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

1,853 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,853 | Ratings: 6,252
Photo of The_Bujon
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok, so I confess to having had a few before I found a bar in Brussels serving this beauty. It is generally a very expensive beer to buy, probably because it is held in such mighty regard, and being a bit on the tight side I had let it slip passed me a few times! Bad Bujon! Call yourself a man of Beer!!
So the review, well I have to say it is all round a very good brew, but it didn't blow me away, in the same way as a few of the Belgian Christmas Beers do. A rich dark colour, with a caramel head, and a malty fruit bread type of after taste. In all honesty it seems to lack a bit of guts, but none the less it is certainly up there, and requires sampling at your first opportunity.
Would I spend 16 euro on it again? Not when there are another 2000 Belgian Beers I haven't tried.
Is it the Best Belgian Beer? Very Debatable.

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Photo of danh53
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. Fantastic experience. It pours dark, ruby red with crackling carbonation that fizzles without leaving much of a head. Rich dark fruit and dark cherries paired with old leather and mild pipe tobacco. Prunes, raisins, figs, and aged Belgian yeast ripened blended together with a hint of dusty cobwebs to add depth and character. The mouth feel is light and airy, not what I was expecting from a big quad. The carbonation was vibrant and prickly at points. The mouth feel was not as nice as the flavor for me, but this is outstanding and a must try beer.

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Photo of brother_rebus
4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They say its a great. It certainly is. Looks like a quad. Smells like a little molass water. Tastes heavenly. So complex and balanced, without being too far in any direction. Feels full. No booze. Overall delish. Its overhyped, but still one of the beet quads I've had.

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

A shot at the legend! Great beer, of course. Lots of dark fruit, surprising grape notes, almost winey aromas, touches of leather and Belgian candi sugar too. Tremendous lightness of body for such a big brew. Now, to visit the monastery!

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: One finger white-brown head, cloudy brown body.

Smell: See below, but with a hint of spices.

Taste: Earthy yeast, honey, brown sugar, some apple, some dark fruits.

Feel: High carbonation, medium body, mild-medium alcohol burn upfront, sweet upfront, dry finish.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a pillow of white head that just stays floating on the beer

Smells of raisin, prune, brown sugar, some caramel, and toast

Tastes of sweet, juicy, dark fruit....fig, raisin, plum, blackberry....almost jammy. If you let it sit and let the carbonation go flat, could pass for a Zinfandel

Lovely creamy mouthfeel...not oily, not overly sweet, very faint alcohol

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

Amber brown and clear with a ton of head that settles to just a bit. Minor lacing.

Nose is fig, raisin, minor brandy, minor cherry, malt, and sweetness.

Taste is subtle sweet dark fruit, figs, raisins, cherries, some brandy notes, and a nice amount of malt.

Mouthful is medium and soft. Carbonation is average. Finish is semi sweet.

The definition of a quad. Exceptionally drinkable, exceptionally balanced. Wish I could have this any time.

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

L: pours light brown. Looks like liquid rust with a huge white foamy head.
S: sharp dark fruit juices. Grape and raisin, smells sweet, light and fruity.
T: oh yeah... big juicy dark fruits! Sweet but balanced. Perfect quad!
F: thin and easy drinking. So smooth for 10.2%
O: hands down the best and most drinkable quad I've ever had.

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Photo of Drvitlkeyustolit80
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First had 11/24/16 at home. I was able to celebrate my 3000th beer on untapped with this Belgian gem. I had to purchase it online and have it shipped to my house, since flying to Belgium was out of the question, and trading seemed unlikely.

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

Truly is the perfect beer. Amazing balance.
Pours a delicate off white head that never changes.
Reddish brown slightly hazy.
Bread, fig and raisin pudding on the nose and flavour. Some soft toffee and rum notes.
Hops build subtly with earthy herbal tones.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Taste: Bold bready, rich earthy malts, raisins, dark fruit, chewy, and balanced. Big malt and dark bread nose. Dark Mahogany in color, semi opaque with big head of sticky lace. Medium/Full body. Liquid bread, no wonder the monks could survive on this during fasting.

