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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

4,451 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,451
Reviews: 1,603
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 2,777
Gots: 1,248 | FT: 97
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,451 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

4/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a decent size tan head that slowly recedes. A light perfuminess mixes with sweet ripe fruitiness in the aroma. Raisin, plums, and figs, a caramel breadiness as well. Taste is a mix of chocolate and more of the ripe fruity maltiness mix with belgian sugars and sugar cane flavors. There is a crisp peppery hoppiness that begins mid taste and blends with a warming alcohol and some smokiness in the finish. Medium to heavy in body. Besides the warmth in the finish, alcohol is very well balanced, peppery bitterness helps to cut the richness from the malts. Easy to drink, I look forward to seeing what some age does to this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2007 04:11:59 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of shbobdb
shbobdb

Indiana

4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't really like Quads.

But I've always insisted that for every style there is one beer that will radically change your perception of the style and make you fall in love with it.

Westy 12 is that beer.

The head just won't die and the beer is a pleasant plum colour.

The smell, well, words fail me. There is simply too much going on to really accurately describe. If I had to choose a smell, I would say chestnut. But there are hints of mint, chocolate, plums, pears -- a veritable cornucopia of smells.

The taste follows smell. At first there is a strong nutty presence (chestnuts, definately) with baker's chocolate, plums, pears, you know, all the stuff I described in the smell section. The finish is outstanding: there is a quick 'minty' taste from continental hops that clears the palate and leaves room for the rich taste of cinnamon, allspice, and clove. It manages to be sweet and bitter at the same time. Such a wonderful contrast. So much going on here, words fail.

I've really disliked the mouthfeel of other Quads. I guess I'm gonna have to give the style another shot. This mouthfeel is actually quite pleasant, I think largely because the finish is nice.

Drinkability? This is good. A single bottle will take me a long time to finish and it is unlikely that I would want to reach for another, but man, what a beer.

I'm a believer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2006 01:11:33 | More by shbobdb
Photo of beerphilosopher
beerphilosopher

Illinois

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

2006 - Pours a deep, rich medium brown color with sherry red accents and a voluminous tan, thick head which dissipates fairly quickly. A lot of suspended yeast flecks visible as well. Heavy lacing in the oversized goblet into which this fine ale is poured. The nose is outstanding - sweet fruits, Belgian yeast, and a slight spiciness. Very inviting. The palate doesn't disappoint in the least ... sweet roasted malts, exotic fruits, and the finest Belgian yeast flavors. Starts out quite sweet, then yields to more complex fruity and spicy notes. Moutfeel is medium, with a very pleasing alcohol warmth. Finish is dry, despite the sweet beginnings. Mildly acidic, yet zero bitterness. Wow, what can I say ... it's Westy 12. You really just don't get any better than this. At the very top of my list, edged out ...maybe ... by St. Bernardus Abt 12. Maybe. Over all, though, one of the top beers in the world. Excellent in every way imaginable.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 17:49:55 | More by beerphilosopher
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Date on bottle says best before 11/1/09. Poured into a Rochefort chalice.

Poured a really dark amber brown with an off white head that stayed throughout the glass and left some lacing. Smell is a little lighter than I expected, but still plenty of dark fruits and spices, with a little bit of a sour smell detected. Taste was much of the same, didn't really detect any sourness that I found in the nose, also I couldn't detect the alcohol. Even with my expectations of this beer being very complex, it still caught me a bit offguard, it was very nice, nearly perfect. Medium bodied, with a light to medium amount of carbonation; it was smooth with a slightly dry finish to it. Drinkability was incredible, alcohol was not to be found and it seemed to go down just as easy as a 3.2% cask ale, I had to hold myself back from drinking this too fast. The best beer in the world? Maybe. My favorite beer? No, maybe with some age though. A damn fine beer worth seeking out? Absolutely.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 07:34:03 | More by badbeer
Photo of ncbrewerbun
ncbrewerbun

North Carolina

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

A Christmas present from my daughter who is spending a year near Amsterdam. She made the trek, made the calls for an appointment, took the trains and got a few rides....There is no way that I thought this beer could ever live up to its hype. (A group of us just got back from a vacation to Belgium and we could not get this beer anywhere.)

It lived up to its hype!

A plain brown bottle with only the cap signifying that you have a Westvleteren 12 in your grasp. On the cap in computer print is 22.11.09...it was just a month from being picked up at the brewery. The beer pours into my official "Trappist Westvleteren" tulip glass (also part of the present) a burnt amber with an offwhite head that lasts a good while before disappearing into persistent lace.

