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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.

4,957 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,957
Reviews: 1,633
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 2,982
Gots: 1,447 | 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)
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: 4,957 | Reviews: 1,633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of liquidcraft
4.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A generous friend shared the wealth with me on this one, you've got to be motivated to get a bottle of this in our area. I did my best to keep myself level headed in reviewing this.

Poured with near zero head or apparent carbonation. Murky, apple-cider color, looks like its going to have a little thickness to it. Smells sweet and deeply fruity, expectations of raisins.

Taste followed the smell, got plenty of raisiny fruit and a yeasty sweetness. Definitely no misgivings about it being a belgian quad. The combination of creamy, cask-like texture and the powerful sweetness is not my preference but I'm enjoying this beer. Belgians are not my favorite beers, this was my 4th quad (seems appropriate) and I found this to be the most interesting one I've had. Also less drinkable than others due to the sweetness and thickness.

liquidcraft, May 20, 2010
Photo of elvisnj
3.98/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle.

Upon opening we have a light gusher.

Pours dark ivory with slight head that does not stick around beyond a slight skimming.

Nose is light. Phenols are detected along with classic Belgian Trappist yeast. Not much hop scent.

Taste.. is good. Its definitely a high quality brew. Its got some similarities to the Westvleteren 8 but I think it has less flavor. Its got dark fruits but they are not as evident. Raisins, plum, cola... I get just a hint of alcohol. Pretty smooth mouth feel.

Overall its good but definitely not as good as the 8. Being as how I lucked upon this and might never get another, I think the St Bernardus Abt 12 will do just fine as its equal.

elvisnj, May 19, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Brad for sharing several of these with me over the last few years.

Westvleteren 12 pours a somewhat thin looking brown hue with a nice sized head and decent lacing. Ooo...there's some abbey floaties in my glass...straight from God. Amen. Sweet malt with raisins, figs, and seductive Belgian yeast fill the senses throughout the smell and taste. What deliciousness! The beer is a bit thin in the feel, but on a positive note, this makes it silky smooth and easy to drink. The aftertaste is great and lingers for a considerable time between sips. This is remarkable beer.

Edit: July 21, 2012

Split a 2005 vintage with Brad. Rain water, earth, malt, yeast. Sublime. Hard to find any fault with this.

Huhzubendah, May 18, 2010
Photo of Shumista
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After a bit of bartering I was able to get a hold of a Westy through a trade. Been waiting around for the right time to try it but yesterday was finally time. Shared the 33 cl bottle three ways. Just a big enough pour for each of us to get a good feel for the beer. From notes.

Pours a muddy dark brown, no head at all. Barely looks carbonated. Smell is dominated by juicy ripe dark fruits. Also there is some spice, brown sugar and subtle yeastiness. Taste is very port like, definitely a dessert beer. And I don't mean it is a beer to be paired with dessert but rather is a dessert in and of itself. More unctuous sweet juicy ripe dark fruits, apple cider, candied sugar, a spice that is somewhere between cinnamon and nutmeg, and a subtle yeastiness. Surprisingly clean taste, much less funky than I would have expected. Very little aftertaste, each sips leaves a sweet warming sensation. It is thick and mouthcoating with very little carbonation that borders on being cask-like. Drinkability is difficult to judge with such a small pour, but I think the sweetness would get to me pretty quickly. I'm not sure if I would want to do an entire bottle. That's ok though, beers like this are way more fun to drink when shared anyways.

Best beer ever? What does that even mean...? Anyways it certainly was great, and definitely one of the best Belgian beers I have had yet.

Shumista, May 18, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 5-10-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass but really took my time!

Private tasting with Shango42 and Phidelt
Real big thanks to Shango42 for sharing this 2010 vintage!!!!

A - A finger of foam, mixture of browns and yellow's, a bit cloudy with a finger of foam and a good lacing ring

S - Caramel, malts, brown sugar maybe some vanilla plus a wine smell that reminded me of grapes. Lighter hop aroma but nothing to strong

T - Sweet caramel taste at first but then moved in the brown sugar vanilla flavor. I picked up some grape taste, not sweet for grapes but a wine sour taste but the blend of everything is close to perfection

M/D - Medium bodied brew, so ever so smooth. A brew that lived up to its name for sure a must try for anyone who can get their hands on one. I hope to have a chance to have another someday but if not I am for sure glad at least one!!!!

