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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
6,451 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: 6,451 |  Reviews: 1,892
Photo of NickyPogs
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of barnzy78
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle dated 01.08.15. Kudos to my friend Ken for grabbing us a 6 pack to share. I also purchased a St. Bernardus Abt 12 and a Rochefort 10 for comparison purposes. From my notes, this one prevails as the best of the three:

Pours dark brown with a pillowy, beige head that fades to a foam atop the ale. Aromas are pleasant and come through more as the ale warms: musty, boozy, earthy, sweet, caramel, honey, fruity as it warms w plum & cherry. Tastes are boozy, rich, sweet, malty, fruity with plum, raisin, currant, rum, bready yeast, mossy, musty, earthy - great complexity! Mouth-feel is full bodied with lots of carbonation, very smooth. Overall, it lives up to its expectations. I had my doubts, but it came through...maybe even better than expected.

 763 characters

Photo of Dduquette
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of thesquire
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BeerSnob1022
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of JakeDebus
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Steve212
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of mechamifune
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice mahogany brown with a fluffy off white head. Very obviously well carbonated. Looks thinner than I thought it would as it pours out of the bottle. Nice looking beer.

Smell is a little bit of alcohol up front, followed by some sweetness and dark fruit. No real hop presence. Smell is pleasant but not an overwhelming or out of the ordinary smell for the style.

Taste is dark fruit up front, followed by brown sugar and then a slight lingering tartness. Not much of any ligering aftertaste, no real bitterness. Drinks a little hot as it warms up. A very pleasant flavor profile with no one note really overpowering.

Mouthfeel is probably the best i've had in this style. Full carbonation but not foamy. Very smooth and easy to drink despite the large flavor profile. Still a sipper for sure, but it never becomes harsh.

Hard to grade this beer impartially given all the anticipation and the amount of time it spent at the top of the top beers list. For the style, this is marginally the best example i've had. For me, though, it doesn't transcend the style or make me think of quads any differently than I did beforehand. It is worth seeking out if you can get it and are a fan of the style in general. For the price point though, i'd rather buy rochefort going forward, even if I prefer this by a slight margin.

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Photo of frinkglaven
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Avangion
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Scotchboy
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review No. 600

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip, cap dated 26.09.15 - this is an unmarked bottle and not the recent US release. This bottle sent to me by Curtis McArthur (thanks man!) and reviewed from notes.

A: Careful pour yields a ton of off-yellow head that has good substance and sticks around forever; it looks like a root beer float head. Body is darker opaque brown/prune colored with gold highlights at the stem of the glass. Carbonation is still rising ten minutes after the initial pour, streaming up the side of the glass. I'm intrigued - this thing is beautiful.

S: Instant fruitiness, darker in essence; grapes upfront with some suggestions of apples, prunes, plums, and raisins. Maltiness is apparent, and sweeter Belgian candy sugar rises, with hints of caramel as well. Brilliant smell.

T: Follows the nose, with a more subdued sweetness. A touch of a chalky yeast character distracts slightly. Moderate fruitiness again with the slightest sensation of holiday and baking spices; apples and raisin bread, faint caramel drizzle. Dessert, and bready malt; on the sweeter side. Carbonation cleans the palate and the flavors meld harmoniously. Very nice.

MF: Thinner medium body with a dancing carbonation presence that isn't distracting. Just a touch of an alcohol bitterness.

O: Fabulously done Quad. Right up there with Abt. 12, though I believe Abt 12 tasted better to my palate, with more caramel-apple dessert notes. Overall I can see why this is such a sought after beer. This also seems to be an excellent age for this beer.

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Photo of Docrock
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle with date 9-2-14 into Westvletern Chalice at 50*

A - a rich deep dark red brown with a perfect 1-1/2" head that slowly dissipates to a nice thin cap. slight to average lacing.

S -sweet smelling maltiness with omnipresent fruit consisting of fig, dates, and raisins. the Belgian yeast aromas are just what i was expecting.

T -wow, just wow. perfect balance between the sweetness of a Quad but with a dry and slightly bitter aftertaste. the fruits, especially the fig and raisin aromas are released the warmer the beer gets. As the beer warms up to 55* it gives a warm glow on the finish, just amazing.

M - the carbonation is perfect for the full body. extremely drinkable. A slight warming as it goes down, but expected for the alcohol content.

