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

6,326 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

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Ratings: 6,326 |  Reviews: 1,867
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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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2.75/5  rDev -40.3%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scored a bottle of this recently, which was broken off the brick gift packs released earlier this year. Definitely wasn't cheap, but when is another opportunity going to come by to try this? Poured into a tulip glass out of a 11.2oz bottle. Split the costs and drinking effort with a friend. Freshness date is printed as "0/0/2015."

Since it was split, can't say much for these bottles' full potential in maintaining head, but even a half pour yielded classic results I expect in a quad. A dark-plum, brownish tone, a decent half finger of head, and wonderful sticky lacing all around. The color is not opaque, but this thing is definitely viscous with the alcohol and yeast included. Has tremendous alcohol legs, and looks delightful yet pretty much identical any great quad I've had in in the style.

The aroma is a combination of dark dried fruits, as expected, alongside grassy hop characteristics and deepened caramel notes. Plums, figs, and raisins are chock-filled here, and presented in an alcohol soaked manner. Unlike Rochefort 10, I'm not getting too much of the boozy, rum notes, and instead find myself surprised to find this to rather different, in the sense where there's a huge grain/malt character soaked with alcohol, as well as bright yeasty notes. The hoppiness really balances out things here, and makes it complex without being too overwhelming. Delightful!

The flavor takes things to an even greater level, by continuing the bright fruit and hop zest, and yet revealing the most notable aspect about this beer. Despite having tons of flavors and complexity, this is SO crisp and juicy to drink! The fruit flavors feel almost pruned and awash with full-bodied texture, as well as having a crisp graininess that resembles toasted caramel. Not too many spices here, or medicinal for that manner. Clove comes in, but it's very subtle. Syrupy yeastiness finds its way with well balanced carbonation. There's definitely a lot of heat that rises at the back of the throat with the alcohol, and the grassy hop flavors tingle the cheeks after each sip. This is ridiculously easy to drink. Can't taste the alcohol, and the ingredients all are well represented overall, each which comes in different phases during consumption.

This ever elusive, frustratingly difficult beer to obtain definitely lives up to being among the greats. If I could find a bottle for half the price I paid I definitely would get it again. All the ingredients come together beautifully and paint a portrait of what it's trying to be. However, the painting never seems to fully reveal itself in the long run, leaving much to be desired and examined by the time the final sip is made. Even if this beer were easier to find, it still would be the stuff of poets. In the end, no matter what anyone gets from this beer, it is extremely hard to deny that this is a beer made with wonderful care and passion from the monks of St. Sixtus, and represents what makes Belgian beer so unique and delicious in the beer world. Don't miss out on a chance to try this.

Update (2/10/2014): Recently got to try a non-brick bottle recently, courtesy of jdhowe. This is terrific - the aroma has been bumped up slightly, as the bottles that are exclusive to Belgium display a funky, yeasty characteristic - like a freshly cut green apple or pear. The beauty really IS in the yeast with this beer, and undeniably puts it far apart from the other Trappist beers as the dark horse of the bunch.

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of sommersb
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 03-04-2013
Freshness: Best by 2015
Packaging: 330ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Chalice
Purchased: Received in a trade

Really stoked to finally try this beer! Review #500

Pours a clear and dark reddish-brown color; the last pour adds some yeast murkiness. The off-white head is huge and has a superb amount of retention and excellent lacing. Lots of bubbles are seen streaming from the bottom of the glass.

Aromas feature sweet malt and dark fruits, such as figs, dates, grapes and raisin. Other aromas include musty, oak notes and spicy yeast.

The taste is similar to the nose, starting with dark, sweet malts with hints of molasses, licorice and dark cherries. Also has a woody character to it, although the bitterness is very low if not non-existent. Other flavor notes include an acidity or tartness of tannin, as in a wine. Smooth but complex

The mouthfeel is at first dominated by the very high carbonation level, with a medium to thick body. Has a fairly potent alcohol warming presence. The finish is semi-sweet with lingering dark and ripened fruits. Tastes better as the beer warms up a bit.

Overall this was a pleasure to sip on. Is it one of the world's best beers? Not sure, but probably so; it's hard to evaluate this without being somewhat influenced by the notoriety. It's in the top ten of the 500 ones I've reviewed. Either way, I'm excited to have tried this and would recommend it heartily!

Thanks to baybum for this one!

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,326 ratings.
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