Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,832 Reviews
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,832 | Ratings: 6,157
Photo of Crveballin
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly a great and classic quad. If you haven't had one and get a chance it is worth it, although if it wasn't hard to get, this beer wouldn't be hyped as much as it is.

 173 characters

Photo of Dentist666
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours cloudy dark brown with reddish hue, 1-finger beige head, recedes quickly to some laces, poured yeast residue in.
Smell - nuts, caramel, prunes, figs, dates, raisin, yeasty spiciness.
Taste - caramel, toasted malts, pepper and other spices, candy sugar.
Full body, medium carbonation, creamy, oily.

 316 characters

Photo of WillDavis707
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Truly one of the all time greats. Nothing wrong with this beer. Great dark fruit notes and candied sugar sweetness. Im not the biggest fan of Belgians in general, but if i could, i would drink one of these everyday.

 215 characters

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

I had this Westy 12 on Christmas Eve. This was an aged Westy 12 I purchased when released in the U.S. This aged beautifully, with a nice cream/very light brown head, aromas of dried fruit and a touch of malt, flavor was similar with dried fruit soft mouthfeel and lingering finish. Can't wait till next year to open my last one and see what snother year does to this excellent ale.

 381 characters

Photo of MartzMimic
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown from the bottle. I was surprised by the carbonation, giving a creamy off-white head that remained for some time before settling down to a nice foam. I love the nose of bready malt mixed with Belgian yeast, then comes the fruit. Raisins, fig and prunes, giving way to candy and cloves. The candy is more prominent on the tongue, along with a bit of alcohol. Such a nice blend of fruit and spice. As for the mouth, it starts silky smooth, then becomes somewhat dry and crisp. This stands apart from the St. Bernardus Abt 12 moreso than I expected. Both are fine, excellent beers. Westvleteren, to me, has slightly more depth in all areas. It's wonderful.

 679 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

11.2 Oz. bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Date on bottle cap says 10.02.15.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of off white head that settles into a thin creamy layer that sticks around.

Smell: A very juicy and nicely sweet yeast driven aroma with a big scent of dark fruit, spices, and caramel. Belgian yeast with hints of funk, clove, pepper, and cinnamon. Big presence of fruit with hints of dark grapes, raisin, cherry, fig, plum, prune, dates, banana, pear, and apple. Malt hints of caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, straw, and mild chocolate. Sweet hints of candied sugar. Nice hints of leather and tobacco as well as some light anise. Hops are pretty subtle. A really great aroma.

Taste: As great as it smells, a juicy, spicy, and sweet yeast driven taste with notes of dark fruit, spice, and caramel malt. Belgian yeast with good spice notes of clove, pepper, cinnamon, and funk. Lots of fruit with notes of dark grapes, fig, raisin, plum, cherry, prune, dates, banana, apple, and pear. Sweet taste of Belgian candied sugar. Toasted malt notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, straw, and subtle chocolate. Also some notes of tobacco, leather, and slight anise. Hops are very light. A really great taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Juicy, creamy, and drying on the finish. Alcohol heat is minimal.

Overall: A truely great Quad that lives up to it's status as one of the best beers in the world. Great complex blend of fruit flavors, spice, and caramel malt. Glad I finally got my hands on a bottle.

 1,629 characters

Photo of MaineBeerDinner
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Deep red hue, sun just under the horizon, khaki head
S: Date, raisin, plum for days, raisin bread crust
T: balanced sweetness, ripe date lead, less raisin than raisin paste, warm raisin bread with a slightly boozy finish, processed molasses
F: medium bodied,
Would camp out for this anyway, makes me religious to learn from the monks who know

 348 characters

Photo of Pauken
4.99/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my 3rd and 4th Westy 12. One of them was brought back from Belgium and the other was from the one time U.S. release. For me, this beer lives up to the hype! I will say however, each of the 4 of these I've been lucky to drink have all been slightly different. My favorite two were both from Belgium (one consumed there and one consumed here with 4 years age on it). The U.S. release version that I had last night was slightly sweeter but the finish wasn't as smooth. Anyway, must try beer for any Belgian lover!

 519 characters

Photo of atget57
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer deserves all the good you have heard of. Sitting by the wood stove with my son and a gift bottle spirited out of Belgium. Strong presence right out of the bottle. It is perhaps, one of the most complex & full beer experiences in 50 years of brewing appreciation. Each taste provides a different layer for the senses. It has the weight of a barleywine but is so much more delicate. Licorice, chocolate, cardamon, anise, coffee, spruce they are all present but understated. The finish is long lasting & very clean/dry. This is something that should be sought after by anyone who is serious about making the leap into the very best the brewing world has to offer.

 678 characters

Photo of swid
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2008. Port-like aroma, with some additional plum in the aroma as well. The taste follows up with the port-like promise, with added chocolate-y flavors. The flavor finishes with some more traditional Belgian candy and a hint of spiciness. Finishes smooth, with very little heat from the alcohol.

 305 characters

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

A masterpiece of balanced brewing. A euphonic harmony comprising just the right amount of everything good about beer-- just the right mixture of sour, bitter, smoothness, maltiness, and hopiness. The only imperfection is the smell, but that's a personal thing. I generally find Trappist ales to smell soapy. I married into a Belgian family with a connection to the brewery so I get to enjoy a 12-pack every year or two, which I always share, earning me some major friend points.

