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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.

4,816 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,816
Reviews: 1,621
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,932
Gots: 1,389 | FT: 106
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
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Ratings: 4,816 | Reviews: 1,621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_M
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Matthew at Capone's for selling this beauty to me. Thought this beer would be an appropriate selection for my 100 BA review.

Paired this beer with the Rochefort 10 (a beer I'm pretty familiar with), just for a reference point. I don't want to suggest the Westy blew the Rochefort out of the water, but the difference was pretty striking.

Considering what this beer had undoubtedly been through coming into my hands, it was incredibly fresh and lively. The beer poured an impressive cloudy, amber red color, with excellent head retention. There isn't a huge amount of foam, but what there is lasts and lasts. Very nice lacing throughout my tasting of this beer.

The nose is incredibly complex and, like the taste itself, continued to change the longer it sat in the glass. Initially I got lots of Belgium spice and orange citrus in the nose (but much more subtle then the type of citrus you'd get in an IPA), with a hint of sweetness. Later, this turned to an aroma of cherry, ginger and chocolate. The flavor profile replicated the nose, but was even more complex. Initial flavors were of melon, pear and cherry; later on I started to get flavors of ranier cherry, chocolate, butter and a hint of licorise. Later still there was a cola flavor (not unlike the Bernadus abt 12, a beer I have heard this beer likened to) intermixed with the cherry and chocolate. The beer is amazingly supple on the palate, and oh so easy to drink.

This beer is a joy to drink, though it was nothing like what I expected. I guess I sort of expected a Belgium version of the Thomas Hardy or JW Lee, but it was nothing like that. This beer is incredibly light on it's feet for such a big beer, and was way too easy to drink. It finishes with a whisper, a very smooth, satisfying end to a nearly flawless beer. Most excellent.

John_M, May 23, 2007
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark brown with a huge creamy, tan head. Good retention and some lacing.

S - Dark fruit and spices. Not as strong as I thought it would be.

T - Zapped my tongue. Fruit, carmel, raisins, toffee.

D - Very carbonated, slightly sweet.

O - This is #1. It was extremely good, but not sure if it is my #1.

HuskyinPDX, May 31, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ygtbsm94 was kind enough to give me one of these as an extra a couple of years back, and I'm finally getting around to drinking it on New Years Eve 2011-12. Thank you, Brad. Best by 17th Jan 2010, so that makes this almost 5 years old.

A clear very deep ruby red with a dense, light brown head that falls off to a disk surprisingly rapidly, this looks quite excellent. The nose has plenty of plum and dark fruit jam characteristics, over-ripe even, with a little bit of cola and coffee. There are caramel and bready notes as well, and combined with the dark fruit, this smells like fruitcake. The yeasty phenols have died down with age, though a mellow spice character is present with allspice, nutmeg and clove. Pretty excellent.

The palate is dominated by the dark fruit character. So ripe and jammy, there's plums, dates, raisins, even a little bit of prunes, and a touch of black raspberry. Bready on the mid-palate with dark caramel, toffee and a little bit of cola (along the lines of Pepsi IMO). A little cocoa is present as well. While a little bit on the sweet side, this finishes quite dry and is actually refreshing. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer has a pretty stunning mouthfeel. Best beer in the world? Nope. Best quad I've had? Pretty darned close. I'm letting my original scores stand for now.

**Original review 05-14-2008 03:13:03**

largadeer split this one with me - thanks a million for the chance to try this! Best before 19th Sept 2010

A: Very deep ruby red with dense light brown head. Excellent head retention

S: Fruity with plums, dark sugar and alcohol. Complex and sweet

T: Fruity to start with but grows in complexity with the appearance of figs on the palate. As big and full bodied as this beer starts out to be, it finishes surprisingly dry

M: Incredibly smooth with great carbonation and a sweet but dry finish

D: This is an incredibly easy-to-drink high ABV beer. I need to find more!

