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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.

4,826 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,826
Reviews: 1,621
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,932
Gots: 1,395 | FT: 105
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: 4,826 | Reviews: 1,621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atis
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with tan head that slowly fades to a dense layer, downsliding lacing. There is quite significant yeast sediment accumulating at the bottom of the bottle. Aroma is sweet malt, light esters reminding of dark fruit, mostly plums, alcohol can be felt.

Taste is rich and complex sweet malt, lots of dark fruit, figs, dark plums with slowly drying and light sweet finish. There is also a presence of alcohol in the taste. Mouthfeel is smooth full, light carbonation with nice alcohol warming sensation.


atis, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of 0110x011
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a ruddy brown with a minimal head. Lacing is light at best. Ruby highlights when held to a light source. not exactly a pretty beer.

S - Yeah, boy! Everything you want a quad to be. Huge plum, fig, raisin, and other dark fruit aromas coupled with some leathery earth and spicy alcohol.

T - Equally joyous. Lands right between Rochefort 10, St Bernardus ABT 12, and Chimay blue. not too thick, not too hot, and complex as you can get. Beauty.

M - Again, right in the middle. perfect balance.

D - Leaves me aching for more. I envy the Belgians that much more now.

Not the best beer in the world, or the best beer I've evr had, but goddamn does it rank up there.

0110x011, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of mikeale
4.03/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brianj555 for this one, aged a year or so...
Served in my Allagash chalice.

A. dark chestnut brown w/ruby highlights, thin head, nice lacing.

S. the first thing I thought of was fruit Kool-Aid... raisins, candy sugar

T. very complex... dark fruits, caramel malt, spicy finsh

M. carbonation is well balanced, body is almost perfect.

D. this is well balanced and very enjoyable.

I was'nt expecting perfection but I was hoping for more... very good. If I get another bottle I'll take more notes and compare the results.

mikeale, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of jojox
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's finally time to review this beer. I'll be updating and changing as time goes on I think. I used to live in Paris and went to the Abbey 3 times with reservations, to buy cases. I had so much Westvleteren 12 at one point that I used a bottle to make a roast. Those were the days!

Bottle from batch February 12, 2008. Tasted March 25, 2009.

a - Dark brown. Not crystal clear. Thin, pale head. Fading but steady, islands of creamy bubbles sail down the whole way to the bottom of the glass when it's finally empty.

s - Malt. Caramel, alcohol, prunes, raisins. Strong smells. Complex sweetness-smells.

t - Wow. Dried fruits. Well carbonated. Alcohol/port bite is slight. It's not.. sweet, but malty, and yeah.. a little sweet. Deliciously sweet. This is awesome. This is the best malt profile ever. Belgain yeast creates a smooth, slightly estery aspect that perfectly marries the malt sweetness. It's difficult to say it's sweet because it's not cloying, at all. There is no hop character in the flavor, but clearly enough bittering to balance the rediculous malt profile.

m - creamy, well integrated CO2. Activity happening in the mouth but it's.. balanced.

d - In for a couple, but it's not a session beer due to the strength. But I could drink it 'till I passed out. Very Sad that it's over.

Note - Take a long time to drink this. Start it cold, and drink it slow enough that it's room temperature when it's done. That way you can experience all of the nuances.

My only perfect beer. There can be only one.

jojox, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Tulip

A- Poured lighter out of the bottle than in the glass. Good dense cloudy reddish brown nice frothy head

S- Raisin, apple, yeast, it's sweet & spicy

T- Beautiful, caramel, yeast, some hops, Biscuit

M- At first high and spicy carbonation, poured too cold. Then as it warms, nice & smooth with slight bitterness on the tongue

D- Really drinkable, not easy to get but nice balances of flavor and alcohol.

Overall: Must go to Belgium

brokenleadedcask, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of Beerzebub
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to redtailjet for trading me this.

Best before date 29.10.11, so I guess this was bottled 5 months ago. Poured in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Opaque clowdy brown color. Small dense head. Terrific sprawling patterns of sticky lace.

Nice complex malty fruity aroma, like crusty brown bread, grapes, apples, plums, nuts, spices, and mild bubblegum. Deep, cohesive, quite alluring.

