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

BA SCORE
100
world-class
1,859 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,859
Ratings:
6,279
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
3,667
Gots:
2,190
For Trade:
154
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Reviews: 1,859 | Ratings: 6,279
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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Photo of barleyman
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, the holy grail of beer. Poured from the 0.33 liter brown glass bottle into my straight sided glass beer tumbler. The very dark amber head is rocky and uneven. It slowly dissapates as the beer disappears. The beer is a murky reddish brown color. Aroma is of straw and hop. The taste is where all of the action is. Taste is of raisins, coffee, candy sugar and toffee. Very predominate malt with just the right amount of hop balance. Mouthfeel is just right for the style. The drinkability is also just right, you won't be drinking a 12 pack of this beer. Thanks to a son in the air force stationed in europe, I was able to enjoy the beer that is revered as the best in the world. I'm going to revisit St. Bernardus Abt 12, available locally, and compare.
If you can lay your hands on a bottle, spare no expense, in my opinion, it lives up to the hype.

Just a thought,

barleyman

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm finally reviewing this beer that I've had sitting around for months and months. Thanks to Floydster for the chance to try it. I'm a big fan of quads in general, and especially the Trappist ones. So far my benchmark for the style has been Rochefort 10, which I like a deal better than the St. Bernardus 12. What I like about the Rochefort 10 as compared to the St. Bernardus is the nice spicy hop finish and lingering bitterness wheras I find the abt 12 to be a good deal breadier and maltier. Both have exceptional balance, but I also like the Rochefort's more sustained fruit as compared to the St. Bernardus's creamier finish. I had expected the Westvleteren 12 to be more like the St. Bernardus in flavor given its history and all of the comments about it over the years. At least in these three beers current incarnations, I finf the Westvleteren 12 and the Rochefort 1o to be much more similar than either is to the abt 12. I can't say that I like the Wewstvletern better than the Rochefort, but they are both exquisite beers.

This beer pours dark chestnut with a very tightly knit head that soon settles to a thin ring and leaves some spotty lacing. The clarity is better on this beer than the Rochefort, but the head is not as magnificent. Beautifully balanced malt aromas with quite a bit of dark fruit and a hint of spun sugar. The taste is exceptional with beautifuly balanced sweet malt, dark fruit, and spicy hops. The mouthfeel is slightly heavy, maybe a bit more so than the Rochefort and has a tannic edge to it rather than being super creamy. Regardless, this is a pleasure to drink and parse its flavors and if I had another one I'd crack it right now.

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Photo of tempest
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A year after trading with Leftmindedrighty, I finally decided to crack this baby open.

It's pours a dark, slightly hazy brown with a thin tan head. The aroma has a hint of cardboard, but otherwise its smooth, Belgian chocolate with a hint of fruit. The flavors going on in the beer are nuts. I'm blown away by the complexity. Just running down the list of flavors in my notes I got: chocolate (lots of it), grassy/herbal hops, caramel, candi sugar, medjool dates (really sweet dates), and cola. Everything is very smooth and one flavor melts into the next.

I tried to be skeptical, but this truly is divine beer. I had this back to back with the St. Bernardus 12, but there's not much comparison. The Bernardus is lighter in color and thus has more fruity flavors than chocolate. I love Bernardus, but if Westy 12's were just as available, it'd be my go-to.

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Photo of TStandley13
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Studying abroad in Brussels has certainly had its perks! I was lucky to find a bottle in a local shop rather than having to visit the brewery (though I would absolutely love to). I now know what all of the hype is about.

Color was a darker brown color with a slight hint of reds. When held to light you could see that it was slightly clear, not as cloudy as I had anticipated. Head was decent, nothing notable however.

Smelled very good. You could certainly smell some fruits and sugars, some alcohol, and some yeast. Also smelled a little of honey and cane sugar.

Delicious! Perfect blend of malts and hops. Could definetely taste the sugars - high quality tasting sugars - and the fruits.