DefenCorps, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of marksto
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Tampa BA gathering 5/5/08. I think I'd had this one before but it has been a very long time. Pours a tawny, cloudy, light brown color with thin head of dense bubbles. Medium retention. Aroma displays very nice complexity - fruit, light spice, malt sweetness, even the slight essence of juicy fruit gum. The flavor builds on the notes in the nose. Brown sugar, carmel, light cinnamon, with dark fruit essences. Alcohol is well hidden beneath it all. The key is the wonderful balance of all of them - sweetness, bitterness, and fruitiness all interplay wonderfully.

Reviewing the beer long rated #1 here brings mixed feelings. Certainly it is an excellent beer, but I also believe there are some better ones out there, and my scores on this and those beers reflect that. Then again, it's all about individual tastes and how they reflect on a common scoring system. Any true conniseur knows there really is no #1 - there is a grouping of world class beers and this one belongs in the upper echelons of that group. 'Nuff said.

marksto, May 06, 2008
Photo of flipper2gv
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%

From notes.

A: Hazy brown color with tons of light beige head. Very fluffy foam with tons of lacing.

S: What you would expect from the style: raisins, plums, spiced/banana bread. Lots of sweetness with a little tangy kind of smell that makes me think of wine.

T: Well, it follows the nose very well. You get the best balanced quad I've ever had. Good amount of banana bread, candied ginger, dried fruits and the wine like quality I got in the smell. Extremely well balanced. Alcohol is present, but compliments the tastes very well. Warm, comfy beer.

M: As you expect from such an old yeast strain: very light and fluffy with no stickiness to be found.

D: This beer is extremely drinkable and you could get a couple of these down without realising what you are doing.

All in all, a legendary beer with old and tested heritage. A beer all beer lovers should at least taste once.

flipper2gv, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of shawnsteadman
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Wonderful lacing on a dark brown and amber body.

S: Dark fruit and molasses

T: I got a very pruney and fig flavor from it.

M: Crisp at first, but very smooth and mellow on the back end.

Overall: I recently got to try Westvleteren 12 at a blind tasting of six different Quads. Surprisingly, Pannepot was my favorite - along with three other tasters. To its credit, Westvleteren 12 was my second favorite.

shawnsteadman, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of paco1029384756
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jojox for the bottle. Saved this one for my 100th review.

Pours a deep murky brown color with a thick short lived head and a fine ring of lacing.

Scent is deep and fruity with yeast, raspberries, brown sugar, candi sugar and some malts. Top notch scent, I could smell this all day, just wonderful.

Taste of bananas, brown sugar, candi sugar, raspberries and blueberries. Alcohol is present, but is perfectly balanced out with the sweetness. Finish is as strong as the initial taste with the same flavors lingering.

Mouthfeel is powerful and gripping, leaks into your sinus as you hold it in your mouth giving it an incredible depth.

Drinks great for the strength and style.

While not the best beer I have ever had it is certainly one of the best and I believe it was worth the hype. I will be looking to get more of this whenever possible and I am very glad to have been able to try it.

paco1029384756, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of chugalug06
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5


Bottle cap is dated: 10.11.14

Very large snappy, soapy, tan colored head. poor retention. Brew is deep red with lots of brown. Good clarity too. No lacing. Thin.

Tons of smooth clove, lots of spice, but not over the top. Heavenly smooth butter cream on the nose. Not sugary. I could Sniff this for quite sometime... Great raisins. Very-very mild "Belgian Banana".

Nearly distracting amount of carbonation. Large amount of bubbles. Great fluidity and heavenly drinkability. Slightly lighter and thinner than I had imagined it would be. SLIGHT rubber aftertaste on the very tail end. Sweetness is light, crisp, airy, and solid. I would prefer a bit more body and a little less fluid. Cloves are strong robust, crisp, airy. Not a banana bomb... Nice smooth dry bitter finish.

IMO, this beer delivered the hype; it's one of the few. It's not mind altering, but very solid and well rounded. *Nearly* perfect for the style. I would have enjoyed a bit stronger appearance, more forward flavoring, thicker body, and more creamy head. Definitely recommended.

chugalug06, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well I've had this a few times now, and it's about time I review it. This bottle was a 2005 (Date stamped 10.02.10 on the cap) received by none other than Brad! He's the man!!! My buddy Jeff was stopping by to drop off an empty growler he borrowed and some other brews, and I just happened to be picking up a couple boxes from the mailroom at the same time.... so we decided to crack a 2005 westy 12 at 2pm on a Thursday afternoon. Why the fuck not?

