1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,178 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,178
Reviews: 1,662
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,129
Gots: 1,590 | FT: 118
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

(Yellow Cap)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,178 | Reviews: 1,662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kingcrowing
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12.oz bottle from 2009 AND an 11.2oz bottle from 1995 poured into a sampling glass - HUGE thanks to stowehop for his generosity!

Pours a rich deep golden/amber/ruby with a thing light fluffy head, surprisingly still there on the '95 but more subtle than on the '09. Nose is very complex, slight booze - but not much for a 10.2% beer. Has quite a bit of sweetness, and on the '95 a ton of rum/raisin as well.

Taste is very crisp and sweet and it's got some complex grain/earthy flavors. Light belgian yeastiness to it with raisins dominating the flavor. The '95 as much more mellow and drinkable/smooth but the '09 was very bright and sharp, both were excellent!

Photo of br3wmeister
4.13/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

18.12.10
9.11.11

A- Large multi textured light tan head with large bubbles suspended in thick foam. Great head retention and good lacing. The beer is dark brown in color with some haziness, minimal light penetration.

S- Large fruity aroma, cherries, apples, peaches and plums. Also a great malty profile displaying Caramel, roasted pecans and a touch of molasses. The yeast really makes this beer shine with some nice spicy notes to balance all the sweet malty character.

T- Spicy fruit up front then some roasted nuts and fruit are accompanies by dry bitter spice, warming alcohol and a slight peppery flavor. Cherries, raspberries make an appearance in the flavor as well. This is a very complex and tasty beer.

M- This is a full bodied beer with a nice oily smoothness and dry bitter bite in the end. The alcohol is a little apparent for my taste.

Overall this is a great quad, and a great beer in general.

Photo of colts9016
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am so freakin happy, I finally get to try this beer. This beer is my 500th review. It has been sitting in my cellar for almost a year. I had to beg borrow and almost steal to get someone one to trade me for this beer. When I got this beer there were far fewer reviews. I know everybody wants this beer so tonight is my night to either defeat the hype or promote it. Poured into a a tulip glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: The head is a light tan one finger and has good retention. The head is creamy and frothy and left lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a very dark brown color and is very hard to distinguish. The clarity of the beer is opaque and hazy.

Nose: A rich fruity aroma with alcohol presents. There is a peppery, cloves, bananas, phenols, and yeast/bread. There is so much going on in the beer that I could have missed something or some compound. In the back ground of the beer there is some solvent and sweetness.

Taste: A very deep rich fruity malty flavors. The flavors are peppery, cloves, yeasty bread, phenols and banana. There is a lot going on in the flavors. In the background of the beer there is some alcohol warmth and some sweetness.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated, warming, and smooth. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium to medium full. This beer is fantastic, it has so much going on in it, yet it is so simple. The flavor explode in your mouth and is very easy to drink. The head was disappointing, nonetheless, the flavor makes up for it. I am so glad that I got to try it. It is just amazing.

Photo of MrIncognito
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is... FINALLY!

A - Dark hazy brown body beneath a thick and fluffy slightly offwhite head. Fantastic retention, the head lasts a solid 4-5 minutes then settles to a 1/4-inch foamy cap that lasts the duration of the beer. Wonderful sticky lacing.

S - Really, really nice and strong aroma. Dark malts, dark chocolate, and then alcohol soaked fruits such as cherries and plums. Slight pruney aroma with a deep breath. Some nice spices in there, almost like all spice, and then peppery perhaps from the alocohol.

T&M - Very peppery taste on the tip of my tongue at first sip then the dark fruits come through very intensely. Definite alcohol soaked cherries and more prune than plum coming through. Lightly sweet but not overly so. The spicey alcohol and smooth dark malts mellow out the sweetness. Nice kick of Belgian yeast as the beer is swallowed and again the alcohol throws pepper at you as it is swallowed. Dark bread crust lingers in the aftertaste with just a touch of cherries. Moderate/high carbonation gives this a dry feel but not overly spritzy or champaign-like. Somewhat sticky on the lips and tongue keeps this from being overly dry. Balanced and complex are the best words for this beer.

