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

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,732 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,732
Hads: 5,676
Avg: 4.61
pDev: 16.27%
Wants: 3,451
Gots: 1,898 | FT: 144
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,732 | Hads: 5,676
Photo of IrishCowboy
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I didn't want to review this one when I first tried it a year+ ago.

Reason for this was the date on the bottles indicated they were fairly new.
I had read other reviews that mentioned how the brew had gotten much better after a year of aging.

So, I did what any sensible Beer Advocate would do. Tried one IMMEDIATELY and then saved some for down the road.

Well, I tried one at 6 months and now a year+ later tried another one.

Since this beer left such a unique impression on me right away I didn't need to be reminded what it tasted like.

So my impression comparison is based on the difference betwene the young brewed version vs the aged versions.

The Westvleteren 12 is more invasive when it is young. By invasive I mean that the alchohol/phenol elements can take alot of the sweetness off the beginning. The young one assaults your palate and if you are not very verse in beer tasting you WILL NOT understand what is going on. To top this off the different subtle flavors get lost in the potency of the crispness of the young brew. You will be trying to taste it but its too much. You WILL know its a 11-12% alcohol content but will also be surprised how well the brew works with the potency.

Your tongue can pick out flavors but its a wild ride.

Now onto the 6 month and 12 month aged brews.

Here is where the trappist craft starts to show up.

Both the 6 and 12 month aged brews (aged in a wine fridge at 40f) were less invasive then the young brew and to top it off the natural carbonation crispness is reduced a bit.

A - Young brew poured into the westy12 glass and the 6 and 12 month poured into my favorite beer glass, the russian river drinking glass, the brew shows up a dark deep ruby red with an off white head. Again the head was about 1 finger and didn't seem to be much different then the young brew.

S - The smell of the aged brews were each less alcoholic in presence and the real berry and chocolate in fresh cracked warm bread smell shows up great. I would smell it throughout the session amazed at the different characteristics.

T - The taste is astounding at the 12 month mark. I would say if you tried a young version of this to do yourself a favor and wait for a year and give it a go. Its the same beer you had but with a much richer and greater range of flavor and the finish leaves you with an even greater need to lift it back to your mouth. The 12 month old one had me begging to slug it down like I would a glass of water after a 5 mile run in the desert. The taste starts out with berrys then moves into the breads and finally levels out feeling as though you had just swallowed a chocolate covered cherry.

M - Mouthfeel is another characteristic that changes alot with aging. I would say after my initial year run that young, 6 and 12 month versions would leave me to believe that a 9 month aged bottle would be the perfect balance between the crispness in carbonation vs phenolic nose. Not flat and still a little edge in the wash.

D - Very few crafted beers make me want to slam them all the way through. Usually I would want to sip them and enjoy the flavor with the occasional mouth slug to accomodate the medium cooked mustard cheese burger. This Westvleteren 12 is really hard to leave alone. Its a trappist that you could easily call a session beer IF you could get over the rareness and your liver can hack the alcohol % since it is hidden well from the senses after a year of aging. The young Westy 12 will make you sip it. Its invasive and still tastes great but the aged one was not asking me to use caution. It was mellowed out and finally the whole idea comes together for, easily, the finest quad on the planet.

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Photo of Habanero58
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first review for BA so I'm starting at the very top. This is an absolutely stunning beer. Still awaiting the Westvleteren Chalice that a dear friend has waiting in the wings for me, in the meantime I decanted this delight into my trusty Westmalle Chalice and allowed it to warm for a little while before eagerly tasting...

The initial spicy chocolate attack of this darkest of nectars is overwhelming enough but just as you're feeling rather impressed, the flavours just amplify .. and amplify ... dark cocoa, cinammon, rich mollasses, and then the 10.2% kicks in with it's own symphony of pleasure before the faintest of hoppy bitterness lingers on ... a truly amazing experience that had me slowing down in ultimate reverance!

Two days earlier I tasted the Westvleteren 8 which I found to be an equally impressive, although a creamier brew. On a very special night sometime soon, I would like to try them back to back or do a blindfold test with a Rochefort 10 in the mix... I think I'll know the Westy 12 !!

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Photo of kirok1999
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Obviously had huge expectations for this one but I put the objective goggles on and just treated it like any other beer. Poured deep ruby, crystal shiny in the glass but 1/2" of yeasties in the bottle. Lots of grape wine in the nose, sweet fruity, not dominant. Very nice taste, more like a wine than a beer, lots of heavy fruity grape notes. Tight carbonation and dense mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn in the end. I could drink this all night long but, seriously, it's not that much better than Trappistes Rochefort 10. If I can get another one I'll do a blind side by side with the 10. Very good but not the best beer in the world.