Complex fruity malty spicy flavor, with a bit of warming alcohol and solvent. A bit like Christmas pudding, sweet, dark and mysterious, with apple, and dark fruit like prune and mission fig, laced with warm spices and a moderate splash of brandy. Complex and very tasty. A bit of astringent sharpness like plum skin contributes to good balance. Long warm finish.

Rich smooth texture. A pleasure to drink.

Great beer (not that it needs my endorsement); I look forward to trying this with some age on it.

Beerzebub, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of iasanlee
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. Blind tasting next to 2007 Rochefort 10.

Pours a deep amber brown with a large tan head. Loads of lacing.

Aroma is of sweet caramely malts and plums, figs, and spice.

Flavor is of rich and complex malts. Tons of dark stone fruits. Pie cherry. Alcohol.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation and alcohol warmth.

A very good beer. Made the Rocherfort 10 seem rather boring.

iasanlee, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of BZero007
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a tasting at my house this past weekend and the first beer up was the Westy 12! Appearance was good not allot of head out of every bottle but a good amount. Color was a nice cloudy dark brown and looked very yummy. Smell was not overwhelmingly intense but was there and was a big hint to the complex taste that was about to happen. Sweet malts was a dominate taste with very next up dark fruits like raisins and figs etc. The taste it's self had everyone take a step back and honestly look at each others expressions. Dark fruits raisins and figs powered threw with sweet malts. More flavors were present but could not pick each one out as the beer was so complex. A bite of Alcohol was present and was a pleasant addition. The bit of Alcohol would probably hamper the continuous bottle after another bottle. I feel for me at least this beer was meant to be a one to two bottle a session beer.

BZero007, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to yesac for sending me this without setting up a trade, or wanting anything in return. youll get yours buddy, dont worry. 11.2oz bottle with no label and the famous yellow cap with 19/11/11 on it.

A- this pours a murky dark brown with a finger of thick looking cream colored head that lasts a while and leaves a solid ring on the sides of my glass. cant ask for anything more.

S- sweet malts first and foremost. lots of fruits. raisins/tobacco, figs, plums, grapes, and maybe a bit of apple. some alcohol odor comes through.

T- sweet caramel and toffee malts. lots of ripe dark fruit. cherries, raisins/tobacco, plums, figs and grapes. a hint of alcohol, that adds to the experience. extremely complex and leaves me wanting another sip immediately after i finish one.

M- light, fluffy, and highly carbonated which i was expecting for the style. what i wasnt expecting was how smooth this one was going to be.

jwinship83, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of WilliamD
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Murky amber-brown that lightens to a hazy gold near the top. A thin, cream colored head that remains. Leaves thick lacing around the glass above.
Smell is not intense. Raisins, plums, hint of banana. Slight floral aroma.
Very complex taste. Perhaps too much for my relatively uncultivated palate. I am probably not truly worthy of this beer. I am, however, appropriately humbled. I do know it's delicious. Raisins, bananas, little bit of booze. Nice, soft, leathery tone on the exhale.
Mouthfeel is crisp and slick with a very slight alcohol warming.
Alcohol presence is well-concealed. I have a few more bottles and would love another, but I must resist. If this wasn't as hard to come by as it is, I would have two more and call it a wonderful night.
Have a few more bottles and am looking forward to how this one tastes with age.

WilliamD, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a trade with ralflord, thanks to him for that.

A - Poured from a little brown bottle into a goblet. Pours a nice, raisiny shade of garnet/brown, brown sugar colored highlights around the edges of the glass, with a thin brown head.

S - Raisiny, plump ripe dark fruits, warm alcohol, cocoa, licorice

T - Earthy dark fruits, plums and raisins, berries, other assorted goodness. Ends with a sweet finish that is not as strong as the ABV would lead one to expect.

M - Velvety, decent carbonation.

Notes - The best of its style, easily. I see why it is held in as high regard as it is. Exceedingly drinkable despite the high ABV percentage.

HeyItsChili, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of steadydose
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured 3/5 of bottle into a goblet. Creamy 1/4 inch of head. Lots of small bubbles. Dark rustic brown w/ red highlights around the edges w/ sediment floating around. Second pour gives a nice tan head w/ red tinge on side, small fine bubbles. Some lacing is left on glass.