D - Obviously a sipper but goes down really well. So complex in the flavors and develops nicely as it warms to room temperature. The alcohol is noticable in the spicey flavor it gives but does not come across boozy, so I think I could easily do two of these. A pleasure to drink and I really would like to have this again and would love to cellar a few as well to see what age will do.

Photo of hobojon
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle brough back from Belgium by a friend, bought in the cafe. Cap code: 05.05.12. Served in tulip glass.

Aroma- solvent alc. funky sweet caramel. toast crust, roasty burnt sugar. pils malt. spicy, minty noble hop. dark fruit. sulfur, dissipates with time. much better with some warmth and time.

App- deep red, darker than the 8. big tan foam stays for awhile. laces around glass.

Taste- tart and sweet, pear, alcohol. mouth watering tart berries. plum, raisin, grape and cherries. bread crust, roasty chocolate, caramel. hops are present and minty, herbal, and spicy. subtle grapefruit.

Mouth- full, creamy. dry for perceived sweetness. some alcohol in the mouth.

Overall- very good. great tart taste. complex, great sipper. not the best quad I have had though.

Photo of mikey711
4.81/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have been looking forward to this one for a while and split a couple with some great friends and family. Poured into a Chimay Goblet

A: Murky brown like a dark apple cider. Lots of sediment in the glass when viewed in the light. The head was only about a quarter inch thick and did not retain very well but a nice layer of white foam remains on top of the beer throughout.

S: This smelled fantastic. Rich toffee and caramel were pretty dominant. It also smelled a bit like a caramel covered green apple. The green apple esters were very pleasant. There was a mild amount of booziness and a great gram cracker note.

T: The taste was very similar to the smell. What really impressed me was the complexity of this beer. My favorite part was definitely the gram cracker. Also a nice mild grape and green apple note balance out the sweetness from the candied sugar.

M: Very impressed by the creaminess os this beer. I was very pleased that it was not cloying sweet.

D: Definitely worth the hype behind it. I dont know if I could drink this everyday, but it is worth it

Photo of beerwolf77
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been sitting on this beer for a special occasion. Well fellow BA BeerFMAndy shares the same birthday with myself so I believe that qualifies.

Poured and split into two tulip glasses the beer is a muddy cinnamon hue with about an inch of creamy tan head. The head settles leaving slight ring of slippery lace.

The aroma is tad more subdued then I had expected. Candied fruit, brown sugar, fresh baked bread and maybe a hint of spice. Still not the olfactory monster I had hoped for.

The flavor is caramel malt up front. With sweet candied fruit, cocoa, toffee, cinnamon toast and a touch of bitter fruit in the finish. Dryer and more tart then I would have imagined.

Medium creamy body with moderate carbonation. Basic quad feel.

Overall not quite the mind blowing experiance I had envisioned for the number one beer. A good beer that I would love to revisit. I'm glad I was able to share this with a friend for our birthdays.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz label-less bottle shared and poured into a Unibroue tulip. 10,2% ABV on the cap but no date (although it's fairly fresh).

Many, many thanks to a generous friend; Todd aka Beerwolf77
Happy shared birthday Todd!

A - Clear dark amber with caramel hints and a low, creamy dense head that formed off an aggressive/tall pour into the center of the glass. Good retention with a bit of lacing that tries hard to cling to the glass despite my constant swirling.

S - The aroma is deep and mysterious with toasted, bread-like malts that fade in and out of the foreground complimented by a low but persistent dark fruit nose of raisin, grape, and prune. A bit of dark candi sugar and brown sugar too. Small amounts of spice poke through with the low alcohol nose. Very mild and not hot or fusel at all. The nose is much better and open after a few good swirls, otherwise its a bit timid.

T - Lightly toasted, bready malts that have a really good smooth feel with a mellow candi sugar and brown sugar flavor with lots of dark fruits in the background. Raisin, grape, prune, and dark cherry. A fantastic tasting, mellow quad. Tiny hints of spice with almost no alcohol flavor for its percent. Again, I only wish the flavor was just a SMALL bit more upfront.

