Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 4,605 | Reviews: 1,610 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev -5.6%
The Beer. Hard to meet the bar and expectations, but it does. Could 2 years plus not be enough aging? The fine wine appearance. Even the sediment is beautiful. Complex aroma including raisin.
Was even better at room temperature on a very cold day
Had one in late winter 2011. Its very classy . Averaging my individual 5 ratings on it.
07-19-2004 03:44:32 | More by Sammy
4.53/5 rDev -1.7%
HUGE thanks to ehammond1 for setting me up with one of these!
Cap is dated 15.06.14.
Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy 2 inch khaki head that settles to a puffy cap on top of the beer. Thick foamy chunks of lace cling to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and a variety of fruit aromas: grape juice, grape jelly/jam, dark fruits. Taste is of raisin bread, brown sugar, burnt caramel, dark fruits, grape juice, and a kick of alcohol on the finish. The alcohol is warming in the back of the throat after each sip and a slight amount of bitterness as well. This beer has a bubbly level of carbonation with a crisp and slightly drying mouthfeel. Overall, this is a fantastic beer and very worthy of its reputation. The carbonation level seems a wee bit high but that is of minor concern. I am thrilled that I finally got to try this beer.
03-29-2012 00:46:14 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.65/5 rDev +0.9%
Received as a wedding gift from my best man--by far the best gift we received. He got us a six pack, and my wife and I are planning on having the next five each anniversary up until our fifth.
A: Poured into a Mikasa chalice. Pours a large mocha head atop a very dark brown body. Plenty of yeast. The lacing is extremely long-lasting.
S: Lots going on here, especially as it warms up. The trademark yeast is by far the most prominent smell, accompanied by some dark malts and fruits, along with a bit of alcohol.
T: Much the same as the nose, and probably the most complex beer I've ever tasted. Plenty of dark fruits, dark malt, alcohol, fruit and yeast spice, caramel, and molasses.
M: Very full and heavy with a moderate amount of carbonation. Luscious.
D: Quite complex and takes a while to drink, and only gets better as it warms up. Very nice to savor for a long period of time while continuing to find new things going on.
09-24-2009 17:56:13 | More by Thorpe429
4.3/5 rDev -6.7%
The time has finally come to put a splash of beer in my BA mug and what better beer than Westvleteren 12? I've had two of these in my cellar for about six months now and have been saving them for a special occasion. Something tells me that the contents have held up just fine. 'Best by' date on the yellow cap is 01.07.06.
The pour generates the typically massive Belgian head and I can see small chunks entering my chalice when the bottle is about 2/3 empty. Extremely murky chestnut brown; the beer looks like strong, unfiltered apple cider. The ecru colored cap has barely fallen in the three minutes since the pour. I'm expecting a huge amount of Belgian lace, but it hasn't yet had the chance to form since the head is so obstinate.
The aroma is more subdued than expected, but to be fair, I'm trying to assess it through a still thick cap of foam. What I do appreciate is brown malty, fruity and toasted nutty. I also pick up whiffs of Belgian yeast and alcohol.
The flavor profile is complex to say the least. It's comprised of loads of caramel malt, molasses, licorice, and dark, dried fruits (raisins, dates and prunes). Candied pecans and modestly funky yeast make appearances, as does the aforementioned alcohol. There are also darker contributors such as coffee and chocolate. Simply an amazing collection of seemingly unlimited flavors. The mouthfeel is big and firm, chewy even, but stops short of full or heavy.
Westvleteren 12 is world-class, no doubt about it. I can appreciate this beer (I think), I respect this beer, I even like this beer a lot. I just don't love this beer. Call me a hophead, call me an unrefined simpleton, call me what you will, but that's how I feel at this juncture in my journey. That doesn't mean that Westvleteren 12 is anything less than incredible. Everyone should have the chance to sample it at least once.
06-06-2004 17:52:12 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.22/5 rDev -8.5%
Appearance: Pours a cloudy medium brown color with a frothy head that persists somewhat and leaves plenty of lace
Smell: Boozy aroma of rum-soaked raisin, dried cherry, honey, cocoa powder and candi sugar
Taste: Starts with a dark fruit laden mouthful of creamy cocoa; after the swallow, the fruit and chocolate flavors build without ever becoming too sweet, although there is some residual honey, cotton candy and toffee elements that appear in the finish
Mouthfeel: Full and creamy body with moderate carbonation; warmth on the finish
Drinkability: I'm glad I finally had a chance to try this but, to be honest, I prefer the Rochefort 10; this one is just a bit too boozy for my taste
09-16-2007 00:58:29 | More by brentk56
4.85/5 rDev +5.2%
Bottle: Poured a deep ruby colored beer with a huge thick foamy dark white head with incredible retention (the head was still in place when drinking the last sip of this beer 30 minutes after the bottle had been opened). Carbonation is really good with lots of bubble at the bottom of the glass and some other ones sticking on the side of the glass. Aroma is comprised of light and sweet roastiness with a nice touch of spice but I could not detect any alcohol. Taste is an almost perfect mix between caramel malts, candi sugar and something else, which might be cinnamon. I was really glad that I could not taste the alcohol since it could have been quite harsh at 10.2%. Wow, what a beer. I originally thought that this might be a bit of an over hyped beer but Im glad to report that it lives up to all the praises.
