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

6,344 Ratings
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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Ratings: 6,344 |  Reviews: 1,873
Photo of BeerDunson
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Picked up at the monastery and stamped 16.06.13. This beer pours dark brown with a little amber on the edges of the glass. It started with about an inch of head and reduced to about a quarter inch that stays with the beer throughout. The smell starts with the malt with a hint of something sweet and is followed by the yeast and something that can only be described as slight fruitiness. The mouthfeel is that of some carbonation and a nice warmth. The alcohol is well masked. It seems slightly sticky like sugar. The taste follows the smell with a sweetness and slight fruit taste. I really enjoyed this beer and would be very happy drinking it everyday.

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

Beer poured straight from the bottle into a tall goblet. It had been stored for a couple months from the date of purchase in an light-free and cool place in the house.

It poured a strong "cola" color with a dark-brown and almost milky head. The carbonation was quite visible and more so then most beers I've had. The head seemed to stay, very slightly, throughout drinking. For the dark color it was still a pretty clear pour.

It smelled so sweet. Not a bad sweet though, not like a pot of warm, double-boiler chocolate type sweet, but somewhat cinnamony(?). It wasn't overpowering and it pulls you in.

After taking a sip the sweetness seems to dance over the tongue and into the cheeks. For this sweetness it goes down very smooth and has a minimal aftertaste. I had it by itself, but I could see it going well with a nice creamy cheese for some reason. I think the flavors would balance well.

I received six of these from someone in Belgium and sold all but two of them. I wanted to keep a couple and try it out and I'm glad I did. I wish it were widely available in the states. Of course the value or mystic of it would go down, but regardless it is a beer that I could see myself drinking any day of the week. More so in the winter months, but a nice relaxing evening would work well. I recommend this to anyone who has the chance to taste it.


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

This isn't just a great beer, it's unique and I can attest this beer has earned every bit of hype that it receives.

A- Cloudy dark-caremel brown. Small bright white head that fades to the edge around the glass.

S- One of the best smelling Belgiun's or beers I've ever smelt. Strong sweet dark fruits, sweet grape/raisin, and a scotch-like whiff of the 10.2% ABV.

T- Incredibly smooth, like no other beer.The taste is tightly complex.. the sheer smoothness makes it hard to analyze the tastes as you instinctivly swallow this nector quickly. Big unique Belgiun malt dominance up front and overall. Finishes with spice and a presence of the 10.2% ABV.

M- Hands down the best mouthfeel I've ever experienced. Westy has this fluffy-smooth sensation that is simular to a cloud on the palate. Medium carbonation, medium bodied.

D- I had to force myself from chuggin this beer down. THe smell, taste, and mouthfeel is just incredibly smooth making this a 5 on drinkability as its like no other.

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

Photo of AndrewPalmer
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Thorpe429
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received as a wedding gift from my best man--by far the best gift we received. He got us a six pack, and my wife and I are planning on having the next five each anniversary up until our fifth.

A: Poured into a Mikasa chalice. Pours a large mocha head atop a very dark brown body. Plenty of yeast. The lacing is extremely long-lasting.

S: Lots going on here, especially as it warms up. The trademark yeast is by far the most prominent smell, accompanied by some dark malts and fruits, along with a bit of alcohol.

T: Much the same as the nose, and probably the most complex beer I've ever tasted. Plenty of dark fruits, dark malt, alcohol, fruit and yeast spice, caramel, and molasses.

M: Very full and heavy with a moderate amount of carbonation. Luscious.

D: Quite complex and takes a while to drink, and only gets better as it warms up. Very nice to savor for a long period of time while continuing to find new things going on.

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Photo of bfdarke
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

Many thanks to Matthew at Capone's for selling this beauty to me. Thought this beer would be an appropriate selection for my 100 BA review.

Paired this beer with the Rochefort 10 (a beer I'm pretty familiar with), just for a reference point. I don't want to suggest the Westy blew the Rochefort out of the water, but the difference was pretty striking.

