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

BA SCORE
100
world-class
6,344 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:
6,344
Reviews:
1,873
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
3,680
Gots:
2,209
For Trade:
154
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,344 |  Reviews: 1,873
Photo of hefevice
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated August 2005. Made a pilgrimage all the way to Westvleteren to pick this up. Pours into my Westy goblet black with dark tan hints when held up to the light. Decent compact light tan head which recedes fairly quickly to a thin covering. Aroma is complex and amazing dark fruit, toffee, oak (almost wine barrel), subtle spice from the alcohol. Taste is full on - all of the components identified in the aroma, but so intense. Very sweet start is balanced we superbly by the bitterness of finish and the peppery spice from the otherwise well hidden alcohol. Mouth feel is full and velvety smooth, just about perfect. I can't imagine having too many of these in a session - it would have to be the night cap, however it is almost sad to get to the bottom of the glass, so I have rated it high on that basis. Damn, only one left now :-(.

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

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try this beer during a beer tasting tour in Brussels. Id say around April 2013.

After the tour (having sampled 8 other awesome beers from Belgium + chocolate ), we were given the option of going to a place that served this.

Of course we accepted.

Bottle was unlabeled and we were not allowed to keep. Place we went to was in a back alley. Locals only.

Very rich and flavorful. Being younger I tried to take in as much as I could, however, when I had the beer I had not much to compare. I do remember it being special.

The worst part was the 3+ hr train ride back to Amsterdam !! But at least I got to try it and keep the bottle cap.

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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 chugalug06
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tick.

Bottle cap is dated: 10.11.14

Very large snappy, soapy, tan colored head. poor retention. Brew is deep red with lots of brown. Good clarity too. No lacing. Thin.

Tons of smooth clove, lots of spice, but not over the top. Heavenly smooth butter cream on the nose. Not sugary. I could Sniff this for quite sometime... Great raisins. Very-very mild "Belgian Banana".

Nearly distracting amount of carbonation. Large amount of bubbles. Great fluidity and heavenly drinkability. Slightly lighter and thinner than I had imagined it would be. SLIGHT rubber aftertaste on the very tail end. Sweetness is light, crisp, airy, and solid. I would prefer a bit more body and a little less fluid. Cloves are strong robust, crisp, airy. Not a banana bomb... Nice smooth dry bitter finish.

IMO, this beer delivered the hype; it's one of the few. It's not mind altering, but very solid and well rounded. *Nearly* perfect for the style. I would have enjoyed a bit stronger appearance, more forward flavoring, thicker body, and more creamy head. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Chris-1911
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PAYankeeFan
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A nice beer with a unique blend of cherries and brown nut malt caramel malts tones. At first I was "best beer in the world?" but it started to grow on me with each sip. I kept it on my tongue and rolled it around. The mouthfeel is luscious with a perfect balance of carbonation and dryness. I haven't felt that since say St Benardus 12. But St. Benardus isn't a substitute for the fruitiness that this beer imparts. I expected more in the aroma department but the flavor more than makes up for it.

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

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

Photo of snowmg
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%

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

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

Nose: A seriously monstrous nose. Notes of chocolate, dark fruit and roses among other flowery notes make for a complete aromatic delight. Stupendously complex and fragrant.

Mouth: Bold, intense, rich. Coffee up front and a lot dark fruits and perfumy notes at the back. The finish is expressive and long, reminiscent of a Black Russian shot.

Overall: Myth status confirmed. This beer is pretty much near perfection for its style.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Ernie for sharing this, a 1998 bottle from the batch that got labeled and sold in the US. Craziness.

A: Murky chestnut body with an impressive cap of tan foam that sticks around nicely. Great head for being sold old.

S: Intense, rich, deep, and smooth. Toffee, dates, prunes, and straight maltiness. Very, very, very nice. Perhaps not as noticeably complex as a fresh bottle, but the smoothness more than makes up for that. Terrific.

T: Super smooth, with terrific balance between sweet malts and more restrained dark fruits. Slight alcohol tingle on the finish, and a touch of mustiness that is the only negative sign of senescence.

M: Smooth (again), delicately carbonated, and perfectly graceful.

