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

1,851 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

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Reviews: 1,851 | Ratings: 6,247
Photo of Sabtos
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque maroon with a soft tan blanket that retains a bit thinner throughout.

The smell on this is unbelievably complex. Toasted wheat or pumpernickel bread, with a spice bouquet featuring minimal notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg--these spices are only present enough to be a delight, and are not potent at all. Then comes caramelized, softened apples, brown sugar, baked graham cracker crust, amaretto, and pear. Wow!

Taste is toasted bread and roasted nuts, grape, and plum. There is something deep and savory in there, but it's brightened by a hint of spice and fruit, with faint raisin.

Medium to full bodied, with a good amount of carbonation, finishing relatively middle range, leaning semi-dry.

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Photo of dro7
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Found at a bottle shop/bar, 2012 imported bottle to the US.
Look: very very think sediments in the glass, dark ruby red color.

Aroma: roasted chocolate, figs, dates, bread, Belgian yeast.

Taste: similar to aroma, roasted chocolate, dried figs and dates, excellent Belgian yeast, little carbonation but that may be due to the age, alcohol and carbonation dances on the toung.

I can definitely see the hype around this beer. It is unlike anything I have ever tasted. I love the roasted taste, it truly is the best beer in the world. It's worth the expense and honestly it's cheaper than barrel aged American beer.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep brown with noticeable suspended solids, with a thin light tan head that recedes into a thin presence just around the rim, and some islands on the surface. Smells of fig clove, champagne, banana, and sweet sticky buns. Taste follows with a hint of alcohol presence to cap it off. Feel is smooth, somewhat light, well carbonated with a big alcohol warmth especially as it warmed. Overall, it doesn't get much better than this for a Belgian quad. Cheers!

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Photo of jmasher85
4.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

To honor NASA discovering the TRAPPIST-1 star system, I'm finally breaking open the bottle I got at the local shop last year. I have to say, everything about this beer is a surprise, from the texture to the flavor. It pours clear dark brown with receding head, no lacing, and clumps of heavy sediment towards the end of the pour.

Smell is sweet toffee candy, red apples, dark cherries, cola; sweet and interesting. Taste is where it gets really weird though. Starts off quite sweet, but gets shockingly bitter and dry by the end. Burnt toffee and spice dominate the front end, with fairly strong alcoholic roughness and clove-like numbing feeling on the tongue. This is one that must be sipped slowly or palate fatigue will do you in, and fast. A strange Dr. Pepper-like medicinality threatens to make this one cloyingly sweet, but then a bitterness sets in and all of a sudden, you're dealing with burnt malts, dry, strong boozy flavors that give the lingering finish more of a sharp, acidic, spicy yeast quality than a sweet, rounder one. I can't say this is a particularly balanced beer, and nor does it want to be. It hits hard and strong in each direction it pulls.

The strangest thing about this beer is the carbonation, which, with it's disappearing head, is between soda and champagne, and less like beer. It certainly brings up those belches! Overall, I can't say this lives up to the hype of former "best beer ever, anywhere." It just doesn't quite complement itself well in the flavors it most strongly forces. That said, every sip was interesting, pleasurable, and I don't regret the slightly exorbitant price I paid to get it locally. It may not be my favorite, but it's deserving of it's place as a legend.

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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 Jeff_Dubya
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't say enough for this beer. It is absolutely perfect in tevery sense for what an ale should be. While you get a little boozy flavor up front, this Trappist masterpiece remains smooth with absolutely zero bite. I've had 8 or so of them and always want another.

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Photo of KidDoc
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, strange carbonation with a popping effect on the surface. Aroma of raisins, honey, dark fruit, plums, and sassafras. Flavor follows. Nicely balanced and delicious. Great soft mouthfeel, no hint of the alcohol. It was well worth the wait