FreshmanPour77, May 13, 2010
Photo of stingrayvr6
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lucky enough to try this from a friend who picked it up from the abbey in Belgium in 2008. Poured deep red with thick white head, great lace and retention, something very appealing about it. Smell was intense, sweet cherries, raisins, caramel and malt, alcohol in the nose too. Taste was equally intense, incredibly smooth and complex, sweet and bitter fruit and bready malt followed by spice and alcohol warming, yeasty with some more spice and alcohol bite in the finish. Incredible balance and complexity.

stingrayvr6, May 09, 2010
Photo of superwombatgodde
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was recently on holiday in Belgium when I had occasion to stop by Cambrinus in Bruges where I was fortunate to order the last bottle of Westvleteren 12 in the bar. It was such a momentous event to me that I decided to journal the experience of drinking this beer in a style similar to a "play-by-play" analysis, only it is "sip-by-sip" in this particular instance. This is what I recorded:

After the first sip, the only question I have is "Who are you in this terrible form?"

Second sip - It was an explosion of grapes. All I could say was "Oh my god."

Third sip - In which I sniffed at the glass so hard that a portion of the beer made it into my left nostril. It is hard to say the taste seeing that it is mixed with day-old snot.

Fourth sip - This was Bacchus giving birth in my mouth. And, I was just informed that this is the last 12 in the bar, which means it is the god's only child.

Fifth sip - It must be wine. (and here I drew a picture of the beer)

Sixth sip - Left me destitute. I thought, "Yes, I can survive this." But then I held it in my mouth longer and longer until I held the precious nectar so long that I thought my tongue would disintegrate and my mouth would invert from concave to convex. It blew my synapses. Somewhere, a vineyard blossomed. And that place was inside my face.

Seventh sip - Unbelievable!!!! Unbelievable!!!

About an hour into the experience, I am approaching the end of the beer. At that point, I have only this to say:

I cannot even begin to describe the end of the Westvleteren. It sits there...waiting....

superwombatgodde, May 07, 2010
Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: murky brown with small white head and a touch of lacing

S: caramel fruit. some apples and little alcohol and some golden raisins

T: tastes like a pear and a raisin mixed with a bite of a caramel apple that amazingly sinks into my tongue and dominates my mouth. really nice

M: coats my mouth really well with the right amount of carb

D: really goes down easily. the alcohol is almost non-existant.

Notes: did a mini tasting with rochefort 10 and st bernardus 12 and the westy just to see which was the best... hoping it wasnt the westy so i wouldnt have to seek out another bottle.. and the westy won hands down. for sure the best tasting quad ive had

chefmikeanderson, May 03, 2010
Photo of SilentSabre
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured up considerably lighter in colour than I was expecting; medium brown body with virtually no head.
Smell was mild spice, and funnily enough, a honey aroma, as well. In fact, this bottle was shared between myself and two others and we all agreed this was almost remniscent of a spiced mead as far as smell goes.
Taste was pleasantly malty with quite a bit of dark fruit nuances.
Drinkability was absolutely fantastic with masterfully concealed alcohol. This drank no where close to 10,2%.
Mouthfeel was very silky and not as heavy as I had prepared myself for. Very easy to drink and smooth in the mouth.
Without a doubt, a very skillfully crafted beer and completely different from what I was expecting.

SilentSabre, May 03, 2010
Photo of mmahut
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky to found a bottle of this magnificent beer "under table" in one lost pub in Brussels; cap: 24. 03. 2013.

A: Dark brown body with creamy and solid head.

S: Aromatic smell of dark fruits and sweet sugar, very soft and pleasant. I was stuck at smelling it for pleasure during few seconds, I could just smell it all till there is nothing left. Very sublime and complex.

T: Dark fruits, prunes, caramel with added awesomeness. First time I can rate the taste as exceptional.

M: I think the mouth feel is the best aspect of this beer. You feel like you're in heaven and drinking a cloud. The softness and pleasant after-taste last several minutes.

D: I was very afraid that this beer will be overrated and nothing exceptional, but I was wrong. I must agree it is really exceptional. The high price and unavailability makes me kind of sad but makes me also think about becoming a monk myself, on the other hand :)

mmahut, May 02, 2010
Photo of kldobbins
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer courtesy of Brabander a generous BA member.

The bottle cap states 27.09.12

A: Dark ruby hue. Some sediment floating around.

S: Raison on the nose, some plum. Reminds me of wine

T: On initial taste, its a rush of flavors with champangne like carbonation activity taking place. Maltiness and yeast are present. Nut and caramel. By taste 6, the carbonation lays back, and those nutty tastes come out. Alcohol is well hidden, though I do feel internal warmness.