05-14-2004 13:54:18 | More by Phyl21ca
4.78/5 rDev +3.7%
July 24, 2009: Along with the notes below, the cotton candy/confection/powdered sugar flavor is super clean and full of taste. Ester profile shows more grape flavors than I remember. An immaculate beer fit for it's #1 status.
So, this is the daddy of all daddyies; the penacle of all fermented malty beverages; the beer that carries the biggest kahunas; the most elusive and sought-after beer of all. Can a beer possibly live up to it's legendary status? Yes in fact, it can. A very deep, strong, agressive berry and candied aroma swells from the bottle, even before the pour. The beer pours neatly into the chalice with a rising pillow of foam that brings out more dark berries, dehydrated fruits, and tart, warming alcohols. Very mouth-watering and inviting. That first sip brings a lot of that rich berry flavor (blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and a hint of grapes) that shines above a seriously malt base. Pecans, almonds, and graham cracker flavors display the malts well. Dehydrated / candied fruits (cherries, pineapples, dates and figs) meld with a sweet rum-like alcohol flavor and makes this beer some of the better flavors ever placed into my mouth. The body shows all of the firm-ness, viscity, and creaminess needed for a perfect-five beer, but the alcohols and berry-vineous flavors slice through it, making it waver just a bit. The berry flavor lingers on and on... I can still taste it from last night. It is easy to see why this beer so easily seduces even the most seasoned beer enthusiest, but I have to ask it to reluctantly step aside of this grand pedistal for its little brother, Westvleteren Dubbel.
01-23-2008 19:29:40 | More by BEERchitect
4.65/5 rDev +0.9%
A - Poured an extremely dark brown, with a small tan head. There was tons of visible sediment and lots of swirling lace in the top. Looks pretty good in the goblet.
S - Smell is really hard to pin down. There is soo much going on here I really do not know where to begin. It was sweet yet sour, spicey and yet fruity. A bit of alcohol mixed in with hints of pears, apples, raisins, grapes, everything. This was really just soo complex I had trouble finding definate answers. Very very pleasing aroma, nothing ever smelt like that.
M & T - The feel on this was soo light, soo frothy, soo easy to put down it was almost a shame that it went soo quickly. Soo many great tastes here, this was just really fantastic. There have been soo many reviews of this that I really don't have anything else to add other then you have to try it, it just cannot be summed up in words on this page.
D - This really was everything I wanted it to be, and lives up to its rep. By far the best belgian I have had, it is just on another level. The aromas and flavors were so unique. This really just needs to be tried as it is really hard to describe it. Fantastic brew.
03-28-2007 00:41:01 | More by mikesgroove
4.43/5 rDev -3.9%
2007 Vintage thanks to Richard.
A: The pour is a dark brown color with a sizable tan head and plenty of carbonation.
S: An intense sweetness that comes in the forms of caramel, candi sugar, molasses, and a whole lot of dark fruits. I get some cherries, plums, figs, and dates.
T: The flavor is pretty much more of the same, and that's not a bad thing. A lot of sugary sweetness along with some caramel, molasses, and toffee. There is a strong flavor of dates and figs with some raisins and prunes, too.
M: The body is quite full with that fine carbonation that it seems only the Belgians can pull off.
D: A very, very good beer. Maybe a bit too sweet to drink a lot of at a time, but such a good flavor that you might make a bit of an exception.
09-13-2010 00:01:25 | More by womencantsail
5/5 rDev +8.5%
Presentation: This is the absolute best Trappist beer I've tried out of the six brewed in Belgium. 33cl brown bottle fresh from Saint-Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium. Freshness code has 13/08/08 on the yellow bottle cap and no label; 10.2% ABV.
Appearance: Smooth creamy off-white head with very tiny lacey bubbles which settles to a thin layer after warming. Color is Dark brown
Smell: Very aromatic. Fantastic malt aroma, along with different kinds of sweet fruit.
Taste: The flavor hits as soon as it enters the mouth. The velvety carmel complex flavor with little to medium carbonation is something savor. All these flavors throughout tasting are just incredible. Its amazing how this beer keeps its complexity and taste throughout the duration of tasting even as the beer warms.
Notes: I usually just read the ratings and don't post reviews. However, I felt I had to submit something for this beer; but I must say of all the beers I have tried so far, nothing has compared.
