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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,864 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,864
Reviews: 1,623
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,947
Gots: 1,408 | FT: 108
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
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: 4,864 | Reviews: 1,623 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of geetlord
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My friend braught this bottle back with him from Belguim and I am very glad that he shared it with me.
This beer poured a very dark amber with excelent lacing
its aroma was full of dark berries, black cherries, black currnts and teh like, it had some ints of mollasses and some yeastyness.
the flavore was wonderfulyl complex. it initialy tasted of fruis and berries, but subsided to a more bitter unsweetened chocolate like flavor and finished with a smooth tartness at the back of the toung with hints of alcohol.
overall this beer was excelent and if i ever stumble uppon it again I intend on getting some.

geetlord, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of UncleFlip
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice chestnut colour in glass, wht brwn to peach edges. Head is smooth tan, three fingers on the pour, but falls to about 1 1/2.

Smell is bready, sligtly medicinal- but its not unpleasant. A little hop note here, but not overpowering.

Nice alcohol notes up front, nutty and roasty. Very smooth. A bit of sweetness and spice at the end. Lovely.

The mouthfeel is just slightly oily- with a low, very tight carbonation.

I hate to just rubber stamp this as amazing...but dangit, it is!

Be well
-UF

UncleFlip, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of Big78CJ
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I will keep my comments brief as there are enough people contributing their opinions on this beer.

I recently returned from Belgium where I visited the abbey with a friend and consumed/purchased each of the Westvleteren trappist beers (in addition to an old red cap I obtained at De Kulminator in Antwerp). The beer is fantastic, my ratings clearly show I do not diagree with this. However, I find myself hard pressed to declare it the best beer in the world. I think it is hard to claim any beer is the best in the world as temperature variations, storage conditions, age, not to mention quality of that year's ingredients can alter the taste of any beer to make it better or worse.

As a result, I think it is actually the scarcity of this beer that drives up the desire and thus the eventual payoff. It is not that the beer is the best in the world (though I would rank it in my top 5), it is simply that after so much longing, one cannot alloe oneself the disappointment of not calling it the best in the world. Many of you may think my comments blasphemous but I do not contest the goodness of the beer, I only wish to point out the effect of expectation on perception....

This beer continues to grow on me every time I drink it, or as is more often the case, drink another beer out of my silver-rimmed westvleteren chalice

Big78CJ, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this across the road from the monestary, at the cafe.

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a thin layer of foam. Beautiful body, but I was a bit disappointed with the head. damn. But still worth a 4.

Smell is figs and dates. A little sweet. Not much alcohol. Smells clean and crisp. Very nice. Wow, there are a lot of layers to this. Very, very nice.

Incredibly smooth taste. It's hard to believe this is 10% alcohol. Fruity smooth. Plums and raisens. So well balanced. Clean aftertaste. This is everything I hoped it would be. The best I've ever had.

Mouthfeel is ridiculously good. It's creamy beyond belief and the carbonation bubbles are microscopically tiny and tickle the tongue in an entirely new way.

Drinkability is out of this world.

DaveFL1976, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of artusory
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Infinite gratitude to Jeff for this 3 year old sample. That kid didn’t miss school the day that they taught sharing. Murky, brown pour with a medium sized, tan head. The aroma is very rich with lots of ripe fruit, apple pie, plums, pears, candi sugar. The flavor is well blended and superbly complex, toffee, pears, golden raisins, candi sugar, very rich. The mouthfeel is very soft, smooth and lucious. Believe the hype.

artusory, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was every bit as awesome as I was hoping, and thus much better than I was expecting. Very appropriate for my 500th review on BA. Thanks to dogfooddog once again for the trade. This is a 3 year sample, and a much fresher review will be forthcoming.

The beer pours to a nice dark reddish brown. Decent frothy head that doesn't quite stay around for too long, but it laces to the glass fairly well.

