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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

4,579 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,579
Reviews: 1,609
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,841
Gots: 1,304 | 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
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Ratings: 4,579 | Reviews: 1,609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atigerlife
atigerlife

Hawaii

4.68/5  rDev +1.5%

OK, I am usually skeptical of some of the big beer ratings on BA. I am not as favorable towards those [or ultra hoppy] beers as many of my BA brethren. So, it was with some interest that I finally broke a couple of bottles of Westy 12 out for our anniversary...

Poured into a Westy chalice. Pours a beautiful dark brown that when held up to the light is actually an amazing ruby color. I finger creamy light brown head. Opaque. Excellent lacing. Just an amazing beer to look at.

Aroma is slightly sweet and very malty. Some wood, nuts and dark fruit come through. Nice.

Taste is malty, woody and some nice spices. Also some molasses and a wonderful leather/earthy taste. Lots of flavor and very well balanced. Complex, but melded together beautifully.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very, very creamy. Nice.

Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised that the hype for this beer is all true! This is the real deal. From top to bottom, this is just excellent. Amazing balance, complexity and smoothness. I don't know if it is the best beer in the world, but it is truly outstanding.

04-23-2008 23:50:45 | More by atigerlife
Photo of Traquairlover
Traquairlover

Virginia

4.45/5  rDev -3.5%

33cl bottle poured into a chalice. Cap stamped with 20.11.10.

A = Very dark mahogany brown with a light tan frothy, foamy head, also some medium sized bubbles mixed in the head. Great retention.

S = Black pepper, licorice, fresh baked cinnamon sweetrolls, bittersweet chocolate, very complex. Slight burn of the alcohol in my nose but the smells were so good that was barely an after thought.

T = Taste is very closely associated with the smells. I get black pepper, licorice, sweet maple syrup, tart bittersweet chocolate, prunes, dates, figs, more chocolate but still with some hops bitterness, all very complex. Good long finish, too. I noticed the alcohol taste even less than in the smell but there was a definite burn on the tongue.

M = Medium-heavy bodied, good level of carbonation, present and frothy but not in the way, very good mouthcoating, alcohol was maybe a little hot on the tongue after a few drinks.

D = High drinkability, very tasty and warming. A great choice for a relaxing beer in the evening.

04-23-2008 00:18:47 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of barleyman
barleyman

Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +3%

Finally, the holy grail of beer. Poured from the 0.33 liter brown glass bottle into my straight sided glass beer tumbler. The very dark amber head is rocky and uneven. It slowly dissapates as the beer disappears. The beer is a murky reddish brown color. Aroma is of straw and hop. The taste is where all of the action is. Taste is of raisins, coffee, candy sugar and toffee. Very predominate malt with just the right amount of hop balance. Mouthfeel is just right for the style. The drinkability is also just right, you won't be drinking a 12 pack of this beer. Thanks to a son in the air force stationed in europe, I was able to enjoy the beer that is revered as the best in the world. I'm going to revisit St. Bernardus Abt 12, available locally, and compare.
If you can lay your hands on a bottle, spare no expense, in my opinion, it lives up to the hype.

Just a thought,

barleyman

04-20-2008 19:20:44 | More by barleyman
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

I'm finally reviewing this beer that I've had sitting around for months and months. Thanks to Floydster for the chance to try it. I'm a big fan of quads in general, and especially the Trappist ones. So far my benchmark for the style has been Rochefort 10, which I like a deal better than the St. Bernardus 12. What I like about the Rochefort 10 as compared to the St. Bernardus is the nice spicy hop finish and lingering bitterness wheras I find the abt 12 to be a good deal breadier and maltier. Both have exceptional balance, but I also like the Rochefort's more sustained fruit as compared to the St. Bernardus's creamier finish. I had expected the Westvleteren 12 to be more like the St. Bernardus in flavor given its history and all of the comments about it over the years. At least in these three beers current incarnations, I finf the Westvleteren 12 and the Rochefort 1o to be much more similar than either is to the abt 12. I can't say that I like the Wewstvletern better than the Rochefort, but they are both exquisite beers.

This beer pours dark chestnut with a very tightly knit head that soon settles to a thin ring and leaves some spotty lacing. The clarity is better on this beer than the Rochefort, but the head is not as magnificent. Beautifully balanced malt aromas with quite a bit of dark fruit and a hint of spun sugar. The taste is exceptional with beautifuly balanced sweet malt, dark fruit, and spicy hops. The mouthfeel is slightly heavy, maybe a bit more so than the Rochefort and has a tannic edge to it rather than being super creamy. Regardless, this is a pleasure to drink and parse its flavors and if I had another one I'd crack it right now.

