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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
1,817 Reviews
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,817
Ratings:
6,073
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
16.27%
 
 
Wants:
3,626
Gots:
2,108
For Trade:
159
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Reviews: 1,817 | Ratings: 6,073
Photo of MrMonkey
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Delerium for giving me the opportunity to sample this great brew.

Poured a cloudy dark brown with a one-finger creamy head that dissipated quickly, leaving scattered bubbles on the surface.

Aromas of toasted malt, raisins and plums. Very earthy, with a little chocolate, toffee and molasses. Only a hint of the alcohol content. Very complex: too much to discern at one time.

The taste was every bit as complex as the aroma: dark fruit, molasses, sweet malts balanced with bitter hops. For such a strong beer, the alcohol was not at all harsh.

Mouthfeel was rich and creamy; medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

An easily drinkable beer, but definitely something to be savored, not rushed. I look forward to the next chance I get to enjoy this incredible beer. Hopefully that chance may come soon!

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Photo of Higravity
3.37/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened this with a friend a fellow beer lover. 5 months before best of date. Cap off and into a chimay glass. Mmm tastes like hype. A brown body with red rimmed highlights and a decent white head of small bubbles. The smell is close to unappealing to me my friend really likes it but to me the alcohol pops out and there is a cooked raisin smell that sends this sideways. The taste is decent it has depth of flavor and the yeast adds some nice edges of phenol with lots of dried fruit and some caramel with even a touch of more mellow dark malt and then the alcohol comes through warming all it touches. Good mouthfeel full but not too dense. Something to have once in a while when you can find it but not my favorite, shrug, once again this is mostly hype.

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

Details- 33cl bottle received in trade from ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad! Best by 13.09.08. Enjoyed 12.06.07

4.5/5.0 - Appearance- Poured into a wide-mouthed chalice this most wonderous beer appears a medium brown with a slightly reddish tint. The head is composed of an interesting combination of very small champagne-like bubbles and largish bubbles scattered throughout. Head is what I'd consider to be perfect size upon pour- about 2 fingers worth. Dissipates slowly leaving lots of brussels lace behind as the head dwindles to a thin cover on the top.

5.0 - Smell- Here's where you know the hype is justified. The gas released from the opening of this bottle was amazing... almost not sure where to start... Fruity with leanings towards raisins and raspberries. Subtle (all of the following) molasses, honey, clover, blueberry, toasted malt, plums, figs, sour apple, muted eathy notes, inviting alcohol that you would never guess is 10.2% ABV. Oh, and a bit of a maple syrup smell as well. Is there anything I missed? probably

5.0 - Taste- To sum it up: incredible. Brown sugar, molasses, at times- banana, very subtle yet balancing hops have a piney characteristic, grapes, a warming alcohol(yet very subdued), honey, figs, toasted malt (that I would liken to toasted marshmallows on a somewhat sticky night with fireworks in the background), raisins, and a definite yeasty/earthy characteristic that is particularly strong and lingering at the finish

Endlessly complex. I could probably list off a ton more characteristic, but I'd like to finish this review sometime before sun-up... literally- it's 4:45am.

5.0 -Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy. Full bodied and full-flavored, yet somehow it rolls so gently across the palate that it seems almost thin at times. Perfect carbonation gives a nice feel right down to the very last sip.

5.0 - Drinkability- Despite all the complexities of this beer, I could easily guzzle this in a heartbeat, but I never would because I know it's too hard to get and every sip should be savored. I enjoyed this beer by itself, but I can only imagine what it would be like paired with a simply, yet delicious monk-like meal- I was thinking just simple rice at the time of drinking. Not sure why... I've got 5 bottles left of 3 different vintages... I am hooked and want more.

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Photo of westweasel
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to chadspivey for the opportunity to try the best beer on BA!!! According to him, this bottle was aged for about a year.

The beer poured out a hazy dark brown with a french vanilla colored notable head. A few whiffs of it almost blew me away. I was able to detect chocolate, toffee, caramel, raisin, and peaches. Of course now I was really looking for to the taste, and it did not disappoint. I could taste maple, caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. The mouthfeel was very full and creamy.