Poured deep dark brown sugar color with some lighter burnt orange hue at the edge. Impressive appearance in my cantillon stemware. Tiny bubbles compose an impressive beige head that lasts almost too long... permitting me from taking my initial sip.

Well this was right out of the box into my glass, mailroom temperature... both Jeff and I noted a distinct apple cider aroma... it was uncanny. Really just dark, unfiltered, unpasteurized, spiced apple cider. Along for the ride, some pumpernickel bread, caramelized brown sugar, barely a hint of oxidation, but it is very well integrated. Raisins, pears and some brandy. One of the things that is so impressive about this beer, is that it's 10.2%... it's not 'light' tasting, but still just feels so pleasant on the palate. It's not as 'dark' as previous times that I have had it (or as I remember)... a little less of a dark fruit presence than some other bottles I have been a part of. Low-medium but well-executed carbonation perfectly accentuates the delicate and more subtle flavors of this beer. It's just a masterfully concocted beverage and one that I hope to be able to enjoy for years to come. This review is for the 2005 bottle, but numerically reflects what this beer is fresh, and what it can be with a little time on it.

Ineedabeerhere, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of Goliath
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Went to the abbey last week and stopped at the Cafe. Truly worthwhile, the best stop on my whole european tour. So here goes...

Poured a dark brown with lighter colored hues on around the edges. A large one inch light tan head sits on top of the beer and leaves a great bit of lacing around the glass.

The aroma is quite nice. A bit of alcohol, but some delicious dark ripe fruits of plums and raisins. There is a fairly strong malt profile and slightly sweet.

The taste truly is incredible with a remarkable aftertaste. Taste of sweet ripe fruits, plums and dates. This is followed by a very malty finish, most noteably caramel flavors. Maybe even a little pepper at times?

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and incredibly creamy. The carbonation is perfect with a slight tingle in the mouth.

Drinkability is moderate to high. The incredible flavors are easy to consume, and beer is very smooth. The alcohol is hidden very well too. However, the high alcohol limit consumption of tihs beer. All the same, if I could drink this beer with no consequences then I would probably do it all day long. A true work of art and a pleasure. Although I don't think I'll ever end my quest for the perfect beer, this has taken me several steps closer.

Goliath, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of steadydose
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured 3/5 of bottle into a goblet. Creamy 1/4 inch of head. Lots of small bubbles. Dark rustic brown w/ red highlights around the edges w/ sediment floating around. Second pour gives a nice tan head w/ red tinge on side, small fine bubbles. Some lacing is left on glass.

S:Sweet aroma, banana, bread, chocolate, raisin all melded together. As beer warms up, smell is fantastic. My favorite thing about this beer is the smell.

T:Can't quite pick up lots of individual characteristics, but as a whole the taste is pleasant/complex. Hints of rum alcohol w/ a long finish accented w/ a touch of bitterness. 30 min after, a chocolate taste is more pronounced, doughy, vanilla, raisin bread, banana.

M: Luxurious, high amount of tight carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Spreads the flavor of around the palate and gives beer a good body. Amazing!

D: Great beer! Has a nice warming effect. Perfect beer to drink while relaxing.

steadydose, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of alpinebryant
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review 500! with an epicly famous beer.
16.06.13 bottle dating

A: Pours a very healthy head into a tulip with heavy lacing. Dark muddy brown in color with tiny visible bubbles coming to the top of the glass.

S: There is a lot of bubblegum mixing with figs, dates, prunes, and plums. A dry belgian yeast aroma with caramelized sugars.

T: First sip was a little more bitter than I had expected. There is a deep fig taste with plenty of bittering characteristics, a dry tongue buckling presence of either oak barrels or a large dosing of bittering hops. There are caramelized sugars all over mixing nicely with a dark belgian candied sugar presence.

M: Perfect mouthfeel really. There is a medium body with a mild carbonation. Slick rolling mouthfeel that stayed consistent.