04-19-2008 20:53:15 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

A year after trading with Leftmindedrighty, I finally decided to crack this baby open.

It's pours a dark, slightly hazy brown with a thin tan head. The aroma has a hint of cardboard, but otherwise its smooth, Belgian chocolate with a hint of fruit. The flavors going on in the beer are nuts. I'm blown away by the complexity. Just running down the list of flavors in my notes I got: chocolate (lots of it), grassy/herbal hops, caramel, candi sugar, medjool dates (really sweet dates), and cola. Everything is very smooth and one flavor melts into the next.

I tried to be skeptical, but this truly is divine beer. I had this back to back with the St. Bernardus 12, but there's not much comparison. The Bernardus is lighter in color and thus has more fruity flavors than chocolate. I love Bernardus, but if Westy 12's were just as available, it'd be my go-to.

04-19-2008 14:10:23 | More by tempest
Photo of TStandley13
TStandley13

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev -3.5%

Studying abroad in Brussels has certainly had its perks! I was lucky to find a bottle in a local shop rather than having to visit the brewery (though I would absolutely love to). I now know what all of the hype is about.

Color was a darker brown color with a slight hint of reds. When held to light you could see that it was slightly clear, not as cloudy as I had anticipated. Head was decent, nothing notable however.

Smelled very good. You could certainly smell some fruits and sugars, some alcohol, and some yeast. Also smelled a little of honey and cane sugar.

Delicious! Perfect blend of malts and hops. Could definetely taste the sugars - high quality tasting sugars - and the fruits.

The mouthfeel to me was amazing. It was a very smooth drink, almost felt as though you were drinking - now picture this - a very diluted and carbonated milkshake. Not too thick but not too thin. Felt like heaven.

Awesome beer. I wish it wasn't so hard to come by as I would certainly have it on hand regularly. Great treat though. Is it the best in the world? For me so far it has been one of my favorites.

04-18-2008 15:33:11 | More by TStandley13
Photo of doppelmeup
doppelmeup

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev -3.5%

Many thanks to my friend Troy who brought back two bottles of this from a recent trip to Belgium and was gracious enough to share.

Poured a rich, dark brown color into a chalice. However, when the light hit it just right, it had a deep ruby/garnet glow. Wasn't a huge head, but stayed around for a while. Also, we were sharing this among several people, so pouring this bottle into multiple glasses may have affected the head size as well.

Aromas were good, but nothing really stood out. Rather fruity, like plums and brown sugar, with some sweetness as well.

The taste was excellent. Lots of dark fruits, honey, some spice, and also a bit of alcohol bitterness.

Mouthfeel was exceptiona, like drinking velvet. Just a tingle of carbonation to keep the palate fresh.

Overall, this was a great beer. Did it live up to the hype--could it live up to the hype? Hard to say. I would love to have another full glass rather than the portion I had in order to really savor and explore this beer. But I can't say that I was dissappointed, either, because what I did get to sample was awesome.

04-14-2008 17:24:18 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev -7.2%

A huge thanks to unholy2 for giving me this on a very uneven trade.

A - A very dark plum colored beer that has a hint of amber on it. A small pale white head sits on top and there is a ton of carbonation floating up through this one. Definitely one of the darkest beers I've ever seen of this style.

S - Not at all a big nose but one that has a lot to it. There is a hint of orange and lemon mixed in as well with a ruby port. Also have a hint of raisins and dates that add in the dark flavors.

T- As I taste this, it is not a beer that really blows you away after you put it in your mouth but what makes this beer so great is that it is so complex. There is a ton of dark fruit, plums and dates, a bit biscuit and bready flavor. A hint of anise also sticks out, plus a hint of lemon and orange. In the end, get a little bit of a whiff of the alchy as well that wells up and attacks yah.. The thing is that everything is there but perfectly balanced. Has a hint of port flavors as well.

MF - has a big and bready mouthfeel. Also a nice creamy aspect that helps it go down super smooth. The aftertaste is a light tingling feeling but not too much. Have to say I was impressed by how creamy the MF was on this beer especially given all the carbonation that one sees in it.

