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

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

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

4,583 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,583
Reviews: 1,609
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,838
Gots: 1,307 | FT: 102
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,583 | Reviews: 1,609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ljudsignal
Ljudsignal

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

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

Florida

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

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!

09-10-2010 19:00:38 | More by cbak999
Photo of warrenout330
warrenout330

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a 11.2 bottle into the westy XII glass

A- pours a murky dark brown color... thick bubbly head... quickly disappears to a thin ring... Ruby hues to the light...

S- deep pronounced candied sugars .... dried and candied raisins and plums... metallic highlights in the back, slight fumes of alcohol burn

T- a slurry of sweet candy sugar, paired with candied plums, sweet darker fruits... hints of figs and raisins through out the taste... metallic covering the taste buds in the end

M- slicky and oily in the front.... heavier carbonation brings balance to the mouth feel... alcohol burn on the tongue .... metallic mouth lingering

O- Wow.... not wow for the present beer,well kind of... but wow, because this beer will turn out prestigious with tons of age.... I really can't wait to open the other 2... ten years later of course

12-17-2012 02:38:10 | More by warrenout330
Photo of Coomer
Coomer


4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Smooth with a bit of a hops bite and no after taste. Very dark, muddy color. Had a hufe off-white head. Aroma was strong with peach, vanilla and caramel. The flavor had a hops bite that was tempered by vanilla, orange peel with a caramel finish. It gets seeter as you go through the glass.

12-05-2012 17:41:49 | More by Coomer
Photo of ottovon
ottovon

Arizona

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

A: pours out a coppery-brown color with a light tan head. it has lots of head.

S: i get a lot of caramel aromas, some candi sugar, and yeast with hints of raison.

T: i get some spice, raison, lots of caramel and candi sugar flavor as well as yeast and bready flavors. there is a little bit of alcohol in the finish.

M: it has a light and slightly carbonated mouthfeel. it is quite nice.

D: i could drink these all night. while there are hints of alcohol in the taste, it is pretty hidden.

shared with whiterascal.

01-27-2011 01:22:12 | More by ottovon
Photo of BS68280
BS68280

South Carolina

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Thanks to Hayesez for this one. I've been holding onto this one for over a year now and finally found a reason to open it... Celebrating a wonderful weekend with my new beautiful fiance.

Poured from a bottle which I have no idea how to tell the date on, into a chalice.

A: A deep mohagony with about a half inch of a foamy light brownish head.

S: Lots of dark fruits. Raisons, prunes, figs, maybe a touch of brown sugar and a hint of caramel. Wonderful especially from a style that isn't my favorite.

T: Sweat dark fruits show up once again, this one goes right along with the smell which is nice. There is only the slightest trace of the 10% abv. Very complex and by far the best belgian I have ever had.

M: Full bodied and creamy.

D: I could drink many more of these... well maybe if i lived there.

Not my favorite style, and definately not my favorite beer, but this is by far my favorite beer of this style.

02-22-2011 01:46:11 | More by BS68280
Photo of Bills453
Bills453

Ohio

4.59/5  rDev -0.4%

Poured from a bottle into the Westy 12 chalice in celebration of the birth of my second son!

Appearance - a nice dark brown, reddish, almost purple tint. Kind of the color of prune juice with some fantastic tan-brown head!

Smell - cherries, dark fruits, prunes. Bit of yeast.

Taste - an amazing mixture of fruits. Probably my favorite Belgian offering, but not my favorite beer ever.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and refreshing.

Overall - an amazing offering! I'm so glad I was able to try this and the birth of my second son is the best reason ever to crack it open.

02-25-2013 21:41:57 | More by Bills453
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.59/5  rDev -0.4%

I've been saving this brew for a little while since receiving it via joemcgrath27 in a cross-Canada trade (madd props!). The moment has arrived with the birth of our baby daughter this past Monday.

A - Poured into the Westvleteren goblet. Before sediment it pours a crystal clear ruby red, finger of head with some retention and no real lacing. A murky amber brown after sediment.

