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 SQNfan
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahogony in color this poured a thick fluffy beige head. The nose gave off complex scents of sweet dark fruit, raisins, dark malt, chocolate dipped toffee, yeast, mineral and dark caramel. In the mouth it was medium-bodied with nice concentration yet light-on-its-feet due to the abundance of carbonation. The mouthfeel is soft and round with good richness in the midpalate which adds some dry/bitterness on the finish. Balance is the key work here and it has that in spades!

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Photo of dill
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is obviously one that I was looking forward to. Some friends from Belgium and I used the opportunity to cook some game and drink this from some Westvleteren chalices which had a really nice shape to them. The bottle had been aged 5 years. When we poured it out it was difficult to get a decent head on it. My friend thought perhaps we should have washed the glasses a bit differently. The smell and taste were rich with toffee. It had a nice sweetness to it that gave way to some warmth from the alcohol at the end. A very fine beer, and one that I will look forward to trying fresh.

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Photo of biegaman
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An unmarked, unlabeled 12 oz bottle purchased from the Bier Tempel in Brussels. I saved this, my first taste of the Westvleteren 12, for the last night of my first trip to Belgium, August 2007. I refused to brush my teeth before bed that night...

It glows a gorgeous burgundy when held up to the ceiling but is quite dark away from the lights. The beer is, at normal angle, only a shade or two deeper than scarlet or the aforementioned burgundy; such a lovely colour. A dusty white coloured head perches atop, appearing thin but is, in actuality, quite thick and sturdy along the perimeter.

The aroma is a soft mix of nuts, caramel and bready malts. The yeast seems to accentuate something akin to pralines or walnuts. I finally would place creme brulee in the smell as well. Almonds maybe, raisins for sure. Became increasingly fruity. Even though I didn't find the aroma to live up to other aspects of the beer, no arguments here, this is one beautiful yeast! In this beer's case, the smell mimics the taste (not vice versa), although it hardly hints at how great it is...

A very neat water profile. The yeast and mineral character of the water seem to play with one another. There is little carbonation with a sandy texture. The flavours don't seem to last too long on the tongue, they are very gentle.

I was completely and utterly taken away with the flavour - it is loaded and lovely. Notes of dates, prunes, plums, and increasingly, a strong taste of grapes. Slightly chocolaty alongside flavour of nuts and raisin. My first impression of the Westvleteren 8 was 'chocolate covered raisins' which is the same idea here.

Sampling the trio all in one night I wasn't sure, initially, which one I like best. But I simply kept upping the marks in the 12, growing to like it more and more and more and more. I wish I was a monk...

Is this damn good? Yes. Great? Yea. Amazing? Well... yea.
This is unique, as all Trappists are. Is it better? Not necessarily. Each Trappists is unique and to be appreciated in its own right. Is this deserving of the title of worlds best? Well... I overheard a server here in Belgium put it best: "whatever beer you like, then that is a good beer"...

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

A 2001 vintage Westy 12 was the grand finale of my 05/21/08 tasting with a friend. Poured into an Ommegang chalice.

Appearance: A deep, crystalline brown with a roaring ocean of head yields delicate, mild lacing. Looks downright regal in the chalice I had mine in. It's not huge, it's not flat - it just looks great.

Aroma: Loads of goodies here. Raisins and other sweet stone fruits, light woody tannins, licorice, both light, sweet sugars and darker, molasses-esque sugars. Some sweet, spicy alcohol too. Divine.

Taste: Mmmph. So wonderfully complex. Sweet, bready and caramel malts and fruit sugars - figs, cherries - are reminiscent of Christmas pudding. Light, simple sugars - honey, pure brown sugar and molasses notes - are balanced by mild, spicy, dry hops, and that delicious, deceptively-smooth alcohol in the finish rounds things out. Divin ... er?

Mouthfeel: Goose-feather pillow, and maybe the best feeling beer I've ever had. The profile is easily the most even - velvet smoothness, with a medium-to-high body. Amazing.

Drinkability: My notes just say "OMG," I guess I was pretty gone by this point. But this beer was truly phenomenal - the alcohol was barely noticeable, and everything was balanced so perfectly you can't help but take another sip. And so I did.

A classic - the classic perhaps - and rightfully so. Perfect in most ways a beer can be perfect, if you ever are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these ... well, I'll pay you for it.