O: It lived up to its name. Glad to try this before hitting up Belgium in a few weeks. I will be sure to take notes of all the other great beers I am trying out there.

alpinebryant, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to yesac for sending me this without setting up a trade, or wanting anything in return. youll get yours buddy, dont worry. 11.2oz bottle with no label and the famous yellow cap with 19/11/11 on it.

A- this pours a murky dark brown with a finger of thick looking cream colored head that lasts a while and leaves a solid ring on the sides of my glass. cant ask for anything more.

S- sweet malts first and foremost. lots of fruits. raisins/tobacco, figs, plums, grapes, and maybe a bit of apple. some alcohol odor comes through.

T- sweet caramel and toffee malts. lots of ripe dark fruit. cherries, raisins/tobacco, plums, figs and grapes. a hint of alcohol, that adds to the experience. extremely complex and leaves me wanting another sip immediately after i finish one.

M- light, fluffy, and highly carbonated which i was expecting for the style. what i wasnt expecting was how smooth this one was going to be.

jwinship83, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of spointon
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip snifter glass. Thanks to fellow BA roadhouse for sharing this one.

A= This ale poured a murky, dirty dishwater tan/brown color. With a gentle pour, the off-white head was about 3/4" and creamy looking. Some hit and miss lacing down the glass.

S= Huge alcohol presence in the nose, but also some sweet malty and fruity notes in there too. Mild spice toward the end.

T= Amazingly complex and tasty. Flavors were a balance of bready malt and dark fruits (figs, raisins, apples) as well as a spiciness (cinnamon, clove) that was pleasant and not overwhelming. Alcohol was present in the finish but not nearly as hot as I would have predicted from the aroma.

MF= Medium bodied. Feel was soft despite the very active carbonation release.

D= Definitely a world class ale, and deserved of its following. I have a hard time saying it is the best beer in the world, but certainly a great beer that I will drink any time I can.

spointon, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of MDekker
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here it goes! Thanks to my brother for obtaining a bottle for me (BEFORE the article in the BA magazine scolding us in the US for buying them).

A: Poured into a round goblet, I let some sediment get in there, so there are some floaties goin' around. The color is a deep mahogany with some caramel colored hues as well. The head isn't what I wanted it to be, although I didn't pour it too hard. No lacing for me, really.

S: Lots of dark, ripened fruity aromas: raisins, cherries, and plums. A little licorice, and some yeasty notes too.

T: Some similarities, but others too: again, the dark fruity flavors, but then more sweetness and tartness (apple-like), some bready elements, and a bittersweet aftertaste - not much hoppiness to note, but it is very well balanced. The alcohol was hardly detectable despite the high content, but eventually it sets in.

M: Very, very smooth, despite the fact that it's well-carbonated. Not sticky, but a little chewy. Near perfect.

D: The high alcohol content would prevent a huge consumption of it, but as it's not noticeable, so it doesn't prevent me from wanting more. It actually went down really easily, and overall it was a really enjoyable brew. I'd gladly buy more if I could find it and it wasn't so expensive.

MDekker, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of gratefulstu
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Brabander for generously helping get this great beer into my hands. I split a single bottle of this quad with my wife. We poured it into two .2L Rastal tulip glasses. This bottle had 27.08.12 marked on cap.

A: Deep brown with red or amber undertones. Very dense dark walnut color. Nice carbonation, appears light with tiny bubbles that dissipate quickly and and reform with the slightest bit of agitation.

S: Smells wonderful. I spent the a few moments trying to taste the beer through my nose. A slight smell of alcohol is apparent along with caramels and yeast. Candied sweetness drifts over the dark malty base.

T: This brew is so well balanced. We were surprised it wasn't as sweet as our noses had led us to expect. Alcoholic presence subsides into a balanced bitter hop finish. We tasted it chilled, and then let rest and warm for additional condition sampling. Very smooth for a quad. We found the flavors subtle but not lacking.

M: We scored the mouthfeel the lowest. We found the beer was heavily carbonated. After allowing the beer to sit for a few minutes to de-gas, the mouthfeel was more to our liking. Carbonation aside, the mouthfeel was crisp, clean and creamy.

