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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
6,404 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,404 |  Reviews: 1,882
Photo of SierraFlight
4.04/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of thebeers
4.19/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy plum brown with a small off white head.

Fig, plum, earthy hops in the nose. Fig, plum, anise, caramel and earthy bitterness in the taste, with the bitterness continuing to the after taste.

Relatively light bodied for the style with strong carbonation.

Exceptionally well crafted beer. I think I prefer the 8 a bit better though.

 340 characters

Photo of kflowers
4.76/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Jasons483
4.36/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rabbott2
4.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

caramelly plum

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Photo of schinebd
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.59/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mcbridec6
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Gajo74
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For years I've been hearing about the mythical and seemingly unattainable Westvleteren XII. As a result, its become one of those so called "whales" that, considering its scarcity and hefty price in the U.S., I would resign myself to having to travel directly to the monastery in Belgium. How ironic that on a leisurely family trip to Rome I came across it at Beerland Trillusa in Trastevere, Rome for the hefty but manageable price of 19 euros. My search was over! I sat down in the modest outdoor cafe overlooking the hip Trastevere
Neighborhood, and as I waited for my server, I pondered if it was worth the hype.
The stately plain brown bottle came out. Who needs fancy label art when this one is so elegant in its simplicity. It poured a murky mahogany brown color. An enormous tan foam head gushes up to the top in a beautifully controlled fashion. It retains seemingly for an eternity, its thick film covering the surface until the very end.
As I poured it out of the bottle onto the pint glass that was handed to me, I could immediately smell the aromas of dark bread, amber malts, caramel, dark fruit and a whiff of alcohol cutting through the air with their alluring boldness, as if to say "come hither!" So many layers throughout, its difficult to do justice to all. There was also a touch of cocoa, spices, raisin, plum and grape. Towards the end there was biscuity malt.
Going into the mouth was the highly anticipated moment for me. Some beers take a while for the flavors to develop. Not with this one. It's like all the nuances of bold and complex flavors burst forth as soon as they hit the tip of the tongue in a frenzy of instant gratification. If there is a smoother, more velvety and creamier brew out there, I haven't had it. In the mouth it feels like fluffy and soft floating clouds. Full bodied and gently carbonated, yet so drinkable that a few sips in I realized it was going down too fast. I'll discuss the flavors soon, except that I can't emphasize enough what an amazing texture, feel and drink ability this work of art of a beer is. As for the flavors, I do not know if there is another brew out there with such a complex array of flavors and that still manages to blend them so elegantly and smoothly. In the first phase there is a sweetness from amber malts, dark candi sugar, and soft tones of cocoa powder that add a smooth creaminess. This is complemented by a light alcohol spice that is just right and not boozy. Hard to decide what else to add as I'm sure I'm missing out on some flavor, but, here goes: dark fruit such as alcohol soaked raisins, plumps, red grape, and even a touch of lightly sour cherries. Vinous and with the feel of currants. Spicy and peppery but not overwhelmingly so, dark bread, and berries. What really did it for me is how in the middle phase there was the emergence of earthy, herbal grassy green hops that added a bold bitterness and dryness to the finish, unique in that I usually don't associate a strong hops profile with Belgian Ales.
As I finished I was in a state of both euphoria and sorrow. Euphoria at both the delicicious cornucopia of tastes and for the deceptively high ABV that provided no burn, and sorrow because it came to an end. Now for the dilemma of rating it. Was it worth the hype? Most definitely so, although the price and its status might have convinced me to wish it so. However, what is undeniable is that it is one of the most perfectly crafted, classy and elegant of all brews; it's like the Rolls Royce of brews. Is it the so called "world's best beer" as the sign at the bar said? Clearly a subjective and almost ridiculous concept, kind of like asking "what is the world's greatest piece of music, art or literature, however, I would find it hard to argue against it. Does it have flaws? I don't see any, which is why I will score it a perfect 5.
P.S. On the way out I picked up a bottle of Westvleteren VIII to go. Can't wait to try it!

 3,944 characters

Photo of aztraz
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of minterro
4.06/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Did the beer as part of a tasting. I love the look of the bottle. Just trappisten bier carved in the glass, no label.

Very interesting beer both in the taste and aroma. Doesn't seem like a quad, smells and tastes like a dunkel. It's not bad by any means, just not what I expected. Very well balanced, way easier to drink than expected for +10% ABV. Malty and interesting barnyard vibes from the yeast. I didn't taste it, but possibly some bubblegum as well.

For the price tag, I'm pretty sure this will be the last time I have this beer.

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Photo of cmurphy7
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

much anticipation for this brew. it was bottled a year ago. absolutely beautiful beer. brown ale look with a subtle malty smell. perfect mouth-feel and a sweetness that is in the Belgium wheel-house. l wish i could drink this beer as my beverage for every meal, every day of the year. love this brew.

 306 characters

Photo of pvibeer
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of redresonatedragon
4.93/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of anvindr
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of MKV
4.99/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Dark brown with a moderate head.
Smell and taste: very similar. Wonderfully intermingling flavors including spices, some grain, even a hint of fruit. You find something new every time you taste it.
Feel: My friend and I initially described it as almost umami-like, but that's not quite accurate. It does hint, however, at the depth and full-bodied character of the beer, which fully envelops every sip.

Overall: it's quite the hike to get out there, but it's a fun day trip made even more worth it by the beer.

 517 characters

Photo of razorsdescent
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of aprabhu
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ChrisDolan74
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First sip and unfortunately forever addicted

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Photo of Nate2034
4.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of agrinnell
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chicagobeerguy
4.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: A dark brown, with off white color, sediment is apparent. Not the best looking beer.

S: Raisins, forest floor, biscuits. slight boozy smell

T: Very well balanced beer. A blend of dark fruits, sweet malty flavors but nothing over the top sweet, a slight boozy chocolate taste towards the middle. Hints of toffee and plum to finish.

F: Smooth but slightly too carbonated.

O: This is a fine beer, very well crafted and the balance is fantastic. A very drinkable beer with deep complex flavors. I really enjoyed tracking this beer down and was not left disappointed but slightly underwhelmed. Still the best Quad I've had but not sure if I'd go out of my way to track this guy down again.

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Photo of unoriginal
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ninjakillzu
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Pint Defiance tulip. The body is a dark chocolate brown with a tan finger head with amazing retention. Aromas are the same as the flavors. Flavors include apple, pear, toffee, milk chocolate, caramelized sugar, dates, plum, vanilla, and brown sugar. The feel is highly carbonated, with a slightly heavy, but marshmellowy body.

 340 characters

Photo of holmesmi
4.07/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Think I had it too young. Very good, but not the hype.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,404 ratings
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