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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,235 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,235
Reviews: 1,676
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,165
Gots: 1,629 | FT: 123
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

(Yellow Cap)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,235 | Reviews: 1,676
Photo of Jpwv
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap date is 15.12.12 (about 1 year 2 months).

A: Dark cloudy amber with a tight bubbly thick tan head that quickly subsides to a minimal head. Some sediment floating about.

S: Candi sugar, dates, brown sugar...as it warms slight cherry and alcohol appear.

T: Starts creamy caramelized brown sugar covered dates, transitions to a slight alcohol astringency, slight yeast and a hint of chocolate. A candi sugar/brown sugar sweet taste lingers. Very complex to the point where I don't do it justice in my description.

M: Creamy, perfectly carbonated. First Westy 12 so Im not sure what the year has done to the carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden but enough is there to remind you that you are drinking an alcoholic beverage.

I have read many times that Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus Abt 12 are good substitutions for Westy 12. I have had both on multiple occasions and could not disagree more. There is no substitute for this beer! May have found a new favorite beer.

Photo of meechum
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this bottle along with 5 friends back in October from E-bay and waited until the New Year for the sampling. Had this on New Years Eve and it was exquisite.

Poured into a oversized wine glass as that's the closest I had to a goblet. The tan head was extreme and fell slowly. The smell was rich in fruits, spices, just a hint of biscuity malts and a piney hops (very subtle). The taste lived up to the expectation. This is not a beer you drink by the gulp that's for sure. The taste was as big as the smell and lived up to everything I thought it would be..very complex..it started off to me with a immediate alcohol warmth and taste of roasted barley and biscuits and then flowered into a nice thick fig and raisin taste and finished with a bite of hops that was subtle but cut the fruity tastes.

Overall this was a great beer and surely one of the best on the planet. I don't think I would even call it my favorite and if I never get to try another again I'm glad I got one shot and giving it a try

Photo of PatYoda
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is murky brown with some sediment at the bottom. Surprisingly long lasting lacing which made me happy! I'm not getting a whole lot from the smell at first, but this bottle was served a bit too cold at the Hop Leaf in Chicago. As it warms, the smell opens up, but is not as powerful as I would like. It smells very spicy and a little alcoholic - in a mellow, rum-like way. There are also some fruity tones, which take the form of apple and cherries mainly. The taste is like no other beer I have tasted. The best way I can describe it is to tell you to imagine the monks mashed up some apple pie and some pumpkin pie into a liquid and added some Captain Morgan spiced rum. That's all I need to say about that. The mouthfeel is very luxurious and silky, and this beer is thick! This really complements the dessert like flavor well. Overall, I'm very impressed, and I like this one better than the 8. I definitely couldn't drink this every day because of the sheer sinfulness of it all (sorry monks), but I couldn't get enough of it when I had it so I would rate the drinkability extremely high.

Photo of Noxious26
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml brown bottle with pry-off cap. I like the ridge around the next that spells Westvleteren. Poured in it's own branded goblet. From one of the gift packs brought to North America this year. Purchased at Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton. Special thanks to my buddy Scott for the hook up!

Reddish-brown in colour and hazy. Beige head is 1/8 inch on the pour but recedes to a few islands and a ring around the outside. Spots of lace here and there.

Aroma is sweet, boozy and vinuous. Reminds me a little of wine or port. Dried fruit. Almost like a fruit cake.

Reminiscent of drinking champagne. Lots of tiny pin prick bubbles. Strong boozy kick in the pants right off the start. Hints of dried fruit, fruit cake. Fruit cake mixed with champagne.

Quite unlike anything I've had before. As much as the alcohol is very prevalent, it's not at all overpowering nor does it have that alcohol burn. Complex, subtle, sweet, tart, bubbly, boozy, smooth. The one thing that amazes me, is the mouthfeel. If I didn't know it was a beer, I'd swear it was a sparkling wine. I can't say it's the best beer I've ever had, or my favourite, but it's probably the most unique and pleasurable in it's own way. Not something I'd want to drink every day, but a rare treat.

Photo of herman77
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Brabander. Bottle cap date of 18/11/14 so bottled on 11/18/11

A: Murky ice tea color. Tons of carbonation streaming up to form a nice foamy light tan head, looks like a head on a nice oatmeal stout. Great head retention, decent lacing. Love that color.

S: Bready, floral and dark fruits (mainly figs and plums). Some tart apples, thought the nose would be a bit stronger, but still good.

