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

BA SCORE
100
world-class
6,299 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium
sintsixtus.be

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,299
Reviews:
1,861
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
3,674
Gots:
2,195
For Trade:
155
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,299 |  Reviews: 1,861
Photo of abuliarose
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

21.04.12, poured into a snifter.

Color is a lighter mahogany in direct light and a deep red at the thickest part of the glass. Pours with little to no head. Very clear. Smells pretty crazy for a beer! More like a plum wine, white grape juice, mead, sherry or even Manischewitz. Very sweet, fairly alcoholic.

Tastes smooth, barely carbonated but slightly sharp. Again, very sweet with a medium body that starts with those same aromatic notes of white grape and evolves into a pleasant caramel malt before leaving a lingering hoppy bitterness. This reminds me very much more of a sherry with its flatness and the fruit notes, but without some of the mouthfeel. Alcohol fumes are quite effervescent here despite the low carbonation. There is a lot of cake at the bottom and it loosens a little as poured, so leaving the final inch or so in the bottle. Refilling the glass has produced a slightly cloudier pour that retains the same characteristics except with slightly more malt shining through as it warms a little and slightly more yeasty aftertaste... which makes sense.

Pretty good, I'd say! Not sure if this becomes my definitive quad, but for sure it's a very interesting one and appreciably complex. I wouldn't mind sipping away at it again.

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Photo of vziznznzyz
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ebru
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bbarton_1
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fingolfin72
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is deep mahogany with a fine, palamino-colored head which dissipates to lacy remnants fairly soon.

The nose is somewhat restrained, but it contains sugar, oranges, banana, and croissants.

The palate is smooth with an abundance of flavor. I get toffee, brown sugar, banana, nutmeg, chocolate, quinine and fresh grapes.

The finish is long. The bitterness, reminiscent of quinine or campari, becomes slightly more prominent as the sip of beer fades. It does not, however, overexpress itself.

This beer has extraordinary balance and complexity. It does not hit you over the head; it just states itself perfectly with nothing out of place. I equate it with Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame.

 703 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- dark plum colour with a typical frothy head.

S- booze and dark fruits.

T- incredibly refined, layered flavours of cherry, booze, figs and plums. Less sweet than the Rochefortes but still has that sweet flavour.

M-incredible. Possibly the best aspect of this beer, silky smooth, a mouthfeel ive never experienced in any other quad.

O- hard to live up to the immense hype, but it comes close. Just an incredibly well made beer.

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Photo of fear025
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma:Malt and grapes. Nice sweet aroma.

Appearance:Brown in color, nice head that's ecru in color.

Taste:Caramel and Malt, wine notes. The aftertaste leaves some leather, earthy notes.

Mouthfeel:Medium to thick in body. Hot alcohol, a little astringency, great carbonation.

Drinkability:It's a really easily drinkable, flavorful, complex, and smooth beer.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TonyLuvsBeer
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super excited to try this bottle...

Pours a deep, hazy, dark brown with an incredibly foamy, tannish head. The nose is not boozy at all and has a very distinct cherry- breadiness. The smell is super clean and refined, even when it warms there is nothing out of place. It's almost like a freshly baked cherry pie.
The taste is quite crisp as well. There is a sweet malty body with intense, ripe pit fruits like those detected in the beer's nose. No off flavors appear to be present, but there is a pungent, residual aftertaste. Unfortunately, the tobacco bitterness is a little intense that kind of throws off this beer's clean presentation in the other categories. I would have liked a less intrusive aftertaste, although it's good to know the beer was potent enough to sit on the palate for awhile. Honestly, each sip is different and offers a new level of complexity.

Overall, this beer was hard to get. And at $20/bottle, it's rather expensive as well. I'm glad I tried this beer, but will most likely view it as a novelty than something I'll actively seek out in the future.

 1,081 characters

Photo of pagriley
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

L - Deep Amber Ruby color. Very clear with a foamy off white head
S - Dried fruit and dark caramel malts. Surprisingly soft yeast without much overt fruity esters
T - caramel, figs and raisins. Some stone fruit overtones. Firm bitterness to finish
F - prickly with bright carb. Slightly creamy with a sweet finish

Overall worth seeking out. Had this with st bernardus ABT 12, and I would give this the nod, but it is exceptionally close. Frankly shipping and storage conditions could easily account for the difference

 531 characters

Photo of SirSketch
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

100th Review! Acquired this beer at Gollem in Amsterdam. My profile pic is actually of me enjoying my first Westy at Gollem.

A - Stiff, tan head. Dark red to leathery brown in color. Looks very appetizing!

S - A plethora of delicious aromas. Very sweet vinous properties, brandy character, dark fruits and candied sugar.

T - Very wine-like. High ABV comes through as hot. Some bourbon qualities. Such a complex beer it is hard to pinpoint any one flavor.

