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

6,329 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: 6,329 |  Reviews: 1,868
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look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from my Westy brick on 12/12/12. Poured into the Westy Chalice.

Appearance: Dark muddy opaque brown. Solid 1 finger head with awesome retention and lacing. Impressive.

Smell: Raisins, figs, a little nutty, some apples, grapes, nice but not jumping out on the nose.

Taste: Right along with the nose. Raisins and figs mainly. Malty aftertaste. A little dry on the aftertaste. Alcohol is a tad evident but not displeasing.

Feel: Moderate to high carbonation, nice for the style. Really smooth. Only a little viscous, without being too syrupy. Somewhat sticky.

Overall: World-class quad. Happy to have had the opportunity to taste it. I don't think it blows all other Trapist quads out of the water, but it definitely has a stake in the "best quad in the world" contest. Hard to say it is that much better than Rochefort 10 though, so given the availability of the latter, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble and price of going after more than once.

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look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours a fierce light beige head that rises up quickly over a dark and murky chestnut brown body with hinds of red glowing from underneath. (Maroon?) As the head dissipates, it leaves a line around the top of the tulip with trails of lace lingering until the top of the retained head. After about 5-10 minutes, the head has almost entirely dissipated.

Smell- At first, I smell banana and cloves with a hint of bread but none of this is very distinct and is very subtle. I'm quite surprised by this. Another sniff reveals the esters and spice typical of Belgian beers, followed by fruit, apple, perhaps strawberry. It is quite possible that I haven't let this warm up enough. It is probably more like 45 degrees when it should be 50-55. Is becoming fruitier but still quite vague. As it warms up, the smell is becoming stronger. It is very alcoholic. It smells of licorice. As I pour more in, banana takes over again.

Taste- It starts with a nice tickle on the tongue and begins with sour and tart notes followed by a very astringent and fruity breadiness. It's not initially pleasant but it works for this beer. This is a beer that is definitely going to take some time to suss out. There is a lot going on here but nothing really astounds me yet. From my first two drinks, it is definitely not the best beer in the world, it might not even be in the top 20 or more. My palate is out of practice but I don't know if that is the contributing factor. Very strawberry on the front, followed by bitter cheese and alcohol heat. I think musty is a very good qualifier for its finish. As it warms, it is beginning to integrate better. Flavors like figs and cloves become more apparent. It's incredibly yeasty as well, so much so that I wonder if I might have not let the bottle stand long enough (4 or 5 days should be enough). Maybe I shook it? I have poured all but the last inch into my tulip and I'm going to pour the other inch into another glass to give it a look and a taste. I did see some yeast come out with the last ounce but not as much as I expected. It doesn't taste nearly as strong as the original glass either. It is nice and dry but halfway through this is somewhere near the bottom of a top 100 list for me. It's still a very nice beer but probably about an A-. I didn't reach any conclusions from a comparison of the majority part and the bottom inch. They taste different and there is yeast in the bottom inch. Honey and bubblegum start to make an appearance but perhaps this beer is just too new. Oh well.

Mouth- Every enjoyable and very carbonated. It has a medium body and is textured well. The mouth feel might be one of the most delightful aspects of this beer.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. The heat comes on a first but it subsides. The only thing stopping it from being put down quickly is the 20-25 dollar price tag.

Overall- It is a disappointment but my curiosity is settled some. I will have to try another bottle to see if my initial tasting was tainted. I will also have to get some Rochefort 10 and Bernardus Abt 12 to compare. Also, I am now reading online that I may be trying this beer “too new.” It has 14.11.15 stamped on the cap which would be November 14, 2015. A poster on Beer Advocate suggested that the bottling is three years previous to this date which would make the bottle that I'm drinking only 2 and a half months old. The ideal suggested age is 3 years. And I thought I was being impatient.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,329 ratings.
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