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Photo of brewbegoodtome
4.16/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Undoubtedly a great beer, but do your best to lower your expectations going in because its reputation is so sky-high, it'd be hard for any beer to live up to the hype. For me it improved massively with age, developing a nice rummy note 6 months to a year in. Soft dark caramel/muscovado sugar, raisins, figs with a slight cedar-y quality and a bit of a spicy/bublegummy prickle from the yeast, but still a very smooth finish.

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Photo of tigg924
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy, dark brown in color with 1/2 inch head. The head simmers down to a beautiful thin frothy top. Amazing looking beer. Taste is raisin, fig, dark bread, plum, red apple skin, and light alcohol. Multi-layered, malty, medium heavy bodied, and sweet. Cannot get over the complexity and the smoothness. One of the best Belgian beers I have had. A treat to myself. I will get this again.

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Photo of OlaB
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L:gives a hazy dark reddish color. A good creamy top of head when I pour, sticky lacings on the glass.

S: brown sugar, dark fruits especially plums, cherries, spices like peppercorn,cardamom and cloves,caramel and chocolate.

T&F: starts of with delicious dark fruits and brown sugar,with the malt caracters in the background. I sense both plums,figues, caramel and a hint of what feels like the middle I get a more sour flavour that reminds more of cherries with different spices,the finish is dry and bitter but in the background I sense very sweet flavour, the aftertaste are one of the longest I encountered. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth in every aspect,and I already in the first sip get a warm feeling in my body. This beer is great balanced in all aspect,and all the flavours I encounter are amazing

O: this is a amazing beer and it is impressive in every aspect. Maybe is hyped up to much, I don't know. Is other belgian quads that are close to this. Anyway it was a pure pleasure to trie this and I enjoyed every drop of it.

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Photo of RobSouza
4.98/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Right now, my standard of Belgians, of which all others are measured. I've had this by itself, and compared it next to St. Bernardus ABT 12 and Rochefort 12. Comparatively, the Westy 12 has the best balance of flavors, mouth feel/carbonation, and finish.

Pours deep and dark like a true quad should. Head is fluffy like whip cream.

The flavors are bold yet subtle and evenly spread, not one overpowering the other. Berries, cacao, earthy, subtle on the nose.

The carbonation is delightfully effervescent and energetic...electric in some bottles, which shock the eardrums.

The finish is relaxing and pleasing, of a mild dark chocolate, the best finish of any Belgian. I found St. Bernardus ABT to come in at #2 -- flavor profile is slightly more minerally and metallic. Rochefort 12 was #3 in the lineup -- the chocolate dipped berry boldness is a bit overpowering for my liking, and always has been. I continue to drink and enjoy it, but it's still my #3.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- dark plum colour with a typical frothy head.

S- booze and dark fruits.

T- incredibly refined, layered flavours of cherry, booze, figs and plums. Less sweet than the Rochefortes but still has that sweet flavour.

M-incredible. Possibly the best aspect of this beer, silky smooth, a mouthfeel ive never experienced in any other quad.

O- hard to live up to the immense hype, but it comes close. Just an incredibly well made beer.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Service: Bottle
Best before: Jan-6-2019 (bottled Jan-2016)

Pours a muddy mohagany with an enormous khaki head that is basically sturdy as a dollop of dirty-looking whipped cream. Great retention; gorgeous lacing. (4.75)

Aromas of musty old barnwood and cherries with a slightly tart twang that is barely perceptible. (4.25)

Waves of smooth earthy, rich, brown bread and workbench dirt, dripping in dark fruit character with a touch of bubblegum and caramelized sugar in the finish. (4.5)

Medium+ bodied with active (but soft) carbonation, puffy, fluffy feel, drinkable. (4.75)

This is a very nice, very flavorful, very enjoyable beer. I am a big fan of Belgians and that is one that I've always wanted to get ahold of. I'm glad I did (merci, Steve). A unified sensory experience that highlights the incredible nature of brewing. Walks a line between big and drinkable, sweet and earthy, rich and refreshing. This is a world-class beer. Have it if you ever see it! (4.75)

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Excellent beer. Definitely lives up to the hype. Great quad. Nose and pallate are a ton of crisp plum, raisin, cherry, dark fruits. Definitely dominated by plum, though. Never had a quad with so much plum. Drank side by side one from Belgium, one of the American releases and rotchefort 10. The one not imported (straight from Belgium) was better than the American distributed box one. Both blew rotchefort 10 out of the water.

