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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

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5,188 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,188
Reviews: 1,662
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,135
Gots: 1,595 | FT: 118
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

(Yellow Cap)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,188 | Reviews: 1,662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this prized brew in a trade with billab914, Thanks Bill!

12oz bottle served in a DeKoninck chalice.

Murky brown color with a foamy beige head that hung on as a layer and left spots of lace all over the place.
The aroma is brown sugar sweetness, dark fruits and yeast.
The taste is absolutely delicious, sweet fruity flavors, dates, raisins and plums.
The mouthfeel is incredible, this brew is dances on the tongue.
Very drinkable.

Photo of pentathlete
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had a few of these put away, so today (MAY DAY!) I finally popped one. Pours a deep dark ruby black, with only a table of head that did leave lace on the glass after each sip. Smells like a spicy plum candy, some cinnamon sprinkled prunes, yet without a heavy sweetness. Taste is so velvety smooth, complex combination of dark fruits, slight sucrose, and peppery spices. Is this a big beer? While there is the faint hint of alcohol, this beer is amazingly quaffable. This is the beer to convert your faux-wine-loving friends to come back to barley. Mouthfeel is medium full with just enough carbonation to keep it from being a sweet old ale or barleywine.

Surprisingly, this beer is not overpoweringly "Belgian" meaning that it lacks that dominating Belgian yeast smell and flavor. They're there to be sure, but it takes a back seat to everything else going on. There are only a few beers that deserve such high praise. These beers could easily become an addiction. Luckily, this one costs about US$8.29 for a 330ml bottle. So, unless I start selling off the wife's basket collection, I'll keep this beer to about one a month.

Photo of Overlord
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At long last, the holy grail-esque Westy 12.

Pours a murky brown/red color, not much head, but there is a thin rim of carbonation. Surprisingly drinkable considering the ABV. Not as thick as I expected.

Taste is sublime. Very much what I could imagine quaffing by the jugful in a European village pub. Delicious cherries, plums, malt, and just a hint of spiciness to the palate. Very well integrated considering its ridiculous complexity. I could go on and on, but this a beer that I suspect has been thoroughly reviewed before.

Not my favorite beer, but it's up there.

Photo of josvemden
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of LaChupacabra
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Date on bottle: 18/11/14. Poured into goblet.

A: Dark brown with beige, bubbly head that dissipates to a thin film and leaves patchy lacing. Lots of floaties toward bottom.

S: Dark fruit (prune, raisin, fig), spicy yeast, caramelized sugar.

T: Complex and well balanced. Dark fruit, molasses, booze.

M: Creamy, medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Great

Photo of billshmeinke
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

4 oz. pour. HUGE thanks to BMan1113VR for sharing this. Review from notes.

Half a finger of off white head Murky brown with some floaties. Great retention.

Smells of brown sugar, plumbs, raisins, and honey.

Taste follows smell. Brown sugar, honey, caramelized sugar, raisins, plumbs, and candied dark fruits.

Incredibly smooth, lush texture, low carbonation, simply amazing mouthfeel.

So easy to drink. Quite subtle, but greatly complex.

Photo of walleye
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

sat. 11/27/04 at Kuhnhenns with bierisgut and clark v v from rate beer,who brought this wonderful bottle to share. redmosquito and one of the kuhnhenn brothers where at the table to. poured a rich brown with a light tan head.aroma got a nice hit of alcohol, than came the malts, caramels, honey, cherry, and some apple. flavor, didn’t want to swallow this , the creamy smoothness of this beer was great. got malts, caramel alcohol, honey, raisins, chocolate or maybe chocolate covered raisins.this is only the 3rd bottle I have seen I know bierisgut has got one so maybe in the middle of the night under the cover of darkness I’ll see if I can get it.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: I drank this from a Westvelteren chalice, poured out of 11.2 oz bottle. The bottle was prepared for export, with a label. Ordered at a bar in Chicago for $12.

Appearance: I poured the beer myself, and probably was too tender (there wasn't very much head on top). The color was deep orange-brown, not completely opaque. There was only the thinnest hint of a lacy head, mostly present on the glass when I took sips.

Smell: The smell was very good. I'd been looking forward to this for a long time, so I don't want to allow hero-worship or anticipation to color the review too much... Kind of a bready yeasty malt aroma, pretty strong, with a hint of fruitiness.

Taste: Perfect score. I expected a St. Bernardus 12 flavor based on previous reviews, and the first sip was similar in my opinion. I think it was served a little cold, so I let it sit a while. When it warmed, I could taste more fruity esters than in St. Bernardus 12. Actually this is a lot sweeter, but not as sickly sweet as Rochefort 10.

