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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BA SCORE
4.6/5
World-Class
6,582 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian 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
Ranking:
#47
Reviews:
1,922
Ratings:
6,582
pDev:
8.91%
 
 
Wants:
3,731
Gots:
2,310
Trade:
153
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,582 |  Reviews: 1,922
Photo of poppollutesminds
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kajerm
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Austere, unlabeled brown glass bottle with "Trappistenbier" embossed around the neck. Gold cap with location information, brewery name, ABV, and small 12. A date that appears to be 07.06.03 is printed over the cap text in the hardest possible place to read-- get with the program, monks.

Pours dark, cloudy brown with loads of sediment and no head to speak of. The aroma is pretty complex-- belgian yeast, esters, some medicinal phenols, dark fruit, mixed malts, and some port-type wininess.

Tastes like it smells: awesome. Esters and malt are even more pronounced, with just a little candi sugar. Phenols and wine notes appear mid-palate. Wininess persists to the finish, where some berry flavors and maybe diacetyl show up. Some alcohol flavor, but not overwhelming.

It's been talked up a little, but damn is it exquisite.

The mouthfeel is modestly chewy, lightened by the port wine flavor. Balanced as hell.

Even setting aside the fact that I had to give up both kidneys, three of my girlfriend's ova, and my firstborn to get it, this beer is a sipper. It drinks like a fine cognac, and if I read the date on my bottle properly, it ages just as well.

EDIT: I recently found out that the date on the cap is a freshness date, marked for three years after the date of bottling. So this was vintage 2000. Wow. It was probably madeirized, but whatever it was, it was fantastic.

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Photo of Krice99
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mjgsilva
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of p5gdcdeluxe
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FLima
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beauty has been waiting a long time in my cellar to get close to the brewer best of date. I am having this before dinner to sharp my senses and pouring this to both the original chalice and in my Orval one. Interestingly, its appearance was much better on Orval’s.
It has a brown reddish color with a thick dark beige head with eternal retention and leaving a curtain of laces. Hard to beat for the style.
Nice aroma with notes of prunes, raisins, plums, raspberries, molasses, dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, grape juice, brandy and candied fruits. This is a bit more delicate than I expected, but elegant and still quite present.
Bold flavor with notes of figs, Port wine, creamy chocolate, noble hops, prunes, some molasses, bread crust, lots of spices (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, vanilla), peppery yeast, a bit of licorice, wood, a distant blue cheese, herbs, pear, apple puree, banana, mild tobacco, raisins, candi sugar and cherries. Dry and bitter aftertaste. Virtually it is easy to keep going naming more flavors.
Liquorish full body (not heavy) with perfect carbonation of tiny bubbles. Alcohol of 10.2% is subtle and disguised to trick you.
Needless to say this is an excellent beer. Huge fruit and malt complexity with enough hops to balance its sweetness and a phenolic vortex. Sure it is hard to live up to its legend and I am not sure this is really superior to Bernardus 12. Expectation is a bitch; still I cannot name definitely better non-barrel aged Quads (I could name very few equivalents).
Now I know why they don’t expand and let common men to brew this, it would lose its magic imaginative differential.

 1,648 characters

Photo of Coorsy
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CoalCellar
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So....is it the best beer in the entire world???? I don't know....

a: Pours a murky brown with a thin head, chunks of sediment are visible on the bottom of the bottle...

s: enchanting...dark fruits....grapes....belgian candy...yeast....so complex....

t: too complex to describe....fruits...prunes...raisons....bread...alchohol....yeast....the list goes on...

m: your standard viscosity for a belgian....a

d: extremely complex...exhausts the palate....not a session ale...

After hearing all the hype....I can say this is a truly amazing beer....and it was a true honor to sample it....

 590 characters

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this many times with bottles dating back to the mid 1990's. This review comes from my first time having the beer with a bottle marked 28.03.10. It pours with a off-white head that goes with time and leaves some waves covering a murky brown body with particles. Alcohol legs on the side of the glass. Amazing aroma of figs, dark fruits, raisins, chocolate, alcohol, brandy and a slightly tart plum. Taste is sweet, lighter than expected with complex, rich and spiciness. There is a complex savory alcohol note on the finish that is beautiful along with a long, clean and pleasant after taste. Brandy, spicy, sweet, yeasty and fruit. There is so much in this beer. It is subtly amazing! Syrupy mouthfeel with really light bubbles. This beer quietly lives up to all expectations. Is it the best beer in the world? Probably not, but it sure is an excellent one.

