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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BA SCORE
97.6%
Liked This Beer
4.6 w/ 6,392 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:
#31
Reviews:
1,881
Ratings:
6,392
Liked:
6,238
Avg:
4.6/5
pDev:
8.91%
Alströms:
4.19
 
 
Wants:
3,680
Gots:
2,227
Trade:
158
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,392 |  Reviews: 1,881
Photo of billab914
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of smithj4
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, hazy, muddy brown. Mixed foam, off-white head. Ok retention and lace.

S - Milk chocolate, prune, fennel, pumpernickel bread, rum soaked fruit cake.

T - Huge flavor profile. Prune, caramel, toasted raisin bread, milk chocolate, vanilla, Drambuie, honey.

M - Thick, boozy, full body. Smooth, lingering finish.

O - Doesn't disappoint. Outstanding nose, and incredible integration and balance on the flavor profile. The best Quad I've had to date.

 459 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of russpowell
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to brianj555 for this one! Decanted into a duvel tulip. 18/12/10 on the bottle cap

Pours a red tinged chestnut with 2+ fingers of sand colored head. Very good lacing & head retention, almost pulled 5.0...

S: Fruittyness, a touch of chocolate; dark fruit takes over as this warms

T: Dark fruits, some cocoa, licorice& touch of boozyness up front. Loads of dark fruit, raisins, figs, & dates, plus dryness as this warms, along with some warming booze & just a touch of leafy hops, plus brown sugar. Finishes fruitty with woody dryness & a touch of vanilla & some tobacco like hops

MF: Medium bodied, with pretty lively carbonation, this one brings a an overall warming sensation

Drinks pretty good for the ABV & complexity, maybe a touch hot alcohol-wise, but in line with the style. A super, quad, this is the best quad I've had. The flavor & aromatics are superior for the style. I could happily stock this in my cellar, but I am just as happy with St. Benardus Abt 12 & Pannepot (sic). Now to go get those other 50 or so top 100 beers I must try before I die!

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Photo of smcolw
4.14/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine gave me this beer when I visited him in France. As good as it was, I was not as enamored as most reviewers. First, the appearance was pedestrian--little head, no lace. Cloudy, brown color.

The smell is brown sugar, similar to candy. The flavor matches this except that there is notable hop. Not surprisingly, very strong warm alcohol flavor and feel. This is a thick beer with a low level of carbonation.

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Photo of atrocity
4.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy brown/burgundy color with a large two finger head, tan in color. Lasts for a while before reducing to a splotchy cap on top. Sticky lacing forms on most of the glass. Some sedimentation.

S: Some dark fruit upfront, mostly raisins and plums. Some Belgian yeast shines through in the middle followed up by some bready malt, caramel, and a little molasses.

T: More dark fruit, raisins, plums, a little bit of dates, mixed with some caramel and chocolate. The yeast component is not as strong on the flavor profile as it was on the aroma.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth. No sign of the abv.

O: Very good, glad to have tried it, but if I was in the mood for a quad, I think I would reach for St. Bernardus 12, not to take anything away from this fantastic beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The time has finally come to put a splash of beer in my BA mug and what better beer than Westvleteren 12? I've had two of these in my cellar for about six months now and have been saving them for a special occasion. Something tells me that the contents have held up just fine. 'Best by' date on the yellow cap is 01.07.06.

The pour generates the typically massive Belgian head and I can see small chunks entering my chalice when the bottle is about 2/3 empty. Extremely murky chestnut brown; the beer looks like strong, unfiltered apple cider. The ecru colored cap has barely fallen in the three minutes since the pour. I'm expecting a huge amount of Belgian lace, but it hasn't yet had the chance to form since the head is so obstinate.

The aroma is more subdued than expected, but to be fair, I'm trying to assess it through a still thick cap of foam. What I do appreciate is brown malty, fruity and toasted nutty. I also pick up whiffs of Belgian yeast and alcohol.

The flavor profile is complex to say the least. It's comprised of loads of caramel malt, molasses, licorice, and dark, dried fruits (raisins, dates and prunes). Candied pecans and modestly funky yeast make appearances, as does the aforementioned alcohol. There are also darker contributors such as coffee and chocolate. Simply an amazing collection of seemingly unlimited flavors. The mouthfeel is big and firm, chewy even, but stops short of full or heavy.

