1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

4,485 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,485
Reviews: 1,603
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,796
Gots: 1,269 | FT: 100
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
View: Beers (3) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,485 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of davod23


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Fresh bottle from the monastery, poured into a Westy chalice. I've had this a couple times before, but it always feels special to open one of these up.

Appearance is a medium-dark brown color with a billowing off-white head. Some yeast floaties, as per usual, but the beer itself has great clarity. The cap never completely recedes, and a swirl brings it back in force.

Smell is classic Belgian quad. A glassful of dried dark fruits, plums, raisins, prunes. A hint of banana, rum, vanilla, spice, and yeasty notes. The nose is outstanding and one of the more complex you'll find. It's in perfect balance, no aroma dominating whatsoever, all in good harmony.

Taste follows the nose in almost all respects. Dark fruit, rum, banana, and spicy components. The alcohol is barely perceptible. This is one of the best beers ever with respect to hiding its alcohol content.

Mouthfeel, I have to dock it just a little bit. At the start of the pour, it's just a bit too vigorous with the carbonation, providing more of a sharp bite than the creaminess that I would expect from this style. However, by the end of the bottle, it had rounded out nicely. I've had an aged bottle before, and I seem to remember that the level of carbonation was greatly superior, with a silky quality that is unrivaled by other beers.

Drinkability is outstanding. So amazingly easy to drink. This beer is dangerous.

I think that I will age most or all of my remaining bottles. This is a great beer, no doubt, but I have had it when it's been better. I do have two 7-year-old bottles sitting at home, maybe I will try one of them soon and refresh my memory how it ages. Regardless, fresh or not, this beer truly is great.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 22:07:05 | More by davod23
Photo of Franchise


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been aged for about 2 years. The look of this beer pours a delicious dark ruby brown that leaves a quickly disappating tan head. Very little carbonation compared to the fresher one I had 2 years ago. The smell is of candied fruit, plum, peaches, golden raisins, bananas, cloves, and some slight essence of chocolate liqour. The complexity of this beer is the best I've ever come across. The taste of this beer just explodes with the sweet fruit and at first has a powerful vinos essences that subsides with warmth.

This beer is one that should mellow even more with age but I actually prefered the fresher bottle I had about 2 years ago. As I let this beer warm up I began to taste even more of the honey and clove. Overall this is a great beer, I love things about the fresher version but I love the smoothness of this aged bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 03:05:02 | More by Franchise
Photo of Darkale


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma of this beer is incredible, so thick it's like fog, and full of raisins, plums, and all manners of bright and sweet things.

Appearance is also incredible. The color is milk chocolate brown, sort of like root beer with a bad attitude, with so much cloudy swirling sediment that you feel like you've captured a sandstorm at midnight. By the way, I was a bad boy and poured the whole beer into the glass, because I wanted to taste everything.

Mouthfeel was slightly thinner than expected -- this beer has been called chewy and I am not prepared to agree. Foamy is more like it. Malty, slightly burning. Very nice, just not as chewy as I had been led to expect.

Taste is a circus that changes as the beer warms, and like the aroma, is full of raisins and plums and chocolate and burning cocoa and a hundred other things that I could not catch before they ran down my tongue and into my belly.

Very drinkable! This beer was gone too quickly. In fact, this is one of the few beers that I would rather have in a larger size.

Definitely one of the best beers in the world, but I am not yet prepared to call it THE best in the world. I may have to try another. Yeah, that's it... that's what I have to do... I have to try another... for purely scientific reasons.

Certainly a beer that you have to try if you can.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2003 06:19:58 | More by Darkale
Photo of deadonhisfeet


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottling poured into a Rochefort chalice. The pour is typical of a Trappist Quad - dark, deep brown in color with a nice finger of fine sandy-colored head that dies down to some nice lacing. On the nose I get lots of rich, sweet, malty goodness. There is fresh bread, dark fruits, and rum-soaked chocolate cake. I can't wait to dive in.

Full body and a sweet flavor that has some surprising spiciness. Lots of sweet malt up front as well as the dark fruit promised by the nose, but the real action is at mid-palate where the phenols and hops kick in. I was taken aback by how spicy the beer gets at mid-palate and just how much the carbonation intensifies the effect. The spicy flavors remain strong through the finish, even managing to mask the taste of the alcohol (if not the warming feeling). After the beer sits and de-gasses, the spiciness is still evident, though not as intense, and some sweet, rummy flavors come forward on the back of the palate.

