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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

4,864 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,864
Reviews: 1,623
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,947
Gots: 1,408 | FT: 108
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,864 | Reviews: 1,623 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of redneckchugger
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with almost tan-cream head. Loads of lacing
Beauriful nose, belgian yeast, caramel, toaasted nuts, and a huge plum presence.
The palate is less refined, huge hit of alcohol, with a bit more of the belgiany flaovr from teh yeast. More plum, lots of sugar fruit like rum soaked raisens, plums, some breadiness as well.
This is a great beer, worldclass no doubt, but best on the planet, i think thats a stretch. The nose is amazing, as good as any i have smelled to this point However, the pallete is a bit less complex than suggested by the nose. Don't get me wrong, this beer is better than most, its mindblowingly good. I jsut find the alcohol to be a bit much, and the flavor profile to be a hair off. All in all a truely great beer though.

redneckchugger, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of jamescain
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What else is there to say about this beer. I didn't want to be one of those people that tried this beer and called it my favorite beer because its on the top of the list. But its nearly impossible.

The first time I tried the beer in was at my apartment and some people i knew bought it over spring break when they went to Belgium. It was my first experience with a beer that was this complex. The next time I tried it I was in Belgium and i had more time to develop my beer pallet.

The beer is bottle conditioned and can therefore be stored in a dark cool place to age the beer. I haven't tried it aged because I cant wait to drink it every time I have had it.

The beer was poured into a goblet shaped class. Dark and cloudy, not as dark as I was expecting, but a brownish color. The smell is overwhelming. It smells of malts, caramel, sugar, very sweet smelling and yet still a very subtle and pleasant hop smell. The beer poured with about an inch of head that lasted until the beer was gone. The head itself was not as thick as a stout, but nor is it as light as a lager. The color of the head is a light brown.

Even though the beer is 10.2% alcohol there is virtually no alcohol taste to the beer and a very smooth finish to it. The taste of the beer is mostly contributed by the Belgium yeast, but it is far more complex than that. It contains subtle hints of dark fruits, dark malt, yeast spice, caramel, and molasses. But no one ingredient hides any other, they are all represented in the correct amount.

It takes a while to drink this beer, but it is best to savor it. Each taste should be a mouthful that you spend at least five seconds before you swallow it to fully experience all this beer has to offer. If you have the chance to try it I fully recommend it.

jamescain, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of mvice001
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So.... I have read all the hype about this beer and I must say that for the most part.. the hype is true.. To start off with, I'm an IPA drinker so when all things are said and done I prefer a very good IPA such as 3F, Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, or Bells HopSlam. With that being said, this is probably the best Belgium beer I have ever had.. I recently went to Belgium in Feb. of 2009 and let me say that it was somewhat of a challenge to find it. I had lots of angry retailers tell me that it is illegal to buy it and would ask me to leave.. I had finally located some and brought some home with me in the US. While in Belgium, I had located a bar in Brugges that had some and I was impressed, but not particularly taken away (I'm skeptical if this was indeed a true westy... at the same time it may have not been as aged

since then I had been really into Chimay, Rochfort 10, and St. bernardus.... So... it has been about 8 months since Belgium and I had bottles of Westy 12 waiting for a special occasion and aging and I don't know how old the bottle was to begin with. the cap said a date of 2011 so I'm not sure if that is when it expires or the best time to drink it..I brought a house and I figured that it was time to open one of my Westy's so here are my notes of last week's tasting

Smell...Brown sugar raisin malts.. Mellow and sweet smelling.. at some point I could have sworn I smelled a very faint hint of cinnamon, but intertwine with brown sugar

Appearance: dark brown... had a nice head which allowed the aroma to seep in my nose

Taste: Are you serious... this beer is 10.2% alcohol!! Very sweet, but not overbearing.. slight mild hops... only word that I can say is complex....

before I enjoyed the beer completely I actually did a taste test with all my favorite Belgiums (Chimay, Rochfort 10, St. Bernardus)... West 12 won.... hands down..the closest to complexity was Rochfort although they are two different beers and do not resemble one another at all.. the other beers seemed watered down and somewhat bland compared to Westy... don;t get me wrong.. they are great beers, but it doesn't compared.. Many people say that St. bernrdus is closest... I think it is to an extent, but it tasted very watered down in flavor...

Nevertheless. I will still prefer drinking a great IPA on a regular basis.. on occasions I drink Belgium's... But if I had Wests 12 all the time, I may possibly drink them all the time... unfortunately they are hard to find.. I have two left... One for when I get married and the other when I become a father...

mvice001, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of davexisxrabid
3.15/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into my Chimay goblet. It literally changed color in front of my eyes! Left the yeast floating in the bottom of the bottle. Golden brown (started off a lot lighter), no head, no lacing. Seemed flat and uncarbonated.

