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
6,582 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian 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:
#47
Reviews:
1,922
Ratings:
6,582
pDev:
8.91%
 
 
Wants:
3,731
Gots:
2,311
Trade:
153
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,582 |  Reviews: 1,922
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.

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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

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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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Photo of youradhere
3.61/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been holding off on this for a while to prepare myself for the hype, so lets see how this "famous" beer holds up to the lumpen proletarian sentiment.

Pours a murky amber-brown with a rocky off-white head. Smells of wine, peppery yeast, wheat spice, kind of like hopped up Bitburger. Taste is subdued, sweet but not in your face; I get some cola, toffee, white wine, hop bitterness on the very back that is barely there, some clove spice, mellow flavor for sure. I like the mellowness of this compared to similar brews with in-your-face spice that makes me wish I was drinking something else. Carbonation is high and mouthfeel isn't thick at all; very drinkable as the sugars aren't cloying, the pepper-clove character seems to cleans that 'sugar overload' from the palate. Drinkability was marked down to the exclusivity of this, if I could find it down the street I would sit through a sixer of it and crawl on my lips to my bed. A decent beer indeed, but nothing I'd trade something special out of my cellar for. Verdict: the best of the Belgian styles that I have tried thus far, but certainly not a game changer for me.

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Photo of vinny21bal
3.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a very good beer. I like it old however. Opening this beer fresh is a waste of time and money. It is like drinking it with only 50% of its potential. I think I enjoyed the chase for this beer more then actually drinking it. It is a very good beer but not as good as all the hype. I have had it fresh, and aged multiple years.

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Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours with one and a half fingers of off white foam on top of a somewhat hazy, dark brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Spicy yeast with notes of molasses, brown sugar, and a bit of a boozy note. Kind of rum like really.

T - A bit of dark fruit up front which is quickly washed away by toasty brown malt. Lots of burnt sugar and toast in the middle with a spicy finish of clove, licorice, and some tea like herbal bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a vey dry finish for such a strong beer.

D - Well, after years of wondering if I would ever have a chance to try this, here I am. You have to sort of expect that a beer with this much hype might fail, at least a little bit, to lie up to its reputation and as much as I hate to say it this is no exception. It is harshly toasty and kind of one dimensional, with a sickly sugary flavor that tastes like someone put too much sugar in their homebrew. It isn't as good as ABT 12 and its not even in the same building as Rochefort 10. I'm glad I only traded for one, I would guess this would fall off the top 100 rapidly if people could get it more easily.

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Photo of aaronyoung01
3.56/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.56/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

MASSIVE thanks to Rempo for this bottle...

Cap date: 29.10.05

A: Pours a murky brown and tan with a thin ring of pure white head around the edges of the glass. The foam ring lingers for as long as the beer is in the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is quite interesting. I get alcohol burn, berry notes, malt, and sugar. To be perfectly honest... it smells like some sort of cough syrup.

T: This beer tastes like moldy berries, soaked pumpernickel bread, rock candy, and booze.

M: Full bodied beer. It's sweet to start and cloying.

O: I know this beer has a huge claim to fame, but I'm just not a fan. I have had this many times in the past year, in a bunch of different vintages, and I remain firm on my ranking. I just don't like it. I don't understand all the hype. I can only trust my taste-buds. What I will say, is that I like this beer much better when it is fresh. This particular bottle has 10+ years on it.

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Photo of wheresblue
3.52/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of StephenRich
3.52/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is widely and arguably acknowledged as the best beer on the planet. It has had more heritage and prestige poured into its creation, more exclusivity surrounding its availability, and more debate about its worth than potentially any beer on earth. It is the Westvleteren 12. The bottles come exactly as shown here; no label, and nearly no branding wahtsoever. A thick bevel around the shoulder of the bottle claims Trappisten Bier, and the cap indicates that it is indeed a Westvleteren 12, at 10.2% abv, and thats it.

It is important to understand that this is not the best beer in the world, it is merely the highest rated beer on the planet. There is a difference.

This posses an interesting predicament that I have come by so many times since engulfing myself in the world of beer; that is trying a beer that has been so outrageously hyped with an untainted preconception of it. Its nearly impossible to ignore the hype and approach it with a clean slate and unbiased palate. It's true, I wanted to love the Westy, but I tried my very hardest to conduct an unobstructed tasting of it before I would relax and simply enjoy it.

The Westy 12 was served to me at cellar temperature around 14C (57F) as a vintage Belgian Quadrupel should be. This allows all of the beer's flavors to stand forward without the cold numbing your palate or any sensations. The pour was easy and straight forward; nothing too elegant, thick or lush - rather uneventful actually. No head built until about halfway up the glass when a soft airy cream colored foam began to build. It showed a smattering of large bubbles scarcely scattered throughout the head eventually building to maybe an inch. It faded fast to a translucent film. The beer was dark and glowing. It was a rich burgundy red with deep ambers, golden browns, and pitches of black trapping any light that came near. It was not totally opaque though, and was crisply transparent. Very pretty, but not nearly as dense or as full as I had expected.

The nose is soft and aromatic in a classic Belgian style. Malted grain bring pale and caramelized flavors into your nose and plays with the range of sweet bread, biscuit, golden raisins, brown sugar, and nuts. Sweetness dominates the air with no hop aroma to be found. Leaning back in for more brings apple juice and cider to my senses and more raisin flavor. Touches of pear and cereal show up, then fresh baked sweet egg bread.

When going in for a sip I was madly excited and nervous. I wanted it to be good, but at the same time was trying not to expect anything. I let the first sip wash over my palate and swirl into ever inch of my mouth. My friends were starring at me in silence awaiting my approval or disapproval. I said nothing and went in for another taste before I made any premature conclusions.

My first impression was of the mouthfeel - it was not thin, but it was definitely not lush. It poured over me with a smooth and silky texture, but was relatively flat and uncarbonated. The years ageing in the bottle may have have stripped the beer of its effervescence faster than I would have assumed. Beyond the mouthfeel was a sweet and fruity wave of malts - big malts. Quick complexity caught my attention at the Westy showed me golden raisins, plums, pears, light golden sugar and grapes. It was richly fruity and a good balance of sweet pale and caramel malts.

No roast, bitter, or tart was apparent to me yet, and I started to wonder how this seemingly one sided beer had claimed the top spot among the beer world's best. The malt was soft but potent, digging deep into my taste buds bringing candy, and sweet molasses. It showed hints of nut and sweet cereal, but lacked the cocoa, earth, citrus or complex presence that I was expecting from a big Quad like this. Regardless of what I was expecting, a delicious soft sweet bread flavor was present. It was the unmistakable flavor of Challa - a sweet egg bread made for Shabot dinner. Soon then came based apples and a hint of tart cider. The sweet was wide and generous, and very delicious. But still, something was lacking; a spice, or herb, or balance... Something.

The finish mimicked everything about this beer so far; it was a short, plain finish with a sweet fruity sensation and little crackle.

Don't get me wrong, this was very delicious, but to me beer is graded by flavor, construction, and sensations. This beer just didn't peak where I had expected it to, and hence the problem with knowing the hype. I would still give the Westy very high grades, just not in the elite class. That being said, two of my friends satting at the table has each had a Westy 12 before, and they both claimed that this tasted different. So, will not make a conclusion on this beer until I have had another. And the hunt continues...

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 6,582 ratings