This beer lives up to the hype - of course I could drink tons of these. Too bad I may never get to Belgium.

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Photo of Reed415
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy brown color with a very lasting head

S - Belgian, alcohol, tons of fruit

T - Tons of different fruit flavors, alcohol warmth, malt, sweeter than expected

M - Full bodied, Lots of carbonation

D - Very outstanding beer, but not my favorite quad

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with my wife on May 31st (the occasion: her job promotion); date stamped 22.11.09, meaning it's a little over 6 months old. Poured into a couple goblets at somewhere around 50F.

A: Rich, sepia-toned brown with auburn highlights. I poured carefully into both glasses, although the first was significantly less cloudy/yeast-filled than the murky second one. The head never developed much, never more than a 1/2" of creamy tan, then fading almost completely. Lacing was small beaded rings.

S: Ultra-complex. I enjoyed this from the first sniff; after sufficient warming, found myself mutely inhaling and savoring this aroma. It was fun sharing this one with my wife because her keen sense of smell (though mine's getting much better) was picking up notes I was troubling over. Together we came up with: molasses, honey, cloves, candi sugar, toasted grain, dark chocolate, plum, cinnamon, black tea, currants, and an undeniable yeastiness that we both agreed "smells like Belgium".

T: Did I mention complexity? There's so much going on in this beer - flavors are cascading across the tongue in waves. Much of what was detected in the aroma is found in the taste, although I was surprised a bit by the depth of dark spices and bitterness. That effervescent tea/clove flavor was one of the first things I picked up on, but generally the spices were less sweet and more akin to ground cinnamon stick, nutmeg and to reduced (i.e. slightly burnt) caramel or molasses. Quite tasty but currently a little harsh, we're hopeful some more age will help mellow the intensity.

M: Pleasantly carbonated with a medium-full mouthfeel. Spices leave a lingering tingle on the tip of the tongue and a velvety alcohol warmth leaves the cheeks feeling a little fuzzy.

D: An excellent beer, no doubt. Worth the hype, if not the crazy lengths some people go to to obtain the #1-ranked beer in the world. Incredibly complex, fantastic aroma, nice experience overall. Can't wait for the next occasion to have another...

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Photo of dren
3.71/5  rDev -19.5%
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 xav33
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Westvleteren 12
12 oz bottle
Capped 10/30/09 (bottled 06),found God 05/07
Moderate pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a very murky dark brown with a moderate to large frothy mostly to fully lasting beige head.

Smelt of moderate to strong plums, raisins, vinous, with light cinnamon, cloves, caramel, mushroom yeastiness.

First sip was like an injection of Godliness. My tastebuds got shocked all the way into my spine. Upfront moderate sweet bitter and light sour everything followed by a strong bitter yeast moss and moderate sweetness on a long finish.

Palate was medium to full bodied, softly carbonated, creamy and slightly alcoholic.

Overall, the nose does not do it justice. It tastes like mystery and is so beautifully balanced throughout, it is dangerously drinkable for a quad. Godliness in a bottle.

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Photo of ohmybock
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from a review I did back in 2002...
Enticing, sweetish aroma. Color is dark, murky brown. Pours with a big, white head. Sweet malt flavor up front closely followed by a balancing hit of bitterness. Rich complex malt, hop bitterness and complex fruit flavors dance in my mouth. The attack on my tastebuds is incredible. This beer has a long lingering finish that just won't quit. There's also a touch of alcohol warmth to the finish. I love the balance of this beer. Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Delicious! I wish I had more.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Phawk for my bottles ;)

Pours a nice small head that falls into a thin layer with a great lacing that's very strong. Color is dark brown almost red. The smell is spiced with clove, cinnamin, brown sugar with a backround of Belgian Candy sugar. There's also dark fruit like plum. Taste is slightly sweet with dark fruit and spices. Mouthfeel is a little hot still. Mouthfeel is smooth, just a little hot. Overall this is a nice beer to have once in a while. I would like to cellar more and get different vintages.