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Photo of steve032
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Not a huge Belgian quad fan but this is truly the best that the style can offer. Spicy, bready, syrupy. All that lovely belgian-ness for when you get tired of lambic (which is never).

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

Sight: Pours dark brown, almost chocolatey, with a slight reddish hue. Beautuful, thick head, is creamy, off-white and variable in size.

Smell: dark fruits esters with mild pleasant phenols. Dark bread, and something prickly like dr. Pepper.

Taste: I think cherry cola would not be far off. There's also rum soaked currants, and prunes, and dates. fruity chocolate notes, with bright berries. Rye bread dough. Pepper. Subtle sweetness, decadent, but somehow still feeling off dry. Cookie dough? Omg this is good. The complexity is pretty mind blowing. The finish is absurdly long and unfolds like a symphony of sensations. Literally 20 minutes and still picking up nuances from residuals.

Feel: prickly carbonation is lively on the tongue giving a fine texture that is almost champagne like. body is medium but sturdy and chewy. Downright doughy. So.etimes feels like I'm drinking a cup of Mexican hot chocolate!

Mind: transcendental? Yeah. I think that term applies. To all those that think good beer has to be a hop bomb, take note. Is this the best beer in the world? Hard to say, but it very well could be.

Is this the same as Saint Bernards ABT 12? And how does it compare to Rochester or Westmalle? I did a side by side comparison and can tell you they are most certainly NOT the same. Of the bunch, Saint Bernardus ABT 12 is the most similar to the Westy 12--quite a bit similar, but not at all the same. The Westy is more balanced, drier, with a good deal more subtle complexity and a heftier bready quality. All the others are excellent Belgian quads, but there is a reason they are all being compared to Westy 12, because this is the Belgian beer to which all Belgian beers must be compared. It is the standard to meet and the yard stick against which all others must be judged.

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Photo of Buck89
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2012 bottle poured into a chalice. The color was a murky rusty reddish-brown with a relatively thin light tan head. Prominent caramel on the nose, with cinnamon, plum, raisins, and toffee. Huge tastes with the aforementioned fruit, cloaked in a spiciness and leathery funk. Really nicely balanced with everything playing well together.Medium to high carbonation and a dry finish. Would love to try newer bottles and compare.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cap dated 10/02/15.
Consumed on 09/04/16.
Pours hazy dark copper. A fizzy khaki head forms then fades to wisps on top and leaves faint spots of lace. The smell is of caramel, toffee, booze, raisins and figs. The taste follows with caramel covered raisin and a hint of alcohol. Full texture. Classic and world class.

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Photo of Esquire08
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In 2011, a friend and I decided to sample all of the original Trappists after I managed to procure four (well, three, after one broke in transit) Westy XII's. The beer did not disappoint. Fast forward a few years when I visited Brussels, I found more of this heavenly beer and brought back a few bottles for a friend. I currently have seven sitting in a cool, dry place.

L - very dark, molasses, with thick head which lingers
S - fruity/fig, sugary
T - perfect blend of fruits and sugar, complexity changes as the beer finishes
F - very smooth, not overpowering

This really is one of the best beers I've had—it blends sweetness and acidity/carbonation quite well. Roche10 is often compared with this beer, which is more of a compliment to Roche10 than a knock to Westy XII. Although Roche10 comes very close, Westy XII is still the king of the Trappists; Roche10 seems slightly more carbonated, slightly overpowering the blend of sweetness compared to Westy XII. If you can find Westy XII—especially in Brussels—reward yourself, but I would never pass on a Roche10, especially given the differences in price (Westy XII was €12).

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle recently required in Brussels into a tulip glass.

Look is a dark hazy brown with an inch head that holds up well.

Aroma is dried fruit fig raisin earthy dryness at the end.

Taste has some of that dried fruit from the aroma lots of Belgian yeast esters and a smooth dryness at the end.

Absolutely wonderful balanced beer. 10% just shines through a bit as a nice balance to the intense Belgian notes. Absolutely worth the hype. Glad I picked up a couple of bottles.

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Photo of Chris1108
4.99/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is all its hyped to be!

Found in Aruba at Madame Jennettes! Brought a couple back to age.

Amazing. I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. Most complex beer I've ever had.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,252 ratings.
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