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

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BA SCORE
4.6/5
World-Class
6,538 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium
sintsixtus.be

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#35
Reviews:
1,912
Ratings:
6,538
pDev:
8.91%
Bros Score:
4.19
 
 
Wants:
3,713
Gots:
2,295
Trade:
154
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,538 |  Reviews: 1,912
Photo of 3Hops
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of jordanimal
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of alaimoa
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of kswizzle64
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of jbird_1973
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of kevrice88
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Rubenjr
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Aglassdarkley
3.73/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jolly_lynch
3.73/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- Deep amber with more head than expected; pretty murky
S- Dark fruit, burnt toffee, sugar, not much to cut the sweetness
T- Carb definitely plays in the finish, but still too sweet for me
F- Once again, carb really played a center role in this one, not my thing
O- Was nice to try, but won't be seeking this out in the future

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Photo of bobhits
3.73/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I'm sure this is a bit too soon to give this beer a fair review, but I've been holding it since the US release and well it's a year old finally so I couldn't hold myself back.

Poured into a St Bernardus glass. I poured a bit too gingerly and as a result no head to speak of. A murky dark brown with marginal but noticeable non the less legs.

The nose is of spices, molasses, caramel, sugar, dark fruits, and raisins.

The flavor is of spiced rum, caramel, rum soaked raisins and plums. The sugars are high, but the spices seem to keep them from pushing too far forward. I believe there is still a bit of a hop bite, not really adding much but perhaps enhancing the spices. Clearly this is a bit too fresh. As I drink this the sugars are almost taking on a bit of a fake sugar element. There is just something very so slightly off.

As I said before this one is a bit fresher than it should be. Still at a year old I'd think it would be a BIT more refined. Who's got 3-4 years to wait for a beer? The beer starts out a bit too bubbly and finishes a bit hot still. I imagine both will be better with age.

I'm torn on this review. I believe a beer should be nearing high marks even if it requires age at a year. I however have been told 3 years is where this one needs to be. I just can't justify not marking a beer off for wanting 3 years of cellaring to drink. That said this is complex as hell, the flavors are well balanced and well put together. With that said it's not for me. The flavors will mellow and blend more but the end result will still be a beer that's too sugary and has spices that I can pass on.

 1,618 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a de Struise chalice. 2001 bottle. Best by 9/7/2004. Won this bottle in a raffle at the Funky Buddha.

Appearance - Pours a murky reddish brown with a surprising off white head. Chunky and sedimenty. Collar of foam.

Smell - Sherry and other oxidized flavors. Very fruity. The caramel malt still comes through.

Taste - Significantly better than the aroma. The oxidation makes it a little creamier. Lots of sherry. No booze. Buckets of dark fruit. A touch sweet with a somewhat rough cardboard finish.

Mouthfeel - No booze. Low carbonation. Way too oxidized, but it's still pleasant to drink.

Overall - I should really review a fresher bottle. This is really oxidized but the quality of the beer still comes through. Westy with sherry.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.72/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a magnificent chestnut brown with moderate light penetration. Despite a vigorous pour, the only bubbles churned up are from agitation; retention is nonexistent, no donut, no lacing. Meh.

S: My first thought was that this smells like a wine. Lots of ripe, pungent dark fruit (red grapes, dates, figs) with the slightest hint of a boozy warmth. Phenolic spice character, candied sugar, and some yeast in there as well. At times I get a cinnamon-infused banana bread character. Wow.

T: It starts off with yeast, but progresses into a restrained sweetness consisting of bread, graham crackers, and dark fruits. I taste a lot of grape/raisin, and some lesser dates and figs. Spiciness is actually pretty mild, pricking the tongue just slightly here and there. Very light candi sugar is tasted throughout. Despite all this, the beer finishes, amazingly, a tad on the dry side. Impressive. Kind of expecting more spice though.

M: I'll be honest, I expect lively carbonation in Belgians. This beer poured flat, and suffers a bit for it, but it makes it up with a fairly attenuated body that doesn't let the sweetness become too much. Despite smelling a touch of the booze, I never tasted it and never felt it while drinking -- although walking straight was a challenge afterward.

D: It's a great beer, but in almost a dozen bottles of having this, I can't recall one that was above a wisp of carbonation. Maybe I have bad luck or maybe this beer just lacks in that department. I don't care for that. Given the difficulty of acquiring it, I give the nod to St. Bernardus 12 here.

