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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.

4,691 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,691
Reviews: 1,614
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,878
Gots: 1,350 | FT: 105
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: 4,691 | Reviews: 1,614 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Swedes21
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Finishing 2010 off with my buddy SpinRSX and the worlds #1 beer!

Appearance - beer pours a dark brown murky like in appearance, very hard to tell any carbonation levels due to the 0 clarity. The head produced a nice brown based foamy head, that had some good volume to it. The head stuck around for a good duration too.

Smell - I found this to be a very dynamic smelling beer, right upfront i was able to pick up some green apples, followed by a hint of grapes. There was almost, buried a little deeper, some dark fruits, possible raisin like in smell.

Taste - Dark tones right off the top, followed with some sweetness but as well raisins. The end produced a little hop with some bitterness. I found the alcohol was well hidden. One thing i noted, there where signs of a "dry" fruit to this beer.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation levels increase and the deep raisin taste. As well, i found as the beer warmed the alcohol came fwd a bit more. This is where i was able to pick up a hint of sweetness, very nice.

Drinkability - SpinRSX and i had this debate, but i think this is a well rounded beer and brings complexity to the menu. This is something that was more of an investment and a sample, but if i could drink it daily i would love too.

Swedes21, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of yankeeheel
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Welcome to my 200th review. Can't say I'm the most poetic reviewer here but I try. For this momentus occasion I chose Westy 12 sine it appears to be a Holy Grail beer here.

Pours a dusky garnet with a couldronous eggshell colored head. The foam settles out in to a bubbling sheet of lace.

Smells strongly of candi sugars and very dark fruit. There is something about the smell of quadrupels. I love them. Definitely a little alcohol lurking in the back of this one.

Lots of cherry and grape come to the front of this brew. Sugary malts rush in close behind to fill the void. Spices fill in closely and then it finishes quite peppery, dry, and warms like a kerosene heater.

Mouthfeel is very big. Slick, malty, and filling.

Drinkability. I think this one has sipability. It needs to be taken slowly like a brandy or single malt. It's in that class of beverage.

yankeeheel, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of ggaughan
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Bottle picked up at a bottle shop in Antwerp 2 weeks ago so it seems to be pretty fresh. I have had several bottles of this before but most of them were obtained in the U.S. from overseas.

The beer poured a deep brown, almost black color with a medium thickness tan head that lasted for a few minutes and gave way to nice ring around the end but the lacing doesn't hold up well. The nose is pretty damn imressive. There are some fruit notes, dates, plums and a nice chocolately character. The taste is very impressive as well. The malty chocolate notes are the first thing that takes my taste buds on a ride along with some of the deep fruit notes I got in the aroma as well. The carbonation is rather full and overall makes for a full bodied beer. I could not say for sure whether this is the best beer in the world but it is a pretty damn good beer and well worth a try if you can get it for a reasonable price.

ggaughan, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Big thanks to alcstradamus for this one. Finally got around to opening it. In honor of BA JosephLondon R.I.P. 07.10.12 printed on the cap. Poured from a 11.z oz. into a Blue Point Snifter.

A: Gentle pour yields a billowy 1.5 finger off-cream head with great retention. Beer is a semi-cloudy, near opaque purplish-brown. Lacing is patchy and ample with excellent stick.

S: Nose is clove, Belgian yeast, grapes, figs, green apples, and sweet brown sugar. Very alluring and rich. Fruity and sweet. Impossibly complex but balanced at the same time. Alcohol is conspicously missing.

T: Opens grape, prunes, and clove. Bready and brown sugar. Belgian yeast is very apparent towards the middle where it adds a nice spice and bitterness. Grape gummy sweetness towards middle that tapers off into a slightly twiggy bitterness. Malt forward presence never fades though. Finishes is brown sugar and just the slightest bit of alcohol. Aftertaste is sweet and fruity.

M: Medium to full bodied, aggressively carbonated and lively but rich and smooth at the same time in the mouth. Finish is clean and aftertaste is filmy and slightly sticky.