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Photo of John_M
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Matthew at Capone's for selling this beauty to me. Thought this beer would be an appropriate selection for my 100 BA review.

Paired this beer with the Rochefort 10 (a beer I'm pretty familiar with), just for a reference point. I don't want to suggest the Westy blew the Rochefort out of the water, but the difference was pretty striking.

Considering what this beer had undoubtedly been through coming into my hands, it was incredibly fresh and lively. The beer poured an impressive cloudy, amber red color, with excellent head retention. There isn't a huge amount of foam, but what there is lasts and lasts. Very nice lacing throughout my tasting of this beer.

The nose is incredibly complex and, like the taste itself, continued to change the longer it sat in the glass. Initially I got lots of Belgium spice and orange citrus in the nose (but much more subtle then the type of citrus you'd get in an IPA), with a hint of sweetness. Later, this turned to an aroma of cherry, ginger and chocolate. The flavor profile replicated the nose, but was even more complex. Initial flavors were of melon, pear and cherry; later on I started to get flavors of ranier cherry, chocolate, butter and a hint of licorise. Later still there was a cola flavor (not unlike the Bernadus abt 12, a beer I have heard this beer likened to) intermixed with the cherry and chocolate. The beer is amazingly supple on the palate, and oh so easy to drink.

This beer is a joy to drink, though it was nothing like what I expected. I guess I sort of expected a Belgium version of the Thomas Hardy or JW Lee, but it was nothing like that. This beer is incredibly light on it's feet for such a big beer, and was way too easy to drink. It finishes with a whisper, a very smooth, satisfying end to a nearly flawless beer. Most excellent.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Westy goblet at Cafe Gollem in Amsterdam. Served at cellar temp from the cellar of the cafe. I paid 12 euro for it, but it didnt matter; this was the first time I was ever able to get my hands on this beer. Despite the fact that I have been wanting to try this beer for a long time, I reviewed it as unbiasedly as possible (I am confident I acheived this); attempting to forget the name on the top of the cap.

A - A gorgeous beer. Deep orange brown. There was minimal head that faded pretty fast, no lacing. I knocked it slightly for that, but minimal lacing and head are to be expected in bigger beers like quadrupels.

S - This beer has a huge aroma.A big sweet/malty smell with hints of figs and prunes. A touch of caramel and tobacco as well.

T - This is a fine beer, it tastes similar to smell described above. A big malty presence assaults your tastebuds. Has a fruity character as well that wasnt apparent in the nose. Also has a nice touch of yeast to it as well and a different salty character at the finish. A complex quadrupel.

M - Lightly carbonated and slick. The taste on this lingers forever, it dosent want to quit. And again there is this salty finish on the tounge

D - The 5 a give for drinkability is maybe where a slight bit of bias creeps in. I dont want to quit drinking this beer. It is exceptional and very well rounded. I am in a great cafe, in a foreign country, drinking an exceptional beer.

I suppose this is where I say whether or not the beer lives up to the hype. For me it is not the best beer in the world. However it is the best quadrupel I have ever tried. It blows St. bernardus away and narrowly edges Rochefort. This is truly a fine beer, and the rareness of it makes it a treat to seek out. The feeling a got when i finally was able to find one was bliss. For that factor the beer deserves a five.

In short - best quadrupel I have ever had, though that might only get it into my top 15 or so beers.

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

Executive Summary: Yes. It's that good. That's all you need to know. Well worth it if you can find it.

My 100th review. How appropriate. Bought this to celebrate the completion of the first year of my MBA.

Appearance: Translucent mahogany/toffee with subtle ruby highlights. A creamy off-white head - finger-thick. Excellent lacing

Smell: Earthy, with a distinct spicy belgian yeast aroma. some red wine fruitiness embedded as well as a candy-like sweetness. Some beers try to be everything and fall on their faces, but somehow this can present a myriad of facets and do it flawlessly.