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Photo of dren
3.71/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was overly excited when a buddy of mine bought a case of this and we were to have it for our final beer club beer #500. This beer poured a dark amber haze with a sizeable head. Smelled slightly sweet with a little spice and apple juice notes. Starts off with spiced apple juice, some sweet brown sugar flavors, dark dried fruit flavors, a little more spice and hints of lemon at the end of every few sips. More alcohol warmth than I would have liked. It overpowered some of the flavors and stood out more as the beer warmed. A very full flavored beer but not as good as I was expecting. In fact I favor several quads and trippels over this brew. It was worth the money to say you have had one, but I would never pay the high price to have this beer again. The rarity gives this beer extremely too much credit.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.71/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to numenor1 for the chance to try this one. Pours a beautiful amber deep copper color into my DFH chalace. At first, an impressive head that looked like a cooking pancake, with large bubbles rising to the surface. Then, the head vanishes. I pick up alchol and dates in the aroma. Interesting enough... but not shocking. Taste is that of rum mixed with ripe fruits, and then it dries out and leaves your palate clean. Almost too dry though to me. Mouthfeel is good, outside of the dry chalky taste that this leaves. It is drinkable given the ABV, but I've got to say, I don't think this is the "best beer in the world".

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Photo of liamt07
3.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as part of Westy Wednesday at Volo, served in a flute. Anticipation is huge with this one, peensteen and I were drooling waiting to sample this one. Been waiting to get my lips on this one for a while.

Poured a deep dark maroon, with some burgundy and deep blood red highlights at times. Great lace and creamy, dense head. Nose is of rich dark fruits, figs, rich plums, brown sugar and a vanilla. A sense of some subdued alcohol notes, rich and very pleasant overall. Taste is a cascade of raisin, plum and figs on the tongue, less brown sugar than the nose, some vanilla, light spicing. Long dry finish, and fairly dry throughout. Lingering mouthfeel with some warming alcohol. Begs for sip after sip, this was just fantastic. Best quad I've come across thusfar, absolutely delicious and worth every bit of hype. 5/45/5/5/45

Re-reviewed as this was shared among a variety of other quads as part of the QuadShowdown - amazingly, out of 13 quads, we ranked this the absolute lowest. 2010 vintage. Poured a dark brown, with a dark cream coloured head. Great retention and a bit of lace. Nose is really grape-y, sweet with a lot of Welch's grape juiciness. Some sugary notes and a bit of vanilla. Taste reflects the nose, more grape and Welch's, some balance but there's just a great amount of grape juice here. Some caramel, darker fruits and sugar, but not alot of complexity. Medium-medium heavy mouthfeel with a bit of creaminess, with some lingering saccharine and grape notes. Modest, but feels too young. 4/4/35/4/35

 1,530 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Two vintages shared by PDXHops on 11/18/11.

# 1- Poured into a Chimay goblet. Bottled November 2008.
Deep brown in the middle but brighter around the edges. Thin, wispy head over half the beer with a thick-ish ring of retention holing well. A few drippy spots of lace, too.

The aroma started out incredibly bready - freshly baked, lightly buttered and grainy. Something akin to sugar-drizzled pecans. As it warms, fruit tones emerge - baked apples, tart and still green. Suggestions of black raspberry jam. Biscuit, toffee and candy corn. Very pleasant.

The flavors are much more integrated than the aromas, balanced and blended. Lots of lightly toasted bread; nicely grainy. Toffee and the faintest caramel. I'm shocked at how fruit this isn't; then again, that's probably the reason I like it. Not spicy, either.

The feel is full, though it has watery edges. Carbonation is low. While this isn't the smoothest, the feel is very fluid regardless in spite of a graininess.

~~~

# 2- Poured into a La Chouffe tulip. Bottled February 2009.
The appearance is is a swamp water bogged wooden brown; dulled and dense. It's an ugly color. Sediment is suspended throughout. Poured a 1/3rd inch head that hold 1/4th inch retention - quite impressive in that regard. One thick drip of lace.

The nose finds tart and tangy fruit notes - over-ripe apple, especially. Pear, too. Undertones of baked and toasted bread with spicy yeast tones. Buttered biscuit even deeper down. Sugary pastry notes. A vapid, dry aroma catches my attention from time to time. Faint banana. Smooth butter toffee as it warms.

The flavor has an overarching sense of dirt and earth, which turns to dry bread notes - simultaneously fluffy and yeasty. Surprisingly, fruit esters take a back seat. Toasted sugars on the back end aren't terribly sweet - more rounded than anything.

The body is a bit on the plump side of medium. Any smoothness is aggravated by a modest carbonation up top and sandy, granular underpinnings. Warming. Spicy finish with alcohol residuals.

~~~

Overall impression: Neither vintage was what I was expecting; I figured this would be a far more potent beer. These two bottles don't even seem like the same beer, they're so different. I like #1 better but, in terms of style, it's for all the wrong reasons.

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
3.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Maybe mine was aged poorly, but tasted like iron filings and grape cool aid. Looked and smelled the part though. Probably need to try a fresher one. Eh.

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Photo of afksports
3.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I opened a 2006 bottle the other day with my girlfriend before she began an internship. Special woman, special beer, random day of the week.

Recent studies suggest that our perceptions have a lot to do with how we taste. Rarity, for example, has something to do with a positive reaction. Same with group pre-approval. So opening the A+ "best in the world" beer from BeerAdvocate, I suppose my expectations were already through the roof.

