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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

5,026 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,026
Reviews: 1,635
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,025
Gots: 1,487 | FT: 107
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)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,026 | Reviews: 1,635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hero27
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz humble bottle. Graciously given by Px2GrafX in BIF. Thanks so much for the opportunity to try this highly prized brew. No label, no fancy silk-screened etching. Just a plain, brown bottle with the famous yellow cap of this widely sought after beer.

Simply tremendous flavor. So rich and complex..alcohol is subdued to a point that you can hardly notice it. So many others have described it's multitude of characteristics in near perfection, so I'll spare you the details. Truly exceptional mouthfeel..silky smooth and delicious. As drinkable as any beer. This really leaves you wanting more..it's a good thing this stuff isn't widely available, because I'd be happy but poor. But then again, if you're buying Westy 12, you're probably not too concerned about the price. This is the quintessential treat for any beer lover, and something every BA should (and would probably love to) try.

Amazingly, it somehow lives up to the hype. Best beer in the world? I'm not sure, but it is certainly deserving of the title.

Photo of ricke
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep reddish brown color, nearly opaque. A nice looking beige head of about 3 cm with good retention leaves plenty of lacings.

S: A deep and rich smell. Plenty of fruity aromas (cherries, plums, overripe strawberries), raisins, wet wood. The malty backbone is thick and "dark" and is accompanied by a prominent spicy aroma. A hint of yeast. The alcohol is noticeable, but very integrated with the rest of the aromas. A great smell.

T: The taste is nothing but fantastic. A noble and rich malty backbone and semi-sweet cherries converge with a prominent, but not very strong, taste of alcohol. At this point, the beer is quite reminiscent of a fine liqueur. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Raisins adds another sweet component. Earthy yeast and spices balance the massive sweetness. Faint nutty aromas, and perhaps just a minimal hint of tartness. In the finish, the alcohol is very noticeable and has a sweet and warming character. But the alcohol is very well integrated and suits the beer nicely. The finish is slightly bitter with notes of spices, iron and grass.

M: Full-bodied with a velvety smooth texture. The rather high level of carbonation is well suited for the overall character.

D: What to say about this legendary brew? Well, I think it's almost as good as it's reputation say it is. It's just unbelievably tasty with an impressive complex character. This one comes really close to perfection.

Photo of bditty187
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I’ve had this beer in my possession for many months (thanks to Bierman9); I don’t know why I kept waiting to try it. I pledged I wasn’t going to drink it for a “BA Milestone.” Oh well, this is my 800th BA Beer Review.

Murky reddish-brown in hue, the liquid looks a bit like apple cider fresh from the orchard. The head reached one finger in height on a soft pour. It was off-white in color. Head retention was fair; it subsided hastily to a big, bubbly collar, soapy in the middle. In my goblet there isn’t much glamour to this beverage. Is this a sign of high expectations? I’d say no. Really there isn’t much excitement in the appearance. I’ll also add there was not much subsequent lacing, just some unorganized spottiness. The nose on Westy 8 failed to arouse me. I took a sniff of Westy 12 and there are more aromas with a little more to say. (Which is a good thing.) Still the bouquet is far from impressive. The malt is pleasantly rich with sweetness like caramel covered chocolate fruit. I like the spicy green apple aromas at the back, faint hints of cloves and ginger. Bready. Raisins soaked in rum. There is admirable intricacy in the fragrances, however the strength just doesn’t electrify me. It is still inviting. The palate is very impressive. First of all, there is a tremendous liveliness to the taste. This is the first step to a great beer, IMO. Big beer needs to be talkative. This one is chatty. The rich, malty qualities blend with alcohol and fruit. Surely it is not that simple? It is not. Luscious malt depth, rich caramel flavor that is very wide and it dances with the raisins, purple grapes, plums, figs, coriander, clove, more malt (this time chocolate), and just enough alcohol heat to add yet another layer. What a tasty beer! There is tremendous complexity. If I ever get to drink this beer again, I will pair it with bananas, apples, grapes, cheese, and crackers. That would be a meal fit for a king. I am impressed at the fullness of this beer, medium/medium-full in body, low carbonation, which helps make a bigger than real mouthfeel. Lovely. To ask if this beer is drinkable is to ask if water is wet. I wish this beer were available locally. I know that John’s in Iowa City will get this on occasion. That won’t cut it. But this bottle came from Bierman9. What a generous guy! Thanks. I really like this beer. I now personally understand why this beer is so legendary. The back-story and history of the brewery and the monks connect perfectly with a terrific beer. Recommended.