D: Likely the most drinkable 10.2% beer in the world. This one really earns its accolades. Incredible balance and complexity with a mouthfeel that really pulls it all together. Nose is impeccable and even looks great. Definitely one to try and seek out and very much worthy of the praise.

SpeedwayJim, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of tempest
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

A year after trading with Leftmindedrighty, I finally decided to crack this baby open.

It's pours a dark, slightly hazy brown with a thin tan head. The aroma has a hint of cardboard, but otherwise its smooth, Belgian chocolate with a hint of fruit. The flavors going on in the beer are nuts. I'm blown away by the complexity. Just running down the list of flavors in my notes I got: chocolate (lots of it), grassy/herbal hops, caramel, candi sugar, medjool dates (really sweet dates), and cola. Everything is very smooth and one flavor melts into the next.

I tried to be skeptical, but this truly is divine beer. I had this back to back with the St. Bernardus 12, but there's not much comparison. The Bernardus is lighter in color and thus has more fruity flavors than chocolate. I love Bernardus, but if Westy 12's were just as available, it'd be my go-to.

tempest, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of MrKennedy
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

330ml bottle with 07/01/14 on the cap.

Deep russety brown appearance with a hint of murkiness when held up to the light. Nice beige foam on top doesn't require any coaxing to stay at about a finger in height.

Intriguing smell. Lots of dark fruit with figs, dates, prunes some spice there as well. Reminds me of some red wine at certain stages, not that I drink much wine. Seems to have the warming alcohol bring out the spice without inflaming the situation. Brilliant!

Spicy, cinnamon and allspice are there along with the dark fruits of plum and figs and prunes. Seems to transition from the spices on the front to the fruit on the back and then some spice right at the end to keep you really, really interested. Really dry ending.

The body is solid, but by no means too big, i think the spice helps cut through things. Nice interaction between the spice, the warming alcohol and the fruity smoothness. Really well done.

Don't recall ever having liked this as much as i like this sampling. I always seemed to prefer the 8 out of the Westvleteren brews, but this is helping change my mind. Not a big fan of Quads, but this is very well done and so well integrated.

MrKennedy, May 02, 2013
Photo of Mavajo
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a dark chestnut color with a moderate eggshell head - it hung around decently, but didn't provide any lacing. Nothing special in the looks department.

The aroma actually presented a bit of a challenge for me - I had difficulty picking out the individual notes. There's the yeast, along with some clove and then a fairly sweet, light fruit aroma. The taste didn't provide much more clarity - but it was sure delicious. Surprisingly sweet - much moreso than I expected. A fairly light flavor for a quad - sweet, brown sugar, honey, light fruit, toffee, a bit biscuity.

Mouthfeel was good. Appropriate carbonation.

Honestly, I read some of the descriptions in other reviews, and I my experience seems significantly different from what others are describing. This was a fairly light-tasting, sweet experience for me. I guess my palate has even farther to go than I realized.

Regardless, this thing was absolutely delicious - I could drink this all day.

Mavajo, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of davod23
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Fresh bottle from the monastery, poured into a Westy chalice. I've had this a couple times before, but it always feels special to open one of these up.

Appearance is a medium-dark brown color with a billowing off-white head. Some yeast floaties, as per usual, but the beer itself has great clarity. The cap never completely recedes, and a swirl brings it back in force.

Smell is classic Belgian quad. A glassful of dried dark fruits, plums, raisins, prunes. A hint of banana, rum, vanilla, spice, and yeasty notes. The nose is outstanding and one of the more complex you'll find. It's in perfect balance, no aroma dominating whatsoever, all in good harmony.

Taste follows the nose in almost all respects. Dark fruit, rum, banana, and spicy components. The alcohol is barely perceptible. This is one of the best beers ever with respect to hiding its alcohol content.

Mouthfeel, I have to dock it just a little bit. At the start of the pour, it's just a bit too vigorous with the carbonation, providing more of a sharp bite than the creaminess that I would expect from this style. However, by the end of the bottle, it had rounded out nicely. I've had an aged bottle before, and I seem to remember that the level of carbonation was greatly superior, with a silky quality that is unrivaled by other beers.