Taste: Big malt up front and an initially sweet/floral taste that mingles with raisins and figs. Absolutely wonderful aftertaste brought about by subtle hop bitterness combined with a bright fruitiness. Some alcohol warming, but it's very subdued and wonderfully hidden. Peppery spiciness throughout. Just fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Smooth like Barry White. Full and creamy but not overly heavy. Can't beat it.

Drinkability: Well-hidden alcohol and a divinely complex flavor profile? Drink on!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer and was so excited to try it due to the many good things that have been said about it. After drinking this I realized that it was one of the most complex and tasty beers I have ever had. It was like velvet, but abrasive. Sweet but dry. I could go on and on, but never the less, remarkable. I know now what everyone has been talking about. A rare beer, but worth every drop.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to akorsak for this bottle from a few months ago. Cap date is 09.08.09. This is to celebrate the completion of my second year of law school.

a - pours a deep dark mahogany with a slight red tint, thick two finger head with great retention, slight lacing

s - lots of caramelly sweetness, dark fruit, definite alcohol presence, quite spicy, black pepper, slight clove

t - big maltiness, caramelly sweetness, dark fruits, raisins, prunes, slight milk chocolate, nice alcohol bite on the end, but not overwhelming, quite spicy on the finish, lots of pepper, very, very complex

m - medium-bodied, very creamy, coats the whole mouth well, very nice warming, moderate carbonation

d - this is definitely a sipper, but it's so complex and the alcohol is there but not overwhelming

Wow, I wasn't sure what to expect with all the hype, but this is one fine beer. Certainly the best Belgian I've had. I don't think I'll be trying this again anytime soon due to the trouble/cost involved with getting one, but it's definitely one of the best.

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

My sweet lord! I've glimpsed divinity as interpreted by the hands of the monks at St. Sixtus. And savored by me - ahem. This sample was poured into a belgian beer glass with a small lite tan head. Only a little lace. Color is a slightly hazy brown with hints of walnut and mahogoney. Sensuously aromatic. Lots of levels of dark fruit, berries, desserts, candies. Specifically chocolates, pastries, malt, blackberries, cherrys, and many others that just goes on and on. Some yeastiness. Very balanced despite its rich fullness. Could dwell on this endlessly so much going on. Velvety texture, reminds me of what a mink jock must be like. I have been in the presense of divinity and drank it in.

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

Many thanks to Derek hoppymeal for this experience
Expiration date 24/05/09, small capped bottle.

It is hard to describe this one, and add something to the other notes. My first sip was actually disappointing, I was probably expecting something to blow my socks away, and it did not, at least immediately. The second sip, third sip, and it keeps changing.
Beautiful looking brownish, hazy brew with red hues, and a much more generous, light tan head than other trappists, with very good retention.
Nose is impressive as well, and it improved remarkably as it warmed up; sweetish, fruity, earthy, and multiple other aromas.
Interestingly enough, alcohol is one thing I could barely notice on the aroma.
The mouthfeel is full, velvety but not overly "heavy". Taste is multi-faceted, mellow and sweetish, fruity, earthy and even at times bitter, but never overly sweet like Rochefort, for example, can sometimes get.
After a few minutes with this beer, it struck me, for its complexity and wonderful, sweetish taste without being overfilling. The alcohol is barely noticeable, making this the only beer in tis class I could actually have more than one.
A true masterpiece!

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Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

my last westy 12, with an expiration date of 08/30/09. about an 8 month bottle.

poured it into a westvleteren glass. tan two finger head. absolutely gorgeous. here is a picture. http://photos.pe.facebook.com/v71/1/117/4911912/n4911912_36340347_1073.jpg

the nose was a variety of smells ranging from earthy notes to sweet fruity aromas.

taste was slightly earthy with a slight bitterness in the finish. also present was a mellow fruitiness, that ranged from dates and raisins/ to grape bubblegum. very complex, and the mouthfeel was INCREDIBLE. full bodied, and velvety, but not syrupy or cloying...very pleasant.

drinkability: the abv is not noticeable as in the rochefort 10 (although not a bad thing in the 10)
very easy to drink, but i would definitely stave off from drinking 2 in one night. better to save it for another joyous occasion.