Sadly, they were let down. The appearance was dark, reddish at the seams, with good head and lacing even after five years in the bottle. But it's a bit too ruddy, and appears like it hasn't completely held together. The smell is pure, complex, and holds dates, raisins, caramel, candy, roastiness and smoke. It doesn't appeal strongly to my palate, but it's all there.

The taste is more of the same. Dates: dried and sugared. Sweet, with a yeasty alcohol finish. In the mouth it's relatively thick despite the age, and there's no doubting it's complexity. That said, I look forward to trying one fresh, because Rochefort 10 blew this out of the water.

Or maybe that's just my perception...

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.69/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PDXHops
3.66/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Massive thanks to jsilva and Gatorbeernerd for these 2 bottles, which were shared and compared with Ryan011235.

# 1- Poured into a Chimay goblet. Bottled November 2008.
Murky brown with a ton of floaties, even with a pretty careful pour. Eventually this clears/settles into something somewhat resembling a strongly roasted tea. Modestly sized head, but pretty nice retention considering the age and the width of the glass opening. Nose is freshly baked bread smeared with apple butter, straw and yeast. Not nearly as fruity smelling as I’d guessed, and not as fruity tasting, either. Yeasty and bready with a pleasant, but light plummy taste. As warms, sorghum and toffee sweetness begin to emerge, along with a light grassiness. Brown sugar. Sourwood honey. The skim of foam is easily kept alive with a swirl now and then. Scattered speckly lace isn’t too bad at all considering how much I’ve swirled this stuff to study it. Without a doubt the highlight of this bottle is the incredibly soft and velvety mouthfeel, which leaves behind a lingering yeast/bread/honey combo in the finish.

# 2- Poured into a La Chouffe tulip. Bottled February 2009.
A shade darker, with active carbonation feeding a finger or so of beige foam. Comparatively tenacious retention. Perhaps a trick of the glassware, but the aromas are more lively with this one. The nose seems more fresh and yeasty, although not as bold as I'd like. A fruitier flavor, particularly with prune and raisin, but again, not as potent as expected. Light leafy and tobacco notes. Carbonation slightly more prickly, but in general the same seductive, slippery feel. This one seems to have a touch more warming alcohol, although neither is particularly boozy. Light cocoa and a sweetness that reminds me of straight liquid malt extract.

Overall impression: I was somewhat surprised about the differences between the batches bottled just 3 months apart, but even moreso by the subtlety of both bottles. I’d almost go so far as to call them tame, at least in the bold world of quads. Tasty, although somewhat underwhelming. Perhaps they go through something akin to the ‘awkward’ stage you often see in American barleywines. I’ll update my review if I get the chance to try fresher or older samples.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.65/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Westvleteren 12

Huge thanks to Pimpp for this 1!

A- Hazy murky red with a nice creamy head. Foamy lacing on the glass.
S- Raisins, prunes, figs, nutmeg, and pepper.
T- Big strong and sweet dried fruits; raisin, figs, and prunes dominate touch of spices like pepper, nutmeg, and clove. Strong rock candy sugar with a kick of alc. in the end.
M- Fruity and sweet yet creamy mild on the tongue. A touch of boozy alc. in the aftertaste.

Overall- A good cold evening or desert beer!

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Photo of Enochase04
3.65/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my style but didn't dislike the beer. Nice fruity aroma to it and taste kind of follows. Like I said just not my style.

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Photo of seanyfo
3.62/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle poured into Grimbergen chalice

Best Before date 04 December 2010

A- Dark mahogany body with a lot of sediment. 2 finger creamy head with average retention and minimal lacing.

S- Toasted almonds, a little dark fruit, some rose petal sweetness and a touch of wholemeal bread. Overall aromas are subtle

T- Malt forward again. Wholemeal bread qualities come through again supported by a sweet malt backbone. No real suggestion of alcohol heat, very smooth.

M- Creamy with medium carbonation, full body. Very smooth considering abv

D- Appearance wise not amazing, Flavour/aromas are subdued i guess with age. Mouthfeel retains a lovely creaminess and full mouthfeel. Overall, not a beer i would say has enhanced with age. Certainly no developing complexties. Eventhough not drinking this beer before, i cant help but feel its lost some former glory. Would love to try fresh!

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Photo of aaronh
3.62/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown body topped by a thin head that fades quickly. Aroma is a lot of dark fruits, brown sugar and some nice malt sweetness. In fact, the aroma is the best part of this beer. Tatse is a bit flat. Malt and fruit flavors seem muted. Yeast autolysis is noticeable. Mouthfeel is OK, buit it seems a bit off. Like there's oil and water both in the same drink. Drinakibility is OK, but for the price I'd expect a lot more.

I've been waiting to review this beer for a while (2 years since my first notes). I've tried 3 bottles from 3 locations - I guess I just don't like this beer as much as a lot of other beers!

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,538 ratings