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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,480 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,480
Reviews: 1,603
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,793
Gots: 1,266 | FT: 100
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,480 | Reviews: 1,603 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Massive thanks to jsilva and Gatorbeernerd for these 2 bottles, which were shared and compared with Ryan011235.

# 1- Poured into a Chimay goblet. Bottled November 2008.
Murky brown with a ton of floaties, even with a pretty careful pour. Eventually this clears/settles into something somewhat resembling a strongly roasted tea. Modestly sized head, but pretty nice retention considering the age and the width of the glass opening. Nose is freshly baked bread smeared with apple butter, straw and yeast. Not nearly as fruity smelling as I’d guessed, and not as fruity tasting, either. Yeasty and bready with a pleasant, but light plummy taste. As warms, sorghum and toffee sweetness begin to emerge, along with a light grassiness. Brown sugar. Sourwood honey. The skim of foam is easily kept alive with a swirl now and then. Scattered speckly lace isn’t too bad at all considering how much I’ve swirled this stuff to study it. Without a doubt the highlight of this bottle is the incredibly soft and velvety mouthfeel, which leaves behind a lingering yeast/bread/honey combo in the finish.

# 2- Poured into a La Chouffe tulip. Bottled February 2009.
A shade darker, with active carbonation feeding a finger or so of beige foam. Comparatively tenacious retention. Perhaps a trick of the glassware, but the aromas are more lively with this one. The nose seems more fresh and yeasty, although not as bold as I'd like. A fruitier flavor, particularly with prune and raisin, but again, not as potent as expected. Light leafy and tobacco notes. Carbonation slightly more prickly, but in general the same seductive, slippery feel. This one seems to have a touch more warming alcohol, although neither is particularly boozy. Light cocoa and a sweetness that reminds me of straight liquid malt extract.

Overall impression: I was somewhat surprised about the differences between the batches bottled just 3 months apart, but even moreso by the subtlety of both bottles. I’d almost go so far as to call them tame, at least in the bold world of quads. Tasty, although somewhat underwhelming. Perhaps they go through something akin to the ‘awkward’ stage you often see in American barleywines. I’ll update my review if I get the chance to try fresher or older samples.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 16:41:09 | More by PDXHops
Photo of youradhere
youradhere

Arkansas

3.65/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been holding off on this for a while to prepare myself for the hype, so lets see how this "famous" beer holds up to the lumpen proletarian sentiment.

Pours a murky amber-brown with a rocky off-white head. Smells of wine, peppery yeast, wheat spice, kind of like hopped up Bitburger. Taste is subdued, sweet but not in your face; I get some cola, toffee, white wine, hop bitterness on the very back that is barely there, some clove spice, mellow flavor for sure. I like the mellowness of this compared to similar brews with in-your-face spice that makes me wish I was drinking something else. Carbonation is high and mouthfeel isn't thick at all; very drinkable as the sugars aren't cloying, the pepper-clove character seems to cleans that 'sugar overload' from the palate. Drinkability was marked down to the exclusivity of this, if I could find it down the street I would sit through a sixer of it and crawl on my lips to my bed. A decent beer indeed, but nothing I'd trade something special out of my cellar for. Verdict: the best of the Belgian styles that I have tried thus far, but certainly not a game changer for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 02:52:25 | More by youradhere
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Westvleteren 12

Huge thanks to Pimpp for this 1!

A- Hazy murky red with a nice creamy head. Foamy lacing on the glass.
S- Raisins, prunes, figs, nutmeg, and pepper.
T- Big strong and sweet dried fruits; raisin, figs, and prunes dominate touch of spices like pepper, nutmeg, and clove. Strong rock candy sugar with a kick of alc. in the end.
M- Fruity and sweet yet creamy mild on the tongue. A touch of boozy alc. in the aftertaste.

Overall- A good cold evening or desert beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2007 21:33:13 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.63/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle poured into Grimbergen chalice

Best Before date 04 December 2010

A- Dark mahogany body with a lot of sediment. 2 finger creamy head with average retention and minimal lacing.

S- Toasted almonds, a little dark fruit, some rose petal sweetness and a touch of wholemeal bread. Overall aromas are subtle

T- Malt forward again. Wholemeal bread qualities come through again supported by a sweet malt backbone. No real suggestion of alcohol heat, very smooth.

M- Creamy with medium carbonation, full body. Very smooth considering abv

D- Appearance wise not amazing, Flavour/aromas are subdued i guess with age. Mouthfeel retains a lovely creaminess and full mouthfeel. Overall, not a beer i would say has enhanced with age. Certainly no developing complexties. Eventhough not drinking this beer before, i cant help but feel its lost some former glory. Would love to try fresh!