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Photo of jaunders1
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I have had this beer on 3 occasions during my 3 trips to Belgium. In all regards this is one of the best beers in the world and has well lived up to the hype each time. I will preface this review by saying that it is based off of memory. Also, I have given a bottle of this beer to my boss and to my (at that time future) father-in-law, both met with excellent results. While this beer certainly lives up to its lofty expectations, I I'll be the first to admit that part of the joy with this beer is tracking it down. The fist time I came across it was in a tiny beer store in Bruges. These were well aged bottles to say the least (4+ years old). The mouthfeel and taste of this batch was sublime. this was by far the smoothest beer I have had at any abv, while still maintaining the look, smell and taste. The second and third time I had the honor to try this beer were while in Brussels. Acquired at a well known beer store just off the grand place. Again the beer was amazing. While not as aged as the fist, all aspects of his beer were top notch.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok, so I confess to having had a few before I found a bar in Brussels serving this beauty. It is generally a very expensive beer to buy, probably because it is held in such mighty regard, and being a bit on the tight side I had let it slip passed me a few times! Bad Bujon! Call yourself a man of Beer!!
So the review, well I have to say it is all round a very good brew, but it didn't blow me away, in the same way as a few of the Belgian Christmas Beers do. A rich dark colour, with a caramel head, and a malty fruit bread type of after taste. In all honesty it seems to lack a bit of guts, but none the less it is certainly up there, and requires sampling at your first opportunity.
Would I spend 16 euro on it again? Not when there are another 2000 Belgian Beers I haven't tried.
Is it the Best Belgian Beer? Very Debatable.

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Photo of danh53
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. Fantastic experience. It pours dark, ruby red with crackling carbonation that fizzles without leaving much of a head. Rich dark fruit and dark cherries paired with old leather and mild pipe tobacco. Prunes, raisins, figs, and aged Belgian yeast ripened blended together with a hint of dusty cobwebs to add depth and character. The mouth feel is light and airy, not what I was expecting from a big quad. The carbonation was vibrant and prickly at points. The mouth feel was not as nice as the flavor for me, but this is outstanding and a must try beer.

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Photo of brother_rebus
4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They say its a great. It certainly is. Looks like a quad. Smells like a little molass water. Tastes heavenly. So complex and balanced, without being too far in any direction. Feels full. No booze. Overall delish. Its overhyped, but still one of the beet quads I've had.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A shot at the legend! Great beer, of course. Lots of dark fruit, surprising grape notes, almost winey aromas, touches of leather and Belgian candi sugar too. Tremendous lightness of body for such a big brew. Now, to visit the monastery!

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

Look: One finger white-brown head, cloudy brown body.

Smell: See below, but with a hint of spices.

Taste: Earthy yeast, honey, brown sugar, some apple, some dark fruits.

Feel: High carbonation, medium body, mild-medium alcohol burn upfront, sweet upfront, dry finish.

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

Dark brown with a pillow of white head that just stays floating on the beer

Smells of raisin, prune, brown sugar, some caramel, and toast

Tastes of sweet, juicy, dark fruit....fig, raisin, plum, blackberry....almost jammy. If you let it sit and let the carbonation go flat, could pass for a Zinfandel

Lovely creamy mouthfeel...not oily, not overly sweet, very faint alcohol

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

Amber brown and clear with a ton of head that settles to just a bit. Minor lacing.

Nose is fig, raisin, minor brandy, minor cherry, malt, and sweetness.

Taste is subtle sweet dark fruit, figs, raisins, cherries, some brandy notes, and a nice amount of malt.

Mouthful is medium and soft. Carbonation is average. Finish is semi sweet.

The definition of a quad. Exceptionally drinkable, exceptionally balanced. Wish I could have this any time.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: pours light brown. Looks like liquid rust with a huge white foamy head.
S: sharp dark fruit juices. Grape and raisin, smells sweet, light and fruity.
T: oh yeah... big juicy dark fruits! Sweet but balanced. Perfect quad!
F: thin and easy drinking. So smooth for 10.2%
O: hands down the best and most drinkable quad I've ever had.

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Photo of Drvitlkeyustolit80
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First had 11/24/16 at home. I was able to celebrate my 3000th beer on untapped with this Belgian gem. I had to purchase it online and have it shipped to my house, since flying to Belgium was out of the question, and trading seemed unlikely.