Considering what this beer had undoubtedly been through coming into my hands, it was incredibly fresh and lively. The beer poured an impressive cloudy, amber red color, with excellent head retention. There isn't a huge amount of foam, but what there is lasts and lasts. Very nice lacing throughout my tasting of this beer.

The nose is incredibly complex and, like the taste itself, continued to change the longer it sat in the glass. Initially I got lots of Belgium spice and orange citrus in the nose (but much more subtle then the type of citrus you'd get in an IPA), with a hint of sweetness. Later, this turned to an aroma of cherry, ginger and chocolate. The flavor profile replicated the nose, but was even more complex. Initial flavors were of melon, pear and cherry; later on I started to get flavors of ranier cherry, chocolate, butter and a hint of licorise. Later still there was a cola flavor (not unlike the Bernadus abt 12, a beer I have heard this beer likened to) intermixed with the cherry and chocolate. The beer is amazingly supple on the palate, and oh so easy to drink.

This beer is a joy to drink, though it was nothing like what I expected. I guess I sort of expected a Belgium version of the Thomas Hardy or JW Lee, but it was nothing like that. This beer is incredibly light on it's feet for such a big beer, and was way too easy to drink. It finishes with a whisper, a very smooth, satisfying end to a nearly flawless beer. Most excellent.

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

330 ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark brown with a huge creamy, tan head. Good retention and some lacing.

S - Dark fruit and spices. Not as strong as I thought it would be.

T - Zapped my tongue. Fruit, carmel, raisins, toffee.

D - Very carbonated, slightly sweet.

O - This is #1. It was extremely good, but not sure if it is my #1.

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

ygtbsm94 was kind enough to give me one of these as an extra a couple of years back, and I'm finally getting around to drinking it on New Years Eve 2011-12. Thank you, Brad. Best by 17th Jan 2010, so that makes this almost 5 years old.

A clear very deep ruby red with a dense, light brown head that falls off to a disk surprisingly rapidly, this looks quite excellent. The nose has plenty of plum and dark fruit jam characteristics, over-ripe even, with a little bit of cola and coffee. There are caramel and bready notes as well, and combined with the dark fruit, this smells like fruitcake. The yeasty phenols have died down with age, though a mellow spice character is present with allspice, nutmeg and clove. Pretty excellent.

The palate is dominated by the dark fruit character. So ripe and jammy, there's plums, dates, raisins, even a little bit of prunes, and a touch of black raspberry. Bready on the mid-palate with dark caramel, toffee and a little bit of cola (along the lines of Pepsi IMO). A little cocoa is present as well. While a little bit on the sweet side, this finishes quite dry and is actually refreshing. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer has a pretty stunning mouthfeel. Best beer in the world? Nope. Best quad I've had? Pretty darned close. I'm letting my original scores stand for now.

**Original review 05-14-2008 03:13:03**

largadeer split this one with me - thanks a million for the chance to try this! Best before 19th Sept 2010

A: Very deep ruby red with dense light brown head. Excellent head retention

S: Fruity with plums, dark sugar and alcohol. Complex and sweet

T: Fruity to start with but grows in complexity with the appearance of figs on the palate. As big and full bodied as this beer starts out to be, it finishes surprisingly dry

M: Incredibly smooth with great carbonation and a sweet but dry finish

D: This is an incredibly easy-to-drink high ABV beer. I need to find more!

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Photo of wonothesane42
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of ToadiesForCody
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split the bottle with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Deep chocolate brown with garnet hues. Relatively clear with a slight chill haze. Pours with a huge khaki/tan head that persists. Head is creamy, bubbly, and thick. Some spotty lacing. This is what the style should be.