T: Wow! So complex. So smooth. Up front there's nice bready malt with toffee and rich dark fruits. Again, plums, figs and prunes? Then comes some tart green apples and a bit of spice from the yeast. Finishes a bit warming that brings a nice carmel/toffee sweetness and slight tartness that lasts and lasts. It literally makes your mouth water after each sip.

It's incredibly hard to pin down all the flavors since there is so much going on.

M: Mouthfeel is awesome. High on the medium side, with a lot of carbonation, but its not prickly. Weird since it's so smooth, like liquid velvet.

O: In one word; phenomenal. Awesome drinkability and the ABV is hidden pretty well. I was a little concerned about the hype, but this lived up to it for sure.

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...

Photo of Slap_and_Pickle
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

After trolling for months, I was finally able to get my hands on a West 12 (thanks to a wonderful person). This brew most definitely lives up to the standard of possibly being one of the best in the world.

A - pours dark red with a minimal tan head. Notable sediments.

S - Enormous aroma, smells predominantly of raisins and a dark chocolate brownie (at least to me)

T/M - I was expecting a boozey tinge however none found; extremely well balanced. Coated my tongue deliciously. Well bodied, carbonation was excellent. Taste was spot on with the scents, impressed on the drinkability.

O - This is the mother of all Quads; the standard set by Westy is impeccable. At the end of it all you're left with a beautiful toasty to borderline malty after taste; licking your lips.

Photo of TRICKYD1CK
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served out of the bottle into a Rochefort chalice. Aged 6 months. Born on 6/7/11. Consumed on 12/7/11.

First things first, I am coming into this beer with immense hype. How can a beer ever live up to its representation of "best beer in the world?"

A - Very dark mahogany brown color with an off-cream colored head. Head dissipates a little faster than the Blonde and 8.

S - Faint aroma of dark fruit and brown sugar. Not as aromatic as the other two either. Hmmm.
%0

Photo of flagmantho
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am very excited that I get to review Westvleteren 12 for my 100th BeerAdvocate review. I have long awaited this day.

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: beautiful slightly opaque mahogany with a nice very light tan head. Gorgeous!

Smell: very subtle; floral with a bit of a spicy yeast character.

Taste: frankly, the aroma did not meet my preconcieved notions of how good this beer is supposed to be; however, the flavor blows them away. The malt is well-rounded and flavors migrate from light berry to tree fruit to a delicious, almost floral je ne sais quoi. Is it too late to become a monk?

Mouthfeel: body is the heavy side of medium, the impression is one of a very light syrup without being at all cloying or over-thick. There is not a lot of carbonation, but I don't think it matters.

Drinkability: the only thing impeding the drinkability is availability. More please.

Photo of Fahmie25
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

11.2oz bottle poured into a wide mouthed snifter, taking care not to disturb the yeast. Best before date of 10/2/15 is stamped on the cap.

A: Pours a dark, mildly hazy brown color. The rocky, off-white head rises at least four fingers atop the glass, even on a pour of average strength. The head is quite persistent, and a thick crown remains as long as there is beer in the glass. Lacing consists of a single jagged ring and the odd patch here and there.

S: Very fruity on the nose with aromas of fig, date, plum, pear, and bruised apples. Complex yeasty scents. Nutty, earthy, slightly musty, hint of leather. Brown cocoa and bread crust. Very restrained whiff of spicy alcohol. Subtle cracked pepper and spice.

T: Treacle, brown sugar, molasses, dark caramel. Slight phenolic edge brings peppery and spicy tastes. Subtle earthy/herbal hop character. Dried figs, dates, and rum-soaked golden raisins. Honeyed sweetness. Earthy, musty, and nutty yeast. Spicy alcohol is barely noticeable toward the back end. Drying finish of brown cocoa and fading yeasty spice.

M: Moderately heavy in body. Mouth-filling, creamy, lush, and ridiculously smooth. Carbonation caresses the palate and scrubs and lifts subtly and seamlessly. Warming in the mouth and in the pit of the stomach. This might possibly be the best mouthfeel I've ever experienced.

O: So this is Westvleteren 12, perhaps the most elusive and highly rated beer on the planet. I must say, its reputation is certainly deserved. This beer is a work of seamless balance and grand complexity. It just feels more focused and more refined than any other beer within the style, and it may well be the most drinkable beer of its size. There are those within the style that draw very close comparisons, and some may even have a slight edge in terms of complexity and depth of flavor. However, it's the balance and sheer drinkability that set Westvleteren 12 apart and make it worthy of its place among the world's elite beers.

