nose down into the glass fifty times, it smelled so good. Dates, raisins, dark chocolate, caramel, pepper, leather, coriander, espresso, toffee. I don't think I can describe it.

Taste is even more broad-spectrumed than the aroma. The front flavors include all of the above notes from the aroma, all sweet and nice. The mid-palate starts to darken up things, and the spices come up. The finish is all deep and warmly-bitter, with a length that lasts and lasts. BTW, the alcohol is not even noticeable on the tongue. 10.2%? No, it tastes and feels like 5% or less.

Mouthfeel is fantastic, but really not as thick and rich as the aroma and taste. Fine and long-lasting carbonation spreads things around nicely. It's so smoooth, though, and so creamy, I'm giving it a 5.

Drinkability? Wow! So easy on the palate, and the alcohol is totally invisible. I could drink this for hours, because it would take me that long to drink 2 or 3 -- there is so much going on here, your palate would never get bored.

Believe the hype. While a tiny bit lacking in appearance and mouthfeel, the aroma and taste of this beer are matched -- at least in my experience -- only by the 2005 Dark Lord.

Thanks again to my fellow (anonymous) B-A for sharing this amazing and understandably highly-sought-after beer. Dude, you are excellent.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2007 23:21:52 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of genog
genog

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here it is, my first taste of the Holy Grail. Pour is a dark mahogany brownish color, with a creamy off white, light brown 2 inch head. The head color seems to taper off and slowly fade into the top of the beer, very beautiful presentation. The head leaves lacing and large bubbles of dark and light brown color.

Smell is yeasty, doughy, malty, slight esters,

The taste is sweet at first. Seems fruity with cherry, grape, molasses flavors, but the strong alcohol and malty presence covers up those flavors to create a perfect balance. These sweet candy like flavors are also present that are meshed well with the doughy, malty presence that creates an indescribable experience. I felt like I was drinking a deliciously rich piece of cake... I have no idea how.

Mouthfeel is very warm because of the high ABV. Carbonation is very filling too.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 15:21:11 | More by genog
Photo of YonderWanderer
YonderWanderer

Colorado

4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into my Westvleteren glass, both obtained in Brugges.

A: Dark brown, with ruby-ish tones when held up to the light. Pours with a decent white head that dissipates slowly.

S: Fruit is the main aroma - raisins, grapefruit, a hint of caramel. After a little time the caramel and toffee aroma is a little more pronounced.

T: Similar to the taste, there's a definite fruit presence, however with the taste the sweetness of the malt really comes out. Caramel and toffee are pleasant. Alcohol warming is strong, yet balanced at the end. Lets you know that you're consuming an alcoholic beverage, but not in an unpleasant way. Well balanced with the other flavors.

M: Solid and smooth, velvety in a way. Not syrupy or watery at all.

D: High. If only this were not one of the hardest beers to obtain in the world, I would have this available to me on a regular basis. Looks like I just have to go back to Belgium!

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 23:00:36 | More by YonderWanderer
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light amber in color, with a small white head, and scattered patches of foam on the glass walls.

Aroma: Profound dark fruit aroma, with a slight spiciness, strong alcohol notes, very appealing.

Taste: Opens with a spicy, dark fruit, and alcohol, fairly sweet. These flavors carry to the end of the taste, where a mild herbal hop bitterness appears, bringing the taste to a well-balanced close. Along the way there are transient flavors, such as bitter chocolate, earthy yeast notes, coffee, and nuts. In all, the flavor profile is remarkably complex and somewhat difficult to do justice to with mere words.

Mouth feel: Smooth, very full, almost syrupy, soft on the palate.

Drinkability/notes: An unwaveringly excellent example of the style, likely unsurpassed in its excellence. I must join the chorus and add that this beer is highly recommended, and worth the steep price that you are likely to pay if purchasing it outside of Belgium.

