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

BA SCORE
100
world-class
6,299 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
Ratings:
6,299
Reviews:
1,861
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
3,675
Gots:
2,195
For Trade:
155
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,299 |  Reviews: 1,861
Photo of FleetwoodMatt
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TheBaumer
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of rye_so_serious
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

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

I finally got a Westvleteren 12 the other day. I have been wanting one for years. A buddy of mine was able to get some on a trip to Belgium and a six pack arrived on my doorstep a few days later labeled "yeast sample".

I immediately made a run to Binny's to get some other Quads to prepare my palate and set up a blind tasting. I was told Trappistes Rochefort 10 was a great comparable so that's the one we chose to face off with the Westy. Unfortunately, the Westy 12 completely demolished the Rochefort. I was truly hoping the Rochefort would win since it's so readily available.

So, here are the details: Westvleteren 12 is a moderately deep amber, very clear (much more than the relatively cloudy Rochefort). Smell is boozy, raisins, maybe a little banana. Rochefort is more of a caramel scent. The taste of the Westy will initially throw you, striking you as overly bitter at first. As other reviewers have pointed out, you may not like this one on the first taste but it will quickly win you over. It has an extremely complex flavor. I would not say this is a "fruity" beer but there are fruit notes, along with wood and maybe even a little smoke. The finish is warm but not boozy. Perfect beer. If you are lucky enough to get some, do it justice: serve it around 60F in a perfectly clean glass, pour it carefully to avoid the sediment, have a clean palate, etc. I must say I cannot disagree that this is possibly the best beer in the world.

 1,449 characters

Photo of Travcofarms
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Benesi88
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Gotti311
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of yummybeer
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of HOMEPL8
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of hoptician
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of dotes_on_dipas
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of anson42
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of roger617
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into snifter. Acquired this in a trade, and crazy excited to dive in.

A: Deep brown with over 1 finger of off white head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves a little lacing. Love the color on this one, it's almost got a red hue, making it look like rich mahagony.
S: Very sweet, with wafting aromas of dark fruits. Plums, apricot, persimmon.
T: At first taste I wasn't too keen on this beer. After my palate adjusted (I'd been drinking water for over an hour, without having eaten anything in over 2 hours) all the flavors opened up. This is super sweet with such a rich complex balance of flavor. Leaves a sweet lingering aftertaste that just continues to bring more flavors as I exhale after each breath.
M: A high level of carbonation, and silky smooth.
O: This beer has to be the epitomy of the style. So flavorful, complex and balanced. Definitely a beer than any craft enthusiast needs to seek out at least once.

 936 characters

Photo of heavenlyStash
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of SudSister
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of DamageCase76
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Poupae
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of golf4collet
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Maltenbach
4.74/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle. Pours dark reddish brown with a massive beige head. Aromas of dried fruit, plum and apple. Very complex flavors! Apple, raisin, brown sugar, candied fruit and chocolate cake. Finishes with subtle flavors of chocolate, coffee, perhaps a touch of licorice. Fruitier than I expected, but very nice. Very light mouthfeel for such a big, flavorful beer. Delicious!

 374 characters

Photo of sphyrn
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of dv8sean
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of two beers remaining beers on my "bucket list" was enjoyed today, thanks to the generosity of a well-known friend and the benevolence of friends I've yet to meet.

Now, to the beer itself...

The appearance is burnt orange, brick red, and Colorado River mud. Partly cloudy with active carbonation but not too foamy. Just the right amount of head for a quad leaves delightful lace patterns in the glass.

Smell is beguiling. It's all about the malt and the yeast. Really no hop nose to be discerned. Biscuits, candy apple, and plum sauce come to mind. Very layered, complex, and changes with temperature.

The taste is in line with other Trappist and Abbey quadruples / grand reserves, but it struck me as more lively, fresh, and balanced. Flavors fall in line with the fragrance, with caramel and plum sauce being evident but certainly not overpowering. For a beer of this weight and ABV (over 10%), it's remarkably easy to drink.

The mouthfeel is...well, I'm just going to go with "perfect". Whatever the combination of local water, malt, brewing process, and perhaps divine blessing, it's the most pleasing beer to the palate that I have ever encountered. Sweet without being cloying or sticky. Just a hint of bitterness from hops and, presumably, a pinch of roasted malt to bring things to a harmoniously clean finish.

There's no doubt that the overall experience is enhanced by the beer's scarcity. However, taken by itself and tasted blindly, I have no doubt that "Westy" would remain stellar. While I'd stop short of calling ANY beer "the best in the world", this one is among the best. To this lucky drinker, it's earned and lived up to the hype.

 1,662 characters

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

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,299 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe