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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
6,450 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,450 |  Reviews: 1,892
Photo of jhlosito75
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.61/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottling poured into a Rochefort chalice. The pour is typical of a Trappist Quad - dark, deep brown in color with a nice finger of fine sandy-colored head that dies down to some nice lacing. On the nose I get lots of rich, sweet, malty goodness. There is fresh bread, dark fruits, and rum-soaked chocolate cake. I can't wait to dive in.

Full body and a sweet flavor that has some surprising spiciness. Lots of sweet malt up front as well as the dark fruit promised by the nose, but the real action is at mid-palate where the phenols and hops kick in. I was taken aback by how spicy the beer gets at mid-palate and just how much the carbonation intensifies the effect. The spicy flavors remain strong through the finish, even managing to mask the taste of the alcohol (if not the warming feeling). After the beer sits and de-gasses, the spiciness is still evident, though not as intense, and some sweet, rummy flavors come forward on the back of the palate.

What can be said about this classic beer that hasn't already been said? How about this ... It's outstanding. It's delicious. It's certainly one of the best beers in the world. It's the white whale. The MacGuffin. The Force. The bone thrown up in the air in 2001. I'm extremely fortunate and grateful that to have had an opportunity to try it. Now are you sitting down? Here goes...

I have enjoyed at least 3 or 4 other quads just has much as I'm enjoying this one (perhaps even a little bit more).

Now that the shock has worn off, I'll explain. Even though it adds to the complexity and doesn't disturb the balance, I don't particularly care for all the spiciness. For me, it gets in the way of the sweet, rich, dessert-like qualities of the beer. Some BAs will disagree, but that's just my palate. Also, I definitely taste the similarities between this and St. Bernardus Abt 12 (although this one is a little spicier). Anything else? Oh, yeah. Highly, highly recommended every BA try this at least once (if at all possible).

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Photo of Roman5150
4.93/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle into Westvleteren 12 Tulip, dated 5.10.14

Purchased from Het Beste Biertje in Málaga, Spain (drank 2 there, and 1 to take away)

Appearance: Cloudy dark mahogany brown with a decent amount of sediment, 1 finger highly carbonated white head, intricate lacing

Smell: Lot's of breadiness initially, followed by the typical trappist dark fruit notes. Also getting a lot of figs, plums, raisins, apple, and biscuity notes. Belgian yeast is highly pungent, you can smell the sweetness. Also some wood/oak smell.

Taste: Follows the nose with huge dark (almost overripe) fruit flavors off the bat, which slowly fades into a plethora of biscuity, bready notes. Roasted malt backbone is rather dark and sweet, and there's a lot of raisin and sherry presence mid-palate. Probably the lightest quad i've ever had, alcohol is distincly hidden, more so than a St. Bernardus ABT 12 or Rochefort 10. The lingering aftertaste is very sweet and leaves some wood, oaky notes in your mouth. This is one of the few beers that actually tastes better once it warms, all the flavors come out full force.

Mouthfeel: HIgh carbonation, medium to light bodied, especially for a quad

Overall: I'll try to keep this short: It lives up to the hype. Honestly I had the mindset that there really couldn't be a much better quad than a Rochefort 10 or a St. Bernardus ABT 12, but all hype aside, this is the better beer. I would love to do a blind test just to make sure... This one is so much lighter in feel but without sacrificing flavor or anything for that matter. It seems to emphasize the bready, biscuity characteristics instead of being dark fruit dominant like other quads. And I guess you can attribute it to the stellar brewing craftsmanship of the monks, but the alcohol in this is even less apparent, you could almost think you were drinking a trippel. Throughly impressed, waiting to try my 3rd one, and hopefully the other's once I make it out to Belgium again.

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Photo of bmmortale
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of smitherz22
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of matt_6
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Maillard
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of dboon
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Zathrus13. I can’t add anything the other 1783 raters didn’t already cover. I would like to say that I am pleasantly surprised with the complexity of this ale. I am really diggin the dark fruits (fig, plum, raisin), spices, alcohol, and Belgian candies. Oh brother, I need to fly to Belgium and spend a week or two defiling my liver..

 355 characters

Photo of cutsw
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Skunkdrool
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of TheBeerDad
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of davegray
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of vermilcj
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of smekermann
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of dvnb
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Beerrenda
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of PHBoiler
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of tkelley
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the US release last year that Ive been sitting on. Poured into a Chimay chalice.

A -- Dark, dark brown with sediment. Cream-tan head with good lacing.

S -- Stone fruits (plum, cherry...), earthy and sweet. Bready and boozy.

T -- Very complex. Dirty. Prunes, cherries. Yeasty goodness. Sweet. Very well balanced.

D -- Better be careful, this one is quite boozy. But the booze doesnt keep you from taking big sips in rapid succession (because its really good). the Bubbles are very fine.

O -- Probably suffers a bit from overhype, but it is still really good. One of the best beers Ive ever had.


 619 characters

Photo of Rish907
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of EBeckett3
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jerseybeer
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2006 Vintage; date on bottle cap is 30. 08. 09, cellared at room temperature but in darkness for the last 7 years, acquired via beer trade. Pours a very dark brown with mahogany highlights; too dark to judge clarity, – but yeast sediment in bottle suggests the clarity isn’t good, but that shouldn’t count against bottle conditioned beer. Three finger head of dense froth- a pale sand hue. Very good head retention for the alcohol content; a thin cap persists to the finish with large specks hanging on to the sides of my chalice.

The aroma is a fantastic blend of dark, very ripe fruits but not vinous, yet clean ethanol is apparent, but not boisterous. Very bready and dark malt aromas prevail, I’ve heard that this is made using only pilsner and/or pale two row, but I would swear it used a ton of Carapils and Crystal 120. The candy sugar has pushed the Belgian twanginess forward but the yeast character doesn’t overpower the malt and the very subtle hop nose is clean and flowery like light Saaz or Hallertau.

First sip screams malt breadlines and dark fruit that continue to dominate on the tongue, with apricot suddenly becoming particularly apparent. There is a very subtle difference between multiple decoction beers and those that fake it by altering the grist bill, but the care that went into this beer is obvious, and the finished product is executed gloriously. A brief spicy hop note in the aftertaste begins to dry the palate with some help from the booze; the hop character has no doubt faded over the past 7 years, but the bitterness still provides a solid balance. This is a sweet beer, and the hop flavor is very mellow, but still within the parameters of the style. Caramel and a dark fruit are the major players here, the overall profile is not very complicated, but the flavors and aroma are highly developed and balanced well. This is an old bottle, so the carbonation has dropped off, and the sweetness would be lifted better with a fresher sample, so I will not let a slight cloying sweetness damage the score due to my own error in over-cellaring. Bubbles are very fine and achieves a superb mouthful if one is fond of Quadruples. The body is thicker, but smooth and not oily, alcohol thins the body out enough and again, a fresher bottle would have more carbonation.

Finishes with waves of sweet dark malt, apricot brandy, and the quintessential Trappist funk. While it seems sinful to imbibe more than one Westy 12 in a session, I could imagine drinking 3 maximum before the sweetness becomes overpowering. I waited too long to drink this masterpiece, but even in its ripe old age, the beer is exquisite and deserves the praise it receives.

 2,689 characters

Photo of Jimbobebop
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,450 ratings
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