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

BA SCORE
100
world-class
6,326 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,326
Reviews:
1,867
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
3,673
Gots:
2,202
For Trade:
155
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,326 |  Reviews: 1,867
Photo of mjtiernan
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to auroracrisis for sending me this!

33cl bottle best by dated 03.13.13 poured into a tulip

A: Very carbonated. Pours a deep reddish brown. A complex spider web of lacing.

S: Belgian yeast unlike others that I’ve smelled. Red grapes, raisins, and a small amount of caramel.

T: Loaded with flavor. The yeast really stands out. I’m going to pour it all in. Yum! Dark fruit and chocolate. Pretty sweet. Lots going on. The finish is pretty hot...lots of alcohol. Enough analyzing...I’m going to slow down and enjoy this.

M: The alcohol burn keeps me from rushing through this (which is good) but it hurts drinkability a bit. Carbonation was more than I expected, but I’m enjoying it.

O: So glad I got to try the great Westy 12. It’s interesting to think about everything that went into making this. I’d like to try another one with some more time on it. Hope I get another chance to try it again. Next time I'll opt for a chalice instead of a tulip.

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

Waited 5 years to try this beer, at one point (specifically when I first joined BA in 2010) this was rated as the #1 beer. The hype around this was immense, coupled with the fact it was nearly impossible to get, even more so as time went on and the abbey began to restrict sales to some notable traders. Finally found some in stock at an online store, so I threw some Cantillons in my cart and hit purchase, a week later here we are!

Poured from the yellow cap adorned, nondescript bottle into my favorite Gandhi glass snifter, it comes out a beautiful ruby brown, dark enough to not see through, but light enough around the edges to show its true colors. A super bubby off-white head pillows up and leaves moderate lacing.

Smell is lovely, a ton of malt and Belgian yeast, spicy, notes of plums. Taste begins with a big chewy bread note, followed by plums, fruits, molasses and rum flavors. Ends with a hint of roasted malt, some bitterness, and a nice yeasty esters.

Body is very bubbly and carbonated, it adds to the spice. Extremely light for the ABV. I think the body is one of the main selling points.

Overall a very nice quad, but I don't see the hype. I had Abt 12 from St. Bernardus a few months ago and I think the similarities are really obvious. This beer might beat it by a bit, but not by any significant measure. Maybe with age the differences are more prominent...

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Photo of Roguer
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of dark brown yeast; a careful pour can keep most in the bottle. Even then, there's a ton of sediment in the brew. Topped by an off-white, cream-colored head of fairly small size (~3/4 finger). Excellent retention and lacing.

Boozy, strong aroma typical of a quad: yeast, Candi, dark fruit, nuts. Brown sugar. Alcoholic fruit bread. Dark bread is definitely the strongest takeaway. No hint of oxidation. Remarkably complex.

Flavor follows the aroma, maintaining a nice sweetness, but not out of character for the style. Lots of dark, thick bread; a bit of bite; tons of dark fruit (plum, prune, raisin); liquorice and brown sugar; nuts.

Feel is full-bodied, smooth, and lively, with no sting and minor foaming. Fairly wet, medium length finish, with a lingering sweetness and a bit of alcohol effervescence. Though it's definitely a sipper, it's incredibly drinkable for such a big beer.

This is an absolutely fantastic, nearly perfect quad. My personal favorite in the style is Rochefort 10, but that's mostly preference over any distinct difference in quality.

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Photo of Bills453
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into the Westy 12 chalice in celebration of the birth of my second son!

Appearance - a nice dark brown, reddish, almost purple tint. Kind of the color of prune juice with some fantastic tan-brown head!

Smell - cherries, dark fruits, prunes. Bit of yeast.

Taste - an amazing mixture of fruits. Probably my favorite Belgian offering, but not my favorite beer ever.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and refreshing.

Overall - an amazing offering! I'm so glad I was able to try this and the birth of my second son is the best reason ever to crack it open.

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

Photo of Quej
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into its beautiful chalice it pours a very dark, yet clear, brown with highlights of ruby red shining through the brew, only a bit of head crowns the beer and it fades to a delicate lace. I raise the glass to my nose and scents of warm red grapes, cranberry and cherry come flooding into my awareness. The sweet smell of fruit, caramel and toffee candy wraps itself so nicely around the significantly boozy brew. It pours over my lips and onto my tongue. Sudden sweetness hits me with flavours of red wine, plums, and wild berries. The sweetness is quickly followed by a refreshing dryness brought on by the high alcohol content. Both the sweet and the bitter mingle and dance on the palette in perfect unison, and linger into a long dry aftertaste that leaves me begging for more. The low carbonation takes the edge off of what might have otherwise been a sharp and bitter dryness, and makes it so very easy to drink. And then I had a second sip.

