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

BA SCORE
100
world-class
6,343 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium
sintsixtus.be

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,343
Reviews:
1,872
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
3,678
Gots:
2,208
For Trade:
154
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,343 |  Reviews: 1,872
Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of zeff80
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Ryan for sharing this.

A - Poured out a slightly cloudy, burgundy color with a two-finger head of pillowy, off-white foam. The head was long lasting and left sudsy trails of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Hard to explain how fantastic this aroma was. Everything was perfectly balanced - plum, fig, raisin, yeastiness, caramel, toffee. Nothing was strong or overpowered the other aromas. It was just perfect.

T - Again, so much balance. A perfect marriage of flavors. Dark dried fruits - fig, plum and raisin. Sweet maltiness with caramle, toffee and some molasses. A touch of yeasty spiciness.

M - So smooth! Medium bodied and crisp.

O - This is fantastic. Lives up to the hype. It was like a fantastic dessert or a flavorful steak that melts in your mouth.

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Photo of dmorgan310
4.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Appearance: Dark brown, slightly translucent around the edges. Pours with a 2-inch head that eventually settles to a quarter-inch. Very good head retention, a trait I've noticed amongst most Trappist beers.

Aroma: Dark dried fruits, figs, candi sugar, slight alcohol. Very aromatic.

Taste & texture: Very fruity initially, though not overly sweet. Takes on a rum cake quality toward the middle. The finish leans more on the dry, herbal and hoppy side, though it retains a trace of sweetness.

Notes: I compared this side-by-side with St. Bernardus Abt 12, and while quite similar, I slightly prefer this. I found it more aromatic and slightly more balanced. In contrast, St. Bernardus is a bit more dry and bitter in finish, though both beers are excellent. While I approached this with as much cynicism as I could muster, it really is great, and largely worthy of the praise it receives. Hard to call it the best beer ever, but I'm not sure I could say that about any beer. Nonetheless, it's well worth trying.

1997 vintage consumed 2011:

Murky ruddy brown color. This has lost some carbonation, but it looks decent. Very fruit-forward nose with fairly pleasant oxidation, smells decent. Palate is very oxidized, a little cardboardy. Earthy fruit is also prevalent. Carbonation is a bit low at this point. Pretty good, but I'd take a fresh bottle over this.

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Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

4500th review! 330 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 4/20/2014. Pours clear deep ruby red/brownish color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, apple, light red grape, peppercorn, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, tobacco, light leather, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, apple, light red grape, peppercorn, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, tobacco, light leather, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Moderate peppery yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, apple, peppercorn, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, tobacco, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible compelxity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from yeast spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly crisp/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is amazing. Alcohol is very well hidden with a only a light warmth present after the finish. Overall this is an insane quadrupel style. All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. Very similar to Abt 12; but this one had more nutty/biscuity malt complexity and a better mouthfeel. A highly amazing offering all around, as I had hoped for.

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Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into one of my goblets.

Pours a small 1/2 finger of tan head. Color is a very hazed murky caramel brown. Head fizzles down to a thin layer fast. Leaves some lace.

Smell is very complex with bready and caramel malts. Cherries, plums, and other dark dried fruits present. Also some booze and silk chocolate in the aroma. Toffee notes, figs, and Belgian candi sugar.

Taste: Chocolate, cherries, plums, raisins, apples, and some heat. Caramel and bready malts. Pretty solid brew. I also get the toffee, figs, and candi sugar again. Petty malty brew.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Feels very creamy and smooth. Ends a little dry but doesn't have a lot of heat as most quads do.

Overall, is it worth it? I would have to say sort of. Is it good? Yes. I really like this quad because it isn't so boozy as compared to a lot of the other quads I have had. It is worth a try. A lot of nice flavors in this beer. A bit slow drinking, however.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

 935 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours with one and a half fingers of off white foam on top of a somewhat hazy, dark brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Spicy yeast with notes of molasses, brown sugar, and a bit of a boozy note. Kind of rum like really.

T - A bit of dark fruit up front which is quickly washed away by toasty brown malt. Lots of burnt sugar and toast in the middle with a spicy finish of clove, licorice, and some tea like herbal bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a vey dry finish for such a strong beer.

D - Well, after years of wondering if I would ever have a chance to try this, here I am. You have to sort of expect that a beer with this much hype might fail, at least a little bit, to lie up to its reputation and as much as I hate to say it this is no exception. It is harshly toasty and kind of one dimensional, with a sickly sugary flavor that tastes like someone put too much sugar in their homebrew. It isn't as good as ABT 12 and its not even in the same building as Rochefort 10. I'm glad I only traded for one, I would guess this would fall off the top 100 rapidly if people could get it more easily.

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Photo of chinchill
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Two pours each from a 2012 bottle and a 2015 bottle. (Thanks Chris & Mark!).

