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

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

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5,237 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,237
Reviews: 1,676
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,177
Gots: 1,628 | FT: 122
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

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
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Ratings: 5,237 | Reviews: 1,676
Photo of fff
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my God, I'm drinking a Westvleteran 12. Poured out of a bottle into a goblet.

A- Beautiful dark brown color, thin to no head. Beautiful auburn.

S- Malty sweetness with a high alcohol smell.

T- Completely unique. Waves of flavor assault the palate. First yeast, then malts, then a short glimpse of booze with a finish and aftertaste of hops. Completely different from anything I've ever exprienced.

M- Substantial, yet comfortable. Not too thick to make it syrupy, but not too thin to make it insubstantial.

D- Superior to most flavorful beers, it's not too heavy to drink more than one or two of. I'd drink it all night if I had access to them.

This beer is not all hype. Well worth the money.

Photo of BrewSomerville
4.16/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dark fruits. Plums, raisins, prunes. Spices.
Looks: Very little head. (I poured it sort of gently into a Konnigss Hoeven goblet). Light brown with orange/copper highlights. No lace.

Taste: Some alcoholic warmth. Same flavours as in aroma, but with a little bitterness to balance. There was some noticeable sweetness left in the beer. There is lots of depth and complexity here. I enjoyed the beer, and I know that it enjoys a great reputation, but I picked up some almost worty flavours in it.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, full bodied. Low carbonation, which suited the beer nicely.

Photo of hughesm4
4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank a portion of a bottle poured into a glass.

A. Great. A dark red/brown in color that is opaque. It aslo has an epic head that just sits on the side of the glass.

S. The only thing that is not exceptional about the beer. Doesn't have any overpowering elements, but a very nice blend of smells.

T. A terrific taste. A very nice blend of spices, with a slight bitterness in the back of the mouth. The beer keeps getting better and better with each drink you take.

M. Well carbonated, you get a different feeling on every part of your tongue while you are drinking it. The flavors stick to the back of your mouth well after you are done drinking.

D. Goes down very well. I drank slowly to enjoy the taste, however it tastes better when it is gulped.

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Courtesy of mwa423.

Pours a silky beer red/brown mud hut color with an inch of medium bodied but long lasting tanish/beige head. Retains in the glass remarkably.
Smell has got sweet malts, grain, banana bread, and spice.
Taste has different flavors on each drink. I get spice and sweet malt through the first few drinks, then becomes spicy with some non-citrus fruit on the next few sips. They blend together greatly.
I stopped drinking this nearly 3 minutes ago and I've still got some Belgian spice and grain on my palate.
One of my friends said this, and I agree, this is a much better gulper than a sipper. You do the math...

Photo of Casey10
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for my 50th review on Ba quite excited to finally try this.

A - Dark amber color tan wispy head.

S - grape, fig, spices

T - This is were it gets good very nice tastes of grape cherry, spices gets even better as it warms up a bit. Very complex.

M - smooth and warm leaves a lasting taste that stays with you.

D - Very good could drink a bunch but wouldn't want to over due it either.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
DATE ON CAP: 19.03.11

Pours up a very dark, almost opaque, golden brown. Slightly more than a fingers worth of light tan colored foam makes the head. It recedes to a foamy film that sits on the surface throughout the rest of the glass. Lacing is in slightly thick ropes and is quite clingy.

Oh, man, it does smell wonderful. Like a huge basket full of dark fruits at varying degrees of ripeness. This creates an almost wine-like scent. Bold hints of candi sugars. Subtle malty presence. Cherries, grapes, figs and pomegranates....it smells almost candy-like. As it warms a touch of nice yeastiness comes out.

Wow, this alot drier than the nose foretold. It's not totally dry, to be honest. It has a nice level of sweetness on the tongue, but is really dry around the edges. Candi sugars and malts are fairly subdued, here. A bit of yeasty bread smothered in a dark fruit jam.
Maybe I need to try one that's been aged for awhile, but I'm not really ecstatic about this one. I expected a little more complexity and seperation of flavors. It's actually fairly subdued and the flavors are all blended together.

The body is on the lower end of the 'full' side of the spectrum. Carbonation is very well done. Silky smooth and a touch creamy. Very nice.

This is totally a highly drinkable brew, but, honestly, if I'm going to drink a Quad, which I often do, I'd probably reach for a different one than this, first.

Photo of kappldav123
4.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally I have this legendary beer in my glass. The bottle looks really good, no label - which brewery can do that? Dark in the glass, almost black, nice head. Starts strong and malty, modest sweetness. Notes of wood and a bit liquorice. Not as strong as exspected, very drinkable for its strength. Warming finish. Really great beer!

