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

6,346 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,346 |  Reviews: 1,875
Photo of injuredreserve
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Petcha
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of cfaulman
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of MOVERTON1284
3/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this in 2012, a bottle bought in Beligum shared by a friend. Beer was dark, minimal head, full of sediment. Overall I felt this was over-rated and very boozy.

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Photo of kristinc
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CBFanWish
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So here I am with the fabeled Westy 12. There is no beer in the world as highly regarded as this. As I look at the bottle, I can't help but to think that this is no different than looing upon a Jackson Pollock painting. A true piece of art. I wanted to wait for a while to drink this, but we all know what it's like holding a piece of cake in your hand and being told not to eat it.
It poured a dark reddish brown colour. It was more like the colour of blood than anything else. The head was a frothy two finger cloud that released aromas that just filled the room. Chocolate, toffee, caramel, nuts and grains filled the air causing great antisipation.
The taste is so complex yet so smooth. I first noticed toffee that soon blended with chocolate, caramel, nuts, grass, and apples. I have never tasted anything like it before.
I thouroghly enjoyed this beer. I can't wait for the other to be opened. Only a couple more years to go.

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Photo of bbothen
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a hazy & murky mahogony brown. Lots of yeast flowing throughout, even with a careful pour. The head is a ginormous billowing fluffy glob of tan colored beauty. To me. Picture perfect.

The first aroma hits me as a big fruitiness, Belgian yeast, nuttiness, caramel/toffee, bready malt, big booze. Cant wait anymore, must sample.

The taste. The taste. Hmm. How do you describe awesome? Big caramel malt sweetness, melted toffee, fruity candy like goodness, big warming boozy rush with each sip, an herbal character as well. Trust me these words do not do the taste justice.

Velvet like, smooooth, warming, moderate carbonation, full bodied.

This is a gigantic almost 11% quad, so a bottle was enough. Okay, I could have another. But this is no session beer. Definition of a sipper.

Hype. Yep. Live up to it? Yep. Glad I've had the opportunity to have this a few times. Seek it out if you love beer. Obviously.

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Photo of Eternal218
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dan027
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of jkhara12
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jamvt
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of heresy22
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of DocJitsu
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very murky horehound brown color with a thick, foamy caramel colored head. Dates, brown sugar, caramel, notes of maple, and very light bourbon without the alcohol on the nose. The moutfheel is medium- to full-bodied and lightly oily. A bit of carbonation on the rear of the tongue. Nutty up front, caramel apple appears shortly after. Alcohol warmth shows up late and lingers in the throat. Some alcohol bitterness appears as well. So much balance from start to finish in all aspects of the beer. The only drawback is the cutoff at the finish by the alcohol bitterness.

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Photo of cwguy5
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Popsinc
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second Westy ever! Also at the Kulminator.

Appearance: Like the 8, this beer poured a super drak brown and was accompanied by a huge, appetizing tan head. While it looked like alot of beers....worth a scoing of 4....i had to give it a 4.5 based on my anticipation. It just looked so good, i couldn't wait!

Smell: Although the nose had sweet chocolatey notes as well as spicey hints to it, i found that it was much more mild and subtle then i had anticipated.

Taste: Here we go!!! Wow. A wonderfuly rich beer with sweet and complex flavours throughout. Hints of chocolate and caramel. Spices of cinamon and nutmeg, maybe even a hint of molasses. Soem dark fruitiness and even some light woody notes towards the mildly bitter finish which also had a refined, port-like quality to it.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, complex...very warming and fullfilling. Tastes linger nicely and change even after you're done your sip.

Drinkability: It doesn't get much better than this! A world class beer. This one goes into my top 10 for sure. If i could only find more, i would buy them all.

 1,090 characters

Photo of xav33
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Westvleteren 12
12 oz bottle
Capped 10/30/09 (bottled 06),found God 05/07
Moderate pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a very murky dark brown with a moderate to large frothy mostly to fully lasting beige head.

Smelt of moderate to strong plums, raisins, vinous, with light cinnamon, cloves, caramel, mushroom yeastiness.

First sip was like an injection of Godliness. My tastebuds got shocked all the way into my spine. Upfront moderate sweet bitter and light sour everything followed by a strong bitter yeast moss and moderate sweetness on a long finish.

Palate was medium to full bodied, softly carbonated, creamy and slightly alcoholic.

Overall, the nose does not do it justice. It tastes like mystery and is so beautifully balanced throughout, it is dangerously drinkable for a quad. Godliness in a bottle.

 822 characters

Photo of mdvatab
4.18/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received 330ml bottle in trade from cosmonick. (Thanks Randall!)
Poured into goblet after returning home from hospital after the birth of my son!

