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

6,281 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,859 | Ratings: 6,281
Photo of Lelo767
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely worth the hype and expense, the Westvleteren XII is the best beer you will ever have in the world! This beer actually tastes better as it ages....I have had a 2017 and a 2015, and the older the better. Dark, complex, malty and both spicy and fruity, with a thick milkshake texture. This is the perfect winter beer, however it is not available for purchase in local stores in Belgium. You can find it at northern Belgium restaurants for 10-15 euro per Bottle. I skip the high markups and go directly to the Westvleteren Sint Sixtus Abbey where you can get a case every 6 months for 42 euro (by reservation only) and they register your license, plus you agree NOT to re-sell to a 3rd party...Yes, it is that special!

 731 characters

Photo of punkindrublic50
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely deserving of the best beer in the world title. Has such an utter depth and complexity it will leave your head spinning. Aesthetics are quite nice with a dark color and a pleasant tan head, but the smell is when you realize something incredibly is coming. Fruits, spices, candy, it just hits you all at once with an intensity even stronger than a Dogfish 120.

On a side note, if at all possible wait to try this beer until you are able to make the pilgrimaged out to the monastery in Belgium. The surrounding country is some of the most peaceful and quiet farmland I've ever seen, and builds up the experience of trying the beer to a whole new level.

 661 characters

Photo of drumline
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle with a 30.08.09 freshness date

Appearance - Pours a very dark red/brown, with around half an inch of head that clings to the side of the glass with each swirl.

Smell - Dark fruity smell of raisins, plums, and cranberries. Yeasty smell as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very creamy, malty mouthfeel. Taste of belgian candi sugars and dark fruits. Light hop bitterness, and the perfect amount of carbonation. The closest thing to an orgasm of the mouth. Absolutely wonderful.

Drinkability - The 10.2% alcohol is barely even noticeable. Very drinkable brew; my 33cl glass was empty before I knew it, and left me wanting more and more. I could drink this everyday for the rest of my life, if it was readily available.

At first I was hesitant to give this beer straight 5s, but I honestly can't find anything I'd want to change about it. Perfection in a bottle. Easily the best beer I've ever had.

 912 characters

Photo of DahWag
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

King of the Trappist ales.
The malt sweetness is just on the verge of sticky, but does not detract.
More body than the SB Abt12, which of course is the comparable.
Love it.

 172 characters

Photo of cincysig
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My palate tends to appreciate the blunt instrument of hops, but this is (obviously) world class in its category. Opened my bottle in May 2015. Highly recommend.

 160 characters

Photo of Prospero
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the few beers that deserves an all 5-pt rating, this beer is mind blowing.

Bottled date was 4/13/12, poured into 15cl Westvleteren XII glass.

Great deep dark brown color with a small light tan head, the aroma is sweet like candy with hints of plum and a very slight sniff of alcohol but not immediately present. The taste is incredibly complex, so much going on with the belgian candy sugar, molasses, the roasted notes from the malts and the dark fruit just all meshes so beautifully together with what is an amazing yeast strain. To get to 10% with almost no presence of alcohol lingering is quite amazing while keeping enough residual sugar that it lingers on your lips, it's by far the best quad / belgian strong dark ale I've ever had. The body is rich, smooth and complex with medium carbonation to enhance the sweetness and finish, just great overall beer. I wish all beer was this wonderfully crafted.

 918 characters

Photo of dwren89
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: foamy tan head, medium burgundy color, opaque

Aroma: beet, prune, slightly sugary malt character, Belgian yeast character-- pungent and slightly earthy

Taste: blast of sugary sweetness at first, then developing beet/prune/date flavor, with supporting bitterness, and surprisingly balanced and somewhat dry finish

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, tingly in mouth, surpringly light bodied for the style (medium body), nimble and not at all cloying,

Overall Impression: This is the Quad to end all Quads. An immediate dark fruit punch in the mouth with slowly developing dark malt and yeast character that somehow manages to stay medium bodied and a slightly dry finish. Although it is very similar in taste to most well made quads, its nimble body and drying finish take the Westy XII to another level. This is a malt bomb that is amazingly drinkable.