Photo of jjanega08
4.74/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A=pours an amazing brown color with a thin miniscule head that dissapaits quickly to nothing.
S= sweet grapes all around reminicent of wine deep dark fruits are present with a slight tart note. Very little alcohol but some is present.not as flavorful as anticipaited but the flavors blend beautiful. Pretty bready and buttery with flavors of plums and prunes. Really great grape notes are in it. Smooth in every way.
M= the best part of the beer. Super smooth and delicious. Amazing.
D= awesome. The most amaing thing I've tasted in a long time.

Photo of dwaz
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brought back a couple of bottles from Brussels last summer and aged for a little over ayear. Pours a nice brown with white head and smells of sweet malts. Carbonation is just right and allows for excellent drinability. Just has a crazy mild sweetnees that hides the high alcohol content - yes it tastes a little like grape soda at some points. Overall, not necessarily the best beer I've ever had, but probably the most balanced with such a high alcohol content.

Photo of jgasparine
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/20/2010 Review @ In De Vrede

A- Poured from the bottle into a Wesvleteren chalice with a good 1" of rocky khaki colored foam, and some lovely lacing observed along the glass. The body is a turbid garnet-tinged brown. No visible carbonation, but that may have something to do with the opacity. Looked gorgeous. (4.5)

S- Initial impressions are rich candy and roasted malts, some Belgian yeast aromatics, some candi sugar, as well as some faint stale hops. As the beer warms up, much more of those fruity esters- rich complex aromas of chocolate, cherry, dried dark fruit, and leather begin to emerge on the nose. (4.5)

T- This was a rollercoaster in the mouth. Initially, when served cool, the taste was comprised of extremely rich flavors of caramel and roasted malts, candi sugar, some stale hops and some fruity esters. The finish lingers wonderfully with esters. As the beer warmed, the malts were perceived as more bready, and the sweet fruity esters emerged as well (chocolate, cherry, dried fruit, and leather). The warmer beer peaked in the mouth with increased candi sugar, some faint hop bitterness and just a *touch* of booziness, which was non-offensive, simply warming and pleasant. More perceived caramel, chocolate and molasses emerged in the middle as well, and now the finish lingers with malt and just a touch of hop bitterness. Amazing how the beer continually evolved throughout the drink. (5.0)

M- A medium to full body. Not a ton of texture there. Some unattenuated sugar. The carbonation is not as soft as I would have liked, but it's not quite bloating. As the beer warmed, the carbonation began to soften and create for a creamier mouthfeel, which was just wonderful (4.5)

D- The alcohol is very well hidden throughout the drink. So smooth and creamy, the aromas and flavors are incredible. This is dangerously drinkable. (4.5)


7/20/2009 Review

A- Pours an opaque dark brown; medium head with some nice lacing. (4.5)

S- Raisins, figs, dates co-mingle with candy sugar and yeast in the nose. (4.5)

T- The dark fruit now seems to meld with some dark chocolate notes, and a slightly warming alcohol burn. Finishes slightly yeasty and metallic, but in a non-offensive way. Just a lot going on here. All good stuff. (4.5)

M- Creamy full body that coats the mouth, allows for extended enjoyment after each sip. (5)

D- Exceptionally drinkable given the ABV. Could have 3 or 4 of these in a sitting if I were so lucky. (4.5)

Photo of pepsican
2.96/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown head. Lots going on in the aroma. Dark fruits, sherry, candy, quite a bit going on here. Flavor is very complex, fruit, funk, alcohol, caramel, chocolate. Finishes highly carbonated, but doesn't get in the way of the beer. I could still use less carbonation on this one. Light alcohol notes which melded well with the beer without taking away from the flavors. Overall I can see why people would enjoy this if big boozy belgians are your thing. I personally don't have the want to drink this more than once a year at most.

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Westvlyteren 12 pours a deep hazy dark brown to ruby body with plenty of yeast floating about. The aromas are just about everything I have ever smelled in a beer. Spices of clove, cinnamon, banana, dark fruit, sweet maltiness, cocoa, bubblegum. Complex as hell. The flavor was nothing but superb with dark fruit, spice, and enough bittering. The mouthfeel is full bodied with ample carbonation. I was skeptical about this beer and usually do not like darker Belgians, but this blew me away. Yes, it is worthy of the hype and praise it gets unlike many rare hyped American beers.

Thanks to atsprings for splitting this bottle.

Photo of atsprings
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to afatty for the in-person trade. Poured into a Corsendonk tulip a hazy, murky brown with a nice light tan head that lasts as a thin layer that leaves slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is an incredible blend of sweet fruits, brown sugar, clove, spices and numerous other aromas that just add up to spectacular. The taste is more of the same, just about everything you look for in a beer all melded perfectly into one. The beer is medium bodied with decent alcohol presence, but with a taste that good, you barely notice. This one certainly lives up to the hype, and thanks to afatty's generosity, I look forward to trying it again!