D: The drinkability is great. Having never tried this brew before, I was expecting a big, sweet mess. I was so wrong. This beer is smooth, crisp and delicious. It just makes me wish I could enjoy it more often.

gratefulstu, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Westy 12 pours a tawny brown and has some dirty brown sediment drippings towards the end of the pour. Settles super opaque as a rosey dark brown color with a finger high crown of dark ivory creamyness, fading evenly and slow to a hazey broken skim and a firm collar hugs the edge of the glass a good portion through the session. Lace quickly slips back in with minimal spots sticking.

Aroma is soft and yeilding, complexing and layered; at it sits a welcoming orangey fruit yeast tone releases over some really nice cookie sugars and waffer light chocolate. Deeper wiffs bring out some darker fruits within of raisin and fig with soft dry woodish earthyness. Slight phenolic notes emerge here and there as it warms giving it a bit of spice and burn. There's more here then I can really put my nose too. Cocoa filled fruits and light spices is what I can figure. It's very appealing however way you smell it.

Taste has a refined roundness with an encompassing natural tasting softness of fruits, earth, yeast, spice, cocoa, and some slight roastyness. Its quite soft for what seems to be such a big beer. The flavors carry alot of the effects over from the aroma, lending a bit more dark fruits then the smell would lead you to believe is there and they're there in good stature. There's some artfully placed sweet malts throughout that bring out the darker fruits and sweetness bringing in raisin, fig, apple, and touches of banana, oh but there's a bit more that continues to ensue. There's delicately hidden melding of chocolate cookie sugars, bits of yeasty spices, and mild caramel. There's a milding woody earthyness that keeps a small drying presense throughout as well. Again, there's more here then a can put my mouth too and intermingles with the body and feel of the beer. Quite complex and full of softly spoken actions. Very enthusiatic and engrossing to say the least.

Feel is beyond words here. Wow! Amazingly full, yet calmingly smooth and fluffy with a heavenly fine carbonation that continues to give way to the flavors, never too sharp and never too distant. Well rounded, superbly soft, and exceptionally drinkable. Its nearly a meal! It doesn't seem to have 10.8% ABV, its masked very well. One isn't enough, not nearly enough. I will need to get more, alot more, and hopefully begin to pick out what it is about this beer that makes my eyebrows raise and my mind go "huh? and wow!" Loftly, noble, sublime; wonderfully put together. Thank you Gusler!

tavernjef, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of Jables
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a really, really deep dark ruby brown. Head and head retention are impeccable.

Aroma is very strong. I smell sweet malt, brown sugar, raisins, alcohol, dried cherries.

Flavor is rich and full. Heavy with dried fruits all over it with dark cherries coming through. The alcohol makes a cameo appearance but nothing more. The finish is dominated by the flavors of the fresh juice of a blueberry, as if I just took and squeezed a blueberry between by tongue and teeth, accompanied with the bitterness of the berry skin.

Mouthfeel is robust and full.

Drinkability is hampered by two things: the sheer magnitude of this brew, and the $$$$ that accompanies the beer.

Jables, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of Nickls
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes - can't resist reviewing even though my input is negligible with so many reviews already)

A - Dark, deep coppery brown color and poured with a long-staying slightly tan head. Noticeable sediment toward the bottom of the glass, and some lacing through the sample.

S - Sweet passion fruits, dark sweet maltiness, candied aromas. (I'm really afraid I'm not qualified to review this brew)

T - Toffee; flavor that reminds me of a melted/reduced cane sugar; pruney and raisiny and deeply maltly.

M - Medium MF, with a nice bubbly carbonation presence. Really coats the entirity of the mouth.

D - Pretty insane drinkability for a quad, though it is definitely a sipper. The intriquing flavors and sweetness definitely piqued my interest and was curious to see how the brew changed as it warmed.

Overall, again very glad to have tried this brew and it is indeed wonderful stuff. The flavors and warming touch of booze really provided a pleasant experience. Against the style, it might just be the best I've had. As to whether it's the best brew in the world, I'm not quite sure. Definitely try it if you have the chance.

Nickls, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of BrewsforBreakfast
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My buddy went to Belgium and worked for about a week to get the monks to answer the phone so he could buy a case. This was the last beer from that case. What a treat.

A - A deep tobacco brown. Lots of floating sediment. Big cream head leaving some lacing.

