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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

4,716 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,716
Reviews: 1,617
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,895
Gots: 1,355 | FT: 102
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: 4,716 | Reviews: 1,617 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of azorie
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

date on cap: 19.03.08

A: its pours from the 330ml bottle into a nice tulip type glass, dark brown with a big head served at 55f. What can say its the perfect beer.

S: very rich dark raisin and other plum type smells, some mild hop, and a slight bit of alcohol.

T: here where the rubber his the road, its all about the great rich taste to me, there is too much in here for me to figure out, but I know I love it, give me some Trappist cheese and I could die after with no regrets.

M: very full body and depending how much its been aged if its fresh you detect some alcohol, its only gets better with age.

D: I always have 3 in a row, so its dam drinkable to me

I love it aged or not aged

azorie, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of DigitalHype
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stamp on the cap is 03.12.11.

Poured into a Westvleteren glass. What else would one use for this masterpiece?

I have to say. I was a bit worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype, and the anticipation. I was not disappointed. Not in the least.

It pours a very rich, dark caramel-like color, with a minimal, but persistent head that remains at the edges, from start to finish. Very tight, crystalline lacing.

Wonderful aroma of candied fruits and warm bread. It is almost unbelievable how dampened the alcohol is here.

I'm not sure where to begin with flavors. This is really complex. Evolving heavily, as I finish it. At first, the sweetness is more than I expected. But, not overpowering. Lots of fig, and stone-fruit flavors. Honey-like sweetness. Bread pudding with raisins comes to mind. Toffee, caramel, and a mild-roast coffee.

The texture is soft and slightly sticky. The carbonation is elevated, but controlled. And, the alcohol is perfectly balanced and masked, as with most all Trappist work. It is still warming though.

This really is wonderful. I can't wait to have another. I only received 8 of these. So, I'm going to do my damnedest to cellar some. But, I have a feeling I will fail miserably. That's okay too. :P

DigitalHype, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Cap says 18.06.11.

A- A dark burnt caramel color with very little head. The lacing is kinda clinging to the edges of the glass. Some yeast floaties in the beer.

S- A very nutty bready smell with lots of yeast. Dark fruits, more along the lines of dates and figs. I'm also getting a chocolate smell as well.

T- The taste is smooth, good chocolate taste, the figs and dates for sure are there. Bready, yeasty and hearty, yet smooth and very tasty.

M- Very smooth, creamy and delicious.

D- Very easy to drink, the abv is very well hidden and this is very delicious.

This beer is excellent for sure, especially for its style.

Wetpaperbag, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of ScreamForMe
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What else can be written about this beer? Without going over too many of the same details, the one thing that keeps coming up is how the alcohol in the brew is rather well hidden. This and the incredible mouthfeel stood out for me.

Did it live up to the hype? Nah, there's no way a beer can live up to that much hype. Is it a great, world class, beer? Absolutely!

Time to have another!

ScreamForMe, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of Mattysox
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a beautiful, dark chestnut brown color, showing hints of dark ruby at the edges when held up to light. It's capped by a 1/2" of dark tan, tightly bubbled head that slides down to a thin, persistent lace around the top. It looks absolutely gorgeous in the glass.

On the nose, the 12 shows vibrant, complex aromas of toffee, raisins, figs, clove, coffee, dark cherry and licorice. At about 55 degrees, the smells come bursting out of the glass. After a few sips and swirls, a sasparilla note, reminiscent of old fashioned root beer, becomes apparent.

The flavors follow through consistently with the nose, with additional notes of candied sugar and bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is full, creamy and very, very smooth. The alcohol level is quite well hidden but becomes much more evident as the beer warms up a touch. Throughout, though, there is the expected "warming sensation" you'd expect from a beer w/ this ABV.

The finish is long-lasting and very complex. There is a definite sweet cola aspect to the finish, along with more spicy clove notes.