 866 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

****500th BA review****

11.2oz bottle. Cap date reads 7.10.12, so I assume this has some nice age on it. I've had it in the cellar for nearly two years. Poured this into an unmarked snifter to split with a couple of other people.

A: Pours out a murky deep reddish brown color. I actually got some off white head initially, but then it settled into just loose bubbles around the edges of the glass. Some sticky lacing bits are left with a slight swirl around.

S: On the nose, I get the typical dark fruit aromas: raisin, figs, dates, prune, maybe some plum. Pulling some candied sugar notes. Malt sweetness leads to some caramel and toffee like smells. It really does smell amazing.

T: For the taste, strangely I get that candied sugar right away. Then the dark fruit component comes in. For sure, rum soaked raisin, fig, date, you name it. Those sweet malts give off delicious toffee flavors. It's so smooth. Nicely carbonated actually, which was a surprise. No booze but some heat warms the throat. Really a truly impressive brew.

M: Full but thinner than expected because of the carbonation.

O: A

 1,104 characters

Photo of Lothore
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a deep, cloudy violet color with little to no head, perhaps because the pour wasn't very aggresive.

S- Smell is amazing. Deep dark fruits, raisins, hints of plum, with a deep yeasty earthiness that is hard to describe. boozy.

T- Taste is extremely balanced and minimal yet overflowing with complexity. Starts off just as in the nose with deep dark fruits, moves into a bit of an acidic bite which mingles with a hop bitterness joined with a spicy flavor. There is a deep breadiness all the way through and booziness at the end which tops it off perfectly.

M- Thick, low on carbonation and fairly dry. Lingers on the palate for a while.

D- I wanted to dislike this beer, I really really did. I told myself I would rate it like any other and try to play down the hype but it just didn't work. The only way I can describe how good this one goes down is the spicy, warming sharpness of the finish of a good big red wine. Because of the price I won't actively seek this one out again but if i'm ever in europe and I see one you can bet that's what i'll be drinking. I usually dislike quads but this one seemed so laid back, it was a delight.

 1,148 characters

Photo of Kavinci
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of roger617
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into snifter. Acquired this in a trade, and crazy excited to dive in.

A: Deep brown with over 1 finger of off white head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves a little lacing. Love the color on this one, it's almost got a red hue, making it look like rich mahagony.
S: Very sweet, with wafting aromas of dark fruits. Plums, apricot, persimmon.
T: At first taste I wasn't too keen on this beer. After my palate adjusted (I'd been drinking water for over an hour, without having eaten anything in over 2 hours) all the flavors opened up. This is super sweet with such a rich complex balance of flavor. Leaves a sweet lingering aftertaste that just continues to bring more flavors as I exhale after each breath.
M: A high level of carbonation, and silky smooth.
O: This beer has to be the epitomy of the style. So flavorful, complex and balanced. Definitely a beer than any craft enthusiast needs to seek out at least once.

 936 characters

Photo of AngEo
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of scottyshades
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stonequarrywest for the bottle!

A: Pours a rich deep mohagany color that produces a fizzly white head that retains well and leaves nice lacing along the glass. Little brown spots appear in the head over time.

S: Champagne yeast, alcohol, dark fruits (figs/plums/pears/dates/cherries), candy, bubblegum, malts. Very complex...I can only imagine the care and technique that it takes to craft this brew.

T: Soooo good. Dark fruits are nice and sweet while the bitterness is perfectly balanced. Malts are hugee in this brew.

MF/D: Very chew brew for its style (although not as chewy as I have heard). Superbly smooth, finishes clean and velvety.

To be honest, I was expecting more, but still a ridiculous brew

This brew was born in November of 2008 which makes it only half a year old. I must say that I got a little anxious to try this one. Still have one more that I plan on aging for a long while.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark brown with some amber hues. The head was tan with very nice lacing. The aroma is caramel with Belgian candy noticeable - alcohol is also perceptible. The taste is heavily malty with caramel and candy notes quite evident. The mouthfeel is full with a carbonation bite on the tongue – very delightful. This is a compelling beer that is quite elegant.

 373 characters

Photo of dborginis
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Brabander for this one, drinking this one relatively fresh. 17.8.14 on the cap.

Was a little worried, the smell during the pour was a bit strange, but it resolved itself in the snifter. Three things hit me in the first taste: the strong solventy Belgian sweetness, alcohol and some hop bitterness. Very rich, after a big meal, this was heavy on the stomach. Very effervescent, strong carbonation. Still with all the strong flavors, it is overall a very tasty beer. As it warms the roasted malts come through. Excellent beer!

Is it better than Younger? I would say they are both excellent, but I don't see the hype. There are many beers more attainable that I enjoy at least as much, but I will say the hype and story makes each try of both an experience.