O - this beer definitely lives up to the hype. Have now tried all the Trappist top ABV brews and this is by far head and shoulders above. The balance is perfect and the expected Belgian Quad characteristics are in perfect harmony. Everybody's tastes are different, but for me, this is a Benchmark brew.

 1,071 characters

Photo of Brad007
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is it. Review #2,000! Here's to 2,000 more!

Pours a mild brown with a thick frothy head into my tulip. It did foam up initially, which required a bit of patience to subside.

Apple, cherry, fig and grapeskin notes all come flying at my nose. It makes a pretty damn good statement from first sniff!

It starts off strong and tart but then mellows toward the back. Cherry, plum and apple dominate the palate.

It has just the right amount of tartness too. It finishes dry too and with little of the alcohol heat from upfront. Leaves a chewy texture on the tongue.

I can't think of a better beer to celebrate nearly 6 years of beer advocacy than to review a beer that has consistently proven its' mettle in the BA Top 100.

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Photo of Sark
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- Burnt-orange brown with lacey retention after initial finger of head.

Smell- Dark fruits (black currant, plum) but not incredibly stong, even after warming up.

Taste- Complex as a Trappist monk. Sweet on the tip of the tongue with a warm middle. A little note of alcohol warmth but well hidden. The dark fruits now come out with greater intensity and phenols from the yeast's work let it be known.

Mouthfeel- Big, smooth, but a little bright alcohol is noticed in the back of the mouth.

Overall- It's a big beer but expertly well-rounded. There's a reason why people have hyped this.

 599 characters

Photo of LuauLarry
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of elgiacomo
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottled Feb 10, 2012. XII version from the US gift set. Served at cellar temperature. Enjoyed on Christmas Day 2012.

Pours clear dark brown with red highlights and an active one finger light tan head that recedes to a small cap, but doesn’t leave much lacing. (not much room for lacing in the tiny Westy XII glass included with the set).

Aroma is dark fruits, cherries, alcohol, belgian yeast, bread, brown sugar, red wine characteristics. Good to very good strength. This glass isn’t very good for capturing aromas...will try second half pour in a snifter or tulip.

Flavor is big overripe dark fruits, cherries, figs, plums, belgian yeast, rich bread, toward the finish some chocolate notes come up and more really dark fruits such as raisins, dates and figs, brown sugar. Some alcohol burn in the middle and finish, but not too bad. Moderate sweetness. Extremely complex.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sharp, fizzy carbonation, somewhat sticky. As it warms to room temp the mouthfeel completely changes, much more full bodied, super creamy, soft carbonation, wonderful.

My Christmas treat! This has always been way high on my wants, but never had much chance to try this...heard about the gift sets coming to the US and even then it was dicey whether I could procure one...lucked out and so glad I did! Truly enjoyable beer, worth the price...gonna cellar one bottle and spread the rest out to some friends.

 1,423 characters

Photo of cram
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of HundredWeight
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of AndybIPA
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of stealth
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ShiaLeBoof
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of YamagamiTravis
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of tut2528
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of sgoro
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

January 14th, 2011 bottling date. Two years old. Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Slow-poured as not to disturb the sediment. Thin off-white head, fair amount of lacing when swirling that quickly dissipates. Body is dark mahogany.

S: Raisins, could even smell it strongly while pouring, inviting. Nose is extremely sweet smelling, apples and pears dominate upon swirling.

M: Mouthfeel is medium to full. Not thin at all, but not chewy and thick like an imperial stout. This beer lies somewhere in the middle.

T: Raisins, apples, pears. Candied sugar came through as the beer warmed. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overbearing. I would not call this beer "hot." Rum-like qualities push through the fruit flavors. Pleasantly sweet but not cloying. Finish is dry.

Overall: First sip...thoughts are "One of the best beers I've ever had." Not sure if it's THE best, in fact I can probably name a few I've enjoyed more, but that's crossing styles. Drier and not as smooth as St. Bernardus. I'm drinking a Rochefort 10 right now for a comparison, there was a few hours between the two to avoid palate fatigue. Rochefort is harsher (not harsh though) but tastes just as complex.

I reviewed St. Bernardus a few years ago, but I unfortunately did not record the date. I would say this beer is just as good as St. Bernardus 12, but I haven't had one in about a year. I definitely prefer Westvleteren 12 over this particular Rochefort 10 I'm drinking as I type. However, the Rochefort is only 10 months old, and it sure tastes like some aging would do it justice. This Westvleteren is two years old, so perhaps it isn't a fair comparison.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,451 ratings
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