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

6,302 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: 6,302 |  Reviews: 1,861
Photo of macrosmatic
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 11.2 oz. bottle into the Westvleteren goblet. This one is pretty fresh - wanted to try one before it had some age.

A: A big, light brown head forms on top of the beer that is brown with red highlights. Medium to high level of carbonation.

S: Fruity (pear, apple, some banana), some sweet malt aroma, and almost a fruit syrup aspect? Perhaps candied fruit is a better comparison.

T: Big apple and pear notes. Sweet maltiness, some dark spiciness. A spicy sweetness that I can't quite place that reminds me of the spices in apple cider (cinnamon? cloves?) - but any comparisons to cider end there. Very noticeable alcohol at end - warming alcohol presence down the esophagus.

M: Medium body, great carbonation sensation present through a velvety beer - very nice. Alcohol very noticeable.

O: This is excellent, though hot...too hot right now. But, I can't wait to see what months and years do for this beer.

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Photo of Stizz19
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of ripweblo
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of brotherloco
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of esullivan880
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of epicd3
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of cyraschris
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of morebeergood
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Boilerfood
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of warrenout330
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 bottle into the westy XII glass

A- pours a murky dark brown color... thick bubbly head... quickly disappears to a thin ring... Ruby hues to the light...

S- deep pronounced candied sugars .... dried and candied raisins and plums... metallic highlights in the back, slight fumes of alcohol burn

T- a slurry of sweet candy sugar, paired with candied plums, sweet darker fruits... hints of figs and raisins through out the taste... metallic covering the taste buds in the end

M- slicky and oily in the front.... heavier carbonation brings balance to the mouth feel... alcohol burn on the tongue .... metallic mouth lingering

O- Wow.... not wow for the present beer,well kind of... but wow, because this beer will turn out prestigious with tons of age.... I really can't wait to open the other 2... ten years later of course

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Scamboogery
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of TonyMath
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of joh04587
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a beautiful day for one of the world’s most beloved beers: all final exams complete, Christmas fast approaching, and all worries carefully plucked away by months of hard work. And it’s all accented by my good fortune, as I was one of the 15,000 people to take place in the historic commercial crossing of the Atlantic by Westvleteren 12. I am grateful to have this opportunity – thank you, Shelton Brothers and St. Sixtus Abbey for all that you do!

A: Pours creamy as ever: as soon as the beer hits the glass it expands in a wave of silky beige foam. The body is a deep auburn color, thick and slightly hazy, only allowing a portion of light through its body. Head is sustained for a short time at about an inch or so before settling to a spotty layer of thin bubbles. At times, wet lacing clings to the side of the glass for a few seconds before falling back in.

S: A fruity, vinous nose rolls out tones of juicy red grape and raisin, sweet peach, and baked apple; all reminiscent of a strong cider or fruit wine. It’s an authentically pleasing aroma of natural fruit character, great on its own, but even better within the shell of grainy Belgian malt that’s just as evident in this nose. The grassy, tannic feel of these scents pulls you into a mill, wafting up as you watch the processing of wheat germ and smell the fresh product – incredible, and natural in every way. Nothing seems forced here, and that seems to show the true character of what this beer represents.

T: Incredible flavor – I can’t believe it, what everyone was saying was true. Dark fruit tastes swarm the palate with every sip, splitting through the initial alcohol warmth with tannic apple skin, sweet baked dates, lightly acidic citrus, and soft peach. A taste of fruit juice this isn’t: what we have here is a savory, chewy, sustained profile of fleshy fruit, turning almost pie-like when a few spots of spicy cinnamon and nutmeg appear. A warm cider alcohol taste extends along the underside of the fruity body; it’s one of those things where you can’t taste the booze as much as you can feel the fullness it imparts on the palate as a whole. Again, we’re talking fresh, natural fulfillment. Slight bitter hop to it, a rindy, herbal, flowery texture that reaches a short peak toward the end and settles almost as quickly as it emerges. Finishes with a mild flavor of vanilla bean and, while grainy wheat is present in the background throughout the drink, it’s showcased in the aftertaste to a fuller extent.

M: Completely weightless in every way; the best texture of any beer I’ve ever tasted. It froths and flows around the tongue, but thickens and warms as it goes down, giving it an impossibly smooth-yet-powerful character. Any beer with this texture would be unforgettable, but with the palate described above, it’s legendary.

O: The thing I love most about beer is the way it can fulfill my palate and warm my soul with just a mix of simple ingredients. This beer showcases that majesty, the beauty inherent in simple ingredients accompanied by inspired craftsmanship, to a T. Drinking this was not only a splendid experience, but a part of beer history, and something that has inspired me to stay within the world of beer for as long as I possibly can.