Great overall. Happy I tried it. I would love to have it again. I think I expected to be blown away, yet I cant think of a beer that I have had.
Must try!

kldobbins, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of BeckyFreesTibet
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my 10th review, so I thought I'd break out one of the big boys...

It pours a deep chestnut color with a slight burnt-sienna tint. Quite opaque but with visible yeast. At first, there was about a 1/2 finger of milky, yeasty head with large bubbles, but it died down quickly. As I drank, there was a consistent, soft lacing on the sides of the glass and bubbles around the rim.

My boyfriend broke out his Westy 12 at the same time, and for some reason his smelled totally different. Mine had a little bit of barnyardy funk that was not present in his, which was also a little less boozey smelling than mine. Overall, mine had a stronger nose, especially as it opened with noticeable floral and caramel aromas.

The taste is sweet, buttery and nutty, with a hoppy after-taste. Yeast and a slight booziness fade a bit as it opens up. My boyfriend's bottle was floral tasting and almost a bit soapy.

Mouthfeel was surprisingly thin for a 10.2%, but I enjoyed the light carbonation.

Drinkability was excellent, as it left me feeling remarkably refreshed.

Needless to say, being the #1 rated beer on BA, I had extremely high hopes for this one. It didn't necessarily disappoint, but was perhaps less stellar than I expected, especially after having tried 8 a few months ago, which I found to have an unbelievable crisp, butteriness to both the taste and mouthfeel.

BeckyFreesTibet, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of pwoody11
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date: 17.11.12

Poured a dark brown with a huge off white 3 finger head.

What can I say that hasn't already said about this amazing brew. So complex. I couldn't even begin to describe the aromas and flavors. I looked here on BA for inspiration and came across the review by Feloniousmonk:

"...requires a new vocabulary!...serious contemplation is required, for I am seriously, honestly, taken aback by the force of, not only the alcoholic content, but the strong, full, bewitching flavor of this incredible ale! It staggers the senses! Honestly, I reel from it's effects and must wait until my consciousness can comprehend what is going on...many layers, many flavors, many ways that this incredible concoction can impact upon the senses."

Monk's description is everything I wanted to say, but couldn't put into words.


pwoody11, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of jojomdma
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alright, got this from a great guy in Belgium.
I prepped myself for this and had time to myself, at home, chilling by my open window as the spring breeze blew by. I took my bottle and opened it up gently. As I Gently poured out this brew, I noticed the gracefulness of its body as it filled my glass. Golden color with a hint of reddish rust color. As I finished pouring it in, I also see that the head is little but awake. So, at this point, I usually let it get 10 minutes of warming up at room temp, but i cheated and took a drink right away! How refreshing can a beer get, you ask? Lets just say that i could drink this year round..everyday!! The aroma was mild but every sense of flowery, parfume and almost like a cologne of a sense. Taste of the hops and the yeast are well balanced. Clean and smooth to the palate. It could be drank day in and say out because of the balance. nothing is dominant here.. just great craftsmanship.

jojomdma, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of JoeySchlitz
3.7/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed a little while ago, from my notes. Cap reads: 17.10.10

A: A thick 2" of head forms from a gentle pour into my Hop Monk snifter. It slowly diminished and melds with the copper mahagony beer below which is a lighter golden at the edges.

S: Initially there's a bit of delicious yeasty funkiness and as it warms, a much stronger Belgian yeast aroma dominates. A rich, concentrated banana bread, soaked in rum with some dark cherries in the background.

T: The taste unfortunately doesn't follow the smell as closely as hoped, and a more medicinal alcohol laden flavor is present with a slight bitter aftertaste. Fairly smooth overall and as it warms is pretty dry and crisp. The Belgian yeast breadiness is in the background but is overpowered by the medicinal flavors unfortunately.

M: Very good carbonation - gives the beer levity. Medium to thick viscosity which is perfect for the style.

O: For the highest rated beer on BA, I was very disappointed. It is a good quad but when I can go to the corner-store and buy a Rochefort 10 or a St. Bernardus Abt 12 (both of which I think are better than this) for much, much cheaper, it makes this obsolete. Very glad to have tried this, but this is a 'one and done' given the logistics of obtaining more.

JoeySchlitz, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of Beejay
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review #500

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jt31914, Mar 29, 2010
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,957 ratings.