The smell is great. Very complex. Sweet and nutty with lots of fruit and berry esters. Nice roasted barley flavor as well. The taste is just as great and equally complex. Very smooth. Mouthwatering bubblegummy, cotton candy sweetness. The sweetness is not cloying, but just right. Has a great roasty nuttiness that pairs brilliantly with the sweetness. The alcohol is no more detectable than it is in the blue cap, which is not at all. Awesome. I can't wait to compare the fresher version to see if this is still the case.

Body is full and creamy. Residual sugars stay in the mouth forever, punishing you with the fact that you probably can't drink another bottle right then and there. Awesome through and through. I can't wait to go to Belgium myself. This beer is every bit deserving of a 5.0 rating. That being said, I think Rochefort 10 is every bit as brilliant as this, much cheaper, and readily available here in Iowa. That simply cannot be beat, number one rated beer or not.

--
edit: I just had the fresher ~6 month version of this beer tonight (8/24/06). I did the Rochefort vs. Westy challenge, and the Westy prevailed on all fronts. My roommate and I were even biased towards the Rochefort. Had a much cleaner flavor and finish. Not quite as roasty. Lots of bubblegum esters. Phenomenal. I want more.

neonbrown82, Jul 06, 2006
Photo of allengarvin
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to 1759dallas for the bottle. Best before 15-02-09 according to the crown cap. Served up in a Trappiste Rochefort chalice. Dark ruby-brown color, topped by a lovely off-white head of foam. Rich, malty-caramel aroma laden with ripe, fruity overtones. Big sweet malt flavor bursts out on initial tasting, followed by dark honey esters (with notes of raisin and plum) and enough bitterness to keep it all firmly in check. Finishes with delightful lingering maltiness. Surprisingly light-bodied for the strength.

What I really like about this is how lightly drinkable it is for a 10% trappist... it dances on the tongue in a way that I've not experienced before in an Abbey quadruple. Quite amazing.

allengarvin, Jul 06, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A careful pour yields a very dark mahogany like intensely dry wine. A tan head, one half inch tall, sits atop. It will never go away.

Delightful smell. I'm usually not as big fan of Quadruples as I am some other Belgian styles—I prefer Dubbles—as they tend to be overpowering, too alcoholic and astringent. I like to get kicked in the face by a stout or a double IPA, not by a complex and fruity Belgian. This is perfect.

Gingerbread. A pleasant walk down a spice aisle in a store with wooden floors. You smell the products, and the history surrounding the products, not floor cleaners. Everything is beige like a mid October sunset. Dull and sweet, but just as full as life as it ever was.

Very, very creamy. Such a perfect mouthfeel that I notice it even before the flavor. I'm taking too small a sip, like a bird. Conserving. I must forget the price.

A respectable sip reveals a creamy yeastiness that gives way to fruit complexities that are above average (which is saying something, since the style is certainly above average, but it is still not up to snuff with the most complex). Like organic fruit candy, the kind that actually tastes like fruit but only like the good parts of fruit—oranges, apples, pears, and mint. All sundried, mellowed out to perfection. Damn fine. Damn fine.

A great great beer. Not quite the best Belgian I've had, but close enough to where I have no problems at all with this being considered the world's best. Believe the hype.

mynie, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of jdoolin
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 33cl bottle, poured into my 12oz chalice

Appearance - very dark brown, with a long lasting fluffy tan head.

I wouldn't say anything about the aroma and taste that a hundred others haven't already said, so I'll dispense with that, other than to say that it truly is an incredible flavor. But I do want to say how incredibly drinkable this beer is. I was amazed at how little alcohol presence this beer had. It was so smooth and so easy to drink. The alcohol warmed the back of my throat a bit, but that didn't last.

I tried very hard not to let the status of this beer influence my rating, and I feel as though I've succeeded. I didn't expect the beer to be the best I've ever had, I just expected it to be good, and I wasn't disappointed. I will have to say that at this point, Westvleteren 12 is my favorite beer. I won't go so far as to say it's the best in the world, just my favorite, which makes sense as this style is my current favorite. But that doesn't mean it will always be.