Photo of sommersb
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 03-04-2013
Freshness: Best by 2015
Packaging: 330ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Chalice
Purchased: Received in a trade

Really stoked to finally try this beer! Review #500

Pours a clear and dark reddish-brown color; the last pour adds some yeast murkiness. The off-white head is huge and has a superb amount of retention and excellent lacing. Lots of bubbles are seen streaming from the bottom of the glass.

Aromas feature sweet malt and dark fruits, such as figs, dates, grapes and raisin. Other aromas include musty, oak notes and spicy yeast.

The taste is similar to the nose, starting with dark, sweet malts with hints of molasses, licorice and dark cherries. Also has a woody character to it, although the bitterness is very low if not non-existent. Other flavor notes include an acidity or tartness of tannin, as in a wine. Smooth but complex

The mouthfeel is at first dominated by the very high carbonation level, with a medium to thick body. Has a fairly potent alcohol warming presence. The finish is semi-sweet with lingering dark and ripened fruits. Tastes better as the beer warms up a bit.

Overall this was a pleasure to sip on. Is it one of the world's best beers? Not sure, but probably so; it's hard to evaluate this without being somewhat influenced by the notoriety. It's in the top ten of the 500 ones I've reviewed. Either way, I'm excited to have tried this and would recommend it heartily!

Thanks to baybum for this one!

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dear friends just returning from Belgium honoured me with this offering that we opened the same night due to a bit of dampness around the top of the bottle, possibly due to the flight over the Atlantic. The bottle cap bore the date 26-05-10. I could hardly wait to see what this Trappist offering was all about!

Poured into a Chimay goblet - with the letters turned around ofcourse. This showed as a dark, opaque plum or prune colour that, under a very bright light, had an off-orange hue around the edges and was hazy and cloudy in the middle. A half-inch head flattenned out to a thinner crown of very tiny bubbles that covered the whole top of the beer. These were a multitude of slow risers that persisted throughout.

The smell was a rich aroma of fresh dates. Full, rich taste in the mouth with balanced bitterness. The finish was elegant and satisfying and not overpowering in the least despite the alcohol content. The mouthfeel was really exceptional and the finish satisfying, long and lingering. The subtle carbonation stayed for the duration of the tasting, even while there was less than a half inch left in the glass. This was truly a delightful taste experience, many thanks for this one.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here it is. What, by many accounts, is the best beer in the entire world. Purchased at Bier Tempel in Brussels, along with the 8 and the Blond. Carried to Bruges until I realised I didn't have a bottle opener. After I attempted to prise off the cap with the edge of the table and the toilet-roll dispenser in the hotel room, my girlfriend became bemused and went out to buy me a bottle opener.

To the big question, however: can a beer this hyped live up to its expectations?

Freshness date of 20/04/14 stamped on the cap.

Pours a murky red brown, deeply coloured with amazingly fine carbonation feeding a modest, but amazingly fine-bubbled head. Lacing is thick and creamy, like uncooked meringue. Body is light, but slick looking, holding some of that fine carbonation when tilted. The bead is what makes this beer look so very refined. It's an absolutely lovely lookjng brew.

Nose is fine and light, tantalisingly giving off its aromas of spicy esters, fruity tannins and portlike booze. Slight tingle of lemon acidity to it as well. To be perfectly honest, though, its a lot less robust than I expected. The characters are very pleasant, and nicely balanced, but I've had beers with similar characters that have been fuller and more intoxicating. I'm not saying the subtlety here is bad. Just surprising.

Taste is lovely, however. Broad and long, giving wonderful complexity over the tongue, and developing as time passes along its length. Characters of raisins, tea leaf, red grapes, banana skin, rosemary, vanilla, cherry brandy, with a boozy and mildly astringent finish that you think is there to clean it up, but in fact just adds its own subtle complexity. Feel is sublime, just so smooth and supple and slick and thinly creamy. Now I understand the lack of body. Any more, and you'd look at overwhelming the subtle complexities.

I don't think I've had a better Belgian. This is top of the style easily, and it does easily warrant such an impressive place in the beer ethos. But, no, it's not the best beer in the world. The best beer in the world is still out there somewhere, tantalising me with its mythical presence. Some day, I will find it.

And unless I want to think that it's all downhill from here, I have to believe that until the end of my beer-drinking days.

Photo of Timadae
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into own trappist glass. Cloud amber brown when pour thinner than expected, light bubbly head, but not much but a bit of lacing. Not overly aromatic, neither hoppy or malty hints of acidic and alcohol. Raisiny fruit and a touch of maltiness with a nice acidic note. Very warm mouthfeel, but not to heavy at all. Nice crisp acidic note on the finish with a lingering flavour.
Excellent and very complex beer!