Drinkability is outstanding. So amazingly easy to drink. This beer is dangerous.

I think that I will age most or all of my remaining bottles. This is a great beer, no doubt, but I have had it when it's been better. I do have two 7-year-old bottles sitting at home, maybe I will try one of them soon and refresh my memory how it ages. Regardless, fresh or not, this beer truly is great.

davod23, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of Franchise
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

This beer has been aged for about 2 years. The look of this beer pours a delicious dark ruby brown that leaves a quickly disappating tan head. Very little carbonation compared to the fresher one I had 2 years ago. The smell is of candied fruit, plum, peaches, golden raisins, bananas, cloves, and some slight essence of chocolate liqour. The complexity of this beer is the best I've ever come across. The taste of this beer just explodes with the sweet fruit and at first has a powerful vinos essences that subsides with warmth.

This beer is one that should mellow even more with age but I actually prefered the fresher bottle I had about 2 years ago. As I let this beer warm up I began to taste even more of the honey and clove. Overall this is a great beer, I love things about the fresher version but I love the smoothness of this aged bottle.

Franchise, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of Darkale
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

The aroma of this beer is incredible, so thick it's like fog, and full of raisins, plums, and all manners of bright and sweet things.

Appearance is also incredible. The color is milk chocolate brown, sort of like root beer with a bad attitude, with so much cloudy swirling sediment that you feel like you've captured a sandstorm at midnight. By the way, I was a bad boy and poured the whole beer into the glass, because I wanted to taste everything.

Mouthfeel was slightly thinner than expected -- this beer has been called chewy and I am not prepared to agree. Foamy is more like it. Malty, slightly burning. Very nice, just not as chewy as I had been led to expect.

Taste is a circus that changes as the beer warms, and like the aroma, is full of raisins and plums and chocolate and burning cocoa and a hundred other things that I could not catch before they ran down my tongue and into my belly.

Very drinkable! This beer was gone too quickly. In fact, this is one of the few beers that I would rather have in a larger size.

Definitely one of the best beers in the world, but I am not yet prepared to call it THE best in the world. I may have to try another. Yeah, that's it... that's what I have to do... I have to try another... for purely scientific reasons.

Certainly a beer that you have to try if you can.

Darkale, May 27, 2003
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

2012 bottling poured into a Rochefort chalice. The pour is typical of a Trappist Quad - dark, deep brown in color with a nice finger of fine sandy-colored head that dies down to some nice lacing. On the nose I get lots of rich, sweet, malty goodness. There is fresh bread, dark fruits, and rum-soaked chocolate cake. I can't wait to dive in.

Full body and a sweet flavor that has some surprising spiciness. Lots of sweet malt up front as well as the dark fruit promised by the nose, but the real action is at mid-palate where the phenols and hops kick in. I was taken aback by how spicy the beer gets at mid-palate and just how much the carbonation intensifies the effect. The spicy flavors remain strong through the finish, even managing to mask the taste of the alcohol (if not the warming feeling). After the beer sits and de-gasses, the spiciness is still evident, though not as intense, and some sweet, rummy flavors come forward on the back of the palate.

What can be said about this classic beer that hasn't already been said? How about this ... It's outstanding. It's delicious. It's certainly one of the best beers in the world. It's the white whale. The MacGuffin. The Force. The bone thrown up in the air in 2001. I'm extremely fortunate and grateful that to have had an opportunity to try it. Now are you sitting down? Here goes...

I have enjoyed at least 3 or 4 other quads just has much as I'm enjoying this one (perhaps even a little bit more).

Now that the shock has worn off, I'll explain. Even though it adds to the complexity and doesn't disturb the balance, I don't particularly care for all the spiciness. For me, it gets in the way of the sweet, rich, dessert-like qualities of the beer. Some BAs will disagree, but that's just my palate. Also, I definitely taste the similarities between this and St. Bernardus Abt 12 (although this one is a little spicier). Anything else? Oh, yeah. Highly, highly recommended every BA try this at least once (if at all possible).

deadonhisfeet, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of jwhawkins81
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Aroma - Dark fruit and a unmistakable Belgian quality. Also a nice amount of spice.