This is a truly exceptional beer, regardless of its status.

jdoolin, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of guinnessdoc
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got my first bottle of this thanks to a trade from AlohaC.

A - Nice dark brown color with reddish coloring at the edges. Creamy, off-white head made up of small bubbles that stayed about 1/4 inch thick throughout.

S - Malty sweetness with hints of fruit.

T - Sweet up front with tart fruit flavors that were hard to place. Perhaps prunes, plum, or cherries? Very slight smoky taste hidden amongst everything else.

M - Slides smoothly over the tongue with a fair amount of carbonation.

D - This is a fantastic beer that has no apparent flaws. However, I don't know if that's enough to make it the #1 beer in the world. Regardless of rankings, it's just damn good. How those monks get so much flavor out of just 4 ingredients is beyond me. But I'm sure glad they do.

guinnessdoc, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of weeare138
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'05 bottle...
Appears a deep mahogany color with a beautiful 1/2" beige head that slowly fades out. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of candy sugar, raisins, brown sugar, and some black grapes.
Taste is of sweet brown sugar, rich malt, vanilla, raisins, nuts, and dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is lingering with chewy, malty sweetness, lip numbing stickiness, but very much balanced with the malt and hops melding together for a superb finish.
The ABV is well hidden.
I had this next to a 15 year old bottle of Westy 12 and while the older bottle was more complex(and mildly oxidized), the fresher bottle's flavors and mouthfeel outdid the elder bottle.

Edit 11/25/06: I just popped a 3 year old bottle received in a trade from prop13. This one seemed near flawless. I had it side by side with a Rochefort 10 and it slightly edged out the Rochefort by a hair with it's smoothness, gentle hopping, and a boozy brandy-esque enjoyability. Heaven in a bottle.

weeare138, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured like dark copper pond water with a foamy, thick head. Has a yeasty fruity smell, leading into excellent sweet, fruity flavors of nut bread, dates, plum and caramel bursting out of a crazily carbonated bottle. Mild finish for a 10 percent beer, very drinkable but a bit yeasty to me (although I got it fresh off the plane from Belgium, courtesy of a friend, and probably should have let it settle for awhile.) A great beer to be sure, though surprisingly not my favorite beer ever (sacrilege, I know.)

PopeJonPaul, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of markman
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap), 23.09.06 on the cap:

Not much of a head, but crystal clear cola-colored from an easy sedimentless pour (though there is much to swirl in later). An avalanche of aromas and flavors: molasses, ripe fig, malt, etc, etc. An easy hop bite finishes this big-bodied brew. Very nice beer…hard to imagine how they pull these flavors out of a minimal number of ingredients. Incredible.

Big thanks to cooperrip for parting with it.

Cheers...

markman, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of mcallister
4.13/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought 6 bottles of this off of the ebay belgium site. Sampled with four other people (one bottle) so review will re-review upon drinking bottle my self with some decanting time.

A cloudy obscene looking dirty pond water brown pours from the bottle. Quite beautiful:) Slight off white head with trace lacing.

Big roasty caramel malt, alcohol, toffee bar, orange peel, hints of apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, fig, and spicey etheral aromas.

Roasty, and malty as hell. Fig paste, thick vinous earthy flavors, petroleum, caramel, good carbonation, somewhat loamy, spicey, very balanced and overly complex. Leaves a slight alcohol burn in the chest.

Spicey, carbonated, creamy mouthfeel. But not sure how drinkable it is considering the alcohol.

I'm not sure this one met my expectations. Looking forward to trying another under different circumstances. Will review again.

mcallister, Jun 09, 2006
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a bottle marked 23.08.08 in late Nov. 2005. Therefore, this bottle was ~3 months old. Sampled at Apspanning 't Waagstuk in Antwerp, Belgium.