S:Sweet aroma, banana, bread, chocolate, raisin all melded together. As beer warms up, smell is fantastic. My favorite thing about this beer is the smell.

T:Can't quite pick up lots of individual characteristics, but as a whole the taste is pleasant/complex. Hints of rum alcohol w/ a long finish accented w/ a touch of bitterness. 30 min after, a chocolate taste is more pronounced, doughy, vanilla, raisin bread, banana.

M: Luxurious, high amount of tight carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Spreads the flavor of around the palate and gives beer a good body. Amazing!

D: Great beer! Has a nice warming effect. Perfect beer to drink while relaxing.

steadydose, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of cubsfan2004
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chalice.

A - Murky brown color with a light tan head.

S - Dark candied fruits.

T - Sweet dark fruits with a hint of alcohol. Delicious!

M - Creamy and smooth.

D - Incredibly drinkable despite the ABV.

I was obviously looking forward to this beer and it did not disappoint. A brew that everyone should experience!

cubsfan2004, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of vancurly
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to vinthebrewer for sourcing this.

BB 03.04.11 on cap. Poured into gold-rimmed La Trappe chalice.

** also tried a bottle of BB 24.05.09 **

a) Brown and murky, beige head which sinks, not much lacing.

s) Chocolate, caramel, licorice. Warms to sugary raisin toast, malt powder.

** older sample also included cinnamon, pecan pie notes **

f) As it smells; perfumy musk candy, licorice allsorts, chocolate bullets. Very rich, very balanced. Subtle notes reminiscent of cigar box, or leather lounges, or somewhere with guys in suits called "Jeeves". Tingly, almost lemon sherbet like hint on tongue-tip, giving it a youthful zest. Quite the candy shop.

** older sample very noticable 'cherry ripe' & honeycomb characteristics

m) Rich & creamy, tongue tingly, with warming alcohol note.

d) Couldn't have too many, yet a rewarding, fireside winter warmer. Intentionally tried this as a youngster; have another one that is estimated at 3 years of age, which will compare with shortly.

For mine, it's not the holy grail.

vancurly, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of kfordham281
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With my first beer review on BA, there is only room to go down. Why not start with the best?

A case of this stuff arrived at my home a few weeks ago. Me and a few friends went in to purchase it. My brother in-law and I had one a few days ago; here are my thoughts. The date on the cap says 3.12.11

A - Poured into a Westy chalice, it pours a nice carmel-brown color with a tan colored head.

S - Wow, the dried fruit scent coming from my glass was amazing. Definitely the best smelling beer I've ever had.

T - Off the charts. Yes, it is the best beer I've ever tasted. The slightly sweet finish was a surprise. Perhaps even more surprising, the alcohol is masked very well. If you told me it was 7-8% alcohol I would have believed you. In comparison to the Rochefort 10, the Westy 12 hides the alcohol much better in my opinion (yes, the Rochefort 10 does have more alcohol, but only another 1%).

M - Felt great in the mouth, I'm not a huge judge on mouthfeel though.

D - It went down very easily, perhaps more so than I wanted. If money were no object, I'd drink it more often. As it stands, it's a couple times a year beer, or at most once every few months. I'll save my remaining 7 for special occasions.

Yes, the Westy 12 is worthy of the hype! Is it worth the money that you have to pay for it? Well, I guess that depends on how much money you make. I will most certainly buy more, but it's not something I can afford to drink even on a similar regular basis. Yes, this is my new favorite beer.

kfordham281, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of Yesac
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This isn't just a great beer, it's unique and I can attest this beer has earned every bit of hype that it receives.

A- Cloudy dark-caremel brown. Small bright white head that fades to the edge around the glass.

S- One of the best smelling Belgiun's or beers I've ever smelt. Strong sweet dark fruits, sweet grape/raisin, and a scotch-like whiff of the 10.2% ABV.

T- Incredibly smooth, like no other beer.The taste is tightly complex.. the sheer smoothness makes it hard to analyze the tastes as you instinctivly swallow this nector quickly. Big unique Belgiun malt dominance up front and overall. Finishes with spice and a presence of the 10.2% ABV.