Appearance - Lots of tan head that slowly dissipated without leaving much lace. Red amber color.

Taste - Fruity and complex with alcohol heat to remind you of 10% ABV. Tons of fruit complexity hangs around in the flavor. A little too much alcohol warming than I would have liked at first. Really just a lot of fruitiness and alcohol. However even as it warmed it never got worse. Just an awesome amount of flavor.

Notes - This beer grew on me. My first impression wasn't wow but this beer's complexity takes time to appreciate. I still have five more so hopefully a little age will lower the amount of heat.

jwhawkins81, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of spinrsx
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Finishing off 2010 in style..

330ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky brown colour with a very large frothy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the murkiness of the beer and there is some excellent lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate. There was a small amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Smell - apples were the first thing that came to mind, also malts, dark fruits, an earthiness

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has quite a bit of carbonation but it still feels smooth and creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste is made up of malts, dark fruits (rasins?), and some light hops. As the temperature of the beer got warmer the flavour of the beer really seemed to change. The alcohol is extremely well hidden and this beer is very easy to drink. The beer finishes with a malty and sweet aftertaste, there was also a light hop bitterness.

Drink - I'm happy I got to check this beer off my want list. I'm sure the fact that it is hard to get adds to the hype and positive reviews; but it really is a must try and a fantastic beer.

spinrsx, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of uno99
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Well I might as well add my own take on this beer....
A September 2006 bottle from a Belgian friend I made on my honeymoon.

A: bottle split 4 ways, but the head still fills the glass. the beer itself is a captivating brown color. very impressive looking beer. I have pictures to prove it!

S: an unreal wave of ripe prunes and figs fills the nostrils. smells kind of like a Christmas cake... complete with marzipan icing. hints of citrus and a toasted nut quality.

T: An unreal beer. taste is very complex. I wish I had the whole bottle to myself!

M: velvety smooth. carbonation is so delicate but also enough to excite the pallet.

D: This is a beer that makes you want to raise your arms in joy. The best beer in the world? I'm not sure about that, but in my opinion; the best Trappist!

uno99, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of silverking
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

A- opaque, muddy brown. Coarse tan head, nice retention. Lacing is present in sheets for a moment, but then snap! It breaks quickly and leaves random patches of foam that sink slowly into the beer. Only a thin ring is left as a reminder of the lacing that was. Nice to watch.

S- woah, really broad range of aromas. Sweet brandy first off. Very vinous and oaky. Sweet grapes, tobacco, dried plums, yeasty dough. Oh man, what is this? It smells like it was pressed from the forbidden fruit. The alcohol is definitely enhanced as it warms.

T- just like the aroma, a sweet grape/alcohol/amazing experience. Bread and alcohol. Reminds me of fruitcake around the holidays, and thats a good thing. Lots of dried plums and other assorted candied fruits all come together under one harmonious cover of spice. Clove and cinnamon all around. I get a hint of licorice as well. That Belgian yeast is a wonderful colony of Single-celled organisms.

M- medium bodied, aggressive carbonation. It is reminiscent of champagne, but definitely more viscous. It's syrupy, but the carbonation thins it out considerably.

O- I had this beer a while back, and I wasn't impressed. Now, I don't know what I was thinking. Seriously, it's amazing.

silverking, May 28, 2014
Photo of cbutova
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

A very unexpected surprise shared by Chico1985 a few days ago. 11.17.13 (2010, super fresh)

A- Murky dark brown with a nice creamy off-white head that looks silky and has pretty nice retention. Certainly some nice spots of lace and a bubbly cloud atop the ale.

S- Lots of bread, very nice and freshly baked bread. A good amount of dark fruit, general spice feel, raisin and some darker brown sugar toast malt, nutty hints.

T- Dark fruit, raisin and fresh bread come off as the biggest thing to me. Underlying notes of nutty malt, brown sugar, citrus zest?, toasty brown malt, slight roast, vanilla and even oak add complexity. The dark fruit is less medicinal than some other strong Belgian ales.