Best before date of 21.12.02 stamped on the bottle cap. How good is this SOB fresh!?

Photo of Ruds
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured (a 2007 best before bottle so well aged) into a belgian goblet to a rich muddy looking - mid brown colour with a small head that soon vanished

Smells fruity, some dried fruit aroma, maybe some banana and certainly some spice aroma

Tastes rich and complex, burnt sugars, some spice, dark fruity flavours . . . you would not think you are drinking a 10%+ beer, the trick of any great beer, if I dind't know the ABV I'd have maybe guessed at 5 to 6 % - so basically a session beer if you're from the USA ;)

Mouthfeel was very silky and just begged for more to be imbibed

I drank the 2nd half of my glass with some roquefort cheese - an excellent pairing!

Overall a great great beer, very complex and one for a special occasion (or two!)

Having had an in-date bottle in the past, the aged one was just as good - but probably no better to be honest, slightly more earthy if that makes sense to anyone!

Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the honor of sampling this popular item the other night as I was guided through my first beer brewing experience by a very generous friend who shared his last bottle of this liquid gold. Poured a rich chestnut-brown w/ruby-amber edges where light permeated through. Head thin and light beige. The aroma was complex, but dominated by chocolate character and various toasted malts, with lighter scents of a bouquet of spices and light herbs, light esters, and warming alcohol. The taste was exceptional--chocolate malt, molasses and candy sugar, an exotic blend of rich spices, and a strong finish of cocoa and alcohol rounded out by bitter hops. There was also an inexplicable bite at the back of the midpalate that was actually quite pleasant, but I don't know what it was. Very light carbonation, rich body that consistently delivers throughout the palate, and harmonious balance between a very dry texture and the sweet and spice flavors forge a powerful result.

Photo of gameface23
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an intense shade of brown with a light tan head.

S: So complex. Brown sugar is prominent. There are dark fruits, but they don't assault the nose like super malty beers that use a ton of specialty grains known to create those flavors (special B, etc). There is a caramel softness to it, which lends the perfect amount of sweetness.

T: Follows the nose. More complexity. Layers upon layers of interesting flavors. Brown sugar, dates, caramel, Belgian yeast phenols.

M: Light on the carbonation.

D: Westy 12 and Hair of the Dog Adam are the two most complex and interesting beers I have ever had. There is a refined elegance to everything about this beer, from the packaging, to the aroma and taste.

Photo of Zorro
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark brown brew.

Smell is malty and spicy, lots of grape and apple smells. Brown sugar and maple add to the sugar smells.

Taste is sweet and very sugary. Prominent sugar and fruit tastes. Lots of brown sugar and cinnamon flavors. Delicious spice flavors, Pepper and cardamom are foremost. Nice bitterness in the aftertaste. Malt and Biscuit flavors come through after a bit. Woody and earthy flavors complete the brew, mushrooms and oak flavors.

Mouthfeel is very good, thickish with champagne bubbles.

Really drinkable...If you can find a bottle! I have been storing these two bottles for a long time.

Photo of chadspivey
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my hand-washed, air-dried St. Bernardus goblet...
gotta let this one sit out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving....

A: pours a dark brown with a 1 and 1/2 finger off-white head. Down to about a 1/4 inch after about 1 minute.

S: Smells yeasty. Dark fruits....definitely apples and plums.

T: flavors blend so well it's hard to pick out anything individually. I'm not even gonna try, but it's oooh so nice.

M: smooth and chewy at the same time. Is that possible? It appears so..

D: I'd drink them all night if they weren't already designated to friends and trades... trying to rationalize drinking another, but not comming up with anything good.

I gotta admit, with it being number one, I was expecting a religious experience, instead I ended up with a really, really good beer. My best advice is to NOT drink it cold. You gotta let the flavors show through at about 55 degrees. (20 minutes outside the fridge).