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

Truly is the perfect beer. Amazing balance.
Pours a delicate off white head that never changes.
Reddish brown slightly hazy.
Bread, fig and raisin pudding on the nose and flavour. Some soft toffee and rum notes.
Hops build subtly with earthy herbal tones.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Taste: Bold bready, rich earthy malts, raisins, dark fruit, chewy, and balanced. Big malt and dark bread nose. Dark Mahogany in color, semi opaque with big head of sticky lace. Medium/Full body. Liquid bread, no wonder the monks could survive on this during fasting.

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Photo of brewbegoodtome
4.16/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Undoubtedly a great beer, but do your best to lower your expectations going in because its reputation is so sky-high, it'd be hard for any beer to live up to the hype. For me it improved massively with age, developing a nice rummy note 6 months to a year in. Soft dark caramel/muscovado sugar, raisins, figs with a slight cedar-y quality and a bit of a spicy/bublegummy prickle from the yeast, but still a very smooth finish.

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Photo of tigg924
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy, dark brown in color with 1/2 inch head. The head simmers down to a beautiful thin frothy top. Amazing looking beer. Taste is raisin, fig, dark bread, plum, red apple skin, and light alcohol. Multi-layered, malty, medium heavy bodied, and sweet. Cannot get over the complexity and the smoothness. One of the best Belgian beers I have had. A treat to myself. I will get this again.

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Photo of OlaB
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L:gives a hazy dark reddish color. A good creamy top of head when I pour, sticky lacings on the glass.

S: brown sugar, dark fruits especially plums, cherries, spices like peppercorn,cardamom and cloves,caramel and chocolate.

T&F: starts of with delicious dark fruits and brown sugar,with the malt caracters in the background. I sense both plums,figues, caramel and a hint of what feels like the middle I get a more sour flavour that reminds more of cherries with different spices,the finish is dry and bitter but in the background I sense very sweet flavour, the aftertaste are one of the longest I encountered. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth in every aspect,and I already in the first sip get a warm feeling in my body. This beer is great balanced in all aspect,and all the flavours I encounter are amazing

O: this is a amazing beer and it is impressive in every aspect. Maybe is hyped up to much, I don't know. Is other belgian quads that are close to this. Anyway it was a pure pleasure to trie this and I enjoyed every drop of it.

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Photo of RobSouza
4.98/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Right now, my standard of Belgians, of which all others are measured. I've had this by itself, and compared it next to St. Bernardus ABT 12 and Rochefort 12. Comparatively, the Westy 12 has the best balance of flavors, mouth feel/carbonation, and finish.

Pours deep and dark like a true quad should. Head is fluffy like whip cream.

The flavors are bold yet subtle and evenly spread, not one overpowering the other. Berries, cacao, earthy, subtle on the nose.

The carbonation is delightfully effervescent and energetic...electric in some bottles, which shock the eardrums.

The finish is relaxing and pleasing, of a mild dark chocolate, the best finish of any Belgian. I found St. Bernardus ABT to come in at #2 -- flavor profile is slightly more minerally and metallic. Rochefort 12 was #3 in the lineup -- the chocolate dipped berry boldness is a bit overpowering for my liking, and always has been. I continue to drink and enjoy it, but it's still my #3.

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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 TheDoctor
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Service: Bottle
Best before: Jan-6-2019 (bottled Jan-2016)

Pours a muddy mohagany with an enormous khaki head that is basically sturdy as a dollop of dirty-looking whipped cream. Great retention; gorgeous lacing. (4.75)

Aromas of musty old barnwood and cherries with a slightly tart twang that is barely perceptible. (4.25)

Waves of smooth earthy, rich, brown bread and workbench dirt, dripping in dark fruit character with a touch of bubblegum and caramelized sugar in the finish. (4.5)

Medium+ bodied with active (but soft) carbonation, puffy, fluffy feel, drinkable. (4.75)

This is a very nice, very flavorful, very enjoyable beer. I am a big fan of Belgians and that is one that I've always wanted to get ahold of. I'm glad I did (merci, Steve). A unified sensory experience that highlights the incredible nature of brewing. Walks a line between big and drinkable, sweet and earthy, rich and refreshing. This is a world-class beer. Have it if you ever see it! (4.75)

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.61 out of 5 based on 6,247 ratings.
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