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Photo of mkennedy119
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of edproctor
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a dark colaish brown. Two finger light khaki head with nice lacing. Thick viscous tears slowly crawl down the glass.
S- lots of fruity sweetness. Dark cherry, plum, fig, and a fruit cakey breadyness. Still some alcohol presence, but it's almost masked by a honey like sweetness. What a funky nose this beer has. This just smells like a masterfully crafted quad.
T- wow! This is a hot little devil! More spicy than anything. Cloves, fruitcake, dried raisins. Not as much of the fruit as there is in the nose. Reminds me of a fine cognac or something.
M- thick and full bodied. The first sip the effervescence just went in and opened up my palate. Finish is dry.
O- overall, I feel that this bottle of westy 12 was damn enjoyable! Is it one of the best beers I've ever had? Well, I'll put it in my top 5 for sure. All hype aside this is a beautifully crafted beer and, in my opinion, on the same level as roch 10, and st bern 12. Give this beer 18 months and maybe it will rise to greatness. I'll give it a solid A.

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Photo of mchen
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of rhinis23
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of kawilliams81
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a Westy XII chalice.

A- pours a dark brown with a 2 finger beige head. Big walls and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- sweet dark fruits, dough, brown sugar, faint spices.

T- dark fruits, candi sugar, some roasted malts, Belgian yeast at the finish with some alcohol as well.

M- full body and medium carbonation. This beer is very smooth for 10% but the abv becomes more apparent as it warms.

O- very good beer. # 2 beer in the world, not sure about that. Did a side-by-side with Abt 12 and they are very similar. I would give Westy the slight edge, but if you don't care about the hype I would suggest just getting the Abt 12.

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Photo of freewill35
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of parris
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of OF001
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL btl from the expansion 6pk w/glasses. served at 3C(for head management), tasted at 5-6 C in a Westy glass.

Dark earthy, and murky nut brown pour; also a light gery tone that, along with some protein clumping (fuck) is worrisome. and a thick 3 finger head that shrinks to about 4cm and stabilizes. Very little lacing , i was expecting much more

Dark browned sweet cooked sugars dominate the nose. Subtle orchard fruits: pear, apple- maybe some cider spices. Toasted nuts and warm alcohol.

The mouth feel is smooth with a surprising lightness from the carbonation that gives a spicy tingle-bubbles at the end, dry on the front of the palate and juicy rear on the finish. Subtly present wood tannin without the overt acidity.

Very warming alcohol. Mulling spices: clove (including the numbness from the alcohol), cinnamon, mace, allspice, and white pepper. Roasted nuts in the middle, hazelnut sweetness, walnut creaminess. Caramel, licorice and hints of dried fruits. Lots of residual sugars especially on the finish. Juicy and oh so subtle.

As a taste experience, drop your pants and blow your load because this it fucking ineradicable. I have had a couple of beers that are about as complex but this was deceptively layered in a tight (not young but condensed) but not muddling fashion. Super complexity that takes only a slight effort to decode the majority and will give more as you look for it.
That being said I couldn't have this beer every day, or even more than special occasions, even if I could afford it. It is easy enough to drink and it hits all the right notes but the alcohol is about 1% too high for me and the finish is a little flat and is neither a complete taste (makes me want no more except to have it again) or left me wanting more .

Therefore I will give it two ratings and the above and a balance.
A - 4.25 : 4.0
S - 4.5 : 4.5
T - 5 : 4.5 (low due to the finish for my tastes)
M - 4.5 : 4.75
O - 5 : 4.5

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Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a delicate Westvleteren 12 chalice...ready with an objective palate, skeptical of the hype...

Appearance: dark brown, a bit cloudy with a thin head that dissipates to a clinging ring around the glass and some beautiful stubborn lace.

Smell: to be fair, I'm recovering from a cold...I smell apples. Not a complex smell. No indication the flavor to come...

Taste: Here is where it gets interesting. Here is where I say, "Oh. Okay. I get it." Yes, what people say about the complexity is true. I taste many things. Overall, one might compare it to a really fine, 20-year tawny port. Apples, raisins, prunes, strawberry, and spice but without the over-powering sweetness that you sometimes find in Belgian ales. It finishes with a nice, slightly tart crisp apple that balances it very well. Truly complex and well-balanced. A definite alcohol flavor that melds into the rest of the flavors so well that it just makes it seem like it was barrel aged for a very long time in fine sherry-cask scotch barrels. I don't know when I've tasted anything quite this good. I could drink it all day...what a shame it's so hard to come by!

Mouthfeel: much lighter in body than I expected - it's about a medium-light with a crisp, champagne-like carbonation.

Overall: Amazing flavor, as described, with a million other fabulous flavors that I'm too much of a novice taster to even detect I'm sure. I really like the way the lighter body balances out the richness of the flavor. What more can I say?

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,302 ratings.
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