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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.

4,947 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,947
Reviews: 1,632
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 2,977
Gots: 1,442 | FT: 107
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)
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: 4,947 | Reviews: 1,632 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ppoitras
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

200th review, cool...

11.2oz bottle from Vienna Whole Foods, Vienna, VA.

Poured into a Rapscallion snifter, formed a 1/2" creamy beige head over the murky chestnut brew, with red highlights. Foam is here to stay, apparently, not fading, and laces well. Swirlign for aroma raises the head back to its original heights. Creamy, dark, fruity aroma, with tremendous depth of scent, if that makes sense. Needs to be experienced to be understood, I think.

Taste is sweet initially, with fruity notes. Almost seems to evaporate on your tongue, leaving the slight alcohol flavors to mingle with the dark fruits. Mouthfeel is great, creamy and smooth, and drinkability is excellent, as you'd have to sit and drink a few before nailing down everything that's going on for the senses. Unfortunately, abv kind of prevents you from re-examining many in a row, and then there's that whole availability problem. As was the 8, worth the search to enjoy...

ppoitras, Sep 08, 2004
Photo of Indybeer
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle. Poured a deep brown, with a huge frothy head that really stuck around. Lots of lace on the glass. Aroma is a complex mix, malty and sweet. Taste is as complex as the aromas. And as it warms it changes. Lots of sweetmalty goodness, nice and creamy feeling and it goes down so nice. The alcohol is nicely hidden, but makes itself known in the end. A thoroughly enjoyable experiance

Indybeer, Dec 25, 2003
Photo of makisupa
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My father surprised me, last week, with a package on my doorstep. Low and behold, it contained 2-bottles of Westvleteren. The 8 and 12. A few months ago, at a RAQshow, I was lucky enough enough to have my friend Antonio share his recently ordered Westvleteren 8 with me. One worthy for review, but not in this forum. Regardless, the 8 has been placed in my cellar for drinking in probably in 2-years. This leads me to the Westy 12. I let it reside in it's box, out of sunlight, over the weekend. 3-days later I placed it in the fridge and another 4 to 5-days laters we proceeded to drink it. So here we are...

We cooked a generous portion of mussels seasoned in basil, onions, cream, garlic and white wine. We took the Westy 12 out of the fridge, opened it and let it breathe while we ate our mussels, bread and salad and drank a Victory Grand Gru with dinner. After dinner, we poured the bottle into two Tripel Karmeleit tulip glasses. I have a thing for tulip glasses - I prefer them over all others regardless what might be recommended.

The beer poured dark brown into the first glass and produced a half-inch head which dissolved quickly. The second pour resulted in no head and finished with with a much darker, murkier result. The lacing on both was little only resulting in tan bubbles sporadically placed on the edge of the glass. The smell resembles a brown with banana highlights and alcohol is easily traceable through the nostril. From sip to sip the taste is very complex and, like the Westy 8, the finish is as smooth as smooth can be and this is what makes Westy the best beer in the world. Its finish cannot be matched. I hope to order more of this beer as I feel, like Corsendonk Christmas Ale, it will taste much better with age. My guess is 2-years min and max.

makisupa, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of Fordknox
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%

Fordknox, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of kegerator
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this one wuite a bit, for all its hype and being the top rated I was a little disappointed, I really enjoyed the blue cap # 8 much better.
poured out a deep brown hazy color with a huge head, i had trouble getting the head to go away so i could actually drink the beer. I like a nice size head but this one is a little overkill in my opinion.
smelled great, some fruit, and a big nutty smell comes out, some bread.
taste: very nice, much like the smell, but the taste I recived mostly nut and a light sweetness, it went down very smooth though and the alcohol was well hidden but very warming.
I think its a very drinkable beer but I can say I would not spend the 8 - 9 bucks for a 12 ounce bottle again. If I had my choice I would go after the blue cap first

kegerator, May 06, 2004
Photo of jahred
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally found a bottle of this stuff in the nearby liquor store for $7.99 - will it live up to all the hype?

Bottle cap date of 20.03.05 (I assume a "best by" date?)

Poured a dark brown color with a thin head that remained until I finished the beer. Very pretty foam remnants stick to my glass. Yeast remained in the bottom of the glass even after the pour.

Smell is of alcohol, coffee, esters and cherry - very nice, quite deep.

The taste? Quite complex (as hoped for and expected). Many different flavors as it continues to warm. At first I get plum and caramel with a definite alcoholic taste. Later on an almost milky coffee flavor (this surprised me). Then malty characteristics (more surprises!) Then ester tastes and more caramel. Finally, as I finished the glass, I was hit with a lemon-like flavor. Amazing.

