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.

5,192 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,192
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,136
Gots: 1,598 | FT: 116
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
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: 5,192 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwinship83
4.61/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of WilliamD
4.23/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.82/5  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.

Photo of steadydose
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of cubsfan2004
5/5  rDev +8.7%
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!

Photo of vancurly
4.24/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of kfordham281
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of Yesac
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of ThirdLap
4.87/5  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.

Photo of macktbone
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of mapofthedead
4.22/5  rDev -8.3%
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!

Photo of wl0307
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of scottoale
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Photo of BeerStine
4.66/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of ryan58813
5/5  rDev +8.7%
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...

Photo of IBUnit63
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of bhalter8
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A special treat for my wife and I on our anniversary, as she is a huge Belgian fan. Pours a hazy deep brown color, with huge (2 finger), thick head that quickly evaporates into my goblet. Little darker than I expect from a quad. The smell was striking to me, and in a good way. It was nice mix of the sweetness of raisins and honey and an almost red wine alcohol smell. A very unique, and very enticing smell. The complex aroma is definitely a forebearer of the taste. A blend of a malty, sweet backbone, with spices, and that red wine character (I am not a huge wine advocate, so I cannot describe it any more specifically, and have never used a wine reference in a beer review, it just fits here). Medium carbonization and a medium density makes this rest nicely in the mouth, allowing you to enjoy all the complexities of the flavor. The ABV is also superbly masked by the complex flavor. Worthy of its lofty status indeed.

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

My 300th review! This is another live one. Of course I was waiting to try this one, the #1 rated beer here on BA. Purchased from BelgianBeerShop.com (not to be confused with Belgianshop.com) for something like 10 Euros, received about 6 weeks ago and waiting for this opportunity to sample. I also bought a Westvleteren glass and of course I poured it into a clean one.

A Pours a dark, dark brown, in front of direct light there is a ruby red outline, glow but the body remains very dark indeed. Nice, light brown frothy head which lingers, now for about 10 minutes as I am letting this one warm up to what I believe to be a more proper temperature. I opened it about 2 minutes after taking it out of my fridge where it has sat undisturbed for the past 2 weeks. Sediment is visible in the bottom of the glass but also sticking around in the body itself. Upon pouring it the last pour was a visibly viscous, yeasty appearance. The look cannot be improved upon, the quintessential Belgian Quad.

S A wonderful wine-like grape malt sweetness hits the nose at first. Repeated smelling revealed the same red wine (or maybe even concord grape!) sweetness presumably due to the malt but very little alcohol to the nose. This is a really inviting smell which just adds to my anticipation.

T Incredibly complex, deep tastes of grainy yeasty malt, no bitterness. Aftertaste of a light stickiness, but less than other beers that I have had. It is like a light syrup vs. a heavy syrupy stickiness. This might be the most well hidden alcohol in a beer that I have ever "not" tasted. Wow, all I taste are the grains, the malt. There is a hint of a burn of alcohol in the beginning of the taste but it is really hidden very well. As it warms (I am still sipping it from time to time) there is a great sweetness to be enjoyed, a return of the sweet concord grapes. Running throughout the taste spectrum and adding to the complexity is a nuttiness which is welcome. You know, it is sort of like all great beers combined, if I can hyperbole for a minute. In there you may taste the great Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale, St. Bernardus and others.

M Maybe the smoothest beer that I have tasted, it is like liquid bread. The head which stayed at least somewhat throughout the entire experience is made up of a very fine head which is related to the mouthfeel in that the carbonation makes the feel very smooth indeed.

D I could drink this all day but if I did I would be broke and likely on the floor. Really though, it is difficult to get, expensive and has a high ABV but I savored every last drop (in fact my last sip was head which stayed all of the way through to the end).

Notes: Well, there you have it. This is the highest rated beer in the world (at least here on BA and I believe other places too) and it is deserving of the honor. This, my friend, is the king of beers.

Photo of Chapter40z
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out to TehAnkh for this opportunity. He got this in a trade with deepsouth.

Cap is dated 13.08.11 (6 months old at time of drinking)

First Westy!

A. Dark brown hazy leather. What can i say this brew is beautiful. Nice thick frothy head, receded to a delicate layer of foam. Unimaginable lacing on the glass.

S. Dark fruit notes up front. So complex I'm hit with a plethora of smells. Best i can describe is it smells like happiness.