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Photo of mjc410
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing this beer is a momentous occasion in my life. A bottle was purchased for me from eBay, and sent from the Netherlands. My friends did this for me as a graduation present, and I am again very thankful.

The bottle cap reads 22.11.09, which I understand is the "expiration date," three years after the bottling. So, this is a fairly new bottle.

I pour the beer into my Westvleteren goblet, which has been in my possession for a year or more, awaiting this moment. Carefully decanting, the ale raises a creamy, light tan two-finger head. It seems to fall at a fairly fast rate, but when the majority of large bubbles have burst, it settles to a thick and creamy one-finger layer. The head retention is simply fantastic; it resembles that of a nitro stout. The beer leaves almost no lacing as I move the head about the glass before taking my first sip, as if it's quite heavy. Throughout the whole glass, there's virtually no trace of lacing on the sides. The beer's body is dark brown, but yields up ruby-copper light when directly back lit.

The nose has a dark fruity scent that I pick up in a lot of other Belgians, but there's also a bit of toasted caramel and a touch of acidity mingled with the fruit. I'm even reminded of a less sweet pecan pie, although I can't 100% support this claim, it just feels right. There's also a noticeable grape aroma. I admit that I would prefer this to be stronger, but my sense of smell has always been weak. A great blend of scents, though. I read in another review about the odor of earth, and I didn't notice it at first. But, as the beer approached room temperature, I could pick it up. Very interesting and complex, this beer, which has me raising the nose from a 4.5.

The taste is heady, woody, a bit acidic, and has fruit flavors lead by grape. In some ways, it tastes like a red wine with an incredible body. There are even elements of wood that are in the same vein as a Shiraz, but more balanced with the other taste components. It has a sweetness to it that lasts the whole way through, leaving its mark on my lips. The hops have a metallic feel to them, akin to what I've tasted in every altbier I've had. However, the hops are not overbearing as they often are in alts. I swear I smell caramel, but I only notice a bit of toastiness here. At the very end of the aftertaste, there lingers just a slight sourness, which is indeed pleasant. The taste has a lightness to it, despite its complexity. Oh, and as I said earlier, it's heady, but not in a painful way, just noticeable. By the way, pouring in what little yeast there was didn't make a noticeable difference in the flavor.

The body, the mouth of Westy 12, is truly balanced. For a quadrupel, it is more like a rapier than a claymore. The mouth is of medium thickness, with fine carbonation that just livens up the liquid. It moves easily in the mouth..

Having had Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12, I can say that this is far and above the champion. It has complexity without being overpowering, and drinkability without too much weight. It's an elegant beer that I'm overjoyed to have been afforded the chance to try.

As I said above, this beer, as a gift, might force me to rate it above its true worth. I worried about that a bit, but Westy 12 lives up to all of the hype. A marvel of brewing. Plus, it adds to the pride of being Catholic just a bit more!

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Photo of Boppar
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Definitely a very, very good beer. I would not go so far as to say that it is the best beer. That being said, it was a tremendous joy to drink, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so.

If I read the cap properly, then this was vintage 2003. Wow.

A: Pours reddish-brown with great lacing.

S: Smells of alcoholic warmth and raisins. Actually, it smelled very "dignified," if that makes any sense at all. The smell reminded me of cognac.

T: It tastes the way it smells, with sweet raisins and warm alcohol. Some other non-specific fruits in the background. The alcohol is definitely present. Again, sort of like a cognac. This is a tremendous beer. However, in a blind taste-test against Rochefort 10, for example, it would be a toss-up. While a very impressive offering, I guess I was expecting something more, given this beer's reputation.

M: Mouthfeel was good, although I would've liked it maybe a little thicker. It seemed to work quite well for this style.

D: I want another. Too bad it'll be quite some time. And at a steep price.