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Photo of FishyCanada
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

Found at a bottle shop in Denmark, surprised to stumble upon it. I was really excited just to try it, knowing how difficult it is to find and the reputation around it. It was good, very good. Maybe not the ’best in the world’ (it’s impossible to say with so many great beers out there), but really great to find something so interesting. Good appearance, really large head that adds to the flavour of the first few sips. The toasted caramel flavour is really nice. I bought a few more bottles to age as well, that should be fun.

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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.

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Photo of stageseven
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring the bottle into the glass was a little whiff of Belgium. The smell was fruity, of cherries, apple, and candied sugar. Around the edges of the smell there's a bit of round hops that have just a bit of bite. It's a fairly strong smell, but mainly sweet, with little bitterness present. Underneath was just a touch of roast, but it's faint.

The beer poured a deep brown color, fairly cloudy, and with quite a bit of sediment in the bottom. There's nearly a finger of yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, in large white flakes. There's almost no head, just a slight dusting of off-white head. The ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass left a touch of lacing.

The taste was initially of chocolate and fruit, with a good candy sweetness, but still some tartness in the mouth. Towards the back of the tongue, a smooth hop bitterness took over. The malty chocolate flavor sat just in the middle of the tongue. I noticed just a hint of alcohol flavor as well, not nearly enough to indicate the 10.2+% that this beer contained. The flavor was very strong though, absolutely filling the mouth, and leaving a fruity and bitter aftertaste for quite a while.

It's a very full bodied drink, absolutely thick and syrupy. There's quite a bit of carbonation though, much more than I'd expect from such a thick beer. It left a filmy coating on the teeth as well. The beer warmed the throat going down, a much better indicator of how strong it is.

It's definitely a very good drink, and well worth getting your hands on one. I didn't like it quite as much as the 8, but it's probably more a style preference than anything else. I'm not sure exactly how old the bottle was, at least 4 months, and probably older.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

21.04.12, poured into a snifter.

Color is a lighter mahogany in direct light and a deep red at the thickest part of the glass. Pours with little to no head. Very clear. Smells pretty crazy for a beer! More like a plum wine, white grape juice, mead, sherry or even Manischewitz. Very sweet, fairly alcoholic.

Tastes smooth, barely carbonated but slightly sharp. Again, very sweet with a medium body that starts with those same aromatic notes of white grape and evolves into a pleasant caramel malt before leaving a lingering hoppy bitterness. This reminds me very much more of a sherry with its flatness and the fruit notes, but without some of the mouthfeel. Alcohol fumes are quite effervescent here despite the low carbonation. There is a lot of cake at the bottom and it loosens a little as poured, so leaving the final inch or so in the bottle. Refilling the glass has produced a slightly cloudier pour that retains the same characteristics except with slightly more malt shining through as it warms a little and slightly more yeasty aftertaste... which makes sense.

Pretty good, I'd say! Not sure if this becomes my definitive quad, but for sure it's a very interesting one and appreciably complex. I wouldn't mind sipping away at it again.

 1,248 characters

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

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

Photo of Bbarton_1
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fingolfin72
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is deep mahogany with a fine, palamino-colored head which dissipates to lacy remnants fairly soon.

The nose is somewhat restrained, but it contains sugar, oranges, banana, and croissants.

The palate is smooth with an abundance of flavor. I get toffee, brown sugar, banana, nutmeg, chocolate, quinine and fresh grapes.

The finish is long. The bitterness, reminiscent of quinine or campari, becomes slightly more prominent as the sip of beer fades. It does not, however, overexpress itself.

This beer has extraordinary balance and complexity. It does not hit you over the head; it just states itself perfectly with nothing out of place. I equate it with Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame.

 703 characters

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

A- dark plum colour with a typical frothy head.

S- booze and dark fruits.

T- incredibly refined, layered flavours of cherry, booze, figs and plums. Less sweet than the Rochefortes but still has that sweet flavour.

M-incredible. Possibly the best aspect of this beer, silky smooth, a mouthfeel ive never experienced in any other quad.

O- hard to live up to the immense hype, but it comes close. Just an incredibly well made beer.

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Photo of fear025
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma:Malt and grapes. Nice sweet aroma.

Appearance:Brown in color, nice head that's ecru in color.

Taste:Caramel and Malt, wine notes. The aftertaste leaves some leather, earthy notes.

Mouthfeel:Medium to thick in body. Hot alcohol, a little astringency, great carbonation.

Drinkability:It's a really easily drinkable, flavorful, complex, and smooth beer.

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

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

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super excited to try this bottle...

