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

BA SCORE
100
world-class
6,362 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:
6,362
Reviews:
1,877
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
3,678
Gots:
2,218
For Trade:
156
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,362 |  Reviews: 1,877
Photo of dbrauneis
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a murky brown in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some mahogany highlights. The beer has a finger tall light tan head that slowly reduces to a medium to large thin patch, a very thin film covering about 75% of the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There is a fair amount of sweetness to the aroma of this beer - caramel, molasses, candi sugar, and dark fruits (cherries, plum, date, and fig). Very light aromas of booze.

T: Upfront there are flavors of dark fruits with cherries dominating and more moderate amounts of plum, fig, and date. There is a decent amount of sweetness but never enough to become cloying - caramel, molasses, candi sugar, and toffee are all present. Moderate flavors of Belgian yeast and just a touch of spices. Light hint of cocoa powder in the finish.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy with a light amount of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Great complexity to the aromas and flavors make this a world class beer. It is easy to drink and enjoyable, I would gladly have another one of these in the sitting. The alcohol is not completely hidden but it is not overwhelming and there is sweetness but not cloyingly so.

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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.

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

Photo of Danny1217
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Ordered a bottle at Cambrinus in Brugges. 12 euro for the bottle, but with all the hype surrounding it, I decided it was worth trying once.

It pours into the challice a deep, slightly murky brown color with a thick, tan head of foam. Excellent head retention.
Smells of rich dark fruits, caramel, fresh baked bread, cloves, and a slightly vinous grape aroma.
The smoothness of this beer on the palate is incredible. The alcohol is very well hidden. The taste is similar to the aroma, but with an incredible richness.

I went in expecting it to not meet up to the hype, but it actually almost does. I'm a big fan of Belgian dark ales, and this might actually top St. Bernardus Abt. 12 and Rochefort 10 for me. Incredible beer.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a bottle from Bier Tempel in Bruges, the bottle was from one of those special six packs that the monks released in Belgium this November to raise funds for renovations on the abbey. Has the Latin phrase "Ad aedificandam abbatiam adiuvi," which means "I helped to build the abbey" on the bottle as well as a pretty dramatic "Westvleteren XII" label. Has a best before date of 31.08.14 on the cap. Poured into a Westvleteren chalice.

A- Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights, produces a thin layer of tan head, bubbles down to a ring around the edge of the glass.

S- The aroma is massive, a delicious blend of fruit (raisins, figs, dates) some phenol with licorice and caramel, spice, and moist bready malt with brown sugar.

T- Similar to the nose, with big dark fruit flavors as well as spice. Malts are big and moist, lots of caramel and bread pudding. Alcohol is warm and spicy with some clove and phenol and licorice.

M- Medium bodied, solid carbonation with a smooth, creamy feel.

O- An amazing beer, its reputation really is well deserved. One of the best beer's I've ever tasted.

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

This will not be a long review, not that this cornerstone of The Belgians doesn't deserve it, but there is little I can add to all the 1000's of existing reviews except to thank my friends Jeremy & Drew who were the chain of folks who made the Abbey to Minneapolis, MN connection happen.

In any event I should say something, because Westvleteren 12 is a phenomenal beer across all categories. The pour into a snifter featured a rich mahogany body with a billowing cap of very persistent khaki foam that left sheets of lacing. Entirely attractive and impressive. The nose is all about dark dried fruits.. dates, figs, raisins, and a hint of candied faintly caramelly sweetness which is oh so smooth. You can sniff this for a long time, it's very enjoyable. Taste is exactly right IMO with dark fruity raisins, dates, molasses, brown sugar, bready, toffee, faint chocolate. Lightly sweet throughout but a very balanced with all the depth of flavors working together toward the whole. Mouthfeel is luxury, velvety, nice. Full bodied but enough carb to keep it interesting. Fantastic. Maybe I'll get to try it again someday..

 1,134 characters

Photo of Tine802
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hefevice
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated August 2005. Made a pilgrimage all the way to Westvleteren to pick this up. Pours into my Westy goblet black with dark tan hints when held up to the light. Decent compact light tan head which recedes fairly quickly to a thin covering. Aroma is complex and amazing dark fruit, toffee, oak (almost wine barrel), subtle spice from the alcohol. Taste is full on - all of the components identified in the aroma, but so intense. Very sweet start is balanced we superbly by the bitterness of finish and the peppery spice from the otherwise well hidden alcohol. Mouth feel is full and velvety smooth, just about perfect. I can't imagine having too many of these in a session - it would have to be the night cap, however it is almost sad to get to the bottom of the glass, so I have rated it high on that basis. Damn, only one left now :-(.

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

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try this beer during a beer tasting tour in Brussels. Id say around April 2013.

After the tour (having sampled 8 other awesome beers from Belgium + chocolate ), we were given the option of going to a place that served this.

Of course we accepted.

Bottle was unlabeled and we were not allowed to keep. Place we went to was in a back alley. Locals only.

Very rich and flavorful. Being younger I tried to take in as much as I could, however, when I had the beer I had not much to compare. I do remember it being special.

