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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

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1,701 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,701
Hads: 5,541
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 7.13%
Wants: 3,382
Gots: 1,811 | FT: 137
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)
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,701 | Hads: 5,541
Photo of JonBeer
4.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

wonderful, but I gotta say I did this side by side by side with Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12 (could not tell a difference from SB12, yes I know why...) and Rochefort 10 wins my vote for the best of the 3. All great, just personal preference... (249 characters)

Photo of Wanne
4.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown color with a beige head. Aroma of dark fruit and spices. Taste is a mix of dark fruit, chocolate, spices and caramel. The alcohol is also present in the taste and enriches it. Very good beer, but the Rochefort 10 is slightly better in my opinion. (257 characters)

Photo of Sad_Larry
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's nearly impossible to get this beer, but if you somehow come across it, you'll understand why there are nothing but 5's in my review. Easily the best beer I've ever had. I even aged a few, and the flavors were even more pronounced. (235 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.81/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dried fruit nose, yeast, dark sugars. Pours brilliant chestnut with a persistent moussey tan tinted head. Caramel to toffee palate with dried fruit – raisins, honey, dark bread, faint anise and clove. Is very creamy with some alcohol on the finish and some light warming. Very rich with above average body and layers of flavor. Very fine malt flavors - especially caramel and toffee. Very well done, well rounded and balanced some very deep and interesting flavors. (467 characters)

Photo of Jul_dredd
4.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had the beer at different locations, and different occasions. At "le bon vieux temps", in bruxelles, and in Vleteren, and also from bottle shop in bruxelles. Incredible beer. (176 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Generally I am not a huge fan of quads, but damned if this one isn't solid as hell. I saw some posts today so I figured that I would go ahead and tick this one off the list!

Appearance: Murky very dark chestnut colored. Lots of foamy frothy head develops in the pour.

Aroma: Winelike aroma. Nice ripe grape and plum aromas in there. Not as estery as one would think from a Belgian quad.

Taste: Very well made beer. Some Belgian yeast esters in there, but it does not have that clove spice note that is every present in many of them. The wine ripe grape and plum fruits shine on the palate as well. Finish is very clean and dry for such a dark beer.

Overall: I wasn't sure about this one considering my past experiences with quads, I mean like them alright but this one certainly lives up to the hype and the complexities are there to a point I really cannot convey as well as others, but its well worth the ratings it once had as number 1 beer in the world and maybe should be closer than it used to be. I am just happy I had the opportunity to give it a try! (1,065 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a chalice.

I'm surprised by a gusher of head when I pop the cap off, but after getting this under wraps and pouring into the wide-mouthed chalice, I'm able to sit back and admire a wondrous finger thick head that looks almost like whipped butter in its thick, heavy composition. There's a tinge of plum-color to the otherwise cream-colored head. The body is plum-colored with a good dose of dark brown to it and immense, relentless carbonation surging upward. A bit of yeast accumulates at the base of the glass but this is mostly clean-looking.

A nose of pungent dark fruit, faint sweet caramel and vague spice first catch my notice. A creamy berry quality drifts in and out. My overall impression is subtlety reigns here but what I do smell is lovely.

Well then, that's a creamy sweet beast with a bit of a spicy edge. There's an exceptional balance of flavors and feels here, especially with regard to the yeast and malt which impart neither the pungent nor overly floral flavors that I find in many Belgians. Instead I find a light touch of dark fruit, restrained vanilla and caramel and a grassy and floral finish that have a bit of bite. If you let the beer warm a bit, you'll start to notice some chocolatey notes too.

There's a surprisingly assertive bitterness to this beer, more than I think I've ever noticed on any other quad before, but there's also the most impeccably creamy body to this that I think any beer has ever offered me. The sweetness is tasteful and even understated and the yeast, while peppery, doesn't overrun the mouth with that acrid feel some Belgian or Belgian-style beers suffer from.

