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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,054 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4054
Reviews: 1581
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.66%


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
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Ratings: 4,054 | Reviews: 1,581 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2004 03:44:32 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 00:46:14 | More by UCLABrewN84
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BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2004 17:52:12 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 00:41:01 | More by mikesgroove
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womencantsail

California

4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 00:01:25 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 00:58:29 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 I’m glad to report that it lives up to all the praises.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2004 13:54:18 | More by Phyl21ca
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Thanks Clvand0
Nathan15
Thanks Maxskip!

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 19:29:40 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 17:56:13 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 19:23:41 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 05:17:11 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a fresh bottle brought from Belgium. Believe the hype... it's real! And please don't drink this right out of the fridge, it needs to come to around 55F to really shine.

A densely creamy tan head rests lazily atop a hazy, dark russett body (carefully poured from a longstanding bottle it's a clear ruby with orange highlights - but add the yeast later on!). Eventually the head receeds, but it's somehow able to hold a thin but completely solid cap throughout the entire beer. And initially, it leaves solid walls of thin lace that fade to become sheets of tiny spots towards the end of the chalice. And that's no easy feat given its 10.2% abv! The nose offers honeyish, nutty, cocoaish (Ovaltine...?), bready, and caramel drenched malt as well as a bit of hard candy and some chewy fruit (raisins, berries). It's velvety smooth across the palate with a full, dextrinous body and exceptionally fine, natural carbonation. The flavor is even more exquisite than the nose implies, and includes notes of soft anise, lemon rind, a touch of leather, some delicate bubblegum, and a mild floral character that really helps to round it out. They yeast is incredibly important as well, as it gives it depth and rounds it out; and it should be poured even with an aged bottle. Finally, one of the things that makes the Westy 12 such a stunning beer is that it's so soft and supple considering it's such a behemoth. The alcohol is barely noticeable, and when it does appear in the flavor it only helps by lending a "spicy" character. And despite the amount of character it has, it's actually not as malty as a doppelbock. It's lighter, and it finishes semi-dry with more spiciness and yeastiness than sweet malt that might build on the palate... giving it a really great drinkability. Impressive, to say the least, this is a brilliant beer because it's big enough to deliver a great richness and lots of complexity, but also incredibly well-balanced enough that it really leaves you wanting more!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2005 21:15:19 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml naked bottle, best before Oct 2013, courtesy of tbeckett - cheers, man! I've heard of this Trappist moniker for a while now, so after a bit of googlemappery, it is nice to see that there is indeed a place called 'Vleteren', with a West and of course, an Oost. Nice.

This beer pours a dark, murky, dishwater brown hue, with a fair amount of swirling, suspended sediment, and one ascetic finger of tightly foamy specked beige head, which doesn't wait around for alms, leaving only a few isolated beads of lace around the glass as it quickly bleeds away.

It smells of sharply bready grain - somewhat sourdough-esque, astringent dark sugar, vinous, floral Madeira, fruity prunes, and a slight apple cider tartness. The taste is a whole lot sweeter than the aroma let on - the nose, it seems, doesn't always know. Caramel malt, tempered by a furthered sour bread character, mildly spiced, in a down-low Noel manner, soft, but firm drupe fruitiness, a subtle leafy, herbal hop dryness, and some sneaky, underhanded rum cake booze warming.

The bubbles are quite frankly, all played out, and not very noticeable, excepting the effect they must have in keeping the fruity, medium-heavy body from even dancing near cloyingness, but rather into an abject, enveloping smoothness. It finishes like a well balanced dessert - multifaceted sweetness, well modulated by ethereal hop and alcohol. Bravo.

Well, the hype, she can be one harsh mistress, but this time, she really puts out - a stellar example of the 'quad' style, or what have you. Complex, balanced, strong yet soft, and beguiling. Like the beer itself, I took a wee spell to warm up, but once it got going, it was very hard to stop. Taken as part of my Winter 2012 Quad Tasting - a rather pushed forward affair, seeing how our 'winter' has petered out this year (spring-like weather in my hood in early March is quite unusual), here's how the Westy 12 fared against its nearest locally available competition:

Westvleteren 12: as above.

Rochefort 10: complex, yessiree - but in a somehow more simple (mea culpa) manner, i.e. - your stellar, GGG wife, until you are presented with the idea of that SI swimsuit model of a particular adolescent fantasy.