O: No surprises here, this beer ages like a champ. I'll be updating this review with that of a fresher bottle shortly; I've tried this beer several times now at tastings, and I can't wait to savor an entire bottle all by myself.

Cheers!

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

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

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

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

This was a 2012 vintage, consumed in 2013. Absolutely beautiful - this was the best Belgian I have ever tried, without question. Very rich, complex flavor, with notes of raisin, plum, dates, toffee, a little chocolate and much more. Dark, rich, full-bodied and complex. A stunning beer.

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Photo of JayGreezy
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second Westy to get through was the 12, as I decided to lead things off with the 8 the other day. I fell in love with the 8 - how will the 12 hold up?

Thanks again to Jeffo for bringing a crate of this back in the Great Canadian Westy Trade 2011!

Poured into a Duvel goblet. A nice, murky chestnut brown colour, with a slight reddish tinge. A billowing pile of off-white head sat upon the brew and refused to leave. By the end of the bottle, there was still a thick ring and scads of lacing. A terrific looking brew.

Great nose to it as well: raisins, booze, candied fruit, chocolate, all sorts of goodies. Not quite as potent and rich as 8 (which I will inevitably be comparing this to, despite being different styles), but still terrific.

A great quad, rich and spicy, with those same fruit notes (raisin, dry white wine, raspberry), spices, a bit of chocolate, warming alcohol and a drying finish. Exceptional stuff, really enjoying this.

Tart carbonation, but coats the tongue well and leaves a nice slick feel. The booze stings ever so slightly.

Gotta put the 8 a hair above this brew, but damn is it close. I think it comes down to personal preference - I prefer dubbels to quads or tripels (I'd make a lousy figure skater) as a general rule. However, I do enjoy a fine quadrupel, and this is most certainly among the top of its class.

 1,349 characters

Photo of Futbolmanby
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

It was made by god, expensive as fuck and nearly impossible to find..... but we'll worth it

91 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, a date with the hottest beer on the block. I have to thank msubulldog25 for the hookup. It was an excellent final beer to wind down my whirlwind journey in Portland. Thanks Brian!

Judging by the '09 on the cap, this was probably bottled Nov. 29, 2006. It poured a dark murky brown, but wasn't cloudy, just impenetrably solid brown. The head arrived as a small cap, but it did stick around for the duration.

Aroma is wonderfully vinous, like fresh, young grapes crushed in a new-wood tun. Quirky yeast character in the background, just what you would expect from a secret and hallowed Belgian yeast strain. More aromas: prune, raisin...and more grapes, white ones too.

Flavor is a strong, assertive grape character with a mild alcohol warmth and subtle notes of weird nuttiness from the yeast. (weird = good) Some prune juice and raisin, and other dark fruits, slight chalky cocoa...Incredibly succulent, so much that I can't properly compare it to another beer. Rough grape skin acidity in the finish, but in a good way. A big, controlled, unique beer.

Mouthfeel is fairly neutral, in that it offers carbonation and silkiness in equal parts, nothing stunning but certainly adequate. It dries fast, and there's a fruity sourness in its finish.

Heavily vinous, and clearly a top-notch beer. I would definitely pay a crazy price for another bottle. There's more here than just one tasting can reveal.

 1,411 characters

Photo of bditty187
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I’ve had this beer in my possession for many months (thanks to Bierman9); I don’t know why I kept waiting to try it. I pledged I wasn’t going to drink it for a “BA Milestone.” Oh well, this is my 800th BA Beer Review.