Excellent in all aspects, including a lively but very soft medium+ body. The flavor and aroma are loaded with dark dried fruits. Spot on bitter/sweet balance. Somewhat surprised that I so clearly preferred this over the Rochefort 10 that it was paired with. Also think I had a very slightly preference for the 2015 over the 2012 vintage, although both were thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of oberon
4.04/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At long last I was finally able to snag the great Westy 12,pours a deep brown with a suprisingly thin head that was gone pretty quickly not leaving anything behind.Whoa the aromas are just incredibly complex and rich,some almond and raisin almost a cinnamon bun type aroma to it,just awesome.Flavors are more mellow than expected,I get some star anice and raisin up front with some mellow orange tinge in the lngering finish.I like the "12"better than the "8" but I have had some better Quads but still a pleasure to drink for sure.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a fresh bottle brought from Belgium. Believe the hype... it's real! And please don't drink this right out of the fridge, it needs to come to around 55F to really shine.

A densely creamy tan head rests lazily atop a hazy, dark russett body (carefully poured from a longstanding bottle it's a clear ruby with orange highlights - but add the yeast later on!). Eventually the head receeds, but it's somehow able to hold a thin but completely solid cap throughout the entire beer. And initially, it leaves solid walls of thin lace that fade to become sheets of tiny spots towards the end of the chalice. And that's no easy feat given its 10.2% abv! The nose offers honeyish, nutty, cocoaish (Ovaltine...?), bready, and caramel drenched malt as well as a bit of hard candy and some chewy fruit (raisins, berries). It's velvety smooth across the palate with a full, dextrinous body and exceptionally fine, natural carbonation. The flavor is even more exquisite than the nose implies, and includes notes of soft anise, lemon rind, a touch of leather, some delicate bubblegum, and a mild floral character that really helps to round it out. They yeast is incredibly important as well, as it gives it depth and rounds it out; and it should be poured even with an aged bottle. Finally, one of the things that makes the Westy 12 such a stunning beer is that it's so soft and supple considering it's such a behemoth. The alcohol is barely noticeable, and when it does appear in the flavor it only helps by lending a "spicy" character. And despite the amount of character it has, it's actually not as malty as a doppelbock. It's lighter, and it finishes semi-dry with more spiciness and yeastiness than sweet malt that might build on the palate... giving it a really great drinkability. Impressive, to say the least, this is a brilliant beer because it's big enough to deliver a great richness and lots of complexity, but also incredibly well-balanced enough that it really leaves you wanting more!

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Photo of jlindros
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a chance to drink this. About to buy an awesome new house, so figured it was time to crack this baby. A huge thanks to Brabander for getting my a couple fresh bottles I can age a bit. In the mean time I also have to thank kkipple and nickd717 for pre-aged bottles to try in the mean time. I believe this specific bottle is from nickd717.

Pours with no carbonation, absolutely zero head with just a few light bubbles from air being mixed in as I poured. I wonder if that was a mistake capping, or something, I'll have to try another one sometime and see if that's better. The beer is super thick and a yeast chunked swamp. It's so thick looking the yeast is completely suspended in it like Jello. It's the color of maple syrup mahogany brown wood.

The nose brings tons of fruit, apple, pear, apricot, raisin, and more. Then plenty of Belgian dark malts, not so heavy though, more delicate actually. Some chewy like malt aromas, a light essence of dark candi sugar, some sweetness, and almost no booze aromas.

The taste comes rich and somewhat creamy, lots of Belgian dark malts, and some light ones too. It is kinda barleywine like with the way all the malts and fruits come together. The fruit flavors bring a lot of various fruits, a light apple, pear, fig, raisin, etc, and a light caramel apple flavor. A bit of dark candi sugar, some candy bar flavors, touch of brown sugar. A very light bitterness too. It's extremely smooth and drinks like a 7-8% beer and not 10+%. It finishes with some light sweetness, a little candi sugar, lingering fruits and Belgian dark malts, and a very light toffee. It really is delicious.

The mouth is somewhat thick, creamy, and very smooth, a little syrupy, but the lack of carbonation gets it.

It drinks very smoothly and very well. It's not sticky at all either, and no off flavors. I could easily pound this like it's water, if it didn't taste so good. Again the only thing that hurts it a bit is the lack of carbonation.

 1,977 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

December 2008 release, acquired via trade from jojox so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramelized malts, Belgian yeast some fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit. There's a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast backbone that come in to provide a good deal of substance. The hops presence is very mild but is enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky but clean for the style.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, very good representation of style, as it is ranked #1 on BA at the time of this review and has been for some time, I was expecting something a bit more demonstrative from this beer, but the only things that stood out in this beer above other were its sweetness and its smoothness. While I don't consider it the absolute best beer on Earth, it is indeed very good.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a murky brown in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some mahogany highlights. The beer has a finger tall light tan head that slowly reduces to a medium to large thin patch, a very thin film covering about 75% of the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There is a fair amount of sweetness to the aroma of this beer - caramel, molasses, candi sugar, and dark fruits (cherries, plum, date, and fig). Very light aromas of booze.