M/D - One of the creamiest, smoothest beers I have had. I think the mouthfeel may actually be my favorite part of this beer. Not the 'best beer on planet earth,' in my opinion, but absolutely worth tracking down.

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Photo of GoNowhere
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Much to my delight, the Holiest beer on planet earth arrived three days prior to Christmas. Two bottles were purchased online--one for me and one for a beer loving homie.
On to the review...

Appearance: Dark earthy tone resembling very fertile soil with a nice bleached leather colored head. Lacing immediate and intricate. Tiny bubbles of carbonation bouncing and popping.

Smell: Fruity. Raisins. Plums. Pumpkin. Dates. Dried bananas. Malty. Molasses. Earth. Reminiscent of a thick autumn fog on a pumpkin farm. Lots of stuff going on.

Taste: Malty goodness giving way to a break of fruity sweetness and ending with a nice tinge of alcohol that only serves to cleanse the palate for another swig. It tastes just as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Not heavy. Not light. It dances and skips along with the tastes. The carbonation is perfect. It's a ballerina.

Drinkability: Well, at 10% you can't hang with more than a couple and still appreciate them, but damn I would love to try.

While drinking this I asked myself the same questions I asked myself before I decided to marry my wife... I made it about beer instead of a woman though because it would be weird if I didn't.

Is it the best and if I were to consume this one beer for the rest of my life would I still have eyes for other brews?

-Well, if I lived next to the brewery, or even within 200 miles, this might be the best beer ever.... But I don't, so it isn't. If I did live that close, I can't honestly say that a Saison, Strong Pale or Dark, or a really nice Triple wouldn't tempt me to stray (Really, Belgium has all the super model beers). However, this is by far the best Quad I have ever had and would love to drink it again someday.

 1,702 characters

Photo of Popsinc
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second Westy ever! Also at the Kulminator.

Appearance: Like the 8, this beer poured a super drak brown and was accompanied by a huge, appetizing tan head. While it looked like alot of beers....worth a scoing of 4....i had to give it a 4.5 based on my anticipation. It just looked so good, i couldn't wait!

Smell: Although the nose had sweet chocolatey notes as well as spicey hints to it, i found that it was much more mild and subtle then i had anticipated.

Taste: Here we go!!! Wow. A wonderfuly rich beer with sweet and complex flavours throughout. Hints of chocolate and caramel. Spices of cinamon and nutmeg, maybe even a hint of molasses. Soem dark fruitiness and even some light woody notes towards the mildly bitter finish which also had a refined, port-like quality to it.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, complex...very warming and fullfilling. Tastes linger nicely and change even after you're done your sip.

Drinkability: It doesn't get much better than this! A world class beer. This one goes into my top 10 for sure. If i could only find more, i would buy them all.

 1,090 characters

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

11.2oz. brown bottle, yellow cap - no label, poured into a snifter. Best before 4.12.10

A: Pours a deep burgundy with zero visibility. Just over 1 finger of light toffee head forms and holds nicely. Bit chunks of lacing to start, then decent patching.

S: Very similar to the 8 but more intense and with a phenolic line. Very clean smelling caramel malts and plenty of boozy dark fruits.

T/M: I'm really diggin' the alcohol in this. Normally I only like an alcohol warming in my beer... when I want something stronger I'll pour some single malt. Not the case here. The alcohol adds such an amazing complexity to everything. The dark fruits pop so much better. The caramel malts are still as great as ever but with an 'adult theme' haha. The mouthfeel is just as perfect as the 8.

D: I don't typically like Belgians too much but the 8 and 12 are definitely worthy. I won't call this my favorite beer but I'd never argue with someone for saying it's theirs.

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

A- pours a dark colaish brown. Two finger light khaki head with nice lacing. Thick viscous tears slowly crawl down the glass.
S- lots of fruity sweetness. Dark cherry, plum, fig, and a fruit cakey breadyness. Still some alcohol presence, but it's almost masked by a honey like sweetness. What a funky nose this beer has. This just smells like a masterfully crafted quad.
T- wow! This is a hot little devil! More spicy than anything. Cloves, fruitcake, dried raisins. Not as much of the fruit as there is in the nose. Reminds me of a fine cognac or something.
M- thick and full bodied. The first sip the effervescence just went in and opened up my palate. Finish is dry.
O- overall, I feel that this bottle of westy 12 was damn enjoyable! Is it one of the best beers I've ever had? Well, I'll put it in my top 5 for sure. All hype aside this is a beautifully crafted beer and, in my opinion, on the same level as roch 10, and st bern 12. Give this beer 18 months and maybe it will rise to greatness. I'll give it a solid A.

 1,022 characters

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

Photo of bierman2000
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is smooth opaque and malty. The alcohol is present form the 1st sip yet still very well hidden. An excellent beer thast is well worth the search. Mine was tasted at the Brewery and also in Brugge at a cozy pub. This beer is served in a chalice and should be consumed at close to room temperature for best enjoyment.

