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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Liked This Beer
4.6 w/ 6,392 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,392 |  Reviews: 1,881
Photo of stevehagy
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of gtn80
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired this bottle through the most generous and random wedding gift we received. Poured from the bottle into a champagne flute. Served around room temperature.

The aroma was amazing. Dark sugars and rum/raisin.

The appearance was nice, a dark brown color with a small white head.

The taste was amazing. Tons of dark, rummy sugars. Lots of figs, but zero alcohol burn.

This was an amazing beer. I am not worldly enough to say best beer or not, but it was an amazing beer and I feel fortunate to get to try one.

 518 characters

Photo of Whiskeydeez
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of shelby415
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ArnoldStotzer
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of LehighAce06
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle dated 21.02.16, poured into Chimay chalice. First review, to go with my 1000th Untappd.

A: Deep mahogany, fair amount of suspended yeast, very little head dissipates rapidly.

S: Rich, salty caramel. Distinct Belgian yeast

T: Dark fruit, a little bit of fennel, finishes with birch bark. Slight oxidation right in the front.

M: Smooth but sharply effervescent

O: Very complex, difficult to put my finger on the flavors. A bit heavy but does not at all lay on the tongue, the carbonation sees to that. A challenge to figure out, I can't wait for another opportunity to do just that.

 592 characters

Photo of rodlavers
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Cjwarga
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of IDrinkAlltheBeer
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best Belgian quads out there. I had the opportunity to try it finally. Great color, the smell is rich with malts, not overwhelming on the palate at all. Smooth. At first taste there was caramel, dried fruits, roasted malts. Not too sweet not too bitter. Incredibly well balanced.

 290 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First Westvleteren 12, very excited to try this one.

Pours a dark reddish-brown, with very little head that dissipates to almost nothing. The smell is ripe fruits with a syrupy sugar glaze. With this comes some fruity esters from the high ABV. To be more precise, I would say the smell is almost vinous, fermented grapes.

The flavor is extremely sweet upfront, followed by fruits and maltiness. The finish is very warm with an alcohol mixed malt flavor. This beer is like liquid candy and warm alcohol. Tastes delicious.

The mouthfeel is smooth and warm. The consistency seems about perfect. Aside from the huge sweetness factor and the high ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. However, I don't think I would want more than two in a sitting.

So, I have finally had the highly renowned Westvleteren 12. Tonight I tried this beer along side the St. Bernardus 12, which was my favorite trappist beer up to this point. I've also had the Rochefort 10, but after drinking these two I think I need to try it again. Drinking the St. Berndardus and Westvleteren head to head has really helped define the differences in these beers. In terms of appearance, the St. Bernardus looks much more attractive to me. However, I found myself liking the overall flavor of the Westvleteren more, and since beer is mostly about flavor, I tip my hat to the Westy. It truly is an exceptional beer.

 1,377 characters

Photo of Arminius757
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Got to Paris and found my way to a specialty beer store where I ran into this gem. At €20 a pop, it surely is the most expensive beer I have ever purchased. But I mist say, it was worth it.
Served from bottle into special Westvleteren glass.
Deep dark red color with frothy head.
Strong smell, bit boozy with plethora of fruit.
Rich sweet taste, the booziness comes through a bit as well. Strong, but not overwhelming. Very clean and smooth.
This beer is worth the hype. If you can find it, snag it.
Got another bottle that will be aged.

 545 characters

Photo of Soneast
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my quad goblet. Pours a cloudy, dark reddish-brown color. Creates a 2 finger creamy, beige colored head, with really good retention and a whole lot of lace.

Aroma consist of sweet malts, brown sugars, caramelized raisins and other dark fruits with an earthy quality throughout. Some fresh baked bread yeastiness evident as well.

The flavor is also very complex. The front is predominately a sweet malty, toffee-like flavor with some dark fruits evident with a semi-sweet, rich, boozy finish.

Medium-heavy body with a really fine, sparkling carbonation factor. It just feels so good in my mouth. It is a beer that one could drink a lot of, while it is pretty heavy, the alcohol is hardly perceptible aside from the warming sensation. This beer gets a lot of attention but IMO it has definitely earned it's grade.

If you can get this beer do not hesitate. You won't be disappointed.

 896 characters

Photo of colts9016
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am so freakin happy, I finally get to try this beer. This beer is my 500th review. It has been sitting in my cellar for almost a year. I had to beg borrow and almost steal to get someone one to trade me for this beer. When I got this beer there were far fewer reviews. I know everybody wants this beer so tonight is my night to either defeat the hype or promote it. Poured into a a tulip glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: The head is a light tan one finger and has good retention. The head is creamy and frothy and left lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a very dark brown color and is very hard to distinguish. The clarity of the beer is opaque and hazy.

Nose: A rich fruity aroma with alcohol presents. There is a peppery, cloves, bananas, phenols, and yeast/bread. There is so much going on in the beer that I could have missed something or some compound. In the back ground of the beer there is some solvent and sweetness.

Taste: A very deep rich fruity malty flavors. The flavors are peppery, cloves, yeasty bread, phenols and banana. There is a lot going on in the flavors. In the background of the beer there is some alcohol warmth and some sweetness.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated, warming, and smooth. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium to medium full. This beer is fantastic, it has so much going on in it, yet it is so simple. The flavor explode in your mouth and is very easy to drink. The head was disappointing, nonetheless, the flavor makes up for it. I am so glad that I got to try it. It is just amazing.

 1,570 characters

Photo of TheViolator666
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe I got my hands on one of these so easily, excited to drink what is the reigning "World's Best Beer". Cap says 21.04.12 I'm guessing that means it's good 'til 2021?