S - Rich caramel and dark fruit, figs, candied apple, rye bread, toffee, hints of chocolate and cocoa alongside a heavy dose of cloves and a touch of booziness.

T - Pre-sediment pour had a stronger cocoa and burnt malt flavour, dark fruit notes were prominent throughout and post-sediment pour the heavier cloves and candied fruit notes come through. Vineous grape notes, earthy hops and a lingering bitterness come through alongside a hint of ABV heat and sweetness.

M - Lighter bodied ale that is incredibly smooth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - This is one tasty quad and it certainly lives up to the hype. Insanely drinkable, which I would imagine would only improve with time. The high ABV is incredibly well hidden amongst a complex flavour profile. Not only was this an incredible brew, it made for the perfect drink to celebrate such an incredible moment. Thank for sending this treat along Joe!!

04-20-2013 00:20:35 | More by andrenaline
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Acquired one bottle from '12 (thanks to cneville) and one bottle from '11 (from Mike) and did a side-by-side with the '11 Westy and a St. Bernardus Abt 12 - just to see what all the fuss is about. Westy pours a murky, dark brown color that accumulates deep at the bottom with light only passing through near the top of the beer, giving it a lighter, copper color. A beige, creamy head forms but remains small, even with an aggressive pour, though it can be coaxed out easily by swirling the glass. So far, so good.

The aroma was beautiful, and in all honesty, simply everything that a Belgian strong ale should be. Raisins, figs, dates - all lightly sugar coated and soaked with a mild boozy flavor. Sweet, smooth brown sugar, faint roses, lightly toasted nuts, toffee malt, and another complex layer of booze that gets a bit stronger as the beer warms up, until it reaches a slightly phenol-like presence. Earthy and dark, fruity esters abound, along with light hints of spices and Belgian yeasty warmth. It all remains wrapped in an array of sugary and savory aromas - the nose on this is one of the most perplexing things I've come across. Just SO MANY THINGS going on, yet it all mingles so strangely well.

A heavily bread and caramel malt backbone leads the way as I take my first sip. I don't have much time to linger with that, however, because my palate is immediately thrust into a flavor profile more stunning than the aroma. Candied grapes, figs, dates, and more dark, juicy, overripe fruits. Sweet red licorice, light booze, honey, calm, earth and fruit esters, mild clove and warming spices, Belgian yeast... I could go on and on. Truth is, the flavor profile on this bad boy is truly an enigma - so many things happening and there's no way you're going to capture all of them with mere words. Some heavy bread and almost rye-like flavors in the aftertaste, buttery and smooth. Somewhat on the heavy side without being thick or syrupy; silky and smooth on the palate, very creamy and not sticky at all - decent carbonation, even for nearly two years of age.

So, is this the "best beer in the world" ? No. Well, in my opinion, anyway. BUT - I can definitely see why some people might agree with that, and I can definitely say that it deserves to be in the discussion. Even though it doesn't necessary top my list, it's certainly one of the best and most well crafted beers I've had, and no doubt a benchmark example of the style. If you love beer, do yourself a favor and seek one of these out. It was really an amazing beer, and the experience of enjoying it for yourself (or with a friend) is excellent.

02-27-2013 13:08:25 | More by tectactoe
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

12.oz bottle from 2009 AND an 11.2oz bottle from 1995 poured into a sampling glass - HUGE thanks to stowehop for his generosity!

Pours a rich deep golden/amber/ruby with a thing light fluffy head, surprisingly still there on the '95 but more subtle than on the '09. Nose is very complex, slight booze - but not much for a 10.2% beer. Has quite a bit of sweetness, and on the '95 a ton of rum/raisin as well.

Taste is very crisp and sweet and it's got some complex grain/earthy flavors. Light belgian yeastiness to it with raisins dominating the flavor. The '95 as much more mellow and drinkable/smooth but the '09 was very bright and sharp, both were excellent!