Many thanks to HardTarget for graciously sharing this rare example.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 18:01:09 | More by Pegasus
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

200th review

Got as a gift from my best friend who ordered from BelgianShop.com. Poured from a 33cl bottle with a best by date of Oct '09 into my NBB snifter. The color was an reddish brown and had a ton of yeast bits. It had a very small beige head that quickly dissipated. No film, collar or lacing. I thought I had let it warm enough but was just getting to temp when I opened it so the initial aroma was good but not great. After it got to temp (yes I used a cooking thermometer as my wife chuckled at me - screw it, good beer deserves to be treated with respect), the aroma really developed and was exceptional. Was strong on raisins and plum with a sweetness surrounding it all. Could smell the alcohol but it wasn't overpowering so no problem. The taste was really good but didn't live up to the aroma or the hype. It was exceptionally smooth for a quad but just didn't blow me away. I enjoyed it but I've had better quads taste-wise. The mouthfeel was also really good - creamy and smooth. While not the best taste for a quad it was definitely extremely drinkable for a quad - very smooth. I'm going to have to get some more and make sure this sample was up to snuff ;-) Overall, a great beer that you definitely need to try....but it's overhyped in my opinion due to the rareness of it. Get a bottle if you can but don't give the arm and leg for it - just one of em. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2007 23:45:25 | More by TexIndy
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark amber body with about a inch tan head which fades fast and leaves almost no lacing.
S- Hot alcohol comes out first along with some nice esters, raisins, plums, and hints of earthy hops. There is also some Belgian sugar in it as well.
T- Dark esters, quite a bit of sugar, raisins, some light spices, and sweet caramel malt all came through.
M- Medium body with really low carbonation.
D- I thought it was a decent beer but no way #1. I think it is quite a lot over hyped. I did this in a blind tasting with St. Bernys 12 and I choose that over this hands down.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 19:14:10 | More by BlindPig
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i know good and well that i am not going to win any friends by consuming this by lonesome, but i was feeling a little greedy! I had a Alesmith Grand Cru in hand but didnt want a 750ml bottle at this point

So i arrived at this...its somewhat of a big day anyway. I am back in the states after 3 weeks down under, i received word this morning that i passed my final section of the cpa exam, and the cubs came back and beat the brewers 6-5! Plus, the consensus seems to be to drink this beer sooner than later

Thanks a million to lou91 for this bottle

appearance: pours from the innocent looking unlabled brown bottle, gold cap and all marked 13.11.05...poured into a la chouffe tulip. body is a very dark garnet with a light foamy beige head and minimal lacing/retention. there is a fair amount of sediment found at the bottom of the bottle

smell: very powerful aroma...thick caramel malts, earthy cocoa tones, nutty, belgian yeast, a touch of sweet booze...honey, toasted graham crackers...pretty nice

taste: This is a high quality beer, i'm not sure if its a 95 but i probably havent had too many true belgian quads so who knows. profile structure is deep and complex but i get an abrasive alcohol burn pretty immediately. rich and caramel malt structure, belgian yeast, honey, brown sugar, raisin, walnuts, ripe dark fruits highlighted by plum, incredibly spicy that burns the throat a little, toffee, dark chocolate

mouthfeel: big bold and complex...boozy and throat wrenchingly spicy (but not in a bad way)

drinkability: she's a sipper

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 01:03:36 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Nesued
Nesued

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a no label 33 cl. brown bottle with a date on the cap of 22:11:09. Sampled at serving temperature (50-55F), served in a Westvleteren silver rimmed chalice, resting on a Westvleteren coaster. Opened with a BA "The Return of the Belgian Beer Fest" opener. My 73rd review. This review also puts me over 250 "karma points" (i.e. I get my first "mug"). Sampled on 28 June 07 at 0000 UTC.

The planets have aligned for this moment in time. Might as well "play to the hype" right?

Appearance - Poured with a lively tan creamy head that quickly developed into a two-finger presentation. In my excitement, I almost overpoured. After allowing it to settle a bit, I swirled the remaining and added it to the glass. Dark amber/brown in color. Very hazy/murky as well. The retention/lacing is something I haven't seen before, with the exceedingly small carbonation bubbles gripping the glass with the remaining head being supported/fed from the murky depths.

Smell - Fruity plum raisin aroma with a refreshing woody/grassy malt presence as well. Very inviting with the anticipation of a crisp clean taste to accompany this wonderful smell. I might say a bit of a caramel aroma as well trying to fight to the front, but the fruit and malt presence takes center stage.

Taste - Now's the time. Oh my. The complex mixing of plum, raisin and sweet malt that I smelled takes life in the first part of the beer with a smooth molasses and roasted malt/caramel middle as it sits on my tongue. Finishes with light yeast and alcohol presence. I was waiting for the alcohol and it was not overpowering to say the least.