The mouthfeel to me was amazing. It was a very smooth drink, almost felt as though you were drinking - now picture this - a very diluted and carbonated milkshake. Not too thick but not too thin. Felt like heaven.

Awesome beer. I wish it wasn't so hard to come by as I would certainly have it on hand regularly. Great treat though. Is it the best in the world? For me so far it has been one of my favorites.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to my friend Troy who brought back two bottles of this from a recent trip to Belgium and was gracious enough to share.

Poured a rich, dark brown color into a chalice. However, when the light hit it just right, it had a deep ruby/garnet glow. Wasn't a huge head, but stayed around for a while. Also, we were sharing this among several people, so pouring this bottle into multiple glasses may have affected the head size as well.

Aromas were good, but nothing really stood out. Rather fruity, like plums and brown sugar, with some sweetness as well.

The taste was excellent. Lots of dark fruits, honey, some spice, and also a bit of alcohol bitterness.

Mouthfeel was exceptiona, like drinking velvet. Just a tingle of carbonation to keep the palate fresh.

Overall, this was a great beer. Did it live up to the hype--could it live up to the hype? Hard to say. I would love to have another full glass rather than the portion I had in order to really savor and explore this beer. But I can't say that I was dissappointed, either, because what I did get to sample was awesome.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to unholy2 for giving me this on a very uneven trade.

A - A very dark plum colored beer that has a hint of amber on it. A small pale white head sits on top and there is a ton of carbonation floating up through this one. Definitely one of the darkest beers I've ever seen of this style.

S - Not at all a big nose but one that has a lot to it. There is a hint of orange and lemon mixed in as well with a ruby port. Also have a hint of raisins and dates that add in the dark flavors.

T- As I taste this, it is not a beer that really blows you away after you put it in your mouth but what makes this beer so great is that it is so complex. There is a ton of dark fruit, plums and dates, a bit biscuit and bready flavor. A hint of anise also sticks out, plus a hint of lemon and orange. In the end, get a little bit of a whiff of the alchy as well that wells up and attacks yah.. The thing is that everything is there but perfectly balanced. Has a hint of port flavors as well.

MF - has a big and bready mouthfeel. Also a nice creamy aspect that helps it go down super smooth. The aftertaste is a light tingling feeling but not too much. Have to say I was impressed by how creamy the MF was on this beer especially given all the carbonation that one sees in it.

D - Overall, this was a good and easy drinking especially for 10% ABV. It was a great drinker but i don't know if it was the hype or what but I wasn't super impressed. This is a good beer that really stands out because it has so much flavor that is all so balanced. Nothing really pops out and it is not what I'd consider a wow flavor beer but it has so much complexity in such a package. Can't wait to get another one if I can.

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

Cap dated 18.04.10

Thanks to DrSeamus.

A: Poured like cola. Slightly off white off white head. Tons of lacing.

S: Malt sugar and grapes. The spice looms larger than on the 8. The yeast is nice and strong.

T: This is the best Belgian I have ever had hands down. The taste is so complex that every sip yields something different. Earthy taste in there as well. There are a few things in there that I cannot even pick up on but this was incredible.

M: So smooth. The 8 might have been a little more drinkable but this was drinkable. So creamy and wonderful. Slight dryness just like the 8.

D: Like the 8 this is an incredibly drinkable. No hint of the ABV at all. Some of the hyped beers let you down but this one does not. Makes me wish I would I lived in Belgium. Drink this one if you can.

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Photo of Avryle
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's my 500th review, so I figured I might as well drink this to mark the occasion!

11.2 ounce bottle, cap stamped with 30.08.09. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a dark murky brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like dark fruit (plums, raisins), caramel, bananas, pepper, cloves and yeast. Taste is pretty similar to the aroma, with the addition of licorice, nuts, chocolate and some booziness too. It seems a different flavor comes out with each sip. Very tasty! Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's rich and a bit syrupy and slick, and has good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol warming does kick in after a while, but that's not a bad thing. I think this is an excellent beer. I don't think it's worth the price to buy it all the time, but it's definitely worth it to get a couple bottles just to try it because it's not easy to get. I wasn't disappointed, that's for sure!