The worst part was the 3+ hr train ride back to Amsterdam !! But at least I got to try it and keep the bottle cap.

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

A - pours a dark but slightly opaque brown. Finger width light tan head that holds well.

S - Plenty of toffee, dark fruits and raisins.

T - Incredibly balanced beer with dark plums, chocolate and some roasted coffee.

M - vibrate mouthfeel with pretty high carbonation. It is balanced with the silk of the liquid itself though.

O - Just an incredible well made and balanced beer. Hope to have more.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tick.

Bottle cap is dated: 10.11.14

Very large snappy, soapy, tan colored head. poor retention. Brew is deep red with lots of brown. Good clarity too. No lacing. Thin.

Tons of smooth clove, lots of spice, but not over the top. Heavenly smooth butter cream on the nose. Not sugary. I could Sniff this for quite sometime... Great raisins. Very-very mild "Belgian Banana".

Nearly distracting amount of carbonation. Large amount of bubbles. Great fluidity and heavenly drinkability. Slightly lighter and thinner than I had imagined it would be. SLIGHT rubber aftertaste on the very tail end. Sweetness is light, crisp, airy, and solid. I would prefer a bit more body and a little less fluid. Cloves are strong robust, crisp, airy. Not a banana bomb... Nice smooth dry bitter finish.

IMO, this beer delivered the hype; it's one of the few. It's not mind altering, but very solid and well rounded. *Nearly* perfect for the style. I would have enjoyed a bit stronger appearance, more forward flavoring, thicker body, and more creamy head. Definitely recommended.

 1,062 characters

Photo of Chris-1911
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PAYankeeFan
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A nice beer with a unique blend of cherries and brown nut malt caramel malts tones. At first I was "best beer in the world?" but it started to grow on me with each sip. I kept it on my tongue and rolled it around. The mouthfeel is luscious with a perfect balance of carbonation and dryness. I haven't felt that since say St Benardus 12. But St. Benardus isn't a substitute for the fruitiness that this beer imparts. I expected more in the aroma department but the flavor more than makes up for it.

 497 characters

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

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

Photo of snowmg
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%

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

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

Nose: A seriously monstrous nose. Notes of chocolate, dark fruit and roses among other flowery notes make for a complete aromatic delight. Stupendously complex and fragrant.

Mouth: Bold, intense, rich. Coffee up front and a lot dark fruits and perfumy notes at the back. The finish is expressive and long, reminiscent of a Black Russian shot.

Overall: Myth status confirmed. This beer is pretty much near perfection for its style.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Ernie for sharing this, a 1998 bottle from the batch that got labeled and sold in the US. Craziness.

A: Murky chestnut body with an impressive cap of tan foam that sticks around nicely. Great head for being sold old.

S: Intense, rich, deep, and smooth. Toffee, dates, prunes, and straight maltiness. Very, very, very nice. Perhaps not as noticeably complex as a fresh bottle, but the smoothness more than makes up for that. Terrific.

T: Super smooth, with terrific balance between sweet malts and more restrained dark fruits. Slight alcohol tingle on the finish, and a touch of mustiness that is the only negative sign of senescence.

M: Smooth (again), delicately carbonated, and perfectly graceful.

O: No surprises here, this beer ages like a champ. I'll be updating this review with that of a fresher bottle shortly; I've tried this beer several times now at tastings, and I can't wait to savor an entire bottle all by myself.

Cheers!

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

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

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

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

This was a 2012 vintage, consumed in 2013. Absolutely beautiful - this was the best Belgian I have ever tried, without question. Very rich, complex flavor, with notes of raisin, plum, dates, toffee, a little chocolate and much more. Dark, rich, full-bodied and complex. A stunning beer.

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Photo of JayGreezy
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Second Westy to get through was the 12, as I decided to lead things off with the 8 the other day. I fell in love with the 8 - how will the 12 hold up?

Thanks again to Jeffo for bringing a crate of this back in the Great Canadian Westy Trade 2011!

Poured into a Duvel goblet. A nice, murky chestnut brown colour, with a slight reddish tinge. A billowing pile of off-white head sat upon the brew and refused to leave. By the end of the bottle, there was still a thick ring and scads of lacing. A terrific looking brew.

Great nose to it as well: raisins, booze, candied fruit, chocolate, all sorts of goodies. Not quite as potent and rich as 8 (which I will inevitably be comparing this to, despite being different styles), but still terrific.

A great quad, rich and spicy, with those same fruit notes (raisin, dry white wine, raspberry), spices, a bit of chocolate, warming alcohol and a drying finish. Exceptional stuff, really enjoying this.

Tart carbonation, but coats the tongue well and leaves a nice slick feel. The booze stings ever so slightly.

Gotta put the 8 a hair above this brew, but damn is it close. I think it comes down to personal preference - I prefer dubbels to quads or tripels (I'd make a lousy figure skater) as a general rule. However, I do enjoy a fine quadrupel, and this is most certainly among the top of its class.

 1,349 characters

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,362 ratings.
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