Mouthfeel - I mentioned earlier about the size of the bubbles. Well, as this ambrosia was transported around my mouth, I could feel those bubbles remaining the same size. So many times I've felt the carbonation almost causing an expansion of the body of the beer, instead of being used as a transport media for the flavors and body. This body was well worth the wait. It was full without relying on the carbonation to bring it to life.

Drinkability - As close to perfection as I've tasted. I would say I would like to see this aged for a bit and then compare it again. I think the drinkability suffers from the lack of access to this beer which then everyone implies perfection, due to feeling as if they may never experience it again.

I've had many quads before. Some of my favorate being: Kasteelbier Brune, Trappistes Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus Abt 12 60th Anniversary. Somehow, this is more than just a good quad this is a good total beer. I'm still savoring it.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2007 23:48:42 | More by Nesued
Photo of letsgopens
letsgopens

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have to admit, I'm excited. I've heard some amazing things and I want to judge it for myself. The mysterious blank brown glass bottle releases a cloudy, deep amber brown with a tight, thick, frothy head characteristic of most quads but with a bit more retention. Unfiltered with plenty of sediment and leaves great lace.

The aroma is very complex to say the least. Dark fruit (raisin), spice, a bit of apple and citrus in the finish. Not terribly pungent, but as I said, very complex.

The taste is seamless and implicitly complex with layers of fruit, raisin, malt, spice, toasty bread, toffee, clover honey, and a bit of citrus. A touch of alcoholic warmth rounds everything out.

Mouthfeel... exquisite. Awesomely smooth and velvety. Great natural carbonation. By far the best texture of any Belgian brew I've ever had.

As for this being the best beer in the world; that remains to be seen. But as for Quadrupels, there is no comparison.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2007 00:30:05 | More by letsgopens
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my main man peabody for trading this incomparable elixir to me.

A perfect pour into my Westvleteren goblet yields a 2 finger tan head atop a dark brown, murky, mystical body. Quintessential Belgian lacing coats the glass.

Several intermingling aromas arise from this beer; yeast, cherry, grape, raisin, fig, cappucino, dark malt, spices, molasses, and so much more. To enumerate every note in this beer's aroma would take the nose of a bloodhound and the vocabulary of a thesaurus.

The flavor is just as complex as the smell. Plum, rum, chocolate, fresh bread, grape, pepper, vanilla, again I can't possibly do this justice. Unrivaled.

As one would expect this beer has a mouthfeel smoother than velvet. The carbonation is incredibly fine. Supremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2007 21:53:26 | More by illidurit
Photo of SaucyA
SaucyA

Michigan

4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Given to me by a friend that went on a trip to the Netherlands. I had him scout one out for me :)

Appearance is less than expected, but has a nice head in a tulip. Dark dark dark amber, nearly black.

Smell is a 10. Not a five. A ten. BEST SMELLING BEER EVER. I can't even name every nuance here. I'd try, but I would do the beer an injustice.

Best tasting beer ever. I'm so glad I am drinking this right now. I never believed the hype. Are you sure this is 10.20% abv? Haha, seriously this is amazingly smooth for the abv, the taste is second to none, annnnd... yes, this is the best tasting beer I've ever encountered. BELIEVE THE HYPE.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Perfect carbonation, perfect thickness.

I could drink 2034578349 more of these if I didn't get so buzzed up off just one :).

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2007 01:07:26 | More by SaucyA
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel as though I should watch my back and look before I move. I have obtained the holy grail and an possibly being tailed by the Priory of Sion.

In all reality I scored 12 of these baby's along with some blue cappers and being in the giving mood I have been trading them off left and right.

A: I drank this baby properly from a Westvleteren Chalice. It poured a deep brownish hue that glimmered a wonderful red in the sunlight...Beautiful. A wonderful 2 finger head emerges which quickly fades as tiny bubbles race to the top of the glass.

S: I don't know that I can describe it in words so I will keep it simple Yum! Dark fruits and Molasses with a slight burn of alcohol. I found my self sniffing the bottle as I consumed it.

T: In one word Complex. There is so much going on here yet it seems to be so minimal. Fruit, Dark candied sugar, and earth all compete with each other to come to the forefront. None are too forward though, they are meshed together in such a perfect way. This beer is like the most wonderufl Port Wine I have ever dreamed of consuming. All of this despite the fact that you would never know this tips the charts at over 10% APV May God Bless the Monks of Westvleteren.

