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 #46
Avg:
4.61 | pDev: 8.03%
Reviews:
2,001
Ratings:
4,798
Status:
Active
Rated:
Aug 10, 2022
Added:
Nov 12, 2001
Wants:
  3,831
Gots:
  2,364
SCORE
100
World-Class
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Notes: 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 AzfromOz
Reviewed by AzfromOz from Australia

4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Found randomly in the fridge at Beer360 in Richmond, Australia in November 2021. The proprietor told me there were a number hidden away in the fridge to see if anyone found them and realised what they were. I sure as hell did! This review is based on some hastily scribbled notes, so might be somewhat sparse in comparison to the complexity presented by this wonderful beer. The beer was drunk in April 2022.

In the glass, the beer presents a burnt, muddy brown, pushing towards over-ripe, bruised plum in colour. There's a thin, off-white head.

The aroma is dark cherries, brown sugar, plum, red fruits, dark cherry and Christmas cake.

The taste is complex and ever-changing. There are dark fruits, red fruits, brown sugar and booze at first, and as the beer warms it moves to liqueur, cough syrup, sweet licorice and dark Christmas cake, with the booze backing off. There is almost certainly more peeking through, but everything intermingles so well together it's hard to identify specific notes in the overall melange.

The mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Overall, there's a reason this is so sought after. It's my second-highest-rated beer on Untappd (behind KBS) and, without looking, I suspect it will be my highest on BA. It's also the most expensive beer I've ever bought, coming in at around $55AUD for a 330ml bottle, which is about $48 more than an average beer! Nevertheless, it's grabbed without hesitation every time I see it.

Cheers!
Aug 10, 2022
 
 
 
Rated: 4 by jensenmoon from California

Jun 26, 2022
Photo of NoliTangere222
Reviewed by NoliTangere222

4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Amazing Quadrupel. If you cannot get your hands on it, just go with the St. Bernardus ABT.

It gets even better with a few years age on it if stored properly with existing molasses and chocolate undertones coming out in full force. There is a reason why this is a top rated bier for decades and not just because it is difficult to obtain.
Jun 16, 2022
Photo of NCSapiens
Rated by NCSapiens from Indiana

4.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
So this is what a Belgian quad is supposed to taste like. Not a thing wrong with anything here. Glad I could try it.
Jun 04, 2022
 
Rated: 4.46 by folkstar from Rhode Island

May 22, 2022
 
 
Rated: 4.83 by Affinity from Missouri

May 01, 2022
Photo of draheim
Reviewed by draheim from Washington

4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Re-reviewing 4/7/2022, the second time I’ve enjoyed this beer.

330mL (best by 10/13/2019, so bottled 10/13/2016) into a Westmalle chalice.

Pours a clean deep reddish-brown mahogany with minimal white head, slow steady carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Evenly distributed particulates of yeasty sediment in suspension throughout the liquid are illuminated by overhead light.

Aroma is bready and sweet, dryly fruity. Dates and figs, cinnamon and other spices, brown sugar/caramel, light tobacco—so many smells intermingle like wafting smoke, constantly changing. Not strong or powerful, just wonderfully complex and deep.

Taste is likewise sweet and sugary, with so many layers of flavor to pick apart. Brown sugar; rum-soaked dates, figs, and prunes; candi sugar; warm yeasty bread; smoky leather/pipe tobacco. Just a touch of warming alcohol as it goes down—given the high ABV it’s well hidden.

Mouthfeel is wonderfully deep and full, with gently prickly carbonation that allows the beer to dance on the palate without ever getting heavy or syrupy. Finishes semi-dry and clean. Just right.

Overall just an outstanding beer, obviously one of the best within its style if not overall one of the best beers in production. World class.
___________________________________________

Below is my previous review from 10/6/2011, for posterity:

Rating 4.52/5 (look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5)

330mL bottle (best by 8/29/2010 on the cap) poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Mahogany brown color with a thin fizzy head that dissipates quickly - nice carbonation continues to rise to the surface.

Aroma is dark fruits, figs, dates, brown sugar, spice, rum, and a hint of molasses. Smells exquisite.

Taste is rich and complex. Sweet dark caramel malt, spice, booze, figs, and raisins. Super smooth, chewy mouthfeel. Fills every taste bud with a complex blend of flavors.

This beer totally lives up to the hype. The only thing I'm disappointed with is the head - but this beer is also 4+ years old, which may account for that. If I try another one I'll make sure to get it fresh.

