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

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #1
Ranked #25
4.66 | pDev: 8.8%
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Notes: (Yellow Cap)
firstprev| 1876-1900 | 1901-1925 | 1926-1950  | next → last
Reviews: 1,941 | Ratings: 6,669
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful, world-class brew. As good as anything I've had. Every time I try it, I like it more. Yes, it's quite pricey, but costs the same as just a fairly good bottle of wine (and it's one of the top 5 beers in the world!). Probably the best body-mouthfeel of any beer I've had. CREAMY! Smooth, deep, and complex. Fruity, perfect balance. Nothing negative to say. If I could get this close to home, I'd have it (at least) once a week. As good as it gets, beer fans!

 468 characters

Photo of goz
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

07/09/02 date stamped on the cap.

Murky brown pour, lots of sediment swirling about in the glass. Thick, medium lasting tan head, huge clingy bubbles initially formed on the side of the glass, then burped their way to the top, never to be seen again. Aroma filled the room with strong apple scents, with some yeast and doughy aroma coming with a more intimate sniff. Taste is strongly doughy and apple, with hints of banana, grape, plum and strong malty sweetness in there. The banana seems to come through more as it gets warmer. Slight alcohol comes through towards the end. Mouthfeel is huge, pummeling the palate with all the different luxurious flavors, feelings, and hints of alcohol.

 694 characters

Photo of BeerAngel
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazed brown/copper with one truly massive off-white head that is like smooth frothy foam that is very long-winded. Aromas of fruit with a sweet raison-like fragrance are quite nice. Whoa, Nellie! The taste reveals a very creamy medium bodied mouthfeel that consists of raisons, fruit, spices, light yeast, and alcohol. It finishes with a lightly sweet aftertaste that leaves you wanting more. The high ABV is not so obvious as this is a very complex and very well-done ale. Thanks to McCall for the opportunity to taste such an awesome brew! Op uw gezonheid!

 573 characters

Photo of stcules
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer tasted in a parallel comparison with Rochefort 10.
The colour is the same dark brown (monk's habit). The head is huge, tan, with persistent lace on the glass. The smell is more wide and variegated, with point of floral well delineated. White grape. The taste is delicate, creamy, velveted and soft, with continuity in the sweet. Finish more bitter, but not too bitter. The body is full, round, persistent and durable, for a very long time. The aftertaste is also persistent.
Can I have another one?
"Gianni, sono ottimista!"

 532 characters

Photo of maxpower
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep hazy mahogany in color, huge thick creamy off white head, leaves a thick lace in the glass. Fruity, spicy, bready aroma of caremel and plums, kind of like a cake. Malty bready caremel flavors, full body, thick and creamy, silky mouthfeel, can't really even taste the alcohol, smooth and wonderfull, this is the best of the best, perfect.

 342 characters

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

pours a murky dark brown with an sizeable tan head. the aroma is by far the most powerful i've ever experienced. ripe dark fruit and sweet malt. the mouthfeel redefines smooth....liquid silk. full, full chewy mouthfeel. the taste is a deep burnt caramel, spicy, sweet fruits and a touch of spicy hops. the finish lasts forever. i had high expectations for this beer, and i must say i wasn't dissapointed at all. it is deserving of it's reputation. this is a world-class beer that must be experienced by every beer geek. find it, drink it, love it.

 547 characters

Photo of marc77
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This bottle gushed upon opening, and was furiously overcarbonated. Upon pouring, the brew forms an off white head that slowly settles into a tight, well retained thin layer. Muddy, murky dark brown hue, w/ flowing aggregrates of yeast liberated from the gushing. Musty yeast, and dry, bittersweet dark chocolate upfront in aroma. As the beer breathes fruity esters of both banana and raisins emerge simultaneously with deeply caramelized sugar and mellow chocolate. Hints of cardboard from oxidation unfortunately dulls the aroma a bit. Chewy, molasses - like, heavily caramelized dark candi sugar sweetness hits the tongue at first. Sweetness then becomes dark fruit like in nature and when coupled with the mellow chocolate undertone, I am left with an impression of chocolate covered dates. Banana esters then surface along with yeast must, lending a perhaps overripe banana flavor mid palate. Hop bitterness is virtually absent, leaving an overall richly sweet profile to this brew. A true dessert in a beer! Full in body, w/ a sugary, slightly syrupy viscous mouthfeel that is appropriate considering the high strength and richness. Finishes caramelly sweet, offset by dull notes of oxidation. Alcohol warmth emerges dangerously late. Although it is clear that my bottle didn't travel well, 12 is complex and robust enough to prevent the oxidation from affecting the overall aroma and rich flavor profile significantly. Delicious! I will search out another bottle for another taste.