On the whole, this is a magnificently made beer and understandably rated as such. For a true Belgian beer fan, this may be the end all/be all of beer. For someone, such as myself, who much prefers other styles of beer, this is appreciated for what is: a beer made with consummate skill, but to my taste, not the "greatest beer in the world."

Mattysox, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

August 2007 vintage I believe. Been saving this for a special occasion. Nothing says special like "holy shit, my cellar is almost empty." The only other time I've tasted this brew is when I was pretty blitzed at the barrel aged Speedway release, when I cracked a piss warm bottle in a drunken attempt to show off to my friends. Hey, nobody else was crackin a Westy. Bitches.

As for today, I pour a deep blood moon of burgandy with a beautiful head of tan bubbles.

Smells sweet. Malty. Caramelized sugar. Figs. Dark fruits, raisins. Alcohol. Cherry. Tons of shit. This puppy is busy as hell.

Taste unique as a mafucka. All of the above represented. Extremely complex. The alcohol that is a little over represented in the nose is not in the flavor profile at all.

Damn smooth. Hits the tongue, paratroops down the throat, and disappears Houdini style. Unique I say again.

Drinkability? Don't know. I could easily drink a few. The 10+% is very appreciated, meaning: daddy's happy!

When I first came on this site, Westy 12 immediately became my holy grail. I found it's not that difficult to get: just pay the man (read 20 bucks a pop on ebay). So it's not the best beer I've ever had, even though it is statistically the best beer on planet earth. Is it good? You betcher ass.

Overall: a fond memory

PatronWizard, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of LittleCreature
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served by the barman at In de Vrede.

Appearance - 4.5
Poured a finger of beige head that quickly reduced to a thin layer. The body is completely opaque, black with reddish brown where the light hits it. Left little lacing.

Smell - 5.0
Not as powerful as some beers of this strength, but oh so pleasant. The sweet aroma includes golden syrup, toffee, cocoa, raisins, stewed apple and a little spice.

Taste - 5.0
What does one expect when drinking the world's greatest beer? It doesn't blow my head off, and it isn't outrageously complex, but it does taste damn good. Alcohol is smooth and warming, and it is much sweeter than the other Westvleterens. Flavours of caramel, stewed red apple, burnt sugar, mixed spice and cocoa. The finish is pleasantly bitter (although not quite enough to call it perfectly balanced) and slightly dry.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Amazingly smooth, fine carbonation, although perhaps a little flatter than desirable.

Drinkability - 4.5
Very easy to drink for one so strong, but the sweetness meant that I was not longing for a second (but I had one anyway!).

OVERALL
Alright, let's get the obvious questions out of the way:
Q. Is Westvleteren 12 the perfect beer?
A. No. If it were perfect I would have scored it a 5. To me it has one definite flaw, and a couple of minor flaws. First, it is definitely too sweet. Deliciously sweet I might add, but ultimately it is a beer that is best suited to drinking one on its own, or serving with dessert. As mentioned, the beer is also a little flatter that I would like, but for the style this is acceptable.
Q. Is Westvleteren 12 the best beer in the world?
A. Possibly, although my gut feeling is that there are probably a couple of beers in the American micro brewing scene that are better.
Q. Is it the best beer I have tried?
A. Yes. Not by a huge margin mind you, but no beer I have tasted before has had quite the wow factor, or delicious richness of flavour that the Westy has.
Q. If I have one bottle of Westvleteren 12, should I drink it now or let it age for a few years?
A. Either. I have now tried the beer both fresh, and after 5 years in the Kulminator cellar. Overall I would say the cellared version was the more complex, better tasting beer, but it had lost much of its carbonation. Whichever way you choose to drink it, it is a fantastic beer.

LittleCreature, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of Pamola
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to get this in a trade from JeffV for my 1000th beer (give or take a few probably). Thanks, Jeff.