What can be said about this classic beer that hasn't already been said? How about this ... It's outstanding. It's delicious. It's certainly one of the best beers in the world. It's the white whale. The MacGuffin. The Force. The bone thrown up in the air in 2001. I'm extremely fortunate and grateful that to have had an opportunity to try it. Now are you sitting down? Here goes...

I have enjoyed at least 3 or 4 other quads just has much as I'm enjoying this one (perhaps even a little bit more).

Now that the shock has worn off, I'll explain. Even though it adds to the complexity and doesn't disturb the balance, I don't particularly care for all the spiciness. For me, it gets in the way of the sweet, rich, dessert-like qualities of the beer. Some BAs will disagree, but that's just my palate. Also, I definitely taste the similarities between this and St. Bernardus Abt 12 (although this one is a little spicier). Anything else? Oh, yeah. Highly, highly recommended every BA try this at least once (if at all possible).

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 00:24:33 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of jwhawkins81


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Dark fruit and a unmistakable Belgian quality. Also a nice amount of spice.

Appearance - Lots of tan head that slowly dissipated without leaving much lace. Red amber color.

Taste - Fruity and complex with alcohol heat to remind you of 10% ABV. Tons of fruit complexity hangs around in the flavor. A little too much alcohol warming than I would have liked at first. Really just a lot of fruitiness and alcohol. However even as it warmed it never got worse. Just an awesome amount of flavor.

Notes - This beer grew on me. My first impression wasn't wow but this beer's complexity takes time to appreciate. I still have five more so hopefully a little age will lower the amount of heat.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 18:35:20 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finishing off 2010 in style..

330ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky brown colour with a very large frothy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the murkiness of the beer and there is some excellent lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate. There was a small amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Smell - apples were the first thing that came to mind, also malts, dark fruits, an earthiness

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has quite a bit of carbonation but it still feels smooth and creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste is made up of malts, dark fruits (rasins?), and some light hops. As the temperature of the beer got warmer the flavour of the beer really seemed to change. The alcohol is extremely well hidden and this beer is very easy to drink. The beer finishes with a malty and sweet aftertaste, there was also a light hop bitterness.

Drink - I'm happy I got to check this beer off my want list. I'm sure the fact that it is hard to get adds to the hype and positive reviews; but it really is a must try and a fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 19:12:05 | More by spinrsx
Photo of uno99

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well I might as well add my own take on this beer....
A September 2006 bottle from a Belgian friend I made on my honeymoon.

A: bottle split 4 ways, but the head still fills the glass. the beer itself is a captivating brown color. very impressive looking beer. I have pictures to prove it!

S: an unreal wave of ripe prunes and figs fills the nostrils. smells kind of like a Christmas cake... complete with marzipan icing. hints of citrus and a toasted nut quality.

T: An unreal beer. taste is very complex. I wish I had the whole bottle to myself!

M: velvety smooth. carbonation is so delicate but also enough to excite the pallet.

D: This is a beer that makes you want to raise your arms in joy. The best beer in the world? I'm not sure about that, but in my opinion; the best Trappist!

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 01:20:34 | More by uno99
Photo of silverking


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- opaque, muddy brown. Coarse tan head, nice retention. Lacing is present in sheets for a moment, but then snap! It breaks quickly and leaves random patches of foam that sink slowly into the beer. Only a thin ring is left as a reminder of the lacing that was. Nice to watch.

S- woah, really broad range of aromas. Sweet brandy first off. Very vinous and oaky. Sweet grapes, tobacco, dried plums, yeasty dough. Oh man, what is this? It smells like it was pressed from the forbidden fruit. The alcohol is definitely enhanced as it warms.

T- just like the aroma, a sweet grape/alcohol/amazing experience. Bread and alcohol. Reminds me of fruitcake around the holidays, and thats a good thing. Lots of dried plums and other assorted candied fruits all come together under one harmonious cover of spice. Clove and cinnamon all around. I get a hint of licorice as well. That Belgian yeast is a wonderful colony of Single-celled organisms.

M- medium bodied, aggressive carbonation. It is reminiscent of champagne, but definitely more viscous. It's syrupy, but the carbonation thins it out considerably.

O- I had this beer a while back, and I wasn't impressed. Now, I don't know what I was thinking. Seriously, it's amazing.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2014 22:06:58 | More by silverking
Photo of cbutova


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very unexpected surprise shared by Chico1985 a few days ago. 11.17.13 (2010, super fresh)

A- Murky dark brown with a nice creamy off-white head that looks silky and has pretty nice retention. Certainly some nice spots of lace and a bubbly cloud atop the ale.

