Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop 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.

1,736 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,736
Hads: 5,691
Avg: 4.61
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 3,457
Gots: 1,901 | FT: 146
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 (4) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,736 | Hads: 5,691
Photo of Sintech
4.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle.

Murky amber hue. Huge Belgian yeast nose. Tastes is caramel malt and Belgian yeast. Very smooth. Medium carbonation. Medium attenuation. The best Belgian Quad I have ever had.


 199 characters

Photo of chopp02
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My friend Dustin and I had this with stilton cheese and a smoked bourbon ham served at a ~60-65 degrees temperature. I have never consumed more delicious flavor in my life. It is definitely worth the buy, hands down

 215 characters

Photo of KaeF
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One year old bottle, smells like tropical fruit and Asian spices, so much in the taste here, very complex and good beer, will cellar some of these to see what they will taste like with some more age on them.

 207 characters

Photo of Shogun250
4.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Great beer At this point not that complex. But all beers brewed with 5 ingredients should be judges against this beer. One of the beers that started it all. Tons of respect.

 177 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fresh from the source during a recent trip to Belgium. Tough to rate this beer to be honest. It really seems to need some more time in the bottle prior to tasting. With that said, it is not hard to imagine how the flavors will develop over the next year or two. Multiple layers of flavor, with burnt caramel, espresso, malt, date syrup, and other fruit in the background. Will likely have to update this review at a later date after tasting a more mature bottle.

 463 characters

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

First taste: From www.cervezasespeciales.es. Although it has great fame, there are better options and its price is excessive. I like the Westvleteren 8 more

Second taste: on 30 Oct 2015. Bought special pack at XXXII (75€) In Westvletern glass. Watching "Circuito Cerrado". Perfect in all aspects. Great smell, can be enjoyed by only smelling it. With the years its alcohol is less noticeable, it improves a lot in taste and feel

 431 characters

Photo of Stubbie1
4.29/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown in color, white head tops it off. The head stay for a spell and fades to a thin ring. Fruity notes on the nose, raisins, figs and cherries come to mind. Sweet and malty to start then the fruity flavors come in to play. A bit bubbly in the mouth. A very nice Quad but I think there are better out there.

 313 characters

Photo of AnalogErik
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to MNMike for sharing his 2012 bottle.

Amazing quad. I can completely understand the hype. Frankly, I am sorely disappointed this isnt #1 overall anymore on the top 250.

Fantastic nose, perfect mouthfeel, creamy and smooth with just the right level of carb. Flavor is amazing, rich, plum, raisins, apricot blend. Amazing.

 331 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.11/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A bottle from Au Bon Vieux Temps on 3/26/15, cap marked 10.12.17
Beautiful fluffy head, dark brown. Malt and caramel aroma. Leans sweet, a bit high carbonation wise. A little smoke and spice with the malt. Improved on warming.

 226 characters

Photo of JonBeer
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
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 -4.6%
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 +8.5%
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 +4.3%
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 +0.4%
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 +2.4%
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 -2.4%
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 -11.9%
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 -6.9%
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 -9.8%
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 +8.5%
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 -3.7%
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 +8.5%
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 +1.7%
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 +8.5%
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 +8.5%
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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,736 ratings.