Smell: Plums and other dark fruit. Big bite of alcohol with a nice level of yeast influence. Notes of clove and banana along with a spicy estery backing. Some caramel. Loads of heat from the booze. Bread dough and malty sweetness. Raisins and a touch of red wine and oak. Very complex without being aggressive. Great depth. Spicy and sweet.

Taste: Raisins soaked in alcohol. Bready and caramel sweetness. Figs, plums, and hints of ripe cherry. Yeast is aggressive hitting big spicy clove notes with touches of banana. Loads of alcohol heat. Candi sugar sweetness. Very clean and complex. So much ripe fruit. It works really well with yeast strain. Sugar runs the gamut from caramel to toffee and ending just over the line of molasses. Manages to avoid becoming cloying. Estery spices and a big yeast work well with the overall sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than expected with a lively carbonation. Medium body and a very clean finish especially for the style. Drinks smooth and a touch creamy.

Overall: This is the best Belgian beer I've ever encountered. Loads of depth and complexity without being too much. Nice balance and the clean finish is damn impressive. Is it the best beer in the world, no. Is it damn good and worth drinking, absolutely.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%

From notes.

A: Hazy brown color with tons of light beige head. Very fluffy foam with tons of lacing.

S: What you would expect from the style: raisins, plums, spiced/banana bread. Lots of sweetness with a little tangy kind of smell that makes me think of wine.

T: Well, it follows the nose very well. You get the best balanced quad I've ever had. Good amount of banana bread, candied ginger, dried fruits and the wine like quality I got in the smell. Extremely well balanced. Alcohol is present, but compliments the tastes very well. Warm, comfy beer.

M: As you expect from such an old yeast strain: very light and fluffy with no stickiness to be found.

D: This beer is extremely drinkable and you could get a couple of these down without realising what you are doing.

All in all, a legendary beer with old and tested heritage. A beer all beer lovers should at least taste once.

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

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

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

Photo of lonestarstate97
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Well I've had this a few times now, and it's about time I review it. This bottle was a 2005 (Date stamped 10.02.10 on the cap) received by none other than Brad! He's the man!!! My buddy Jeff was stopping by to drop off an empty growler he borrowed and some other brews, and I just happened to be picking up a couple boxes from the mailroom at the same time.... so we decided to crack a 2005 westy 12 at 2pm on a Thursday afternoon. Why the fuck not?

Poured deep dark brown sugar color with some lighter burnt orange hue at the edge. Impressive appearance in my cantillon stemware. Tiny bubbles compose an impressive beige head that lasts almost too long... permitting me from taking my initial sip.

Well this was right out of the box into my glass, mailroom temperature... both Jeff and I noted a distinct apple cider aroma... it was uncanny. Really just dark, unfiltered, unpasteurized, spiced apple cider. Along for the ride, some pumpernickel bread, caramelized brown sugar, barely a hint of oxidation, but it is very well integrated. Raisins, pears and some brandy. One of the things that is so impressive about this beer, is that it's 10.2%... it's not 'light' tasting, but still just feels so pleasant on the palate. It's not as 'dark' as previous times that I have had it (or as I remember)... a little less of a dark fruit presence than some other bottles I have been a part of. Low-medium but well-executed carbonation perfectly accentuates the delicate and more subtle flavors of this beer. It's just a masterfully concocted beverage and one that I hope to be able to enjoy for years to come. This review is for the 2005 bottle, but numerically reflects what this beer is fresh, and what it can be with a little time on it.

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

330ml bottle, with labels signifying its US import status, shared with a bunch of BAs at a birthday tasting last night, 6/15/2013.