Well, if there's one thing that I can say separates this from other quads I've had and makes it worthy of the hype it's the great feel with each sip. Plenty of going on, but the creamy smoothness is worthy of numerous swirls and even then you'll be tempted to simply let the beer sit on your palate before saying good bye forever. (1,993 characters)

Photo of Premo88
4.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into mini pint glass
(drank 2/23/15)

L: murky brown-orange ... relatively light with lots of amber/orange in it; huge tan foam head

S: dusty raisins ... mustiness is undeniable, but so are the dark fruits behind it

T: super sweet, fruity ... raisin bread ... same mustiness as nose but flavor is much sweeter than the aroma; slight caramel

F: perfect ... tons of carbonation mixed with good weight is super nice

O: didn't get to drink a full bottle, but the sample was interesting -- side-by-side with Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12, it clearly came in third but was still very good. the mustiness had a quality I tried and tried to place but couldn't other than to say musty. (713 characters)

Photo of mlhyatt
4.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've saved this beer for a year and a half because I told myself I wouldn't drink I would save it for when I passed my CPA exam. Well I found it today that I passed all 4 parts, so I cracked this baby open.

It puts a light brown with almost no head. The to maintains a thin white lace throughout. It smells rich, like a dessert. Loaded with dates and figs behind a musky funk. The taste follows the nose exactly. Sticky fruit with a sugary back round. The only thing keeping this from being a perfect taste is the backend is a little too sweet. Mouthful is medium thickness with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, had the sweetness on the back end been toned down it would have been a great beer but I was a little disappointed. (734 characters)

Photo of Hop_God
4.16/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very solid Quad. Not sure it lives up to the hype put on it. .. (152 characters)

Photo of coolandy007
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Even with the hype, this beer truly manages to be outstanding. Nothing I could say can describe the experience. It's just a ridiculously enjoyable brew that will treat your senses. (180 characters)

Photo of Jwburns75
4.44/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Friend shared 12oz bottle with me today. I don't have a lot of experience with Belgian style beers, but I could tell why this one is so highly rated. Really delicious (166 characters)

Photo of cducap
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been wanting to try this for some time and finally acquired one as part of a bigger trade. I always thought that maybe this beer was mostly hype and that it wasn't worth the trouble when I could easily get a Rochefort 10 or similar. I was wrong. It is amazing. Dates and raisins and some complex yeast magic. Almost made me swoon it is so good. I ordered 6 from Belgium and happily paid the crazy shipping. Forever ISO more. (438 characters)

Photo of Kevlee722
4.69/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally trying this. Looks amazing, deep garnet highlights, ruddy body. Pillowing khaki creamy head. Coats the glass. Smell is fantastic, raisins, plums a little leather maybe hint of tobacco. Taste is chewy caramel with dark fruits and a little lingering sweetness, a bit of a vinous character save for the carbonation. Delicious. Crisp carbonation on a more than medium body, feels wonderful on the palate. I could drink k this beer every day of my life, but I like it as a rare treat. Simply amazing. (503 characters)

Photo of Heatwave33
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look- Cute face, slim waist with big behind! Want to spend the rest of my life you.

Smell- Sexy stone fruits with lots of European characteristics.

Taste- No words can describe her taste. It is pure perfection and I want it in my mouth forever.

Feel- So smooth. Clean and refreshing. Will never let go of this feeling.

Overall- This is the beer my wife and I used for out wedding toast. So it will always hold a special place in my heart. Plus there is a long story behind the beer. Always and Forever. (507 characters)

Photo of Trapist007
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was fortunate enough to acquire six bottles of Westy 12 over the Xmas holiday. All I can say is that this is by far the best example of a Belgian Quad that I have ever had. Any Belgian for that matter. It completely lives up to the hype. the pour is nice with a tan head. The smell has lots of dark stone fruits, rich toasted malt, maplely. The taste just went through a rainbow of flavors, plums, raisins, dates, with maltiness, a little toastiness to name a few, with a light dry, very light hop finish. It is incredibly complex, and continues to grow more and more complex with every sip, just building on the last. Drink on the warmside, 50 to 55deg Fahrenheit. This beer is so smooooooooth. Just a fantastic beer. It's one of my Top 3 Beers of all Time. (769 characters)

Photo of Shinck14
4.44/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviews after a blind tasting including Abt 12 and Rochefort 10.

This was my favorite of the three. This was just so incredibly smooth and easy to drink. It was everything i hoped for with all the hype around it. Can't wait to see how this one ages with the other two bottles i have. (284 characters)

Photo of curasowa
4.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy, ruby-brown color with a big, tan head that fades slowly with thick lacing.

