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

1,839 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: 1,839 | Ratings: 6,194
Photo of nicola5555
4.29/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a dark, vibrant, ruby-tinted brown coloring with a foamy, clingy, bubbly, off-white head. Aromas of rich toffee and date forward, with highlights of molasses, apple, caramel, fig, plum, subtle dark grapes, and earthy overtones. Very rich and layered aromas. Flavors are a richly sweet blend of old world fruit forward, sticky sweet with fig, date, plum, raisins, and followed with notes of apple, caramel, toffee, molasses, and earthy notes, as well as a solid boozy kick, and some subtle earthy notes. Extremely layered and dynamic flavor profiles, rich and earthy throughout, on a chewy, rich body. There is an edge from the carbonation that helps to lighten up this beast of a beer, but only slightly. The aftertaste is a blend of all the rich old world and stone fruits, with a solid booze warmth building. Slow, rich, lingering finish, with notes of molasses, date, and fig loitering on your taste buds. What a tremendous beer!

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

L-poured from a 330 mL bottle into a chalice

S-sweet, yeasty bread, molasses, fig

T-raisins, figs, rich brioche bread

F-creamy, coating, sinfully smooth

Perfectly balanced, a rare beer that actually lives up to the hype

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

Nice looking bottle. Very pleasant smell. Very nice taste and Good alcohol content. Excellent beer! Good beer for Sunday's relaxing in a sofa. Good also that all the money goes to the monks and charity.

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

Found at a bottle shop in Denmark, surprised to stumble upon it. I was really excited just to try it, knowing how difficult it is to find and the reputation around it. It was good, very good. Maybe not the ’best in the world’ (it’s impossible to say with so many great beers out there), but really great to find something so interesting. Good appearance, really large head that adds to the flavour of the first few sips. The toasted caramel flavour is really nice. I bought a few more bottles to age as well, that should be fun.

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

4500th review! 330 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 4/20/2014. Pours clear deep ruby red/brownish color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, apple, light red grape, peppercorn, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, tobacco, light leather, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, apple, light red grape, peppercorn, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, tobacco, light leather, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Moderate peppery yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, apple, peppercorn, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, tobacco, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible compelxity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from yeast spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly crisp/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is amazing. Alcohol is very well hidden with a only a light warmth present after the finish. Overall this is an insane quadrupel style. All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. Very similar to Abt 12; but this one had more nutty/biscuity malt complexity and a better mouthfeel. A highly amazing offering all around, as I had hoped for.

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Photo of strohme2
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

What a treat to try. Thanks to a true Beer Advocate for the chance. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of this style. Served at cellar temp. Murky brown with a big, tan, soapy head. Rye bread, figs, raisins. Superb. Didn't want it to end. Didn't think I'd like it as much as I did.

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Photo of scottsoileau
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally able to pick this up in Georgetown while on vacation. Have to say I'm disappointed. This is a fantastic beer but can never live up to the hype. Looked the part, smelled the part. Mouthfeel was great. But flavor left me wanting more. Paid $34.99 and it was worth it for the experience. .....Once....Prefer Rochefort 10 by quite a lot. Better than St Bernadus. .maybe.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.46/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a taster. Although quads are not my favorite beer style, Westy XII was extremely well executed. Tons of brown sugar and dark fruit shine through...great beer.

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

I love this beer. i drive to the brewery/monastery every chance I get to drink and pick up a few. Unfortunately that's like once a year or two. Last time I was there I was talking with an older gentleman who said he lived close by. As we were talking, a large fly dove into his 12. He calmly took the fly out with a spoon, let it dry on the table, and continued to enjoy the beer --- "Can't let it go to waste." Even the fly eventually shook itself off and flew away...

This beer is hard to get. You can get it only at the monastery, and even then you have to make reservations ahead of time. But even if you don't have a reservation, go by and have some at the cafe next to the monastery. If you're lucky, you can pick up a gift pack with a few bottles of 12 or sometimes even a six pack in the small shop.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.34/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes it is better to find without looking.
Because you guys snap up this quad, I never expected to taste it.
Listed on the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die," this was one I never expected to Have. So imagine my surprise in Stockholm when I got lucky in a Belgian bar (Belgobarren) and they served it with chocolate.
Quite possibly the most analyzed ale in the world, I will say just two things.
First, it reminded me a lot of Orval in its medicinal aftertaste (medicine is good for you and, done correctly, "medicinal" is a good taste.)
Second, MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" devotes 4 pages to Westvleleteren and is a must-read for any devotee to this brewery. MJ's 1999 "guide" gave this 4 of 4 stars back when 12 was called the "Yellow" .... and, guys, he kept it to one line: "mahogany in color, creamy, gingery and toffeeish." We can learn from that.

As for the price, it was not worth the arm and leg I paid. So, I am one and done looking for 12... but glad that it found me.

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Photo of rex_4539
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Dark brown/red color, 3-4 finger off-white head, medium carbonation.

S: Great aroma, classic quad.

T: The best beer I have ever tasted. It lived up to the hype! Extremely drinkable, not boozy at all despite 10.20% ABV.

F: Smooth, balanced. Perfect.

O: So much has been said about this beer and it is all true. The best beer in the world indeed.

