Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

1,807 Reviews
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium | website

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
Reviews: 1,807 | Ratings: 6,045
Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow is all I can say. Fantastic beer. While most belgian beers don't tend to be my favorite styles, this and Abt 12 have both been spectactular. I plan on sampling Rochefort 10, Abt 12, and Westy 12 against each other soon.

 226 characters

Photo of Hugues
4.49/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely worth it's title as "the world's best beer", I worship the rare places in Brussels where you can buy this (unfortunately in too small quantities)

 156 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I finally got hold of this beauty, bottled in 2014 from Belgian Happiness.

The beer pours dark brown with a little hint of copper and is hazy. Almoust compact liquid.
A two finger high, beige, head that dissapears pretty quick and leaves lacing.

Nose: Soft touch of yeast, dark bread, fruity esters, plum, raisin, dark fruit, caramel malt, brown sugar, toffee and molasses. It's a very sweet nose! So wonderful nose - I could stay here, just feeling the nose...
Taste: Wow! Brown sugar, caramel malt, carmelized sugar, some dark notes of coffee and leather, dark bread, riasin, dried fruit and molasses. It's beatiful!
Body: Medium body and carbonation. A bitterness that works together with the sweet malt. Thick, complex structure.

I just LOVE tuhis beer! It is definitely one of the best! Previously I have had a lot of St. Bernardus Abt 12 and as I've been told - It i pretty close! But this is the master :)

 919 characters

Photo of jgunther71
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very good. Smooth for 10.20% percent. No boozy taste. One of the best Quads out there. Very hard to find. A complex beer that most everyone will love!

 150 characters

Photo of Moose90
3.82/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at a bottle share, updated from notes

A — Pours a deep ruby amber hue into the glass. Quite dark and rich looking. Puffy and sticky light mocha colored head forms and leaves some sticky lacing behind. There is also a fair amount of sediment in the beer, even with a slow and steady pour.

S — Smells quite bright initially, lots of dark fruits, plums, figs, raisins, light cherry component as well. Lots of yeasty character. Big hit of caramel and molasses sweetness as well.

T — Lots of stone fruits and quite a bit sweeter than expected to be honest. Lots of bright sweet fruits and a little bit of a caramel sweetness. As it warms there is a bit of an oaky component and a bit of nuttiness.

M — Medium bodied, long and sweet lingering finish.

O — Very good overall, though it is lighter than anticipated. There is still a great depth of flavor, and it is worth seeking out, just temper expectations.

 926 characters

Photo of coloradorios
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A buddy of mine from Netherlands and I shared this gem. We chilled it for approximately 15 minutes and drank it very slow to enjoy it. Amazing beer. Wish I could find it in Houston.

 182 characters

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

Better than expected. Reminds me of Trappist Rochefort 10, but less alcoholy. Like the bottle design a lot. I have a version minus the label, but looks much better with it on.

 175 characters

Photo of Doderlein_Bacillus
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown, murky. Aroma is a complex blend of fruit, chocolate and caramel malt. Mouthfeel is soft and wineous. Flavour starts sweet, goes into a toffee sweet-/softness, a slight touch of bitterness breaks the sweet notes. Extremely well balanced palate, all elements blend perfect into each other and none of them dominate. Has a touch of warming alcohol in the finish.

 377 characters

Photo of Ranz
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Cap is dated 13.12.15

In an oversized goblet, it poured a quarter-inch head that dissipated quickly. The color is a rich opaque brown with some sediment floating near the top.

Aromas of overripe plums, figs, dates, and maybe even apricot. The alcohol is present on the nose, too, along with a major sugar character. It's rich but not overpowering. Absolutely lovely.

Wow, this is the quad to beat. Rich fig, molasses, and carmelized brown sugar. It's hitting all of the right notes.

The mouthfeel is luxurious: stilly lightly carbonated with some creamy juiciness. I'm not sure how else to describe it. The alcohol has just the slightest singe, but it's extremely drinkable.