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Photo of gford217
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rating #100! Bottle courtesy of deepsouth poured into a snifter. Bottle cap dated 18.12.10. Big, big thanks Jason!

A: Pours a beautiful deep brown with mahogany hints around the edges. The head is a rocky off-white two fingers thick which lingers for quite a while and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Where do I start with the aroma? Sweet bready caramel malts with huge dark fruit aromas of raisins and plums up front. Big and complex with molasses, brown sugar, and some spices on top of that. Just a wonderfully aromatic brew.

T: Just like the smell, the taste is just incredibly complex and wonderful. There is a prevailing sweetness that pervades the entire flavor with molasses, dark fruit, caramel, and vanilla. Spices are also present but perfectly balanced with the sweetness and malts.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but with a nice big carbonation that tickles the tongue. I honestly don't think you could improve the mouthfeel...exceptional.

D: Well, what else to add to the praise? I'm not sure if this is the best beer I've ever had, but it's pretty damn close. It's unbelievably complex but extremely drinkable and is certainly the best of the style I have ever tasted.

Thanks again to Jason for sharing the wealth!

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Photo of Redwood21
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: my only complaint was the head on mine really didnt stick around for the party. my friend who was next to me had a ring of head that survived the drink so i split the distance between 4 and 5. it has an almost cola color and the head is thin and white

S: nothing too strong, as it warmed the bouquet opened up. there is an almost prune aroma with a some what sweet ester as a backbone. the aroma ends with a slight yeasty kick.

T: when you drink this beer at a cooler temp you are cheating yourself. it starts out with a bit of alcohol and yeasty fruit taste. as it warms it really opens up. you have a semi sweet start (think a raspberry in a bitter chocolate shell) and a spicey back of your tongue finish. as it warms it also becomes more smooth there is an earthy caramel taste as well, not sweet, but still caramel. there is also the yeasty component that is most evident on the finish and is more pungent than a hefe.

M/D: as it warms it becomes amazingly smooth and easy to drink. the carbonation is very easy and does not distract. the drinkability only gets a 4.5 because im not sure i could sit and just go at this all day. I know id never turn one down, but it also might not be the first beer i grab (may...)

this is a fun, interesting beer to get the pleasure to try. if you like quads it wont disappoint...

Thanks hoeferweisen for the bottle

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Photo of RixBeer
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An extra from an awesome trade with deepsouth! Brown label-less bottle. Like all Westvleteren all information is on the cap. Trappist Westvleteren, "bevat gerstemout", bier, 12 circled,bier, 10% vol... I really do believe that "God's Brewers" should be added somewhere.

Brown with hints of dark cherry in color with light carb bubbles and a 1/3" head that fades to 1/4". Head is cream white. Looks like a thicker cider.

Smells of raisins, caramel and slightly sweet. Spicy alcohol fill the end of the inhale.

Suede Mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. The spicy character hides the malt nicely. Pretty sweet like with a nice warming from the ever present alcohol. Lingering spiciness and dry fruit flavors.
Very creamy mouthfeel, very smooth.

O the big flaw is how smooth this beer is. Hell I didn't want to wait for it to warm up a little. This has been the most impatient I've been with a beer. Waiting this glass to warm as I drank it made me agitated. I wanted to keep drinking this amazing beer. To to drinkable. I wish I could buy a 6 pack of Westy 12's at ANY store.

My hats of to the monks of Trappist Westvleteren.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first Westy 12! Dark brown with a cramy tan that disappears into a ring. Huge thanks to Old Style Cub fan! Huge and beautiful aroma of cherries, brown sugar, raisins, figs. Amazing flavor, fresh and strong, yet extremely complex. Has a strong vineous quality. Finish is beautifully smooth and sweet. There's a lot going on in this beer. It's worthy of its top beer titile!

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Photo of falcon1
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Without any doubt, Trappist Westvleteren 12 is one of the finest beers, if not the best, in the world. The aroma and taste of this outstanding trappist quadrupel is exceptional and extraordinary, to say the least. It ages extremely well and its drinkability is truly remarkable.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoying this during Masters weekend!
Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Just a froth of head appears on the pour.
Smell is dark fruits, belgian candy sugar and some alcohol. Taste is pretty complex and quite nice. More of the dark fruits in the start, then there is a sense of spice with a roasted, smokey flavor to finish. Velvety smooth on the mouthfeel and easy drinking. Just enough alcohol to notice in each sip. Excellent brew, but #1 beer in the world?