Photo of CoolJosh
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to try this beer! Huge thanks to Deuane and Carolyn (Sierrags), I owe you two big time!!!

Poured into a stemmed tulip from a 12oz bottle. The appearance defines eye candy. A very hazy and viscous brown with no visibility through the body. Pours an initially foamy creamy light khaki head with streaks of what looks like cocoa powder. The head retains at a creamy, thin layer. Slight lacing rests about an inch above the body.

The smells is mind numbingly complex. Every time my nose takes a whiff, I smell something different. I want to break this down as far as I can so hear goes... Tons of toffee/bitter caramel scents, light belgian candied sugars, raisins, white grapes, brown sugar, light coriander, semi tart cherry, and some light cocoa scents. The smell isn't in your face, but it blends so well together.

The taste is exceptional in the same way that the scent is. Everything noted in the scent is visible in the taste in some form or another in addition to some figs, vanilla, and some plum and red grapes. This beer is so smooth, I don't know if this has come with age (2.5 years cellared) or what, but this is such a well crafted beer.

Initially, the high carbonation is a little bit off-putting, but as it warms and dies down it becomes much more pleasing. I didn't really understand the darker complex belgians when I began my journey. Beers like this, Rochefort 8/10, and St Bernardus 12 really help in making sense of the magical and mythical works of the trappists!

Photo of Skagbaron
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle of this 'mythologic' trappist beer when a great friend (thanks, Dre!) visited the Abbey of Saint Sixtus.

Served from a chilled bottle, with the smoking gun when opened, and poured into a goblet.

Poured a even dark brown color with 2 centimeters of tan/brown large foamy bubble head, that slowly disappeared to thin wisps but re-emerged with agitation. Beautiful micro-bubble carbonation like a Guiness commercial.

Smell is surprisingly subdued, malty and caramel tones. Smell returns with a nasal flux following sipping.

Taste is a mild blend of figgy, caramel, malt flavors. Some clove and bread in there. Hop bitterness is notably absent. Strong alcohol content is almost hidden. Aftertaste is more of the same with a smooth decay.

Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasant, and made more robust by the lingering aftertaste.

Overall, an impressive blend of flavors and subdued notes. Like an artist's palate. High abv makes the repeated drinkability low beyond savoring a few in celebration. Awesome overall. No hype here.

Photo of Fish113d
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I gotta thank my best buddy, Sulldaddy for bringing this one home to me recently. He made my year getting this for me!

Pouring into tulip at a chilled temp (recommended on bottle), it pours a thick brown w/ a 3 cm tannish spongy head that is very dense!

Sipping, I get lots of sweet brown malts along with a slightly sweet peach flavor- some alcohol drying on the finish w/ a bold malty after-taste. During drinking, i fell in love with the flavor so much that I had difficulty reviewing how complex and yummy I found it. I just know it tasted EFFIN' GOOD!

If there's a perfect balanced beer, this is it! Full-body, carbonation wasn't too bold or tingly allowing more flavor to come out, while the smooth body takes over along with a very slight dry finish. WOW!

Drinkable? Does a bear shit in the woods?! By far maybe the best beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking!

Photo of DouggiePhresh
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured smoothly in my Chimay chalace with an off white head that quickly dissipated into a thin foam floating on the top of the molasses colored beer. Very fine carbonation. No transparance at all

Smell: Smells of dark, candied, fermented fruits. Raisins come to mind, maybe figs too.

Taste: Sweet at the front, alcoholic fruit in the back. Aftertaste is candied fruits and alcoholic fumes.

Mouthfeel: Velvety feel as the foam touches the lips. Sticky and viscous. Coats my mouth with foam.

Drinkability: As with any quad, drinkable in moderation. I would say because of the lack of carbonation, more drinkable than most.

Photo of cbingham24
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Murky dark brown with a solid finger and a half of head that sits around and leaves slabs of lace.

S- Sweet malt, toffee and sugar. Some liquorice and warming alcohols.

T- A medium to thick body. Candy sugars, molasses and liquorice. Bitter roasted barley and hops. Starts dry and definately becomes sweeter. A slight alcohol that lingers in the back of the throat. mouth.

M- Good medium level carbonation. The generous malt body does give it a good solid almost chewy feel.

O- Sweet and thick. A joyous discovery. Doesn't get much better. The reason Trappists are the best. Westy 12 you have my heart.

Photo of jera1350
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to GOGRANDE for this offering.