M: As a quad you would expect a full bodied brew, and this lives up to that. If does not stop there though. It has a certain richness to it, creamyness, its chewy but balanced.

D: Let's be real. This is to be consumed one Chalice at a time. Cost and rareness of this beer make it a real treat to consume. This beer is so much about experience that you would never want to devalue that by having 2 in a row. That being said the beer is heavenly.

Overall: This one took me back to my vacation in Belgium. Touring the Abbey's eating cheese, mingling, a snap shot of pure happiness in life. This $12 bottle of beer helped me to think back and relive one of the greatest experiences in life. Is it to late to step away from life and check into Westvleteren to devote my life to beer? Those Monks know what they are doing and they do it oh so well.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2007 19:28:56 | More by tpd975
Photo of MrMonkey
MrMonkey

New Hampshire

4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Delerium for giving me the opportunity to sample this great brew.

Poured a cloudy dark brown with a one-finger creamy head that dissipated quickly, leaving scattered bubbles on the surface.

Aromas of toasted malt, raisins and plums. Very earthy, with a little chocolate, toffee and molasses. Only a hint of the alcohol content. Very complex: too much to discern at one time.

The taste was every bit as complex as the aroma: dark fruit, molasses, sweet malts balanced with bitter hops. For such a strong beer, the alcohol was not at all harsh.

Mouthfeel was rich and creamy; medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

An easily drinkable beer, but definitely something to be savored, not rushed. I look forward to the next chance I get to enjoy this incredible beer. Hopefully that chance may come soon!

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2007 19:24:06 | More by MrMonkey
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

3.4/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened this with a friend a fellow beer lover. 5 months before best of date. Cap off and into a chimay glass. Mmm tastes like hype. A brown body with red rimmed highlights and a decent white head of small bubbles. The smell is close to unappealing to me my friend really likes it but to me the alcohol pops out and there is a cooked raisin smell that sends this sideways. The taste is decent it has depth of flavor and the yeast adds some nice edges of phenol with lots of dried fruit and some caramel with even a touch of more mellow dark malt and then the alcohol comes through warming all it touches. Good mouthfeel full but not too dense. Something to have once in a while when you can find it but not my favorite, shrug, once again this is mostly hype.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2007 12:08:29 | More by Higravity
Photo of lpayette
lpayette

Vermont

4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Details- 33cl bottle received in trade from ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad! Best by 13.09.08. Enjoyed 12.06.07

4.5/5.0 - Appearance- Poured into a wide-mouthed chalice this most wonderous beer appears a medium brown with a slightly reddish tint. The head is composed of an interesting combination of very small champagne-like bubbles and largish bubbles scattered throughout. Head is what I'd consider to be perfect size upon pour- about 2 fingers worth. Dissipates slowly leaving lots of brussels lace behind as the head dwindles to a thin cover on the top.

5.0 - Smell- Here's where you know the hype is justified. The gas released from the opening of this bottle was amazing... almost not sure where to start... Fruity with leanings towards raisins and raspberries. Subtle (all of the following) molasses, honey, clover, blueberry, toasted malt, plums, figs, sour apple, muted eathy notes, inviting alcohol that you would never guess is 10.2% ABV. Oh, and a bit of a maple syrup smell as well. Is there anything I missed? probably

5.0 - Taste- To sum it up: incredible. Brown sugar, molasses, at times- banana, very subtle yet balancing hops have a piney characteristic, grapes, a warming alcohol(yet very subdued), honey, figs, toasted malt (that I would liken to toasted marshmallows on a somewhat sticky night with fireworks in the background), raisins, and a definite yeasty/earthy characteristic that is particularly strong and lingering at the finish

Endlessly complex. I could probably list off a ton more characteristic, but I'd like to finish this review sometime before sun-up... literally- it's 4:45am.

5.0 -Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy. Full bodied and full-flavored, yet somehow it rolls so gently across the palate that it seems almost thin at times. Perfect carbonation gives a nice feel right down to the very last sip.

5.0 - Drinkability- Despite all the complexities of this beer, I could easily guzzle this in a heartbeat, but I never would because I know it's too hard to get and every sip should be savored. I enjoyed this beer by itself, but I can only imagine what it would be like paired with a simply, yet delicious monk-like meal- I was thinking just simple rice at the time of drinking. Not sure why... I've got 5 bottles left of 3 different vintages... I am hooked and want more.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 09:01:32 | More by lpayette
Photo of westweasel
westweasel

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to chadspivey for the opportunity to try the best beer on BA!!! According to him, this bottle was aged for about a year.