Photo of jwolfie70
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is worth the hype. It has the best mouthfeel of any beer I have ever had, and for me defines what would be perfect mouthfeel in a beer.

Tastes of dark fruit, with a series malt backbone, without being cloying. It poured a dark brown with a light tan head. Can't wait to try again.

Photo of yapi
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this one where you should drink one at least once in your life... café In de vrede

L: yeah I know, sexy dark color, 2 finger head, lacing, but... when you drink it in that atmosphere, in an original westvleteren chalice, an absolute fiver!!!

S: here I was a bit disappointed... very difficult to find pronounced aroma, a bit of caramel, sweetness, dark fruit, but not enough in my book

T: but... here comes the orgasme: everything you could hardly smell, you could taste a million times better! What a full, complex, creamy, smooth, sweet excellent beer!!! Heaps of dark fruit, brown sugar, and an almost perfect balance.

O: nearly perfect. Maybe just a tad too fresh, so I can't wait for my cases to put some days behind them... Does it live up to the hype? Yes. Is it the best beer in the world? Like a Carlsberg... probably... at least one of the best! And... you can age them and long for them, cherish them... and drink'em: perfect hobby, enjoy!

This could become a perfect 5, if it balances even more with age and if the aroma's would be a bit more pronounced... but proud to be Belgian!

Photo of rfgetz
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have been sitting on this a while until the right special occasion came along...

Pours a medium brown, clouded with some yeast sentiment, moderately firm khaki head, gone quickly leaving spotty lacing. Scent was fantastic, as it brought a wonderfully blended concoction of brown sugar, light molasses, honey, doughy and yeasty undercooked bread, prune, fig, raisin, apple and light spicing. Was expecting a slap in the face from the taste, but was greeted with a smooth, blended combination of the notes from the scent. Bready, fruity, sweet, savory in all the right quantities. Medium bodied, moderately bubbly, better towards the end as carbonation escapes. Overall, a truly exceptionally crafted beer. Always hard to live up to the hype, but in the way everything blends and layers, it is a work of art.

Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Tulip

A- Poured lighter out of the bottle than in the glass. Good dense cloudy reddish brown nice frothy head

S- Raisin, apple, yeast, it's sweet & spicy

T- Beautiful, caramel, yeast, some hops, Biscuit

M- At first high and spicy carbonation, poured too cold. Then as it warms, nice & smooth with slight bitterness on the tongue

D- Really drinkable, not easy to get but nice balances of flavor and alcohol.

Overall: Must go to Belgium

Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here we go, Westy12....

Poured a deep amber, reddish brown color. The head is very faint, only a foamy ring around the outside of the glass at its maximum and quickly dissipated down.

The smell is great, slightly vinous and very complex. Big malt presence in the aroma; caramel, earthy grainy notes, dark fruit or perhaps raisins and a hint of cider all compliment each other making this beers bouquet very rich and complex.

The taste has a big malt sweetness up front. Raisins, dark fruit, caramel, cider and earthy notes come from big malt flavor up front. The alcohol is present but not too overpowering. Huge flavor with a big sweet chewy and syrupy mouth feel that is just right and not over done. The aftertaste is warm with a hint of hop bitterness that lingers on the palate balancing out the big malt presence up front.

I can definitely see why this is the reigning champ of beers!

Cheers!

Photo of Estarrio
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Cap reads: 24-05-09

Poured a very dark, reddish brown. After reading many reviews, I was very surprised by the enormous head. The head is a white/tan and it's big, chunky and long lasting. What little dissipation there was yielded to very smooth, silky lacings. This is by far the best looking and most intriguing of the Belgian quads that I've sampled.

Aroma wasn't as strong as I expected, even after letting the beer reach room temperature. Smells consisted of dark fruit mingling with a light malt presence. The alcohol content and a slight hop aroma are also noticeable. Swirling the bottom of the almost empty glass gave the best scents. Some spice and floral notes made the last few smells a bit more complex.