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 23:40:35 | More by seanyfo
Photo of aaronh
aaronh

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown body topped by a thin head that fades quickly. Aroma is a lot of dark fruits, brown sugar and some nice malt sweetness. In fact, the aroma is the best part of this beer. Tatse is a bit flat. Malt and fruit flavors seem muted. Yeast autolysis is noticeable. Mouthfeel is OK, buit it seems a bit off. Like there's oil and water both in the same drink. Drinakibility is OK, but for the price I'd expect a lot more.

I've been waiting to review this beer for a while (2 years since my first notes). I've tried 3 bottles from 3 locations - I guess I just don't like this beer as much as a lot of other beers!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 00:58:05 | More by aaronh
Photo of vinny21bal
vinny21bal

Illinois

3.59/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a very good beer. I like it old however. Opening this beer fresh is a waste of time and money. It is like drinking it with only 50% of its potential. I think I enjoyed the chase for this beer more then actually drinking it. It is a very good beer but not as good as all the hype. I have had it fresh, and aged multiple years.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 04:00:17 | More by vinny21bal
Photo of StephenRich
StephenRich

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is widely and arguably acknowledged as the best beer on the planet. It has had more heritage and prestige poured into its creation, more exclusivity surrounding its availability, and more debate about its worth than potentially any beer on earth. It is the Westvleteren 12. The bottles come exactly as shown here; no label, and nearly no branding wahtsoever. A thick bevel around the shoulder of the bottle claims Trappisten Bier, and the cap indicates that it is indeed a Westvleteren 12, at 10.2% abv, and thats it.

It is important to understand that this is not the best beer in the world, it is merely the highest rated beer on the planet. There is a difference.

This posses an interesting predicament that I have come by so many times since engulfing myself in the world of beer; that is trying a beer that has been so outrageously hyped with an untainted preconception of it. Its nearly impossible to ignore the hype and approach it with a clean slate and unbiased palate. It's true, I wanted to love the Westy, but I tried my very hardest to conduct an unobstructed tasting of it before I would relax and simply enjoy it.

The Westy 12 was served to me at cellar temperature around 14C (57F) as a vintage Belgian Quadrupel should be. This allows all of the beer's flavors to stand forward without the cold numbing your palate or any sensations. The pour was easy and straight forward; nothing too elegant, thick or lush - rather uneventful actually. No head built until about halfway up the glass when a soft airy cream colored foam began to build. It showed a smattering of large bubbles scarcely scattered throughout the head eventually building to maybe an inch. It faded fast to a translucent film. The beer was dark and glowing. It was a rich burgundy red with deep ambers, golden browns, and pitches of black trapping any light that came near. It was not totally opaque though, and was crisply transparent. Very pretty, but not nearly as dense or as full as I had expected.

The nose is soft and aromatic in a classic Belgian style. Malted grain bring pale and caramelized flavors into your nose and plays with the range of sweet bread, biscuit, golden raisins, brown sugar, and nuts. Sweetness dominates the air with no hop aroma to be found. Leaning back in for more brings apple juice and cider to my senses and more raisin flavor. Touches of pear and cereal show up, then fresh baked sweet egg bread.

When going in for a sip I was madly excited and nervous. I wanted it to be good, but at the same time was trying not to expect anything. I let the first sip wash over my palate and swirl into ever inch of my mouth. My friends were starring at me in silence awaiting my approval or disapproval. I said nothing and went in for another taste before I made any premature conclusions.

My first impression was of the mouthfeel - it was not thin, but it was definitely not lush. It poured over me with a smooth and silky texture, but was relatively flat and uncarbonated. The years ageing in the bottle may have have stripped the beer of its effervescence faster than I would have assumed. Beyond the mouthfeel was a sweet and fruity wave of malts - big malts. Quick complexity caught my attention at the Westy showed me golden raisins, plums, pears, light golden sugar and grapes. It was richly fruity and a good balance of sweet pale and caramel malts.

No roast, bitter, or tart was apparent to me yet, and I started to wonder how this seemingly one sided beer had claimed the top spot among the beer world's best. The malt was soft but potent, digging deep into my taste buds bringing candy, and sweet molasses. It showed hints of nut and sweet cereal, but lacked the cocoa, earth, citrus or complex presence that I was expecting from a big Quad like this. Regardless of what I was expecting, a delicious soft sweet bread flavor was present. It was the unmistakable flavor of Challa - a sweet egg bread made for Shabot dinner. Soon then came based apples and a hint of tart cider. The sweet was wide and generous, and very delicious. But still, something was lacking; a spice, or herb, or balance... Something.

