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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BA SCORE
4.6/5
World-Class
6,464 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#32
Reviews:
1,893
Ratings:
6,464
pDev:
8.91%
Bros Score:
4.19
 
 
Wants:
3,701
Gots:
2,262
Trade:
156
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,464 |  Reviews: 1,893
Photo of zielijo1
4.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I read about this beer. I had a trip to Belgium n picked up a case. A really nice taste, not boozy. Too much foam but does disappear quick to a nice head. Complex flavor. The lacing is great. Flavor changes as it warms. Better than st Bernardus 12. An outstanding beer but not necessarily the worlds best beer. Seek it out if you can

 333 characters

Photo of 9300Beerlover
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of bwarren82
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky brown. The tan head is pillowy, but less pronounced than other quads – maybe a finger and a half in the Rochefort (forgive me) chalice. Sat on this one for a year, so Merry Christmas to me. This contemplative time calls for casting a blog post out into the great wide sphincter of the web.

Rating this, it’s true – the hype colours my opinion, for better or worse. Having tried the Blonde, 8, and 12, the word I keep coming back to with the Westys is 'subdued'.

I'll come clean – that's pretentious English for 'not as tasty as expected'.

These are obviously complex flavours that mingle to create something unique, cohesive, and of course, oft-mimicked. But in a world where incredible brews are becoming more accessible with each passing day, these holy grails from a romanticized era of monks and secret yeasts are built to disappoint.

Still, I kept it for a year, took it from the cellar at just the precise time, took a couple of silly photos, cut a slice of Christmas pudding, and tucked in. Lo and behold, it was great! It maintains a deeper character than other quads, forgoing syrupy sweet fruits and sugars to ponder leathery fig and cherry. The spices recall cigar paper and toffee, and, of course, there is zero alcohol whatsoever.

But then, constantly on the periphery of booze and jolly times, there’s St. Bernardus – brown robed, chalice aloft. I can grab his abt. 12 from 4 or 5 different liquor stores in the area, and am yet to have a straight-up bad or tainted experience. Is the Westy really as superior as the comparative hassle of acquiring it would suggest? No, not really.

There’s also Rochefort 10 – definitely a favourite of mine. Each bottle has slight variances, but what beer doesn’t? I’m sure the Westy does, despite its deified status.

But which is better? Well, I'm no expert. Who's to say my pour or temperature control wasn't off? Maybe my tastebuds weren’t working at 100% efficiency. When I make it to Belgium, I’ll be sure to try them side by side. It’ll be fun.

Then, for all I drone on about the market being saturated with young breweries jumping in to imperial stouts and unnecessarily aged quad-wannabes, there’s something like Copperhead’s quad, Medusa. Is it superior to the originals? Well, no. But it *is* a half hour drive and 5 bucks away, and I can get it straight from the tap. Probably some nice conversation, too.

So, what's the lesson here? Well, time to go dark on hype. No more Facebook circlejerks telling me what it is the local community should like; no more avoiding things because untappd decided it’s only worth a 3.8 (I mean, Gulden Draak? Common guys!); no more hoarding bottles for the sake of hoarding.

I’ll probably get excited for the odd interesting-sounding limited release, but let’s see what’s on the doorstep before I get blueballs for the next Best Beer in the World™. Cheers, everyone! Happy New Year!

 2,943 characters

Photo of penguinBOMB
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of terrymoore
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JasonBatz
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz. bottle with a date code of 07.12.19 on the cap

Pours cloudy opaque reddish dark brown with a dense creamy light khaki colored foam head. Smells almost like a smooth sherry wine with apples, pear, grapes, some dark fruit like plum and cherry, dried fruit, raisins, some apricot, honey, caramel, toffee, toasty bread, mild chocolate, tobacco, slight funk, a hint of spice, with floral earthy herbal grass. Tastes very complex with some of the aforementioned notes of slightly oxidized sherry wine, dark fruits, dried fruit, plum, cherry, dried figs, raisin, grapes, apple, pears, apricot, caramel, dark toffee, mild chocolate, rich roasty toasted bready malts, some tobacco, slight funk, a hint of spice, with floral earthy herbal grass. Feels medium bodied, soft and creamy with smooth moderate carbonation. Overall a real great Belgian quad.

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Photo of Ichoosefiction
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of zdizzile
4.64/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of p5gdcdeluxe
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dan_amdg
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of bramreusen
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sensational beer, but it's good to know that St. Bernardus 12 is basically the same beer, yet much more available and cheaper.

126 characters

Photo of Buttstallion
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of TheCrowsEye
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of dddddddd
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dloschiavo
4.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AJB1916D
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Philcassella
4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jstilwell
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of kingston2
4.37/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BecauseWhalezbro
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SayBoom
4.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Morpheus
4.96/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had the opportunity to finally try the Holy Grail of beer. I had expected to have been let down due to the hype and exclusivity, but was very pleased with the bottle! The level of balance and complexity was remarkable. Indeed, the Holy Grail was in my possession. For the briefest moment, I was immortal.

 306 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade almost 6 years ago. 2011 Vintage from the monastery (not part of the 'brick' series).

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice deep, rick mahogany/garnet hue with a nice thin thin off white head that fades to leave light thin blanket but a nice creamy halo. Nice lacing.

S - Aromas of dark fruits, plums, raisins, figs. Nice yeast notes, like soaked bread. Super super faint black cherry pit aroma. Nice light caramel. The belgian yeast notes are a little spicy/warming as well. Very aromatic.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, loads of dark fruit. Big raisins and plums, light fig. Lots of leather. Definitely tastes 'aged'. Great caramel and belgian yeast going on. Honestly this is just picture perfect for what I want in a Quad. Zero discernible alcohol as well.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, not cloy, and the alcohol is hidden very nicely.

O - Overall this was a very very well done Quad. This is drinking absolutely wonderfully right now, really happy I drank this now and was able to enjoy it but sad that it is my one and only vintage bottle. Just excellent. There's a reason why cars used to line up in droves at the monastery gates to get Westy all those years ago.

Serving Type: Bottle

 1,227 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,464 ratings