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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Liked This Beer
4.6 w/ 6,390 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: 6,390 |  Reviews: 1,881
Photo of Stevem68
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a cloudy Amber color. Aroma is deep rich dark fruits. Flavor is awesome. Belgian yeast with an awesome mellow delicious flavor. This does not remind me of a normal Belgian. Finishes smooth and overall the best Belgian beer I've ever had.

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Photo of Denzo
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of 2ellas
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had plenty of other quads and this one has been quite elusive. There's tons of reviews already so I'll leave you with 2 things that stood out prominent to me:
1: that is a ton of sediment at the bottom of a small bottle.
2: I love the mineral influence on the taste of this rich beer. Never had a quad quite like this before.

Yeah, it's pricey but I'd go for another. Thanks eclectic for this via trade!

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Photo of teraflx
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of JackieTH
4.64/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This will not be a long review, not that this cornerstone of The Belgians doesn't deserve it, but there is little I can add to all the 1000's of existing reviews except to thank my friends Jeremy & Drew who were the chain of folks who made the Abbey to Minneapolis, MN connection happen.

In any event I should say something, because Westvleteren 12 is a phenomenal beer across all categories. The pour into a snifter featured a rich mahogany body with a billowing cap of very persistent khaki foam that left sheets of lacing. Entirely attractive and impressive. The nose is all about dark dried fruits.. dates, figs, raisins, and a hint of candied faintly caramelly sweetness which is oh so smooth. You can sniff this for a long time, it's very enjoyable. Taste is exactly right IMO with dark fruity raisins, dates, molasses, brown sugar, bready, toffee, faint chocolate. Lightly sweet throughout but a very balanced with all the depth of flavors working together toward the whole. Mouthfeel is luxury, velvety, nice. Full bodied but enough carb to keep it interesting. Fantastic. Maybe I'll get to try it again someday..

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Photo of PeakedInHighSchool
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

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

11.2oz bottled Feb 10, 2012. XII version from the US gift set. Served at cellar temperature. Enjoyed on Christmas Day 2012.

Pours clear dark brown with red highlights and an active one finger light tan head that recedes to a small cap, but doesn’t leave much lacing. (not much room for lacing in the tiny Westy XII glass included with the set).

Aroma is dark fruits, cherries, alcohol, belgian yeast, bread, brown sugar, red wine characteristics. Good to very good strength. This glass isn’t very good for capturing aromas...will try second half pour in a snifter or tulip.

Flavor is big overripe dark fruits, cherries, figs, plums, belgian yeast, rich bread, toward the finish some chocolate notes come up and more really dark fruits such as raisins, dates and figs, brown sugar. Some alcohol burn in the middle and finish, but not too bad. Moderate sweetness. Extremely complex.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sharp, fizzy carbonation, somewhat sticky. As it warms to room temp the mouthfeel completely changes, much more full bodied, super creamy, soft carbonation, wonderful.

My Christmas treat! This has always been way high on my wants, but never had much chance to try this...heard about the gift sets coming to the US and even then it was dicey whether I could procure one...lucked out and so glad I did! Truly enjoyable beer, worth the price...gonna cellar one bottle and spread the rest out to some friends.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this first about a year or so ago when I was really starting to get into craft beers. I decided to wait a while though before I tried it again as it had so much going on I couldn’t appreciate it all. Bottle is dated with 07-09-04, so I will have to pick up a few to age. This poured out a murky brown with a tall light tan head that filled the goblet. There were some floaties that could be seen occasionally and the beer coated the glass in rings of lace. The head managed to stay afloat till the end, which was impressive. Aroma is very fruity with raisins and other dark fruit. It was quite sweet and spicy as well with a touch of yeast. The taste starts of with a strong fruity sweetness before a good bit of spice comes through to even things out a bit. Earthiness is also in full swing here adding a touch of bitterness before the spicy sweet after taste. Wow there is just so much going on here I feel like I am still missing out on plenty. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with good carbonation. This bottle went down easily but I would be reluctant to grab another right after, not sure why but one was plenty. Amazing beer that everyone should get a chance to try.

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Photo of rand
4.93/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From 330 mL bottle to Westvleteren chalice.

A: Mahogany in color, the beer pours less viscous than expected and forms a small, wispy head. Leaves almost no lacing.

S: The nose is comprised of distinct notes of maple and toffee, toasty sweetbread and alcohol. Esters are readily apparent, as notes of holiday spice linger in the boozy bouquet.

T: Malt-forward, caramel and toffee notes leap to the front of the palate. The sweet overtone reveals distinct banana esters and cherry-ish phenols. The candy-like profile is kept in check by ample hop presence and spicy alcohol, as subtle notes of cinnamon and clove work to dry the palate. Remarkably, the beer finishes relatively short and clean, leaving a touch of cherry and caramel lingering.

M: Much more chewy and viscous than the beer appears, but the ample carbonation scrubs the palate clean between sips.

It seems there are a lot of beers in the top of the list that've climbed by inertia (especially the top beer). This isn't one of them. A couple hundred years of trial and error, coupled by the fact that the brewers don't make a least monetarily speaking, makes this one of the most interesting and satisfying experiences you can have imbibing a brew.

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Photo of cosmonick
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of IBUnit63
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Via trade with MacDomer - many thanks! BBD is 12.02.11 (2/12/2011 for us Yanks). 33cl bottle into St. Bernie's chalice. Out of fridge for about 10-15 minutes and breathing a few more minutes before pouring. I wanted to let it breathe a bit longer but I pop the cap and it's happy to see me as it slowly froths above the top of the bottle so I pour a little bit into the chalice. The foam keeps coming so I get the rest in there.