T. Taste very similar to the smell. Hints of green apple. Warm belly glow.

M. Smooth and creamy. Hits and coats the tongue with a strong body that settles just right.

D. Great. I could drink this beer all night unfortunately I only have the 1 *sigh*. Is this the best beer in the world? I don't know, I haven't had them all yet but it is definitely the best damn beer I've ever had.

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with 13.08.11 marked on the gold cap. Dark, murky brown with a an odd smattering of bubbles almost like a slime. Smells nice, caramel, sugar, raisins but not as good as the 8. It tastes boozy, brown sugar, sweet cherry syrup, tastes like a good quad to me. Overall, I preferred the 8 to the 12 but I usually prefer dubbels.

Photo of CoalCellar
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So....is it the best beer in the entire world???? I don't know....

a: Pours a murky brown with a thin head, chunks of sediment are visible on the bottom of the bottle...

s: enchanting...dark fruits....grapes....belgian candy...yeast....so complex....

t: too complex to describe....fruits...prunes...raisons....bread...alchohol....yeast....the list goes on...

m: your standard viscosity for a belgian....a

d: extremely complex...exhausts the palate....not a session ale...

After hearing all the hype....I can say this is a truly amazing beer....and it was a true honor to sample it....

Photo of tmoneyba
4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by ajsdad.

Poured a cloudy brown color with a large frothy brown head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy dark citrus, ginger and caramel aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth sticky texture and flat carbonation. Heavy bittersweet flavor with a heavy sweet finish of moderate to long duration.

This is a standout complex brew.

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

Enormous thanks go out to deepsouth for this opportunity.

Cap is dated 13.08.11 (6 months old at time of drinking)

A: Poured in to a Westvleteren goblet (yes, I bought one for the occasion, and it was worth it). It foamed up a bit when I opened it, but it wasn't a full-on gusher, could've just been a little shaken.
Poured a hazy medium leather brown with one finger of off-white to light tan head. It seemed to recede fairly quickly to a nice froth and thick lacing clings to the glass like soap suds.

S: Oh, oh my... Dark fruits like plum and raisin, hints of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and some chocolate all come through on the nose. Smells sweet and extremely complex, there's also some scents in there that smell so familiar yet so hard to describe, like candy but I'm not sure what kind.
It smells extremely unique, unlike any other beer I've had placed in front of me, and I think those that have tried it know what I mean.

T: Dark fruits run the party. Plum, raisins, and a touch of red apple. Some brandy-like notes come along with the light touch of alcohol, and is completely complimentary to the overall balance. It has a very light sweetness that I find indescribable, along with a sprinkle of bitterness over the tongue in the finish that fades out beautifully and quickly. I've never had a beer with such a perfect finish. The only way I can describe the finish is that it's almost savory, like a perfectly seasoned broth.

M: This beer is sooo silky smooth. Lightly carbonated, but perfect. Tiny bubbles make this beer go down like a milkshake, super creamy and on the heavy end of medium bodied.
The mild hop bitterness in the finish rounds it out beautifully.

D: I could easily drink 10 of these based on flavor and smell alone. The alcohol is subdued enough that this is incredibly drinkable considering the 10.2%.
Whether or not you get smashed in the process, it's nearly impossible to not want another one after you've cracked the first.

Notes: This may not be the best beer on earth. This may not be worth ALL the hype, and this may not be everyones idea of perfection. However, this is the best beer that I, personally, have ever had.
Will I seek this out within the United States again? Probably not.
Will I go way out of my way to buy 3 cases and get them home from Belgium one day? Damn right I will!

Photo of yelterdow
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to EPseja for allowing me the opportunity to sample this beer. One of eight Quadrupels selected for a blind tasting on February 12, 2009. This came in second place for me personally, but it was phenomenal all the same. These are notes from the tasting.

Served in a chalice at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Deep chestnut brown, this gorgeous beer supports a fat, inch-thick mat which stays around for the entire event. Great lacing for a beer of 10.2%, a fantastic looking beer.

Smell- Aromas of rich, dark fruit like figs and dates fill the air. There is warm bread, along with a gentle sweetness that really beckons the first sip.

Taste- Enormously mouth-filling flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of licorice... rich malt backbone and a fleeting hop bitterness right at the end. A stellar quad.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- In a word, sublime. The texture is pure velvet, bringing out all of the complex flavors as good as it possibly could get. This was tasted blind against seven other examples of this style, and it lives up to the incredibly high standards and expectations we've all heard about. I would seek this out again without question.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,192 ratings.