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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BA SCORE
4.6/5
World-Class
6,464 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
Ranking:
#32
Reviews:
1,893
Ratings:
6,464
pDev:
8.91%
Bros Score:
4.19
 
 
Wants:
3,701
Gots:
2,260
Trade:
156
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,464 |  Reviews: 1,893
Photo of ccapurso
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Strelnikov
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of jlee922
4.56/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HuaiDan
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Groulxsome
5/5  rDev +8.7%

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

Photo of Saviorself
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Lucho
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of wpqx
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of HawkeyePA
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

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

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

Bought eight of these at De Bier Tempel in Brussels and brought them back to the US. Shared some with friends. Want an amazing find.

Pours a very dark brown with not much head into my authentic Westvleteren chalice. Oh, the anticipation.

The smell in taste are remarkably complex. Banana, wheatiness, great subtle spiciness, nice full malt sugars. Every taste reveals additional flavors. In some ways it tastes like a nice wheat doppelbock. And the alcohol is so incredibly well concealed.

Amazing. I could drink this beer forever. And I don't think I'm being biased by the hype.

 582 characters

Photo of Avryle
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap dated 18.04.10

Again, huge kudos to drseamus for sharing this on such a beautiful day.

A- Dark cola brown with slight tan head. Residual head does not cap the surface like on the 8. Light spidery lacing.

S- Rich malts, Belgian candi sugar and grapes. There's also a buttery/spiciness hanging out. Very rich.

T- Up-front taste is similar to the nose with rich malts, candi sugar and wine(ish). As it warms the body develops more complexity with notes of caramel, toffee, dates and raisins. The alcohol presence is subdued but leaves a definite warming feeling. The spicy flavors in the body & finish... This is where I cannot put my finger on the tastes. It could just be the yeast, but its this presence that takes this beer from really good to phenomenal. Jayzus, even the burps taste really freakin' delicious.

M- Medium bodied with an ideal amount of tingly carbonation. The body is so creamy and smooth finishing with a crisp and brandy-like dryness.

D- Oye! Amazingly good. This really lived up to the hype. I don't really know what more I could say that hasn't been said by other reviewers.

 1,107 characters

Photo of BTHU
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of yspiff
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Pelican5
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of dickieb
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I always assumed If I has the opportunity to try this I would have to kill three men and give away the rights to my first born to do so. Luckily for my future generations a beer bud of mine took a trip to belgium and surprised me with a bottle.

Pours a murky dark walnut in color with very little light coming through. The head is thick and bright white leaving some awesome lacing. The smell is a bit subtle for what i was expecting but the amount of scents fuzed into a singe whiff is astounding, dried fruits cinnamon yeast spices and a bunch of other things I cant even put my finger on. The taste is more complex then the smell but also subtle. Raisins the slightest citrus note cloves and a warm tasty booze dominates for me. The mouthfeel is not heavy at all but you know its there and the drinkability is through the roof. Not that anyone would want to but you could put a few of these down in a hurry if you had to. This is hands down the best Quad I have ever had, I don't know if it would be the all time best for my taste but I would never argue this being the holy grail.

 1,086 characters

Photo of boss302
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Westvleteren 12, 09 09 11 on the cap. This was the first of a 3 beer tasting with Abt12 and Rochefort 10. 330ml bottles, 3 people tasting, so the pours were small. The Westy had the edge over the Saint Bernardus and the Rochefort. The Westy was older than the other two.

A dark chestnut color. Not a big head. Not much more to say without a big robust pour that was not possible with the size of the bottle and number of glasses (3) that needed filling. Pretty beer. 4.5

S Aromas were rounded with nothing sharp. Plums and dried fruit come first, but as it sits some biscuity, bready aromas are detectible as well. Very clean and inviting. 4.5

T Chocolatey taste at first, more dried fruit, most like plums. There is some lingering sweetness, but it is a dry beer. This is one of the better balanced beers I have tried. 5 

M This beer has a nice thickness on the tongue. The carbonation was a little lighter than the other Belgian beers we tried this night, but didn't seem to detract from the beer.  4.5

D It is high in alcohol, therefore you won't be drinking a lot of these at one sitting. However, aside from the high alcohol, it is one of the most drinkable Belgian beers I have tried. Wonderful. 5

 1,211 characters

Photo of StephenRich
3.52/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is widely and arguably acknowledged as the best beer on the planet. It has had more heritage and prestige poured into its creation, more exclusivity surrounding its availability, and more debate about its worth than potentially any beer on earth. It is the Westvleteren 12. The bottles come exactly as shown here; no label, and nearly no branding wahtsoever. A thick bevel around the shoulder of the bottle claims Trappisten Bier, and the cap indicates that it is indeed a Westvleteren 12, at 10.2% abv, and thats it.