St. Bernardus ABT 12: everything going for it to compete, except for the big step up in complexity that the Westy presents. Nothing bad to say - just another subtle reminder of that 'there'll always be someone bigger and/or stronger' maxim of life.

So, after all that - mere tenths of rating points divide this hedonistic, rarified harbinger of kingdom in the sky end days from its slightly more pedestrian brethren - I shall be taking that into consideration as I move forward in the beer-imbibing world.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 01:45:37 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: deep, dark burgundy brown, rich as a raisin, with a fine reddish hue 'round the edges. Head is towering, huge, off-whitish color, and slow to sizzle down to size.

Aroma:....requires a new vocabulary! Deep, and heady, rich, full of fruit, grapes, raisins, plums, and spices, a very complex blend, soft, but sensual, deliriously so, and delicious, and the more I breathe it in, the more the flavors become pronounced, more is revealed here, pepper, anise, rich mollasses, rum, sweetness compounded by rich dark flavors...

Now to drink...I...um...serious contemplation is required, for I am seriously, honestly, taken aback by the force of, not only the alcoholic content, but the strong, full, bewitching flavor of this incredible ale! It staggers the senses! Honestly, I reel from it's effects and must wait until my consciousness can comprehend what is going on...many layers, many flavors, many ways that this incredible concoction can impact upon the senses.

I feel thoroughly slayed, laid waste, but utterly uplifted in my oblivion! Let the sword fall upon me more often, if the taste is as sweet!
Have I said heavenly already? No matter if I did, it's a truly transmogrific feeling, it is, and I could be in another galaxy, for all I care...fly me not to the moon, nor Jupiter, or the outer stars, but, merely wherever this impossibly exhilirating nectar may blossom...

Now that I have finally downed a simple sample of this much renowned ale, I can only say..."more, please!"

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2003 01:28:32 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #600. Bottle brought back from Belgium by my wife - thanks Bryna! Served in a Westvleteren goblet. Best before February 10th, 2011, so roughly two years old.

A - Thank god! After the flat bottle I had in Toronto I was worried. The cap comes off with a hiss and a touch of gunsmoke. Pours with a voluminous two fingers of dark tan foam (impressive for a goblet!), that dissipates quite slowly and leaves glass-coating lacing and a thick cap. The body is a nearly opaque dark plum color.

S - The smell literally explodes out of the glass, with an initial wave of dark fruits and berries. Plums, prunes, raisins, black cherries - they're all here. There's some vinous red wine notes that emerge, along with a touch of sweet tobacco, apples, and nuts. There's a caramel malt backbone that ties things together, but stays in the periphery. As it warms a touch of booze peeks through to remind you that this is for sipping.

T - The taste is very grape-forward, with notes of port, red wine, dark fruits, rum-cake, and caramel. It's not as saccharine as Rochefort 10, as it's balanced by a dryish and slightly woody finish. While the taste isn't quite as complex as the nose, the alcohol is better hidden.

M - The body is chewy and viscous, without becoming heavy or syrupy. Carbonation is present, but soft. Finishes surprisingly dry with only mild residual stickiness. Not much in the way of alcohol heat at all. It's everything I'd want in a quad, and maybe even a bit more.

D - So, is it the best beer in the world? Probably not, but it's a superb one nonetheless. It's shockingly drinkable for a 10.2% quad, and I could actually have more than one of these without feeling diabetic too. There's been a lot written about this beer, and I'm not sure there's much I can add - it's excellent, highly recommended, and worthy of the acclaim that has been heaped upon it.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 03:49:46 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

December 2008 release, acquired via trade from jojox so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramelized malts, Belgian yeast some fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit. There's a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast backbone that come in to provide a good deal of substance. The hops presence is very mild but is enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky but clean for the style.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, very good representation of style, as it is ranked #1 on BA at the time of this review and has been for some time, I was expecting something a bit more demonstrative from this beer, but the only things that stood out in this beer above other were its sweetness and its smoothness. While I don't consider it the absolute best beer on Earth, it is indeed very good.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 03:04:14 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

BBD: 29.03.11
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 04:25:46 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to brianj555 for this one! Decanted into a duvel tulip. 18/12/10 on the bottle cap

Pours a red tinged chestnut with 2+ fingers of sand colored head. Very good lacing & head retention, almost pulled 5.0...