D - Overall, this was a good and easy drinking especially for 10% ABV. It was a great drinker but i don't know if it was the hype or what but I wasn't super impressed. This is a good beer that really stands out because it has so much flavor that is all so balanced. Nothing really pops out and it is not what I'd consider a wow flavor beer but it has so much complexity in such a package. Can't wait to get another one if I can.

04-14-2008 00:31:26 | More by jeonseh
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

4.88/5  rDev +5.9%

Cap dated 18.04.10

Thanks to DrSeamus.

A: Poured like cola. Slightly off white off white head. Tons of lacing.

S: Malt sugar and grapes. The spice looms larger than on the 8. The yeast is nice and strong.

T: This is the best Belgian I have ever had hands down. The taste is so complex that every sip yields something different. Earthy taste in there as well. There are a few things in there that I cannot even pick up on but this was incredible.

M: So smooth. The 8 might have been a little more drinkable but this was drinkable. So creamy and wonderful. Slight dryness just like the 8.

D: Like the 8 this is an incredibly drinkable. No hint of the ABV at all. Some of the hyped beers let you down but this one does not. Makes me wish I would I lived in Belgium. Drink this one if you can.

04-14-2008 00:12:18 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of Avryle
Avryle

New York

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Cap dated 18.04.10

Again, huge kudos to drseamus for sharing this on such a beautiful day.

A- Dark cola brown with slight tan head. Residual head does not cap the surface like on the 8. Light spidery lacing.

S- Rich malts, Belgian candi sugar and grapes. There's also a buttery/spiciness hanging out. Very rich.

T- Up-front taste is similar to the nose with rich malts, candi sugar and wine(ish). As it warms the body develops more complexity with notes of caramel, toffee, dates and raisins. The alcohol presence is subdued but leaves a definite warming feeling. The spicy flavors in the body & finish... This is where I cannot put my finger on the tastes. It could just be the yeast, but its this presence that takes this beer from really good to phenomenal. Jayzus, even the burps taste really freakin' delicious.

M- Medium bodied with an ideal amount of tingly carbonation. The body is so creamy and smooth finishing with a crisp and brandy-like dryness.

D- Oye! Amazingly good. This really lived up to the hype. I don't really know what more I could say that hasn't been said by other reviewers.

04-13-2008 13:29:48 | More by Avryle
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.78/5  rDev +3.7%

It's my 500th review, so I figured I might as well drink this to mark the occasion!

11.2 ounce bottle, cap stamped with 30.08.09. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a dark murky brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like dark fruit (plums, raisins), caramel, bananas, pepper, cloves and yeast. Taste is pretty similar to the aroma, with the addition of licorice, nuts, chocolate and some booziness too. It seems a different flavor comes out with each sip. Very tasty! Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's rich and a bit syrupy and slick, and has good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol warming does kick in after a while, but that's not a bad thing. I think this is an excellent beer. I don't think it's worth the price to buy it all the time, but it's definitely worth it to get a couple bottles just to try it because it's not easy to get. I wasn't disappointed, that's for sure!

04-13-2008 00:39:15 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.97/5  rDev +7.8%

Bottle served at 45 degrees F in a Duvel tulip.

My first bottle of Westy 12 was many years ago and it was shared and sampled after many other beers. Needless to say, I barely remember it! This time I have a bottle all to myself.

Decants a rusty leather brown with slightly hazy garnet edges. Dense finger of gauzy, cobwebby, slightly uneven dirty khaki head. Good lacing up the sides of the glass.

Complex nose of caramelized dark fruits, musty-sweet vinous grapes, molasses, blackberries, ripe bananas, sweet tobacco, brandy, and yeast. A great smelling beer, that just gets better as it warms.

The taste actually surpasses the complexity and beauty of the aromas. Brown sugary dark fruits greet the tongue accompanied by a slightly tangy grape character. Dates, figs, and very ripe grape sweetness fills up the palate. Caramel cookie dough around the edges. Mild roasted bitterness and tobacco join in the finish complimenting the sweetness perfectly. Yeasty, subtle alcohol presence is slightly warming. Fruit, cookie dough, and grape sweetness linger for what seems like hours. Full-bodied with an amazingly smooth and creamy feel.

Exceptionally drinkable, especially for its strength. Wow. No let down here! Truly one of the greatest beers ever made.

Vinous with a slightly roasted yeasty quality overall makes for a sublime taste experience.

04-12-2008 01:13:56 | More by alexgash
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.95/5  rDev +7.4%

Recieved this beauty via trade from Intriqken. big thanks!