A date of 27.10.12 on the cap.

Pours into a Chimay Chalice a muddy brown color with all kinds of sediment suspended about. The head is about a finger thick, tan in color and so thick you could cut it with a knife. Lacing? Plenty.

To be honest, the nose is rather faint. Picking up some lightly roasted malt, milk chocolate and some light fruitiness. Maybe it needs to warm even more, but right now, I smell nothing special.

Okay, so the nose isn't that great. Well, the taste more than makes up for it! Where to begin? There is no one thing that just pops out, it is really unexplainable. Just a complex meshing of roasty malt, malted milk balls, chocolate, nougat, rum and dark fruit such as dates. I cannot do this justice. The alcohol is there, but it's not showing that the beer is over ten percent in any way. The finish is so pleasant and clean. Just amazing.

Mouthfeel is like a milk spongebath on palate. Full bodied, thick, rich, and creamy velvet. Amazing again.

It's crazy how well this beer drinks. I am honored to have tried it and have to say it is every bit as good as anyone has ever said. Amazing, amazing, amazing. There will soon come a time where I will NEED to have this again.

Photo of jvajda
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark red-brown with thick four finger head. There was a lot of yeast in the bottle, which settled at the base of the glass.
Smell: Malty with a strong smell of figs.
Taste: Wow. The most complex beer I've ever had. It's flavor starts with malt, goes to sweet bananas and figs, then nuts and malt, finishing with alcohol and bitterness. Very hearty. More forgiving than I expected.
Mouthfeel: The beer has a smooth feel partly due to the light carbonation.
Drinkability: For a quadruple, this beer is very drinkable. It doesn't sit as heavy in the stomach as other beers, yet is rich and hearty. This beer is an absolute joy to drink.

Brewed in March 2004 and sampled in May 2004. I've got five more, that I'll put away for aging. I can't wait to see how this beer matures.

Photo of dasenebler
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

.33cl, bottled in September 2010.

Rich mahogany color, copious off-tan creamy head-- really a beautiful appearance, though with lots of yeast sediment on the final pour. Very nice lacing.

Aroma is interesting though subtle, with some grape fruitiness, toasted malts and buttery caramel. Booze is there as well.

Easily one of the most complex ales I've ever tasted. Initially sweet, with candied and brown sugars. Then a pretty strong bitterness is revealed, and the finish is remarkably dry for the style. Seductive and complex dark fruit. The aftertaste is roasty and chocolatey. After a few sips, a pleasant warming effect sets in. As the beer warms, a yeasty-spicy character becomes apparent, adding to the depth of this amazing ale. The mouthfeel is very effervescent, coating the tongue in full, smooth and creamy layers. Although it's very strong, it's very drinkable, with a decently disguised alcohol.

This beer deserves its status as one of the best. THE best? Who knows. Westy 12 is a dry, balanced Quad, and this is what makes it a beautiful beer.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My boyfriend got this for me as a Christmas present, last year, I recently pulled out a bottle for my 28th birthday.

Pours a beautiful brown/mahogany, thick head, lots of lacing, nice retention. The smell is a bit subtle--not as big as I expected. Almost like wine. Also some clove, lots of dark fruit, a bit of booze and yeast, and maybe even some banana? Great, but really not what I was expecting. The taste is just incredible--more dark fruit and wine, grapes, brown sugar, raisins--very faint alcohol. As I continue I'm getting lots of bread, a really surprising, balanced bitterness... With every sip it keeps getting more and more complex. Probably one of the most complex beers I've ever tasted, I'm getting hits of things I've never gotten from beer. Incredibly unique. Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, creamy. Drinkability is amazing for the ABV.

I was expecting a lot, and it delivered.

Photo of naterock
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Smokestack Goblet. Extremely cloudy with a reddish brown hue and just a ring of head around the glass. truly a perfect looking quad.

Smell is probably the most complex I've ever smelled. But I can say I wish the volume was kicked up a notch. because it's very hard to pull the distant ones out of the background. Candied sugar and a Vanilla/banana/burnt currants and some exceptional figgy undertones. WOW

I thought that because of the hype I wouldn't be blown away....I am. Tastes like it smells with a overly complex flavor. A tingling alcohol twinge scurries it's way down your throat and almost sends chills up your spine. Jesus...

Mouth is overcarbonated at first but flattens out quickly. Slightly dry like it has been wood aged but I'm sure it hasn't. I can't even describe this one past a point. I could enjoy a bottle but I wouldn't dare waste another on a ruined palate.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,235 ratings.