Pours a deep, hazy, dark brown with an incredibly foamy, tannish head. The nose is not boozy at all and has a very distinct cherry- breadiness. The smell is super clean and refined, even when it warms there is nothing out of place. It's almost like a freshly baked cherry pie.
The taste is quite crisp as well. There is a sweet malty body with intense, ripe pit fruits like those detected in the beer's nose. No off flavors appear to be present, but there is a pungent, residual aftertaste. Unfortunately, the tobacco bitterness is a little intense that kind of throws off this beer's clean presentation in the other categories. I would have liked a less intrusive aftertaste, although it's good to know the beer was potent enough to sit on the palate for awhile. Honestly, each sip is different and offers a new level of complexity.

Overall, this beer was hard to get. And at $20/bottle, it's rather expensive as well. I'm glad I tried this beer, but will most likely view it as a novelty than something I'll actively seek out in the future.

 1,081 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

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Photo of SirSketch
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

100th Review! Acquired this beer at Gollem in Amsterdam. My profile pic is actually of me enjoying my first Westy at Gollem.

A - Stiff, tan head. Dark red to leathery brown in color. Looks very appetizing!

S - A plethora of delicious aromas. Very sweet vinous properties, brandy character, dark fruits and candied sugar.

T - Very wine-like. High ABV comes through as hot. Some bourbon qualities. Such a complex beer it is hard to pinpoint any one flavor.

M/D - One of the creamiest, smoothest beers I have had. I think the mouthfeel may actually be my favorite part of this beer. Not the 'best beer on planet earth,' in my opinion, but absolutely worth tracking down.

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Photo of GoNowhere
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Much to my delight, the Holiest beer on planet earth arrived three days prior to Christmas. Two bottles were purchased online--one for me and one for a beer loving homie.
On to the review...

Appearance: Dark earthy tone resembling very fertile soil with a nice bleached leather colored head. Lacing immediate and intricate. Tiny bubbles of carbonation bouncing and popping.

Smell: Fruity. Raisins. Plums. Pumpkin. Dates. Dried bananas. Malty. Molasses. Earth. Reminiscent of a thick autumn fog on a pumpkin farm. Lots of stuff going on.

Taste: Malty goodness giving way to a break of fruity sweetness and ending with a nice tinge of alcohol that only serves to cleanse the palate for another swig. It tastes just as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Not heavy. Not light. It dances and skips along with the tastes. The carbonation is perfect. It's a ballerina.

Drinkability: Well, at 10% you can't hang with more than a couple and still appreciate them, but damn I would love to try.

While drinking this I asked myself the same questions I asked myself before I decided to marry my wife... I made it about beer instead of a woman though because it would be weird if I didn't.

Is it the best and if I were to consume this one beer for the rest of my life would I still have eyes for other brews?

-Well, if I lived next to the brewery, or even within 200 miles, this might be the best beer ever.... But I don't, so it isn't. If I did live that close, I can't honestly say that a Saison, Strong Pale or Dark, or a really nice Triple wouldn't tempt me to stray (Really, Belgium has all the super model beers). However, this is by far the best Quad I have ever had and would love to drink it again someday.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second Westy ever! Also at the Kulminator.

Appearance: Like the 8, this beer poured a super drak brown and was accompanied by a huge, appetizing tan head. While it looked like alot of beers....worth a scoing of 4....i had to give it a 4.5 based on my anticipation. It just looked so good, i couldn't wait!

Smell: Although the nose had sweet chocolatey notes as well as spicey hints to it, i found that it was much more mild and subtle then i had anticipated.

Taste: Here we go!!! Wow. A wonderfuly rich beer with sweet and complex flavours throughout. Hints of chocolate and caramel. Spices of cinamon and nutmeg, maybe even a hint of molasses. Soem dark fruitiness and even some light woody notes towards the mildly bitter finish which also had a refined, port-like quality to it.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, complex...very warming and fullfilling. Tastes linger nicely and change even after you're done your sip.

Drinkability: It doesn't get much better than this! A world class beer. This one goes into my top 10 for sure. If i could only find more, i would buy them all.

 1,090 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz. brown bottle, yellow cap - no label, poured into a snifter. Best before 4.12.10

A: Pours a deep burgundy with zero visibility. Just over 1 finger of light toffee head forms and holds nicely. Bit chunks of lacing to start, then decent patching.

S: Very similar to the 8 but more intense and with a phenolic line. Very clean smelling caramel malts and plenty of boozy dark fruits.

T/M: I'm really diggin' the alcohol in this. Normally I only like an alcohol warming in my beer... when I want something stronger I'll pour some single malt. Not the case here. The alcohol adds such an amazing complexity to everything. The dark fruits pop so much better. The caramel malts are still as great as ever but with an 'adult theme' haha. The mouthfeel is just as perfect as the 8.

D: I don't typically like Belgians too much but the 8 and 12 are definitely worthy. I won't call this my favorite beer but I'd never argue with someone for saying it's theirs.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,326 ratings.
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