 480 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From notes on 9/12/15. Drinking across the street from the monastery at In De Vredes. This is very similar to Abt 12. Possibly more aroma and flavor. Seems to be on the bitter end. Anyways, poured from a bottle. Nice dark caramel body. Big fluffy head. Tastes is huge dark roast with tons of sweet prunes.

 305 characters

Photo of Mojua
4.06/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quads as a style don't generally interest me, but I had to tick this beer. The only memorable things about it, we're that it's softer and lighter than I was expecting, it's extremely smooth, the ABV is masked well, and it's a good, drinkable beer.

 247 characters

Photo of Kevingbecker
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

went on a beer tour in brussels and they kept talking about this beer as the holy grail over there. at the end of the tour, the guide took a few of us to his local bar where he knows they had a case of these for sale. We tried a few other "copies" as he called it on the tour, but this by far was the best beer i had while there. Just as the pic shows, it was a plain brown bottle and he advised us to keep the cap as evidence we have actually had this elusive beer. Its an online lottery system to get the beer from the abbey, and you need to submit your license and license plate number and show up without one of the two and they will not sell you the beer. crazy.

 667 characters

Photo of metter98
4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer is very dark brown in color (black when viewed from afar). It poured with a half finger high light tan colored head that died down, leaving a short head covering the surface and a coating of bubbles around the edge of the glass. When held up to the light, I can make out some clumps of yeast floating near the bottom of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits are present in the nose along with notes of malty sweetness and hints of candi sugars.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of dark fruits—plums and prunes seem to stand out in particular—and has some malty and candi sugar sweetness along with hints of clumpy yeast. Only faint bits of alcohol are perceptible.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This quadrupel bursts out with lots of flavors of dark fruits and associated sweetness but is quite drinkable considering its strength because it does a very good job at hiding its alcohol. Comparing this to my notes for the Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus Abt. 12, I didn't pick up any of the spices that I picked up in those other beers—this one seems to be fruitier.

Note: 2012 vintage

Serving type: bottle

 1,248 characters

Photo of MS22
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a long time coming. I've been sitting on both direct from the Abbey and the US "XII" labeled bottles.

This is the best version of the style I have ever tried. People comparing ABT to Westy and claiming they are close...not to me.

On the nose are baking spices, brown sugar, dates, and the slightest bits of bready malt and cocoa.
Taste follows the nose. All dark fruits, candied dates, brown sugar and some booze. Then the carbonation comes along and cleans everything up. To me that is the only problem, a bit too many bubbles for my liking for the style and hence the reduction in points.

Overall great experience and worth seeing out even if only once.

 669 characters

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best quad I've had...a beautiful beer with velvet-like qualities throughout, especially as it warms it all comes together. Patience is a virtue with quads and this one is no exception. A belgian quad symphony but with a caveat, though, that Abt 12 is just a notch below and at a fraction of the retail and / or trading price. I'm glad I tried this for the first time but won't plan to seek it out again.

 418 characters

Photo of madbrewer9
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had this beer several times, including on tap at In de vrede. Each time it delivered as promised.
Smooth, malty, spicy and complex, without the high viscosity of many American and other Belgian quads.
It's somewhat light bodied for a beer of this size, which works well. As the Belgians call it "digestable".
Had it once again recently, a leftover from 12/12/12 and once again it was fantastic! This is one beer that definitely lives up to the "hype" ! Truly one of the top ten beers In the world!!

 504 characters

Photo of PintOh1759
1.99/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Absolutely garbage if your a true beer nerd. Taste like a budweiser with some raisin and plum notes, on top of it being extremely difficult to get this beer does not live up to its hype at all, pure malty shit bomb.

 215 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Not as thick or strong as I anticipated but it delivers classic Quad flavors. Dark fruit, raisin, prune and a sweet plum, mixes with a herbal heather. It gives off additional malt flavors of grain and tea leaves.

 219 characters

Photo of DASA10
4.29/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yellow-cap bottle purchased online through a Belgian purveyor. Unmarked bottle. Malt explosion. Dark and subdued flavor with a balanced sweetness and alcohol complexity. Good stuff but doesn't necessarily live up to all the hype.

 229 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the bottle, it pours brown with a nice head, quickly dissipating into a small layer - my bad pour left lots of yeast floaters. Very slightly fruity, possibly prune-ey, in the nose. Sweet in the mouth, but not overly so (to me). Awesomeness!

 248 characters

Photo of Majikow
4.46/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got at a bottle shop in Brussels and at a bar. Has some serious floaties. Really enjoyed the taste and smell. Not sure it's my favorite quad but it's definitely up there. Brought two bottles back and recently enjoyed them after cellaring for a year or so and they were delicious.

 283 characters

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

Finally completed the holy Trinity of quads... St. Bernardus, Rochefort, and Westy. This being the hardest to find and most sought after let myself, and my significant other down. She likes a sweeter quad and tend to pull more towards Rochefort, and I lean towards St bernardus. Westy was TOO sweet. Body/feel/color all perfect. Just a let down on the taste. But hey, A bad day drinking Westy is better than most other days so take it FWIW.

 440 characters

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

Appearance – The beverage poured a deep murky brown with some white bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell – It is hard to nail the nose on this one. I will say it resembles smoky prunes.

Taste – Malty prunes is a good start on the description. There is syrup, raisins, and a higher than expected level of carbonation that brushes away the sweetness. The dark fruits linger in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – I was a little surprised by the high carbonation. It brushed aside the sweetness, making the aftertaste drier than expected.

Overall – I admit was expecting a little more. Is the carbonation a symptom of this batch being off? Or is the high machine to forceful on this one?

 707 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,157 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!