M- Hands down the best mouthfeel I've ever experienced. Westy has this fluffy-smooth sensation that is simular to a cloud on the palate. Medium carbonation, medium bodied.

D- I had to force myself from chuggin this beer down. THe smell, taste, and mouthfeel is just incredibly smooth making this a 5 on drinkability as its like no other.

Yesac, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of ThirdLap
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In a nutshell, this beer is markedly better after about ten years of aging.

Several months ago I put out a last minute request to secure a bottle of Westy 12 for my best friend and I to share on the night before his wedding. A gentleman who is a member of BA and a pioneer in the world of craft brewing came through, and provided us with nine-and-a-half year old examples of Westy 8 and 12. Both were phenomenal, and arguably the best beers either of us had ever tasted.

I'd since acquired another 12 in a trade, and figured now was as good of a time as any for my friend and I to split another bottle. While excellent, it was very different from the aged bottle. What we noticed most about the newer bottle:

- noticeably darker
- lots of alcohol on the nose and palate; the old example was much more muted. The heavy alcohol presence does take away from the experience.
- smell and taste were similar, but an inoffensive tangy bitterness that stuck around after the swallow was much more apparent in the newer example

I will likely give any future bottle of Westy at least five years of aging. I am absolutely amazed by what time does to this beer.

At the moment I'm sipping on a St. Bernardus Abt 12, as I could not resist the urge to do a back to back comparison. Here's what I've noticed:

- Bernadus 12 looks a bit better
- Westy smells slightly better
- Westy is more complex on the palate... while the two beers are similar, the individual notes of the varied flavors are simply more pronounced in Westy
- Bernardus 12 has a lot more carbonation.
- Finish is stickier with the Bernardus
- Westy tastes a bit more 'pure'; Bernardus has a slight chemical-like 'off' taste not found in the Westy

Westy is outstanding, and quite possibly the best quad on earth. That said, there are a number of other big Belgians that provide just as an involving and complex experience that are far more widely available.

Anyhow, here are my nearly undoctored notes for the 'newer' Westy 12, as I imagine that is how most will experience it.

A - Deep murky caramel with burnt orange edges, off-white, short-lasting head, minimal lacing, resilient halo remains until nearly the end

S - Raisins, prunes, varied dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, spices, big alcohol presence

T - Sweet dark fruits - raisins, dates, spices, nice malt balance, vanilla, yeasty Belgian funk, tangy bite on the sides of the tongue

M - Chewy, soft, and creamy. Carbonation is medium for the style, and the finish is sweet, but leaves a bitterness that coats the mouth between sips. Alcohol burn is far too apparent.

Drinkability is off the charts.

I've now had eight of the top 10 beers on BA, and can confidently say that the Westies, Dark Lord, and the Plinies are not overhyped. They are the best examples of their respective styles that I've tasted.

ThirdLap, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of macktbone
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had my first Westy 12 6 months ago for my bachelor party thanks to my best friend and a great man of beer that donated this incredible sample for the cause.

The appearance of this beer is different than the one I had prior. Mind you the other Westy was almost 10 years old. This review is based on this bottle and I can absolutely attest to the fact that this beer ages remarkably. Westy 12 with the label on it was a much lighter beer with less of an alcohol taste and a broader spectrum of flavors.

A dark whiskey brown with dabbles of carbonation rings in the middle of the glass. An unassuming thin ring lingers around the edge.

I get a huge scent of figs, almond, dried fruits, malt with light caramel and alcohol. The smell pulls you in but could have a little less alcohol to allow the other aspects to come through more.

The ever important taste factor. Cherries with malty goodness and an aftertaste that lingers of amaretto and currants. This beer is worth allowing to warm over time just to sample the differences over the temperature band.

The mouthfeel of this beer provides the perfect example of a true quad.

It is too bad that we have to split this beer due it's lack of availablity. But, I am glad that we have friends that would bring over what most agree as the best beer in the world on a sunday night, just because.

macktbone, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle tried 8 Mar 2009. Date on cap is 17.10.10. Courtesy of gford217, thanks, have been wanting to try this for some time!