 862 characters

Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this beer from thomashardy for an AleSmith Barrel Aged Wee Heavy. I have been sitting on it for a few weeks, and now, on my birthday, I think it is the time to try it.

This beer pours a dark rust brown color with a light brown head. The head is quite fluffy. It fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a spicy peppery aroma. I can detect some alcohol. It also smells of dates and maybe prunes and raisins. It has a rich caramle sweet aroma also. It has an earthy yeast aroma.

This beer tastes very complex. It is very well balanced. I taste some spicy flavor. Also, the dark fruit flavors are present. Raisins, prunes, dates. It tastes sweet. It has a slight bready yeast flavor.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a caramel sweet aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

This beer would probably make an excelent session beer if you could get it. It is a little high in alcohol, but the great well balanced flavor more than makes up for it.

Is this the best beer in the world? Apparently so. If you want my opinoin, and you must since you are reading this review, it is definately a great beer. I have had other beers of different styles that are equally as good though. It is definately the best Quadrapel I have had though. Thank you thomashardy for helping me finally try this great beer.

 1,342 characters

Photo of Trapist007
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was fortunate enough to acquire six bottles of Westy 12 over the Xmas holiday. All I can say is that this is by far the best example of a Belgian Quad that I have ever had. Any Belgian for that matter. It completely lives up to the hype. the pour is nice with a tan head. The smell has lots of dark stone fruits, rich toasted malt, maplely. The taste just went through a rainbow of flavors, plums, raisins, dates, with maltiness, a little toastiness to name a few, with a light dry, very light hop finish. It is incredibly complex, and continues to grow more and more complex with every sip, just building on the last. Drink on the warmside, 50 to 55deg Fahrenheit. This beer is so smooooooooth. Just a fantastic beer. It's one of my Top 3 Beers of all Time.

 769 characters

Photo of KingHefey
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Poured into a Westvleteren chalice. 21.05.11 stamped on the cap.

A: A deep red mohogany colour. A very tan head with tight bubbles. A lot of sediment in this particular bottle.

S: Raisins, dates, dark cherries, honey, malty goodness accented with vanilla. I cannot stop sticking my nose in the glass.

T: The dark fruits, sweetness of the malts and a fantastic spice. Caramel, caramelized brown sugar and a hint of vanilla are next followed by the alcohol in a very subtle way. So complex and delicious.

M: Very smooth and creamy. The warming sensation from the alcohol is amazing.

D: I wish I had another... and another. I wish I could do this experience justice, I almost didn't write a review.

 714 characters

Photo of lnashsig
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

#BOTG 75! A huge one for tonight, a long time want. Bottled 4-14-11. Poured from bottle into Chimay Chalice. Pours blood brown/red. Super creamy off white head that doesn't go away at all. Beautiful. Smell- apple sauce, cinnamon, raisins, prunes, sweet fusel alcohol, ripe pears, dark cherries, dark overly ripe plums. Brilliant. Super complex. Taste- sweet, deep ripe dark fruits, raisins, plum, with a salty sweet ending. Prunes, brandy notes, a tiny bit of alcohol notes, but it doesn't burn at all. Just super smooth. I was wondering how it could possibly be better than Rochefort 10, and it is. It's just so creamy, smooth, deep, complex. Bravo, its the hype.

 664 characters

Photo of azorie
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

date on cap: 19.03.08

A: its pours from the 330ml bottle into a nice tulip type glass, dark brown with a big head served at 55f. What can say its the perfect beer.

S: very rich dark raisin and other plum type smells, some mild hop, and a slight bit of alcohol.

T: here where the rubber his the road, its all about the great rich taste to me, there is too much in here for me to figure out, but I know I love it, give me some Trappist cheese and I could die after with no regrets.

M: very full body and depending how much its been aged if its fresh you detect some alcohol, its only gets better with age.

D: I always have 3 in a row, so its dam drinkable to me

I love it aged or not aged

 692 characters

Photo of Ragnar
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice looking bottle. Very pleasant smell. Very nice taste and Good alcohol content. Excellent beer! Good beer for Sunday's relaxing in a sofa. Good also that all the money goes to the monks and charity.

 202 characters

Photo of JPBCrown
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked a few bottles up at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam. Initially, I was going to wait until I got back to the States to indulge...but the excitement got the better of me.