It is important to understand that this is not the best beer in the world, it is merely the highest rated beer on the planet. There is a difference.

This posses an interesting predicament that I have come by so many times since engulfing myself in the world of beer; that is trying a beer that has been so outrageously hyped with an untainted preconception of it. Its nearly impossible to ignore the hype and approach it with a clean slate and unbiased palate. It's true, I wanted to love the Westy, but I tried my very hardest to conduct an unobstructed tasting of it before I would relax and simply enjoy it.

The Westy 12 was served to me at cellar temperature around 14C (57F) as a vintage Belgian Quadrupel should be. This allows all of the beer's flavors to stand forward without the cold numbing your palate or any sensations. The pour was easy and straight forward; nothing too elegant, thick or lush - rather uneventful actually. No head built until about halfway up the glass when a soft airy cream colored foam began to build. It showed a smattering of large bubbles scarcely scattered throughout the head eventually building to maybe an inch. It faded fast to a translucent film. The beer was dark and glowing. It was a rich burgundy red with deep ambers, golden browns, and pitches of black trapping any light that came near. It was not totally opaque though, and was crisply transparent. Very pretty, but not nearly as dense or as full as I had expected.

The nose is soft and aromatic in a classic Belgian style. Malted grain bring pale and caramelized flavors into your nose and plays with the range of sweet bread, biscuit, golden raisins, brown sugar, and nuts. Sweetness dominates the air with no hop aroma to be found. Leaning back in for more brings apple juice and cider to my senses and more raisin flavor. Touches of pear and cereal show up, then fresh baked sweet egg bread.

When going in for a sip I was madly excited and nervous. I wanted it to be good, but at the same time was trying not to expect anything. I let the first sip wash over my palate and swirl into ever inch of my mouth. My friends were starring at me in silence awaiting my approval or disapproval. I said nothing and went in for another taste before I made any premature conclusions.

My first impression was of the mouthfeel - it was not thin, but it was definitely not lush. It poured over me with a smooth and silky texture, but was relatively flat and uncarbonated. The years ageing in the bottle may have have stripped the beer of its effervescence faster than I would have assumed. Beyond the mouthfeel was a sweet and fruity wave of malts - big malts. Quick complexity caught my attention at the Westy showed me golden raisins, plums, pears, light golden sugar and grapes. It was richly fruity and a good balance of sweet pale and caramel malts.

No roast, bitter, or tart was apparent to me yet, and I started to wonder how this seemingly one sided beer had claimed the top spot among the beer world's best. The malt was soft but potent, digging deep into my taste buds bringing candy, and sweet molasses. It showed hints of nut and sweet cereal, but lacked the cocoa, earth, citrus or complex presence that I was expecting from a big Quad like this. Regardless of what I was expecting, a delicious soft sweet bread flavor was present. It was the unmistakable flavor of Challa - a sweet egg bread made for Shabot dinner. Soon then came based apples and a hint of tart cider. The sweet was wide and generous, and very delicious. But still, something was lacking; a spice, or herb, or balance... Something.

The finish mimicked everything about this beer so far; it was a short, plain finish with a sweet fruity sensation and little crackle.

Don't get me wrong, this was very delicious, but to me beer is graded by flavor, construction, and sensations. This beer just didn't peak where I had expected it to, and hence the problem with knowing the hype. I would still give the Westy very high grades, just not in the elite class. That being said, two of my friends satting at the table has each had a Westy 12 before, and they both claimed that this tasted different. So, will not make a conclusion on this beer until I have had another. And the hunt continues...

 4,790 characters

Photo of Leinie
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Respirologist
4/5  rDev -13%

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

Photo of Idrankitall
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mcgovern1010
4.77/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of 05Harley
4.07/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before date: 15.06.04 (June 15, 2004) It's my understanding the Westvleteren beers are bottled 3 years prior to the best before date. Which makes this beer almost ten years old to the day! The alcohol content is also a bit higher @ 10.8%.

Purchased through Cracked Kettle, Netherlands

Price - Lost record, I'm sure it was expensive...
I purchased this a few years back before I was keeping receipts.

Popped the cap and bam, a flow of foam gushes out of the bottle. A quick pour in my glass reveals a two inch creamy foam head that fizzles out after a few minutes leaving behind the scene of a cloudy sky. Polka dotted lacing stains the glass after several sips. The color is brown with quite a bit of yeast sediment.

The aroma is fairly strong and pleasent. Full of caramel, red grapes, candy sugar and spices.

The flavor is sweet malt, caramel and dark fruit with some earthy notes.

The mouthfeel is medium in body, soft and smooth with plenty of carbonation. Unfortunately a metallic bitter aftertaste sneaks in and kills the overall enjoyment.

I think the age of this bottle is certainly bringing it down a bit. I have several newer versions and will update this review to reflect the best buy date.

 1,218 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,464 ratings