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

First off, thanks to my brother Dogfood for bringing me this sample over Christmas. I was gonna save it for a while, but I just can't resist cracking into one of (if not) the top rated beer in the world.

Broke out the trusty Westmalle chalice. There is no label, just a cap to let you know what you are drinking.

Color is ruby brown, the head consists of shimmering, tight, brown bubbles, which take there time fading to a solid thin layer.

The aroma is intoxicating, yet hard to describe. I get dark fruits, molasses, toffee, brown sugar, cherry...

One sip is enough for me to believe the hype. This one is a 5 plain and simple, I'm just going to enjoy the rest of this now...

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I received a mix crate of the celebrated Westvleteren for Christmas, I cracked open the 12 and 8 for New Years.

Poured into a plain Goblet

I won't even bother breaking down this brew into smell, taste, overall, etc.

This is just a fantastic beer, Its almost insulting to call it beer, its a sweet elixer that must have been handed down by the God(s).

I don't just hand out good ratings for beers, and selectively review beers. This one is all that its reputation says it is, some of the best beer in the world. So smooth, so good, so very very good. I'm happy I have more of these, and will have to work on getting some more. I just can't live without this beer (elixer) now. Find it, Get it, Be thankful you did.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle with the best by date of 30.08.09 printed on the yellow cap. This is my first time having this particular beer so I figured there is no better time to try it than to help ring in the new year. The smell is extremely aromatic and is simply fantastic! There are a lot of dark malty fruits (plums and raisins), Belgian yeast and bread. The taste is slightly spicy malt, fresh dark bread and a lingering warming from the alcohol. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with medium-low carbonation. No doubt that this is certainly a world class beer that is extremely well crafted. Now that I have had both the 12 and 8, I actually enjoy the Westy 8 even more than it's big brother.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a decent size tan head that slowly recedes. A light perfuminess mixes with sweet ripe fruitiness in the aroma. Raisin, plums, and figs, a caramel breadiness as well. Taste is a mix of chocolate and more of the ripe fruity maltiness mix with belgian sugars and sugar cane flavors. There is a crisp peppery hoppiness that begins mid taste and blends with a warming alcohol and some smokiness in the finish. Medium to heavy in body. Besides the warmth in the finish, alcohol is very well balanced, peppery bitterness helps to cut the richness from the malts. Easy to drink, I look forward to seeing what some age does to this one.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't really like Quads.

But I've always insisted that for every style there is one beer that will radically change your perception of the style and make you fall in love with it.

Westy 12 is that beer.

The head just won't die and the beer is a pleasant plum colour.

The smell, well, words fail me. There is simply too much going on to really accurately describe. If I had to choose a smell, I would say chestnut. But there are hints of mint, chocolate, plums, pears -- a veritable cornucopia of smells.

The taste follows smell. At first there is a strong nutty presence (chestnuts, definately) with baker's chocolate, plums, pears, you know, all the stuff I described in the smell section. The finish is outstanding: there is a quick 'minty' taste from continental hops that clears the palate and leaves room for the rich taste of cinnamon, allspice, and clove. It manages to be sweet and bitter at the same time. Such a wonderful contrast. So much going on here, words fail.

I've really disliked the mouthfeel of other Quads. I guess I'm gonna have to give the style another shot. This mouthfeel is actually quite pleasant, I think largely because the finish is nice.

Drinkability? This is good. A single bottle will take me a long time to finish and it is unlikely that I would want to reach for another, but man, what a beer.

I'm a believer.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 - Pours a deep, rich medium brown color with sherry red accents and a voluminous tan, thick head which dissipates fairly quickly. A lot of suspended yeast flecks visible as well. Heavy lacing in the oversized goblet into which this fine ale is poured. The nose is outstanding - sweet fruits, Belgian yeast, and a slight spiciness. Very inviting. The palate doesn't disappoint in the least ... sweet roasted malts, exotic fruits, and the finest Belgian yeast flavors. Starts out quite sweet, then yields to more complex fruity and spicy notes. Moutfeel is medium, with a very pleasing alcohol warmth. Finish is dry, despite the sweet beginnings. Mildly acidic, yet zero bitterness. Wow, what can I say ... it's Westy 12. You really just don't get any better than this. At the very top of my list, edged out ...maybe ... by St. Bernardus Abt 12. Maybe. Over all, though, one of the top beers in the world. Excellent in every way imaginable.