S- Lots of bread, very nice and freshly baked bread. A good amount of dark fruit, general spice feel, raisin and some darker brown sugar toast malt, nutty hints.

T- Dark fruit, raisin and fresh bread come off as the biggest thing to me. Underlying notes of nutty malt, brown sugar, citrus zest?, toasty brown malt, slight roast, vanilla and even oak add complexity. The dark fruit is less medicinal than some other strong Belgian ales.

MF- Quad body, lighter overall feel but a strong beer nonetheless. Very little warmth, impressive for 10%. Somewhat creamy with carbonation at a level that suits the flavors.

DB- The fresh bread and yeast profile here surely make this one a treat. At 10%, the ABV is a ghost and this one drinks dangerously smoothly. I could easily throwback a few bottles of this a week if it were available to me. Complex but balanced.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 01:32:10 | More by cbutova
Photo of Quej

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into its beautiful chalice it pours a very dark, yet clear, brown with highlights of ruby red shining through the brew, only a bit of head crowns the beer and it fades to a delicate lace. I raise the glass to my nose and scents of warm red grapes, cranberry and cherry come flooding into my awareness. The sweet smell of fruit, caramel and toffee candy wraps itself so nicely around the significantly boozy brew. It pours over my lips and onto my tongue. Sudden sweetness hits me with flavours of red wine, plums, and wild berries. The sweetness is quickly followed by a refreshing dryness brought on by the high alcohol content. Both the sweet and the bitter mingle and dance on the palette in perfect unison, and linger into a long dry aftertaste that leaves me begging for more. The low carbonation takes the edge off of what might have otherwise been a sharp and bitter dryness, and makes it so very easy to drink. And then I had a second sip.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2008 19:36:54 | More by Quej
Photo of JayQue


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this beer. I'M NOT WORTHY!!!

Purchased from Etre Gourmet along with some Pannepot and A Cantillon unblended lambic. Plain brown bottle with a "Trappiste" ring around the neck.

Poured into my trusty Chimay goblet a medium brown color with a little light coming through. Medium size off-white head that fades to a covering of the glass. The covering continues throughout the tasting (about 30 minutes). Lacing consists of a film with dots of lacing contained in it.

Smell is mostly dark fruit (raisins, figs) and some Belgian yeast. Pronounced and very rich.

Taste is out of this world. Belgian candi sugar, yeast, dark fruit, spices and a little caramel malt. Expertly blended, hint of warming alcohol. Absolutely outstanding. Worthy of the hype!!!

Mouthfeel is rich and luxurious. The alcohol is not a negative factor. This is an outstanding beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 03:10:52 | More by JayQue
Photo of BeRanger


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Travis from Roast for this one, complete surprise as I had never had it.

Poured from bottle into a tulip.

A: Deep Amber/Brownish Hue with an off-white head, a far amount of lacing.

S: Perfect smell - lots of darkfruit, brown sugar, yeast and a little booze.

T: Taste is perfect melding of the dark fruits such as the raisins and plums with the brown sugar sweetness and yeast coming through.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation - very smooth.

O: Super complex beer that blends everything together wonderfully. This was fantastic for a quad which I'm not the biggest fan of. I certainly now need to get my hands on a few more of these. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 01:22:25 | More by BeRanger
Photo of Liverpool08


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW!! Thanks to my co-worker Dan for inviting me to tap one of these from his cellar. This one is about two years old.
Pours a a very dark murky red, little head or lacing. Aroma is hints of raisins, plums, prunes, and figs. First sip...Super smooth. Tons of different flavors dance around, cherries, mollasses, brown sugar, raisins and even a hint of chocolate. Each sip brings all of these and others, all perfectly blended and smooth to sip. No notice of the booze, even as it warms. Mouthfeel is smooth yet still a little crisp, not cloying at all. A beer worth waiting for!!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 04:14:01 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of Dope


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Previously "Had" this beer at a 5 from years ago. Time for a full review. This is a Westy 12 from the bricks released about 6 months ago. Best by date was Jan 2015.

A: Pours a turbid dark brown. Enormous and ridiculously huge fluffy yet dense light brown head. Starts out dense, gets fluffier as it fades. Fades very slowly. Huge thick layers of lacing everywhere. Top notch head retention. Perfect.

S: Very strong aroma, I can smell it from the other side of the desk. Smells like toast from a distance (even my wife commented on it and she's sitting 5ft away from it). Upon closer inspection, very sweet caramel with loads of dark fruits. Raisins primarily. Other fruits in there, fig, prunes? A bit of toasted malt is notable as well. A little bit of booze but not much. Very pleasant aroma.