12-13-2009 15:17:56 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

A 330ml bottle with a BB of March 2014. Acquired from a Belgian webshop a while back. I've been looking forward to this one for a while, and as it's review no. 400 I thought I'd celebrate....

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A deep reddish-brown - tons of yeast sediment slide into the glass as I empty the bottle. Yields a decent head of creamy tan foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding. An opulent aroma of sweet, fruity goodness: plums, figs, dried fruit, molasses, brown sugar and yeast. A warm, port-like booziness rounds it off.

Tastes of rich, sweet malt with a complex, fruity character. Notes of plums, dried fruit, brown sugar, molasses, port/sherry and a hint of dry yeast. A warming alcoholic finish with a spicy, astringent character and a hint of grain. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, with tingly carbonation and a prickly sensation from the alcohol. Highly astringent; dries the palate. Aftertaste of sweet, boozy fruitiness.

Impressive - a beer with a big character. Sweet, fruity booze; it's almost like sherry in flavour. Not sure that I would rate this as the greatest beer in the world, but it's certainly a show-stopper. Perhaps I'll revisit after a few hundred more reviews and see if a revision is needed. Definitely one to seek out and sample.

04-01-2012 01:43:40 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

(Served in a chalice)
this beer is from 27.04.02

A- This beer pours a deep warm dark brown with lots of little suspended bits. The head is a thin web of bubbles around the rim.

S- The smell of sweet dark cherries, caramel malt and a faint sour cherry in the finish. Note of oak and vanilla come through aswell. This is a wonderful complex aroma with lots of depth.

T- The taste of dark caramel malt with some notes of lighter grain mixed. The taste of oak and vanilla come through in the finish with some slight sweetness in the finish but very faint. The notes of brown sugar and cherries are faint in the front of the taste along with some raisins.

M- The mouthfeel is very light and there is no alcohol warmth or astringency to this beer.

D- This is a very nice beer. The notes of malt and sugar are balanced with a nice oaky flavor and some cherry characteristics come through but it is not a sweet or hot beer. This has done well with age and I hope to review it fresh one day.

12-31-2005 03:23:39 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

11.2oz. brown bottle, yellow cap - no label, poured into a snifter. Best before 4.12.10

A: Pours a deep burgundy with zero visibility. Just over 1 finger of light toffee head forms and holds nicely. Bit chunks of lacing to start, then decent patching.

S: Very similar to the 8 but more intense and with a phenolic line. Very clean smelling caramel malts and plenty of boozy dark fruits.

T/M: I'm really diggin' the alcohol in this. Normally I only like an alcohol warming in my beer... when I want something stronger I'll pour some single malt. Not the case here. The alcohol adds such an amazing complexity to everything. The dark fruits pop so much better. The caramel malts are still as great as ever but with an 'adult theme' haha. The mouthfeel is just as perfect as the 8.

D: I don't typically like Belgians too much but the 8 and 12 are definitely worthy. I won't call this my favorite beer but I'd never argue with someone for saying it's theirs.

02-11-2008 04:00:58 | More by pwoods
Photo of Stigs
Stigs

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

well, why not. opened a Westy 8 tonight and it gushed, so I took this as an odd sign and reason to pop a 12. 11.2oz bottle (dated ) served in a Chimay chalice.

A - pours with a quarter inch of loose, sudsy very light tan colored foam. some sediment started creeping out of the bottle before I stopped short, saving that for later. the beer is cloudy, very dense amber/brown in color.

S - insane amounts of dark, juicy fruits....figs, raisins, red grapes, cherries...some leathery and tobacco notes, brown sugar, bubblegum, white wine, brown sugar, and caramel. I could probably go on for another 15 minutes. nice.

T - begins with a pleasant mix of sugary sweetness and yeasty Belgian notes. brown sugar, massive amounts of candi sugar, dark fruits (apples, raisins, figs), yeasty phenols, leather, molasses, spices (nutmeg and black pepper) just come alive in the mouth. light notes of boozy vodka, aspirin, and banana near the end. as complex as the nose and just as enjoyable.