Easy to drink because it's so good, but the large alcohol content definitely was getting to me. Not sure yet if it's worth the $7.99 for a 12 oz. bottle, but it's still pretty amazing.

jahred, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split the bottle with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Deep chocolate brown with garnet hues. Relatively clear with a slight chill haze. Pours with a huge khaki/tan head that persists. Head is creamy, bubbly, and thick. Some spotty lacing. This is what the style should be.

Smell: Plums and other dark fruit. Big bite of alcohol with a nice level of yeast influence. Notes of clove and banana along with a spicy estery backing. Some caramel. Loads of heat from the booze. Bread dough and malty sweetness. Raisins and a touch of red wine and oak. Very complex without being aggressive. Great depth. Spicy and sweet.

Taste: Raisins soaked in alcohol. Bready and caramel sweetness. Figs, plums, and hints of ripe cherry. Yeast is aggressive hitting big spicy clove notes with touches of banana. Loads of alcohol heat. Candi sugar sweetness. Very clean and complex. So much ripe fruit. It works really well with yeast strain. Sugar runs the gamut from caramel to toffee and ending just over the line of molasses. Manages to avoid becoming cloying. Estery spices and a big yeast work well with the overall sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than expected with a lively carbonation. Medium body and a very clean finish especially for the style. Drinks smooth and a touch creamy.

Overall: This is the best Belgian beer I've ever encountered. Loads of depth and complexity without being too much. Nice balance and the clean finish is damn impressive. Is it the best beer in the world, no. Is it damn good and worth drinking, absolutely.

Goblinmunkey7, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of HumuloneRed
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark crimson in color with a great off white head and silky lacing.

Bread dough, tobacco, leather and prune in the nose.

Tobacco, cookie dough, plum, leather, and raisin in the flavor.

Very complex, creamy texture and finish.
Very well made beer.

HumuloneRed, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of srandycarter
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip. Cap reads 07.03.1. Served at 48F.

A - Dark brown with small reddish tint, light is difficult to penetrate.
Nice egg white head. Massive lacing.

S - Like some kind of antiquated Christmas pie, so many deep dark fruits rush up. Alcohol present but not overwhelming.

T - Fig, dark fruit in general, fruit juice notes and sweet malt. Finish with subdued but perfectly adequate astringency, which I can only attribute to hops , though they seem hard to perceive. It starts veering toward thick cloying, then 'zeros' out magically. Reaches the peak of fruitiness then pulls back.. Nice trick.

M - Different than any other beer I know. Full feel, lots of fruit notes, medium carbonation. The bigness of the fruit and the subsequent reigning in are most remarkable.

D - Too big a beer to session. One is enough for a special occasion then move on.

Expensive, but a must.

srandycarter, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of ejquin
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained in trade with ManekiNeko. Thanks.

App: Beatiful Chesnut brown with thick white head with some lacing.

Smell: Piney, phenolic, and fruity with a tinge of alcohol. Caramel and honey there as well.

Taste: Deep and rich. Nicely malty, and spicy. Alcohol is defintely there but not overwhelming. Very nutty semi-dry finish with slight bitterness.

Mouth: Thick and smooth. Perfect carb.

Overall: Obviously this is amazing. I found that the alcohol provided a great dimension to the taste overall whereas I thought it overpowered the Rochfort 10. This is what every beer wants to be when it grows up.

ejquin, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of Lukafer
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have to give a shout out to Jdefont for busting this out, thanks for making my going away tasting epic! Reviewed from notes.

Pours a little murky, medium brown with a lot of carb., off-white head. Smells are dark fruits, a lot of yeast, slight funk and a hint of booze, smells really great. Taste some dark fruits, figs, a lot of yeast, slight funk again, a touch of hops and grapeskin. Mouthfeel is perfect amount of carb., smooth, feels great. Drinkability is very good, I understand why everyone wants to try this beer. Is this the greatest beer I've ever had? No, but it is definitely a great one, and one I would love to drink again. Soon. Very soon.

Lukafer, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Mattysox
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a beautiful, dark chestnut brown color, showing hints of dark ruby at the edges when held up to light. It's capped by a 1/2" of dark tan, tightly bubbled head that slides down to a thin, persistent lace around the top. It looks absolutely gorgeous in the glass.

On the nose, the 12 shows vibrant, complex aromas of toffee, raisins, figs, clove, coffee, dark cherry and licorice. At about 55 degrees, the smells come bursting out of the glass. After a few sips and swirls, a sasparilla note, reminiscent of old fashioned root beer, becomes apparent.

The flavors follow through consistently with the nose, with additional notes of candied sugar and bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is full, creamy and very, very smooth. The alcohol level is quite well hidden but becomes much more evident as the beer warms up a touch. Throughout, though, there is the expected "warming sensation" you'd expect from a beer w/ this ABV.

