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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5,421 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,421
Reviews: 1,722
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,298
Gots: 1,738 | FT: 133
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: 5,421 | Reviews: 1,722
Photo of jorgeorozco
5/5  rDev +8.5%


Photo of Diegofcosta
5/5  rDev +8.5%

É a melhor trapista que eu já experimentei! Muito rara, e merece toda a fama que tem!

Photo of ianw87
5/5  rDev +8.5%

One of the few beers I've had that lives up to the hype. Best quad I've ever tasted. Top 5 beers.

Photo of guityler83
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Cap Date - 07.05.17

A: Poured into a chalice, the beer produced lots of foam at first but quickly fizzed away allowing the pour to finish - when it was finally poured fully (minus the yeast) it was a finger and a half tall made of mid sized bubbles with a tan color. It continually bubbled up from the bottom creating pockets of foam, but the retention was low. The beer has a dark brown, leather like appearance with moderate haze, hints of auburn show as it is held to a light source.

S: Mild to medium aroma with prunes, plums, figs, red grapes. Also getting a fresh yeasty character, not traditional belgian yeast but more like bread yeast. Toast and melenoidin bread crust aromas are at the threshold levels and a spicey note that could be coming from hops or yeast phenols.

T: Huge flavor.. Tons of those dark fruit flavors - dates, prunes, figs, with a big base of bread crust, biscuits and toast. Tobacco, melenoidins, burnt sugar, slight vanilla and dark cherries also coming through at different rates. The sweetness is kept to a low level with the big spicey hop bitterness and flavor giving an earthy undertone and the yeasty character i pickup gives a surprising lager like cleanness. The phenols are kept to a minimum and there is only a hint of ethanol in the flavor (at this early age).

M: A creamy mouthfeel that gives way to a moderately high carbonation bite. There is a tingly sensation on the palette that reminds me of a bourbon barrel aged beer. Moderate body with a high amount of alcohol warming.

O: There are no short of reviews for this beer and chances are this won’t convince you to try or not try this beer, however if you can get the beer without too much trouble - get it. Not nearly as alcohol forward as I’ve heard and I wasn’t prepared for the yeasty bread flavor that made this very interesting and more drinkable. I’ll be curious to see how my other bottles age.

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Had better quads (especially for the price paid) but still a great beer

Photo of Wobbly
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep amber-brown color, almost lavender with the light. Considerable bloom that slowly evaporates. Some lacing. Yeast sediment is clearly seen. Hardly any carbonation.

S: Sweet, toffee-like notes (almost like cotton candy, as some other reviewers have noticed) give way to a delightfully dry bitterness. Alcoholic content obvious but very appetizing.

T: One of the most complex flavor profiles of any beer I have tried. At first, definite sweetness (toffee, cotton candy) and pleasantly warm alcoholic flavors dominate the palate, eventually giving way to a wonderfully dry bitterness, which accentuates the fruity, sweet malt flavors. Really good with fine chocolates or sweet, soft cheese.

M: Medium but firm body. Very smooth but rich and substantial.

O: A really decadent beer, best used during the dessert course or perhaps as an after dinner drink. As fine a quadrupel as any I have ever tried, and perhaps the best. Since I have only had this beer once, I resist the temptation of declaring it the best. But certainly right up there with Rochefort 12 and St. Bernardus 12.

Photo of RaphaelSC
5/5  rDev +8.5%

It was a 2011 Vintage of the save abbey action, and I served in a Westvleteren chalice of the same event.

A: Pours a Brown caramel body with a thick caramel colored head with good rentention.

S: A sweet chocolate liquor and some caramel notes, some alcoholic notes in the end.

T: Follows the nose with a predominant chocolate flavour and some mild alcoholic spicy bitterness. When the beer warms ups some nuts and toasted malt notes appear too as dried black fruits and wooden notes.

M: Good and mild carbonation, mild warmth and creamy body. A very mild mouthfeel, making Westy more drinkable than the other high abv beers.

O:Complex still very light, high abv but not so invasive. The chocolate predominance is a good surprise, making this beer unique in it style. More delicate than Rochefort 10, but with all complexity makes a perfect balanced quad, a wonderful style, but too extreme for some. I really like Quadrupel style in all its complexity and Westvleteren XII is a perfect Quadrupel.