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Photo of chemmie
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking at my home, in a Trappist Westvleteren goblet. Both the beer and goblet were purchased a De Bierkonig in Amsterdam.

This is (I'm still drinking as I write) a great beer.
Nice smell. A little bit of natural vanilla and some figs. It's a very sweet smell. It gives you a good clue as to the sweet taste that is to come.
Not too hard hitting like some of the other stronger Belgians out there. I'm suprised this is as drinkable as it is. I could drink a few of these.
The carbonation is nice and bubbly, but fades rather quickly. The immediate taste is of sugary figs. It leaves almost a licorice aftertaste behind, that sticks around for a couple minutes after each sip.
It is a very complex, and very sweet, flavor without being too hard on the palate.

I'd have to say this beer was worth the money, and worth the wait. It certainly lives up to the hype.

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At Gollem, Amsterdam, 12-2-07. Dark brown, beige head, lace. Looks perfect in its own chalice, very elegant. My first impression of the aroma is lots of yeast; very bready and doughy. Then prunes, dates, and pure malt; not overly sweet, and very intricate. the flavor is bready as well; plenty of spice and dried fruit, but not sugary., and surprisingly not as sweet as the other abts I've had. No alcohol flavor. The palate is very smooth and full, almost perfect. Goes down cleanly with a finish that leaves a pleasant but not overly sweet taste in your mouth for quite a while. I knew that they would have this when I was planning my trip to Amsterdam, but I was almost in disbelief until I actually ordered it and forked over the twelve euros. It was served out of the cellar, like the St. Bernardus 12 that I had the nigh before, and that temperature perfectly complimented its flavors. As the last of the top three abts to have rated, in comparison I would say that westy is by far the most drinkable and balanced. I think that Rochefort has more complexities in the aroma, which I really like, but it can be too rich and alcoholic. St Bernardus is about the same in intensity as westy, but lacks the powerful yeastiness and complexity of flavor. Price wise, is it three times better than St Bernardus? No way, and I know I'll be lucky to get another one any time soon, which I guess is part of the mystique.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had the chance to try this with a non ba friend of mine.
Pours a cloudy dark brown. Would have been clear, but I got over zealous with the pour and let some yeasties in. Thin whitish head doesn't stick around very long.
Aroma starts off with some vanilla and slight chocolate, but really comes to live as the brew warms. Banana's, plums, lots of malty goodness. Taste is caramel, dried fruit some alcohol as she warms. Medium mouthfeel with a bit of stickeyness. Nice carbonation. Definately worthy of the hype.

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Photo of bassmantin
5/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
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 Proteus93
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally having the opportunity to take part in the 'earned hype.' I had been looking forward to this for a little while, and went about getting the temperature just right and so forth

A: A very dark brown pour, with a touch of ruby highlights. Surprisingly dark, moreso than I was expecting. A two finger head, pale tan / offwhite, nice and sticky, good retention. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the size of the head on here, especially considering the ABV.

S: A ton of dark fruit, sweet candi sugar scents, almost caramel like, too. A smoky, and woody quality, kinda oak like.

T: Sugary dark fruit... A very notable raisin, fig, and date flavour. A warm, alcohol flavour... A little sweet, a little tart, a little peppery/spicy. A nice earthiness, smokiness, leather and tobacco. A lot going on, and beautifully balanced. Certainly my favourite of the trappists, and a very fine abbey ale.

M: Big, rich, and round. A nice, fizzle of carbonation over the tongue, swirled through the mouth, and easing to soft and smooth on the finish, leaving the warmth and rich flavour on the finish.

D + Notes: An excellent beer, and unfortunate to only have one bottle. It drinks incredibly smooth and soft, with an excellent sense of satisfaction after a glass. It has certainly secured a place among the best of the best, and well worth seeking out to try. Almost frighteningly drinkable, and perhaps the closest thing to perfection that I have had the opportunity to taste.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

24.09.11 Cheers!!!

Pours a beautiful dark maroon color! I cant believe how beautiful this rich, dark , and inviting beer is. The monks got this right!

The smell from the bottle is a little boozy and full of dark fruits. Plum, grape, and raisins make up this bouquet of a brew!