S: Fruittyness, a touch of chocolate; dark fruit takes over as this warms

T: Dark fruits, some cocoa, licorice& touch of boozyness up front. Loads of dark fruit, raisins, figs, & dates, plus dryness as this warms, along with some warming booze & just a touch of leafy hops, plus brown sugar. Finishes fruitty with woody dryness & a touch of vanilla & some tobacco like hops

MF: Medium bodied, with pretty lively carbonation, this one brings a an overall warming sensation

Drinks pretty good for the ABV & complexity, maybe a touch hot alcohol-wise, but in line with the style. A super, quad, this is the best quad I've had. The flavor & aromatics are superior for the style. I could happily stock this in my cellar, but I am just as happy with St. Benardus Abt 12 & Pannepot (sic). Now to go get those other 50 or so top 100 beers I must try before I die!

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 05:24:19 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, Westy 12. Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass (its the only Trappist glass that I own). Beer was brown, mostly clear until the mud at the bottom of the glass came out, this was avoidable, i know how to pour. The head was diffuse but present and the carbonation was slow but steady, continuously replenishing the thin head. The smell was amazing. Beautiful yeasty and sweet smell. The taste and mouthfeel were out of this world. It was smooth, I could have drank the whole thing in a few minutes but I savored it for as long as possible. Taste was sweet and pleasant. More yeast, no aftertaste. A perfect beer. I wish I could have ti year round.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 04:14:58 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this beer with me. This is beer No. 1,000 for me. I wanted to do something special but had no idea thirdeye11 was going to break out a bottle of this. Thanks a ton.

Pours a medium brown with a beige head. The aroma is dark fruit along with some alcohol and caramel malt. The flavor is complex with brown sugar and dark fruit. This has a little more alcohol flavor than some quads but everything is nicely balanced. Medium mouthfeel and extremely drinkable.

Not sure if this is the best beer in the world, but there are certainly no flaws. Thanks again to thirdeye11.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 22:19:32 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Ryan for sharing this.

A - Poured out a slightly cloudy, burgundy color with a two-finger head of pillowy, off-white foam. The head was long lasting and left sudsy trails of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Hard to explain how fantastic this aroma was. Everything was perfectly balanced - plum, fig, raisin, yeastiness, caramel, toffee. Nothing was strong or overpowered the other aromas. It was just perfect.

T - Again, so much balance. A perfect marriage of flavors. Dark dried fruits - fig, plum and raisin. Sweet maltiness with caramle, toffee and some molasses. A touch of yeasty spiciness.

M - So smooth! Medium bodied and crisp.

O - This is fantastic. Lives up to the hype. It was like a fantastic dessert or a flavorful steak that melts in your mouth.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 15:51:06 | More by zeff80
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jlindros

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a chance to drink this. About to buy an awesome new house, so figured it was time to crack this baby. A huge thanks to Brabander for getting my a couple fresh bottles I can age a bit. In the mean time I also have to thank kkipple and nickd717 for pre-aged bottles to try in the mean time. I believe this specific bottle is from nickd717.

Pours with no carbonation, absolutely zero head with just a few light bubbles from air being mixed in as I poured. I wonder if that was a mistake capping, or something, I'll have to try another one sometime and see if that's better. The beer is super thick and a yeast chunked swamp. It's so thick looking the yeast is completely suspended in it like Jello. It's the color of maple syrup mahogany brown wood.

The nose brings tons of fruit, apple, pear, apricot, raisin, and more. Then plenty of Belgian dark malts, not so heavy though, more delicate actually. Some chewy like malt aromas, a light essence of dark candi sugar, some sweetness, and almost no booze aromas.

The taste comes rich and somewhat creamy, lots of Belgian dark malts, and some light ones too. It is kinda barleywine like with the way all the malts and fruits come together. The fruit flavors bring a lot of various fruits, a light apple, pear, fig, raisin, etc, and a light caramel apple flavor. A bit of dark candi sugar, some candy bar flavors, touch of brown sugar. A very light bitterness too. It's extremely smooth and drinks like a 7-8% beer and not 10+%. It finishes with some light sweetness, a little candi sugar, lingering fruits and Belgian dark malts, and a very light toffee. It really is delicious.

The mouth is somewhat thick, creamy, and very smooth, a little syrupy, but the lack of carbonation gets it.