Aroma: Rich, caramel malt, some brown sugar, slightly medicinal, some yeast.

Taste: Medium bodied, sweet malt with some molasses, spicy booze, slightly oaky, super smooth, some ripe tree fruit and raisin towards the finish which is slightly lingering.

The Rest: Fantastic; super smooth and complex. It was more bitter than I expecting and had less Belgian yest character, but was a real treat none the less. (515 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a soapy, tand head that has fantastic persistence and lacing. Fantastic aroma of bread dough and grassy hops. Brown, burnt sienna color. Starts with a rich, deep flavor; toasted malt, booze, slight hop bitterness. This actually is very reminiscent of Kvass. Finish is grainy hop bitterness over toasted malt with biscuit wafting back in.

This is really fantastic. I really, really dislike Quads, and this is delightful. Again, it's similar to Kvass, and so I'm really digging it. (489 characters)

Photo of IPA1978
4.22/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is damn interesting, when cold it has dark raisiny smell and taste then as it warms it starts to smell exactly like grape Kool-aid! and the flavour deepens to a phenolic warm boozy quad! Epic beer but....... not sure its the best. La Trappe quad is perhaps the best quad!!! (287 characters)

Photo of Arminius757
4.69/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Got to Paris and found my way to a specialty beer store where I ran into this gem. At €20 a pop, it surely is the most expensive beer I have ever purchased. But I mist say, it was worth it.
Served from bottle into special Westvleteren glass.
Deep dark red color with frothy head.
Strong smell, bit boozy with plethora of fruit.
Rich sweet taste, the booziness comes through a bit as well. Strong, but not overwhelming. Very clean and smooth.
This beer is worth the hype. If you can find it, snag it.
Got another bottle that will be aged. (545 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the cellar, marked 27-03-15. Dark reddish root beer brown with five fingers of sudsy beige foam. Rich sweet nose: Milk chocolate, sultanas, rum toffee, faint clove, banana chips, strawberry, subdued grassy hops. The aroma does live up to the hype. And the taste? I do understand the comparisons with St. Bernardus Abt 12 (allegedly these beers are the same recipe, different yeast strain). A supremely well-integrated combination of toffee/candy sugar, carob, molasses, cooked fruit (pears and mixed berries), clove-like phenols, licorice, grapes, root beer extract, ginger, plum liquor ... Heady alcohol bloom is the icing on the cake. Although the initial sips are sharply medicinal and boozy, the beer mellows in the glass and on the palate such that the great nuances shine though. Curiously dry and "drinkable" with a lighter than expected body and rather prickly mouthfeel. Some floral hops poke out in the otherwise cacao-like malty finish. Red berry and currant flavors are lingering long after my glass is empty. "Best beer in the world" is not a debate that can ever truly be resolved but this is certainly worthy of the accolades bestowed. Maybe the rarity factor used to play a role here ... With improved availability will the hype wither a bit? Not sure it matters. Worthy of its place in the Trappist pantheon. (1,338 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown in color with not much light seeping through. Easily an inch of tightly packed creamy beige foam is visible. I detect the aroma of dark candy sugar and dark malt. The flavor is a nice blend of dark malt and candy sugar. Light notes of caramel and molasses are also noticeable.
The mouth is exceptionally velvety smooth, creamy,and bone dry. (355 characters)

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer! Lots of smooth lighter flavored raisins. Depth of flavor is awesome. Just incredible! Thanks to @johnnyb for this beer! (150 characters)

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The holy grail of beer by many standards, I was lucky enough to enjoy this one on Christmas day with some family.

The pour was nothing terribly impressive. It had a nice brown-red color with a thin head and low carbonation. The nose was very muted and disappointing but still smelled delicious. There was dark fruit, plum, some brown sugar, and raisins in the nose. The flavor was delightful though. All the smells came through in the taste only intensified. The belgian yeast was present but not overpowering. The candied dark fruit was the star of the show. It was incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Full bodied without being heavy, low carb without being flat, and no alcohol detectable.

This beer is the real deal and worthy of the hype. The nose was disappointing and it's not much to look at but other than that, this one is close to perfect. (853 characters)

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,701 ratings.