Okay, now on too the taste. I seriously can not wait to try this again! wait for, this is so drinkable. It has a very nice fruit and nut flavor! Prunes, grapes and cashews make up the taste! It does have a boozy taste however its incredibly drinkable!

PS no special occasion I just couldn't wait any longer!

Thanks to bassmantin for sharing this brew.

The appearance was a dark prune color with minimal head. The smell was sweet and complex. As for the taste...mmmm, exotic fruits and a warm, yet subtle, alcohol taste made this brew a classy beer.

The mouth-feel was lite and delicious. I really enjoy this beer. I've never been a huge fan of Belgian brews because of the headaches they cause me but this beer is amazing.

I enjoy this beer. Get it. It will last forever!

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

Parents brought this back from Belgium, damn that was pretty cool of them.

appearance: pours a surprisingly clear amber into a red wine glass.
nice head gives way to some small lacing. The second pour is much more thick and cloudy, more yeast in this half.

smell: a very wonderful smell of figs and rum. sugar coated raisins come to mind as well.

taste: a blend of smooth alcohol, and warm brown sugars. Figs again come to mind. It's sweet, but in the perfect way, it's not cloying at all. The alcohol gives it great balance, and there is some hop dry bitterness there as well. Masterfully crafted.

mouthfeel: light going down, and yet has the right amount of body to sail perfectly over the tongue.

Drinkabilty: through the charts, it's hard to set this one down. On the other hand it's certainly a sipper.

The legendary Westy lives up to its reputation. It's a bit sad to think I won't be able to try this one again for some time, but good old St. Bernardus can keep me company in the meantime.

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

Sampled at the Tampa BA gathering 5/5/08. I think I'd had this one before but it has been a very long time. Pours a tawny, cloudy, light brown color with thin head of dense bubbles. Medium retention. Aroma displays very nice complexity - fruit, light spice, malt sweetness, even the slight essence of juicy fruit gum. The flavor builds on the notes in the nose. Brown sugar, carmel, light cinnamon, with dark fruit essences. Alcohol is well hidden beneath it all. The key is the wonderful balance of all of them - sweetness, bitterness, and fruitiness all interplay wonderfully.

Reviewing the beer long rated #1 here brings mixed feelings. Certainly it is an excellent beer, but I also believe there are some better ones out there, and my scores on this and those beers reflect that. Then again, it's all about individual tastes and how they reflect on a common scoring system. Any true conniseur knows there really is no #1 - there is a grouping of world class beers and this one belongs in the upper echelons of that group. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark brown color with thick brown head. Not quite the head I get from some other Belgians I have tried. Excellent retention and good lacing. A very inviting beer.

S - Not as overwhelming as I thought it would be. Excellent balance of nuttiness, malt sweetness, spice, yeast, and a hint of alcohol thrown in.

T - Incredibly well balanced taste but more mild than I anticipated. Sweet malts giving a nice caramel taste as well as a nutty flavor. Some clove spice taste as well followed by a hint of alcohol. Very busy beer on the pallete.

M/D - Creamy, almost chewy and full bodied. The only thing keeping it from beeing a 5.0 for drinkability is the alcohol content.

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Photo of prototypic
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Genog for allowing me to finally try this illustrious brew.

Cap best by date-9/05/2010

Appearance: It pours a dark, nut brown color. It's a very nice looking color. It's hazy, but there's some light getting through. The head is off-white and only about a finger and half deep. It's surprisingly smaller than I expected. It's not a negative, just somewhat uncharacteristic from my prior experiences with the style. Perhaps I was a little too careful with the pour. Head disappeared pretty quickly and left a light coat of lace lining the glass.

Smell: Frankly it's a little too light in this department to warrant elite status. It's certainly sweet smelling. There's a nice caramel malt aroma. Light toasted nut and raisin scents blend well. It features the typical Belgian yeastiness that's common in beers of its origin. Alcohol is slightly noticeable though far from strong.

Taste: To be fair, there's loads more flavor here than the nose would suggest. It has an excellent, sweet caramel malt base. It's got a sugary element that adds to its sweetness. Dark fruit flavors are complex. There's a bit of raisin, plum, and prune. But, they're blended extremely well and don't overpower the other flavors. They clearly play a complementary role. The Belgian yeast flavor is apparent. There's a bit of light spice flavor, but it's very subtle. Alcohol is not noticeable in taste. It's very complex and flavorful. Frankly, it's excellent but falls short of perfect.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It features a nice medium bodied feel. Carbonation is obviously high, but it works very well. This is an extremely smooth beer. Drinkability is very high given its fine flavor and smooth feel. At 10.2%, abv is high, but drinkability is not limited at all. Each drink leaves you wanting more. I'm not sure a beer this big could be any more drinkable. That element is clearly exceptional.