The beer poured out a hazy dark brown with a french vanilla colored notable head. A few whiffs of it almost blew me away. I was able to detect chocolate, toffee, caramel, raisin, and peaches. Of course now I was really looking for to the taste, and it did not disappoint. I could taste maple, caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. The mouthfeel was very full and creamy.

This beer lives up to the hype - of course I could drink tons of these. Too bad I may never get to Belgium.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2007 02:08:26 | More by westweasel
Photo of Reed415
Reed415

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy brown color with a very lasting head

S - Belgian, alcohol, tons of fruit

T - Tons of different fruit flavors, alcohol warmth, malt, sweeter than expected

M - Full bodied, Lots of carbonation

D - Very outstanding beer, but not my favorite quad

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2007 05:14:24 | More by Reed415
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with my wife on May 31st (the occasion: her job promotion); date stamped 22.11.09, meaning it's a little over 6 months old. Poured into a couple goblets at somewhere around 50F.

A: Rich, sepia-toned brown with auburn highlights. I poured carefully into both glasses, although the first was significantly less cloudy/yeast-filled than the murky second one. The head never developed much, never more than a 1/2" of creamy tan, then fading almost completely. Lacing was small beaded rings.

S: Ultra-complex. I enjoyed this from the first sniff; after sufficient warming, found myself mutely inhaling and savoring this aroma. It was fun sharing this one with my wife because her keen sense of smell (though mine's getting much better) was picking up notes I was troubling over. Together we came up with: molasses, honey, cloves, candi sugar, toasted grain, dark chocolate, plum, cinnamon, black tea, currants, and an undeniable yeastiness that we both agreed "smells like Belgium".

T: Did I mention complexity? There's so much going on in this beer - flavors are cascading across the tongue in waves. Much of what was detected in the aroma is found in the taste, although I was surprised a bit by the depth of dark spices and bitterness. That effervescent tea/clove flavor was one of the first things I picked up on, but generally the spices were less sweet and more akin to ground cinnamon stick, nutmeg and to reduced (i.e. slightly burnt) caramel or molasses. Quite tasty but currently a little harsh, we're hopeful some more age will help mellow the intensity.

M: Pleasantly carbonated with a medium-full mouthfeel. Spices leave a lingering tingle on the tip of the tongue and a velvety alcohol warmth leaves the cheeks feeling a little fuzzy.

D: An excellent beer, no doubt. Worth the hype, if not the crazy lengths some people go to to obtain the #1-ranked beer in the world. Incredibly complex, fantastic aroma, nice experience overall. Can't wait for the next occasion to have another...

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 15:23:52 | More by msubulldog25
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dren

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was overly excited when a buddy of mine bought a case of this and we were to have it for our final beer club beer #500. This beer poured a dark amber haze with a sizeable head. Smelled slightly sweet with a little spice and apple juice notes. Starts off with spiced apple juice, some sweet brown sugar flavors, dark dried fruit flavors, a little more spice and hints of lemon at the end of every few sips. More alcohol warmth than I would have liked. It overpowered some of the flavors and stood out more as the beer warmed. A very full flavored beer but not as good as I was expecting. In fact I favor several quads and trippels over this brew. It was worth the money to say you have had one, but I would never pay the high price to have this beer again. The rarity gives this beer extremely too much credit.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2007 12:41:54 | More by dren
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xav33

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Westvleteren 12
12 oz bottle
Capped 10/30/09 (bottled 06),found God 05/07
Moderate pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a very murky dark brown with a moderate to large frothy mostly to fully lasting beige head.

Smelt of moderate to strong plums, raisins, vinous, with light cinnamon, cloves, caramel, mushroom yeastiness.

First sip was like an injection of Godliness. My tastebuds got shocked all the way into my spine. Upfront moderate sweet bitter and light sour everything followed by a strong bitter yeast moss and moderate sweetness on a long finish.

Palate was medium to full bodied, softly carbonated, creamy and slightly alcoholic.

Overall, the nose does not do it justice. It tastes like mystery and is so beautifully balanced throughout, it is dangerously drinkable for a quad. Godliness in a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2007 07:29:54 | More by xav33
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,459 ratings.