T: Upfront there are flavors of dark fruits with cherries dominating and more moderate amounts of plum, fig, and date. There is a decent amount of sweetness but never enough to become cloying - caramel, molasses, candi sugar, and toffee are all present. Moderate flavors of Belgian yeast and just a touch of spices. Light hint of cocoa powder in the finish.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy with a light amount of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Great complexity to the aromas and flavors make this a world class beer. It is easy to drink and enjoyable, I would gladly have another one of these in the sitting. The alcohol is not completely hidden but it is not overwhelming and there is sweetness but not cloyingly so.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: This is the absolute best Trappist beer I've tried out of the six brewed in Belgium. 33cl brown bottle fresh from Saint-Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium. Freshness code has 13/08/08 on the yellow bottle cap and no label; 10.2% ABV.

Appearance: Smooth creamy off-white head with very tiny lacey bubbles which settles to a thin layer after warming. Color is Dark brown

Smell: Very aromatic. Fantastic malt aroma, along with different kinds of sweet fruit.

Taste: The flavor hits as soon as it enters the mouth. The velvety carmel complex flavor with little to medium carbonation is something savor. All these flavors throughout tasting are just incredible. Its amazing how this beer keeps its complexity and taste throughout the duration of tasting even as the beer warms.

Notes: I usually just read the ratings and don't post reviews. However, I felt I had to submit something for this beer; but I must say of all the beers I have tried so far, nothing has compared.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

.33 l bottle into a Chimay goblet. Thanks to deepsouth for the trade and opportunity to try this.

Pours a dark brown with +1 fingers of creamy looking tan foam head. The retention is just beautiful looking, with a smooth and creamy layer that sticks around for a good bit and leaves behind thick lacing that coats the sides of the glass and then cascades down. This is one of those beers that I could just sit there and watch swirl around in the glass for hours on end. The bouquet on this is quite a complex and well balanced little fume of aromas with sweet notes of cocoa powder, vanilla, and candied sugar giving way to dark fruit tartness and the scent of an earthy oakiness. There is quite a nice contrast and interplay between the sweet and tart notes.

The taste profile is similar to the aroma being both complex, well balanced and layered. A delicious sweet mix of candied sugars, chocolate, and bready malts with some deep dark fruit notes and spices. There is also an earthy feel and yeast presence but they are very subtle and integrated perfectly into the surroundings. For me though, the mouthfeel of this beer is where is absolutely excels. It's got a very rich texture yet still feels smooth and mellow in the mouth with fantastic carbonation. There is maybe just the teeniest, tiniest bit of alcohol in the body but for the most part that 10+% ABV is absolutely no where to be found.

This beer carries a lot of expectations and while it wasn't quite a perfect beer for me, it still came pretty darn close. The look, smell, and taste of this are outstanding but it's the body and drinkibility that are truly world class, being rich and complex but still immensely smooth and quaffable. Absolutely worth seeking out.

 1,737 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Rifugium
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First had: bottle from Brouwerij Westvleteren (via a German friend)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Qh-YmW2SM

Oh the hype! Was it worth it? Well, sure. I've heard mixed reports on this beer, and from my experience, many true beer aficionados out in the "real world" will tell you, that the main appeal of this beer is it's unavailability, not it's features, and that in fact, a fine Rochefort or even St. Bernardus is as good as or even better than a Westvleteren. So in the end, it's just a matter of opinion, like anything else.

That said, this was a great beer. I acquired the bottle legitimately: a friend of a friend of mine traveled to Westvleteren and respectfully procured me a few bottles from the elusive monks.

My at-the-time fianceƩ and I each had a bottle, we shared one with friends at our engagement party, I used one for a video review, and I have four that I'm cellaring, with one or two perhaps for trade.

Anyway, on to the review, as you can see from the video, this beer was properly poured into a signature Westvleteren goblet. Dark caramelized brown in color, hazy, moderately carbonated, with a beautifully crafted light tan head that settled right around the "Trappist" logo of the glass, retained throughout the session, and exhibited some fine lacing. Robust aroma, dark fruits, dark sugars. Extremely full of flavor, smooth, candi sugars, toffee, dark cherries, raisins, alcohol is noticeable but not at all detrimental. Earthy, organic, chewy, complex... Medium mouthfeel, but full of flavor, slightly bitter aftertaste, and very drinkable.

 1,575 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,343 ratings.
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