T: Again with the sweetness. Sweet caramel up front but sweet grains in the finish. Dark fruit up front. A bit of toasted bread towards the finish, like yeasty dough almost. Has a somewhat nutty character in the middle. Fairly harsh grain alcohol in the finish and lingering aftertaste. Some spices picking up here and there.

M: Heavy-ish but not overly so. Very smooth and easy drinking.

O: Very different from how I remember this one from years ago. I remember noting how the alcohol was completely hidden but in this one there is a lot of alcohol phenols in the aroma and aftertaste. Having said that, this is easily the best quad I've had. Very nice flavors all integrated with each other. Balance is excellent, drinkability is excellent. I look forward to re-reviewing an aged bottle at some point, I feel like this one might be too green given the alcohol harshness.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 04:03:22 | More by Dope
Photo of northernbrews


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a mini quad tasting with HellsBells24 in April 07. Had this one after the Abt 12.

Received this bottle from rayjay via trade. Thanks Jason!

Appearance: Pours a nice and clear brown color with a 1.5 finger tan head. Slightly red around the edges. There is a little bit of lacing on my snifter. This looks very similar to the Abt12.

Aroma: Starts with some dark fruits, nice malts and a slight alcohol burn. This is followed by dark fruits, figs, roasted malts, and slight cherry. The aroma is more pronounced as it warms. Very nice. Lets see how it tastes.

Taste: The tastes are similar to the aroma, but not a noticable. Cherry and dark fruits from the start followed by warming alcohol and some spicy hops. There is a nice malt background that balances all these flavors.

Mouthfeel: The dark fruit and malt flavors hang for a bit. This is pretty creamy.

Drinkability: This goes down very smooth for 10.2%. I wish I had more than one bottle of this because I could easily drink a few of these.

Overall. This finished behind the Rochefort 10 and slightly above the Abt 12 and Chimay Blue. Another truely a world-class beer (as were the others). I'm not sure if it's worth $20 if you don't get it in Belgium due beers of similar quality being available more readily and for much cheaper. Definitely a beer you have to try though.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 22:15:20 | More by northernbrews
Photo of klaybie


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Thijs for getting me 2 bottles. Split one with my dad and the other with a friend.

Poured from the label-less bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bubbley, chocolate-amber color with wonderful lacing. The head quickly recedes leaving a small ring on top.

Smell: Very complex, dark fruits, milk chocolate. Surprised there is no alcohol present in the nose.

Taste: Again complex. Dark fruits (plums??) milk chocolate. No alcohol flavor. Just a complex multitude of plums, figs, and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful. If I had more bottles they'd be gone. But then I'd be on the floor because the 10.2% abv can be felt but not tasted.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 17:23:26 | More by klaybie
Photo of fingolfin72

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is deep mahogany with a fine, palamino-colored head which dissipates to lacy remnants fairly soon.

The nose is somewhat restrained, but it contains sugar, oranges, banana, and croissants.

The palate is smooth with an abundance of flavor. I get toffee, brown sugar, banana, nutmeg, chocolate, quinine and fresh grapes.

The finish is long. The bitterness, reminiscent of quinine or campari, becomes slightly more prominent as the sip of beer fades. It does not, however, overexpress itself.

This beer has extraordinary balance and complexity. It does not hit you over the head; it just states itself perfectly with nothing out of place. I equate it with Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2004 00:19:00 | More by fingolfin72
Photo of Bighuge


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muddled looking auburn tone. Bubbly light brown head leaves sparse lace. Aroma consists of light candy notes. Some bubblegum. Brown sugar. Very sweet nose. The flavors are very delicate, yet complex. Sweet melon like tones. Light rum alcohol. Candy and more candy. And then a dry wash of spice cleans up. Very flavorful....even in it's fragile nature. For such a big beer, this is incredibly drinkable. Mouthfeel is very light and airy. Carbonation is moderate. Very enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2004 03:43:18 | More by Bighuge
Photo of mattboyer182


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a dark dark brown. Impossible to see through. Thin Lacey brown head.

S - it's a fairly light smell. Big fruit scent. Tart a bit but still spicy.

T - very sweet at first but becomes a dry more bitter flavor as the beer wears on. Smooth and a little vanilla.

M - medium to heavy body with medium carbonation.

O - hey it's westy. I completely love what it is. But I think I would rather have roc 10

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 09:14:04 | More by mattboyer182
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

33cl bottle into a snifter, dated 18.01.15, so it should be about a year old

A: Pours a deep amber color, a tad lighter than expected for the style. Three fingers of foam developed quite quickly, a bit prickly, but with pretty good retention. Lacing is good.

