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

1,859 Reviews
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

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Reviews: 1,859 | Ratings: 6,279
Photo of Sludgeman
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was so good I had two bottles at 15EU (a bit pricey) at Au Bon Vieux Temps.

PRELIMINARY REVIEW - need to find my written notes.

Very drinkable , this may be the best beer in the world not called Cantillon.

A -

S - Brown sugar, light on the raisin

T - Not as heavy on the dark fruit as some quads.

MF - Heavy body, a semi-dry finish.

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Photo of rypkr
4.02/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - murky brown. Hugely frothy khaki head.

S - fairly muted. St Bern 12 smells fruitier and more potent. What is there is the obvious dark fruits, some cream/vanilla, some alcohol. Not terribly complex.

T - silly sweet initially and finishes dry and bitter. I'm kind of at a loss. It tastes like the status quo of quads. Nothing remarkable and the bitter earthy finish is pretty off putting.

M - heavily, heavily carbonated, fizzy and dry.

O - meh. The hype train strikes again
St.b12 is definitely much better imo. Never like Roch 10 much though so maybe I'm just an outlier.

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Photo of jwhancher
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Awesome beer. Received a bottle this past Christmas during a bottle swap. Definitely worth the hype but also definitely not worth waiting in long lines or paying extravagant fees to obtain. Once you get one you can expect notes of carmelized sugars, raisins, dark fruits like figs in the nose. Tastes sweet with candied sugar, raisins, figs, prunes, slight molasses, and just great all around taste. Definitely in the heavier side but easily digestible. A great beer all around. Don't pay top dollar. Be patient and it will come to you at some point, beer geeks!!!!

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Photo of brureview
4.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark chocolate brown color with a 1/2 head in a Orval Trappist beer.
The key to appreciating the flavor profile in this beer is to drink it warmer.
I started out at a slightly colder temp, but warmer temps brought depth and complexity.

The most complex and balanced Quad I have tasted. Apple, sweet, and pear in the aroma which broadens with warming.

Very malt forward mouth feel.

The taste gets a bit dwarfed by the sharp bitter finish, but the apple and pear transition well from the taste. What amazes me about this beer is that it totally changes with warming- the flavors become increasingly complex.

It's worth checking out. Perhaps not as full and rich as other Belgian quads, nor over the top, but the increased complexity with warming and balance is a winner.

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Photo of gibgink
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will say upfront that Quads are probably my least favorite style in that I am not a big fan of the flavor the yeast imparts on the beer. That being said, this is my favorite Quad of all that I've had. Others who say that this is "the quintessential" quad are right. This hits all the right notes that a quad should, but in a slightly subdued manner. The yeast is there, but doesn't overwhelm. The sweetness is also there, but is kept in check. And the beer is smooth as hell to boot.

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Photo of pda22
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

If I liked Belgian yeast flavor, this could be the best beer in the world. Great look and feel. Very well made beer. Just a little too much aftertaste that I don't enjoy.

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Photo of Lelo767
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely worth the hype and expense, the Westvleteren XII is the best beer you will ever have in the world! This beer actually tastes better as it ages....I have had a 2017 and a 2015, and the older the better. Dark, complex, malty and both spicy and fruity, with a thick milkshake texture. This is the perfect winter beer, however it is not available for purchase in local stores in Belgium. You can find it at northern Belgium restaurants for 10-15 euro per Bottle. I skip the high markups and go directly to the Westvleteren Sint Sixtus Abbey where you can get a case every 6 months for 42 euro (by reservation only) and they register your license, plus you agree NOT to re-sell to a 3rd party...Yes, it is that special!

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Photo of Sabtos
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque maroon with a soft tan blanket that retains a bit thinner throughout.

The smell on this is unbelievably complex. Toasted wheat or pumpernickel bread, with a spice bouquet featuring minimal notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg--these spices are only present enough to be a delight, and are not potent at all. Then comes caramelized, softened apples, brown sugar, baked graham cracker crust, amaretto, and pear. Wow!

Taste is toasted bread and roasted nuts, grape, and plum. There is something deep and savory in there, but it's brightened by a hint of spice and fruit, with faint raisin.