The aroma is a delicious combination, perfectly balancing sweet malts and dark fruits. There is raisin, some plum, backed by caramel and light toffee.

The flavor is just amazing. Again, the perfect balance of malt, dark/dried fruits with a hint of alcohol. A little taste of brown sugar, fresh plum, dried cherry, and the slightest hop presence to wrap everything together. The aftertaste stays with you, making you not want to eat or drink anything else to help you savor this beer.

Medium body, velvety smooth, and a nice alcohol warmth.

This beer is close to perfect. It's freshness no doubt really helps the intangibles come out, but I happen to have another couple of bottles that I plan to stash away to try later. The smoothness and balance are so hard for any other beer to capture, and this beer does that impecibly. What a great Christmas present!!

edit: OK...I did find the date and put it in my review. I put the rest of my bottles away to cellar, taking out for special occasions. I hope a few last a year or so. Fresh it's, well, exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 19:15:31 | More by ncbrewerbun
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

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

Last of the birthday brews. 12/22
Pours out a very nice dark coffee with mabey a 1/2 of finger of offwhite suds. The chunks are in the bottom of this one for sure.
If you want a pure pour you have to be very careful. I might do that on the next one. I want every part of this in my westy chalice.
Smell is like a fine wine. So subtle with fruits and spices galore.
Raspberry and cherry hit me first and the yeast is so impressive.
I smell coffee and sugar and caramel and malt. The yeast is the strongest though as it burns the nose.
Taste is a malty sugarness with hints of cherry and orange that dance on the tip of the tounge. Coffee and grapefruit come to mind.
This is a very sweet beer. The aftertaste is the best part because it lingers such a long time in the back of the throat.
Mouthfeel is perfect with the spices and the alcohol mixing to leave the tounge coated with so many memories.
If I were either a rich man or a monk, I could drink this all day and all night.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 02:19:03 | More by peabody
Photo of bgraney
bgraney

California

4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep, rich brown with a shorty frothy off white head.
As soon as I popped the cap I got a whiff of the aroma. Like letting the genie out of the bottle. Malty raisins and plums, not overwhelming, balanced.
Much stronger flavor than the aroma suggested. The earthy malt flavor penetrates deeply, paving the way for the alcohol follow through. The first sip is definitely a wow moment. There's a lot going on but it's not like flavors are coming at you from every direction, it's the unified whole that creates the flavor experience.
Lingering flavors leave behind an enjoyable alcohol tang and then the malt flavors settle in.
It's so interesting and complex I find it very drinkable for a high alcohol ale.
Did it live up to the hype? I think so. I wasn't expecting a miracle or an otherworldly experience and what I got was one magnificent drinking experience. For sipping one beer, I don't think it gets any better than this.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 15:35:05 | More by bgraney
Photo of EPICAC
EPICAC

Massachusetts

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

Purchased a bottle at 't Waagstuk in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark ruby-brown. A one-inch, beige head fades to a very persistent, thin layer, leaving thick lace.

Smell: Fairly light overall, but nice. Raisins and other dark fruit, light roastiness, with a light graininess. Alcohol is also evident, but is mild.

Taste: Very nice. Lots of dark fruit like raisins and dates. It's sweet but is balanced well by a peppery and alcoholic bite. The finish has nice bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, low carbonation with alcoholic warming in the finish.

Drinkability: Sweet, but very well balanced.

Overall: This is a great beer. It might not be the best in the world, but it certainly is fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2006 05:23:53 | More by EPICAC
Photo of jpagewatts
jpagewatts

New York

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

This is one of those beer pilgrimages that you dream about. From Paris, we took four trains to get to Poperinge, Belgium, not knowing if the café across the street from the brewery would be open (it was Sunday). We hitchhiked through hop fields to get to Westvleteren.

All the beer is poured from bottles, even in Westvleteren, but the quadruppel gets a glass with a gold rim. Nice touch. Wonderfully dark, rich color. Deep malty smell. The taste is enough to make you weep. It’s a rollercoaster, really. The hops give you a nice introduction while the malty richness round out the flavor. The first hint of the alcohol is a appley overtone that is complemented perfectly by the hops. Truly spectacular. This is beer that I could drink for the rest of my life. Undoubtedly.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 02:21:37 | More by jpagewatts
Photo of BeerRun13
BeerRun13

California

4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finaly get to try this one. Big thanks to HimmerMan.