This beer poured a dark brown color with highlights of red. The foam was creamy and tan, and settled to a thin coat. The smell was lightly malty and slightly vinous. The taste was malty and lightly sweet with a touch of vinous overtones. The flavor was good, but was much less complex than older bottles that I had sampled. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium-full body and good carbonation. The aftertaste was pleasantly malty. Slightly warming. This was the first time I had sampled such a "young" bottle of this beer, and frankly the beer tastes much better after aging in the bottle a few years.

UncleJimbo, May 29, 2006
Photo of WonderWoman
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once this was poured it had a cloudy mahogany hue to it.
The smells were so complex I had trouble deciding what was all in there. The only prominent smell was fruit filled pastries.
I could taste barley and molasses with an oaky finish. There was so many subtle flavors mixed in I couldn’t decipher many of them. Once it warmed the flavors changed.
The mouth feel was syrupy and creamy. The texture was smooth with light carbonation.
I think this beer was a bit too overwhelming for me right now.
There was so much going on I didn’t know what was going on. I especially enjoyed letting it warm and seeing the changes that occurred in the flavor.
Once my palate is more refined I’d love to try this again and see what I can decipher.

WonderWoman, May 29, 2006
Photo of Lnedrive14
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this bottle for about a year now - just finished first year of law school, so what better time to crack it open?

A: Pours a dark, chunky brown. Definitely some floaties in there. Nice sized head (especially given the fact that I poured into a 6oz Grand Cuvee glass - thanks Nick, both for the glass, and the idea of what to finally use it for).

S/T: Lot going on here. In my opinion, not the best tasting beer in the world, but certainly one of the most complex. Rasins, plums, dried cherries, big malts, fresh maple syrup, fine scotch, and port. So many different flavors and all there with a big presence. I felt, however, that it was a bit too sweet. The alcohol was also not as masked as other similar beers (like Rochefort).

M/D: Very syrupy feel. Nevertheless, i liked the full-bodiedness. Really felt good on the palate. Drinkability not so great on account of the sweetness and alcohol.

Best beer in the world? Not in my opinion - still a good one, and definitely worh picking some up if you find it.

Lnedrive14, May 24, 2006
Photo of elricorico
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

orrshow received a bottle in CanBif from Goldorak, and decided that he had to share it with me. Neither of us know when we will next have the opportunity to taste this one. Date on the cap was 06 04 07.

Poured slowly into a chalice. It is murky brown and no head formed. Kinda looked like muddy water. I'll admit I was hoping for darker, with a creamy head, as I've seen from other Quads.

I could smell it when the glass was a couple feet away as orrshow finished pouring. It has a very sweet smell that is rife with alcohol. A little bit reminiscent of ice cold, fine scotch, port wine and dark rum. Raisins and other dark fruits, baked sweets and candy sugar. With each smell I could likely add another item to the list.

The taste is again big and sweet, full of alcohol. Again reminding me of tasting an ice cold scotch in the overall effect of it. Brown sugar and dark grapes, with many other subtle sweet flavours in the mix. The finish has a fairly hot alcohol burn, and has a touch of molasses.

This beer is rich and sticky in the mouth. The carbonation is there, but it is subtle and natural feeling.

This is very good, but I wonder if the hype and limited availability doesn't effect people's overall impression of the beer. I certainly wanted it to be the best beer I'd ever tasted, but it wasn't there. In a way it felt less like beer and more like a hard liquor drink with how prevelant the alcohol was. Having said all that, I would still like to have this again, and certainly wouldn't let any chance of acquiring it get by me.

elricorico, May 23, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this beer from thomashardy for an AleSmith Barrel Aged Wee Heavy. I have been sitting on it for a few weeks, and now, on my birthday, I think it is the time to try it.

This beer pours a dark rust brown color with a light brown head. The head is quite fluffy. It fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a spicy peppery aroma. I can detect some alcohol. It also smells of dates and maybe prunes and raisins. It has a rich caramle sweet aroma also. It has an earthy yeast aroma.