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.81/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into chalice. Massive (and very heartfelt) thanks to Dev (Buckeyesox) for including this as an extra, alongside other equally amazing extras in the middle of a trade that was awesome in and of itself. Drinking with my wife to celebrate the birth of our first daughter a week ago - her first beer since birth. Edit: Dev passed away a week after this review. I'll always remember drinking this beer in celebration of the new life that came into our family, so soon before Dev passed on. A great loss to the BA community. You will be missed, Dev.

Pours dark, cola-brown, very lightly hazy, with a very thin off-white head. This one is a bit disappointing, but I have no idea what year this is, and honestly, I'm not going to care if it tastes the way I hope it will.

Nose is fantastic as expected. Notes of dark fruit and mollasses, toffee and brown sugar, spicy yeast and even a bit of earthy anise. Some phenols give a light spicy complexity that combines with just a hint of alcohol. Beautiful.

Taste is more of the delicious same - malt driven and fruity, with a dark malty sweetness that pulls out raisins and dried candied plums, molasses and brown sugar, with a spicy phenol presence and just a bit of alcohol underneath livening things up. There's a candy, "sugar in the raw" note in there as well, some toffee, and a very light, earthy bitterness leading into a finish that I can only describe as perfect - bready, dark fruits, rich dark brown sugar that's just a bit caramelized. Perfect combination of dryness and malt sweetness. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel is very nice but not flawless - sharp but sparse and not overbearing in the slightest, with a body that is light but full somehow. Taste lingers steadfastly after every swallow and is sublime.

Drinkability is really perfect. Alcohol is there but not at all overbearing, flavor is unbelievably complex but balanced and even the mouthfeel tends towards emphasizing drinkability.

What it all comes down to is that every time you pick out a flavor with this one, there's a subtlety and clarity to it that is just striking. Everything just rings true with every aspect of it. I'm humbled to be drinking this thanks to the generosity of a man I feel truly blessed to have met through this website, which only adds to the depth of quality I suppose. Lives up to the hype.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.2/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at PPRBSG09. Pours a dark murky brown with a thick white head. Aroma is very fruity--lots of dark fruits (plum, apple, and fig) plus some honey. Flavor is nice and fruity, with yeast notes and a rich malt base. The palate sort of had a pulp-like quality to me. Very nice and delicious! I can't wait to try this again.

Photo of jrallen34
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this in Brussels.

The beer pours dark brown, murky quad color, light tan head with good retention and lacing...The aroma is nice full of dark fruits, figs, caramel, slight alcohol, sugar. Taste is much of the same, great feel and easy to drink.

This is a great beer, but I believe just a notch below Rochefort 10.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A--Popped the cap and this one was a gusher, I probably should have let it settle for longer since it just arrived via FedEx 2 hours ago. Luckily it was a slow gusher and I only lost probably a half-ounce of beer total. Very dark brown in color with a full finger of camping head. Some nice sheets of lacing are left behind in my Dogfish Head signature glass

S--Plums, raisins, wood, orange peel, alcohol burn, apples, band aid, leather. You really have to let this one marinate because there is a new surprise around every corner

T--Behold, the famed Westy 12. Now I "get" it. I always wondered how a beer that people claimed was so unique could be so universally acclaimed. After all, one-of-a-kind flavor often can be polarizing. So where was the negative backlash? One sip and it all becomes clear. There is absolutely nothing offensive about this beer. How could anyone possibly NOT like this? I can't say whether this is the best beer I've ever had, because comparing it to other styles is difficult. But without question, this is the best Quad/BSDA I've ever had (and I've had all of the top rated ones). I'm not going to go into all the flavors, there are plenty of reviews for that. Just know that this is one smooth, complex, tasty mother of a beer

M--Full bodied and creamy with a slight carbonation sting

D--I really feel ashamed to be chugging this like I am. I can't help it. This is spectacular. This and HOTD Adam are the two most drinkable +10% ABV beers I have ever had. All around this beer is amazing, mind blowing, unbelievable. The hype is real. I need more. I will get more. I must get more.

Photo of scottyshades
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stonequarrywest for the bottle!

A: Pours a rich deep mohagany color that produces a fizzly white head that retains well and leaves nice lacing along the glass. Little brown spots appear in the head over time.

S: Champagne yeast, alcohol, dark fruits (figs/plums/pears/dates/cherries), candy, bubblegum, malts. Very complex...I can only imagine the care and technique that it takes to craft this brew.

T: Soooo good. Dark fruits are nice and sweet while the bitterness is perfectly balanced. Malts are hugee in this brew.

MF/D: Very chew brew for its style (although not as chewy as I have heard). Superbly smooth, finishes clean and velvety.