I poured the beer in a Chimay chalice. Dark and beautiful...but still transparent.

The smell was complex and earthy. Dried fruit and dark sugar.

Huge build-up to my first taste, and it was not disappointing. Fruity, floral, boozy, earthy. Thick and very's difficult to point out each individual flavor, because they interact with each other. It was more carbonated than I thought, but the mouthfeel was still great.

Hard to tell if this is the best beer that I have ever had, but I will always remember the day in Nice, France when I first tried this beer. This beer wins for my favorite "beer moment".

 793 characters

Photo of harrmatees
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is by far one of the best I have ever had. It is so smooth you dont even notice the high alcohol content. I ordered this through the Belgian shop. I have also tried the Trappist Westvleteren 8 and it was also excellent!

I wish I had another, it was well worth the money.

 281 characters

Photo of GilGarp
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Chris for the generous trade of Westvleteren.

A plain 33cl brown bottle with a slim neck topped with a black and gold cap. Dated 25.08.12

Holding the bottle up to the window, I can already see that it has excellent clarity and just a tiny bit of sediment at the bottom.

The cap opens with a loud hiss. I pour it slowly down the side of the goblet glass but a huge rocky head forms anyway. Even leaving the last dregs in the bottle, the oversized glass is complete filled - half glorius beer, half thick linen colored head. I'm starting to wonder if it will ever settle. Chunky lace is left behind as it starts to give up the fight.

Westy 12 is a perfect ruby red color when the light hits it. Surprisingly good clarity but that's probably due to having plenty of time to settle in my basement. The bubbles continue to cascade up through the beer from the etched bottom of this glass. What a sight.

The aroma is distinct and special in it's own right. While familiar to a Belgian beer lover, it seems to have a little something special - that unique trappist yeast. It's like a warm wheat bread dough being proofed. Dark cherries, raisins, plum pudding, and fruit cake all mingling in my nose.

The flavor is equally wonderful and complex. The first sip dances across my tongue and has such incredible nuance and depth that it seems to linger well after. The taste is much like the aroma with all sorts of fantastic dark fruit both sweet and a little tart. There is bread and chocolate as I roll it around my mouth. What a great combination of flavors! The yeast imparts a flavor that isn't funky or sour but somewhere in between and very mild.

The mouthfeel is suprisingly light in body with perfectly judged carbonation for the style. It's smooth but the alcohol begins to warm on its way down. Otherwise, I don't know if I would ever know it's over 10%. A beer this strong and full of complex flavors has no right being so easy to drink.

Overall just an amazing beer! Looking over my review, I realize I'm running out of adjectives to describe how great it is. Worthy of the accolades and praise. The most wonderful, special, and unique beer in the world. Period.

 2,189 characters

Photo of Wegomlegging
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My dear Lord. This beer poured with a perfect, beautiful head that left a lace that was almost better that a woman's. Dark amber brown, with a clarity if poured with the retraction move utilized on most Belgians with internal fermentation. It almost kills me to wait and look, because I know what's next. The flavor is outstanding, dare I say epic. The fact that it pegs the meter in all aspects of beer flavors, while at the same time maintaining a perfect balancing act, is nothing short of awesome. The yeasty flavor coupled with the hard water provide the backbone for the dry and floral flavors that dance with the light malt and hops. It finishes dry and satisfying, and begs you to open another with its tempting warm alcohol in the back of the throat. Please don't hate me for having cases of this beer in my basement when I lived in Belgium. My friend's Belgian wife was very adept at acquiring copious amounts of this platinum liquid. This is my favorite beer in the universe, and has been for over ten years.

 1,019 characters

Photo of thorkelson
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Girlfriend brought me this one home from Amsterdam.

Absolutely wonderful - compared next to St. Bernardus and can tell overwhelmingly that this is the better brew.


 174 characters

Photo of Heatwave33
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look- Cute face, slim waist with big behind! Want to spend the rest of my life you.

Smell- Sexy stone fruits with lots of European characteristics.

Taste- No words can describe her taste. It is pure perfection and I want it in my mouth forever.

Feel- So smooth. Clean and refreshing. Will never let go of this feeling.

Overall- This is the beer my wife and I used for out wedding toast. So it will always hold a special place in my heart. Plus there is a long story behind the beer. Always and Forever.