Medium to full bodied, with a good amount of carbonation, finishing relatively middle range, leaning semi-dry.

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Photo of dro7
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Found at a bottle shop/bar, 2012 imported bottle to the US.
Look: very very think sediments in the glass, dark ruby red color.

Aroma: roasted chocolate, figs, dates, bread, Belgian yeast.

Taste: similar to aroma, roasted chocolate, dried figs and dates, excellent Belgian yeast, little carbonation but that may be due to the age, alcohol and carbonation dances on the toung.

I can definitely see the hype around this beer. It is unlike anything I have ever tasted. I love the roasted taste, it truly is the best beer in the world. It's worth the expense and honestly it's cheaper than barrel aged American beer.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep brown with noticeable suspended solids, with a thin light tan head that recedes into a thin presence just around the rim, and some islands on the surface. Smells of fig clove, champagne, banana, and sweet sticky buns. Taste follows with a hint of alcohol presence to cap it off. Feel is smooth, somewhat light, well carbonated with a big alcohol warmth especially as it warmed. Overall, it doesn't get much better than this for a Belgian quad. Cheers!

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Photo of jmasher85
4.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

To honor NASA discovering the TRAPPIST-1 star system, I'm finally breaking open the bottle I got at the local shop last year. I have to say, everything about this beer is a surprise, from the texture to the flavor. It pours clear dark brown with receding head, no lacing, and clumps of heavy sediment towards the end of the pour.

Smell is sweet toffee candy, red apples, dark cherries, cola; sweet and interesting. Taste is where it gets really weird though. Starts off quite sweet, but gets shockingly bitter and dry by the end. Burnt toffee and spice dominate the front end, with fairly strong alcoholic roughness and clove-like numbing feeling on the tongue. This is one that must be sipped slowly or palate fatigue will do you in, and fast. A strange Dr. Pepper-like medicinality threatens to make this one cloyingly sweet, but then a bitterness sets in and all of a sudden, you're dealing with burnt malts, dry, strong boozy flavors that give the lingering finish more of a sharp, acidic, spicy yeast quality than a sweet, rounder one. I can't say this is a particularly balanced beer, and nor does it want to be. It hits hard and strong in each direction it pulls.

The strangest thing about this beer is the carbonation, which, with it's disappearing head, is between soda and champagne, and less like beer. It certainly brings up those belches! Overall, I can't say this lives up to the hype of former "best beer ever, anywhere." It just doesn't quite complement itself well in the flavors it most strongly forces. That said, every sip was interesting, pleasurable, and I don't regret the slightly exorbitant price I paid to get it locally. It may not be my favorite, but it's deserving of it's place as a legend.

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Photo of Narkee
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a dark but slightly opaque brown. Finger width light tan head that holds well.

S - Plenty of toffee, dark fruits and raisins.

T - Incredibly balanced beer with dark plums, chocolate and some roasted coffee.

M - vibrate mouthfeel with pretty high carbonation. It is balanced with the silk of the liquid itself though.

O - Just an incredible well made and balanced beer. Hope to have more.

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Photo of Jeff_Dubya
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't say enough for this beer. It is absolutely perfect in tevery sense for what an ale should be. While you get a little boozy flavor up front, this Trappist masterpiece remains smooth with absolutely zero bite. I've had 8 or so of them and always want another.

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Photo of KidDoc
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, strange carbonation with a popping effect on the surface. Aroma of raisins, honey, dark fruit, plums, and sassafras. Flavor follows. Nicely balanced and delicious. Great soft mouthfeel, no hint of the alcohol. It was well worth the wait

