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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
1,807 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:
1,807
Ratings:
6,045
Avg:
4.61
pDev:
16.27%
 
 
Wants:
3,625
Gots:
2,092
For Trade:
158
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,807 | Ratings: 6,045
Photo of scottsoileau
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally able to pick this up in Georgetown while on vacation. Have to say I'm disappointed. This is a fantastic beer but can never live up to the hype. Looked the part, smelled the part. Mouthfeel was great. But flavor left me wanting more. Paid $34.99 and it was worth it for the experience. .....Once....Prefer Rochefort 10 by quite a lot. Better than St Bernadus. .maybe.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.46/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a taster. Although quads are not my favorite beer style, Westy XII was extremely well executed. Tons of brown sugar and dark fruit shine through...great beer.

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

I love this beer. i drive to the brewery/monastery every chance I get to drink and pick up a few. Unfortunately that's like once a year or two. Last time I was there I was talking with an older gentleman who said he lived close by. As we were talking, a large fly dove into his 12. He calmly took the fly out with a spoon, let it dry on the table, and continued to enjoy the beer --- "Can't let it go to waste." Even the fly eventually shook itself off and flew away...

This beer is hard to get. You can get it only at the monastery, and even then you have to make reservations ahead of time. But even if you don't have a reservation, go by and have some at the cafe next to the monastery. If you're lucky, you can pick up a gift pack with a few bottles of 12 or sometimes even a six pack in the small shop.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.34/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes it is better to find without looking.
Because you guys snap up this quad, I never expected to taste it.
Listed on the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die," this was one I never expected to Have. So imagine my surprise in Stockholm when I got lucky in a Belgian bar (Belgobarren) and they served it with chocolate.
Quite possibly the most analyzed ale in the world, I will say just two things.
First, it reminded me a lot of Orval in its medicinal aftertaste (medicine is good for you and, done correctly, "medicinal" is a good taste.)
Second, MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" devotes 4 pages to Westvleleteren and is a must-read for any devotee to this brewery. MJ's 1999 "guide" gave this 4 of 4 stars back when 12 was called the "Yellow" .... and, guys, he kept it to one line: "mahogany in color, creamy, gingery and toffeeish." We can learn from that.

As for the price, it was not worth the arm and leg I paid. So, I am one and done looking for 12... but glad that it found me.

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Photo of rex_4539
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Dark brown/red color, 3-4 finger off-white head, medium carbonation.

S: Great aroma, classic quad.

T: The best beer I have ever tasted. It lived up to the hype! Extremely drinkable, not boozy at all despite 10.20% ABV.

F: Smooth, balanced. Perfect.

O: So much has been said about this beer and it is all true. The best beer in the world indeed.

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

A: poured from a 330 mL bottle into a chalice at the In De Ve Vrede cafe, dark red brown with a short white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: wine, raisins, brown sugar, yeast, stone fruits, cherries, figs

T: leather, tobacco, cherry, raisins, figs, dark breads

M: slightly creamy, fills the mouth and coats the tongue

O: an amazing beer in a fantastic setting

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Photo of willricewillsweep
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had off the 'black market' in Brugge (secondhand from a beer store). Drank out of the bottle due to lack of options. Usually not a huge fan of belgian tripels, but this had a massive raisin flavor and richness to it that you don't get from the more standard brands. Lived up to the hype.

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Photo of GeeL
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer for the style, though it's not the greatest. The marketing for this beer has made it seem better than it is.
If you drink it, remember it needs to be warmer than your intuition tells you.
All that said, if offered a bottle, I'm not turning it down.

 269 characters

Photo of keithmurray
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - murky chestnut brown body with off white head

Smell - nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar

Taste - brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, red wine, fig, raisin, lots of layers to this

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high carbonation, sweetness upfront from the stone fruits, spices linger in the aftertaste, smooth going down

Overall - this beer is a treat and certainly lives up to the hype. Great complexity in the flavors, excellent mouthfeel and the booze isn't overwhelming. If you have the means to acquire this, it should be experienced by all beer fans. Highly recommended.

Price Point - ~$300/case of 11.2 oz bottles

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Photo of RNbeerfan
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Redish Brown with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.
S: Dark Overripe fruit. Lots of plum and raisin
T: Raisins, figs, and alcohol dominate
F: Great Mouthfeel. Velvety. One of the more unique carbonations that I have experienced
O: This might have been built up to be something that it couldn't be in my head. This is a great quad though. I think some others have caught up, but easy to see why this has set the bar.

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

Lucky to have a friend bring 2 bottles back from Belgium.
Sets the standard for a Trappist quad. So complex, all the markings of a Belgian quad but I loved the dankness from the wood and how balanced the fruit, yeast, and sugars were. Totally lived up to the hype for me.

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

Just secured 6 bottles of Westy 12. First time tasting the beer. This beer lives up to the hype. It's incredibly complex and fires on all cylinders. I think recent reviews have purposely downplayed the beer due to it's previous publicity as "the best beer in the world." It's a fantastic beer...a rare beer. Worthy of the title of the world's best.

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

Pours deep copper, brown with a very wide ivory foam head, medium retention. Aroma is complex and rich, lots of spices, fruits, malts and alcohol, no hops. Taste is complex too, delicious and strong, lots of alcohol and dark fruits. Bold body with high carbonation. Worldclass beer, you should taste it at least once. Cheers.