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Photo of badbeer
4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Date on bottle says best before 11/1/09. Poured into a Rochefort chalice.

Poured a really dark amber brown with an off white head that stayed throughout the glass and left some lacing. Smell is a little lighter than I expected, but still plenty of dark fruits and spices, with a little bit of a sour smell detected. Taste was much of the same, didn't really detect any sourness that I found in the nose, also I couldn't detect the alcohol. Even with my expectations of this beer being very complex, it still caught me a bit offguard, it was very nice, nearly perfect. Medium bodied, with a light to medium amount of carbonation; it was smooth with a slightly dry finish to it. Drinkability was incredible, alcohol was not to be found and it seemed to go down just as easy as a 3.2% cask ale, I had to hold myself back from drinking this too fast. The best beer in the world? Maybe. My favorite beer? No, maybe with some age though. A damn fine beer worth seeking out? Absolutely.

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

A Christmas present from my daughter who is spending a year near Amsterdam. She made the trek, made the calls for an appointment, took the trains and got a few rides....There is no way that I thought this beer could ever live up to its hype. (A group of us just got back from a vacation to Belgium and we could not get this beer anywhere.)

It lived up to its hype!

A plain brown bottle with only the cap signifying that you have a Westvleteren 12 in your grasp. On the cap in computer print is 22.11.09...it was just a month from being picked up at the brewery. The beer pours into my official "Trappist Westvleteren" tulip glass (also part of the present) a burnt amber with an offwhite head that lasts a good while before disappearing into persistent lace.

The aroma is a delicious combination, perfectly balancing sweet malts and dark fruits. There is raisin, some plum, backed by caramel and light toffee.

The flavor is just amazing. Again, the perfect balance of malt, dark/dried fruits with a hint of alcohol. A little taste of brown sugar, fresh plum, dried cherry, and the slightest hop presence to wrap everything together. The aftertaste stays with you, making you not want to eat or drink anything else to help you savor this beer.

Medium body, velvety smooth, and a nice alcohol warmth.

This beer is close to perfect. It's freshness no doubt really helps the intangibles come out, but I happen to have another couple of bottles that I plan to stash away to try later. The smoothness and balance are so hard for any other beer to capture, and this beer does that impecibly. What a great Christmas present!!

edit: OK...I did find the date and put it in my review. I put the rest of my bottles away to cellar, taking out for special occasions. I hope a few last a year or so. Fresh it's, well, exceptional.

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

Last of the birthday brews. 12/22
Pours out a very nice dark coffee with mabey a 1/2 of finger of offwhite suds. The chunks are in the bottom of this one for sure.
If you want a pure pour you have to be very careful. I might do that on the next one. I want every part of this in my westy chalice.
Smell is like a fine wine. So subtle with fruits and spices galore.
Raspberry and cherry hit me first and the yeast is so impressive.
I smell coffee and sugar and caramel and malt. The yeast is the strongest though as it burns the nose.
Taste is a malty sugarness with hints of cherry and orange that dance on the tip of the tounge. Coffee and grapefruit come to mind.
This is a very sweet beer. The aftertaste is the best part because it lingers such a long time in the back of the throat.
Mouthfeel is perfect with the spices and the alcohol mixing to leave the tounge coated with so many memories.
If I were either a rich man or a monk, I could drink this all day and all night.

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Photo of bgraney
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep, rich brown with a shorty frothy off white head.
As soon as I popped the cap I got a whiff of the aroma. Like letting the genie out of the bottle. Malty raisins and plums, not overwhelming, balanced.
Much stronger flavor than the aroma suggested. The earthy malt flavor penetrates deeply, paving the way for the alcohol follow through. The first sip is definitely a wow moment. There's a lot going on but it's not like flavors are coming at you from every direction, it's the unified whole that creates the flavor experience.
Lingering flavors leave behind an enjoyable alcohol tang and then the malt flavors settle in.
It's so interesting and complex I find it very drinkable for a high alcohol ale.
Did it live up to the hype? I think so. I wasn't expecting a miracle or an otherworldly experience and what I got was one magnificent drinking experience. For sipping one beer, I don't think it gets any better than this.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased a bottle at 't Waagstuk in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark ruby-brown. A one-inch, beige head fades to a very persistent, thin layer, leaving thick lace.

Smell: Fairly light overall, but nice. Raisins and other dark fruit, light roastiness, with a light graininess. Alcohol is also evident, but is mild.

Taste: Very nice. Lots of dark fruit like raisins and dates. It's sweet but is balanced well by a peppery and alcoholic bite. The finish has nice bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, low carbonation with alcoholic warming in the finish.

