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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
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From:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
 
Belgium
Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #1
ABV:
10.2%
Score:
100
Ranked #51
Avg:
4.61 | pDev: 8.03%
Reviews:
2,026
Ratings:
6,849
Status:
Active
Rated:
Sunday at 08:08 PM
Added:
Nov 12, 2001
Wants:
  3,853
Gots:
  2,370
The heaviest of the Westvleteren beers, the 12 is a quadrupel style beer, which can be recognized by its yellow cap. Like the other Westvleteren beers, the bottle does not have a label, and the cap therefore has all the required information.

The Westvleteren 12 has always been rated high on beer reviews, and is by some considered to be the best beer in the world.

Just as the other Westvleteren beers, it can only legally be purchased at the monestary (on appointment) or in the bar across the street. However, it often finds its way on the grey market where it's sold at high prices.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Mr_Brown
Reviewed by Mr_Brown from Pennsylvania

4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Trappist Westvletteren 12

L: Beautiful reddish brown color

S: Such a subtle sweet smell. A bit of apples, but not your regular cider like apples. A bit of burnt sugar in smell.

T is as great as smell. Very gentle, sweet, deep, and dry at the same time. Like a great jerez.

F: Very easy to drink for the amount of alcohol. Aftertaste of a cola lollipop, very pleasant.

O: Probably the best beer I tried. Unique. Now I see why it has 100/100. After hesitation, I ordered it in Hops and dreams in Seville to celebrate my marathon pb. A perfect end to a fantastic day.
Sunday at 08:08 PM
 
Rated: 4.73 by Rollmeaway2loadout from Illinois

Sunday at 06:37 AM
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Clear and yet very dark brown body, opaque in the glass; head pours out fizzy but stabilizes to nice 1 1/2 finger thick head, light khaki colored. Fantastic aroma of brown and candi sugars; brownies; roasted nuts; mildly perky spiciness augments all the other smells. Stupendous flavors; deep caramel and nougat notes; honey; brown sugar; a bit of boozy undertone; no real bitterness per se, more of a phenol bite.

I never expected to have this beer, yet here it is. The depth and complexity is outstanding. More tones and nuances emerge as the beer warms up such as roasted nuts and chocolate. This is a truly outstanding beer based solely on the taste, a masterful bit of brewing art.

Pouring temperature: 52 °F; bottling info: 04.12.22
Source: a very generous gift from @MutuelsMark
Jan 28, 2024
 
Rated: 4.51 by smi69 from New York

Jan 24, 2024
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
Reviewed by HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

4.21/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Gushed a bit when I got opened the bottle. I hope the carb is intact.

It's a murky dark brown color, bordering on black at its darkest point, but the highlights are a lighter shade brown rather than ruby. It's like the color of banana bread crust.
Not much visible carbonation in the glass. The head is small, beige, creamy, and patchy. The head doesn't seem to dissipate at all; it was just never that big to begin with. But it's sticky, latte-like froth, and swirly.
Upon further swirls, it generates a larger head that stays.

Alcohol tickles my nostrils immediately with warmth. Prune and fig stands out, dried cherry and raisin, allspice, clove, and hay. A bit of overripe banana, banana bread, some type of woodsy bark, perhaps oak and tannins. Gives off red wine vibes. Upon another whiff and thought, huge tobacco aroma, with perhaps a touch of vanilla. There's some sweet caramel and toffee or butterscotch that melds seamlessly with dark brown bread and banana. Think of it as dried and musty stone fruit trail mix in a cigar humidor with baking supplies. It smells like it's from a cellar. Amazing. Perhaps it's the power of suggestion, but it smells like it came from a monastery.

The taste is more subdued than the nose. Interesting. It tastes very strong and almost boozy. It tastes like bourbon soaked raisin, banana bread, some prune, and large amounts of clove and pepper. Some hay and oak tannins. The alcohol warmth takes over the palate and lingers with heat.

The mouthfeel is smooth, silky, creamy. It coats the palate. The carbonation isn't extremely high compared to other Belgians, but it moves the beer on the palate nonetheless. The palate is left feeling sticky with some residuals sugar and ethanol, though not overly so. It's not cloying at all. Dries off quite a bit. The alcohol taste lingers.

Overall? Well, of course, I'm grateful to have ever tried this. This was my number one whale. So my prejudice preceded me. It is very good, but arguably, not any better than some of the other widely available quads. In fact, I'd say some of them are equal or better. But this is still great, and what an experience!
Jan 16, 2024
Photo of Ushouldbeworkinh
Reviewed by Ushouldbeworkinh from England

4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Dark brown quad colour, but clear, no haze. Very nice tight darker than white head. Smell is malty, caramel and spice, with a little something I can't quite name. Taste is the same with a smooth feel even though the beer retains head very well. Very nice, though unsurprisingly not quite worth the hype.
Jan 11, 2024
Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
Reviewed by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
poured from a 330mL bottle into a st bernardus oversized wine / belgian glass. medium brown with light brown edges and a huge light khaki colored foam head. huge esters / phenols on the nose with some rye and caramel. taste follows. barely any hint of the abv until it finally hit room temp. really smooth and good. lots of rye spice to my tastebuds. thick mouthfeel. slick and making it all the easier drinking. this was great. long-time want for me and it delivered big time.
Dec 24, 2023
Photo of vinicole
Reviewed by vinicole from England

