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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #1
Ranked #26
4.66 | pDev: 8.58%
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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.
Reviews: 1,980 | Ratings: 6,771 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DanfromVan
DanfromVan from Canada (BC)

4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Took me about three years to get a six pac into my cellar. Fortunately, I have relatives who fly to Belgium once every 4 years or so. I'm down to my last 2 remaining .
Read a lot about it, finally got it in hand and it was and is quite glorious. I like almost all of it , just the ABV is a real kicker.
Look is superb, the head is quick to dissipate, scent is complex and rich, sweeter than I thought.
Flavour is rich and deep and changes pretty dramatically as it warms. Lot of figs and molasses, I think they might have currants and apricots in there too.
Nice to sip and say these are some of the great moments in life. It's a rarity and should be enjoyed. Bucket list is to go to the Abbey and maybe go for 3 glasses on tap and taxi back to the hotel, drunk and happy.

Mar 28, 2021
Photo of PapaGoose03
PapaGoose03 from Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

(2015 vintage) I'm not a lover of the dark fruits character that tends to result in aged dark beers but that's what i got. Suffice to say, the taste was the most mellow that I've ever experienced. Like a fine wine, it did keep some of its Belgian Quad character and it was outstanding.

Mar 15, 2021
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

After waiting for many years to try this beer, it was very good but not the best quadrupel I've ever had. It has some nice dark fruit (fig, date, raisin) notes but it's surprisingly boozy. I no longer feel a need to acquire a case for aging purposes.

Feb 17, 2021
Photo of Tony787
Tony787 from Canada (ON)

4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got 1 bottle of this beer as a gift from my polish friend .
Thanks Rob
about 3 years old this bottle
poured a 1finger head into glass the taste was special complex chocolate flavors malty and smooth . brown sugar and molasses
a great sipping beer to drink on special occasions.
overall a great sipping beer I love the complex flavors and smell of the beer also.
probably the first and last time I'll drink one of these.
I'm happy that I had a chance to have 1 bottle .

Jan 30, 2021
Photo of jeffoert
jeffoert from Minnesota

4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It has been a few years but I had this beer in Europe and, by luck, in the US as well. I was in a bar in Amsterdam and asked if they heard of this and the bar keep said "ya," but could not carry it. Not willing to drive up to the abbey and get one case. But, he said, there was one place in the city he knew of that carried some bottles. "Where?" A block down the street. I bought the last two on the shelf.

Try and find it.

Jan 20, 2021
Photo of SierraNevallagash
SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

335ml bottle - 20.12.20 (so exactly 3 years old) - poured into a Chimay goblet at 40°F, allowed to warm.

2020 Christmas bottle #2

Thanks Bobby.

Pours an opaque, muddy maroon-mahogany brown, topped with two fingers of foamy beige head with some dark cinnamon swirling, and remarkable retention, and a collar composed of massive bubbles, fed by plentiful streams of effervescence. A few small floaties are visible.

Nose: This is a very difficult aroma to describe, because it's so unique and unusual, and unlike any quad I've had. Incredibly nutty and complex - sweet toasty malts with notes of brown bread, concord grape, fresh and dried figs, raisins, dates, prunes, with baking spice notes of nutmeg, allspice, and candied ginger. Some molasses, brown sugar, and distinct leather, and some bright fruity red apple and pomegranate cutting through. It's a truly remarkable aroma.

Palate: Westvleteren 12 greets the palate fairly dry for a quad, opening with fresh dark bread, a big nutty maltiness, and a bright fruity element that reminds me of cognac - fresh red apple, red grape, raisin, plums, figs, and persimmons. These fruit notes become darker and more like dried fruits, with prune, date, and raisin, before this incredibly exotic malt note appears - leather, vanilla bean, age, old wood, Irish whiskey, caramel, almond, toffee, and nougat, yet still decidedly dry. A herbal bitterness begins to develop, perhaps just a whisper of licorice, with gentian root, bitter herbs, grass, and a distinctly German hop spicy leafy note, with a moderately bitter resinous bite. This hoppiness lingers for ages, with whispers of everything that came before it slowly fading in and out, finally finishing with a unique earthy flavour.

Medium-bodied, with no stickiness at all. Both Rochefort 10 and (especially) St. Bernardus are fuller, heavier, and stickier. The dryness here allows it to be supremely drinkable, with a nice presence, but never fights back. Beautifully lively and fine effervescence lends plenty of lift and cuts right through that 1.2% ABV. Hearty, fluid, wholesome, quenching, bold, crisp, malty and dry.