Pours a mostly clear burgundy cranberry color. A fluffy eggshell head fades a bit and leaves some sticky lace.
Malty, candi sugar, spice in the nose. Also some fruity notes and quite noticeably a plumb like aroma.
Fruity flavors are abundant banana clove for sure. Plumby, pruny flavors. A nice spice element. Some alcohol. A light hopiness in the midst of everything.
Medium to full bodied. Perfectly carbonated. Perfectly dry. Warming to the palate.
Don't know if this is my # 1, but can certainly see how this is one of the best beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 00:16:43 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle came to me in a trade from BA dogfooddog, and was unlabeled, with a yellow cap indicating a best before date of 08 04 08, making this a little over a year old. As I poured into a tulip, the beer came out murky dark brown and had a two finger thick foamy head. The aroma was spicy-sweet, with the smells of fresh hay, ripe cherries, chocolate, brown sugar, and apple skins detectable. The taste was about as smooth as I have had in a beer of this strength. Sweet tropical fruit and spiced bread like malts interplayed with earthy yeast and spicy hops, and everything was in perfect balance. The beer was somehow robust and delicate at the same time. At this young age the alcohol was evident, but only as soothing warmth. The mouthfeel was oily smooth, and the beer went down very easily and left a sweet aftertaste. Very fine beer indeed.

I decided to drink it side by side with a 2006 St. Bernardus Abt 12 for the sake of comparison. The color of the two was almost the same but the St. Bernardus was much more carbonated. It also smelled stronger, and had a distinctly sour note in the taste that was absent from the Westvleteren offering. The Westvleteren was sweeter and smoother than the secular cousin. Bottom line; can’t go wrong with either of them.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 04:29:14 | More by rajendra82
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

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

Boy what a great beer. Poured with no head. Looks like brandy. Actually even has some signs of legs. Toffee and brandy aromas. Alcohol. Fruity and estery. The flavor left me speechless. Man, what a flavor. Raisin, cherry, gosh. Any description I could conjure up would not do this beer justice. How can the monks be so selfish.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2006 15:05:52 | More by tjthresh
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A two year old bottle poured into a goblet. Very opaque appearance with a chestnut hue. Dark chunks of yeast present. A soda-colored head dissipates quickly. The aroma is that of a caramel apple, with hints of nut, chocolate. Rather earthy/leathery. It is not a strong smell, but enough to let you know something good lurks beneath.

The taste is dominated with malty caramel and nuts with small hints of (?)cabbage. It feels smooth and rather dry on the tongue. Very potent. It finishes as smooth as it starts and is very agreeable. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 05:41:02 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

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

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice it forms a whispy tan head that is very creamy as it settles and leaves sporadic lace. Brown body with small amounts of super fine carbonation.

Smell is of dark fruits, namely plumbs, raisins and suggestions of chocolate and caramel in the backdrop.

Taste: This is where the rubber hits the road and this is where this brew excells to perfection. What I don't pick up in the smell is the hops and spices that make up the finish of this offering. It has everything you'd expect from a quad and then blammmo right towards the finish is a spiced up, alcohol warming, and a touch of hop bitterness that really keeps this huge offering in check and adds to the drinkability as well.

Notes: I was taken back by the complexity and depth of this offering. You could tell me there is a woody presence and I could find it. You could tell me there are exotic fruits and in the depths of this brew I could get a slice of mango. Its all over the map and perfectly executed. The spices and slight bitter balancer towards the finish was the sealer for me. I bought 4 bottles of this and I will pull one out when the mood hits me although they may stick around for very special occasions.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 01:03:21 | More by DogFood11
Photo of chadspivey
chadspivey

Texas

4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my hand-washed, air-dried St. Bernardus goblet...
gotta let this one sit out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving....

A: pours a dark brown with a 1 and 1/2 finger off-white head. Down to about a 1/4 inch after about 1 minute.

S: Smells yeasty. Dark fruits....definitely apples and plums.

T: flavors blend so well it's hard to pick out anything individually. I'm not even gonna try, but it's oooh so nice.

M: smooth and chewy at the same time. Is that possible? It appears so..

D: I'd drink them all night if they weren't already designated to friends and trades... trying to rationalize drinking another, but not comming up with anything good.

I gotta admit, with it being number one, I was expecting a religious experience, instead I ended up with a really, really good beer. My best advice is to NOT drink it cold. You gotta let the flavors show through at about 55 degrees. (20 minutes outside the fridge).

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 08:06:10 | More by chadspivey
Photo of drumline
drumline

North Carolina

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

33cl bottle with a 30.08.09 freshness date

Appearance - Pours a very dark red/brown, with around half an inch of head that clings to the side of the glass with each swirl.