S - One of the best smelling beers I have ever had. It was very hard to discern aromas because there were so many. Unlike anything I had ever smelled before. Dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel were what I smelled the most.

T - Didn't taste much that much like the smell, but like something entirely wonderful that I wasn't expecting. A tinge of heat from the booze but so many married flavors in there make the beer go down way too fast. I almost need to drink 2 or 3 more to pick it all out. Prunes, plums, yeast, raisins, brown sugar were what I was able to pick out.

M - Good carbonation, which I expected. Wasn't expecting that much sediment, but it never bothered me a bit. Creamy but not too thick.

O - A bucket list beer. It's like art. I was truly fortunate to have the opportunity to try one. It's magic. Would pay an $ amount for another bottle that my wife would never agree to.

BrewsforBreakfast, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of spdyfire83
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

130th Review
Bottle to Westvletren 12 (small) chalice - as it should be!

From notes. I have enjoyed this beer several times, but this review was as a result of my encounter with it as beer #4 enjoyed as part of a blind Quad tasting - to warm our palates before the real tasting - in Utrecht (December 2011). Thanks Jeffo and doopiedoopiedoo for the hospitality!

A: Burnt brown. Single (tan) fingernail head on Jeffo's pour - I was being honest.

S: Holy smokes. I knew what is was from first sniff, but gosh it doesn't get much better than this! Complex. Dark fruits, caramel, hint of vanilla, cloves, and a touch of heaven. At least I can only hope.

T: Much like the smell, but very, very smooth. Brown sugar, dark fruit, and nice balance of spice. Not overly complex, but just right!

M: Medium bodied and perfect carbonation here.

O: Stand ovation on this and it will never stopping amazing me - the monks of Westvleteren sure know how to brew an excellent beer! You can enjoy a "fresh" bottle or a vintage bottle and the result will always be the same - outstanding! It does age quite well too, but I think this bottle was a bit more fresh. Either way, it is definitely something any beer drinkers out there should have the experience of enjoying (even if you don't like the style). I converted to appreciate the Belgian Quad as a result of my first encounter with this beer.

spdyfire83, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of benclimbs
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Liquid Art - my friend said "when you read about mead in mythology, this is what it should taste like - mead is really not that wonderful - but this truly tastes like liquid honey in brewed form"

I can't say whether this lives up to the #1 beer in the world hype - though i can say this, along with the Rochefort 10 are the best belgian quads that I have tried.

This beer stands out as unique among all the other trappist beers and other Belgian 10s and 12s, as it stands out among all brews in the world.

It is incredibly drinkable, caramely yet not sweet...this is the most drinkable 10+% alcohol beer I have ever had.

I had to search far and wide (even in Brugges) to find this beer, and Im glad I did! Drank a bottle at an amazing pub there and brought a couple home.

benclimbs, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of beermanbrian
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The second of my big Christmas stash thanks to my brother. Been saving this one for long time. Was hoping to open to celebrate the Flyers winning the cup but since that isn't going to happen in my lifetime there's no time like the present. Let's see if this worth all the hype.

Pours a deep brown color with a thin tan head that has nice retention. When held up to the light some amber tints show through.

Smell of raisins and plums with a solid candied sugar backbone. Taste of mostly raisins with lots of sweetness up front. Overall just a very smooth impression. Very complex flavors but somehow presented in a very clean way.

Overall an obviously world class beer. Not sure if I agree that it's the best in the world but it is good. Would grab this any time I have the chance.

beermanbrian, May 15, 2011
Photo of HawkeyePA
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%

HawkeyePA, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of bulldogp04
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: murky brown with a beige head...typical to style

S: dark fruits, raisins plums figs, pear esters, alcohol, warm baked banana walnut bread, spicy yeast/Belgian character....very nice

T: taste very similar to smell....alcohol in this beer mellows perfectly with about 2 years on it - notes of massive dark fruits, esters, and Belgian yeasty spice goodness...lightly tart complexities as well

M: perfect lively carbonation that helps cut through rich flavor profile...perfect for Belgian "quad" style

O: seek out if you like Belgians, although st. Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10 are more than adequate substitutes if not available to you

bulldogp04, Oct 05, 2011
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,816 ratings.