Drinkability: Sweet, but very well balanced.

Overall: This is a great beer. It might not be the best in the world, but it certainly is fantastic.

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

This is one of those beer pilgrimages that you dream about. From Paris, we took four trains to get to Poperinge, Belgium, not knowing if the café across the street from the brewery would be open (it was Sunday). We hitchhiked through hop fields to get to Westvleteren.

All the beer is poured from bottles, even in Westvleteren, but the quadruppel gets a glass with a gold rim. Nice touch. Wonderfully dark, rich color. Deep malty smell. The taste is enough to make you weep. It’s a rollercoaster, really. The hops give you a nice introduction while the malty richness round out the flavor. The first hint of the alcohol is a appley overtone that is complemented perfectly by the hops. Truly spectacular. This is beer that I could drink for the rest of my life. Undoubtedly.

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Photo of BeerRun13
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finaly get to try this one. Big thanks to HimmerMan.

Pours a mostly clear burgundy cranberry color. A fluffy eggshell head fades a bit and leaves some sticky lace.
Malty, candi sugar, spice in the nose. Also some fruity notes and quite noticeably a plumb like aroma.
Fruity flavors are abundant banana clove for sure. Plumby, pruny flavors. A nice spice element. Some alcohol. A light hopiness in the midst of everything.
Medium to full bodied. Perfectly carbonated. Perfectly dry. Warming to the palate.
Don't know if this is my # 1, but can certainly see how this is one of the best beers out there.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle came to me in a trade from BA dogfooddog, and was unlabeled, with a yellow cap indicating a best before date of 08 04 08, making this a little over a year old. As I poured into a tulip, the beer came out murky dark brown and had a two finger thick foamy head. The aroma was spicy-sweet, with the smells of fresh hay, ripe cherries, chocolate, brown sugar, and apple skins detectable. The taste was about as smooth as I have had in a beer of this strength. Sweet tropical fruit and spiced bread like malts interplayed with earthy yeast and spicy hops, and everything was in perfect balance. The beer was somehow robust and delicate at the same time. At this young age the alcohol was evident, but only as soothing warmth. The mouthfeel was oily smooth, and the beer went down very easily and left a sweet aftertaste. Very fine beer indeed.

I decided to drink it side by side with a 2006 St. Bernardus Abt 12 for the sake of comparison. The color of the two was almost the same but the St. Bernardus was much more carbonated. It also smelled stronger, and had a distinctly sour note in the taste that was absent from the Westvleteren offering. The Westvleteren was sweeter and smoother than the secular cousin. Bottom line; can’t go wrong with either of them.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Boy what a great beer. Poured with no head. Looks like brandy. Actually even has some signs of legs. Toffee and brandy aromas. Alcohol. Fruity and estery. The flavor left me speechless. Man, what a flavor. Raisin, cherry, gosh. Any description I could conjure up would not do this beer justice. How can the monks be so selfish.

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

A two year old bottle poured into a goblet. Very opaque appearance with a chestnut hue. Dark chunks of yeast present. A soda-colored head dissipates quickly. The aroma is that of a caramel apple, with hints of nut, chocolate. Rather earthy/leathery. It is not a strong smell, but enough to let you know something good lurks beneath.

The taste is dominated with malty caramel and nuts with small hints of (?)cabbage. It feels smooth and rather dry on the tongue. Very potent. It finishes as smooth as it starts and is very agreeable. Great beer.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice it forms a whispy tan head that is very creamy as it settles and leaves sporadic lace. Brown body with small amounts of super fine carbonation.

Smell is of dark fruits, namely plumbs, raisins and suggestions of chocolate and caramel in the backdrop.

Taste: This is where the rubber hits the road and this is where this brew excells to perfection. What I don't pick up in the smell is the hops and spices that make up the finish of this offering. It has everything you'd expect from a quad and then blammmo right towards the finish is a spiced up, alcohol warming, and a touch of hop bitterness that really keeps this huge offering in check and adds to the drinkability as well.

Notes: I was taken back by the complexity and depth of this offering. You could tell me there is a woody presence and I could find it. You could tell me there are exotic fruits and in the depths of this brew I could get a slice of mango. Its all over the map and perfectly executed. The spices and slight bitter balancer towards the finish was the sealer for me. I bought 4 bottles of this and I will pull one out when the mood hits me although they may stick around for very special occasions.

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

Poured into my hand-washed, air-dried St. Bernardus goblet...
gotta let this one sit out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving....