MF- Quad body, lighter overall feel but a strong beer nonetheless. Very little warmth, impressive for 10%. Somewhat creamy with carbonation at a level that suits the flavors.

DB- The fresh bread and yeast profile here surely make this one a treat. At 10%, the ABV is a ghost and this one drinks dangerously smoothly. I could easily throwback a few bottles of this a week if it were available to me. Complex but balanced.

cbutova, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of Quej
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Into its beautiful chalice it pours a very dark, yet clear, brown with highlights of ruby red shining through the brew, only a bit of head crowns the beer and it fades to a delicate lace. I raise the glass to my nose and scents of warm red grapes, cranberry and cherry come flooding into my awareness. The sweet smell of fruit, caramel and toffee candy wraps itself so nicely around the significantly boozy brew. It pours over my lips and onto my tongue. Sudden sweetness hits me with flavours of red wine, plums, and wild berries. The sweetness is quickly followed by a refreshing dryness brought on by the high alcohol content. Both the sweet and the bitter mingle and dance on the palette in perfect unison, and linger into a long dry aftertaste that leaves me begging for more. The low carbonation takes the edge off of what might have otherwise been a sharp and bitter dryness, and makes it so very easy to drink. And then I had a second sip.

Quej, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of JayQue
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Finally got to try this beer. I'M NOT WORTHY!!!

Purchased from Etre Gourmet along with some Pannepot and A Cantillon unblended lambic. Plain brown bottle with a "Trappiste" ring around the neck.

Poured into my trusty Chimay goblet a medium brown color with a little light coming through. Medium size off-white head that fades to a covering of the glass. The covering continues throughout the tasting (about 30 minutes). Lacing consists of a film with dots of lacing contained in it.

Smell is mostly dark fruit (raisins, figs) and some Belgian yeast. Pronounced and very rich.

Taste is out of this world. Belgian candi sugar, yeast, dark fruit, spices and a little caramel malt. Expertly blended, hint of warming alcohol. Absolutely outstanding. Worthy of the hype!!!

Mouthfeel is rich and luxurious. The alcohol is not a negative factor. This is an outstanding beer.

JayQue, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of BeRanger
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Big thanks to Travis from Roast for this one, complete surprise as I had never had it.

Poured from bottle into a tulip.

A: Deep Amber/Brownish Hue with an off-white head, a far amount of lacing.

S: Perfect smell - lots of darkfruit, brown sugar, yeast and a little booze.

T: Taste is perfect melding of the dark fruits such as the raisins and plums with the brown sugar sweetness and yeast coming through.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation - very smooth.

O: Super complex beer that blends everything together wonderfully. This was fantastic for a quad which I'm not the biggest fan of. I certainly now need to get my hands on a few more of these. Very nice.

BeRanger, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of Liverpool08
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

WOW!! Thanks to my co-worker Dan for inviting me to tap one of these from his cellar. This one is about two years old.
Pours a a very dark murky red, little head or lacing. Aroma is hints of raisins, plums, prunes, and figs. First sip...Super smooth. Tons of different flavors dance around, cherries, mollasses, brown sugar, raisins and even a hint of chocolate. Each sip brings all of these and others, all perfectly blended and smooth to sip. No notice of the booze, even as it warms. Mouthfeel is smooth yet still a little crisp, not cloying at all. A beer worth waiting for!!

Liverpool08, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Dope
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Previously "Had" this beer at a 5 from years ago. Time for a full review. This is a Westy 12 from the bricks released about 6 months ago. Best by date was Jan 2015.

A: Pours a turbid dark brown. Enormous and ridiculously huge fluffy yet dense light brown head. Starts out dense, gets fluffier as it fades. Fades very slowly. Huge thick layers of lacing everywhere. Top notch head retention. Perfect.

S: Very strong aroma, I can smell it from the other side of the desk. Smells like toast from a distance (even my wife commented on it and she's sitting 5ft away from it). Upon closer inspection, very sweet caramel with loads of dark fruits. Raisins primarily. Other fruits in there, fig, prunes? A bit of toasted malt is notable as well. A little bit of booze but not much. Very pleasant aroma.