The first sip was like drinking velvet. The body and carbonation lend to a very drinkable beer with a very light syrup consistency. There is a notable taste of cherries and plums up front. This is followed by a sweet caramel and nutty flavor. About mid-sip, the high alcohol content becomes very noticeable. The pleasing warmth traverses the palate and can be traced to your stomach. Other notable flavors included clover, light ginger, bittersweet chocolate and an aftertaste that provides gentle hop bitterness.

This beer personifies what I love about quads. I completely forget that I'm drinking a beer while sipping this fine brew. It feels more like I am enjoying a fine dessert wine and my imagination easily allows me to imagine it being some form of divine nectar.

I would not consider this to be the best beer that I've ever had. However, I would say that this is the best Belgian quad that I've ever had and one of the smoothest, most balanced and pleasurable brews that I've ever enjoyed. I tried my best to be objective, despite the hype but the mystery and the quality of this beer lend to a very unique and memorable experience. I regret that I only have five more to enjoy!

Photo of TheBrewo
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Here it is, the traditional holy mother of the beer kingdom. The fair lady was kind enough to track down a bottle (cap-stamped with 20.12.16) of this for the anniversary of the day I was born, so for such an occasion we crack right into it on a fresh, rested palate. We pour a brew of rich ruby-mahogany into our oversized tasting snifters. It immediately jets up two fingers worth of tight latte colored foam that doesn’t quit. This retains excellently, sifting down and sitting atop the liquid in an eventual creamy, ephemeral film. Thick corded ridges and archipelagos of lacing are left around the glasses. No real haze is noted, but tiny flecks of sediment sit suspended throughout. Carbonation appears to be moderate yet pervasive. The aroma takes you by surprise, with massively sweet booziness and vanilla bean off the bat. These settle as the beer warms, allowing room for the remaining mix of heavy caramel, brown, and burnt wheaty malts, straw, musk, cherry and fig syrups, dried dates, almond oil, melty candied toffies, plum and concord grape fruitiness, dirty dried grass and petal, savory Belgian yeasty steel, smoked tobacco leafiness, perfumed booziness, match head sulfurics, buttercream frosting, peanut butter nuttiness, and gentle buttery diacetyls, to flower through. Our first impression is that the flavoring is almost drowned out by the mouthfeel, which is intensely creamy and thick. As we sip, the taste begins with the bite of fusel booze, brightly sweet caramel and brown maltiness with a buttery brush, wood lacquer, black pepper, astringent plum skins, dried figs and raisins, vanilla and almond extract, and that aromatic, dusty Belgian yeast. The middle peaks with a sweeter cloy of malty fruitiness, with caramel and toffee biscuits, strawberry, pear, and date syrups, chewy burnt granola, wheat flour, toasty walnuts, cooked brown, wheaty, and crystal maltiness, granular white sugar sweetness, and dried cedar lick. Washing through the end is a cleansing bitterness of booze, light cloven phenols, the softest banana esters, licorice, burnt leathers, cereal and caramel grain, continued grapey fruitiness, salted yeastiness, toasty almonds, mild oaky woodiness, vanilla extract, cigar smokiness. The aftertaste breathes of walnut oils, dates and golden raisins, lint and dust, phenolic plastics, tinny and brassy metallics, rum-soaked pound cake, bile acidity, sea salt, heavy alcohols, basement mustiness, bitter booziness, light bourbon-corn essence, continued gentle smoked peatiness, and the final echoes of that warming European yeastiness. The body is thick and chewy, and the carbonation is medium. Slurp, smack, cream, froth, pop, glug, foam, and drag are all intense, complete, and wonderful. The mouth is thickly coated, but dried overtop with a quickly burning layer of thin alcohol that leaves the mouth somewhere between satiated and astringently puckered with chalkiness. The abv is appropriate, and although it drinks back well, you find the desire to want to make it last strong.