Poured in 0.4 L Steiner Pils tulip. Large fluffy light tan head. Medium carbonation. Beer is much darker than expected, very dark brown bordering on black, slightly cloudy. Aromas of burnt sugar, rum, raisins, ethanol. Althought ethanol is present throughout it is never overpowering, instead presenting a warm toasty slow burn, very easy to drink. Full of sweet chocolatey malt, figs, dark dried fruit. Finish is cocoa and espresso bitterness along with some ethanol. Towards the end of the bottle (from the last pour) get a lot of nutty yeastiness, hazelnuts. Coats the tongue like velvet.

Could sip this one by the fire all night. I think that A is ruined for all future quads by this one. Much hype but definitely worth seeking out.

htomsirveaux, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of mapofthedead
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep, dark brown color with a small tan head that disappeared very quickly.

S: Fruity and a definite alcohol note. Some caramel maltiness there too but overall nothing stand out.

T: Sweet and fruity, quiet syrupy, caramel again - no hint of bitterness. For something that tastes really nice I'm stuck for words!

M: Lovely - full bodied, syrupy but not too sticky, nice carbonation but not too fizzy, excellent.

D: Yes! Too strong to have more than a couple though!

mapofthedead, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's great that finally I get the chance to try this legendary ale, on my birthday! The BB date of this bottle coincides with my birth-date, albeit in a different year of course: 07/03/10; served cool in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: very dark brown with purple-ish hues, chunks of yeast sediments keep floating in the nectar due to the light fizziness in action, topped with a semi-dirty dark beige froth that settles slowly to a thin blanket to last.
S: intensely malty and estery, witnessing good work of the candy sugar and yeasts; the aroma is full of fat dessert dates, fig jam, sweetened berries/raisins, treacle, and surprisingly light honey-ish note, all elements are rolled into one integrated aroma on top of a rather refreshing touch of relatively light brown malts. Not a wee bit of alc. is detected on the nose, even after several serious swirls. Not terribly complex; or, the complexity reveals itself in the most subtle way.
T: an effortlessly enticing foretaste mixed of oily toffee, caramel, longan-fruit soup, raisins, and brown malts with a touch of toasted nuts comes in full swing, laced by sweetened roasted tea, roasted malts, honey-coated walnuts, then slowly transforming into an remarkably dry & spicy-estery aftertaste where a high level of bitterness of hops flows elegantly & freely vis-à-vis a generally herbally-spicy backbone. Here, my taste buds can still pick up lingering undertones of candy-sugary maltiness, albeit more in terms of aroma than taste; these mildly sweet elements seem to linger as a reminder of the body and depth of a giant malty brew.
M&D: the texture is blissful, incredibly satisfying and rounded, with utterly smooth carbonation to complement a full (but never thick) body... All in all, there's no drama here, no BIG flavours or overpowering elements to dominate the scene; only a brilliantly structured, evolving flavour profile proceeds from one stage to the other just seamlessly. I can't work out how dry and bitter it could smoothly transform into in the rounded finish given the oily malty foretaste, while consistently there's neither any trace of big alc. nor sticky sugary mouthfeel. This might have been the smoothest and harmonious Quadruple that I've had the luck to try - if it could be obtained at a much lower price (I was charged US$18 by the "Belgian Shop"!), I wish to sip one bottle of this ale a month, just to remind myself how blissful and tranquil the beer world can be, without much pretence and loudness.

wl0307, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of scottoale
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I thought I'd save this brew for a milestone...my 600th review. Many thanks to organicbrewer for hooking me up. Brown 33cl. bottle with a date stamped on the cap: 09.05.10. Poured slowly into a Duvel tulip a very dark mahogany brown with a thick three-finger beige foamy cap. The head settled after fifteen minutes to a rocky, latte looking cream and chunky lace clinging to the glass. The damn thing looks like dessert.

Ripe fruity nose with note of plum, pear, cork, candi sugar and some fusels. Even when it warmed I wasn't getting much more out of the aroma, although it is complex as hell.