Notes: I don't really know if it's worth the price on a regular basis, but it's definitely worth it for special occasions. My very amateur first-time impression of this beer: 90% St Bernardus ABT 12 + 10% Rochefort 8 or 10..

Photo of Johnny_cage
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of JonMich13
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to deepsouth for the trade.

A = Decanted into chalice. Dark brown with light hints of amber light coming through the edges. Light head quickly receded with light lacing.

S = Smells of yeast, dark fruit and alcohol. Pretty typical quad aroma.

T = Very complex blend of sweet malts, begian yeast, and an array of dark fruits. I'm picking up dates, raisins, prunes, overripe apples with strong brown sugar. Also, a very apparent boozy flavor and heat on the back. Hard not to appreciate what went into brewing this beer, even if this isn't your style.

M = Best quality of this beer to me. Just perfectly executed mouthfeel with a subtle carbonation and a bit chewy but not overdone. Very, very well crafted.

D = Very drinkable considering the ABV. Not a session (duh), but its taste and mouthfeel more than make up for the booziness and high ABV. This is meant to be sipped and savored.

Overall, quite impressed and appreciative of the opportunity to try it. Definitely world class.

Photo of Azurescens
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330mL bottle with best by date 24.03.13 printed on cap, poured into Trois Pistoles goblet, reviewed on 8/15/11.

A: Pours a dark brown with tan head that leaves some lacing around glass. Clear and maroon when held to the light.

S: Aroma is wonderful, sweet dark malt, brown sugar and molasses, dark fruit, herbs and spices with a hint of spicy alcohol. Everything that I want in a quad.

T: Wow, so flavorful and absolutely delicious. Layers upon layers of flavor. Starts sweet with dark malt, brown sugar and some molasses, followed by candied fruit with herbs and spices, a slight hint of alcohol and more brown sugar in the end followed by a long lingering melody of all the aforementioned flavors.

M: Super smooth, somewhat creamy medium body with some tingling from the carbonation, finishes on the sweeter side.

O: So delicious and drinkable, could easily drink this every night for the rest of my life. Definitely the best quad that has crossed my taste buds. Simply incredible, wish this glass would last forever.

Photo of cdmillard
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just back from Belgium where I was able to pick up some Westvleteren 12. I'm not a professional by any stretch, but had to chime in here.

A- It pours a deep coppery brown, with light foamy head that forma a nice lace along the glass.

S- The bouquet on this is very complex, and fantastic. Breads with dark fruits, and the alcohol jumps out at me, but not overpowering. It all blends together nicely.

T- The flavors in this are incredible, combined with strong, but not overpowering alcohol. Combines perfectly. The flavors seem to change throughout, seeming sweeter to me toward the bottom. The maltiness is nicely offset by just the right amount of bitterness to create an incredible balance.

MF- Lighter than expected, with nice carbonation. I love Quads, but this one has a different feel to it.

O- Best beer in the world? This will always be a atter of opinion and personal taste. For me, it's on of the top 2 or 3. Just a shame that more can't try this wonderful beer.

Photo of brewtus
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Pours dark brown, very little white head. Smell: dark fruit, plum, sweet Carmel, cream brûlée , some vanilla .Taste: wow, amazing. A lot like the nose, caramel, plum, some dark cherry,vanilla, perfect sweetness. Mouth feel: scary drinkable, slight creaminess, not a lot of carb, not as thick as I expected. Overall: I did this side by side with abt 10 and roch 12, and this was a clear winner. I will admit that this is the only aged bottle but wow does this live up. Doing it side by side to fresh bottles show how amazingly the beer ages. usually after 4 years a beer's flavors have blended TOO well, but this is magic. So happy to finally have opened this. The beauty of this beer lies in its world-class balance.

Photo of RevCraig
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of dar482
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a classic quad look with a reddish brown color and a huge huge white head.

The aroma has some sweet juicy dark fruit and deep brown sugar with tons of Belgian yeast and breadiness.

The flavor follows with prune, cherries, raisins, and a rolling amount of dark fruit. There's a nice deep candy sweetness along with caramel and toffee. There's tons of carbonation to pick this beer up. A bit of alcohol in there.

In the end, this beer was great, but not really about the hype. It stacks up to other quads like Rochefort, but there's this wonderful amount of estery pop that picks this beer up nicely along with big drying notes that helps separate it.

I wouldn't go crazy for it, but I would surely try it if you can.

Photo of steinlifter
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance:This poured a cloudy caramel, moderate bubbles rising to the top, with a rich tan head that dissipated after a few minutes but left broken lace all the way through.