(Note: This tasting was done side-by-side with Rochefort 10 and I found this beer just ever so slightly more impressive on the aroma and mouthfeel. Otherwise they were very close.)
Apr 07, 2022
Photo of misteil
Reviewed by misteil from Ireland

4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
been holding on to this one for a while now, been finding the right excuse to have it, and i was ireland lose to belgium in the football, i decided now was as good a time as ever to have this most legendary of beers, a beer like this can never live up to its reputation, but to be fair it is damn nice, it has a complexity to it that the other two great belgian quads (sb12 and tr10) dont have so much, black bread, dark chocolate, and raisins and plum combined with almost saison-esque leathery flavours, oaky, earthy, little bit of vanilla, spice, liquorice, medium bitterness on the finish, delicate body with high levels of carbonation, little bit of warming from the alcohol, dryness on the finish, fruity flavours and spice linger, maybe not the best beer in the world, but it really is quite good, an essential for any beer enthusiast, glad i finally got to try it
Mar 26, 2022
Photo of ThreeFloyds
Reviewed by ThreeFloyds from Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Bought by appointment at the monastery, a crate each of 12, 8 and blonde. The 12 is a monster. Tried many tripels/quads from St. Bernardus, Chimay, La Trappe and others (mostly on tap) the same week, but the depth and complexity of this one is a step above. Pours dark, light head without much density, not a huge nose. Creamy mouthfeel. Not malt-forward, heavy but balanced, with background flavors of raisin, leather, brown sugar, ginger and clove, and a surprisingly short finish and just a bit of bite. Small sips provide revelation after revelation. If you can ignore the hype and the crazy prices on the secondary market, this is 100% worthy of all the praise.
Mar 24, 2022
 
Rated: 4.08 by ADG2995 from Missouri

Mar 12, 2022
Photo of Snowcrash000
Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pours a deep, dark mahogany coloration with a ruby red hue when held up against the light and a medium, fluffy head. Smells of bready, caramel malt, dark fruit and estery fruit and spice, with notes of raisin, banana clove and allspice, as well as just a hint of brown sugar. Taste is an excellent balance of bready, caramel malt and dark, estery fruit and spice, with notes of raisin, banana, clove and allspice, as well as hints of chocolate, brown sugar and licorice. Finishes with a medium sweetness and some estery fruit and spice lingering in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and low/medium carbonation.

While I didn't want to admit it, simply due to the ridiculous secondary price, this certainly is one of the finest Quads that I've ever had. I still don't think that it's worth 5 times the price of Rochefort or Bernadus Quadruple, but from memory it does stand just slightly above these simply due to balance and body/mouthfeel. The balance of sweet and spicy notes really is excellent here, with a very rich estery character, body and mouthfeel. Overall, this makes for a very rich and well-balanced Quad that may not be worth its secondary price, but still stands on it's own incredibly well, with the ABV hardly being noticeable at all. I think that it's the richness, smoothness and balance which makes this stand just slightly above similar offerings, but from a value-for-money standpoint I'd still rather have a Rochefort 10.
Jan 29, 2022
 
Rated: 4.43 by not2quick from Missouri

Jan 19, 2022
Photo of HoppyBastard
Reviewed by HoppyBastard from Nebraska

4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle with no label and a gold cap into a chalice glass. I purchased six bottles dated "12.10.24" which I understand to mean they were bottled on October 12, 2021 and the "best by" date is three years after bottling or October 12, 2024. I also received a bottle dated "19.01.14" which means it was bottled on January 19, 2011 and the "best by" date is January 19, 2014. I purchased these bottles online on December 10, 2021 at westvleterenshop.com for $228.70 USD (Beer $149.00, Shipping $72.99, tax $6.71). The scores will be for the new bottle but I will include a review after for the old bottle just for fun complete with scores.

APPEARANCE: pours a dark, brown color with two fingers tan head that slowly dissipated until only a ring of small bubbles remained around the rim of glass, I swirled the bottle before final pour so there are larger bits of sediment that fell to bottom of glass, surprisingly the beer is not highly carbonated, it's not flat but maybe less than average carbonation, there is light lacing on the glass.

SMELL: dark fruits like fig and raisin, there is some black licorice and chocolate, bread, the 10.2% alcohol is clearly present.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially bread, figs and raisins, black licorice and chocolate, the alcohol is also present, less sweet than some other beers in this style.

PALATE: lower carbonation gave this a more creamy mouthfeel.

OVERALL: to me this is not the "best beer in the world", it's not even the best Quad, it's a good beer don't misunderstand, I enjoyed this beer immensely and would be pleased to have it again if I'm ever in Belgium but I will never pay $228.70 USD to drink this again, I can think of two Quads I like better, Rochefort 10 and St Bernardus and they are way more affordable, my opinion is that the scarcity and high cost of this beer has created an undeserved amount of hype and influenced people to score it higher that it deserves, I do not regret buying this beer, I can always make more money, I would recommend to anyone in Belgium but would not recommend anyone pay $228.70 to obtain this good not great beer.