M - light to medium body with very sharp, dense, and pinchy carbonation. insanely refreshing and awakening alcohol burn, though it certainly doesnt drink like a 10% beer. burns the mouth (pleasantly) with the history of generations of Trappist monks.

D - an insanely well crafted beer here, the fact they can pull off flavors like this without any flashy ingredients is just mind boggling. just cant begin to describe how complex yet delicately constructed this one is. a real treat, and worthy of its own special occasion. cheers to the monks of St. Sixtus for this one.

12-12-2010 06:56:15 | More by Stigs
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

330ml bottle with the best by date of 30.08.09 printed on the yellow cap. This is my first time having this particular beer so I figured there is no better time to try it than to help ring in the new year. The smell is extremely aromatic and is simply fantastic! There are a lot of dark malty fruits (plums and raisins), Belgian yeast and bread. The taste is slightly spicy malt, fresh dark bread and a lingering warming from the alcohol. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with medium-low carbonation. No doubt that this is certainly a world class beer that is extremely well crafted. Now that I have had both the 12 and 8, I actually enjoy the Westy 8 even more than it's big brother.

01-01-2007 05:20:41 | More by cjgator3
Photo of dbossman
dbossman

Nebraska

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

A: Cloudy oak colored with a thin film of a head and a thin film of lacing

S: Wow, dark fruits: figs, plums, raisins, and cherries and lots of grapes (I actually had my 4-year-old daughter smell the beer and without prompting she said it smelled like "grapes, lots of red grapes")--quite vinous almost like a semi-sweet red wine; also a bit oaky; wow, I am excited for this

T: Sweet and malty; dark fruits and cherries and grapes; man, this is vinous and woody and fantastic

F: Medium mouth feel with subtle but pleasant carbonation--creamy, yeasty

O: Such a wonderful beer; sweet but not cloying, dark fruits, grapes, and delicious

01-22-2012 05:13:53 | More by dbossman
Photo of edproctor
edproctor

California

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

A- pours a dark colaish brown. Two finger light khaki head with nice lacing. Thick viscous tears slowly crawl down the glass.
S- lots of fruity sweetness. Dark cherry, plum, fig, and a fruit cakey breadyness. Still some alcohol presence, but it's almost masked by a honey like sweetness. What a funky nose this beer has. This just smells like a masterfully crafted quad.
T- wow! This is a hot little devil! More spicy than anything. Cloves, fruitcake, dried raisins. Not as much of the fruit as there is in the nose. Reminds me of a fine cognac or something.
M- thick and full bodied. The first sip the effervescence just went in and opened up my palate. Finish is dry.
O- overall, I feel that this bottle of westy 12 was damn enjoyable! Is it one of the best beers I've ever had? Well, I'll put it in my top 5 for sure. All hype aside this is a beautifully crafted beer and, in my opinion, on the same level as roch 10, and st bern 12. Give this beer 18 months and maybe it will rise to greatness. I'll give it a solid A.

12-16-2012 04:59:13 | More by edproctor
Photo of bierman2000
bierman2000

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

This beer is smooth opaque and malty. The alcohol is present form the 1st sip yet still very well hidden. An excellent beer thast is well worth the search. Mine was tasted at the Brewery and also in Brugge at a cozy pub. This beer is served in a chalice and should be consumed at close to room temperature for best enjoyment.

04-18-2006 23:22:01 | More by bierman2000
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours a murky brown with an eggshell off-white head that eventually thins out in a nice thin layer.

Smell is yeast with some raisin and plum.

Initial taste is very forward with brown sugar some fig, nut, vanilla and fresh baked bread also make an appearance. Finishes with a little nutty bready sweetness with some bitterness.

Very creamy and smooth. Excellent.

Finally got to try one of these top rated beers and it doesn't disappoint. The velvety smooth mouthfeel is probably the highlight, but the taste is very balanced and complex.