Westvleteren 12 is world-class, no doubt about it. I can appreciate this beer (I think), I respect this beer, I even like this beer a lot. I just don't love this beer. Call me a hophead, call me an unrefined simpleton, call me what you will, but that's how I feel at this juncture in my journey. That doesn't mean that Westvleteren 12 is anything less than incredible. Everyone should have the chance to sample it at least once.

 1,861 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.05/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I felt EXTREMELY privileged to share a bottle with some CouchSurfing friends of mine in late-July 2010 while staying with them in Pittsburgh. I attended their wedding a couple of years ago and they received some bottles as a wedding present and held them for one of my visits. My Facebook page shows us drinking this beer on a hot, humid night as took the best notes possible.

I was (hopefully) getting smarter as I went along. I only gently poured a little better than half of the bottle after it foamed continually once the cap was popped. Its color was a deep brown with good clarity, excepting a slight sludge in the well of the glass. Nose was really rich with a good bit of alcohol heat accompanying notes of fudge, anise and licorice. The mouthfeel was REALLY hot, medium-to-full, and filled my mouth with caramel, burnt brown sugar and molasses. It was MUCH sweetr than any of us expected. Finish had a sugary, malty heat that seemed to linger, killing the other underlying flavors. I also poured the lees separately, and they turned out to be comparable to the taste of the beer initially without the heat, perhaps even a bit sweeter.

I am not discounting how good this beer was, especially in the face of so many horrible CANQuest (TM) beers, but neither did I hear the singing of angels or have any sort of religious experience.

 1,341 characters

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ZEB89
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz slender brown bottle, no freshness code and no label.

Appearance: Silky looking off white lace, very tiny bubble dropping rings around the glass.

Smell: Very aromatic. Suggestions of plump golden raisins, anise, herbal tea, buckwheat honey, caramel, lemon rind, fresh baked short bread and a mild phenolic character. Sweet and spicy alcohol in the nose with a mellow malt.

Taste: Luscious velvety mouth feel, medium carbonation that fuels the viscosity of the smoothness and body. Big maltiness is pushed around by a flailing spicy character, bit of clove with a mellow medicinal phenol also. Malt is sweet and has flavours of brown bread and caramel but Christmas pudding also with alcohol and candied fruit. Alcohol is very prevalent but not overwhelming, adds a sweet and spicy presence and a warming effect. Hints of raw honey, anise and lemon zest. Touch of yeast adds the element of earth to the complex mix, esters grow more towards the end with an addition of ghost like fusel alcohol. Semi-dry finish with lingering spicy and phenolic flavours.

Notes: So damn smooth, near perfection in a bottle. The alcohol at its strength does not bring down the drinkability and makes this beer so balanced in a heavenly way that it is devious for making you want more and more.

 1,300 characters

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

A - Poured an extremely dark brown, with a small tan head. There was tons of visible sediment and lots of swirling lace in the top. Looks pretty good in the goblet.

S - Smell is really hard to pin down. There is soo much going on here I really do not know where to begin. It was sweet yet sour, spicey and yet fruity. A bit of alcohol mixed in with hints of pears, apples, raisins, grapes, everything. This was really just soo complex I had trouble finding definate answers. Very very pleasing aroma, nothing ever smelt like that.

M & T - The feel on this was soo light, soo frothy, soo easy to put down it was almost a shame that it went soo quickly. Soo many great tastes here, this was just really fantastic. There have been soo many reviews of this that I really don't have anything else to add other then you have to try it, it just cannot be summed up in words on this page.

D - This really was everything I wanted it to be, and lives up to its rep. By far the best belgian I have had, it is just on another level. The aromas and flavors were so unique. This really just needs to be tried as it is really hard to describe it. Fantastic brew.

 1,158 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mac300 for sharing this at Phatz' tasting.
A - A beautiful dark ale w/ compact bubbles and light tan head

S - Roasty, spicy and sweet with scents of currants and dark sugar.

M - Mellow, sweet and spiced. Layered and balanced with a subtle feel of alcohol and lightly nutty finish.

T - A malty supple masterpiece. So much flavor figs, nutmeg, gentle herbal notes. So layered and yet the flavors blend seamlessly. Nuts, toffee and honey with a tinge of spice and light grain flavors.