M - Super-smooth like velvet and medium-full bodied. A lasting sweetness with a very small bitterness to the finish. Mellow overall and well carbonated but its so complex and smooth otherwise I didn't even think about it.

D - An incredibly easy drinking beer, especially for a Belgian Quad. After all the hype of being the "number one beer" I think I'm a little disenchanted with it. A great beer, that's to be certain of, but had I not had the expectations I had, I'm sure I would have found it to be much better. Still an incredible beer I wish I could get more frequently.

Another huge thanks to Todd for sharing this with me for our shared birthday!

Photo of WeedKing4
4.13/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the bar manager for informing me this was on the 'secret' menu. Bottle pours a dark ruby brown with a little bit of foam. Tastes of very strong dark fruits with lots of flavour that lingers on the tongue. Its quite easy to drink considering the abv%. Its a decent beer, but it didn't wow me away being the number one rated beer in the world. Glad I got to try this though.

Got to try this again thanks to Jeffo. Very solid quad. It tasted a little hot at first, but it settled and became very drinkable. Lots of brown sugar and dark fruits in the flavour.

Photo of Everdrift
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Brabender for affording me the opportunity to try this rare and profound brew.

Pours a deep nutty brown with a smallish head that dissipates rather quickly. I don't feel that the smaller head really counts much against it as a smoother, creamier, less carbonated mouthfeel is achieved through the lack of huge bubbliness.

The smell offers up a fine aroma of plum, pear, and sweet malt. It is not a nose that hits you over the head, but neither is the taste really. This ale is about subtlety, depth, and the interplay of flavors.

The taste is pretty deep. Dark fruity flavors are up front, such as plum and raisin. Alcohol is noticeable, but not nearly as strong as one might expect given the high ABV. Fruity flavors, toasty malts, and sweet belgian sugars all stand up over the high alcohol content. The taste has a special kind of depth that allows you to get into it it further and further the more you drink it.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, especially for such high ABV. A light carbonation is there, but not the dominant element. The alcohol doesn't burn too much, but it does numb the tongue slightly. I found all of this to be very pleasant and complimentary to the flavor.

Drinkability, what can I say? Very, very drinkable. Probably the most drinkable ale at this ABV that I have had. It compares very favorably overall to other Belgians that I've had, though I still need to try a couple of the classics. I just had a nice Maredsous 8 on draft at the Renaissance fair here in Texas and it was lovely but it didn't have the depth of character that this Westvleteren exhibited. This ale is a classic for sure. I don't know if it's the best in the world, but it's certainly in my top few beers I've tried.

Photo of digitalbullet
3.27/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark mahogany and... OH no! not a trace of a head!!!
Smell: Sweet candi sugar. Good malt in the nose. Minimal hops. Slight vanilla twang.
Taste: NOOO! this is supposed to be the holy grail!! It is overwhelmingly sweet. It has some redeeming qualities however. It is malty with some complex vanilla flavors.
unfortunately it tastes somewhat like the sweet unfermented mash.
Mouthfeel: thin, thin, thin, Not a trace of carbonation.
Drinkability: If this is the holy grail its one and done for me. I hope that I have been duped and I bought one of those counterfeit beers. I have one more in the cellar (my closet). Will edit my review if this was just a bad bottle.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A massive thanks to Goldorak for giving me this treasure, hand delivering it no less. Yer a gentleman and a prince Martin! Bottlecap is dated 06.04.07.

Pours out a deep, nearly opaque murky brown in appearance, thin, quick creamy tan head that disappears quickly.

Well then, the aroma is absolutely gorgeous, if this is as good as it gets, then I'm content. Rich, vinous dark dried fruit, brown sugar, light caramel, plum and candi sugar, mild alcohol warmth and spice.