The finish is long-lasting and very complex. There is a definite sweet cola aspect to the finish, along with more spicy clove notes.

On the whole, this is a magnificently made beer and understandably rated as such. For a true Belgian beer fan, this may be the end all/be all of beer. For someone, such as myself, who much prefers other styles of beer, this is appreciated for what is: a beer made with consummate skill, but to my taste, not the "greatest beer in the world."

Mattysox, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of HotHabanero
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice white stabile head. Dark brown colour. Lower carbonation. Aromas of fruits (cherry), buttery malts. Very sweet smelling overall. Flavours of sweet bread, smooth malts, dried fruits (raisins) and roasted elements all perfectly balanced. Full bodied with an oily texture. Finished crisp, with some bitterness and sweetness in the aftertaste. Highly recommended and exceptionally enjoyable.

HotHabanero, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of tyboxr
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

It tastes like gods vagina! I had this at the brewery when I was in Belgium (ain't I cool?) and it was delicious! I had all their offerings, including the ice cream which tasted like a BJ from Jessica Alba would feel! Spectacular!!
Malty, dark, sweet and lingering ending that absolutely invited another drink. And then another. I did a side by side comparison with St. Bernardus abt 12 and it was then that the complexity of the westy really shined. The St.B seemed almost thin compared to the rich flavors of the westy. It's a contemplative beer that invites a slow enjoyment. It'd be heaven with roast fowl and autumn chill.

tyboxr, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- A nice hazy/opaque chocolate brown. Medium white head with good lacing.

S- Grapes, cherries, cloves, a hint of alcohol. Smells delicious and balanced.

T- A barrage of roasted malt, cherries, grapes, some alcohol, big herbal hops. One of the best quads out there, no doubt, but I don't think the best beer in the world. Some bread malt in there too. The beauty of this one is in its balance.

M- Refreshingly creamy and smooth. Pretty much exactly what it should be.

D- I'm loving this, although I'm not sure it soundly beats out others like the Abt 12 and Rocheforte 10. Definitely a great drink, worth the try, although I probably won't get it again because of the price.

LordAdmNelson, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of fightingirishcmk
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Gold capped bottle with a best before date of 8/29/10.
A: Pours a deep reddish brown with an enormous head. The froth is off white in color and dissipated slowly. Lacing was beautiful on the glass. Slight amounts of sediment were poured in.

S: Molasses and fruit such as figs was present, also some raisin and bubblegum were detectable.

T: Simply put, delicious. Malt, plums, and a vast array of other various dark sugared tastes were a delight to the palate.

M: Moderately warming, with a somewhat lighter consistency than what I expected. Feels great in your mouth and going down.

D: Will I find myself craving this beer at many different occasions? Yes. However, some points taken off due to its rarity and inability to be a session beer

fightingirishcmk, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of truthbrew
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this at "Le Bier Circus" in Brussels served in it's proper chalice on June 16, 2003.

While having little in the way of aroma (my only complaint), this beer proved to be exceptional. The medium-dark body and semi-thick consitancy amused me as I gently swirled in my glass. You would never guess this beer is 10,2%. Even my fruit-lambic (Lindemann's, Mort Subite, New Glarius) loving wife thought that this beer was a stand out.

Brought two Abt 12's, One Westy 8, and two Blondes home from Belgium. Can't wait to have it again!


truthbrew, Jul 11, 2003
Photo of phattysbox
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received from a trade with ralflord... Classic unlabeled 12oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip glass. First look appears as a murky brown color with shades of ruby. 1/2inch head that slowly recedes to small ring of sticky lace.

Smell is not overpowering but there is sweet candy, bread like yeast and ripe fruit. The taste: WOW, sweet ripe fruits like dates, plums, and cherries. Malty backbone with hardly any hop bite. This is one complex brew as other flavors pull through; licorice, yeasty esters (in a good way), and more sweet candy. Thick mouthfeel yet semidry finish. This brew goes down amazingly smooth given the ABV and complexity. ABV seems almost non-existent until the end when it warms, definitely sneaks up on you.

Drinkability is of course fanatstic and this is my favorite quad. The best beer in the world? Definitely not but within range...

phattysbox, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of thetomG
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this in a trade with TheBeerSommelier (thank you SO MUCH!) and decided to crack one open in honor of the US v England world cup match today (figured the good vibes this beer will generate in me will travel down to down South Africa to help out our boys in blue!)

Pours an absolutely gorgeous hazy deep amber with beautiful thick foamy head that lingers... and lingers... and lingers leavinng sticky lacing on whatever bit of glass it comes in contact with.