Look 3.5 Smell 3.75 Taste 4 Feel 3.50 Overall 4

APPEARANCE: pours a dark brown color with very little head that dissipated quickly until there was no head remaining, I swirled the bottle on the last pour, there was very little sediment in the bottom, lower carbonation but it's still present after almost 11 years, no lacing on the glass.

SMELL: initially sweet brown sugar and an earthy note of figs and raisins, I can't perceive the alcohol at all, not as complex on the nose as a more recent bottle.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet brown sugar, the earthy note is dominant but there are figs and raisins, less complex than a more recent bottle.

PALATE: very low carbonation and creamy mouthfeel.

OVERALL: I would not recommend aging any beer as long as 11 years, the biggest issue is carbonation will begin to fail, the complexity is degraded, the alcohol was less noticeable but the pleasant aspects of the taste are diminished as well, I would not recommend aging, I know you can but, it's not as good, I would drink this beer as soon as possible.
Jan 16, 2022
 
Rated: 4.98 by Piffler from Massachusetts

Dec 30, 2021
Photo of Whyteboar
Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
Received as part of NBW BIF #13 and just now getting to it. BB date was 12/22 so I am guessing it was about 4 years old.
Poured the color of cold brew coffee and sports a manilla color head which leaves copious lacing.
The aroma was stone fruit and malts, I tried to find spices but failed. Still, excellent aroma.
The taste, wow; while it pretty much followed the aroma, the layers and power of flavors is impressive. Stone fruit mingling with biscuit like malts and they made an excellent pair.
The feel was very good, way too easy to drink. I expected something more viscous but this really works.
OA, excellent beer and so glad I got to try it!
Dec 26, 2021
Photo of 5toutman75
Reviewed by 5toutman75 from Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
I don’t know how old the bottle is, but purchased relatively recently and shipped from Belgium to me in Chicago. First off I think this is the coolest bottle I’ve ever had. Who else could get away with no label?! I don’t get a ton off of the nose, but I can tell it’s a quad and I’m liking it. It’s a gorgeous looking beer when poured too. It has an impressive full mouthfeel with the perfect carbonation. There’s a bit of a tart dry finish that I really like as well. Overall this is worth the hype and I hope the style doesn’t lose its popularity anytime soon.
Dec 18, 2021
Photo of BlanBarry
Reviewed by BlanBarry from Oklahoma

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Even looking at the no label bottle with the engraved circle is somewhat imposing. This one had rested for about 5 years. It poured a dark plum to prune color with still a good level of carbonation. The aroma was wonderful stone fruit. The complex character was true to form as still to me the best beer in the world. It made the perfect Thanksgiving beer and made me appreciate the good things in the world. Cheers.
Dec 07, 2021
Photo of BBThunderbolt
Reviewed by BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
Thanks to Coronaeus for this, probably my biggest 'Want' ever. This 330ml bottle, part of a limited, labeled, North American release a few years ago, had a best before date that I couldn't read. Poured into 12oz tulip. Poured the expected and anticipated very deep chestnut of the style, with about a half-inch tan head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left no lacing.

The aroma had all the big stone fruit scents one expects, solid, earthy grains, and a touch of yeast spice and esters. Maybe, just maybe, a touch of alcohol heat as well.

On the tongue, all those aspects were apparent, just amplified. The fruitiness was bolder, the malts stronger, the yeast had more bite, and there was certainly a bit of alcohol heat at the back end.

The body, while full, was a bit lighter than I was expecting, making the beer float over the palate rather than flooding it. The finish wasn't nearly as sweet as I would have thought, and dried out quickly.

Drinkability was awesome, you could easily drink a couple of these without getting bored.

Overall, a truly great beer, worthy of all its multitude of praises. A must try for any beer lover.
Dec 05, 2021
Photo of jb_4226
Rated by jb_4226 from Texas

4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
#89, delicious!
Nov 29, 2021
Photo of Wendehorn
Reviewed by Wendehorn

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I'm not gonna get all fucking scientific or anything... I won't be describing 20 different fruits, tastes or 20 different feelings... it's just a good beer! The taste of alcohol doesn't smack your ass down hard at all... it just happens to be perfectly balanced and that's it... St. Bernardus or Rochefort will hit you straight in the face... I can't taste the plums, cherries, orange peels and shit... all I can taste is a strong ass beer that has been done right... take it or leave it...
Oct 14, 2021
 
Rated: 5 by beermanben from Wisconsin

Oct 05, 2021
 
Rated: 5 by altrio

Oct 04, 2021
 
Rated: 4.75 by JBowenGeorgia from Georgia

Sep 30, 2021
Photo of JohnFred4
Reviewed by JohnFred4 from New York

4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Look: it looks like it's a light brown, with touches of orange, it LOOKS like light should be able to penetrate through it, but it absolutely does not

Smell: wet, damp wheat, heavy fruits, raisin bread

Taste: figs, figs, and figs. dates, a very moist cinnamon, fruit, and raisin cake, brown sugar, wood