11.2 oz brown bottle (no lable) > Chimay goblet

Westy pours out dark-brown-ish amber color, no ruby hues and almost opaque. The head is a fluffy, creamy but very active and bubbly, mocha-frothe color that stands about 2" high. This clearly has good carbonation due to the head retention, but it's hard to see through the dark body. There is huge and very sticky clumps of lacing all over the glass as the volume goes down.

The aroma is very pungent and very unique. Right off, I'm getting...rollo's candies, chocolate covered dates, slightly sour red grapes, black berries, green bean and herb scented hops with some whiff's of wet cedar wood. The malt is most dominant with light chocolate and caramel scent's. Sweet but earthy.

The first thing you notice when you take the first sip is the massively complex, slick and creamy malt flavor. Classic candied sugar sweetness with really amazing depth. There's honey-covered prunes and dates with overly-ripe red concord grapes then comes a layer of caramel and light chocolate. Sure the malt is a marvel but it's really the sublime balance that impresses me most, with an herbal and slightly spicey hop kick and subtle tangy yeast. The 10.2% ABV is just the right amount of heat, not over-powering but a bit sharp which actually adds further complexity right at the end. I love big-ass malt-bombs so naturally this one is right down my alley.

The feel is certainly full-bodied with a luxurious slick and creamy feel, but lively too....classic for the style.

I simply didn't want to see the end of this stuff, I sipped slowly and it still disapeared quicker than I had wanted. This is a masterpiece of brewing.

04-11-2008 21:36:39 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

Much thanks to AKBelgianBeast for sharing this precious nectar, obtained via trade.

A- deep, dark amber, but with light through it medium to dark ruby. Modest tan head doesn't stay too long, but with nice lacing.

S- Fruity, with a slight nip alcohol at first.

T- Almost wine like at first. Very complex, fruity, a slight hint of alcohol. Sweet but not cloying. Very smooth and balanced. .

M- extremely smooth, lightly carbonated.

D- Yum! Perhaps I've been bamboozled by the hype and reputation, but that was one awesome beer. 10.2%? Who woulda thunk it?

04-08-2008 06:04:01 | More by sprucetip
Photo of HumuloneRed
HumuloneRed

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +1.5%

The beer pours a dark crimson in color with a great off white head and silky lacing.

Bread dough, tobacco, leather and prune in the nose.

Tobacco, cookie dough, plum, leather, and raisin in the flavor.

Very complex, creamy texture and finish.
Very well made beer.

04-08-2008 05:36:32 | More by HumuloneRed
Photo of ATLbeerDog
ATLbeerDog

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev -6.1%

Poured a beautiful deep rich brown with a huge white slightly tan head that just does not want to recede. Smells of sharp citrus hops. First taste is unbelievably smooth, balanced, hoppy, and slightly bitter. Did the Monks who brewed this take a vow of celibacy? I'm glad they did. The 10.2% ABV is very well hidden. This puppy lives up to its hype.

04-08-2008 00:41:08 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of DrDogbeer
DrDogbeer

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev -5%

Finally! Sampled this fine beer with a friend last night. Poured into my chimay goblet. Poured a hazy brownish with red hues. Light cream colored head with good retention. Looks a bit murky. Smells are tough to describe. I get bready, yeasty, musty. Not old musty, but almost stale. Aromas get better as beer warms. Taste is wow! This is really 12%? I get a nice malty kidk right off the bat with tons of different flavors around my mouth. i swear I feel taste buds going crazy on the roof of my mouth even! Vanilla, clove, bready flavors are abundant. I want to savor this beer, but it really is too good and too easy to drink. Good thing I have 3 more!

04-05-2008 01:22:10 | More by DrDogbeer
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Two glorius bottles from my good chum in England.

One I am reviewing now, the other I will cellar for as long as I can hold out resisting.

Pulled out of the fridge 10 minutes ago. Poured into matching Westvleteren goblet.

Silky smooth beige head that falls to a whispy lacing. Dark brown in color, with the faintest highlights through the light murk.

Tea in the nose at first. It's still a tad cooler in temperature than I would prefer it, but not bad. Honey and aromatic lemon and floral notes.

Smooth! One of the most interesting textures in a beer that i've had. A coating of carbonation hits the tounge, and rolls around the mouth, opening up my tastebuds for the flavors to follow. Alcohol soaked raisins, figs, barley, and yeast in the opening. THen a spicy honey caramel finsish. It leaves a dry, yet sticky taste in the mouth. A real treat.