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

Bottle served at 45 degrees F in a Duvel tulip.

My first bottle of Westy 12 was many years ago and it was shared and sampled after many other beers. Needless to say, I barely remember it! This time I have a bottle all to myself.

Decants a rusty leather brown with slightly hazy garnet edges. Dense finger of gauzy, cobwebby, slightly uneven dirty khaki head. Good lacing up the sides of the glass.

Complex nose of caramelized dark fruits, musty-sweet vinous grapes, molasses, blackberries, ripe bananas, sweet tobacco, brandy, and yeast. A great smelling beer, that just gets better as it warms.

The taste actually surpasses the complexity and beauty of the aromas. Brown sugary dark fruits greet the tongue accompanied by a slightly tangy grape character. Dates, figs, and very ripe grape sweetness fills up the palate. Caramel cookie dough around the edges. Mild roasted bitterness and tobacco join in the finish complimenting the sweetness perfectly. Yeasty, subtle alcohol presence is slightly warming. Fruit, cookie dough, and grape sweetness linger for what seems like hours. Full-bodied with an amazingly smooth and creamy feel.

Exceptionally drinkable, especially for its strength. Wow. No let down here! Truly one of the greatest beers ever made.

Vinous with a slightly roasted yeasty quality overall makes for a sublime taste experience.

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

Recieved this beauty via trade from Intriqken. big thanks! (×2)

11.2 oz brown bottle (no lable) > Chimay goblet

Westy pours out dark-brown-ish amber color,
ruby hues and almost opaque. The head is a fluffy, creamy but very active and bubbly, mocha-frothe color that stands about 2" high. This clearly has good carbonation due to the head retention, but it's hard to see through the dark body. There is huge and very sticky clumps of lacing all over the glass as the volume goes down.

The aroma is very pungent and very unique. Right off, I'm getting...rollo's candies, chocolate covered dates, slightly sour red grapes, black berries, green bean and herb scented hops with some whiff's of wet cedar wood. The malt is most dominant with light chocolate and caramel scent's. Sweet but earthy.

The first thing you notice when you take the first sip is the massively complex, slick and creamy malt flavor. Classic candied sugar sweetness with really amazing depth. There's honey-covered prunes and dates with overly-ripe red concord grapes then comes a layer of caramel and light chocolate. Sure the malt is a marvel but it's really the sublime balance that impresses me most, with an herbal and slightly spicey hop kick and subtle tangy yeast. The 10.2% ABV is just the right amount of heat, not over-powering but a bit sharp which actually adds further complexity right at the end. I love big-ass malt-bombs so naturally this one is right down my alley.

The feel is certainly full-bodied with a luxurious slick and creamy feel, but lively too....classic for the style.

I simply didn't want to see the end of this stuff, I sipped slowly and it still disapeared quicker than I had wanted. This is a masterpiece of brewing.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Much thanks to AKBelgianBeast for sharing this precious nectar, obtained via trade.

A- deep, dark amber, but with light through it medium to dark ruby. Modest tan head doesn't stay too long, but with nice lacing.

S- Fruity, with a slight nip alcohol at first.

T- Almost wine like at first. Very complex, fruity, a slight hint of alcohol. Sweet but not cloying. Very smooth and balanced. .

M- extremely smooth, lightly carbonated.

D- Yum! Perhaps I've been bamboozled by the hype and reputation, but that was one awesome beer. 10.2%? Who woulda thunk it?

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

The beer pours a dark crimson in color with a great off white head and silky lacing.

Bread dough, tobacco, leather and prune in the nose.

Tobacco, cookie dough, plum, leather, and raisin in the flavor.