Again, this is an awesome beer. I encourage you to try it. But I was expecting it to be far and away the best.

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Photo of kajerm
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Austere, unlabeled brown glass bottle with "Trappistenbier" embossed around the neck. Gold cap with location information, brewery name, ABV, and small 12. A date that appears to be 07.06.03 is printed over the cap text in the hardest possible place to read-- get with the program, monks.

Pours dark, cloudy brown with loads of sediment and no head to speak of. The aroma is pretty complex-- belgian yeast, esters, some medicinal phenols, dark fruit, mixed malts, and some port-type wininess.

Tastes like it smells: awesome. Esters and malt are even more pronounced, with just a little candi sugar. Phenols and wine notes appear mid-palate. Wininess persists to the finish, where some berry flavors and maybe diacetyl show up. Some alcohol flavor, but not overwhelming.

It's been talked up a little, but damn is it exquisite.

The mouthfeel is modestly chewy, lightened by the port wine flavor. Balanced as hell.

Even setting aside the fact that I had to give up both kidneys, three of my girlfriend's ova, and my firstborn to get it, this beer is a sipper. It drinks like a fine cognac, and if I read the date on my bottle properly, it ages just as well.

EDIT: I recently found out that the date on the cap is a freshness date, marked for three years after the date of bottling. So this was vintage 2000. Wow. It was probably madeirized, but whatever it was, it was fantastic.

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

A - Poured an extremely dark brown, with a small tan head. There was tons of visible sediment and lots of swirling lace in the top. Looks pretty good in the goblet.

S - Smell is really hard to pin down. There is soo much going on here I really do not know where to begin. It was sweet yet sour, spicey and yet fruity. A bit of alcohol mixed in with hints of pears, apples, raisins, grapes, everything. This was really just soo complex I had trouble finding definate answers. Very very pleasing aroma, nothing ever smelt like that.

M & T - The feel on this was soo light, soo frothy, soo easy to put down it was almost a shame that it went soo quickly. Soo many great tastes here, this was just really fantastic. There have been soo many reviews of this that I really don't have anything else to add other then you have to try it, it just cannot be summed up in words on this page.

D - This really was everything I wanted it to be, and lives up to its rep. By far the best belgian I have had, it is just on another level. The aromas and flavors were so unique. This really just needs to be tried as it is really hard to describe it. Fantastic brew.

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Photo of bensiff
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a few of these from Beer Mania when I was in Brussels last year. I had one immediately and cellered the other. I noticed it tasted better fresher than it did older, I had to give it a 4.5 on taste for that.

The beer pours from the bottle a mahogany color that is slightly less intense than say a Rocheforte 10. Nice thick head that leaves lacing on the glass. Flavor is of raisins, caramal, malts, maple syrup in the background, and a alcohol bite that is well within line for the high alcohol. It has a long finish, a sustain like a Gibson Les Paul, yeah this beer goes to eleven.

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

Bottle carried back from the monastery and cellared for 1 1/2 years. Pours a completely opaque, very dark brown with a dense, rocky head that leaves nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Smells of candied fruits, plums and raisins with a orange note in the background and a dusky, rich aroma throughout. Taste? A 5 doesn't do it justice. Fruits up front, mellowing into an incredibly smooth malt, followed by nice tannins and then a sharp but mellow aftertaste. It has a nice warming alcohol finish but nothing harsh anywhere in this beer. The mouthfeel is oily and chewy, dense and spectacular. The drinkability is only limited by the availability. We bought a case of this in Belgium and went through it like shit through my dog after he's gotten into the trash. I hate to just jump on the bandwagon but this really does live up to its reputation. This is quite possibly the best beer I've ever had and is just a testament to what brewing can be. Hallelujah!

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Photo of auderale
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4 pack at the Kulminator. Poured a dark brown with a nice thick head. Spicy, malty aroma with hints of sweetness. Slight sweet and malty flavor also. I honestly thought this would be better than it was. Don't get me wrong this was an awesome beer, but I guess with all the hype I thought it would be much better.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,817 ratings.
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