A: pours a dark brown with a 1 and 1/2 finger off-white head. Down to about a 1/4 inch after about 1 minute.

S: Smells yeasty. Dark fruits....definitely apples and plums.

T: flavors blend so well it's hard to pick out anything individually. I'm not even gonna try, but it's oooh so nice.

M: smooth and chewy at the same time. Is that possible? It appears so..

D: I'd drink them all night if they weren't already designated to friends and trades... trying to rationalize drinking another, but not comming up with anything good.

I gotta admit, with it being number one, I was expecting a religious experience, instead I ended up with a really, really good beer. My best advice is to NOT drink it cold. You gotta let the flavors show through at about 55 degrees. (20 minutes outside the fridge).

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

33cl bottle with a 30.08.09 freshness date

Appearance - Pours a very dark red/brown, with around half an inch of head that clings to the side of the glass with each swirl.

Smell - Dark fruity smell of raisins, plums, and cranberries. Yeasty smell as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very creamy, malty mouthfeel. Taste of belgian candi sugars and dark fruits. Light hop bitterness, and the perfect amount of carbonation. The closest thing to an orgasm of the mouth. Absolutely wonderful.

Drinkability - The 10.2% alcohol is barely even noticeable. Very drinkable brew; my 33cl glass was empty before I knew it, and left me wanting more and more. I could drink this everyday for the rest of my life, if it was readily available.

At first I was hesitant to give this beer straight 5s, but I honestly can't find anything I'd want to change about it. Perfection in a bottle. Easily the best beer I've ever had.

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Photo of akorsak
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 33 cL bottle purchased from BelgianShop.com.

A: The beer is a deep, dark brown color. When held to light, a few red hints emerge, but not enough to radically change the color. The head is a billowy white crown, pouring to 2 fingers and leaving lace throughout the goblet.

S: The beer has a big, bold alefruity aroma. The scents are thick and lucious, with raisins, milk chocolate, figs and yeast dominating the nose.

T: The ale has as many flavors as it does scents. The malty body is thick and chewy, full of candi sugars that are sweet without overloading the tastebuds. The candi sugars are followed by an array of dark fruity flavors: raisins, figs, dates. All of the flavors occur at once and never dominate each other. Truly an incredible beer.

M: The flavors are so intense that they almost overwhelm the senses. Every sip, especially as the ale warmed, was a pure treat.

D: The 10.2% abv is a whopper, as is the thickness of the taste. The abv is gonna limit you to one or two and the thickness is gonna fill you up quick. Absolutely drinkable and well worth the cost.

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Photo of rayjay
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just got some in the mail today, and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight before I cracked one open.... 30.08.09

Deep brown beer with red highlights, low carbonation. There was a head, for about 60 seconds or so, but it has dissipated to a reddish/purplish/brownish-stained island and a single ring of white lacing around the entire goblet.

There is a faint nose, but what is detectable is sweet malty beer.

Wow, my first impression is subtle boldness; nothing about this beer is simple or ordinary, yet it remains constrained and civilized. Quite a work of art, indeed. Complex sugar-dominated flavor profile, full of rich, sweet caramelized malts and candi sugar, and yet it remains tame and never overly-sweet; most of the sweetness rolls off after just a brief moment, to reveal a complex, colorful aftertaste. Warmth is the only hint of alcohol. Notable flavors include pepper jack cheese, dried fruits (apricots, dates, figs, bananas), faint hop bitterness, and delicious spring water.

Carbonation is very light and hardly there, and adds a bit of spiciness that enhances the flavor perfectly. It is slightly sticky, which adds a bit of thickness and cuts drinkability a tad; honestly, though, it's the most drinkable quad I've had yet-it's not as thick as maple syrup and also doesn't coat your tongue.

Highly recommended; I was expecting a much more arrogant beer, and what I found was a gentle giant.

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Photo of CH3CH2OH
4.12/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Traded with Akorsak for this; thanks again.

Head dissipated quickly. Poured a dark and murky, like a good Belgian should. Had a bready aroma, with some light malt. Faint fruity esters. A tart flavor with a nice heavy melanoidin background. Little bit of a thin mouthfeel with very little finish. Extremely drinkable for a beer of this abv.

I did a blind taste test between this, Rochefort 10, and St. Bernardus 12 to take some of the bias away that I might normally have for such a rare beer. I had a hard time differentiating it from the St. Bernardus (makes since, because St. Bernardus contract brewed for Westvleteren for many years.)

Great to try, but given its rarity I would go with Rochefort or Chimay first.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,732 ratings.