Smell - Dark fruity smell of raisins, plums, and cranberries. Yeasty smell as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very creamy, malty mouthfeel. Taste of belgian candi sugars and dark fruits. Light hop bitterness, and the perfect amount of carbonation. The closest thing to an orgasm of the mouth. Absolutely wonderful.

Drinkability - The 10.2% alcohol is barely even noticeable. Very drinkable brew; my 33cl glass was empty before I knew it, and left me wanting more and more. I could drink this everyday for the rest of my life, if it was readily available.

At first I was hesitant to give this beer straight 5s, but I honestly can't find anything I'd want to change about it. Perfection in a bottle. Easily the best beer I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 03:13:02 | More by drumline
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 33 cL bottle purchased from BelgianShop.com.

A: The beer is a deep, dark brown color. When held to light, a few red hints emerge, but not enough to radically change the color. The head is a billowy white crown, pouring to 2 fingers and leaving lace throughout the goblet.

S: The beer has a big, bold alefruity aroma. The scents are thick and lucious, with raisins, milk chocolate, figs and yeast dominating the nose.

T: The ale has as many flavors as it does scents. The malty body is thick and chewy, full of candi sugars that are sweet without overloading the tastebuds. The candi sugars are followed by an array of dark fruity flavors: raisins, figs, dates. All of the flavors occur at once and never dominate each other. Truly an incredible beer.

M: The flavors are so intense that they almost overwhelm the senses. Every sip, especially as the ale warmed, was a pure treat.

D: The 10.2% abv is a whopper, as is the thickness of the taste. The abv is gonna limit you to one or two and the thickness is gonna fill you up quick. Absolutely drinkable and well worth the cost.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2006 02:17:04 | More by akorsak
Photo of rayjay
rayjay

Hawaii

4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just got some in the mail today, and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight before I cracked one open.... 30.08.09

Deep brown beer with red highlights, low carbonation. There was a head, for about 60 seconds or so, but it has dissipated to a reddish/purplish/brownish-stained island and a single ring of white lacing around the entire goblet.

There is a faint nose, but what is detectable is sweet malty beer.

Wow, my first impression is subtle boldness; nothing about this beer is simple or ordinary, yet it remains constrained and civilized. Quite a work of art, indeed. Complex sugar-dominated flavor profile, full of rich, sweet caramelized malts and candi sugar, and yet it remains tame and never overly-sweet; most of the sweetness rolls off after just a brief moment, to reveal a complex, colorful aftertaste. Warmth is the only hint of alcohol. Notable flavors include pepper jack cheese, dried fruits (apricots, dates, figs, bananas), faint hop bitterness, and delicious spring water.

Carbonation is very light and hardly there, and adds a bit of spiciness that enhances the flavor perfectly. It is slightly sticky, which adds a bit of thickness and cuts drinkability a tad; honestly, though, it's the most drinkable quad I've had yet-it's not as thick as maple syrup and also doesn't coat your tongue.

Highly recommended; I was expecting a much more arrogant beer, and what I found was a gentle giant.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 08:19:05 | More by rayjay
Photo of CH3CH2OH
CH3CH2OH

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Traded with Akorsak for this; thanks again.

Head dissipated quickly. Poured a dark and murky, like a good Belgian should. Had a bready aroma, with some light malt. Faint fruity esters. A tart flavor with a nice heavy melanoidin background. Little bit of a thin mouthfeel with very little finish. Extremely drinkable for a beer of this abv.

I did a blind taste test between this, Rochefort 10, and St. Bernardus 12 to take some of the bias away that I might normally have for such a rare beer. I had a hard time differentiating it from the St. Bernardus (makes since, because St. Bernardus contract brewed for Westvleteren for many years.)

Great to try, but given its rarity I would go with Rochefort or Chimay first.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2006 22:13:10 | More by CH3CH2OH
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

sampled a bottle that has been stashed away since 2002. to the person who let me sample this, you are truly a (beer) good among men. thank you so much for sharing this with me.

pours pale brown with ruby highlights. a thin layer of very fine dense head on top that lingers and pops back up with a gentle swirl.

aroma is awesome. i almost can't find all the right words to describe it, there is so much depth there. dried fruit, like dates or currants more so than raisin. a little alcohol in the end. slightly spicy with a nice earthyness.

taste is spectacular. all the elements of the aroma are here and more. nice malty background. toasted rye bread. currant and dates again. moderate sweetness. a little alcohol warmth. superb balance between all aspects of the beer, mellowed and meshed together to perfection. wow.

mouthfeel is great. out of the bottle it was too cold and came across a bit thin, but letting it sit for a while to warm really brought out its true self. a bit thicker than i thought it would be.