This beer tastes very complex. It is very well balanced. I taste some spicy flavor. Also, the dark fruit flavors are present. Raisins, prunes, dates. It tastes sweet. It has a slight bready yeast flavor.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a caramel sweet aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

This beer would probably make an excelent session beer if you could get it. It is a little high in alcohol, but the great well balanced flavor more than makes up for it.

Is this the best beer in the world? Apparently so. If you want my opinoin, and you must since you are reading this review, it is definately a great beer. I have had other beers of different styles that are equally as good though. It is definately the best Quadrapel I have had though. Thank you thomashardy for helping me finally try this great beer.

OStrungT, May 23, 2006
Photo of Orrshow
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Before I say anything I want to put out a huge thanks to Martin (Goldorak) for this bottle. Very generous of you man.

Appearance – This beer pours a very cloudy brown color. There is a slight bit of maroon tinge to it as well. The head is virtually non existent besides a ring and a tiny bit of bubbly froth in the center of the beer.

Smell – I get all those nice dark fruit like dates, plums, and prunes big time. There is a very strong dark spiced rum aroma arising from this beer as well giving it an alcohol scent. Some yeast is detectable along with some brown sugar sweetness and spice. The complex combination of all these things makes this beer absolutely wonderful to sniff at again and again.

Taste – Up front this beer is extremely strong of sweet malts and that nice dark rum characteristic I smelled. The plums and raisins make themselves present with a caramel and brown sugar sweetness added on. Dark spiced rum flavors linger on strongly after a sip is taken. It’s wonderful.

Mouthfeel – Carbonation is very nice here. Nothing to complain about. The feel of this beer is almost silky…it has this nice subtle creaminess that I enjoy quite a bit.

Drinkability – Top Notch. It is so easy to drink despite the high alcohol content and robust flavor. This beer would not have lasted long if I didn’t show restraint to enjoy it.

For me it lived up to the hype. I must say this is among the best beers I’ve ever had. The only downer is that it did not look amazing which is not that important.

Orrshow, May 22, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bottle dated 30.03.02 - this bottle is 7 years, 2 months old, more or less. I had forgotten I owned this and it is now the oldest Westv. 12 I have tried. This one was brought in by D&V and is probably part of the first batch of westv.12 i tried in early 2002; 2 of these got lost in my local store's (case and keg) large cooler and I acquired this one after more than 3 years of being hidden. I think I have had it over 6 months. Notable it has been refrigerated for probably 4 years.

cap abv says 11%, this has been reduced from even higher levels and today AFAIK is around 10.2%.


Pours 10% head; nose is a gentle glowing sweetness with some sweet raisiny notes, not so much bread-sense yeastiness as the 07.09.04 bottle reveiewed earlier.

Taste is somewhat drier and more subtle up front, with more sweet-type fruity notes and less sense of yeast or bread. There are so many different tastes active in this beer it is very hard to put into words for me. the sweetness slowly becomes bitter and by the finish is bittersweet, dark, and a little heavy. the alcohol is invisible in this bottle. Overall the intensity of taste is less pronounced than the previously reviewed bottle.

It has been over 3 months since I last had ANY westvleteren 12 or 8, but this reaffirms that this truly is a masterpiece of the art of brewing

dogfooddog, May 17, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
4.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep murky brown with nice 1/2 inch cap that never fully goes away. The swirly top is what I'd expect from a good trappist ale. The smell is nice and complex, but not as strong as it could be. Notes of chocolate, tangy raisin, and alcohol eminate. The taste has similar character of chocolate and raisin, only slightly sweet, and it finishes with an earthy/herbal flavor. It doesn't seem as complex as I would expect from the top rated beer overall. The mouthfeel was the best part of this beer. Rich, creamy, but not that thick, the bubbles are perfect on the palate and it finishes smooth. I enjoyed this beer, although I didn't think it was amazing. I would definitely like to try it again though....

bennetj17, May 15, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Head died quickly. Slight remnant holding on around edge of glass. Lots of sediment..HEAVY with sediment. Toffee colored, raw sienna.