Very complex, creamy texture and finish.
Very well made beer.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful deep rich brown with a huge white slightly tan head that just does not want to recede. Smells of sharp hops. First taste is unbelievably smooth, balanced, hoppy, and slightly bitter. Did the Monks who brewed this take a vow of celibacy? I'm glad they did. The 10.2% ABV is very well hidden. This puppy lives up to its hype.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! Sampled this fine beer with a friend last night. Poured into my chimay goblet. Poured a hazy brownish with red hues. Light cream colored head with good retention. Looks a bit murky. Smells are tough to describe. I get bready, yeasty, musty. Not old musty, but almost stale. Aromas get better as beer warms. Taste is wow! This is really 12%? I get a nice malty kidk right off the bat with tons of different flavors around my mouth. i swear I feel taste buds going crazy on the roof of my mouth even! Vanilla, clove, bready flavors are abundant. I want to savor this beer, but it really is too good and too easy to drink. Good thing I have 3 more!

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Two glorius bottles from my good chum in England.

One I am reviewing now, the other I will cellar for as long as I can hold out resisting.

Pulled out of the fridge 10 minutes ago. Poured into matching Westvleteren goblet.

Silky smooth beige head that falls to a whispy lacing. Dark brown in color, with the faintest highlights through the light murk.

Tea in the nose at first. It's still a tad cooler in temperature than I would prefer it, but not bad. Honey and aromatic lemon and floral notes.

Smooth! One of the most interesting textures in a beer that i've had. A coating of carbonation hits the tounge, and rolls around the mouth, opening up my tastebuds for the flavors to follow. Alcohol soaked raisins, figs, barley, and yeast in the opening. THen a spicy honey caramel finsish. It leaves a dry, yet sticky taste in the mouth. A real treat.

The mouthfeel, as smooth as it is, makes this one incredibly drinkable. I've been sipping at this my whole review and as it warms up, it gains complexity and depth.

I wouldn't put this one necessarily above some other trappist beers that I've had, but the accessibility makes this the rare treat. The mere fact that the quanities and availability are limited, makes me not at all surprised this is 'the' BA favorite.

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Photo of TheBCrew
4.2/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle "Belgian-poured" into a tulip glass by the very knowledgeable bartender. Murky, brown appearance with a thick tan head that dissipates slowly leaving lacing. Aroma of dates, prunes, caramel and malts. Very complex flavor including hints of prunes, brown sugar, hazelnut and malt. Finishes slightly sweet. Served at room temperature, it could have used to been cooled slightly (the bottle indicated 54-58 degrees F). Heavy mouthfeel, meant for sipping. Good drinkability regardless, but at $12 a bottle it is unlikely that I'll be getting this very often. I would echo the sentiments that this is not the "Best Beer in the World" but that is quite an expectation to live up to.

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Photo of Squelch
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as a valentines day present from my wife. I need to preface my review by stating that I really do not like doubles and trippels, however, I had to try this one due to its reviews on this site. I don't know the vintage of the bottle I have.

Appearance: Pours cloudy amber brownish with a huge long lasting tan head.

Smell: Smells of malts and caramel. No hop aroma

Taste: Tastes almost wineish. I taste cherry flavors as well as some roasted or caramel flavors which I have not tasted before. Acoholic flavors also present in the finish

Mouthfeel: Very heavy beer. Alcoholic in the back of the throat. Pleasant on the palate.

Drinkability: Drinkable beer, moreso than other strong belgium beers I have tried. Great beer but it is not the "Best in the world"

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

Had the honor of sampling this popular item the other night as I was guided through my first beer brewing experience by a very generous friend who shared his last bottle of this liquid gold. Poured a rich chestnut-brown w/ruby-amber edges where light permeated through. Head thin and light beige. The aroma was complex, but dominated by chocolate character and various toasted malts, with lighter scents of a bouquet of spices and light herbs, light esters, and warming alcohol. The taste was exceptional--chocolate malt, molasses and candy sugar, an exotic blend of rich spices, and a strong finish of cocoa and alcohol rounded out by bitter hops. There was also an inexplicable bite at the back of the midpalate that was actually quite pleasant, but I don't know what it was. Very light carbonation, rich body that consistently delivers throughout the palate, and harmonious balance between a very dry texture and the sweet and spice flavors forge a powerful result.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,279 ratings.
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