Photo of jdhowe
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Reviewed from notes from a blind tasting.

A: Clear, deep amber, with a slight dark khaki head. (4.25)

S: Fig, candied cherries, dates, clean and abundantly fruity. (4.5)

T/M: Clean, mild but plentiful fruitiness, fruit/candy sweetness with a light bitterness. High carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Finish is mildly bitter and clean. (4.25/4.5)

O: 4.5

Photo of papat444
3.82/5  rDev -17.1%

Big thanks to FondueVoodoo for getting me this one.

Gushes a little at the pop of the cap, effervescent head atop a dark leather brown. Musty aroma; flavor is figs, dates and tobacco leaves(?). Coats tongue, bit too carbonated but not by much, feel is good but needs to overstay its welcome.

I`ll be honest, 2nd time i try a Westy and i`m not wowed. A good Belgian ale but i prefer St-Bernardus or Rochefort. I think this is a question of the mystique overshadowing the actual beer.

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.

Photo of smallberries
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Tasting this beer at all was a convergence of split second timing, vacation angst, and dumb luck. Google led me to the only bar in Brussels that served it, a gorgeous place built in the 1400's I think (and last painted in the 1600's I would wager). Perhaps it was the road weary barmaid or the loco dude siting to my right who was deep into a political debate with someone sitting between us that only he could see, but I hate to say that I was not that impressed. The beer is very complex with deep malty flavors, alcohol forward, caramel and nuts, nice bitterness, but it tasted like every other quad I've ever had. And it was served at what I would call spit-warm cellar temp, which seemed wrong. If I ever find myself in Belgium again, I'm going to the brewery. No more f'ing around, because I believe in second chances.

Photo of juneauscott
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Great beer, IMHO, best when aged for about 5 years

Photo of LehighAce06
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

S: Rich, salty caramel. Distinct Belgian yeast

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

M: Smooth but sharply effervescent

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

Photo of tharper178
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Brown, with golden hue. Tiny bubbles form white head leave some lacing. Very full with dense suspended solids.

S: Malty, bready, sweet dark fruit, fried plantains.

T: Many reviews report a taste of dates. I concur. Raisins. Fried plantains. Take your time and let this warm. It evolves beautifully.

M: Full, syrupy, lingering, depth and body. Soft.

O: I did a taste test, westy 12 vs rochefort 10. I regret not adding more quads like st bernardus 12 because it was fun comparing. I can see how this beer lives up to its hype. It's one of the best beers in the world and Im very fortunate to have been given this amazing opportunity. I'm happy to report beer doesn't get better than this. Makes me want to visit Belgium.

Photo of More_betterness
4.46/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany with clear ruby hues when held up to the light. High carbonation causes an off white head that leaves patchy lacing on the glass when it recedes.

S: Banana, walnuts, and bready malt combine to create an aroma reminiscent of banana nut muffins. Brandied darks fruits and sweet caramel close out the nose. Fantastic.

T: Dates, plums, and a slight bitterness upfront. Long and lingering notes of brown sugar and raisins mid-palate. No perceptible alcohol which is amazing considering the ABV. Not nearly as complex or potent as the nose but still great.

M: Light bodied and effervescent. However, each sip coats the mouth and causes the flavors to linger long after each sip.

O: Amazing how such complex flavors and aromas can be contained in such a concise package. It is almost impossible to live up to the hype that this beer has, but by far the best example of the style I've ever had. Those monks at Saint Sixtus know what they're doing.

Photo of homebrew311
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from back log. 2001 vintage, shared by Preismj, thanks Matt!

Pours a deep purple with a bit of haze and no head to speak of. Nose is a raisin bomb with very complex notes in the aroma. Notes of vanilla, leather, dates, grapes, and candied fruit all come through with a hint of brown sugar in the background. Taste starts out with malty sweetness which comes off as being quite smooth. The sweetness is reminiscent of candied grapes with notes of caramel and a nice cinnamon raisin bread. Flavors are balanced beautifully, which I'm sure is in part due to the age of this beer. Mouthfeel is mellow and smooth. Overall, this beer was quite the treat, now I just need to give it a try fresh.