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Photo of jaunders1
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I have had this beer on 3 occasions during my 3 trips to Belgium. In all regards this is one of the best beers in the world and has well lived up to the hype each time. I will preface this review by saying that it is based off of memory. Also, I have given a bottle of this beer to my boss and to my (at that time future) father-in-law, both met with excellent results. While this beer certainly lives up to its lofty expectations, I I'll be the first to admit that part of the joy with this beer is tracking it down. The fist time I came across it was in a tiny beer store in Bruges. These were well aged bottles to say the least (4+ years old). The mouthfeel and taste of this batch was sublime. this was by far the smoothest beer I have had at any abv, while still maintaining the look, smell and taste. The second and third time I had the honor to try this beer were while in Brussels. Acquired at a well known beer store just off the grand place. Again the beer was amazing. While not as aged as the fist, all aspects of his beer were top notch.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok, so I confess to having had a few before I found a bar in Brussels serving this beauty. It is generally a very expensive beer to buy, probably because it is held in such mighty regard, and being a bit on the tight side I had let it slip passed me a few times! Bad Bujon! Call yourself a man of Beer!!
So the review, well I have to say it is all round a very good brew, but it didn't blow me away, in the same way as a few of the Belgian Christmas Beers do. A rich dark colour, with a caramel head, and a malty fruit bread type of after taste. In all honesty it seems to lack a bit of guts, but none the less it is certainly up there, and requires sampling at your first opportunity.
Would I spend 16 euro on it again? Not when there are another 2000 Belgian Beers I haven't tried.
Is it the Best Belgian Beer? Very Debatable.

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Photo of danh53
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. Fantastic experience. It pours dark, ruby red with crackling carbonation that fizzles without leaving much of a head. Rich dark fruit and dark cherries paired with old leather and mild pipe tobacco. Prunes, raisins, figs, and aged Belgian yeast ripened blended together with a hint of dusty cobwebs to add depth and character. The mouth feel is light and airy, not what I was expecting from a big quad. The carbonation was vibrant and prickly at points. The mouth feel was not as nice as the flavor for me, but this is outstanding and a must try beer.

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Photo of brother_rebus
4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They say its a great. It certainly is. Looks like a quad. Smells like a little molass water. Tastes heavenly. So complex and balanced, without being too far in any direction. Feels full. No booze. Overall delish. Its overhyped, but still one of the beet quads I've had.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A shot at the legend! Great beer, of course. Lots of dark fruit, surprising grape notes, almost winey aromas, touches of leather and Belgian candi sugar too. Tremendous lightness of body for such a big brew. Now, to visit the monastery!

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: One finger white-brown head, cloudy brown body.

Smell: See below, but with a hint of spices.

Taste: Earthy yeast, honey, brown sugar, some apple, some dark fruits.

Feel: High carbonation, medium body, mild-medium alcohol burn upfront, sweet upfront, dry finish.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a pillow of white head that just stays floating on the beer

Smells of raisin, prune, brown sugar, some caramel, and toast

Tastes of sweet, juicy, dark fruit....fig, raisin, plum, blackberry....almost jammy. If you let it sit and let the carbonation go flat, could pass for a Zinfandel

Lovely creamy mouthfeel...not oily, not overly sweet, very faint alcohol

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Photo of Slack
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amber brown and clear with a ton of head that settles to just a bit. Minor lacing.

Nose is fig, raisin, minor brandy, minor cherry, malt, and sweetness.

Taste is subtle sweet dark fruit, figs, raisins, cherries, some brandy notes, and a nice amount of malt.

Mouthful is medium and soft. Carbonation is average. Finish is semi sweet.

The definition of a quad. Exceptionally drinkable, exceptionally balanced. Wish I could have this any time.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: pours light brown. Looks like liquid rust with a huge white foamy head.
S: sharp dark fruit juices. Grape and raisin, smells sweet, light and fruity.
T: oh yeah... big juicy dark fruits! Sweet but balanced. Perfect quad!
F: thin and easy drinking. So smooth for 10.2%
O: hands down the best and most drinkable quad I've ever had.

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Photo of Drvitlkeyustolit80
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First had 11/24/16 at home. I was able to celebrate my 3000th beer on untapped with this Belgian gem. I had to purchase it online and have it shipped to my house, since flying to Belgium was out of the question, and trading seemed unlikely.

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Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly is the perfect beer. Amazing balance.
Pours a delicate off white head that never changes.
Reddish brown slightly hazy.
Bread, fig and raisin pudding on the nose and flavour. Some soft toffee and rum notes.
Hops build subtly with earthy herbal tones.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,279 ratings.
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