09-10-2011 15:38:41 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of afrokaze
afrokaze

California

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Westy Wednesday! Had to make this my first review of 2013! 2011 bottle poured into a goblet.

Looks like the prototypical dark Belgian - dark ruby red/brown, 2 fingers of light tan head, decent legs and nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Aroma is just like a spiced caramel apple up front. Clove, slight banana, cinnamon, nutmeg. Even deeper earthy spices like anise and black pepper, tobacco, dark candi sugar. Dark fruit, figs, black currant, and more.

The perfect dessert beer. Lots of figgy pudding and cake like spice, raisin, a bit of cacao, caramel, pear, honey, candi sugar, molasses, toffee, bready malt. The richest and most layered beer I've ever had, certain flavors I can't even describe. A bit of heat distracts at the back of the palate.

This is what really sets this apart from other quads. Rich and slightly slick but sits just enough on the finish to match the rich spice and fruit, satisfying almost like spiced bread pudding and coffe cake.

Hard to deny that it's one of the best beers I've ever had. It really feels like liquid bread or a dessert - really satisfying but I could only have one every once in a while. But if I could I would definitely have it a few times a year. Absolutely delicious, and a great start to 2013.

01-02-2013 20:15:45 | More by afrokaze
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Very dark. The color of a raisin, black except at the right angle when it turns a deep mahogany brown. Light khaki head is a creamy foam that is long-lasting. Laces the glass well. Yeasty caramel on the nose. The taste is vaguely stout-like. The richness of the flavor is very nice but not too rich to make it hard to drink. Caramel, spicy yeast and wood come out first. As it warms, more coffeeish flavor and some lactic characteristics. The beer manages to be slightly creamy and bright on the palate at the same time. Amazingly easy drinking for its strength.

08-08-2002 10:49:38 | More by aracauna
Photo of DaveJanssen
DaveJanssen

Germany

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Split a 330 mL picked up at in de vrede. Reviewed 10/8/2009 in tulips.

Ar: spicy and funky, dark sweet with floral, tart fruit, much better with warmth, alcohol, grape, earthy, herbal hop, fruity and doughy (dark dough), unique, similar to 8, smooth fruitiness, lightly wine like, plum/prune, strong grape juice

Ap: rocky tan mousse like head, very good retention, hazy dark mahogany/deep red with purple highlights, smooth lace

F: dark fruit, heavy, woody with unique spice, grape, plum, herbal hop, unique assertive and rich, alcohol, strong grape, rich berries (blackberry), smooth roast, toffee, dried dark fruit, starts with earthy caramel/toffee, then grape and fruity with berries and light tartness, then spicy herbal end with hop bitterness and alcohol, woody grape and earth like grape seeds, sweet but pleasant, good sipper, long complex spicy taste, dark spices, less spicy tart grape would help balance, *minty grapey spicy alcohol with tartness defines this beer, resinous hop, dark dough, pastries, prune and date, dark dry fruit, dark cherry, chocolate hints, much more bready than expected, unique grape, much better than St. Bernardus 12

M: Thick and Creamy, high fine carbonation, chewy, great fullnes without being too heavy, light alcohol heat in stomach/throat

O: different than remembered, great hop, very unique minty herbal resin and earthy grape, very good, complex, better with warmth, rich layers, assertive, *more fruity than roasty, *huge flavor, like the blonde more

*= ideas from fellow taster

02-06-2010 09:07:33 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of LambicPentameter
LambicPentameter

Kansas

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Was able to get my hands on this beer of legends thanks to the kindness of a trade with fellow BA Stevedore. Enjoyed out of the classic label-less 330 mL label-less brown bottle with the embossed ring around the neck and nothing but a cap to denote its origin. Cap is marked clearly with an enjoy by date of April 25th, 2016. Poured into a large brandy snifter.