D - A great nuanced ale - lives up to the hype.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 0.33L bottle into my Duvel tulip. Cap is dated 29.03.09, so it is about 4.5 years old. I've had Westy 12 3 times before this, but always relatively fresh and never more than 2 oz.'s or so, so excited to have a full bottle.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two to three inches of off white head that lasts for four or five minutes. High carbonation evident and a tiny amount of sediment. Left the last oz. or so in the bottle as the amount of sediment was very high in the bottle.

s - Smells of dark fruits, especially cherries, plums and raisins, as well as Belgian yeast. Also getting some grapes/wine smell in it as well. Hints of caramel malts, sweet fruit malts, spices, bready malts, and a touch of alcohol. Very enjoyable; it's very complex and balanced, especially as it warms up and the cherries come out.

t - Tastes of raisins, plums, figs, other dark fruit, bready malts, caramel malts, Belgian yeast, and a hint of spice. Not really getting any alcohol in the taste. Was hoping for more cherries like the smell, but still wonderful. Tasting amazing.

m - Medium body and high carbonation that stings the tongue. It has a nice, smooth body, but the high carbonation hurt it a bit and keeps it from being great.

d - There's a reason it's #1 of BA; it's pretty amazing. While it isn't the #1 beer on my list, it's safe to say it's high on my list. The good news is that the taste and smell are the highlights of this beer. Both are complex and enjoyable. While the high carbonation hurt the mouthfeel a bit, the smell and taste are amazing. It also definitely helps to let this one warm up a bit, so you can fully appreciate everything in the nose and mouth. If you like quads, I think it is safe to say you'll love this beer. I was also surprised how easy it was to drink and how little alcohol was noticable in the taste. I think I like this slightly better than Westy 8, but it's close. I look forward to aging my other 2 bottles and see how they do with even more time on them.

 2,017 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a de Struise chalice. 2001 bottle. Best by 9/7/2004. Won this bottle in a raffle at the Funky Buddha.

Appearance - Pours a murky reddish brown with a surprising off white head. Chunky and sedimenty. Collar of foam.

Smell - Sherry and other oxidized flavors. Very fruity. The caramel malt still comes through.

Taste - Significantly better than the aroma. The oxidation makes it a little creamier. Lots of sherry. No booze. Buckets of dark fruit. A touch sweet with a somewhat rough cardboard finish.

Mouthfeel - No booze. Low carbonation. Way too oxidized, but it's still pleasant to drink.

Overall - I should really review a fresher bottle. This is really oxidized but the quality of the beer still comes through. Westy with sherry.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage thanks to Richard.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a sizable tan head and plenty of carbonation.

S: An intense sweetness that comes in the forms of caramel, candi sugar, molasses, and a whole lot of dark fruits. I get some cherries, plums, figs, and dates.

T: The flavor is pretty much more of the same, and that's not a bad thing. A lot of sugary sweetness along with some caramel, molasses, and toffee. There is a strong flavor of dates and figs with some raisins and prunes, too.

M: The body is quite full with that fine carbonation that it seems only the Belgians can pull off.

D: A very, very good beer. Maybe a bit too sweet to drink a lot of at a time, but such a good flavor that you might make a bit of an exception.

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Photo of orangesol
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

THE beer. Finally got another one in a recent trade. I decided to open it with a friend of mine and tonight just happened to be that night. Bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Pours murky brown with a start white one and a half finger head leaving small wisps of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of dark fruits; like figs, prunes, and raisins; mixes with the sweet malt, chewy belgian yeast, and some damp earth. The alcohol creeps in as it comes to room temperature.

T - Starts off with a sweet mix of dark fruits and candied sugar slowly giving way a mix of bready malts, spicy belgian yeast, caramel, toffee, molasses, and some chocolatey sweetness. The alcohol begins to rear its head as the ale comes to room temperature, drying the pallet. The finish is a mix of sugary sweetness and light heat from the alcohol. Amazingly balanced overall.

M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. So damn smooth with a little bit of chewiness. The alcohol does become a bit tiresome over the course of the glass.

O - This is still one of my favorite beers of all time. From the dark, complex, flavors to the soft, velvety, feel you would be hard pressed to find a better quad. I can't wait for my next encounter with this amazing beer.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 97.6% out of 100 with 6,392 ratings
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