4.06/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Bottle. Cellared for seven years. Dark ruby\amber. Floaters present and vigouressly effervescent allowing them to dance around. Thin, dense, light brown head.
Rich aroma of malt, dark fruits and booze.
Tastes of lightly caramelised brown sugar along with spiced fruits. A mild bitter finish balances the sweetness.
Has a lightly carbonated feel. Medium to full bodied.
Very good and highly drinkable but for me a tad overrated.
Dec 22, 2023
 
Rated: 4.71 by TheRealBen from Massachusetts

Dec 20, 2023
Photo of beerwithmeIRL
Reviewed by beerwithmeIRL from Ireland

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
330ml bottle - Pours a chestnut brown with a 2 finger head that gradually dissipates but it has to be said good retention & lacing. Beautiful sweet nose, filled with malts and dried dark fruits. Tastes absolutely incredible, the notes detected by the nose are cranked up to 11 and linger in a complex & flavoursom whirlwind. Such malty and sweet goodness. Honestly, an absolutely amazing beer. Perhaps the best quad around. I always though that it was potentially over-rated due to the mystique surrounding it and the relative scarcity of it, but no... it is astonishing. Unfortunately, it's so damn hard to get!
Dec 19, 2023
Photo of MikeWard
Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
330ml bottle into a chalice. Gift from a friend after recent trip to the brewer.

Looks magnificent. Dark brown body with amber touches. Generous off white head continues throughout leaving a solid sheet of lacing. Malty aroma with some dark fruit notes. On tasting, malty, more dark fruit, fairly sweet. The finish is a progression of dark fruit, sweet, and a light bitter note. Nicely warming in the throat. Masterful brewing.
Dec 03, 2023
 
Rated: 4.49 by HarlotBronte from District of Columbia

Nov 23, 2023
 
Rated: 4.5 by bazpat from Scotland

Nov 21, 2023
 
Rated: 5 by akopczyk from Ohio

Nov 10, 2023
Photo of Steve_F
Reviewed by Steve_F

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
A few years ago I had arranged to buy a few bottles off the gray market, but sadly the deal fell through. However, this year I had my chance when we vacationed in Antwerp. So I made the 2 hour drive to Westvleteren and located In de Vrede across from the Abbey. We had lunch, sampled a glass of 12 and the Blonde. Both were fabulous, but the 12 by far is at the top. Not only did it live up to my expectations it was the finest Trappist Ale I have ever tried. I picked up a couple of 6-packs to bring home to the US to enjoy over the next few months.

The aroma after the pour is slightly nutty. The beer is very smooth, has a great flavor without the strong alcohol feel as with many other Belgian beers. It is by far the most satisfying beers I have tasted.
Oct 01, 2023
Photo of TheMadJack
Reviewed by TheMadJack from Virginia

4.41/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Purchased a 2023 bottling in 2023. Poured at cellar temperature into a wine glass as my goblet did not survive a move.

Vigorous head on pour half filled my glass with fluffy, off-white foam like a well-made cappuccino. Excellent retention and it took a long time to settle enough to pour a proper glass. Beer is a ruddy brown with tawny highlights. Some haze and fine carbonation.

Immediate malt on opening, like walking into a bakery. Warm, whole grain type bread. Putting my nose into the glass, my impression is of balance. It's subtle and difficult to pull out specific notes, but I get cherry, a bit of almond, orange peel, and a light mineral aspect. The expected regional notes of banana and clove are present but subdued

Taste is the expected clove and banana, plus brown sugar, cardamom, cream. Back notes of coffee beans and mineral water.

Mouthfeel starts out with a Sprite-like effervescence calming to a velvety, creamy texture from the head.

Drinkability? Yeah, it's drinkable. If you can get ahold of enough of it to have a session, sure, you could do it. But after only one bottle I can already tell I'm starting to miss subtleties that I picked up at the beginning. Much more affordable beers to tie one off with. But for any Beer Advocate, this is a bucket list item worth checking off the list.
Aug 25, 2023
Photo of GormBrewhouse
Reviewed by GormBrewhouse from Vermont

4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Pours dark amber into a snifter. Very thin and white head which mostly disappears with a slight film left throughout the consumption.
Smell is complex, fruits spice a bit of malt combine for a wonderful aroma. Slight alcohol vapor helps bring the scents up and out into the air.
Mouth feel ,again, complex. 10.2 abv is there ,but no alcohol burn . Smooth with the spice and fruit finishing without very little aftertaste. Overall a truly world class beer.
Aug 11, 2023
Photo of Grimness82
Rated by Grimness82 from Norway

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
The hype is real
Jul 19, 2023
 
Rated: 4.31 by Chilmer from Iowa

Jul 13, 2023
Photo of XColorado
Reviewed by XColorado from Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Smooth taste of caramel with nutty notes in the aroma. Amber color with a white head. Well balanced, full-bodied with a pleasant lingering aftertaste.
Jul 10, 2023
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6849 ratings