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

6,360 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,360 |  Reviews: 1,877
Photo of dwren89
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: foamy tan head, medium burgundy color, opaque

Aroma: beet, prune, slightly sugary malt character, Belgian yeast character-- pungent and slightly earthy

Taste: blast of sugary sweetness at first, then developing beet/prune/date flavor, with supporting bitterness, and surprisingly balanced and somewhat dry finish

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, tingly in mouth, surpringly light bodied for the style (medium body), nimble and not at all cloying,

Overall Impression: This is the Quad to end all Quads. An immediate dark fruit punch in the mouth with slowly developing dark malt and yeast character that somehow manages to stay medium bodied and a slightly dry finish. Although it is very similar in taste to most well made quads, its nimble body and drying finish take the Westy XII to another level. This is a malt bomb that is amazingly drinkable.

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Photo of rflips86
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of jn84
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of GopherPharmer
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of mrtomatohead49
3.51/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tmzl
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Deep amber, brown with golden tone. Foam - nice off-white, even, equal bubbles. Very good retention. Hazy with some floating yeast.

Smell: Dark fruit, raisins, little banana. Deep sweet malt; brown, burnt sugar. There is some very subtle smokey, roast notes, hint of coffee (more like cappuccino). There is also some sour and (hm) "bitter" tone. Superb balance, yet subtle and complex.

Taste: Dark fruits again, little spike from high alcohol. Very smooth, creamy, caramel, toffee and cappuccino middle malts. Little brandy notes but not overwhelming. There is also some very subtle funk. Ends with a very good mix of sour and malty aftertaste. Perfect. Last sips with some yeast, nice finish.

Mouthfeel: Starts a little spicy then very smooth, full. It is slightly warming doe to the high alcohol but goes away after a few sips. Alcohol very well hidden. Surprisingly good and lively carbonation. Leaves a nice creamy feeling.

Overall: Was skeptical with all the hype, but it delivered. Balanced, subtle and very complex. Definitely a must try.

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Photo of ChayDudeBrew
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Cs1987
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark reddish-brown, with some sediment. Poured with a very small head in a goblet, although this is no doubt due to poor handling when transported overseas, as I know this beer is supposed to have a large head.

Smell - While still fairly cold, this beer has a strong, sweet and fruity odour, nothing too special. As it warms, it acquires an amazing, very complex biscuity, fruity and spicy odour. I had to give this a five, because I couldn't imagine a beer smelling any better.

Taste - I ensured I did not have any preconceived notions as to what this beer would taste like before trying it. However, even though I poured it slightly too cold, I was hooked from the first taste. This beer has a perfect balance of dark fruits, cinnamon-like spices and sweetness. The alcohol is slightly noticeable, but is nothing to complain about. The flavour develops slightly with warming, but actually seems to weaken a fair bit if it is too warm. My first 5/5 for taste has most certainly not gone undeserved.

Mouthfeel - Amazingly light and smooth, not too sticky like some other Belgian ales.

Drinkability - I could totally see myself sessioning this. No, really.

Overall - My brother got this beer delivered for my 21st birthday (and I know he'll read this review, so thanks again!). However, I had many fears that what I had received would not live up to its reputation. I had heard stories about Westvleterens supposedly deteriorating significantly when transported overseas. Also, the fact that one of the beers I received was not in the usual Westvleteren bottle sparked fears that I may have received a cheap, recapped ripoff. However, the first taste assured me that this was the real deal. Though I have given this a much higher score than any other beer, I do not feel that I have been generous in any way with my scoring.

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Photo of jamis
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of mborden
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of wsnich
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of StayWhatYouAre2
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of CSFerrier
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of myersk27
4/5  rDev -13.2%

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

I made the pilgrimage to St. Sixtus to drink this beer. It was a highlight of my Belgian beer tour. I started with one bottle of each of Westvleteren's beers and the 12 was hands down my favorite.

It poured so smooth. The lace on glass was a perfect amount. The flavors were all delicate and came together to so perfectly for a smooth flavorful drinking experience. I tend to not like dark beers because they can feel too heavy. Despite the dark color this beer is not heavy at all.

I even managed to score a few bottles to bring home to America. I poured one a month later wondering if it would be as amazing as at the Abbey. It was. Once again it poured perfect and tasted amazing.

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Photo of JPortillo
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TheBeerDad
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Imacopyouidiot
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of saeh
4.24/5  rDev -8%

Photo of illy0sis
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of jdhowe
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Reviewed from notes from a blind tasting.

A: Clear, deep amber, with a slight dark khaki head. (4.25)

S: Fig, candied cherries, dates, clean and abundantly fruity. (4.5)

T/M: Clean, mild but plentiful fruitiness, fruit/candy sweetness with a light bitterness. High carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Finish is mildly bitter and clean. (4.25/4.5)

O: 4.5

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Photo of WantonFaun
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Opaque dark brown

S - Sugar and spice, dark fruit of course, sticky figs glued to the bottom of the glass. Warm and rich.

T - Again, like above, the dark spice (cinnamon for instance) and dark fruit dominate the palate.

M - Chunky, with delicious yeast residue.

O - Amazing, though Rochefort 10 may give it a run for its money. Its exclusive nature might be propagating perceptions on how great it is, though it is great.

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Photo of troupos40
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of meechum
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this bottle along with 5 friends back in October from E-bay and waited until the New Year for the sampling. Had this on New Years Eve and it was exquisite.

Poured into a oversized wine glass as that's the closest I had to a goblet. The tan head was extreme and fell slowly. The smell was rich in fruits, spices, just a hint of biscuity malts and a piney hops (very subtle). The taste lived up to the expectation. This is not a beer you drink by the gulp that's for sure. The taste was as big as the smell and lived up to everything I thought it would be..very started off to me with a immediate alcohol warmth and taste of roasted barley and biscuits and then flowered into a nice thick fig and raisin taste and finished with a bite of hops that was subtle but cut the fruity tastes.

Overall this was a great beer and surely one of the best on the planet. I don't think I would even call it my favorite and if I never get to try another again I'm glad I got one shot and giving it a try

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Photo of hophead247
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Harpreet..Pours mahogany, semi-cloudy, with a medium tan head that leaves only a little bit behind. Awesome aroma of dark fruits (plum, date, raisin, fig), caramel, malts, spices, and faint alcohol. The flavor lives up to the nose, with the same dark fruits, caramel, and malts, as well as mild spices, nuts, wood, and warming alcohol. Medium bodied, really smooth, and alcohol is pretty subdued for being 10%. It's hard to find flaws in this one- maybe the body is thin for the style, and the color isn't the most beautiful shade of mahogany. But those are just tiny observations that mean virtually nothing compared to this beer as a whole. I never thought this could live up to the hype, but it absolutely satisfied all expectations. I can't wait to visit the place someday and try some there.

 815 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,360 ratings.
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