A: Poured into a tulip and shared with a couple select friends. Dark dark chestnut with a 3 finger off white head. Very slow dissipation. Slow and steady release of carbonation adds to the head nearly as fast as it settles. Wonderful, thick lacing. Physical foam more than superficial detritus.

A: warm dark fruit aromas with a slight ester funk. Powerful and steady without being overwhelming.

T: First impression is the ridiculous smoothness of flavor. For the style the maltiness and yeast sharpness are perfect. The esters dance on the tongue and there is absolutely no indication of the alcohol content. Buttery, oakey finish.

M: Rounded and perfectly effervescent on the palate.

D: This beer was worth the wait. I certainly do wish access was better and easier, and that ease of procurement wouldn't take anything away from the beer. It does live up to the hype.

Pamola, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of PretzelCity
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an nice deep caramel brown with a decent head that dissipates rather quickly. The smell for me was probably the worst part, it doesn't smell as good as it tastes but it still smells pretty damn good. Sweet malts and candied sugars make this beer incredibly easy to drink. Would love to try this with a couple of years on it. I wish I had it every day as this would easily be my everyday go to beer. Really in a category of its own. Excellent beer! One of the few beers really worth the hype.

PretzelCity, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Normally I wouldn't want to review a beer I've only had a small sample of but this is something I may never get the chance to try again so its now or never. Thanks to Vickie (LifeIsGood) for providing me with this opportunity.

Pours a deep brown color with a decent looking tan head that leaves considerable lacing. Again, this is a small serving so I'm sure this would be all the more amazing if I was working with a full bottle.

Smells of sweet brown sugar, dark fruit, slightly alcoholic (though not as strong as ABV may indicate) with some bready notes, a little nutty and some chocolate in the background. Truly an amazing work of art going on here.

Taste is stongly reminiscent of dark fruits (fig, raisin) with notes of caramel and chocolate present throughout. Subtle sweetness that lingers.

Nice mouthfeel, very smooth with medium carbonation. The feeling as it glides across the palate is almost indescribable. A true sipper that I would love to savor throughout the night if only I could obtain a decent amount worth of it. Now all I have to do is make a trip to Belgium so I can (hopefully) obtain a full case worth for about 40 bucks. Trying this should be a goal of any BA and I am just glad I was able to fulfill it, even to this small extent, so early in my journey.

Vengeance526, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of bbothen
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a hazy & murky mahogony brown. Lots of yeast flowing throughout, even with a careful pour. The head is a ginormous billowing fluffy glob of tan colored beauty. To me. Picture perfect.

The first aroma hits me as a big fruitiness, Belgian yeast, nuttiness, caramel/toffee, bready malt, big booze. Cant wait anymore, must sample.

The taste. The taste. Hmm. How do you describe awesome? Big caramel malt sweetness, melted toffee, fruity candy like goodness, big warming boozy rush with each sip, an herbal character as well. Trust me these words do not do the taste justice.

Velvet like, smooooth, warming, moderate carbonation, full bodied.

This is a gigantic almost 11% quad, so a bottle was enough. Okay, I could have another. But this is no session beer. Definition of a sipper.

Hype. Yep. Live up to it? Yep. Glad I've had the opportunity to have this a few times. Seek it out if you love beer. Obviously.

bbothen, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of tconboy
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed several of these during my time in Bruges and Antwerp, including a magnificent 2004 edition from Kulminator's cellar. With a little age, even more light is shed on the absolute perfection in the way the wondrous flavors of this beer of gods blend together in creating a taste of the heavens.

Pours a murky, alive, dark chocolate malt brown with a fluffy, cloudy, pillowy extremely light tan head that sits on top of this wonder as a heavenly cloud sits above the wonders of life below. Close your eyes and inhale the deep, succulent, full, chocolaty, creamy, soul of bread aroma and you can feel the beers aura inviting you to taste it's otherworldly pleasure.

The feeling as it flows through your mouth and makes contact with the taste buds, immaculate. This beer is alive! As you become one with its glory you not only taste, but feel the incredible deep full roasted blend of complex bready chocolate sweet dried fruit goodness that balance in creating the ultimate beer flavor.