Appearance - Gentle pour yields an effervescent khaki head of champagne-like bubbles about a finger and a half thick. Beneath the head lies a dark brown body that obscures the light, but when held up in front of a light source reveals a hue of ruddy maroon, like clay. With about an inch of liquid left in the bottle, the liquid coming out of the bottle turns from a light caramel brown to a cloudier tone from the sediment. The head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a thick rim of foam around the edge of the glass, with a thin film of bubbles across about half of the surface, with a smattering of thicker bubbles in the middle. Lacing is sparse, but when I tilt the glass to look at the color, it leaves some nice legs that cling to the glass for quite awhile before slinking back down into the glass.

Smell - I could probably sit here and sniff at this one for awhile. Each new inhalation reveals slightly new aroma profiles. Initially, I got some faint astringency and booziness, but began to detect notes of vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg, dark fruits--mostly raisin at this juncture. There is also a pleasant floral element to the smell, imparting a gentleness that I don't tend to expect from such a high ABV beer. Soft hints of alcoholic esters dance throughout, but don't overpower the more subtle notes.

Taste - Picking up where the hauntingly delicate aroma left off, the flavor is a bit more aggressive, but only by comparison to the aroma. It's far from a mouth-punch, but it does contain complexity upon complexity. Caramel malt, some faint roasty bitterness, plum, black currant, fig, vanilla, anise. Some spiciness that reminds me of rye as well, though I doubt there is any of that grain in this beer. Mind you, it's taking me sip upon sip--much like with the aroma--to get all these notes. One sip, the fig and vanilla will hit me, and on the next one, it's the considerable presence of the esters that punch through. Doing my best to let it warm up to capture every single bit of the massive amount of depth contained therein. In many ways, it reminds me of a fine brandy, but a little more earthy.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, but lighter than I expected. Not sure where that expectation came from, but there you have it. Carbonation is moderate. Honestly, the thinness of the feel is the first major qualm I have with this beer.

Overall, a beer that surely lives up to the massive reputation that precedes it. I think my favorite aspect is the wonderfully complex, but admittedly subdued, aroma, but there truly isn't a negative component to this beer. Now to get my hands on some of the 8 and Blonde...

12-26-2013 04:30:35 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Pulled out my new Maudite glass and poured it. Nice dark amber that sported a thin but lasting head. Very yeasty nose that was pleasant to smell. First taste was new to the tastbuds, almost velvety (not velveeta !) on the tongue. Great aftertaste. I bought the bottle for a mere $6.99 since it has been talked about so on the site. Worth every penny, and I will need to return to the only place I have seen it in NJ and buy some more. Lasting impression that I termed "great Belgian on steroids" to my wife. Her comments were different and interesting. She likes it also.

07-25-2003 23:20:04 | More by Gavage
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Finally decided to crack open my sole bottle of this much heralded beer. Roughly two years in the cellar, after drinking it I could easily see how this would be a prime candidate for extended aging. Perhaps when it becomes available stateside I will spring for a box and stash it away.

Pours a deep mahogany with faint reddish highlights; a small cream colored head settles fairly quickly but becomes a foamy cappuccino topping as it rests and remains there for the duration of the beer. Patchy lacing slips around the sides of the glass. The aroma is complex as is the taste. In fact this is one of the most complex beers I’ve tried, with tons of nuanced layers emerging over time and as the beer warms. Rum-soaked raisins and fruitcake, apples, almonds and marzipan, toffee and caramel, plums, figs, dates, and prunes all make an appearance. Each sip reveals another facet. Has to be served at cellar temperature to glean all of these fine details. A restrained bitterness emerges in the aftertaste, and the finish is fairly dry, with fading memories of dark fruit, pleasantly warming alcohol, and marzipan.

Medium-bodied and carbonated, clean and crisp, but velvety smooth and creamy. Yes, it’s probably a bit overrated due to its scarcity, but it’s certainly the best quad I’ve tried. Others come close, and it doesn’t destroy Rochefort 10 or even the best of De Dolle, but it is better than them, deeper and more complex but a good measure. Worthy of its place atop the pantheon of Trappist beers to be sure.

09-17-2012 15:32:08 | More by tobelerone
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,583 ratings.