The mouthfeel, as smooth as it is, makes this one incredibly drinkable. I've been sipping at this my whole review and as it warms up, it gains complexity and depth.

I wouldn't put this one necessarily above some other trappist beers that I've had, but the accessibility makes this the rare treat. The mere fact that the quanities and availability are limited, makes me not at all surprised this is 'the' BA favorite.

04-04-2008 02:57:50 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of TheBCrew
TheBCrew

New York

4.22/5  rDev -8.5%

11.2 oz. bottle "Belgian-poured" into a tulip glass by the very knowledgeable bartender. Murky, brown appearance with a thick tan head that dissipates slowly leaving lacing. Aroma of dates, prunes, caramel and malts. Very complex flavor including hints of prunes, brown sugar, hazelnut and malt. Finishes slightly sweet. Served at room temperature, it could have used to been cooled slightly (the bottle indicated 54-58 degrees F). Heavy mouthfeel, meant for sipping. Good drinkability regardless, but at $12 a bottle it is unlikely that I'll be getting this very often. I would echo the sentiments that this is not the "Best Beer in the World" but that is quite an expectation to live up to.

03-31-2008 14:46:27 | More by TheBCrew
Photo of Squelch
Squelch

United Kingdom (England)

4.28/5  rDev -7.2%

Got this as a valentines day present from my wife. I need to preface my review by stating that I really do not like doubles and trippels, however, I had to try this one due to its reviews on this site. I don't know the vintage of the bottle I have.

Appearance: Pours cloudy amber brownish with a huge long lasting tan head.

Smell: Smells of malts and caramel. No hop aroma

Taste: Tastes almost wineish. I taste cherry flavors as well as some roasted or caramel flavors which I have not tasted before. Acoholic flavors also present in the finish

Mouthfeel: Very heavy beer. Alcoholic in the back of the throat. Pleasant on the palate.

Drinkability: Drinkable beer, moreso than other strong belgium beers I have tried. Great beer but it is not the "Best in the world"

03-26-2008 23:47:28 | More by Squelch
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BoitSansSoif

France

4.7/5  rDev +2%

Had the honor of sampling this popular item the other night as I was guided through my first beer brewing experience by a very generous friend who shared his last bottle of this liquid gold. Poured a rich chestnut-brown w/ruby-amber edges where light permeated through. Head thin and light beige. The aroma was complex, but dominated by chocolate character and various toasted malts, with lighter scents of a bouquet of spices and light herbs, light esters, and warming alcohol. The taste was exceptional--chocolate malt, molasses and candy sugar, an exotic blend of rich spices, and a strong finish of cocoa and alcohol rounded out by bitter hops. There was also an inexplicable bite at the back of the midpalate that was actually quite pleasant, but I don't know what it was. Very light carbonation, rich body that consistently delivers throughout the palate, and harmonious balance between a very dry texture and the sweet and spice flavors forge a powerful result.

03-23-2008 14:06:15 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of grandq
grandq

New York

4.63/5  rDev +0.4%

Popping the top as my beerthday present to me. Pours a deep dark hazy bubbly brown, the color of honey fresh from a comb around the edges. The initial smell is...beer - fairly straightforward malty, slightly musty scent with a couple bolder notes of clove and cinamon around backing up the basics. The fairly simple nose belies the rich, complex flavors that greet the tongue. A fairly neutral, caramel malt starts things off, then the taste gets big. I can't even begin to chart the unfolding of the various flavors that appear, but its big on deep red, not overly sweet bing cherries, dark but not terribly bitter chocolate, crisp but not too bright macintosh apples, along with some prickly pear, clove, cinamon, raisin, course ground white pepper... and on and on. Balance is the key word here. Roling this around on the tongue, I'm faintly picking up the mineral bitterness I'd noticed and somewhat faulted in the Westy 8, but here its quite well hidden. And so is the alcohol, which adds some depth to the flavors but sneaks in like ninja. I suppose silent like a monk would be more apropos, but ninja sounds more dramatic, and like the alcohol content, ass kicking.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy yet still pretty heavily carbonated, keeping things paradoxically light. My tounge's feeling a little dry after a bit, but I'll man up and soldier on, poor me. For a quad, holy crap this is quaffable. Just wonderfully balanced and subtly flavorful.