This beer is unlike any other that I have experienced. It has the incredible balance and smoothness that makes the Rochefort 10 so special, but it's flavor - complexity similar to the Bernardus Abt, but blends and is alive in a way which can't be done justice through comparison. The individual aspects of this beer are reminiscent of those that make other great beers exactly that, but the way in which they all come together in a harmonious revelation is what ultimately makes this beer unmatched.

All hail the king in his golden crown.

tconboy, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
4.18/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Procured this rare gem from bgramer in July (thanks Brendan) and shared with Thirstybird. 11.2 Oz. bottle dated 08.04.11 served in my Simon Pierce goblets. Poured a mahogany/cola color - some light penetration with ruby red highlight around the edges and tiny particles visible in solution. Incredible head retention unlike any brew I've ever had, with thick sheets of sticky lacing evident throughout the tasting. Nose was wine-like with some woody characteristics, spices and cherry-flavored cough medicine. Taste follows nose with a dry, oaky and spicy finish. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied with a tingly effervescence from beginning to end. Hands down the best Quad I've ever had. So smooth and easy drinking with an abv that's undetectable. I was not at all let down by this incredible Trappist offering and really savored the changing qualities of the brew as it warmed.

Jwale73, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of jpaltan
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Getting ready to drink this in celebration of moving and the eagles actually not fing up and getting into and the championship. date says 7.7.09

Hazy dark brown with minimal head, but expected with such high alcohol content. some lacing on the side, but the beer is several years old as well. some yeast or proteins floating around on the bottom of the glass.

Smell is brown sugar, with notes of apple and pear. almost has the smell of a hard cider. Maybe a hint of oxidation in the nose. Very reminiscent of a barleywine.

Wow, taste is really quite layered with so many different flavors going on. Alcohol only hits the back of the throat towards the finish. Notes of apple, pear. Brown sugar taste is there too. Maybe even a taste of lemon. and some notes of bread.

mouthfeel is really there too. a gentle creaminess with adequate carbonation.

Overall a great beer, however with that being said i think rochefort 10 and st bernardus are definitely its equal. i might even have to rate the rochefort 10 higher than it. perhaps there is even a bit of disappointment for holding and coveting the beer so long, that it can never reach the expectations that you have set for it.

jpaltan, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

O.K., it's open... I'm scared.. I get one shot at this. Special thanks to Avalon68 for providing this in a trade. Cap says 08.08.10

I poured about 60% of the bottle into my snifter glass watching to leave the sediment in the bottom of the glass. About a finger of foamy off white head formed and then slowly receded into the brew... The beer was a deep dark ruby red/amber color... Held to the light you can see the clarity is very nice. It's just very dark so it appears more opaque. Not a classic lacing, but on the side of the snifter where I am drinking from is covered with clinging foam that stays put between sips... Perhaps as I make my way through the glass further I will see more.

The aroma is very deep and very inviting. Dark fruits, cherries, dates, tobacco and some real earthiness.

The flavor is really smooth... I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this is very nice. It's interesting in that it's fairly complex, yet also pretty consistent front to back.. Dark dates nice sweetness then to some deep malt flavors. No harsh grain nature.. just a smooth malt flavor... some subtle bitterness in the background that I believe is hiding the alcohol notes. If you really concentrate, they are there... but barely noticeable.

Silky smooth with the slightest tingle of carbonation. I literally grabbed this from my aging cellar and 52-55 degrees was perfect for this.

Really is supremely drinkable. There is the slightest presence of alcohol, but overall it's such a well hidden 10% it's almost scary.

I am honored to have tried this gem.. It won't rank as my favorite beer, but I can certainly see why it's so well respected...

Reagan1984, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of jjazz
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ygtbsm94 for the trade. Cap dated 24 05 09.