 1,487 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, I've heard a lot about this baby...and figured it's time to give it a shot. Has a dark brown color, nearly opaque, with some yeasty bits hovering throughout, even with a fairly slow pour. Head was quite fine, and thinned down quickly, and managed to leave some lace.

First whiff knocked me back a bit with a "whoa!". A big dose of dark fruit notes and alcohol hit me between the eyes.

Extremely smooth on the tongue....velvety almost. And the body was medium-plus overall.

First sip had me throwing out another "whoa!". Malty, sweet flavors combine with some excellent dark fruitiness to create a luscious combo for the palate. And I can also feel a pleasant warming inside from the alcohol. I'm giving it a drinkability of 5 not because it's something I'd drink a lot of, but because I would NOT turn one down at any time if offered. This one's a big-time keeper! I'm very happy with this choice for #400! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.75
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5


 1,024 characters

Photo of Longstaff
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best dark Belgian beers I've had yet. It was perfect pour into a Westvleteren goblet with the head rising to the top of the glass when I had poured all but the last ounce leaving the yeast behind. The head dissapated to about a quarter inch and lasted to the end. Its heavenly dark malty body is offset perfectly by the tannish head. Smell is somewhat weathish with a slight tinge of bananas and chocolate. Went down smooth and creamy with chocolate, caramel, and fruity flavors of bananas and dates. First few sips were somewhat crisp and dry but as you drank more, it became sweeter but not overly sweet and the fine alcohol flavors became more pronounced. Had a nice floral hop flavor and there wasn't much bitterness, just enough dryness from the hops and alcohol to balance the sweet malt. As close as you can get to perfection in the style.

 857 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I didn't know what to expect with this brew after receiving it (thanks to a trade from a gentleman in NYC!) and reading many reviews of it. I think it was a little too cold when I tried it, as the taste got noticeably better as I moved through the glass. Now about the taste, I honestly don't think my palate is refined enough to describe accurately what is going on here. This will be one I have to try again around beer #250 I think. There is a trail mix aroma, and the flavor is hard to pin down. If they captured this flavor in a cereal I would get up earlier every day, hints of berries, grain, nuts, chocolate. Like Willy Wonka invented it, I tasted something different with every sip. I think this would be a perfect drink with some Godiva chocolate covered strawberries. Superb!

 786 characters

Photo of proc
4.1/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a dark, almost purple color in the glass with minimal head. Taste is that of a spiced fruit. Very wine-like in character and finish. Reminiscent of brandy as well. Enjoyable, but my palate didn't find it to be the best beer in the world.

 250 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I hate giving a beer a straight 5, but it is so hard to find fault with this beer. A strong, robust, vinuous beer in the style of an English Barley Wine mixed with all of the Trappist skill of a Belgium Strong Ale.
Dark, with hefty doses of everything from Toffee, Raisins, Cadburys Bourneville Dark Chocolate, Dundee Cake, Caramel, etc. Need I go on? Keeps its head well. Malt dominant and a meal in its own right. Best drunk from a proper Westvleteren Goblet emblazoned with those immortal words in yellow.
Even better when drunk in the unofficial Westvleteren Brewery Tap, the Café In De Vrede opposite the Abbey. Dangerously drinkable for an 11% ABV beer.

There must be something to fault right ?? Well, at the risk of damnation from the Monks - its Bloody impossible to get your hands on it in the US, and you can't down-mark it for that.

Probably the Best Beer in the World.

 889 characters

Photo of aracauna
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark. The color of a raisin, black except at the right angle when it turns a deep mahogany brown. Light khaki head is a creamy foam that is long-lasting. Laces the glass well. Yeasty caramel on the nose. The taste is vaguely stout-like. The richness of the flavor is very nice but not too rich to make it hard to drink. Caramel, spicy yeast and wood come out first. As it warms, more coffeeish flavor and some lactic characteristics. The beer manages to be slightly creamy and bright on the palate at the same time. Amazingly easy drinking for its strength.

 562 characters

Photo of mattmaples
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yummmmm! This beer was one of the tastest brews I have ever had. I like Jason's Buckwheat honey aroma comment, very true. It's spicy, fruity, malty, chocolaty flavor, smooth texture and wonderful aroma, there are few that rival this beer. I had one last night as desert and had it with a chocolate macaroon, absolute perfection.

 328 characters

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
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 pbrian
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heavenly. I took my reviewing cap off for this one and just simply enjoyed so I don't have a lot of descriptives here, but I recall a dominant fruit that I couldn't quite pinpoint (figs?) and an overall sweetish finish (maybe the heavy use of dark candi sugar). As a treat every now and again, it's worth every penny.

 319 characters

firstprev| 1876-1900 | 1901-1925 | 1926-1950  | next → last
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6669 ratings