S: Spices are most evident in this beer, moreso than I'm used to for the style - orange bitters, licorice, and cardamom. A strong, malty sweetness helps balance this spiced aroma with prunes and plum. Very well balanced.

T: Sweeter than expected from the aroma, I get a strong plum flavor to start. Prunes quickly come in after that with a fairly strong caramel sweetness. The caramel and dark fruits play well off each other. The spiciness from the aroma is also in the flavor, balancing the sweetness. I get mostly cardamom with a bit of peppercorn.

M: Medium bodied for the style with slightly stronger than average carbonation. This beer was very easy to drink.

O: This beer was consumed in about ten minutes. Even while reviewing, it just went down so quickly, even while picking out all the complexities present. This is a complex, yet quaffable beer that begs you to keep drinking more. Good thing I have three more on order.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 14:44:18 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of wagenvolks


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A two year old bottle poured into a goblet. Very opaque appearance with a chestnut hue. Dark chunks of yeast present. A soda-colored head dissipates quickly. The aroma is that of a caramel apple, with hints of nut, chocolate. Rather earthy/leathery. It is not a strong smell, but enough to let you know something good lurks beneath.

The taste is dominated with malty caramel and nuts with small hints of (?)cabbage. It feels smooth and rather dry on the tongue. Very potent. It finishes as smooth as it starts and is very agreeable. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 05:41:02 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of thecheapies


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Westvleteren 12. 2010 vintage. Poured into its Westy chalice.

Soft hiss crack. Poured out brown for the first half, then a sludgy dark brown accidentally slipped in. Poor decanting left a colony of yeast dredge on the foam top. The head looks excellent. Stays intact after a long time, like a blanket. The beer is a deep chestnut purple-brown. Classic Westy look.

Earthy brown bread maltiness, figgy fruits, phenols, Belgian chocolate, nutty yeast, prune, and dry light roast. Mild herbal character. No leftover booze to speak of. Some umami aromas included here. Hard to describe. Maybe stewed fruits.

Rich maltiness with brown bread and mild spiciness from phenols and moderate bitterness. Fig, raisin, nutty chocolate, clove, mild roast, medicinal notes, and candi sugar leftovers. Pleasantly, on the dry side. So much going on, and nothing that really dominates. A hearty brew with savory notes and an immense body of endless size and smoothness. So brothy in flavor and in feel. Nice bubble pop here and there in the mouth. Incredible feel.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2014 23:36:07 | More by thecheapies
Photo of tmoneyba


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 22:05:32 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of Ljudsignal


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the American release into a Spencer chalice.

Pours a dark, murky brown with red highlights, almost a plum shade. Creamy two-finger off-white head with poor retention. No lacing to speak of.

In the nose, an intoxicating blend of Christmas-y spices, burnt brown sugar, caramel malt, plums, prunes, raisins, and brandy. Subtle red wine tannins.

In the mouth, plum, prune, raisin, and fig notes mingle impressively with notes of brandy, caramel malt, caramelized brown sugar, molasses, clove, and cinnamon. Faint cocoa powder. Subtly yeasty in the finish, with a hint of boozy heat creeping in.

Mouthfeel is creamy but fairly dry, with an effervescent carbonation keeping the beer from feeling too sticky or heavy. Alcohol is noticeable, particularly towards the back, but merely contributes an entirely appropriate-feeling warming characteristic.

On the whole, this is a monumental beer and without a doubt the best quad I've ever had. That said...Rochefort 10 and St Bernardus Abt 12 give Westvleteren XII a real run for its money--and factoring in accessibility, it's hardly even a contest. All that said, this is still a spectacular beer, and one well worth hunting down.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2014 04:32:34 | More by Ljudsignal
Photo of cbak999


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Don (digita7693) for acquiring this (and Westy 8) for a rare beer tasting.

A - Pours a deep, dark brown...not at all what I was expecting. Very nice tan head sits atop the beer.

S - caramel, brown sugar, raisins - very complex. Many smells going on here.

T - It's as good as the best amber Belgian I've tried. It's just a tad hot tasting, but not too bad considering it's 12%. Other tastes are caramel, brown sugar....just like the smells.

D - OK - so it's very drinkable. I was super exited to try it. However, I think if it were easier to obtain, it might not hold the position of top beer in the world. Something to be said for having to call the monastery for an appt, hoping you get through, and then picking it up. A treat to try for sure!

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 19:00:38 | More by cbak999
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,485 ratings.