Bready, nutty, some toffee in the malt up front, sweet sugary alcohol warmth, candy-like berry sweetness and vinous dark fruit. Finish is dry, sweet yet earthy, low alcohol warmth into the aftertaste, spicy with a Turkish Delight savoury sweetness. I had this at a 4.5 starting out, but really, near the end of the glass, this is some 5 star flavour as good as and greater than the sum of its parts.

Mouthfeel is the only slight against it, thin and a bit watery, very low carbonation with some light stickiness.

One of those few beers that lives up to its hype and delivers, certainly does not disappoint, I now know the exemplar to hold all other quads up to. Wow.... Once again thanks to Goldorak, how am I gonna follow this one up?

Photo of ShadesOfGray
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally had the oppertunity to devour a bottle of the holy grail of beers...aged 2 years mind you. I tried hard to have low expectations since a lot of Belgians beers have been letting me down lately. Better too to be pleasantly surprised than let down.
Let down? That didn't happen.
A: Medium dark brown with decent head.
S: From the moment the bottle was cracked open...the aroma was so strong, it filled the room and made my mouth start watering. Very strong Belgian strong dark ale/quad smell. Lots of dark sweet malts and fruits. A slight wine smell on the backside.
T: Just like the smell. Very complex. Tons of dark overripe fruits, sugars, slight booze, smooth.
I wish Westy 12 came in a 750ml, so tasty and easy to drink, it's gone before you know it. Don't pass up an oppertunity to try Westvleteren 12 atleast once in your lifetime!

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night after having it sit in the cellar for quite a while now. Received it in a trade a few months ago and the best after date (to which I have been informed was three after it was bottled) had passed over a year ago, so I'm thinking this bottle was an '05.

Poured into a chalice and away we go.

Appearance: Dark orange-amber with huge amounts of sediment and floating yeasties and goodness. Nice head and lacing, but the yeastiness was the biggest surprise.

Smell: Holy cow, this is where the beer really picks up. Big notes on just so many different levels, the complexity is fantastic. Pour was still a little on the cool side, but as it warmed it smelled as fantastic as any beer I've ever smelled. Grapefruit, fig, anise, molasses, slight leather, caramel, and grape-raisin. Booze is a little present as well, but nothing too off-putting. Just excellent and complex, everything I had hoped for and more.

Taste: Wow, just keeps on coming. Fantastic dark fruits and licorice, with a slightly peppery alcohol that only really adds another dimension to the beer, in no way boozy. I can see where this beer probably was a bit sweeter a few years back, but it mellows beautifully. Part of the reason this beer is so loved I would have to feel is you can just tell it ages like a charm. Three tiers of taste, starting fruity, going more peppery, and finishing with a malty creaminess that is just awesome. Bravo.

Mouthfeel: Very nice, not too bitter in any way, and alcohol is more of a flavor than a harshness. Carbonation is still great after all these years too, and just works well.

Drinkability: I kept pulling it back and was saddened when it was gone. I have to say, when I had Bernardus 12 on tap a few times on tap, I really loved it, and this beer was everything it was and just a hint more. I don't know if I had them both aged to the same point what they would look like in comparison, but both are worthy and amazing beers. Worth its' post in the pantheon of great beers, this is for certain, and like everyone always says, I just wish I could grab this more regularly for a special occasion.

Photo of muttyd
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber/brown with some floaters. Thin tan head that slowly dissipates. Aroma is of plums, burnt sugar, & yeast. No hop aroma whatsoever.

Massively complex flavor. Brown sugar, fig, and plum sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden, but catches up with you in the end. Very creamy mouth feel; this beer completely coats your mouth and stays sticky throughout.

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Dark fruit and a unmistakable Belgian quality. Also a nice amount of spice.

Appearance - Lots of tan head that slowly dissipated without leaving much lace. Red amber color.

Taste - Fruity and complex with alcohol heat to remind you of 10% ABV. Tons of fruit complexity hangs around in the flavor. A little too much alcohol warming than I would have liked at first. Really just a lot of fruitiness and alcohol. However even as it warmed it never got worse. Just an awesome amount of flavor.