Feel: smooth, a bit of heat, suprising as everyone says you can't detect the alcohol at all

Overall: the big question: is it the best beer ever? not as far as I can tell. it is fantastic, but it does have a bit of alcohol tang/bitterness/heat. a fantastic quad, but i'd probably take st. bernadus most days, especially because it's so much easier to get (this bottle was $39.99). no regrets, happy to cross it off the list, but i won't be seeking it out...unless I'm in belgium
Sep 17, 2021
Photo of beerhobbynl
Reviewed by beerhobbynl

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I am lucky that I live in a acceptable range to get the Westvleteren 12 bottles.
I always drink this beer after work or after cycling and I don't eat any sugar drinks or food before so I will taste it maximum.
This is for me the best tasting beer in the world.
Smell and taste is 5!
Sep 13, 2021
Photo of Heady
Rated by Heady from Nebraska

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Obviously the product of divine intervention.
Sep 07, 2021
Photo of RaulMondesi
Reviewed by RaulMondesi from California

4.29/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Out of the bottle at Westvletern, Belgium.

It has happened: man has landed on the moon, Lindbergh flew around the world, and Raul has finally had Westvleteren 12. It feels like I have committed a crime but won’t be caught. Something unearthly is happening here… Like Shawn Kemp using a rubber or something.

I’m gone and I may not want to be found.
Aug 10, 2021
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

4.29/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Usually I blind-taste beers but I've read so much about this one over the years I certainly know of it's reputation. That said beyond being a monastic Quad I do not presently recall any specific points/features of this beer and have not read any reviews below (yet!)... I don't know what to expect, am I 100% honestly going to find this a 'Score:100' beer?
This is my 2,000th beer rating/review so it had to something with the prospect of wowing me; fingers crossed...
L- Dark chestnut red-brown. Pours with minor haze with some sediment left in the bottle. Head forms swiftly, take the pour slowly. 3Cm pale tan head. [email protected]+10mins a patch of bubbles holds the whole way down.
S- Quite malty with a light hint of spice.
T- Woah!! Ok, well THAT got my attention. Instantly deep and roasty-rich, notable ABV% brushing my palate and a good balancing hoppy-bitter aspect into the finish.
F- Big, rich + 'visible' ABV% but well balanced by hops.
O- Made for slow-sipping. Lovely, complex and big yet mostly refined. The ABV% is unusually loud for 10.2% and that surprises me. (I had an 18.1% yesterday less shouty on the palate than this one). FWIW I'm tasting this on a clean palate. My wife tried it after eating chocolate and didn't get the ABV-zing. Nice. Would I drink it again? Yes if I could drive to the brewery and buy it for peanuts. Worth the after-market price? Certainly once...
Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the bottle lables to see what I missed!
330ml bottle BB: [xx]-01-2026 Euro16-00 Bought from [xx shop]/Belgium as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London. The xx's being to anonymise people who perhaps have breached their required agreement with the brewery not to resell this beer.
Aug 07, 2021
Photo of micada
Reviewed by micada from New York

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Thought I’d never score one…much less three…thanks Michele!

Poured cold to a champagne coup…closest to a chalice I have. Nose is light floral, with a strong funky bready yeast. Thin effervescent head that maintains throughout. Color is a dark amber, with a few floaters. Taste is a solid crackery malt, with a constant hit of funkiness. Mouthfeel is crisp, with an earthy heaviness, and a ton of carbonation. As it warms, there is a stone fruit vibe that really overtakes the tongue. Alcohol doesn’t bite, but brings on some warming fairly quickly. I’d say it’s a great representation of the style, but hell, isn’t this that misleading? This is OG for the style, from which others should compare. I should let the next half of the title warm, as that seems to really bring out more complexity. The flavor lingering is really satisfying.

The wife asked if it was worth $50 a bottle? Is any beer “worth” $50 a bottle. Yes. Plus it’s a story of history, with a present day support of a simpler lifestyle and dedication to higher purpose.
Aug 01, 2021
 
Rated: 4.58 by Madchiotis from Greece

Jul 24, 2021
 
Rated: 4.42 by ImbibingBaptist from Texas

Jul 16, 2021
 
Rated: 4.58 by paresis from Massachusetts

Jul 11, 2021
Photo of jcastro002
Reviewed by jcastro002 from New Jersey

4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Had this in Aruba …. Reputedly best beer in the world at the time. It was damn good…. Best beer in the world good?… it was good…. Not worth the 30-50 bucks I paid for it though
Jun 30, 2021
 
 
Rated: 4.5 by Rkitchen from Michigan

Jun 19, 2021
 
Rated: 4.32 by relynnjr from North Carolina

Jun 15, 2021
 
Rated: 4.83 by BH08 from California

Jun 15, 2021
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6799 ratings