Murky reddish-brown in hue, the liquid looks a bit like apple cider fresh from the orchard. The head reached one finger in height on a soft pour. It was off-white in color. Head retention was fair; it subsided hastily to a big, bubbly collar, soapy in the middle. In my goblet there isn’t much glamour to this beverage. Is this a sign of high expectations? I’d say no. Really there isn’t much excitement in the appearance. I’ll also add there was not much subsequent lacing, just some unorganized spottiness. The nose on Westy 8 failed to arouse me. I took a sniff of Westy 12 and there are more aromas with a little more to say. (Which is a good thing.) Still the bouquet is far from impressive. The malt is pleasantly rich with sweetness like caramel covered chocolate fruit. I like the spicy green apple aromas at the back, faint hints of cloves and ginger. Bready. Raisins soaked in rum. There is admirable intricacy in the fragrances, however the strength just doesn’t electrify me. It is still inviting. The palate is very impressive. First of all, there is a tremendous liveliness to the taste. This is the first step to a great beer, IMO. Big beer needs to be talkative. This one is chatty. The rich, malty qualities blend with alcohol and fruit. Surely it is not that simple? It is not. Luscious malt depth, rich caramel flavor that is very wide and it dances with the raisins, purple grapes, plums, figs, coriander, clove, more malt (this time chocolate), and just enough alcohol heat to add yet another layer. What a tasty beer! There is tremendous complexity. If I ever get to drink this beer again, I will pair it with bananas, apples, grapes, cheese, and crackers. That would be a meal fit for a king. I am impressed at the fullness of this beer, medium/medium-full in body, low carbonation, which helps make a bigger than real mouthfeel. Lovely. To ask if this beer is drinkable is to ask if water is wet. I wish this beer were available locally. I know that John’s in Iowa City will get this on occasion. That won’t cut it. But this bottle came from Bierman9. What a generous guy! Thanks. I really like this beer. I now personally understand why this beer is so legendary. The back-story and history of the brewery and the monks connect perfectly with a terrific beer. Recommended.

Best before date of 21.12.02 stamped on the bottle cap. How good is this SOB fresh!?

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Photo of HalfFull
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, it's Presidents day. Reason enough to commence a Quad-off. Westy 12, Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12. All poured into identical large wine glasses at the same temp. and roughly the same age. Westy picked up fresh at 'Café In de Vrede' and the others imported to the States via normal channels. All roughly eight months old I would guess. All from single 330 ml. bottles as I dont trust the St. Bernardus 750ml. Let's let them warm up a bit before we dive in.

Which is best? Hmmm...I've had them all before but never in such tight competion. After twenty minutes at room temperature, I decide to dive in...

All three pour dark with crimson highlights. Only the Westy is clear and bright while Rochefort and St. Bernardus show a bit of haze. St. Bernardus and Westy show solid retention with Westy a bit creamier in nature. Rochefort settles out quickly yet keep a film.

Nose agains goes to Westy with a pleasant dubbel-like aroma of yeast and bready malts. Rochefort is notably more malty but then that is a bit expected given the lack of foam. St. B. is bright and yeasty but dare I say half way to Unibroue?? But not in a bad way.

All taste excellent with St. Bernardus perhaps a bit lighter in body yet equally if not more depth to be offered. Westy is perfectly balanced and comes off almost as a dryish Dubbel. Rochefort has more character and alcohol and some rich caramel and chocolate and fig that seem to ebb and flow. St. B. is creamy and smooth.

Warming brings out great character in the Westy, more caramel sweetness in the Rochefort and a bit more yeasty character in the St. Bernardus. I must say that I would have trouble distinguishing the Westy from the St. Bernardus as for yeast influence alone, but then they do have a common history. Okay, the Westy is a bit smokier, but subtle.

Overall the Westy and St. Bernardus are largely indistinguishable given the bloodlines. Again, avoid the 750 and go for the 330 as more St. Bernardus. The Rochefort is best fresh and offers amazing depth. Drink local...

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Photo of pagesofphotographs
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of VeganUndead
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of abfraser
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle capped with 17.10.10

A: Beatiful pour. Dark brown with a nice frothy tan head, about an inch thick. With a minute or two, the head diminishes by about half. Nice tiny carbonation bubbles hugging the side.

S: Belgian yeast; sweet dark fruit---raisins, prunes, etc...; caramel

T/M: Caramel malt and dark fruit are prominent. Classic quad flavors. The caramel really lingers through the finish. Mouthfeel is dry and carbonated. Given the overly rich American brews that suck ever little bit of your taste buds down with each sip, this is a welcome change. I'd almost call it refreshing. Excellent, excellent beer.

D: Extremely high. I can't believe this is a 10% beer. Slight booziness on the finish, but there's no way I'd guess it was that high.

The best beer in the world? A lot of the hype certainly comes from how difficult it is to obtain. It's certainly a world-class beer. We'll just leave it at that.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,344 ratings.
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