T: Again with the sweetness. Sweet caramel up front but sweet grains in the finish. Dark fruit up front. A bit of toasted bread towards the finish, like yeasty dough almost. Has a somewhat nutty character in the middle. Fairly harsh grain alcohol in the finish and lingering aftertaste. Some spices picking up here and there.

M: Heavy-ish but not overly so. Very smooth and easy drinking.

O: Very different from how I remember this one from years ago. I remember noting how the alcohol was completely hidden but in this one there is a lot of alcohol phenols in the aroma and aftertaste. Having said that, this is easily the best quad I've had. Very nice flavors all integrated with each other. Balance is excellent, drinkability is excellent. I look forward to re-reviewing an aged bottle at some point, I feel like this one might be too green given the alcohol harshness.

Dope, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of northernbrews
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Had a mini quad tasting with HellsBells24 in April 07. Had this one after the Abt 12.

Received this bottle from rayjay via trade. Thanks Jason!

Appearance: Pours a nice and clear brown color with a 1.5 finger tan head. Slightly red around the edges. There is a little bit of lacing on my snifter. This looks very similar to the Abt12.

Aroma: Starts with some dark fruits, nice malts and a slight alcohol burn. This is followed by dark fruits, figs, roasted malts, and slight cherry. The aroma is more pronounced as it warms. Very nice. Lets see how it tastes.

Taste: The tastes are similar to the aroma, but not a noticable. Cherry and dark fruits from the start followed by warming alcohol and some spicy hops. There is a nice malt background that balances all these flavors.

Mouthfeel: The dark fruit and malt flavors hang for a bit. This is pretty creamy.

Drinkability: This goes down very smooth for 10.2%. I wish I had more than one bottle of this because I could easily drink a few of these.

Overall. This finished behind the Rochefort 10 and slightly above the Abt 12 and Chimay Blue. Another truely a world-class beer (as were the others). I'm not sure if it's worth $20 if you don't get it in Belgium due beers of similar quality being available more readily and for much cheaper. Definitely a beer you have to try though.

northernbrews, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of klaybie
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Big thanks to Thijs for getting me 2 bottles. Split one with my dad and the other with a friend.

Poured from the label-less bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bubbley, chocolate-amber color with wonderful lacing. The head quickly recedes leaving a small ring on top.

Smell: Very complex, dark fruits, milk chocolate. Surprised there is no alcohol present in the nose.

Taste: Again complex. Dark fruits (plums??) milk chocolate. No alcohol flavor. Just a complex multitude of plums, figs, and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful. If I had more bottles they'd be gone. But then I'd be on the floor because the 10.2% abv can be felt but not tasted.

klaybie, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of fingolfin72
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

The color is deep mahogany with a fine, palamino-colored head which dissipates to lacy remnants fairly soon.

The nose is somewhat restrained, but it contains sugar, oranges, banana, and croissants.

The palate is smooth with an abundance of flavor. I get toffee, brown sugar, banana, nutmeg, chocolate, quinine and fresh grapes.

The finish is long. The bitterness, reminiscent of quinine or campari, becomes slightly more prominent as the sip of beer fades. It does not, however, overexpress itself.

This beer has extraordinary balance and complexity. It does not hit you over the head; it just states itself perfectly with nothing out of place. I equate it with Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame.

fingolfin72, Sep 23, 2004
Photo of Bighuge
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Muddled looking auburn tone. Bubbly light brown head leaves sparse lace. Aroma consists of light candy notes. Some bubblegum. Brown sugar. Very sweet nose. The flavors are very delicate, yet complex. Sweet melon like tones. Light rum alcohol. Candy and more candy. And then a dry wash of spice cleans up. Very flavorful....even in it's fragile nature. For such a big beer, this is incredibly drinkable. Mouthfeel is very light and airy. Carbonation is moderate. Very enjoyable brew.

Bighuge, Aug 10, 2004
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,691 ratings.