The finish mimicked everything about this beer so far; it was a short, plain finish with a sweet fruity sensation and little crackle.

Don't get me wrong, this was very delicious, but to me beer is graded by flavor, construction, and sensations. This beer just didn't peak where I had expected it to, and hence the problem with knowing the hype. I would still give the Westy very high grades, just not in the elite class. That being said, two of my friends satting at the table has each had a Westy 12 before, and they both claimed that this tasted different. So, will not make a conclusion on this beer until I have had another. And the hunt continues...

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 03:00:57 | More by StephenRich
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours with one and a half fingers of off white foam on top of a somewhat hazy, dark brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Spicy yeast with notes of molasses, brown sugar, and a bit of a boozy note. Kind of rum like really.

T - A bit of dark fruit up front which is quickly washed away by toasty brown malt. Lots of burnt sugar and toast in the middle with a spicy finish of clove, licorice, and some tea like herbal bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a vey dry finish for such a strong beer.

D - Well, after years of wondering if I would ever have a chance to try this, here I am. You have to sort of expect that a beer with this much hype might fail, at least a little bit, to lie up to its reputation and as much as I hate to say it this is no exception. It is harshly toasty and kind of one dimensional, with a sickly sugary flavor that tastes like someone put too much sugar in their homebrew. It isn't as good as ABT 12 and its not even in the same building as Rochefort 10. I'm glad I only traded for one, I would guess this would fall off the top 100 rapidly if people could get it more easily.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 02:55:34 | More by nickfl
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

3.55/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

MASSIVE thanks to Rempo for this bottle...

Cap date: 29.10.05

A: Pours a murky brown and tan with a thin ring of pure white head around the edges of the glass. The foam ring lingers for as long as the beer is in the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is quite interesting. I get alcohol burn, berry notes, malt, and sugar. To be perfectly honest... it smells like some sort of cough syrup.

T: This beer tastes like moldy berries, soaked pumpernickel bread, rock candy, and booze.

M: Full bodied beer. It's sweet to start and cloying.

O: I know this beer has a huge claim to fame, but I'm just not a fan. I have had this many times in the past year, in a bunch of different vintages, and I remain firm on my ranking. I just don't like it. I don't understand all the hype. I can only trust my taste-buds. What I will say, is that I like this beer much better when it is fresh. This particular bottle has 10+ years on it.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 22:53:50 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of dedrinker
dedrinker

Kansas

3.53/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a well kept bottle of 4 years age. Poured a dark cola brown, and had little head or aroma. Slight aroma of dark fruit and maple, and flavor was similar. No oxidative notes, or any hint of staleness/ skunkiness etc. so I am sure this beer was well kept. I just don't get what the big deal is. this is my second try from a different batch a couple years after I had my first one, and the impression it has on me is consistent. Of course I did like the mouthfeel and finish that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but these were not very enchanting or beguiling - just vaguely pleasant. I suspect people just hype it up in their minds because it is so rare, and expensive. Highly coveted due to to its scarcity. Sorry if you are an offended devotee, but the emperor wears no clothes on this one. Someone said they are better fresh - I suppose I should try that before the final judgement.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 21:38:51 | More by dedrinker
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DerekQXQX

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

12-24-2013 18:45:21 | More by DerekQXQX
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tetu

Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

06-07-2014 16:55:36 | More by tetu
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donovansill

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

05-26-2014 22:09:33 | More by donovansill
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GuisseppeFranco

New York

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

11-13-2013 00:46:22 | More by GuisseppeFranco
Photo of danfix99
danfix99

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

03-20-2014 20:05:24 | More by danfix99
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KevinGordon

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

12-23-2012 04:56:48 | More by KevinGordon
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TheRealDBCooper

Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

12-25-2013 03:40:12 | More by TheRealDBCooper
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DrunkAl

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

05-12-2014 12:09:37 | More by DrunkAl
Photo of Heff19
Heff19

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

08-11-2012 22:58:20 | More by Heff19
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nollie77

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

04-16-2013 03:48:08 | More by nollie77
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Caudalie

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

11-12-2013 14:32:33 | More by Caudalie
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heffnate77

New York

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

12-12-2012 20:10:51 | More by heffnate77
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Rosquin

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

04-27-2013 22:32:11 | More by Rosquin
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Mikeluzzjr

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

03-24-2014 01:17:24 | More by Mikeluzzjr
Photo of PriorDoubleDark
PriorDoubleDark

Maine

3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

04-03-2013 04:13:09 | More by PriorDoubleDark
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,480 ratings.