 764 characters

Photo of Dharmelink
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Gavage
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled out my new Maudite glass and poured it. Nice dark amber that sported a thin but lasting head. Very yeasty nose that was pleasant to smell. First taste was new to the tastbuds, almost velvety (not velveeta !) on the tongue. Great aftertaste. I bought the bottle for a mere $6.99 since it has been talked about so on the site. Worth every penny, and I will need to return to the only place I have seen it in NJ and buy some more. Lasting impression that I termed "great Belgian on steroids" to my wife. Her comments were different and interesting. She likes it also.

 571 characters

Photo of JayQue
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this beer. I'M NOT WORTHY!!!

Purchased from Etre Gourmet along with some Pannepot and A Cantillon unblended lambic. Plain brown bottle with a "Trappiste" ring around the neck.

Poured into my trusty Chimay goblet a medium brown color with a little light coming through. Medium size off-white head that fades to a covering of the glass. The covering continues throughout the tasting (about 30 minutes). Lacing consists of a film with dots of lacing contained in it.

Smell is mostly dark fruit (raisins, figs) and some Belgian yeast. Pronounced and very rich.

Taste is out of this world. Belgian candi sugar, yeast, dark fruit, spices and a little caramel malt. Expertly blended, hint of warming alcohol. Absolutely outstanding. Worthy of the hype!!!

Mouthfeel is rich and luxurious. The alcohol is not a negative factor. This is an outstanding beer.

 872 characters

Photo of yumbeer
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a flute. Amber in appearance with foamy bubbles presenting the off white head. Active carbonation apparent with some sediment.

Strong aroma of bready malts, apparant booze. Fragrant and inviting.

Tastes of sweet malts. Very complex malt body. Tart and puckering. Herbal hop adds to the mix. Perfectly balanced. Pronounced dark fruit character. This beer is strong flavored and full bodied, reminiscent of a fine bourbon, only much cleaner on the palate.

Goes down really damn smooth. Crisp and well carbonated mouthfeel that makes me yearn to continue sipping.

Glad I got to try such a fine beer. Sets a benchmark of what a Quad should be. Drink em if you got em.

 700 characters

Photo of chalenge
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Buck89
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2012 bottle poured into a chalice. The color was a murky rusty reddish-brown with a relatively thin light tan head. Prominent caramel on the nose, with cinnamon, plum, raisins, and toffee. Huge tastes with the aforementioned fruit, cloaked in a spiciness and leathery funk. Really nicely balanced with everything playing well together.Medium to high carbonation and a dry finish. Would love to try newer bottles and compare.

 436 characters

Photo of Buebie
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hugenormous thanks to buckeysox for this extra!

Poured from the brown bottle into an oversized merlot glass.
A good inch of foamy off white head. Extremely long lasting head. I cant tell if its retention or the head is still receeding.
A brownish color with some light glowing of reds, but still pale and non transparent.
The head has finally fallen leaving a quarter inch of egg white like whipped topping and plenty of white drapeing lace.

Aroma is devine. Smells of french toast with just a little spice/ cinnemon aroma, some dairy like eggyness, lemon zest, vanilla, anise, brown sugar, and some raisin de'extra similarities with, raisin and alcahol aroma. By no means hot, its a super appealing aroma here. Some floral rose pedals, honey, and a mild grassy hop aroma.

Mouthfeel is unbelievably rich and creamy with a thicker feel. Some carbonation present into the foreground but quickly dissapearing into a creamy thickness. God almighty, I havnt had a belgian with a mouthfeel like this ever, awsome!

The taste is also very drinkable and delicious, I'm really enjoying this brew and have waited along time to get it. I honestly didnt think I'd ever get a chance to try one.
Some fermented fruityness up front with fermented honey, spices, anice and plenty of floral honey suckle like taste. Some bready yeastyness, like a sourdough bread with plenty of honey butter, a touch of sour apples, and a bit of earthy piney hops into the finish. Some more citric lemon zest flavors also coming into the linger with a bit of a citric acid likeness, comparable to drinking orange juice with that slightest bit of citric acid after effect.
As its warmed It picked up more of the sweet candy sugar typical belgian flavors. Some burnt toast like grain flavors, they roasty flavors of the grain with that candy sugar sweetness is delicious.

This is hugely drinkable, its not hot, does not bully the tastebuds, its a simple/ humble yet extravagent beer at the same time. Nothing bragging like here, its got a humble bottle with no lable and its just a really enjoyable beer.

Thanks again Dave, I really appreciate this one!

 2,124 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,582 ratings