The pour as mentioned is extremely well-carbonated and yields a slightly murky raisin brown. Active carbonation yields a 1/2-finger head in the chalice; it dissipates but leaves a wispy ginger-colored film resembling a solid Kosher rye.

Whoooaaa, camel...first impression is clove, ginger and rum raisin ice cream. The beautiful bride notices prunes and a bit of chocolate...she's spot on. Prunes definitely abound; there's a dark leather scent...even a bit of soapy plums. Very complex with a mild to moderate booziness that's carrying ginger notes and aided by the solid carbonation.

I'm getting a little bit of floral soapy notes at first, followed by mild gingerbread, a little clove and then some raisins. It's amazing what 5 more minutes of warmth does for this. The floral soap veneer thankfully burns away and we're back in solid Quad ground. The leathery fruitcake spices, the deep dark dried plums, dates and chocolate covered cherries bring this another level of complexity. Surprisingly austere on the finish...much more dry than expected. As the BB indicated earlier, mild baking/bittersweet chocolate emerges with warmth. Prunes, too. Still, a tad of lingering floral soapiness.

For some reason I expected a big mild spice and raisin bomb. I'm really surprised at the pleasant dryness of this offering. The construction is so well-done that there's not a lot of mess left behind. The excited carbonation may indicate that the yeast in this deal may have eaten everything they could wrap their cells around. Still, that floral soapiness still lingers.

Maybe it's the thought of enjoying this for the very first time but this dows go down very quickly. It definitely takes a while for that one off-flavor - the floral soap - to burn off its weirdness. Note no real mention of booziness on the taste or palate profile - after the initial rum raisin ice cream scent it simply isn't an issue. My guess is that I should probably invest in a case of this some day to evaluate over time because merely one bottle isn't enough. With many extreme offerings the flavors and notions are in your face so that there's no mistake. This treasure is definitely more subtle and takes a little more time to figure out. Great, complex construction.

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

Well its time to crack this one open I won this particular bottle in a LIF hosted by Life is good major Karma goes her way. I figured this was the perfect time to celebrate this brew the last weekend of summer, the working mans weekend, and all truly life is good.

Bottle served slightly chilled in my favorite chalice. The pour produced a good two fingers worth of Brown head that goes to a great lace. The body was brown to a dark red in color

The nose has tons of Malts and dark fruits It is a little less Intense than expected But it may be just reality catching up to expectation. There was a hint of spice and alcohol as well as it warms.

Flavors of sweet dark fruits filled my mouth raisins figs and such. As it warms more of the alcohol is present in its bite but so does the spiciness in the flavor as well .Great mouthfeel and perfect carbonation for its style

For this holy grail of all brews this was a pleasure to drink, highly drinkable. The rarity of this brew aside. I do think it is close to a few of the other Belgian Quads I have tried St. Bernardus comes to mind. Don't get me wrong this brew was better balanced in the flavor department but I think if it comes down to it St. Bernardus is a close second.
Thanks again Life is good for sharing such a rare brew as well as another BA who will remain nameless for trading me one to put away for my son when he is legal age. Who knows I may even split it 60 /40 LOL

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Photo of strohme2
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

What a treat to try. Thanks to a true Beer Advocate for the chance. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of this style. Served at cellar temp. Murky brown with a big, tan, soapy head. Rye bread, figs, raisins. Superb. Didn't want it to end. Didn't think I'd like it as much as I did.

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Photo of judkinst
4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Knoxrb12
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of dalepryor
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of funkyaudio
4.83/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark brown colour with a fine head, very complex aroma: bread, raisins and black chocolate, impressive malty palate, deep balance between sweetness and bitterness, slightly oily, the finish is moderately dry showing candy sugar, plums, gingerbread and a long warming alcohol touch - my deep consideration goes to the monks who are brewing this wonder and who make me think for a moment that I'm living in paradise

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Photo of unclejazz
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of blabaer
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

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

Photo of mattsmith413
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of sommersb
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 03-04-2013
Freshness: Best by 2015
Packaging: 330ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Chalice
Purchased: Received in a trade

Really stoked to finally try this beer! Review #500

Pours a clear and dark reddish-brown color; the last pour adds some yeast murkiness. The off-white head is huge and has a superb amount of retention and excellent lacing. Lots of bubbles are seen streaming from the bottom of the glass.

Aromas feature sweet malt and dark fruits, such as figs, dates, grapes and raisin. Other aromas include musty, oak notes and spicy yeast.

The taste is similar to the nose, starting with dark, sweet malts with hints of molasses, licorice and dark cherries. Also has a woody character to it, although the bitterness is very low if not non-existent. Other flavor notes include an acidity or tartness of tannin, as in a wine. Smooth but complex

The mouthfeel is at first dominated by the very high carbonation level, with a medium to thick body. Has a fairly potent alcohol warming presence. The finish is semi-sweet with lingering dark and ripened fruits. Tastes better as the beer warms up a bit.

Overall this was a pleasure to sip on. Is it one of the world's best beers? Not sure, but probably so; it's hard to evaluate this without being somewhat influenced by the notoriety. It's in the top ten of the 500 ones I've reviewed. Either way, I'm excited to have tried this and would recommend it heartily!

Thanks to baybum for this one!

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 97.6% out of 100 with 6,390 ratings
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