Overall, the best thing about this beer is how it handles your expectations of it. You go into it expecting this insane, flavor-bomb of power that will forever change your views and opinions of beers. You don’t really get that. The real magic of this beer is in just how simple and clean the execution of it is. The balance is unsullied, with the booze and the malt bill meeting for a beautiful dance in the center of the room. They just take their recipe and should you how it’s done, without the need for any bells, whistles, or unnecessary flair or novelty. This beer is all about harmony, and doing the right thing at the right time. The nose and the flavoring both embody this mantra naturally and intrinsically, so it comes as an even bigger surprise when the mouthfeel comes crashing in unfettered. It is so thick and creamy, creeping along like molten lava, acting like the perfect delivery vessel for the bold cleanliness of flavoring. This is an exercise is technique, and although some may be disappointed by the flavoring alone not taking them into the clouds, one must sit back and appreciate the art of the craft and what it means to strive for brewing perfection. Hard to track down, but well worth it if you want to taste what a fantastic beer is made from.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the fabled Westy 12. I acquired this bottle about 6 months back in one of my first trades. I said this was the beer I wanted to toast when my daughter was born. Although she was born a little less than 2 days ago, this is my first chance to sit back and enjoy one. This one is for you, Samantha! Welcome to this world...cheers!

A - label-less bottle with a glass ring around the stem of the bottle that says "Trappistenbier" and a cap telling me that this is the Westvleteren 12. Dated 27.05.13. Opened the bottle and poured into my La Trappe chalice. The entire bottle perfectly filled the glass and had a nice brownish purple color with a picture perfect frothy head. The head was creamy and wonderful. As a big fan of Quads, it is wonderful to see that this beer looks perfect.

S - Sweet grapes nutmeg and booze. My mouth is watering.

T - Oh wow. Just as the nose suggests, this beer is sweet boozy grape juice. I may have opened it a bit too fresh from the fridge because it got much better as it warmed and really came into it's own.

M - Creamy and smooth. The alcohol is HOT on this beer. Tingles like crazy in my mouth and leaves a somewhat bittery yet biscuity after taste. Once I got used to the heat, the flavors and creaminess ruled the roost. Beer felt great.

O - Overall, I am not disappointed one bit. However, I am a bit surprised on the booziness of this beer. Amazing Quad. Best beer in the world...? Maybe. Worldclass...? DEFINITELY. I'd really love to try one that has some solid age on it...I bet it would be insane. I do understand all the comparisons to some of the other better known quads and I do understand some folks choosing other Quads over this one. I'd love to do a blind test next to some of my other favs.

Photo of CraftFan5
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Photo of heymikew
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The homebrew of a talented abbey. A gift from God.
To be savored like a fine congac.
Thick, rich dark fruit. It reminds me of my mother's mince pie
with the bourbon soaked raisins. The ageless love of the art over the generations is realized on the tongue.

I had my first one at at Au Bon Vieux Temps in the center of Brussels. A tiny old place with a tiny crowd at 9 on a Tuesday night. But didn't get to fully appreciate with a cold.

The one I brought home though (one of several including the W8 reviewed here, all purchased at De Bier Temple) was opened at the most opportune time and therefore fully appreciated.

It merits it's revered status but probably best in moderation as an occasional treat. I would be in trouble if this was my refrigerator brew.

Photo of stephens101
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to petecz for the hookup on this one!

After a bit of hesitation, I finally pop the cap. Pours a pure brown infused with a panoply of bubbles. A slight covering of tan head dissipates quickly, leaving a few dots of lace strewn about. The aroma is vinous with ripe grapes, grape juice, grain, beer bread and some candy sweetness underneath it all. As it warms the complexity grows, with notes of vinegar and phenols eventually opening up. Tastes bready, malty and fruity up front. The alcohol heat goes straight to the stomach and curls up into a warm fuzzy little ball. Subsequent drinks reveal some sweet chocolates and caramel as well as spice and grain. The medium to full-body goes down creamy, and I'm looking at the half-empty bottle, already wishing I had more of this goodness.

Photo of WantonFaun
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Opaque dark brown

S - Sugar and spice, dark fruit of course, sticky figs glued to the bottom of the glass. Warm and rich.

T - Again, like above, the dark spice (cinnamon for instance) and dark fruit dominate the palate.

M - Chunky, with delicious yeast residue.

O - Amazing, though Rochefort 10 may give it a run for its money. Its exclusive nature might be propagating perceptions on how great it is, though it is great.