Pours a deep transparent brown with a moderately sized head. Lacing stays tight as the head falls, but it doesn't last terribly long. Looks very good.

Aroma is very nice. Dust, dark rum, sweet malt, bread, yeast, faint hops, and a bit of alcohol. It really smells like fresh baked bread. The slight alcohol aroma really adds to what else is present, and the beer wouldn't be the same without it. Slightly vinous.

Taste is wonderfully complex and evolves nicely. Brown sugar, sweet caramel, the perfect amount of balancing bitterness, and a long, long finish. Flavors change, and overall palate impression shifts back and forth between bitter hops and sweet malt, especially in the finish. Too complex to describe. Delicious. What all quads should strive for. Perfect level of sweetness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is just perfect. Full, fat, and round, but elegant at the same time. Not overly thick or syrupy. Wine-like. Hard to explain. Carbonation is just right. Again, what all quads should strive for.

Even with all of its power, drinkability is great. I could sip on this all night... and day. I liked it a bit warmer than most quads, or about 60F.

Overall, yes, one of the best beers I have ever had. In a league of its own? No. Just damn good.

I'm very glad I had the chance to try this, and will jump on the opportunity if I have it again. Worth the trade and then some.

jjazz, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of nycwinter
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Entry 1/8/09: So this is what good beer tastes like. The date is a little confusing. Does any one know what 24.09.11 denotes? I have two more bottles, should I let these sit around a lot longer?
Also, I had it at room temperature (approx. 72F) then put it in the fridge a few days ago. I let it sit out for about 10 minutes before I opened it. Did I ruin anything in this process?

A- I poured it into a pint glass. The color is an awesome light but murky brown. Very thin head that remained throughout, and some lacing.

S- Sweet and hoppy.

T- Like it smells. A little too strong for my tastebuds, bud I can definitely get used to it.
The high ABV probably takes some getting used to.

M- A little dry, but again, I can get used to it.

O- I'm really looking forward to the other two. One is enough for now.

Entry 12/21/09: This is bottle two of three that my wife got for me last Christmas. The date on the cap reads, "24.09.11". I stored this in my pantry for the last year, and placed it in a cooler set at about 45 degrees for a couple of days. Poured into a tulip glass.

A= Once opened, the contents fizzed out. This caused the sediment to swirl throughout the glass as I poured it as quickly as possible. It looked as thick and chewy as was perceived in the mouthfeel.

S= Honey and raisin bread

T= Very balanced watery sweetness, hop tartness, and alcohol hotness.

M= Medium-heavy viscosity. Smooth aftertaste.

D= I wish I could say, "Keep 'em coming!", but at $20 a bottle I gotta save bottle number three.

nycwinter, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of Biggness
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark brown with a slight white head with some lacing. The smell is of raisins, nuts and chocoalte. The taste has lots of raisin flavors along with a nice chololate malt flavor. This beer is very full of flavor, there is also a nice flavor of the yeast that blends very nicely with the big malt flavor. The mouthfeel is nice, but the carbonation level seems low. For a +10% abv beer this is incredibly drinkable.

Biggness, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of midaszero
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

200th review

Thanks to xpimptastikx for trading this to me.

Side by side with MiguelMandingo. Mine was 9 months old his was 3 years old.

For the longest time I figured this was just going to be a another over hyped beer that when I finally got to have it I would just be like meh. I will honestly say this has to be pretty much the best beer I have ever had and I would love to get more of it.

A - Very dark brown body with one finger of slightly off white head that leaves good lacing.

S - Raisins and toffee with some awesome floral notes, lots of lavender and some apple as well. Very solid and pleasant smell.

T - Just like the nose a solid mixture of raisins, toffee, lavender, apple, and other generic floral notes. Pick up a little bit of booze in the taste but nothing to bring down the taste just it can be noticed. Leather and tobacco notes in the back as well.

M - Silky smooth and creamy. Excellent medium body with the perfect mixture of medium carbonation. A beer has never felt so good in my mouth.