Overall: In a word? Beautiful. This is a beautiful beer, with an incomparable malt profile, a unique bright fruitiness, crisp dryness, and intriguing complexity. It reminds me a lot of old cognac, and the malt base has similarities to classical English barleywines. I can see why this one is so revered. Between Rochefort, Bernardus, and this, this is probably the most enjoyable (to me), followed by Bernardus, and then Rochefort. It feels masterful and dialed in - like the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I'm privileged and grateful to have enjoyed this one, and I think it is worthy of its accolades. Enjoy this one with food if you can. Enjoy the experience - take notes, review later.

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Been cellaring this one for a few years now and felt like this holiday was an appropriate time to bring it out. Not sure how available the '12' is in the US anymore but I know I was very lucky to find it. In fact, the obscure little wine shop in Baltimore where I bought the only two they had is not in business anymore. Drank the 1st one two years ago and it was memorable. The one tonight is just as exceptional.

Turbid, mahogany appearance with a small tan head and good lacing. Intriguing aroma, with dark fruits (figs, plums), toffee, licorice, and molasses. Complex, malty, vinous taste with layers of ripe fruit, oak, vanilla, molasses, bittersweet chocolate and seasonal spices. Modestly hopped, with a full bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Finish lingered, but wished it could have lasted longer. Just to add to all of the superlatives lavished upon this brew, here were some of the most remarkable flavors that could be associated with the word "beer".

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig from Ohio

4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to my best friend Jon Passow from A Starter and a Chaser podcast for sharing a bottle of this with me. Getting to try this certainly is a big beer milestone for me. Poured into a goblet glass, this beer pours a dark ruby color with some bright ruby/amber highlights when held up to the light. Has a just slightly off-white/tan head that's about half an inch thick when first poured that settles eventually to thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a film layer of surface foam. Aromas of toasted, bready, caramel malts followed by dried fig, plum, yeasty esters, a hint of cocoa, a bit of leather, and hint of sweet , Red Delicious apple. Tastewise, the flavor profile is very similar, with the aforementioned toasted, caramel, bready malts along with plums, figs and just a hint of Red Delicious apple. This is followed by some Belgian Candy sugars along with a bit of yeastiness and just a hint of cocoa and leather here too. The flavor profile does change and get a bit more complex as the beer sits and warms up. Just an absolutely fantastic flavor profile. Has a smooth, fairly frothy, slightly creamy, also still somewhat crisp, medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish, and all the flavors stack around on the inside of my mouth on my palate for awhile after each sip. WOW! This is just a really excellent beer, and certainly the best beer of this style I've ever had.


Dec 12, 2020
Photo of AirBob
AirBob from Massachusetts

4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2 fingers of khaki head which slowly dissipates to about one finger. Dense foam which leaves a surprisingly nice amount of lacing despite the abv. Body is translucent amber-brown.

Nose brings sweet dark fruit, pumpernickel bread, caramel, a touch of earthy cocoa and leather. Well integrated. Fruit forward but not perceiving it as cloying.

Taste bring sweet dark fruit - both fresh (juicy) and dried - followed by additions of some earth and leather. Well layer. Middle heats up a bit - picking up on the abv but it's pleasant. A sharp spiced/peppery note. Finishes with more fruit, but it's less dominate. Earthy cocoa notes and leather. A balance of bitter and sweet.

Full bodied, but not oily or cloying. Picking up on the abv more as it warms, but it adds some depth.

My recollection of other quads is fuzzy, but from what I do remeber the richness/juiciness of the dark fruit notes distinguishes this from other of the style. Like other trappist quads, this is incredibly well balanced. What impressed me is that the balance leans slightly toward the dark fruit notes without becoming overly sweet/cloying. At $20 per, I don't regret the splurge, but I won't be repurchasing when St. Bernardus and Rochefort and readily available at half the price.

Nov 30, 2020
Photo of GuitarIPA
GuitarIPA from Connecticut

4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Been a while since I wrote a review, but this is worth the time. Worth the hype, especially if you love quads. Smell is amazing, plum, dark fruits and sweetness. Flavor follows the nose. What's most surprising about this beautiful beer is that it's not heavy as you'd expect from a quad and it's the perfect amount of sweet. Truly one of the best beers I've ever had.