Notes - This beer grew on me. My first impression wasn't wow but this beer's complexity takes time to appreciate. I still have five more so hopefully a little age will lower the amount of heat.

Photo of willjschmidt
4.15/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Westvleteren chalice. Date on cap reads "27.09.09"

A: Pours a ruby red color with a brown tint. Large chunks in the bottom of the bottle.

S: The nose is slightly sweet with some dark fruits.

T: Slightly sweet with some molasses, licorice, and other dark fruits such as raisins and figs. A hint of alcohol in the finish.

M: Nice mouthfeel, creamy and medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D: A very nice beer. Is it the best in the world? Not in my opinion but still worth seeking out.

Photo of satowns
4.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich ruby brown color. short lasting single finger of tan foam recedes to liquid and then just hangs out to provide great lacing.

High alcohol fusels and sweet wine in the aroma.

Extremely savory. rich toasted wheat bread. caramel malt.

very full body. nice and chewy! medium carbonation and subtle creaminess.

A great beer all around.

Photo of SirSketch
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

100th Review! Acquired this beer at Gollem in Amsterdam. My profile pic is actually of me enjoying my first Westy at Gollem.

A - Stiff, tan head. Dark red to leathery brown in color. Looks very appetizing!

S - A plethora of delicious aromas. Very sweet vinous properties, brandy character, dark fruits and candied sugar.

T - Very wine-like. High ABV comes through as hot. Some bourbon qualities. Such a complex beer it is hard to pinpoint any one flavor.

M/D - One of the creamiest, smoothest beers I have had. I think the mouthfeel may actually be my favorite part of this beer. Not the 'best beer on planet earth,' in my opinion, but absolutely worth tracking down.

Photo of Travlr
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep brown color. Strong lacy tan head. Malty, nutty aroma. Full mouth. Complex malty, vinuous, nutty flavor with hints of dates, raisins and dark cherries. Amazing complexity grows with each year of storage. I've tasted brews aged up to 8 years, with amazing results. Also tasted in a Westvletern-flavoured ice cream, believe it or not, at the monastery tap. In a class of its own.

Photo of Jeffo
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a chalice.

Note: Part of the Quad Showdown, including Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus 12, and Westvleteren 12, in that order.

Note II: Bottle says best before 2011, which means this bottle is about a year old.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking tan head that quickly fades to a thin film leaving some clingy lacing down the sides. Colour is sepia or raw umber brown, slightly clearer than average, with medium levels of carbonation evident. A bit of a film remains until the end and leaves some lacing down the glass. Pretty quad for sure.

SMELL: A very nice, but mild nose. Carmel malt up front with toffee and lost of dark fruits as well. Raisins and plumbs are prominent, as well as some nice spicy elements, such as cloves and coriander. Needs to be a little bolder bring it over the hump.

TASTE: Ok, this part really is exceptional. Caramel malt, toffee, with lots of dark fruits again. Like the nose, raisins, plumbs and grapes come out well. Some spicy qualities, cloves for sure, and some spicy alcohol at the end. A nice dose of Belgian yeast provides the foundation for it all. The aftertaste is sweet and spicy with hints of alcohol, and is mild and long lasting. Much more complex and interesting than the nose had indicated. Very nice job here. One of the best in the category.

PALATE: Medium-thin body with higher end carbonation, means you get quite a bit of air on the swallow. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with no bite at all, which is surprising for the ABV. Finishes slightly sticky on the palate. Decent, but a bit too thin and airy for my tastes.

OVERALL: A very tasty quad, no doubt, but the look wasn't all that spectacular and the feel definitely held it back some. A little too thin and airy, a thicker more robust palate would bring it over the hump and set it apart from the masses for sure. Unlike their dubbel, which is world-class to say the least, and despite the superb taste profile, this one doesn't quite live up to the hype. In the Quad Showdown, it's a toss-up between this and the St. Bernardus, while both are well behind the superior Rochefort 10.