A: Haven't had many quads yet, but this one pours without any head at all. The color is cloudy dark brown with a reddish/yellow tint. Very slight, if any, lacing.

S: There's alot going on in this one. Smells of sweet raisins/grapes/wine. Sugar coated plums and fermented dark fruits also. Slightly earthy scents as well.

T: The taste is big. The raisiny/fruityness is very forward and is followed by sugar sweetness. I get sort of a caramel covered apple aftertaste, which is extremely delicious. There is somewhat of an alcohol presence, but not as much as expected.

M/D: This is a full bodied, thick beer. Would love to have a bottle to myself in the dead of winter, as this could definitely warm one up.

Just excellent.

 905 characters

Photo of Teddy_Hopper
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JeffSK
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of dv8sean
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of two beers remaining beers on my "bucket list" was enjoyed today, thanks to the generosity of a well-known friend and the benevolence of friends I've yet to meet.

Now, to the beer itself...

The appearance is burnt orange, brick red, and Colorado River mud. Partly cloudy with active carbonation but not too foamy. Just the right amount of head for a quad leaves delightful lace patterns in the glass.

Smell is beguiling. It's all about the malt and the yeast. Really no hop nose to be discerned. Biscuits, candy apple, and plum sauce come to mind. Very layered, complex, and changes with temperature.

The taste is in line with other Trappist and Abbey quadruples / grand reserves, but it struck me as more lively, fresh, and balanced. Flavors fall in line with the fragrance, with caramel and plum sauce being evident but certainly not overpowering. For a beer of this weight and ABV (over 10%), it's remarkably easy to drink.

The mouthfeel is...well, I'm just going to go with "perfect". Whatever the combination of local water, malt, brewing process, and perhaps divine blessing, it's the most pleasing beer to the palate that I have ever encountered. Sweet without being cloying or sticky. Just a hint of bitterness from hops and, presumably, a pinch of roasted malt to bring things to a harmoniously clean finish.

There's no doubt that the overall experience is enhanced by the beer's scarcity. However, taken by itself and tasted blindly, I have no doubt that "Westy" would remain stellar. While I'd stop short of calling ANY beer "the best in the world", this one is among the best. To this lucky drinker, it's earned and lived up to the hype.

 1,662 characters

Photo of YoudownwithABV
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been wanting to try this beer for years and have it on my list of must haves to try. Finally I got a bottle from the US release as a Christmas present to myself.

I'm glad to report there was nothing about this beer that fell short.

Snifter Glass at about 55 degree beer temp.

Appearance: A reddish purple hue and a tad bit cloudy. Nice head that stays around for the duration of the beer.

Smell; Raisins, plums, figs and some what yeasty.

Taste: Refer to smell yet with some complexity on the back end of the tongue. So much depth.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is retained and provides a great feel not over powering. Alcohol content is very well hidden.

Overall: It lives up to the hype and I'm so glad I had a chance to partake. It's a must try.

 754 characters

Photo of Gerry129
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of hero27
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz humble bottle. Graciously given by Px2GrafX in BIF. Thanks so much for the opportunity to try this highly prized brew. No label, no fancy silk-screened etching. Just a plain, brown bottle with the famous yellow cap of this widely sought after beer.

Simply tremendous flavor. So rich and complex..alcohol is subdued to a point that you can hardly notice it. So many others have described it's multitude of characteristics in near perfection, so I'll spare you the details. Truly exceptional mouthfeel..silky smooth and delicious. As drinkable as any beer. This really leaves you wanting's a good thing this stuff isn't widely available, because I'd be happy but poor. But then again, if you're buying Westy 12, you're probably not too concerned about the price. This is the quintessential treat for any beer lover, and something every BA should (and would probably love to) try.

Amazingly, it somehow lives up to the hype. Best beer in the world? I'm not sure, but it is certainly deserving of the title.

 1,022 characters

Photo of Mbo108
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of RickyS
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Here we go! After waiting for a long time I finally got my hands on one of these. Dark liquid, the color of a dark date, surmounted by a beige head that lasts for a long long time and formed by big bubbles. The aroma is so very rich. Dates, figs, dark sugar, almonds, marzipan, honey. Comparing it to Rochefort 10, it promises to be sweeter and less on the fruity side. The taste is a bit weaker than I expected but still phenomenal. Dark fruits, bread and no alcohol whatsoever. I believe I have some bitter aftertaste, on grassy notes, but not very pronounced. Creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation. In the end, an exquisite beer. However, is this the absolute king of quads? I believe it's overall pretty close to Rochefort 10, and extra points might be due to the hype. Don't get me wrong, I think this reputation is deserved, but should be shared with another beer!

 872 characters

Photo of Doylepe38
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of AndrewNations
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 from Bottle

Wow, this beer lives up to the hype for me. I don't think Ive ever had a beer this complex. Those Belgians are onto something here and very well might have a future in brewing.

The appearance is typical for most quads Ive had. Maybe a bit lighter but nice and almost clear. The thin white heads fades fairly quickly. Very little lacing.

The nose is outstanding. A little sweet but more than anything plums and grapes. Really surprised how much fruit I'm getting on the noise. Maybe some faint vanilla and bitter orange.

For being two years old its still fairly warm but not overbearing. I know its a high ABV by the taste but its doesn't knock me over either.Actually the warmness doesn't come into play until the finish. The taste is self is a nice and balanced sweetness in combination with some plums and vanilla.

The mouth feel is great. The carbonation is low to medium and doesn't not put off any of the sharpness some over carbonated beers tends to do.

Really enjoyed this one cant wait to get the next.

 1,036 characters

Photo of GJKerr
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 97.6% out of 100 with 6,392 ratings
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