It seems to be PERFECTLY carbonated as the head just sticks around throughout the entire session, each time I take a sip the little finger of foam comes right back as bubbles continually flutter up from the bottom of the glass - truly a sight to behold.

Aromas of dark fruit and malt with a flavor that is similar but with MORE of everything. Beautifully balanced - no one flavor taking precedence over another. This is a truly GREAT beer and one that I will drink again ANY chance I get. I could go on... and on... and on... but I've got to get back to drinking this!!!


thetomG, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Lehighace06
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle dated 21.02.16, poured into Chimay chalice. First review, to go with my 1000th Untappd.

A: Deep mahogany, fair amount of suspended yeast, very little head dissipates rapidly.

S: Rich, salty caramel. Distinct Belgian yeast

T: Dark fruit, a little bit of fennel, finishes with birch bark. Slight oxidation right in the front.

M: Smooth but sharply effervescent

O: Very complex, difficult to put my finger on the flavors. A bit heavy but does not at all lay on the tongue, the carbonation sees to that. A challenge to figure out, I can't wait for another opportunity to do just that.

Lehighace06, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Dansting
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Pours a cloudy purplish-brown color with a thick, almond head. Strong lacing. Aroma is fruity (raisins, perhaps) with a nice bit of the Belgian yeast to it. Mouthfeel is smooth and full. Flavor is very complex. It's hard to put a finger on it. There's some caramel, apricot, alcohol, and some toffee to it. Maybe not the best beer I've ever had, but it's right up there.

Dansting, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of SeanChouffe
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: euro size brown bottle. No label. Yellow cap with freshness date: 24/02/07

This has been my holy grail of beers for over a year now. High expectations abound. Pours a deep red/brown color with no signs of co2 other than a nice large tan head. The head diminishes relatively quickly and leaves a nice creamy layer. Lace clings to the glass. The aroma is rich and earthy; malt and dried fruits, plums and spices. Hints of bubblegum and candy sugar. Flavor has a sweet start with quick effervescent spreading (rolling) of a dry metallic hop bite. Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy and surprisingly effervescent.

Flavor appears one-dimensional at first, but becomes obviously more complex and mellows as it warms. More dry than I had expected. A great warming sensation and a nice buzz that seems to come only from the Trappist brews.

SeanChouffe, Aug 17, 2004
Photo of yelterdow
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to EPseja for allowing me the opportunity to sample this beer. One of eight Quadrupels selected for a blind tasting on February 12, 2009. This came in second place for me personally, but it was phenomenal all the same. These are notes from the tasting.

Served in a chalice at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Deep chestnut brown, this gorgeous beer supports a fat, inch-thick mat which stays around for the entire event. Great lacing for a beer of 10.2%, a fantastic looking beer.

Smell- Aromas of rich, dark fruit like figs and dates fill the air. There is warm bread, along with a gentle sweetness that really beckons the first sip.

Taste- Enormously mouth-filling flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of licorice... rich malt backbone and a fleeting hop bitterness right at the end. A stellar quad.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- In a word, sublime. The texture is pure velvet, bringing out all of the complex flavors as good as it possibly could get. This was tasted blind against seven other examples of this style, and it lives up to the incredibly high standards and expectations we've all heard about. I would seek this out again without question.

yelterdow, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of EPICAC
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased a bottle at 't Waagstuk in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark ruby-brown. A one-inch, beige head fades to a very persistent, thin layer, leaving thick lace.

Smell: Fairly light overall, but nice. Raisins and other dark fruit, light roastiness, with a light graininess. Alcohol is also evident, but is mild.

Taste: Very nice. Lots of dark fruit like raisins and dates. It's sweet but is balanced well by a peppery and alcoholic bite. The finish has nice bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, low carbonation with alcoholic warming in the finish.

Drinkability: Sweet, but very well balanced.

Overall: This is a great beer. It might not be the best in the world, but it certainly is fantastic.

EPICAC, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of phisigben
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this over a year ago but I finally decided to not be lazy and keep up with some old reviews. This was also apart of blind quad tasting.

Severed in Chimay chalice it produces about 2 fingers width of white fluffy head that disappears somewhat quickly the color is a outstanding dark chestrnut brown. The smell is very faint I pick up the Belgium yeast, a boozy smell and very faint caramel sweetness. The first sip is amazing, where I was let down by the smell the taste blew me out of the water. Great caramel/molasses flavor, nice dark fruit like raisins or figs, and that great Belgium yeast flavor. The mouthfeel is prefect great balance between the carbonation and the body. Overall this was one of my favorite beers I had, the 10% alc was extremely well hidden in the taste. This is a dangerous beer if I could get my hands on it more often I would drink this all the time.

phisigben, Dec 06, 2011
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,947 ratings.