Photo of endovelico
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nose: A seriously monstrous nose. Notes of chocolate, dark fruit and roses among other flowery notes make for a complete aromatic delight. Stupendously complex and fragrant.

Mouth: Bold, intense, rich. Coffee up front and a lot dark fruits and perfumy notes at the back. The finish is expressive and long, reminiscent of a Black Russian shot.

Overall: Myth status confirmed. This beer is pretty much near perfection for its style.

Photo of Phocion
4.81/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cap dated April 20, 2009, making this about six years and three months old. Stored at cellar temp since it arrived in the States in 2006. Last one; I drank the most recent in the spring of 2008. 330ml bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Dark copper with a minimal but dense and persistent beige head. Head dissipates into a very swirly crown. Very hazy with pieces of sediment (unsurprising due to the age) floating around, despite my careful attempts to avoid pouring them.

Massive, complex bouquet. Huge alcohol and esters. Rum-like fusels with a ton of fruit flavors; cherry, plum, raisin, dark berries. Medicinal and slightly spicy phenols. Toffee, bready, and caramel malts and candi sugar. Molasses. Slightly nutty.

The flavor is just as ridiculously complex as the nose, but a little more subdued. Soft, sweet candi sugar combines with a ton of fruity esters. The cherries give it almost a little vinous flavor, but it combines with dates and raisins. The malts are big and sweet and indicating toffee and caramel(along with the candi sugar), but not even remotely close to cloying. Warmth from the alcohol brings about an excellent balance, and the yeasty esters and phenols give it a little bit of sharpness.

Moderately carbonated; it may have dropped after six years in the bottle. Medium body, but it stands up to the alcohol and massive flavor profile. The alcohol gives it a more substantial feel and some warmth, but it is still fairly smooth.

For the first few years I was on this site, it was considered the Holy Grail beer. I have drank it before but never rated it, but this one is utterly phenomenal. Even if not the best beer in the world, it lives up to its hype. Apparently six years isn't too long to age it either. Absolutely wonderful and I hope I get the chance to drink another one of these again.

Photo of bbarclay
4.86/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5


Nice hiss and carbon smoke on open.

Effervescent like champagne as it hits your tongue, then melts into figs, raisins, grapes, chocolate... no alcohol on it at all.

For a quad, this is superb, as expected.

**When I got this, I wasn't expecting it to live up to the hype. In all honesty, this surpassed all the hype and expectations. It's a fantastic beer.

Photo of byronic
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours an opaque brown with a frothy tan head which dissipates leaving a nice persistent lacing.

A bouquet of ripe dark fruits, brown sugar and Belgian yeasts.

Sipping this beer is an adventure. Lots of dark fruits, fig, raisin and plums with sweetness added from brown sugar and caramel. The Belgian yeasts really shine and are fantastically complimented.

Highly carbonated with a smooth creamy mouth feel. The alcohol leaves a nice warming feeling and becomes ever more present as it comes up to temperature.

The only downside is an empty glass.

Photo of thecheapies
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Westvleteren 12. 2010 vintage. Poured into its Westy chalice.

Soft hiss crack. Poured out brown for the first half, then a sludgy dark brown accidentally slipped in. Poor decanting left a colony of yeast dredge on the foam top. The head looks excellent. Stays intact after a long time, like a blanket. The beer is a deep chestnut purple-brown. Classic Westy look.

Earthy brown bread maltiness, figgy fruits, phenols, Belgian chocolate, nutty yeast, prune, and dry light roast. Mild herbal character. No leftover booze to speak of. Some umami aromas included here. Hard to describe. Maybe stewed fruits.

Rich maltiness with brown bread and mild spiciness from phenols and moderate bitterness. Fig, raisin, nutty chocolate, clove, mild roast, medicinal notes, and candi sugar leftovers. Pleasantly, on the dry side. So much going on, and nothing that really dominates. A hearty brew with savory notes and an immense body of endless size and smoothness. So brothy in flavor and in feel. Nice bubble pop here and there in the mouth. Incredible feel.