Aroma: I was really wowed by the nose on this beer. Super pungent, sweet dark fruits- figs, raisins along with a little bit of blueberry sweetness. There is quite a bit of Belgian yeastiness that I've come to associate with dubbels and quads- really complements the sweetness very well with its spiciness. Smells incredibly delicious, quite sweet, and keeps getting better as it warms up. (4.5)

Colour: Dark brown, not quite black but more like a mahogany brown. Pours a thick (a bit thinner than super thick and viscous) body. Its not quite motor oil but this is quite viscous. The head is a 1cm white, perhaps slightly tan, head that becomes a somewhat thick film on the beer. Looks delicious, like a dessert. (4.5)

Flavour: It was an incredible beer. A tasty melange of Belgian spiciness of cloves, maple syrup, figs, raisins, blueberries, and caramel. The yeast and hops mellows out the sweet malt. I think that compared to some of the other quads I've had, this puts together a great bit of flavours high in complexity that is incredibly mellow and pleasing to drink. (4.75)

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied, very viscous and incredibly chewy. Carbonation was solid, nothing special. Aftertaste is the spiciness of the yeast, which was incredible. Smooth and incredibly easy to drink! It's too bad there's only 33cl of this beer in a bottle. (4.5)

Overall: Incredible quad, one of the best beers I have ever had. I thought it was all hype and came in with a jaundiced eye, but this one really blew me away, which was an incredibly nice surprise. It's not that the specific flavours in this beer were especially great compared to other quads that I've had, but it all came together incredibly well. I think that's the difference between this beer and all the others. (4.75)

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

Here it goes! Thanks to my brother for obtaining a bottle for me (BEFORE the article in the BA magazine scolding us in the US for buying them).

A: Poured into a round goblet, I let some sediment get in there, so there are some floaties goin' around. The color is a deep mahogany with some caramel colored hues as well. The head isn't what I wanted it to be, although I didn't pour it too hard. No lacing for me, really.

S: Lots of dark, ripened fruity aromas: raisins, cherries, and plums. A little licorice, and some yeasty notes too.

T: Some similarities, but others too: again, the dark fruity flavors, but then more sweetness and tartness (apple-like), some bready elements, and a bittersweet aftertaste - not much hoppiness to note, but it is very well balanced. The alcohol was hardly detectable despite the high content, but eventually it sets in.

M: Very, very smooth, despite the fact that it's well-carbonated. Not sticky, but a little chewy. Near perfect.

D: The high alcohol content would prevent a huge consumption of it, but as it's not noticeable, so it doesn't prevent me from wanting more. It actually went down really easily, and overall it was a really enjoyable brew. I'd gladly buy more if I could find it and it wasn't so expensive.

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

A: murky brown with small white head and a touch of lacing

S: caramel fruit. some apples and little alcohol and some golden raisins

T: tastes like a pear and a raisin mixed with a bite of a caramel apple that amazingly sinks into my tongue and dominates my mouth. really nice

M: coats my mouth really well with the right amount of carb

D: really goes down easily. the alcohol is almost non-existant.

Notes: did a mini tasting with rochefort 10 and st bernardus 12 and the westy just to see which was the best... hoping it wasnt the westy so i wouldnt have to seek out another bottle.. and the westy won hands down. for sure the best tasting quad ive had

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

A: Deep amber-brown color, almost lavender with the light. Considerable bloom that slowly evaporates. Some lacing. Yeast sediment is clearly seen. Hardly any carbonation.

S: Sweet, toffee-like notes (almost like cotton candy, as some other reviewers have noticed) give way to a delightfully dry bitterness. Alcoholic content obvious but very appetizing.

T: One of the most complex flavor profiles of any beer I have tried. At first, definite sweetness (toffee, cotton candy) and pleasantly warm alcoholic flavors dominate the palate, eventually giving way to a wonderfully dry bitterness, which accentuates the fruity, sweet malt flavors. Really good with fine chocolates or sweet, soft cheese.

M: Medium but firm body. Very smooth but rich and substantial.

O: A really decadent beer, best used during the dessert course or perhaps as an after dinner drink. As fine a quadrupel as any I have ever tried, and perhaps the best. Since I have only had this beer once, I resist the temptation of declaring it the best. But certainly right up there with Rochefort 12 and St. Bernardus 12.

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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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