Nov 27, 2020
Photo of plutonash
plutonash from Latvia

4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BBE: 15.02.22
L: Very nice thick, bit brownish head. In color dark-dark brown, not able to see through against light. Holds nice lacing.
S: Caramel, burnt sugar, nuts, dark cherries, alcohol, plums, raisins, hint of dark bread.
T: Tastes better than smells with most of the descriptors listed earlier, i.e plums, caramel, raisins, etc.
F: Really creamy, medium/full bodied. Has a nice balance of bitterness and sweetness. Like most of its peers, the brew hides the abv. Strange bitter-sweet aftertaste (astringent?)
O: Excellent quad, although too pricey (bought for 24€). If it would be cheaper, I would visit this "piece of Belgium" more often. For now though, I'll stick with Rochefort 10 (which I actually prefer more..)

Oct 08, 2020
Photo of vi11am
vi11am from Pennsylvania

4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Delicious, all the hype well deserved. The main thing for me is the creamy feeling and how smooth the taste. I really can't say I have experienced that with any other beer.

Sep 30, 2020
Photo of JackoLovesBeer
JackoLovesBeer from England

5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer absolutely deserves the hype. In fact, this is the best beer I have ever tasted. I agree with most of the previous favourable comments re its taste, smell, mouthfeel and absurdly quaffable nature (particularly given the 10.2% ABV) but I would also like to add that I completely agree with those who recommend a 12-16 degree (celsius) drinking temperature. This means you take one out of your cupboard/safe/bank vault and put it in the fridge for only 15-20 minutes...the complexity really comes through at this temperature. In contrast, a friend once drank a cold one as a 'travel beer' on the Tube (Subway/Metro) on his way home at midnight (when heavily drunk). Obviously he is no longer a friend.

In summary, this beer tastes like an angel's vagina and anyone giving it less than a 4.9 are just upset they've had to acquire it for $20 a bottle from a dodgy character on a street corner at 2am rather than from a happy monk at the Saint-Sixtus Abbey.

Sep 18, 2020
Photo of BelgianHops
BelgianHops from Belgium

4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great, but not the best. I would even dare to say St. Bernardus Abt 12 is beter. Don't get me wrong, it's among the best, but the hype around it destroys it's own imago. Give Abt 12 a shot, a touch better.

Aug 13, 2020
Photo of sjrider
sjrider from California

4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle brought back from the source - clear dark mahogany with thin off white head leaving spotty lacing. Nose is malty with lots of dark stone fruit and spice. Taste follows with an uptick of the nose and a smooth creamy finish . Brought back memories of nights at the Kulminator. Outstanding.

Jul 31, 2020
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle , full pour into a chalice

Chilled to 60 degrees

Creamy taupe one finger foam cap , good retention , settles to a thin creamy layer , bit of alcohol , lacings are full, thin creamy layer

Deep brown , Ruby red liquid, dark cola appearance , Clear not hazy, no visible carbonation, a yeast blob in the liquid

Aroma is malty, cloves, cinnamon, raisin, fig dark fruits ,more dark fruits appear as the glass warms , raisins and figs, caramel

Taste is malty, Dark fruits, raisins, figs , taste , slight alcohol at the start , the dark fruit taste expands as the glass warms, molasses, sherry, definitely serve at room temp

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium small bubble sudsing, a little of alcohol heat , coats the mouth, taste lingers on my the front of my mouth , slight alcohol finish, more dark fruits on the taste as the glass warms the Alcohol taste diminishes

Spent a lot for this bottle of beer. Good and if I am in Belgium I would repeat. At the cost , I would rather pursue premium domestic brews

Good beer

Jul 18, 2020
Photo of Steve555
Steve555 from Wales

4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brown thick body with a one finger head that stays most of the way, Smells of alcohol, dried dark fruits, yeast,malts. Taste is complex very fruity, raisins, dates, port, caramel, treacle. Medium body and highly drinkable for the big abv, smooth in the mouthfeel, lasting boozy bitterness and fruity tastes remain but booze is not overpowering just warming. I was surprised I got through all 4 of my bottles as quickly as I did, without much of a struggle and was sad when they were all gone as I'm not likely to pay £70 for a box of 4 again anytime soon.

It's a great beer for sure but I can't give it more because it's not really my thing but glad I got to drink this legendary beer.