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

A: poured from a 330 mL bottle into a chalice at the In De Ve Vrede cafe, dark red brown with a short white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: wine, raisins, brown sugar, yeast, stone fruits, cherries, figs

T: leather, tobacco, cherry, raisins, figs, dark breads

M: slightly creamy, fills the mouth and coats the tongue

O: an amazing beer in a fantastic setting

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Photo of willricewillsweep
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had off the 'black market' in Brugge (secondhand from a beer store). Drank out of the bottle due to lack of options. Usually not a huge fan of belgian tripels, but this had a massive raisin flavor and richness to it that you don't get from the more standard brands. Lived up to the hype.

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Photo of GeeL
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer for the style, though it's not the greatest. The marketing for this beer has made it seem better than it is.
If you drink it, remember it needs to be warmer than your intuition tells you.
All that said, if offered a bottle, I'm not turning it down.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - murky chestnut brown body with off white head

Smell - nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar

Taste - brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, red wine, fig, raisin, lots of layers to this

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high carbonation, sweetness upfront from the stone fruits, spices linger in the aftertaste, smooth going down

Overall - this beer is a treat and certainly lives up to the hype. Great complexity in the flavors, excellent mouthfeel and the booze isn't overwhelming. If you have the means to acquire this, it should be experienced by all beer fans. Highly recommended.

Price Point - ~$300/case of 11.2 oz bottles

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Photo of RNbeerfan
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Redish Brown with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.
S: Dark Overripe fruit. Lots of plum and raisin
T: Raisins, figs, and alcohol dominate
F: Great Mouthfeel. Velvety. One of the more unique carbonations that I have experienced
O: This might have been built up to be something that it couldn't be in my head. This is a great quad though. I think some others have caught up, but easy to see why this has set the bar.

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Photo of mattmarch
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lucky to have a friend bring 2 bottles back from Belgium.
Sets the standard for a Trappist quad. So complex, all the markings of a Belgian quad but I loved the dankness from the wood and how balanced the fruit, yeast, and sugars were. Totally lived up to the hype for me.

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

Just secured 6 bottles of Westy 12. First time tasting the beer. This beer lives up to the hype. It's incredibly complex and fires on all cylinders. I think recent reviews have purposely downplayed the beer due to it's previous publicity as "the best beer in the world." It's a fantastic beer...a rare beer. Worthy of the title of the world's best.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours deep copper, brown with a very wide ivory foam head, medium retention. Aroma is complex and rich, lots of spices, fruits, malts and alcohol, no hops. Taste is complex too, delicious and strong, lots of alcohol and dark fruits. Bold body with high carbonation. Worldclass beer, you should taste it at least once. Cheers.

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Photo of dfd02186
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer as part of a Trappist tasting that my friends and I had been putting together for a while. Obviously, the guy who brought the Westy 12 didn't have to bring anything else. We started with it, and split a bottle 4 ways, into traditional chalice type glass. It's a gorgeous dark dark plum-brown, with a nice little head (pouring left something to be desired, but that's on us). It smells like you'd expect and hope a quad to smell, and the same holds true for taste and feel. It wasn't too sweet, wasn't too boozy (considering it's over 10%). I didn't let it sit on my tongue for too long, but it was incredibly smooth drinking. Will head to Belgium soon to buy some more.

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Photo of d3brewing
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had it in Belgium summer 2015. It was the classic example but actually preferred the Westvleteren 8 better. I realize this is a quad but was just too thick, like it was going in too many directions.
Would I drink it again? Of course. Will I pay the $60 my LBS wants for a bottle? He'll no.

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Photo of Hallu
4.11/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a big fan of Trappiste beers I must admit. I love ones with a hint of acidity like Karmeliet, or complex ones like Rochefort 12. So I wasn't expecting that much. After all, the best beer in the world title came from a lot of hype and rarity.

On the smell, it's shocking how it smells exactly like a doppelbock. Cloves, caramel, banana. Nothing similar to a trappiste. I'm missing the dark fruit notes from a Rochefort for example. On the taste, it's disappointing. It's like an amped up Chimay (so too sweet for me), but it doesn't surprise. My friends who like Trappiste beers absolutely loved it, but the lack of surprise and the sweetness disappointed me. Rochefort manages to stay on a drier note and is complex, interesting. This one is more like a british beer, meaning it's balanced and simple. Because it's rare, online bottleshops sells this 10 € for the 33 cl. But a case is around 40 € at the Abbey, so less than 2 € a beer... It's not more expensive than other trappiste beers (less, even). I think the monks know they do a good beer, but they don't believe it's better than what the other abbeys do. And this is to me absolutely true.

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Photo of maxifunk777
3.17/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The hype out weighed the reality overly carbonated rather bland taste mouthful very lack luster. Maybe it was aged to long glad I tried it but would never seek it out anymore.

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

Found in Bruges, drank these with dad in Brussels in Westvleteren glasses. Pours a rich walnut color with an off-white head- sizable at first and present the whole way down- about half a cm for a while, then lacing. Smell is mild, yeast, a little sweetness, a little alcohol, a tiny bit of phenolic funk lurking way in the background. Taste is assertive up front- dark fruit, raisins, wood, deep and complex, boozy warmth. And although the taste is assertive, as I said, the flavor blends in a perfect way so that it almost has a mellow pleasantness. Mouthfeel is creamy and full-bodied and highly carbonated- really great. Overall what is there to say- the beer is flawless and I'm only taking a quarter point off smell because I wish it less subtle. Amazing.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,194 ratings.
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