Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
6,418 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,418 |  Reviews: 1,884
Photo of DaverCS
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Westy 12 from bottle dated 14/3/15. Big thanks to Jason for the glasses and 2 bottles from when they were distributed to the US.

Pours a rich amber color with ample sediment. Quickly dissipating head.

Aroma is pure dark fruits: raisins and figs. Lots of toffee, brown sugar, and honey notes.

Taste is on the thicker side with a moderate amount of carbonation. Dark fruits are present but are overshadowed by ample honey note. In comparison to other Belgian beers, it's a bit thicker and less carbonated. More alcohol is present on the palate; not heat or burn.

Overall, this is a very unique beer that is almost a concentrate to its competitors. I do like it... quite a bit, but I wish it had just a little more carbonation. I paired it with a mixed cheese ball (Beverly's recipe). It gets 93/100.

 804 characters

Photo of dirtyhalos
4.29/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tvv375ia
4.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Paintballswimguy
3.17/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Insanity55
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of thatche2
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of lsthwy
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of Rristow
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted from bottle. Pours a cloudy dark brown with khaki head. Very complex strong aroma. Notes of figs, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, caramel. Mouthfeel is a little sticky and chewy. Flavors of raisin, plum, figs, caramel, toffee, maple syrup, bourbon, earthy notes and spices. Complex incredible beer. Definitely deserves the hype.

 339 characters

Photo of Bluepitt1010
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of SierraFlight
4.04/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of thebeers
4.19/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy plum brown with a small off white head.

Fig, plum, earthy hops in the nose. Fig, plum, anise, caramel and earthy bitterness in the taste, with the bitterness continuing to the after taste.

Relatively light bodied for the style with strong carbonation.

Exceptionally well crafted beer. I think I prefer the 8 a bit better though.

 340 characters

Photo of kflowers
4.76/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Jasons483
4.36/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rabbott2
4.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

caramelly plum

14 characters

Photo of schinebd
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.59/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mcbridec6
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Gajo74
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For years I've been hearing about the mythical and seemingly unattainable Westvleteren XII. As a result, its become one of those so called "whales" that, considering its scarcity and hefty price in the U.S., I would resign myself to having to travel directly to the monastery in Belgium. How ironic that on a leisurely family trip to Rome I came across it at Beerland Trillusa in Trastevere, Rome for the hefty but manageable price of 19 euros. My search was over! I sat down in the modest outdoor cafe overlooking the hip Trastevere
Neighborhood, and as I waited for my server, I pondered if it was worth the hype.
The stately plain brown bottle came out. Who needs fancy label art when this one is so elegant in its simplicity. It poured a murky mahogany brown color. An enormous tan foam head gushes up to the top in a beautifully controlled fashion. It retains seemingly for an eternity, its thick film covering the surface until the very end.
As I poured it out of the bottle onto the pint glass that was handed to me, I could immediately smell the aromas of dark bread, amber malts, caramel, dark fruit and a whiff of alcohol cutting through the air with their alluring boldness, as if to say "come hither!" So many layers throughout, its difficult to do justice to all. There was also a touch of cocoa, spices, raisin, plum and grape. Towards the end there was biscuity malt.
Going into the mouth was the highly anticipated moment for me. Some beers take a while for the flavors to develop. Not with this one. It's like all the nuances of bold and complex flavors burst forth as soon as they hit the tip of the tongue in a frenzy of instant gratification. If there is a smoother, more velvety and creamier brew out there, I haven't had it. In the mouth it feels like fluffy and soft floating clouds. Full bodied and gently carbonated, yet so drinkable that a few sips in I realized it was going down too fast. I'll discuss the flavors soon, except that I can't emphasize enough what an amazing texture, feel and drink ability this work of art of a beer is. As for the flavors, I do not know if there is another brew out there with such a complex array of flavors and that still manages to blend them so elegantly and smoothly. In the first phase there is a sweetness from amber malts, dark candi sugar, and soft tones of cocoa powder that add a smooth creaminess. This is complemented by a light alcohol spice that is just right and not boozy. Hard to decide what else to add as I'm sure I'm missing out on some flavor, but, here goes: dark fruit such as alcohol soaked raisins, plumps, red grape, and even a touch of lightly sour cherries. Vinous and with the feel of currants. Spicy and peppery but not overwhelmingly so, dark bread, and berries. What really did it for me is how in the middle phase there was the emergence of earthy, herbal grassy green hops that added a bold bitterness and dryness to the finish, unique in that I usually don't associate a strong hops profile with Belgian Ales.
As I finished I was in a state of both euphoria and sorrow. Euphoria at both the delicicious cornucopia of tastes and for the deceptively high ABV that provided no burn, and sorrow because it came to an end. Now for the dilemma of rating it. Was it worth the hype? Most definitely so, although the price and its status might have convinced me to wish it so. However, what is undeniable is that it is one of the most perfectly crafted, classy and elegant of all brews; it's like the Rolls Royce of brews. Is it the so called "world's best beer" as the sign at the bar said? Clearly a subjective and almost ridiculous concept, kind of like asking "what is the world's greatest piece of music, art or literature, however, I would find it hard to argue against it. Does it have flaws? I don't see any, which is why I will score it a perfect 5.
P.S. On the way out I picked up a bottle of Westvleteren VIII to go. Can't wait to try it!

 3,944 characters

Photo of aztraz
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of minterro
4.06/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Did the beer as part of a tasting. I love the look of the bottle. Just trappisten bier carved in the glass, no label.

Very interesting beer both in the taste and aroma. Doesn't seem like a quad, smells and tastes like a dunkel. It's not bad by any means, just not what I expected. Very well balanced, way easier to drink than expected for +10% ABV. Malty and interesting barnyard vibes from the yeast. I didn't taste it, but possibly some bubblegum as well.

For the price tag, I'm pretty sure this will be the last time I have this beer.

 541 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,418 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.