drinkability is great. i could easily drink this with dessert every day if it was available. a truly wonderful beer.

i can't call any category on this beer anything other than exceptional. wonderful beer that i can happily give a solid 5 review.

i almost don't want to remove it from my 'wants' list so that i can have it again, but feel it's more important that anyone who would have potentially hooked me up sends it on to someone who has never tried it.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 12:47:43 | More by grub
Photo of DouggiePhresh
DouggiePhresh

New York

4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured smoothly in my Chimay chalace with an off white head that quickly dissipated into a thin foam floating on the top of the molasses colored beer. Very fine carbonation. No transparance at all

Smell: Smells of dark, candied, fermented fruits. Raisins come to mind, maybe figs too.

Taste: Sweet at the front, alcoholic fruit in the back. Aftertaste is candied fruits and alcoholic fumes.

Mouthfeel: Velvety feel as the foam touches the lips. Sticky and viscous. Coats my mouth with foam.

Drinkability: As with any quad, drinkable in moderation. I would say because of the lack of carbonation, more drinkable than most.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 03:38:39 | More by DouggiePhresh
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

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

A couple kind souls have made it possible to have this one...to avoid them receiving excessive beermails, they will remain nameless here. You know who you are...thank you.
Chestnut brown in color...some mahogany hue and three full fingers of thick, off-white head. Leaves behind some thick, clingy lace as the foam recedes back into the brew.
Huge raisin profile, vanilla, a hint of sherry and caramel in the nose.
The taste is fantastic...subtle spice is added to the raisin character and a dose of brown sugar as well...the alcohol is very well hidden, although this one warms you within just a few sips. A hint of sweetness is there, but finishes quite dry on the pallet.
Mouthfeel is above average and the carbonation is sublime...not a session beer, but quite mindless to enjoy the hell out of.
Definitely one of the best in the style and one to seek out if your pallet is receptive to the quads.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2006 00:09:57 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of TheBungyo
TheBungyo

Washington

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

A massive thank you to the extremely generous Skyhand for parting with this! You rock!

Pours an almost cocoa color, with edges that are very light brown. Head was a sparse carpet of off white foam. Aroma nearly bursts from the bottle as it's poured. It's syrupy sweet, with notes of vanilla, dried candied plums crusted with sugar, maybe some raisins, and just the absolute barest hint of caramel.

Taste is dark fruit syrup with fleeting wisps of vanilla, and toffee caramel. It's rich and makes you feel almost naughty for drinking and having such impure thoughts about a liquid made by holy men.

Mouth is really huge, even without a lot of carbonation. I wish I could take this beer for granted ... what I mean is, I wish this beer was so plentiful that I could buy it just about everywhere. I would love to drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2006 22:08:34 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back to back (actually side-by-side) with the St. Bernardus 12 & special edition. This one is certainly a touch darker, fruitier, smoother, a little heavier. Significantly better.

A: Dark, dark, reddish-brown. Off-white head, not much retention or lace, but it leaves A LOT of lace.

S: Dark raisin, sherry, dark bread, brown sugar, spice,

T: Dark raisin, rum, dark caramel, brown sugar. Moderate bitterness for the style; relatively dry (yet hints of syrupy sweetness), warming finish. A step up from the St. Bernardus Abt 12 (they're approximately the same colour, but this one tastes darker/maltier). Exceptional.

M: Moderate body & carbonation. Not as attenuated (dry) as expected. Not exceptional, but its definitely got it together.

D: Very good.

Thanks for the rare treat Mike (MDS)!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2006 01:14:13 | More by Derek
Photo of SacoDeToro
SacoDeToro

California

3.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was fortunate enough to score a bottle of this stuff stateside and sampled it with a friend side-by-side with Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus Abt 12.

The beer poured a rich and slightly hazy brown with a small tan head that quickly turned to lace.

The aroma of the beer was that of dark sugars, raisins, and figs, all carried up to your nose by the volatile 10.2% alcohol. It was nicely estery without going overboard.

The flavor of the beer had a rich maltiness with many accents of dried fruits, such the aforementioned raisins and figs. The hops were there enough to balance things out. The beer was also very creamy and smooth.

The mouthfeel of the beer was medium and not too heavy. The carbonation was fine and tight

Overall, a very impressive beer from a modest monastary.

As complex and impressive as this beer is, I feel it's touted so highly partly due to its scarcity. Having had it along side the Rochefort 10, I actually liked the Rochefort better. To me it seemed to have a little more depth and richness than the Westvleteren.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 15:02:26 | More by SacoDeToro
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,451 ratings.