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

6,327 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: 6,327 |  Reviews: 1,867
Photo of kristougher
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of mani
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Was able to get my hands on this beer of legends thanks to the kindness of a trade with fellow BA Stevedore. Enjoyed out of the classic label-less 330 mL label-less brown bottle with the embossed ring around the neck and nothing but a cap to denote its origin. Cap is marked clearly with an enjoy by date of April 25th, 2016. Poured into a large brandy snifter.

Appearance - Gentle pour yields an effervescent khaki head of champagne-like bubbles about a finger and a half thick. Beneath the head lies a dark brown body that obscures the light, but when held up in front of a light source reveals a hue of ruddy maroon, like clay. With about an inch of liquid left in the bottle, the liquid coming out of the bottle turns from a light caramel brown to a cloudier tone from the sediment. The head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a thick rim of foam around the edge of the glass, with a thin film of bubbles across about half of the surface, with a smattering of thicker bubbles in the middle. Lacing is sparse, but when I tilt the glass to look at the color, it leaves some nice legs that cling to the glass for quite awhile before slinking back down into the glass.

Smell - I could probably sit here and sniff at this one for awhile. Each new inhalation reveals slightly new aroma profiles. Initially, I got some faint astringency and booziness, but began to detect notes of vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg, dark fruits--mostly raisin at this juncture. There is also a pleasant floral element to the smell, imparting a gentleness that I don't tend to expect from such a high ABV beer. Soft hints of alcoholic esters dance throughout, but don't overpower the more subtle notes.

Taste - Picking up where the hauntingly delicate aroma left off, the flavor is a bit more aggressive, but only by comparison to the aroma. It's far from a mouth-punch, but it does contain complexity upon complexity. Caramel malt, some faint roasty bitterness, plum, black currant, fig, vanilla, anise. Some spiciness that reminds me of rye as well, though I doubt there is any of that grain in this beer. Mind you, it's taking me sip upon sip--much like with the aroma--to get all these notes. One sip, the fig and vanilla will hit me, and on the next one, it's the considerable presence of the esters that punch through. Doing my best to let it warm up to capture every single bit of the massive amount of depth contained therein. In many ways, it reminds me of a fine brandy, but a little more earthy.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, but lighter than I expected. Not sure where that expectation came from, but there you have it. Carbonation is moderate. Honestly, the thinness of the feel is the first major qualm I have with this beer.

Overall, a beer that surely lives up to the massive reputation that precedes it. I think my favorite aspect is the wonderfully complex, but admittedly subdued, aroma, but there truly isn't a negative component to this beer. Now to get my hands on some of the 8 and Blonde...

 2,990 characters

Photo of Trfagan3
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of YoudownwithABV
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
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 M-Fox24
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pour has a murky amber, dark brown presence. Head is thick, off-white, and about a ½ an inch-inch high, with great retention and lacing.

S: Aroma is quite sophisticated with the presence of Belgian yeast, toffee, dark fruit (raisins, plum, grapes), brown sugar, nougat, and slight caramel.

T: Being no disappointment after the aroma, taste is creamy, sweet, complex, and nicely carbonated. Correspondingly, notes follow along the same path as the aroma: yeast, malty, brown sugar, plums, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and dark fruit.

M: Mouthfeel is medium to heavy on carbonation and body; a heavier emphasis on medium accompanied by a nice wine like feel.

O: The complexity and the creamy/sweet feel here are outstanding: slight hop bitterness, raisins, figs, prunes, cherries, grapes….

 795 characters

Photo of Chingringo
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Stugotzo
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of DCon
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of TheRealDBCooper
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of ortie
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of gr0g
4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Two-year old bottle. Dark brown but not quite opaque. Excellent head formation and retention, while lacing is there but sparse. Rich, dark, sweet but not too sweet aroma. Rum-soaked dark fruits - plum and raisin. Very rich and malty with just a touch of alcohol.

Robustly malty-sweet flavor, while the sweetness is well-attenuated. Ripe dark fruit leads the way, plum, raisin, and currant, candi sugar backing it up. Very faint hop bitterness to balance things out a bit. Carbonation has been nicely tamed, providing for a soft mouthfeel with minimal harshness. Finishes a touch drier with a bit of lingering candi sugar and alcohol.

The well-balanced sweetness puts this at the top of the quads for me. So rich and complex, showcasing great complexity.

 755 characters

Photo of DerekQXQX
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Jose9e
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of fireman1013
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very welcoming smell with fresh yeasty aroma. Slightly champagne'y mouth feel with caramel, belgian yeast, and light hop taste. I liked it very much as a belgian style monk brewed ale. I was not disappointed at all and highly recommend a similar beer if the opportunity presents itself. Overall a very smooth, well-balanced beer.

 329 characters

Photo of mndanika
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of leitmotif
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of DerrickW
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of rbrefbeerman
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of lorkovicb
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of jdense
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of pschafer
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of mcanderson0
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,327 ratings.
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