To be honest, I was expecting more, but still a ridiculous brew

This brew was born in November of 2008 which makes it only half a year old. I must say that I got a little anxious to try this one. Still have one more that I plan on aging for a long while.

Photo of mugglesandhops
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Davey shared this bottle with me when we drank my Westy 8. Poured into goblet a still, murky, yeasty, brown with no head. Smelled of dark fruit, brandy. Taste of dark fruit as well, raisin, cherry, fig, a little warm, in the finish. This was pretty fizzy in the mouth which surprised me as it didn't look very carbonated when I poured it. Amazing beer and I'm glad I was able to sample this.

Photo of ricke
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep reddish brown color, nearly opaque. A nice looking beige head of about 3 cm with good retention leaves plenty of lacings.

S: A deep and rich smell. Plenty of fruity aromas (cherries, plums, overripe strawberries), raisins, wet wood. The malty backbone is thick and "dark" and is accompanied by a prominent spicy aroma. A hint of yeast. The alcohol is noticeable, but very integrated with the rest of the aromas. A great smell.

T: The taste is nothing but fantastic. A noble and rich malty backbone and semi-sweet cherries converge with a prominent, but not very strong, taste of alcohol. At this point, the beer is quite reminiscent of a fine liqueur. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Raisins adds another sweet component. Earthy yeast and spices balance the massive sweetness. Faint nutty aromas, and perhaps just a minimal hint of tartness. In the finish, the alcohol is very noticeable and has a sweet and warming character. But the alcohol is very well integrated and suits the beer nicely. The finish is slightly bitter with notes of spices, iron and grass.

M: Full-bodied with a velvety smooth texture. The rather high level of carbonation is well suited for the overall character.

D: What to say about this legendary brew? Well, I think it's almost as good as it's reputation say it is. It's just unbelievably tasty with an impressive complex character. This one comes really close to perfection.

Photo of johnd513
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes to slater1313 for including this as an extra!
Cap reads 02 07 11
Smells of bourbon, raisins, dark fruits, honey, candi sugar and a phenol character. Tastes of fruit, honey and dark malts. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, tingles the tongue and finishes smooth. The sweetness, carbonation and alcohol warming character of this beer mend together perfectly. Drinkability is exceptional, I could enjoy this all night.

Photo of EatsTacos
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown, with a clumpy and thick head. Great lacing.

There are a few aspects to the aroma of this beer. Dark, dried fruits; raisins, prunes, even dried apricot. Chocolate, coffee, and sweet toffee and caramel. Burnt toast.

Taste begins on a fruity note. Apricots, plums, prunes, raisins. Slightly bitter chololate on the sides of the palate. Alcohol is not well hidden. The roasted malt is not overly sweet, and the finish is not completely dry.

Medium bodied, with a soft carbonation

Photo of Nick3
4.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle reads a date on the cap of 19 11 11. Beer poured into my Westvleteren goblet is rich dark brown in color. No head or lacing to speak of has me a bit worried given this beer's rich tradition. Nose is wonderful and complex. Notes of candi sugar, dark fruit, anise and caramel. Taste is complex as well and nearly as great as the boquet. Amazing synthesis of flavors. Mouthfeel is too thin and the beer lacked enough carbonation. Alcohol was there but overwhelmed by the amazing flavor. A great beer but I would like to have one with a bit more carbonation.

Photo of wheatman106
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed with the help of capra12 and Jimmy

Poured into a snifter

A: Poured a slightly cloudy, rich brown color like dark brown sugar. Formed about a 1.5 finger head, very tight with small bubbles, ivory in color. Moderate retention and left a nice, even lacing.

S: Most of the noticeable notes were very balanced, none overly pronounced compared to the others. Included were slight notes of alcohol, rich berries, and faint notes of molasses and pear. Again, no one aroma overpowered the others.

T: From the opening through the finished, there exists a very complex blend of flavors. It is an extremely balanced combination of alcohol, berries, and dark malts, with mild to medium levels of carbonation. The moderate finish trails off evenly leaving a slightly sweet and alcoholic aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied, but not too heavy.

D: For a quadrupel, drinkability is very good, as the alcohol taste and weight of the beer are not obnoxious.

Myself, capra12, and Jimmy were in agreement that we simply cannot wait to enjoy this beer again.

Photo of swirldog
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this classic a couple of years ago at a homebrew meeting. A one of a kind very rare thing to get a hold of.
Deep mahogany appearance, strong brown head with excellent lace.
Nose is fruity with strong malt with chocolate notes, hops are low.
Flavor is malt upfront with raisiny/fruity esters. Chocolate flavors predominate in the middle. Hops are very low, bit in the finish.
Mouthfeel is chewy with nice creaminess and carbonation.
Drinkibility is good, a beer for a cold nite.
A classic that I would love to have again.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,237 ratings.