Aroma slightly sour like apple juice. Candi sugar, raisins. Caramel apple.

Oh my god, where to begin. There are far too many flavors happening to even try to isolate one. Bit overwhelming in the best way possible. Maple sweetness hits the tip of the tongue immediately before the caramel apple flavors wash over the palate. Lots of toffee and dried fruits. A slight malty roastedness lingers after the swallow...coffee undertones towards the back of the tongue with a minute sourness in the middle of the tongue. Holy Jeebus.

Thick texture. Its almost like they brewed the beer then removed actual "liquid" out to condense flavor and mouth feel.

It was everything I thought it would be. With a bigger head this beer is perfect.

Westsidethreat, May 15, 2006
Photo of mentor
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super huge thanks to Prufrock for the opportunity to try this one. Poured a third of the bottle to get three fingers of dark tan head over a gorgeous clear red red-brown liquid. Smells musty, yeasty, banana, pineapple, lightly anise and plum, hint of alcohol. Smells a little bit like some indoor public swimming pools. Dried hay, vanilla, flatly of raisins, some brown sugar. Not to the nose, but wafting up from the glass I get belgian candi-sugar.

Tastes, hmmm...chocolate with oodles more flavors and the beer develops into a rich deep wet chocolate like premium cake. Whoa, man, this beer is so damned tasty I'm having a hard time picking out flavors. So many, so rich vibrant, so complex, and well balanced. It's perposterous that something can taste this wonderful. Light fruity esters tamed by darker dry brooding malts. Alcohol sting is clean and mild and comes across as peppery. Phenolic funk is on the stage singing, but is just a voice in the choir. Brown sugar, some candi-sugar, amaretto, nutty. Vanilla keeps the dry finish in check. All this time I've been comtemplating a flavor that I couldn't put my finger on. But now I think I got it. Blueberry raisin bagel from a high quality bakery. Not a bite out of the bagel, but like you've scraped the soft dough out and are sucking on a piece of the toasty crust. Deliciously flavorful with a mild sweet seeping out as the amylases in your mouth break down the bread. Near the end of the glass the dry finish is becoming a bit woody. One more of these beers would likely be enough.

For a long time I've been wanting to review this beer so I could criticise 'the masses' for buying into all the hype. But I must say, this is the most amazing beer I've ever tasted in my life. Perhaps the most enjoyable treat of any sort I've ever tasted in my life. Too bad about the large head, this beer had a perfect score locked up for sure. Md-thick mouthfeel and modest carbonation. Creamy smooth body. I could drink this stuff forever.

mentor, May 14, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer looked much like a cloudy root beer that picked up some straw towards the edges, but had a mossy green halo around the edges when held to the light. Also, there were a few flecks floating around. The dirty off white head looked a little like my carpet with uneven bubbles creating a pleasantly chaotic surface that didn’t last for all that long.

Smelled of salty, flakey pastry that was creamy and doughy. Also included ideas of gooey cookie and/or bread dough with a sweet musky honey. Hell, it could even smell like baklava if you squinted right. There’s also some fruity notes of figs, cherries and plumbs. I was really astonished (as if I wasn’t impressed by now) by the “residual alcohol suggestion” where my mind pointed out where the 10.2% should be, but my nose could only pick up its shadow. Very nice indeed.

Tasted of creamy, milky caramel then picks up a pleasant tingly sensation that blossoms into an amazing syrup, peaches and pecans. Then there are also some playful light nips of hop that roll around my tongue, back and forth re-releasing little hints of a milky bread dough, honey and nuts in between the suppressive drops of dryness. Finishes like the pastry from the smell with some honey. As I exhale, I get an amplified, brilliant doughy yeast.

The mouth feel is light to medium and creamy with a brilliantly paired sandy feeling carbonation. Perfect!

What can I say? This one’s in a class of its own. Thanks to blitheringidiot for this one!

DarkerTheBetter, May 01, 2006
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,864 ratings.