It drinks very smoothly and very well. It's not sticky at all either, and no off flavors. I could easily pound this like it's water, if it didn't taste so good. Again the only thing that hurts it a bit is the lack of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 01:44:47 | More by jlindros
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled February, 2004; Hop Leaf, Chicago
Total 4.8
An immediate rich, bready aroma wafts from my glass as I pour this beer. This beer is topped by a light brown head that sits atop a brown beer. There are notes of sherry, plum, and raisin (though the raisin is definitely the most dominant aroma) in the nose. The beer smells sweet & rich as well. Well the taste is fairly rich & sweet; there is lots of fig and plum notes, which are joined by a woodiness that is in the taste as well. This beer was an awesome way to finish my great dinner at the Hop Leaf. There is an astringent complexity to this beer that just brings it to a whole other level, and there is a slightly musty character that integrates well with the rest of the flavors. I can fully understand why many consider this a world class beer. I really like how this beer is quite fruity in both the aroma and in the taste. The alcohol is very well hidden here, I can't really detect it at all. The rich sweetness is very conducive to being an after dinner drink. This beer is like a rich, dark, sweet traditional German bread. What makes this beer so good is that it is extremely well integrated; absolutely world class.

Cap Best By Date November 2007; Sampled February 2009
Total 4.1
4/4/4/5/4
A vigorous pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two-finger thick, creamy, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that when held up to the light shows that I poured quite a bit of the sediment from the bottom of the bottle into my glass, but is also a hazy, bright cherry color. The aroma smells of spices and fruit with a rich, caramelized maltiness to the finish. Aromas of fig cake, brandy soaked fruit cake, some marzipan, clove, dried cherries, white pepper, candied ginger form the bright aromatic notes. There is a nice backbone here of must and damp earth, as well as some toasted malt character that provides a biscuit malt aromatics. Some higher alcohols provide a bit of spiciness as well as some warming character to the tail end of each draught of the nose. This has quite a rich nose to it, both the fruit and spices accentuate the perceived sweetness of the aroma.

Up front this beer is a bit lighter than I expected, as it rolls across my tongue though it starts to pick up a viscous richness and heft, though it still maintains the drinkability that I like to have in a strong Belgian ale. The beer has a definite sweetness (though not as much as the aroma might have suggested), but finishes with a spiciness that helps to dry the palate out. The beer is a bit carbonated still after the vigorous pour and it provides a prickly carbonation as it rolls across the tongue. fruit notes of prunes, musty figs and raisin are brought out by a touch of tartness as well as the sweetness in this beer. There is a definite mustiness to this beer, it is oxidation character that it has picked up over the years, and it mixes nicely with the spiciness in the finish. Speaking of which, the spiciness provides notes similar to white pepper, clove, a nutmeg like bite, some woody ginger and a touch of menthol in the long finish as well as some bitter cocoa. This definitely gets more complex as it warms up from the high 40°F (~8°C) that it started out at. The alcohol in the finish combines with the fruitiness to reminds me of Brandy.

Well I had a bug dive bomb this beer, so it must have though there was something worth drinking in my glass (one of my dogs got a tasty, Westy soaked morsel because of that). While this beer is quite good, I am quite disappointed in some ways. I haven't had this in a couple years, and I am thinking I need to try a fresher version to see if it is more like my memory of having this in Belgium and at the Hop Leaf (where I had it last).

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2004 16:55:35 | More by Gueuzedude
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Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 06:12:52 | More by Knapp85
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BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finaly got round to opening a bottle of this stuff (had 5 bottles for a number of years), lets see what all the fuss is about.

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice, it looked fairly limp compared to it's 8% brother, wispy head on top of a moody looking dark browny/red body. I tried not to let any sediment out the bottle, but a little managed to leap past me into the chalice, I'll drink the remainder of the bottle (a fifth) with most of the sediment at the end of the review. I am reviewing live as I drink this evening.

The nose is rich red fruits, dried on a bed of dark chocolate and aged with fine English Oak, this is a smell not to mess with.

The taste is fantastic, add some carbonisation and a heap of alcohol to the aforementioned aromas and you're half way there: I found a gargantuan amount of flavours and I now see why beery people clamour for this brew so much. Sweeter than I thought it would be (shared half a glass at the brewery bar when I bought the beer, don't remember the sweetness), but that doesn't detract from the tasting I'm currently having, which I'm really enjoying.

The 10.2% only become evident as the mouth dries, so well is the body and mouthfeel, a truely great beer, certainly now in my top 10, only the appearance letting it down.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 19:27:44 | More by BlackHaddock
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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,054 ratings.