Photo of californiakulak
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got three bottles at De Bierkoning, a great beer store in Amsterdam. I drank the first one while sitting along a canal outside of the apartment that my wife and I rented for our short stay. Great environment to say the least.

Poured into a La Trappe glass that I purchased at the same store.

A. Poured a beautiful dark auburn with a small tan like head.

S. The aroma may have been the best part. The smell reminded me of raisins and over ripe plums. I also got a hint of alcohol along with some yeast in the nose.

T. The taste was a composite of dried and undried fruit (raisins, cherries, plums, and prunes) and molasses. I also thought that it had a good amount of carbonation. At the end I felt some warming alcohol flavors.

F. More carbonation than I am used to for this style of beer. I liked that.

D. Almost scarry how drinkable this beer is. At over 10% abv this beer could do damage fast.

I drank all three of my bottles on my trip so I doubt that I will have another anytime in the near future. So I must ask the question; is this the best beer in the world? It was great. But I think that I like Rochefort 10 a little better.

Photo of mmager
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a maroon brown with copper highlights at the edges. A bit cloudy, some small sediment particles even with an extremely careful pour. Thin slightly off-white head, only a few millimeters, which goes down a bit a first but then lingers for quite a while.

S: Initially bready/yeasty smell is most apparent. Light phenols. A hint of alcohol, but not boozy smelling at all. Very subtle hints of fruit, possibly bruised apple? Full rounded malt character and just a hint of grape as it warms up a bit more.

T: Not the typical heavy dark fruit of most quads. Instead an initial rich bready flavor. Rich caramel follows as it warms up a little bit, then transitions to almost a tart flavor. A little bit of spicy bitterness on the (long) finish. Malt notes also last long into this extended finish.

M. Extremely full but not heavy or coating. Carbonation level is nice to balance. Some warming alcohol on the finish but very subdued, not at all harsh.

D: For its strength, quite good. The alcohol content is very very subtle. I would almost prefer that it be a bit more apparent, in fact. The aroma is lovely, but I wouldn't mind a bit more warming in the mouth.

Photo of OlieIPA
4.39/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to open this bad boy up on a day in which I was brewing with my good friend Mike. Poured and shared from a 12 oz. bottle (or close to it) in a Bruery tulip glass.

A: This brew exhibited an overall dark brown hue with lit edges piercing around all sides of the glassware. The head was decent in the beginning, but didn't avail towards the end. The same thing can be said about the lacing as well.

S: Licorice, dark fig, raisin, green apple, both light and dark grapes, tree bark, booze, and brown sugar. A multifaceted beer aroma to say the least and probably the most complex for any Quad I've run into yet.

T: Light brown sugar or dark fruit sweetness, caramel, candied sugar, wood, and raisin are most of the flavors that my palate could distinguish and pick up. Again, there's a lot going on in both the smell and taste and feel like I'm missing out on tons of minute flavors. The only criticism I have is the over-the- top harsh finish.

M: Mild carbonation, slightly drying, and the sugary malts seem to cling to mouth long enough bring out some sort weird sweet bitterness.

D: A perfect fall/winter brew that is somewhat easy to drink and full of complex flavors; extremely impressed. I'm not sure if I could have more than a bottle, but again...wouldn't complain if someone shoved another glass of this right in front of me.

Overall: #1 in the world? In my opinion...no, but I can definitely see why this beer is enjoyed by so many people. I've had the pleasure of drinking this mighty fine brew and hope one day I can enjoy it again. Cheers!

Photo of Brabander
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my 25th wedding anniversary i have opened and drank my very first Westvleteren 12, last mondayevening. I can tell you that the reviews as given before tell (mostly) the truth. What a beer! In spite of a cold i had which makes it difficult it felt like coming home when i had the fist sip.

The first taste i had was a bit of a sweet taste.

Tonight, the 30th of april 2011 i drank a westy again. Although i am buying a lot of crates of the 12 i rarely drink a westy 12 myself. Tonight i drank a fresh one but what a taste this one had!

Rich, full of taste sweetnes but not too much...

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,178 ratings.