 325 characters

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

Westy Wednesday! Had to make this my first review of 2013! 2011 bottle poured into a goblet.

Looks like the prototypical dark Belgian - dark ruby red/brown, 2 fingers of light tan head, decent legs and nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Aroma is just like a spiced caramel apple up front. Clove, slight banana, cinnamon, nutmeg. Even deeper earthy spices like anise and black pepper, tobacco, dark candi sugar. Dark fruit, figs, black currant, and more.

The perfect dessert beer. Lots of figgy pudding and cake like spice, raisin, a bit of cacao, caramel, pear, honey, candi sugar, molasses, toffee, bready malt. The richest and most layered beer I've ever had, certain flavors I can't even describe. A bit of heat distracts at the back of the palate.

This is what really sets this apart from other quads. Rich and slightly slick but sits just enough on the finish to match the rich spice and fruit, satisfying almost like spiced bread pudding and coffe cake.

Hard to deny that it's one of the best beers I've ever had. It really feels like liquid bread or a dessert - really satisfying but I could only have one every once in a while. But if I could I would definitely have it a few times a year. Absolutely delicious, and a great start to 2013.

 1,256 characters

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

Split a 330 mL picked up at in de vrede. Reviewed 10/8/2009 in tulips.

Ar: spicy and funky, dark sweet with floral, tart fruit, much better with warmth, alcohol, grape, earthy, herbal hop, fruity and doughy (dark dough), unique, similar to 8, smooth fruitiness, lightly wine like, plum/prune, strong grape juice

Ap: rocky tan mousse like head, very good retention, hazy dark mahogany/deep red with purple highlights, smooth lace

F: dark fruit, heavy, woody with unique spice, grape, plum, herbal hop, unique assertive and rich, alcohol, strong grape, rich berries (blackberry), smooth roast, toffee, dried dark fruit, starts with earthy caramel/toffee, then grape and fruity with berries and light tartness, then spicy herbal end with hop bitterness and alcohol, woody grape and earth like grape seeds, sweet but pleasant, good sipper, long complex spicy taste, dark spices, less spicy tart grape would help balance, *minty grapey spicy alcohol with tartness defines this beer, resinous hop, dark dough, pastries, prune and date, dark dry fruit, dark cherry, chocolate hints, much more bready than expected, unique grape, much better than St. Bernardus 12

M: Thick and Creamy, high fine carbonation, chewy, great fullnes without being too heavy, light alcohol heat in stomach/throat

O: different than remembered, great hop, very unique minty herbal resin and earthy grape, very good, complex, better with warmth, rich layers, assertive, *more fruity than roasty, *huge flavor, like the blonde more

*= ideas from fellow taster

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Photo of epyon396
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Zach136
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quads of Fame Blind Taste Test

Bottle from the Brick Pack "expires" 10.2.2015

A - Dark, deep amber, thick pillow of a head.

S - Lght nose, some grapefruit and red wine.

T - Rich but hot and boozy, a bit of yeast. Very complex dark fruits.

M - Nice thick feel but not too sweet, big fan.

O - Very great beer it actually came in third for our test, but it was still amazing and worth it. I can't wait to pop open my other bottles in a few years.

 449 characters

Photo of Pamola
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to get this in a trade from JeffV for my 1000th beer (give or take a few probably). Thanks, Jeff.

A: Poured into a tulip and shared with a couple select friends. Dark dark chestnut with a 3 finger off white head. Very slow dissipation. Slow and steady release of carbonation adds to the head nearly as fast as it settles. Wonderful, thick lacing. Physical foam more than superficial detritus.

A: warm dark fruit aromas with a slight ester funk. Powerful and steady without being overwhelming.

T: First impression is the ridiculous smoothness of flavor. For the style the maltiness and yeast sharpness are perfect. The esters dance on the tongue and there is absolutely no indication of the alcohol content. Buttery, oakey finish.

M: Rounded and perfectly effervescent on the palate.

D: This beer was worth the wait. I certainly do wish access was better and easier, and that ease of procurement wouldn't take anything away from the beer. It does live up to the hype.

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

Poured from bottle into a chilled glass. Dark brown color with huge fluffy tan head which dissipated very slowly into a persistent tan collar. Excellent sticky and consistent lacing throughout. On the nose, molasses and wet leather scents dominate, with hints of sour apricots and cherries. On the palate, the sweetness of molasses and smoky leather dance between notes of dried apricots, peaches, and cherries. The malt asserts itself, amidst ample hoppiness, and the burn of spicy alcohol becomes evident. The mouthfeel is punishingly full and chewy, demanding the respect this monster deserves.

I am generally not a big fan of Belguan ales, but this behemoth lives up to the hype. Glad I made the reach for this one.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,299 ratings.
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