Is this a world class beer? Absolutely. Is it the best thing I've ever tasted? I certainly enjoyed it a great deal, but I'm afraid the answer is no, there are other things more pleasing to my palate. But who cares about the hype, it's a lovely drink and I'm pleased as punch, or I guess pleased as really good beer, to be drinking it. Thanks to pimpp for the inadvertent birthday present

03-21-2008 00:14:49 | More by grandq
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arizcards

Arizona

5/5  rDev +8.5%

Picked up four bottles from JonPol the AJ's beer guy in early February 2008 for $20/bottle. Happy birthday to me! The yellow cap date is 18.12.10.

Been saving this up for the right time so with this being a blustury 60 degree day in Phoenix I figured to need a warmer upper :)

Beer poured a burgundy color with a tan long lasting one finger head. Nose is wonderful, of bananas, dark fruits, and chocolate. Taste is what i was anticipating, perfection! Started with sweet malts accentuated by bananas, blended with a hint of cherry chocolate, finishing with a perfectly blended dry hop. Mouthfeel is perfect as well. The medium bodied brew glided seemlessly from the front to the back of my tounge. Drinkability is perfect as well. There is not a trace of alcohol that is noticeable from start to finish. I had to admit I was a bit skeptical coming in but in the end I have to say this is the best beer I have had to date!

Sampling same batch as of 2-27-10(#3 of 4): Nose is complex as it was two years ago - bananas, dark fruits dominate. Taste is more wine like, detecting less of the banana yeast notes and getting more hints of red wine and hints of chocolate. It is sweeter but definitely not cloying. The mouthfeel is still velvety smooth and still perfectly drinkable - no alcohol detected.

03-17-2008 00:16:45 | More by arizcards
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PartyHatjo

Ohio

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%

After taking a break from reviewing beers, I figured I'd get back on board with one of the "Crown Jewels" of this site. This was my reward after a 20 mile training run for my next marathon. The beer was sampled In De Vrede across the road from the Sint-Sixtusabdij...

Appearance: Brown in color, about a half inch off-white head that does dissipate relatively quickly, but leaves an impeccable lace on the glass. Ruby tones are brought out by the light.

Aroma: Very sweet smell, hints of caramel and the spiciness of the yeast. Alcohol comes through a bit, its volatility serves to bring out even more aromas (toffee, cherries, and slight smoke).

Flavor & Mouthfeel: Body is lighter than I've experienced for a quad (and that's a very good thing) and more bitter than typical of Belgians in general. Bitterness balances the malt and sweet caramel tastes. Again, cherries come through a bit in the taste, as well as a smoky, burnt toffee character.

Drinkability: For its strength (10.2%), it is remarkably drinkable, I could have sat there the rest of the day and had glass after glass to replenish lost calories from the run.

If you see this available where you are, grab it without hesitation. I recommend going to Belgium, though and experiencing it in its homeland (plus there's about 1000 other breweries to try beers from over there).

03-16-2008 18:21:34 | More by PartyHatjo
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BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

Slender brown bottle, no label, date printed on cap.

a: A murky chestnut body, big off-white head, superior retention. Body turns ruby when held to the light.

s: Hard for me to nail down the aromas. I get notes of fruit, yeast, malt and alcohol. A bit musky. A vague description I know, but its the best I can do. It smells like a delicious quad.

t: Like Shrek, this beer has many layers. A very complex flavor profile. I can taste licorice, caramel malt, nuttiness, raisins, funky belgian yeast, alcohol, feel like I could go on and on with noticeable flavors, but I won't. Terrific balance. This beer is packed with nearly limitless flavors. The variety is mind-numbing. Every sip I take, I want to take another sip to decipher the flavor I had just detected. Had to stop myself and slow down. I'm picking up some molasses now. Cherries too?

m: Very dry. Leaves a slight puckering bitterness in the tongue. An affect of the yeast? The carbonation and body suit the beer perfectly.

d: I am convinced I could drink a case of this beer and notice something new with each bottle. A joy to drink. I am not the biggest quad guy, more a function of income than preference. But despite my naivete, I can't help but notice the excellence of this brew. Never have I had the pleasure of a beer with half as much complexity. This beer receives a lot of love on this site. This review will not alter that trend. It is a tremendous offering, the definition of what a quad should be. Oh yeah and at 10.2% it sure goes down easy.

03-15-2008 23:18:35 | More by BradLikesBrew
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,579 ratings.