Photo of BeerZombies1
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Westvleteren 12 ( xii )
10.2% ABV

APPEARANCE: Pours a deep muddy opaque brown, with a frothy, rocky ecru colored head. Sheeting lacing that is dissipating the head rapidly as I watch bringing it down to a spotted thin halo. Very interesting to watch that.

AROMA: Super bountiful bouquet, lots of plum, raisins, dates and brandy right away. Christmas spices hanging around with some sweet caramelized brown sugars that are ever present.

TASTE: Complex flavors that change with every sip. Rich sweet dark deep fruits, cocoa layered with a malty sweetness. Some over ripe banana and those winter spices. There is a bit of hear from the alcohol but still nicely balanced.

MOUTHFEEL: Full body with lazy low carbonation. Creamy and chewy that really expands in your mouth. Long sweet finish with a slight bit of bitterness.

OVERALL: This was on my beer bucket list and it's hard not to be biased from all the hype. I do think it lived up to it though. I think it's a brilliant example of the style and I am really happy I got to try it. I don't feel like it's mind blowing and I can't say it's the best Belgian Quad in the world because I haven't had a lot to compare it to but on its own it really was a pretty amazing beer!

RATING: 4.8/5 Zombie Heads!

Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
3.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brown, root beer color, with a tan head and nice lacing.

Aroma: Tart grapes, raisin, and butterscotch hard candy.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Flavors of black liquorice, raisin, subtle Christmas spice, and horehound hard candy. It has a buttery/butterscotch flavor and texture overall, with mineral flavors through the nose.

Final Word: For the price, I found this beer to be surprisingly straightforward and simple. The flavors were good (though the buttery characteristic could be a sign that my bottle wasn’t in peak shape), but they didn’t seem to mesh very well or stick around very long. I count myself lucky to have even gotten the chance to try a bottle, but find that I am completely unwilling to pay the steep price for another bottle. I’ve had plenty of beers with big price tags that were absolutely worth the price of entry, but I wouldn’t count this one among them. It simply lacked that euphoric “Wow!” that I’ve gotten from other top tier beers that I’ve tasted. When you pay $20+ for an 11.2oz. bottle, the reaction should never be indifference or disappointment. Again, I’ve found that very few reviewers of this beer include the butter/butterscotch flavor that I experienced in their profiles, which could point to my bottle being sub par due to shipping, temperature, or time, but at the same time I tasted what I tasted, and it was unfortunately disappointing given the price tag. This beer is far from bad, but it did not live up to its reputation as the best beer in the world, as the flavors weren’t full enough, and seemed to stand apart from each other instead of existing in harmony. If you get the chance to pick one up, it might be worth it just to say you’ve had it, but honestly I worry that this reasoning is what drives many people to buy it. Rarity doesn’t necessarily equal quality, and while this beer was still tasty, I found that Rochefort 10 not only gave it a run for its money, but was actually preferred by me. Check for freshness before you buy.

Photo of patre_tim
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with ruby and amber tinges, half finger of beige head, slight cloudiness hard to see any carbonation.

S: Cherries, figs, bananas, vanilla, phenols.

T: Phenols, figs, cherries, surprisingly dry, light sweetness and finishes with a liquorice bitterness. Alcohol presence comes in a throat burn. Vanilla.

M: Highly carbonated, hot and sprite like, big and small bubbles.

O: First time to have this was Dec 19th, 2013. I Drank it in China with wife. Got a sixer at In De Verde. Surprised at the dryness, probably needs no aging but will give aging it a try. Great scent, tastes like an already aged beer.

Photo of Benempt
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing. Just keeps going, tastes so perfect. Thank you OC beer kings for the bottle share.

Appearance - chunky and bubbly! Obvious debris in the dark brown effervescence.

Smell - mild? Hard to recall.

Taste - Amazing. With the deep brown color, it is hard not to think of tootsie rolls.

Mouthfeel - sipping was delicious, didn't want to try quaffing. Coated my mouth with a long lasting taste I'd never had before.

Overall - Unique and precious, must try.

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 5,421 ratings.