D - Easy to drink and super enjoyable. Even with the high ABV I would totally try to session this.

midaszero, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of ynnpar
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer, no doubt. I'm not sure that everyone will find it the be all end of beverages, though. It has a average-nice head and lacing. It smells fine and drinks easily. But after all the trouble I went through to get hold of this stuff, I'm just not THAT blown away. Good stuff, no doubt. But the best in the world?

ynnpar, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My soon to be brother in law brought back a few bottles of this from Amsterdam and invited me over for a surprise.

A - Split the bottle into two servings. Poured into chimay goblets. Very hazy, dark copper. Light tan headed retained well but not as thick as expected for style. Possibly due to splitting among two servings.

Smell - Very evident bread smell, like a fresh cooked raisin bread. There is a subdued alcohol smell. And then into fruits raisin and plum, very sweet fruit.

T - Perfection. It is so well balanced, one note blends into the next, I cant describe whats happening. It starts off with a bread pudding, then into sweet plum notes finishing off with just a hit of hops leaving me in a state of nirvana

M - Deceptive. I feel Like I could inhale the entire glass. But there is a full body and lots of carbonation.

O - Perfection. This is the most complex beer yet so perfectly balanced. The malt and hops are transformed into something completely unworldly.

I can now die a happy man.

DwnTwnBwn, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of Atricapilla
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was split between four of us and poured into small tumblers...I had extremely high expectations for this beer and they were definitely met. Beer poured a dark toffee color with a thick foamy head. It smelled of caramel, malt and flowers. I was a bit surprised by the complexity of the taste; I know that I cannot do it justice: very strong caramel and malt flavours, with a striking tone of ethanol. It had a flavor of dark bread and a light sweetness to it, but was not sticky. Very well done.

Atricapilla, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of blackie
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

given free reign over dirtylou's cellar fridge on this, my final day in madison, the legendary westy 12 catches my eye...

a: poured into my st. bernie chalice, maintains an attractive frothy beige coating over a date colored beer

s: soft and yeasty fruit profile with puree of date and raisin, delicate aged hops, flashes of milk chocolate as it warms, spicy ethanol, tantalizingly deep, rich, and refined all at once

m: gentle carbonation on the high side of medium, medium-full body, almost milky

t: smooth date-raisin-walnut compote over subtle milk chocolate that lingers long into the finish, aged hops contribute a papery flavor, fitting levels of booze

d: no issues here, very enjoyable but certainly a sipper

original scores: 45, 45, 45, 45, 4

acquired by dirtylou in amsterdam, consumed in madison

bottle from the Xmess 2012 stateside shipment, consumed 6/2013: Just a flawless example of the style. Gorgeous brune color with khaki head. Raisins, dates, papery aged hops, and delicately spicy yeast. Alcoholic warmth. Part of my pre-Belgium re-education. Flawless.

blackie, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of IDrinkAllot
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got a 6 pack with 2 bottles of blonde, 8, and 12. When I final got it my expectations were unreasonably high. I tried a bottle of the blonde then the 8 and both beers were wonderful but did not meet my expectations. Then I tried the 12 and it was fantastic and made the whole pain in the ass of get it worth while. It is rich, very sweet, lightly carbonated and has a slightly thick mouth feel. I wish that it had a little more of a head and that they only used there nondescript bottles, the ones without the ring of glass that says trappist on it, but at the end of the day those are the only negative thing I can say about this beer.

IDrinkAllot, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of phirleh
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first beer off 2009, I had it at the stroke of midnight. It was sent to me by a friend in the states. I tried to keep an open mind and not get sucked into the previous hype about this beer, but was it ever justified. Poured dark and thick with an off white head in a Westy glass. Carbonation reminded me of the pricklyness of a Westmalle and the taste was roasted and sugary. What an incredible, complex beer. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

phirleh, Jan 02, 2009
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,716 ratings.