I have my brother-in-law and his sergeant to thank for this, and I'm so grateful for the experience. This is truly world-class, and one of the top three best beers I have ever enjoyed.

 868 characters

Photo of MIbeerGeek84
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This Could very will be the best non BA beer ive ever had.
Pours a tan/copper tone with a finger head.
Smells of dark fruit, toffee, caramel, and leather.
Taste is just as the smell except it has some more sweetness to it like a brown sugar.
Mouth full is perfect for a quad. Thick with the taste lingering.
Overall like it says the best non BA beer ive had to date.

 367 characters

Photo of pagriley
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

L - Deep Amber Ruby color. Very clear with a foamy off white head
S - Dried fruit and dark caramel malts. Surprisingly soft yeast without much overt fruity esters
T - caramel, figs and raisins. Some stone fruit overtones. Firm bitterness to finish
F - prickly with bright carb. Slightly creamy with a sweet finish

Overall worth seeking out. Had this with st bernardus ABT 12, and I would give this the nod, but it is exceptionally close. Frankly shipping and storage conditions could easily account for the difference

 531 characters

Photo of WertMaker
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle dark chocolate brown with a light creamy head into a short tulip snifter. The deep aroma of chocolate and spice invited you to sip. As this nectar dances on your taste buds you notice that although the ABV is over 10%, it is almost unnoticeable as the rich body of the beer and robust flavors reminiscent of dark roast coffee, figs, and roasted barley fill your mind. The experience is likened to a display of fireworks, with each new wave of flavors replacing those previously held and combining to form a symphony on your mouth. You swallow, and immediately you want to taste it again, but refrain; allowing the finish to further tease your senses.

One of the most complex brews I've ever experienced....

 735 characters

Photo of gcrfire3
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As tasted, this was an offering/bottling of March 2015...relatively young. I tasted this at a buds house alongside St. Bernardus abt 12, KBS, FBS, Wootstout, and some non-related FFF IPA/APA's. I drank/sampled the St. Bernardus 12 first and then the Westy 12 right after. Although I'd say this beer and St. Bernardus have a similar backbone, the Westy 12 wins hands down for complexity. Upon the first swig, the complexity hits you and leaves you wondering how such a small taste can produce so many exquisite flavors in a beer! The same taste as St. Bernardus 12 is there, yet has so much more going on, including more alcohol in the front. As the beer warms up, it opens the flavor even more and made me want to savor each sip slowly and methodically to get all that this beer had to offer, which is more than any beer I've ever had has. Enough said! Totally worthy of the hype and a top three world wide place in history!

 932 characters

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

This may be the best dark beer I have ever had! Clear brown port colored with ruby highlights that glimmer in the glass. A creamy white pillow of head that laces the glass but dissipates rather quickly. Thin appearance on the pour.

 231 characters

Photo of Rothobinide
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2014. Had this side-by-side with a St. Bernardus Abt 12 - no contest the Westy is superior in every way.

Westvleteren 12 looks like fizzy molasses and smells like a cake that was baked in an enchanted forest by elves. Barely any head, though the beer decided to start rising slowly from the bottle the moment the cap came off. Taste is complex, rich like a spiced cake, boozy but with a heat that only threatens to burn, then gracefully segues into the smoothest finish. Incredible mouthfeel, carbonation was just right. Obviously I had high expectations going into this and I'm glad I had it next to the St. Bernardus Abt 12 (supposedly based upon the same recipe) for some enlightening context.

 705 characters

Photo of csaxon128
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Glad to finally get my hands on this.

Aroma: Lots of dark fruit. Dates, raisons and plums. Sweet with less yeast character than I anticipated.
Taste: Follows the aroma. Sweet thick body

 188 characters

Photo of BeerBrose
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was a really old bottle that was given to me by a friend about 2 years ago. I was worried to open it and wanted to save it for a special occasion. It was cellared and forgotten. The best by date on top was 2/2015 so I'm drinking it a bit late. I normally wouldnt post a review of something that's gone bad, but let me tell you this is by no means bad!