Wow! So this is it. The best beer in the world. What do I think? Well, no doubt it's good. Damn good. Worthy of many of its accolades. Personally, I wouldn't crown it the best beer in the world. Honestly it's perhaps only slightly better than other Quads held in very high regard. I mean, very slightly. That being said, I think a slight beefing up in the aroma and a bump in the spice flavor would be a slight improvement. But, those are very minor criticisms. This is damn fine beer that every BA should have the privilege of trying.

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Photo of 1fastz28
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a deep ruby color with a stingy brownish head, it looks beautiful in the chalice. the smell hits you out of the bottle, grapes, sweet malt, some alcohol aroma. the taste is absolutely magical, i was worried that it might be an overrated beer, and that its exclusivity breeds its higher ratings. but it really is an amazing beer, i wish the monks would use this great gift of brewing to a more expansive level. the mouthfeel is wonderful, i love thicker/syrupy beers and this one has a wonderul thick mouthfeel, and i could drink it every day all day long for the rest of my life, but i may never have this beer again, i have to make sure to take my time enjoying every drop of this beer. it is a real treat.

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

Went to the abbey last week and stopped at the Cafe. Truly worthwhile, the best stop on my whole european tour. So here goes...

Poured a dark brown with lighter colored hues on around the edges. A large one inch light tan head sits on top of the beer and leaves a great bit of lacing around the glass.

The aroma is quite nice. A bit of alcohol, but some delicious dark ripe fruits of plums and raisins. There is a fairly strong malt profile and slightly sweet.

The taste truly is incredible with a remarkable aftertaste. Taste of sweet ripe fruits, plums and dates. This is followed by a very malty finish, most noteably caramel flavors. Maybe even a little pepper at times?

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and incredibly creamy. The carbonation is perfect with a slight tingle in the mouth.

Drinkability is moderate to high. The incredible flavors are easy to consume, and beer is very smooth. The alcohol is hidden very well too. However, the high alcohol limit consumption of tihs beer. All the same, if I could drink this beer with no consequences then I would probably do it all day long. A true work of art and a pleasure. Although I don't think I'll ever end my quest for the perfect beer, this has taken me several steps closer.

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

OK, I am usually skeptical of some of the big beer ratings on BA. I am not as favorable towards those [or ultra hoppy] beers as many of my BA brethren. So, it was with some interest that I finally broke a couple of bottles of Westy 12 out for our anniversary...

Poured into a Westy chalice. Pours a beautiful dark brown that when held up to the light is actually an amazing ruby color. I finger creamy light brown head. Opaque. Excellent lacing. Just an amazing beer to look at.

Aroma is slightly sweet and very malty. Some wood, nuts and dark fruit come through. Nice.

Taste is malty, woody and some nice spices. Also some molasses and a wonderful leather/earthy taste. Lots of flavor and very well balanced. Complex, but melded together beautifully.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very, very creamy. Nice.

Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised that the hype for this beer is all true! This is the real deal. From top to bottom, this is just excellent. Amazing balance, complexity and smoothness. I don't know if it is the best beer in the world, but it is truly outstanding.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle poured into a chalice. Cap stamped with 20.11.10.

A = Very dark mahogany brown with a light tan frothy, foamy head, also some medium sized bubbles mixed in the head. Great retention.

S = Black pepper, licorice, fresh baked cinnamon sweetrolls, bittersweet chocolate, very complex. Slight burn of the alcohol in my nose but the smells were so good that was barely an after thought.

T = Taste is very closely associated with the smells. I get black pepper, licorice, sweet maple syrup, tart bittersweet chocolate, prunes, dates, figs, more chocolate but still with some hops bitterness, all very complex. Good long finish, too. I noticed the alcohol taste even less than in the smell but there was a definite burn on the tongue.

M = Medium-heavy bodied, good level of carbonation, present and frothy but not in the way, very good mouthcoating, alcohol was maybe a little hot on the tongue after a few drinks.

D = High drinkability, very tasty and warming. A great choice for a relaxing beer in the evening.

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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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