01-30-2006 23:18:56 | More by ygtbsm94
4.88/5 rDev +5.9%
Pours a medium brown body with hints of red/orange around the edges. Short tan head.
Nose of deep rich fruit and malt. Hints of raisins and stone fruit. Hints of complex malt and toffee/carmel/whiskey. Flavors were rich, bold, assertive, long lasting and fantastic.
Front palate hits you with sweet malt and the flavors just grow in layers; malt, whiskey, raisins, figs and a bit of light chocolate.
The beer just reeks of complexities and character. This is one of the best liquids I've tasted, and I've tasted some nice stuff, including some of the rarest and oldest wines in the world. This beer ranks right up there.
I love old stouts and some of the crazy extreme beers that are now being produced. However, for overall quality and flavor this is probably the best ale I've ever tasted. I hope I can try it again. Don't miss this one if you get the chance!
05-19-2009 04:49:46 | More by GRG1313
4.2/5 rDev -8.9%
A: single finger frothy with excellent lacing on a murky brown with amber hue body.
S: dark fruits, molasses, spices, belgian yeast, candy and brown sugar
T: caramel and toasted malt base, brown sugar, fruits including pear, fig, some plum and raisin. Belgian yeast with some spices, mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. Hint of chocolate and toffee arrive in the finish.
M: crisp up front, finishing smooth and dry. medium to full body and moderate to high carbonation. oily, coating the palate
Overall: A lot of hype around this one. It is certainly an excellent beer. I feel there are other Quads out their that are similar enough to this one without all of the recognition. Regardless it was great to be able to try this one.
12-21-2012 02:55:12 | More by kylehay2004
4.2/5 rDev -8.9%
Finally got a bottle of this in a very generous trade with MrKennedy. This beer is really special to say the least and I'm very happy to be reviewing this right now.
This pours out with a murky brown color with some orange highlights, the head is kind of minimals but has a little white ring around the glass. The smell of this beer is very good. Lots of sweet fruit aromas a little Belgian yeast on the nose. Not much in way or hops. The taste is very good, the flavors of apple, fig, and white grapes all come together in a very nice combo. When the beer is colder the mouthfeel is a little thicker feeling. Once it warms up it thins out and the booze aromas start to show. The beer as a whole is very good. It's incredibly easy to drink, it's great to savor over the course an hour if you want to. The finish is dry but smooth and overall just really nice. I can see why people love it so much.
05-30-2011 06:12:52 | More by Knapp85
3.98/5 rDev -13.7%
At long last I was finally able to snag the great Westy 12,pours a deep brown with a suprisingly thin head that was gone pretty quickly not leaving anything behind.Whoa the aromas are just incredibly complex and rich,some almond and raisin almost a cinnamon bun type aroma to it,just awesome.Flavors are more mellow than expected,I get some star anice and raisin up front with some mellow orange tinge in the lngering finish.I like the "12"better than the "8" but I have had some better Quads but still a pleasure to drink for sure.
04-24-2005 19:23:41 | More by oberon
3.98/5 rDev -13.7%
Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.
No thanks is big enough for mdfb79 for this bottle!
Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF Round 5. Cap reads 06.10.13. It pours a dark, semi-cloudy burnt auburn topped by a healthy tower of cream foam. The nose comprises dark greens, black pepper, clove, very bready yeast, nutmeg, figs, and light cocoa. The taste holds notes of cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, nutmeg, mild milk chocolate, Belgian yeast, light citrus peel, light cardamom, dark greens, candi sugar, and grass. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a light-ish moderate carbonation and an almost astringently chewily dry finish. Overall, this stuff was indeed tasty (and admittedly a little young), but it felt a bit wrong on my tongue. Honestly, I generally enjoyed it, but I've had plenty of better quads in my day.
05-15-2011 05:17:11 | More by TMoney2591
4.45/5 rDev -3.5%
Bottled around March '08, guessing this based on the date printed on cap, three years from bottling date. Huge thanks to ygtbsm94 for this, a very generous trader.
Auburn brown with orange edges, a creamy texture to the foam. Served in a Moinette chalice. In time the head fades to a ring at the edge. Spotty bits of lacing, looks every bit the trappist ale. Malty, peppery aroma.
Taste is where it really shines, a concentrated dose of phenolic clove, rich complex malts, tobacco, and a drying bitter hop note towards the end. The yeast gives some minor grape fruitiness, but it's not pronounced. Very light sweetness in the middle that flourishes just for second. Creamy and full bodied. Holding it on the palate, you notice a hint of the alcohol warmth, but not in the taste. Exceptional body and drinkability. One to sip and contemplate.
It's hard to judge, while finely crafted, it's certainly not my personal favorite. Rochefort 10 has surpassed this at times, and other bottles fall short. One to savor and recognize as a benchmark Quadrupel.
11-06-2008 04:25:46 | More by emerge077
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,605 ratings.