Look: Tawny brown/reddish almost like nice leather, a foamy thick white head and some noticeable sediment. Could be build up from it being old.

Smell: Deep dark figs/raisin. Bready yeast aroma. Smells absolutely delicious.

Taste: Wow!!! you can tell this has developed. Its extremely well balanced and has a lot going on. Sweet caramel booze, dark raisins and plum, bread. Exactly what I wanted to taste from a legendary quad.

Feel: Medium body, no lingering bitterness just a nice sweet bread like flavor left behind.

Overall: I wish this bottle wasn't empty.....

 927 characters

Photo of Jesstyr
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this on an incredible summer day at the In De Vrede Cafe at the monastery, served in Westvleteren chalice.

Pours perfect for a Belgian Strong Dark - off white head which settles into a cloud and dark amber body. Nose is light for the flavor, but you get the fruit and sugars from the taste. Flavor includes plums, raisins, figs - sugary fruits.

 353 characters

Photo of MrDell
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Trappist Westvleteren 12 – bottling date 02.12.2014 – Best Before 02.12.2017

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, slightly off white head. Excellent head retention. Head is very creamy and made up of tightly packed bubbles. Some lacing that has dried out on side of glass as I am taking my time to drink this thick, sticky brew.

Aroma: Port wine and malt.

Taste: Brown bread. Long lasting sweet, malty Horlicks aftertaste. All bran with warm milk taste is quite strong. Port in the middle. What really stands out is just how long the taste lasts after swallowing.

Mouth feel: Smooth, creamy and dry at the end.

Overall: I was extremely tired when reviewing this (did the rating in Brussels on a different occasion) and unfortunately was unable to pick out the aromas as I would have liked. Will revisit. Prefer this over the Rochefort 10 that I had last night, but this is a little older and IF the Rochefort 10 is anything like the 8, it tastes much better with a little longer behind it, once the yeast has settled down.

 1,044 characters

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perhaps the best beer ever brewed.

Tons of flavor. Clove, raisins, figs, yeast, baked pie crust. SO much complexity and depth.

If this beer were ubiquitous, it wouldn't change my rating one bit. The rarity makes it mystical, but this one lives up to the hype.

 261 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.34/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a flute glass here at Ceveceria Esparte in Conil, Spain.

Appearance: Cloudy Amber brown with ridiculous amount of bubbles. Head is an off-white thin piece hanging off the body rising about a notch above a finger's length.

Smell: Weakest property of the brew doesn't make it bad at all, yeast and grapes. Dissipates very quickly from the nose after a sniff.

Taste: Malts with grapes and a shot of yeast. Moves you, makes you think is it an after dessert drink or dinner brew. It's perfect for any occasion.

Mouth: Sticky and thin bodied with medium to heavy carbonation. Settles more to the level of bread with a smooth light sour finish.

Overall: Honor and a pleasure, lives up to the hype. Not loving this beer means you don't love beer. Salud!

 765 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Worth all the hard work searching in Brussels. Balance of malt, sweet under tones and balance perfected over time. This is an example of difficulty to find not being justification for a fad.

 190 characters

Photo of Pete_IV
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This bottle has two years on it. Dark brown with no trace of head. Smells of dates and sweet malts. Taste is so earthy fruity, dates raisins a small bite of maybe brandy booze? Very nice but I think I preferred fresh at the abbey.

 230 characters

Photo of Louski
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a bottle for 10 Euros at Bierparadijs in Beligum during a recent business trip. Poured into a Corsendonk goblet. Thick creamy head, deep ruby color led the way for spicy, fruity scents. Taste was spot on. Definitely similar to St. Bernardus Abt 12 but it had something more (maybe just the name?). Mouthfeel was great with a sharp but short kick of alcohol spice at the finish. So happy to finally have this beer.

 420 characters

Photo of jolly_lynch
3.73/5  rDev -19.1%
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

 327 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,807 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.