Aroma of cinammon, brown sugar, pungent hop aroma, caramel.

Very sweet caramel and brown sugar flavor. Alcohol well hidden. Couldn't help but notice it had a flat cola type of taste; I honestly wasn't impressed.

Medium bodied but lacking carbonation. Flavor does remain on the palate, along with a slight hop bitterness.

Decent drinkability, but I would find it infinitely more interesting if it were carbonated. I have one more bottle in my fridge and I really hope it's carbonated; if it is and it tastes a helluva lot better then I'll repost an edit on my review.

davexisxrabid, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a murky reddish brown color that produced a great fluffy off white head that had good retention and lace the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this by this beer had a mix of malts, cherries, plums, nutty, of course that Belgian yeast is very strong, but a bit of heat is on the back end

T - The taste of this beer is very complex, but each and every aspect of the beer presents itself nicely, caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses, cherries, dried plums and raisins, and of course the Belgian yeast

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium to heavy body, with a light to moderate amount of carbonation, this beer is very warming

D - This is the kind of beer that I would imagine a St. Bernard would carry to a frozen hiker, seriously, I was sweating after drinking this beer, but in all seriousness, good beer, everything that I imagined, not my favorite, but definitely in my top 10

cvfish, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of stephens101
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to petecz for the hookup on this one!

After a bit of hesitation, I finally pop the cap. Pours a pure brown infused with a panoply of bubbles. A slight covering of tan head dissipates quickly, leaving a few dots of lace strewn about. The aroma is vinous with ripe grapes, grape juice, grain, beer bread and some candy sweetness underneath it all. As it warms the complexity grows, with notes of vinegar and phenols eventually opening up. Tastes bready, malty and fruity up front. The alcohol heat goes straight to the stomach and curls up into a warm fuzzy little ball. Subsequent drinks reveal some sweet chocolates and caramel as well as spice and grain. The medium to full-body goes down creamy, and I'm looking at the half-empty bottle, already wishing I had more of this goodness.

stephens101, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received as a wedding gift from my best man--by far the best gift we received. He got us a six pack, and my wife and I are planning on having the next five each anniversary up until our fifth.

A: Poured into a Mikasa chalice. Pours a large mocha head atop a very dark brown body. Plenty of yeast. The lacing is extremely long-lasting.

S: Lots going on here, especially as it warms up. The trademark yeast is by far the most prominent smell, accompanied by some dark malts and fruits, along with a bit of alcohol.

T: Much the same as the nose, and probably the most complex beer I've ever tasted. Plenty of dark fruits, dark malt, alcohol, fruit and yeast spice, caramel, and molasses.

M: Very full and heavy with a moderate amount of carbonation. Luscious.

D: Quite complex and takes a while to drink, and only gets better as it warms up. Very nice to savor for a long period of time while continuing to find new things going on.

Thorpe429, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a flute. Amber in appearance with foamy bubbles presenting the off white head. Active carbonation apparent with some sediment.

Strong aroma of bready malts, apparant booze. Fragrant and inviting.

Tastes of sweet malts. Very complex malt body. Tart and puckering. Herbal hop adds to the mix. Perfectly balanced. Pronounced dark fruit character. This beer is strong flavored and full bodied, reminiscent of a fine bourbon, only much cleaner on the palate.

Goes down really damn smooth. Crisp and well carbonated mouthfeel that makes me yearn to continue sipping.

Glad I got to try such a fine beer. Sets a benchmark of what a Quad should be. Drink em if you got em.

Stinkypuss, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of naterock
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Smokestack Goblet. Extremely cloudy with a reddish brown hue and just a ring of head around the glass. truly a perfect looking quad.

Smell is probably the most complex I've ever smelled. But I can say I wish the volume was kicked up a notch. because it's very hard to pull the distant ones out of the background. Candied sugar and a Vanilla/banana/burnt currants and some exceptional figgy undertones. WOW

I thought that because of the hype I wouldn't be blown away....I am. Tastes like it smells with a overly complex flavor. A tingling alcohol twinge scurries it's way down your throat and almost sends chills up your spine. Jesus...

Mouth is overcarbonated at first but flattens out quickly. Slightly dry like it has been wood aged but I'm sure it hasn't. I can't even describe this one past a point. I could enjoy a bottle but I wouldn't dare waste another on a ruined palate.

naterock, Sep 20, 2009
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,864 ratings.