Aroma: A nice, sweet apple note, freshly-baked whole grain bread, clove, and yeast.

Appearance: Very light tan, 2 fingered head hangs around for a while, and leaves sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Body is a very hazy dark amber/brown.

Flavor: Sweet caramel, subtle clove, and some underlying alcohol. Sip after sip, the alcohol seems to come through more and more, and lends to a bitter finish. Up front, the brew tastes fantastic. It could probably use some age, though, to soften the boozy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Very well-carbonated. Body is medium-full. The high amount of alcohol leaves a nice warming feeling in the throat after swallowing.

Overall: Definitely a fantastic, well-balanced quad. Is it the best beer, or even Belgian quad I've ever had? Unfortunately not. I'd really like to get another bottle of this and let it age for a couple of years to see how it improves. This many people can't be wrong!

 1,074 characters

Photo of Mavajo
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark chestnut color with a moderate eggshell head - it hung around decently, but didn't provide any lacing. Nothing special in the looks department.

The aroma actually presented a bit of a challenge for me - I had difficulty picking out the individual notes. There's the yeast, along with some clove and then a fairly sweet, light fruit aroma. The taste didn't provide much more clarity - but it was sure delicious. Surprisingly sweet - much moreso than I expected. A fairly light flavor for a quad - sweet, brown sugar, honey, light fruit, toffee, a bit biscuity.

Mouthfeel was good. Appropriate carbonation.

Honestly, I read some of the descriptions in other reviews, and I my experience seems significantly different from what others are describing. This was a fairly light-tasting, sweet experience for me. I guess my palate has even farther to go than I realized.

Regardless, this thing was absolutely delicious - I could drink this all day.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Liquid Art - my friend said "when you read about mead in mythology, this is what it should taste like - mead is really not that wonderful - but this truly tastes like liquid honey in brewed form"

I can't say whether this lives up to the #1 beer in the world hype - though i can say this, along with the Rochefort 10 are the best belgian quads that I have tried.

This beer stands out as unique among all the other trappist beers and other Belgian 10s and 12s, as it stands out among all brews in the world.

It is incredibly drinkable, caramely yet not sweet...this is the most drinkable 10+% alcohol beer I have ever had.

I had to search far and wide (even in Brugges) to find this beer, and Im glad I did! Drank a bottle at an amazing pub there and brought a couple home.

 779 characters

Photo of Zimbo
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drunk this, the Stanley Cup of beers, to celebrate the Bruins Stanley Cup win. And I love how the crown cork is black and gold. Coincidence? I think not.

But you know, I am sort of skeptical of all the reviews of this beer on BA. Not that I believe that this beer is over rated. Not at all. It definitely deserves its status. Its just that I can't see how everyone understands this beer after just one bottle. Westy 12 just way too complex for that.

Pours a lovely deep mahognay colour maintaining a creamy full thick head which leaves sticking drifts of foam all over the glass.
Taste is where its complexity really comes in on the tongue. There is earth, toffee, dark chocoate and a cutting form of sweet, fine and fairly intense custard cream richness. There's a deep thick oakiness there too especially with the body. An unbelievably complex balance of strength, finesse and complexity. Aftertaste is very very long and has left an impression on my taste buds like no other beer.

Despite its religious inspiration this really is a beer that strikes at your intellect and curiosity more than the heart. For me this is what makes it so inspiring. I'm still very much just beginning to understanding Westy 12 but I can recognise its genius which would have totally missed me had I drunk it as a beer rookie many years ago. And this is what makes me think that people here award it top marks based on reputation alone. Either that or BAs really have some of the most sophisticated and perceptive palates you'll find anywhere.

 1,529 characters

Photo of nguasta2
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Burgh1328
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Oh ya!!!!

9 characters

Photo of jdubjacket
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah, I am reviewing the granddaddy of them all. Thanks to my dad for getting me a sixer of all three Westvleterens.

Pours a deep brown with amber hues. Almost no head to speak of. Good amount of sediment in the glass. Only some lacing.

Smells like angels tears. Very sweet, likely the malt coupled with the alcohol presence. Traces of prunes and raisins.

Tastes Plain and simple joy. Brown sugar, lots of malt, alcohol, dark fruits, toffee, a hint of chocolate, and mildly spicy. Aftertaste provides a delicious malt aftertaste that lingers with you.

Perfectly carbonated mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable despite the ABV.

Well, I have had it. Nothing else to drink now. Overall, this is one beer that lives up to its hype. Coupling its quality with its rarity makes this beer a real treat.

 806 characters

Photo of bigclydeoliver
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,346 ratings.
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