 507 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have gotten several of these in trades and this is about my 4th one but have just started reviewing.

Poured into a chimay goblit. Looks beautiful. Nice tan head that stays through with a nice brown body.

Smells of dark fruits, spices and candy sugar. Simply awesome smell.

Tastes just as it smells and is simply amazing. I am very fortunate to have a couple of these and will always keep a
couple around since it is a top five brew that I have had. Recomend that everyone try this one because it will knock your socks off.

 527 characters

Photo of bashiba
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep dark brown with lots of carbonation bubbles sticking up and down the glass. A light bit of tan head quickly was gone.

Smell was full and sweet with a subtle fruits, sweet malts, and a funky spicy yeast quality all coming through.

Flavor is sweet and light with a great mixture of fruity notes, spices, and a lightly citrusy and minty bit of hops bringing it into perfect balance.

Mouthfeel is silky and creamy with a nice bit of heat and good carbonation.

Overall this is an outstanding beer, I have drank it on several occasions with some other world class beers to compare it to. I have a tough time saying its the best beer I have ever had, but have just as difficult time saying it isn't. I think it deserves a perfect score, I can't imagine a single thing here you could improve on.

 805 characters

Photo of sbrotschul
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The heavens opened up, and His light came down and landed on a small Abbey of Monks. In turn, they grace the world with one of the perfectly complex beers for those lucky enough to find and partake.

I have been lucky enough to spend a year visiting my wife and kids in France, just 45 minutes away from the abbey. In my visits, I would have a beer in the restaurant, and take home a few boxes for enjoyment. The 12 sets the standard; a Holy Grail for those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I had a "taste" of one in Pittsburgh at the House of 1000 Beers (New Kensington), where four of us split one bottle ($9 each, for 3 ounces!). I first visited the Abbey with wife and kids, sitting on the outdoor veranda and enjoying each second of the visit. I've been finding that the best beers are made better by the journey and the exclusivity of the brew. In this case, the journey was as memorable as the beer, and the beer is 'top rate.'

Appearance (5.0). Smooth and deep, thick but light, dark reddish brown, with sticky lacing after a full head. Thinking that I heard the voice of god as I took my first sip of beer, I was disappointed to look up and see my waiter asking for my lunch order. I had ham sandwich and salad.

Smell (5.0). Too many real smells, blending together to show hints of plum and fig, yeast and a bit of sunshine. The garden also helped enhance the smells, as the spring morning gave way to a pleasant afternoon.

Taste (5.0). Who can argue on the complex nature of the tastes, which changed and grew as the beer became warmer. By the end of the 2nd draft, I had hints of chocolate and fig, brown sugar and caramel.

Mouthfeel (5.0). A party. Bubbles and Belgian at first, and then calm and tasty to finish.

Overall (5.0). After the skies shined, we had to return home. But not without stopping at the gift shop to pick up as many boxes of the samplers as I could manage. Flew home with four boxes of beer (four glasses, four 12, four 8 and 8 blond). Gave one box to my brother, split one with my beer nerds, and saved two for myself. I can't wait to try the 8 & 12 in a few .... years.

 2,136 characters

Photo of Jeff_Dubya
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't say enough for this beer. It is absolutely perfect in tevery sense for what an ale should be. While you get a little boozy flavor up front, this Trappist masterpiece remains smooth with absolutely zero bite. I've had 8 or so of them and always want another.

 265 characters

Photo of sterstar1
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased a bottle in Belgium and brought it back to the states. It was in the cellar for 4 years and I just opened it the other day. What a treat. The color was deep and beautiful. The nose was an absolute delight. Definitely candy and caramel notes. The mouthfeel was perfect in terms of body. Not too much and not too little. And the taste, well, amazing. Looking forward to going back to buy another for those blessed monks. Cheers.

 436 characters

Photo of CookeMD
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just secured 6 bottles of Westy 12. First time tasting the beer. This beer lives up to the hype. It's incredibly complex and fires on all cylinders. I think recent reviews have purposely downplayed the beer due to it's previous publicity as "the best beer in the world." It's a fantastic beer...a rare beer. Worthy of the title of the world's best.

 348 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,281 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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