The taste outstanding with perfect balance. Sweet and malty upfront, complex and fruity with a unique spiciness to a nice bitter end. Ripened fruit that fluffs in the mouth, with plum, sultanas, grape, pear, molasses, candi sugar, yeast and a hop spicy bitterness. Best tasting Quad I've ever had.

Fluffy and smooth in the mouth with a bit of sting on the tongue from the perfect carbonation. Velvety and devine in the mouthfeel and taste. The alcohol is woven into the complexity which aids in giving this rather high ABV brew a super drinkability...I would love to be able to drink this stuff on a regular basis. It certainly does live up to the hype in my book.
Thanks again Josh for this tasty brew!

scottoale, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of BeerStine
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle top has "20.11.10" printed on it. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark reddish brown with plenty of off-white head.

Smell is very complex. I smell a soapy malt smell with dark red fruity undertones. Smell is defiantly subdued, but maybe appropriate for a quad.

Taste is amazing. The different malt characters are like no other beer I've tried. It has a great cinnamon-like spice malt flavor. The bitterness of the hop balance with the malts perfectly.

Mouthfeel is medium with a light/medium carbonation - the ideal mouthfeel for a quad.

This beer is extremely drinkable. After I'm done I want another. Enough said.

I have to say, the spicy malts of this beer are like no other I've tried. And it's not the spice flavor you find in some winter beers where you they just dumped a can of nutmeg, cinnamon and the like in a pot and called it a winter beer.

BeerStine, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of ryan58813
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The perfect beer.

Complex, smooth, Belgian sugar candy, carmel, chocolate, coffee, deep, full, small bite, pleasing aftertaste,

Goosebumps first sips.

It was a joy to burp...

Believe the hype.

Parents live in Belgium a couple hour drive to the Abbey. It was worth the pilgrimage.

Also can be found in Bruges...

ryan58813, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of IBUnit63
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Via trade with MacDomer - many thanks! BBD is 12.02.11 (2/12/2011 for us Yanks). 33cl bottle into St. Bernie's chalice. Out of fridge for about 10-15 minutes and breathing a few more minutes before pouring. I wanted to let it breathe a bit longer but I pop the cap and it's happy to see me as it slowly froths above the top of the bottle so I pour a little bit into the chalice. The foam keeps coming so I get the rest in there.

The pour as mentioned is extremely well-carbonated and yields a slightly murky raisin brown. Active carbonation yields a 1/2-finger head in the chalice; it dissipates but leaves a wispy ginger-colored film resembling a solid Kosher rye.

Whoooaaa, camel...first impression is clove, ginger and rum raisin ice cream. The beautiful bride notices prunes and a bit of chocolate...she's spot on. Prunes definitely abound; there's a dark leather scent...even a bit of soapy plums. Very complex with a mild to moderate booziness that's carrying ginger notes and aided by the solid carbonation.

I'm getting a little bit of floral soapy notes at first, followed by mild gingerbread, a little clove and then some raisins. It's amazing what 5 more minutes of warmth does for this. The floral soap veneer thankfully burns away and we're back in solid Quad ground. The leathery fruitcake spices, the deep dark dried plums, dates and chocolate covered cherries bring this another level of complexity. Surprisingly austere on the finish...much more dry than expected. As the BB indicated earlier, mild baking/bittersweet chocolate emerges with warmth. Prunes, too. Still, a tad of lingering floral soapiness.

For some reason I expected a big mild spice and raisin bomb. I'm really surprised at the pleasant dryness of this offering. The construction is so well-done that there's not a lot of mess left behind. The excited carbonation may indicate that the yeast in this deal may have eaten everything they could wrap their cells around. Still, that floral soapiness still lingers.

Maybe it's the thought of enjoying this for the very first time but this dows go down very quickly. It definitely takes a while for that one off-flavor - the floral soap - to burn off its weirdness. Note no real mention of booziness on the taste or palate profile - after the initial rum raisin ice cream scent it simply isn't an issue. My guess is that I should probably invest in a case of this some day to evaluate over time because merely one bottle isn't enough. With many extreme offerings the flavors and notions are in your face so that there's no mistake. This treasure is definitely more subtle and takes a little more time to figure out. Great, complex construction.

IBUnit63, Mar 02, 2009
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,826 ratings.