Photo of bgraney
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep, rich brown with a shorty frothy off white head.
As soon as I popped the cap I got a whiff of the aroma. Like letting the genie out of the bottle. Malty raisins and plums, not overwhelming, balanced.
Much stronger flavor than the aroma suggested. The earthy malt flavor penetrates deeply, paving the way for the alcohol follow through. The first sip is definitely a wow moment. There's a lot going on but it's not like flavors are coming at you from every direction, it's the unified whole that creates the flavor experience.
Lingering flavors leave behind an enjoyable alcohol tang and then the malt flavors settle in.
It's so interesting and complex I find it very drinkable for a high alcohol ale.
Did it live up to the hype? I think so. I wasn't expecting a miracle or an otherworldly experience and what I got was one magnificent drinking experience. For sipping one beer, I don't think it gets any better than this.

Photo of aficionado
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chimay chalice. Thanks Thijs aka brabander (He stopped trading Westy a long time ago so don't bother him).

Murky dark brown body with no head or lacing to speak of. The lowest of the rating tiers for sure.

Aromas of prunes, dates and baking spices.

Brown sugar, dried fruits and spices. Oak aging is evident. Has a tiny bit of sour funk to it. Pretty sweet overall. The yeast dominates. Quad Heaven!

Silky full body with low carbonation. This is "beer juice".

No obvious alcohol presence to speak of. Any difficulty you will have drinking this beer would be from the richness of flavor, which is expected, and not the harshness of the alcohol. It's so incredibly smooth for the abv %. The smoothness of this beer is unparalleled. If I could rate this an A++, I would.

Probably one of my favorite beers ever and I'm usually an American hops kinda guy. Trade more of this with me and I'll be your best friend!

Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: murky brown with small white head and a touch of lacing

S: caramel fruit. some apples and little alcohol and some golden raisins

T: tastes like a pear and a raisin mixed with a bite of a caramel apple that amazingly sinks into my tongue and dominates my mouth. really nice

M: coats my mouth really well with the right amount of carb

D: really goes down easily. the alcohol is almost non-existant.

Notes: did a mini tasting with rochefort 10 and st bernardus 12 and the westy just to see which was the best... hoping it wasnt the westy so i wouldnt have to seek out another bottle.. and the westy won hands down. for sure the best tasting quad ive had

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What else can I say about this beer? Ummm... Very rich. Too bad the monks now limit purchases to a sixtus of this wonderful brew. 10.2%? I have had 6% or 8% brews where they failed to conceal the alcohol better than this beer. Much lighter on the tongue than I expected. Not lots of heavy sugars like other quads, but just amazing malts that are light (and crisp, dare I say?). Nose is full of nice yeasties and the hops are surprisingly potent throughout this beer. The Belgian sugars are sweet but not filling or so rich as to overwhelm the palate. Nursing my way through this goblet. May plan a trip to Belgium just to get some more of this beer.

Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a delicate Westvleteren 12 chalice...ready with an objective palate, skeptical of the hype...

Appearance: dark brown, a bit cloudy with a thin head that dissipates to a clinging ring around the glass and some beautiful stubborn lace.

Smell: to be fair, I'm recovering from a cold...I smell apples. Not a complex smell. No indication the flavor to come...

Taste: Here is where it gets interesting. Here is where I say, "Oh. Okay. I get it." Yes, what people say about the complexity is true. I taste many things. Overall, one might compare it to a really fine, 20-year tawny port. Apples, raisins, prunes, strawberry, and spice but without the over-powering sweetness that you sometimes find in Belgian ales. It finishes with a nice, slightly tart crisp apple that balances it very well. Truly complex and well-balanced. A definite alcohol flavor that melds into the rest of the flavors so well that it just makes it seem like it was barrel aged for a very long time in fine sherry-cask scotch barrels. I don't know when I've tasted anything quite this good. I could drink it all day...what a shame it's so hard to come by!

Mouthfeel: much lighter in body than I expected - it's about a medium-light with a crisp, champagne-like carbonation.

Overall: Amazing flavor, as described, with a million other fabulous flavors that I'm too much of a novice taster to even detect I'm sure. I really like the way the lighter body balances out the richness of the flavor. What more can I say?

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,026 ratings.