Smell: aroma of apple now&later's, dark fruits.

Taste: apples,malts, complex fruits, alcohol bite that mellows.

Mouthfeel:medium body, bit of creaminess, alcohol warmth, slight chewiness.

Drinkability: Is fantastic! this IS world class! but High abv, sippin beer for sure! but it's just a rare treat, to sit, sip, and savor this, simply great stuff!

Photo of lhaqq
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing overall. Haven't had a throughly good Belgian beer since the past time I was at Russian River Brewery.

A: Pours with a generous carmel-colored head, with an opaque but not translucent brownish body.
S: Smells like caramel and sugar.
T: Rich sugary taste throughout, though not uncloyingly so. Hints of spice at the end, though most of the flavor is taken up by the Belgian yeasts and wheat.
M: Deep, satisfying mouthfeel that matches the 11% abc without the harsh aftertaste.
O: Overall, certainly one of the best beers I've had.

Photo of seangibbs60
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of soulgrowl
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Holy Grail.

Looks-wise, slightly disappointing. The trappists are known for their big, voluptuous heads and this one is a little sad, a sandy beige with limited retention and no lacing. But otherwise, it looks good, cloudy cola brown with cinnamon orange highlights. The aroma is a deep, dark vault of nuance. Brown sugar, raisins, pure caramel malt, pumpernickel, and toffee come first; delve a little deeper and you get toast, coconut, praline, and calvados. Despite its darkness there is a champagne-like quality to it, a mix of biscuit and fruit (mostly apples, grapes, and figs).

The flavor is lovely and round, full of cherries, dates, rum, and brandy. Toasted marshmallow and bourbon come through as well, with a touch of oak and hints of anise. It is delicious, filling, lingering, and soft, chewy and rich but still vaporous and dry. A beer of many contradictions and beautiful harmonies.


Photo of fireman1013
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very welcoming smell with fresh yeasty aroma. Slightly champagne'y mouth feel with caramel, belgian yeast, and light hop taste. I liked it very much as a belgian style monk brewed ale. I was not disappointed at all and highly recommend a similar beer if the opportunity presents itself. Overall a very smooth, well-balanced beer.

Photo of Harvest06
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of AndrewNations
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 from Bottle

Wow, this beer lives up to the hype for me. I don't think Ive ever had a beer this complex. Those Belgians are onto something here and very well might have a future in brewing.

The appearance is typical for most quads Ive had. Maybe a bit lighter but nice and almost clear. The thin white heads fades fairly quickly. Very little lacing.

The nose is outstanding. A little sweet but more than anything plums and grapes. Really surprised how much fruit I'm getting on the noise. Maybe some faint vanilla and bitter orange.

For being two years old its still fairly warm but not overbearing. I know its a high ABV by the taste but its doesn't knock me over either.Actually the warmness doesn't come into play until the finish. The taste is self is a nice and balanced sweetness in combination with some plums and vanilla.

The mouth feel is great. The carbonation is low to medium and doesn't not put off any of the sharpness some over carbonated beers tends to do.

Really enjoyed this one cant wait to get the next.

Photo of jradams76
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass

A: Color is dark amber brown. Excellent lacing.

S: You can smell hints of plums, figs, and other fruitiness.

T: Perfect rounded balance of fruit and malt with minimal hoppiness. Hides the alcohol very well.

M: A very tastey beer indeed. I really love this beer it is a good beer. It reminds me more of the Rochefort 8 than the 10.

D: Easy to drink and would drink another but want to save one for a couple years.

Photo of mlaroche
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from beerinvest.eu (De Struise shop) on 4/29/2010, consumed 1/17/2011. Best before date on cap is "24.03.13" Served in a Bruery tulip.

Appearance - Opaque brown - lighter than a stout. 1cm head, subsiding slowly to consistent lacing.

Smell - light alcohol, raisins, caramelized sugar (but not as heavy a caramelized sugar as Westy 8). Warm and inviting. Light spicing - perhaps anise?

Taste - some roasted malts. I'm usually not a big fan of quads -they're usually overwhelmingly cloying. But it seems to have a nice balance of noble hops. Slight orange peel flavor.

Mouthfeel - nice carbonation - helps bring out the flavor. Not sickly sweet, but thick.

Drinkability - much like Westy 8, I'm picking up new things on each sip. I wish I could keep picking up this beer and figuring it out.

I figured the "best beer in the world" would be more mind blowing - but this is more cerebral. It doesn't stand out in any one way, but it seems a great exercise in balance. Don't get me wrong, it's strong, but restrained.

Photo of ppoitras
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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...

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,188 ratings.