Jul 18, 2020
Photo of drdiesel9483
drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

6 year old bottle poured into a Goblet
Look - dirty brown slightly clear no real head or lacing, not to bad for a 6 year old beer
Smell - sweet caramel molasses dark fruit like a fig possible some date, slight musk scent. Like a barley wine
Taste - brown sugar caramel molasses, not overly sweet, has that fig date taste like the smell. Boozy warming
Feel - medium full body light carb slight fizz but really nice
Overall - fantastic!

Jun 29, 2020
Photo of BGDrock
BGDrock from Canada (ON)

4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge airy head, crackling, with retention for days. Murky brown body, unfiltered with yeast remnants dancing.
Aroma is milder than expected, not overly sweet, with notes of ripe banana, dates, stewed apples, cider, clove.
Wonderful rich malt notes, unexpected flavours of dark cocoa, almond extract, caramel, even cola. Expected notes of raisin, molasses. Gets better with every sip, with the cocoa/cola notes becoming more pronounced. The feel is outstanding - mouthcoating and medium body, lightly syrupy, with bubbly carbonation. Finish balances the malt with perfect alcohol heat - no burn, just warming. I actually wouldn't mind a touch more heat. After half the bottle, it isn't as complex as I'd anticipated, though still fantastic, and I enjoy the lingering malt flavours.

Does it earn the hype? Yes, definitely one of the best, if not the best, quads I've had (checking the rankings after I submit this, I did review Rochefort higher). But expectations were sky-high, and it's not quite as complex in taste as I'd hoped for. All the same - a must try.

May 01, 2020
Photo of DerekGilboe

5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the finest beers you might find, but it has one interesting quirk: it bottle ages and while great when first bottled becomes amazing with a year or more of aging. This is a very potent beverage with a complex flavor of malts and fruits without being overly sweet, with an aroma matching the flavor. It is best consumed chilled and slowly; the ABV on this is not something to overlook as this will sneak up on you fast given the quality of the beverage. This is one of my top four beers I've had in the world!

Apr 21, 2020
Photo of RNA

5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Malty nose and beautiful amber coloring, taste was complex, malty with several other flavors - the flavors lasted long after the beer was down into my stomach. Excellent beer

Mar 18, 2020
Photo of Wheezy
Wheezy from California

4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The hype is real. I have had the pleasure of having two six packs of these. One when they did the release with the box and the glasses, and another from a friend that went and actually shipped em back to me! Funny to see how the bottling/labels differ from the USA version to the real version (same beer though). So as an FYI you can now get these shipped -

Pour - dark murky brown with perhaps a touch of deep redness - a nice desert camo beige head - more than I would have thought for a Belgian quad.
Smell - Plums? WTF is that? Chocolate... boozy, like rum? - smells kind of harsh - to me. I was prepared to not like it.
Taste - BOOM - What just happened? What is this sorcery? Not much to compare to. I still get that plum / dark fruit taste, warming boozy, surprisingly smooth yet bold. It's an experience for sure. Finish, ya, I want another sip. #chasingthedragon

Mar 11, 2020
Photo of DEZ01301960
DEZ01301960 from Illinois

4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best Trappist beer I have ever had. I have tried most except for Tre Fontaine and Zundert. Not easily attainable but i was able to snag a 6 pack with 2 chalices for $100 bucks online. Definitely worth the price.

Feb 09, 2020
Photo of rdilauro
rdilauro from Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was slightly disappointed with this one. Probably because I am not a big fan of Belgium Ales.
But rating this on its own merits, itis one great beer. It poursjet black with almost zero head or carbonation. A big powerful nose with a strong alcohol trait. The finish was long. It was if I was drinking a port

Feb 07, 2020
Photo of twage04
twage04 from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at a Brussels bar for 19 euro, including the cap from the bottle! This was after a beer and chocolate tour that concluded with samples of St. Bernardus quad and Rochefort 10, so on one hand the contrast was interesting, on the other my palette had been through the ringer and I may have been a little tipsy or beyond at this point.

With all that being said, poured a dark black with normal carbonation or a little higher than normal? Aroma was of dark fruit, raisins/plum. Taste was much the same with some yeasty spiciness but all in all balanced and smooth to drink. I can see the hype although between this and Rochefort 10 it's a toss up, both are excellent but certainly different. This beer did taste pretty similar to the st. bernardus, maybe a bit more yeast coming through?

Dec 26, 2019
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6771 ratings