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Photo of dfd02186
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer as part of a Trappist tasting that my friends and I had been putting together for a while. Obviously, the guy who brought the Westy 12 didn't have to bring anything else. We started with it, and split a bottle 4 ways, into traditional chalice type glass. It's a gorgeous dark dark plum-brown, with a nice little head (pouring left something to be desired, but that's on us). It smells like you'd expect and hope a quad to smell, and the same holds true for taste and feel. It wasn't too sweet, wasn't too boozy (considering it's over 10%). I didn't let it sit on my tongue for too long, but it was incredibly smooth drinking. Will head to Belgium soon to buy some more.

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Photo of d3brewing
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had it in Belgium summer 2015. It was the classic example but actually preferred the Westvleteren 8 better. I realize this is a quad but was just too thick, like it was going in too many directions.
Would I drink it again? Of course. Will I pay the $60 my LBS wants for a bottle? He'll no.

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Photo of Hallu
4.11/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a big fan of Trappiste beers I must admit. I love ones with a hint of acidity like Karmeliet, or complex ones like Rochefort 12. So I wasn't expecting that much. After all, the best beer in the world title came from a lot of hype and rarity.

On the smell, it's shocking how it smells exactly like a doppelbock. Cloves, caramel, banana. Nothing similar to a trappiste. I'm missing the dark fruit notes from a Rochefort for example. On the taste, it's disappointing. It's like an amped up Chimay (so too sweet for me), but it doesn't surprise. My friends who like Trappiste beers absolutely loved it, but the lack of surprise and the sweetness disappointed me. Rochefort manages to stay on a drier note and is complex, interesting. This one is more like a british beer, meaning it's balanced and simple. Because it's rare, online bottleshops sells this 10 € for the 33 cl. But a case is around 40 € at the Abbey, so less than 2 € a beer... It's not more expensive than other trappiste beers (less, even). I think the monks know they do a good beer, but they don't believe it's better than what the other abbeys do. And this is to me absolutely true.

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Photo of maxifunk777
3.17/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The hype out weighed the reality overly carbonated rather bland taste mouthful very lack luster. Maybe it was aged to long glad I tried it but would never seek it out anymore.

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

Found in Bruges, drank these with dad in Brussels in Westvleteren glasses. Pours a rich walnut color with an off-white head- sizable at first and present the whole way down- about half a cm for a while, then lacing. Smell is mild, yeast, a little sweetness, a little alcohol, a tiny bit of phenolic funk lurking way in the background. Taste is assertive up front- dark fruit, raisins, wood, deep and complex, boozy warmth. And although the taste is assertive, as I said, the flavor blends in a perfect way so that it almost has a mellow pleasantness. Mouthfeel is creamy and full-bodied and highly carbonated- really great. Overall what is there to say- the beer is flawless and I'm only taking a quarter point off smell because I wish it less subtle. Amazing.

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Photo of senglish7
4.49/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nose is very boozy. For a beer this strong it is so smooth to drink. Lil bready and a lil boozy on the taste. Gotta respect a beer like this, even though my ratings on quads are rather lacking.

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Photo of Ri0
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured 330ml bottle into chalice. It is a deep, dark amber brown in color with a thick 2 finger khaki head remains for the entire session and leaves webs of lacing on my glass. The aroma is fantastic with brown sugar, bread, sweet dark fruits with some yeast and toffee and nice spices. Flavor is very full with abundant candied plums, raisins, and figs. Very bready with some brown sugar, toffee. There is a nice yeast and spice on the finish. The body is soft and sublime, medium feel with bubbly carbonation. This is certainly the best Quad I have ever enjoyed!

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So the day finally came. It's the 24th of April, one day before celebrating the Liberty Day in Portugal. Westvleteren XII is, until this date, my white wale. Since my first days here in BA, Westy 12 has been my first moonshot, my only European moon shot that comes today to an end.

So I used my Russian River keychain to open up this bottle and pour it to a Leffe glass.

A: The body is dark, coppery to brown hues but a bit crystalline. The head is white with some retention on the the smallest possible iteration and has some great lacing.

S: The aroma is composed with belgian yeast, raisins, blueberries and some alcohol due to the 10.20% ABV. If it wasn't for the alcohol, this aroma would be just perfect.

T: The taste is just perfect with the great taste of this belgian yeast, the dark roasted malts, the prominent raisins and the blueberries. But again, alchohol strikes again because it should, indeed, be a bit more hidden in all these flavors.

M: The body is very high, high carbonation that gives this velvety touch to the beer. If you look at the top of the glass, it seems that the yeast is still alive by creating small areas of activity but it's just the beautiful carbonation making its work.

O: The wait is over. And I'm very happy about this. By the end of this beer, I can say that this is not the perfect beer but it's by far the best quad I've had, which is a very subtle and hard style to make. Or probably is just the romantic side of a successful hunt speaking. I'm very happy at the moment and I feel like the spirit of craft beer is blooming inside of me. :) Thank you all you BAs!

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Photo of dabeerbuddha
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Have had this holy grail of beer a couple of times.
This review is based on a bottle with a more recent date code in 2015.
A: rich mahogany red brown in colour with a consistently thick and productive head sitting about a centimetre (~1/2") and remaining throughout the beer
N: strong earthy tones, complex malts, raisins and other dried fruits
T: beautiful malt structure, complex and well balanced. Notes of raisin, caramel, slight sourness and well disguised ABV.
M: probably one of the stronger caracteristics of this beer for me. Full, velvety luxuriousness
O: great beer, no doubt. Hard to come by which adds to its cache. I would certainly never turn down the opportunity to try another, especially one that has aged, but it won't be my daily drinker. Lol

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Photo of noz03
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

After years of searching I finally found this at the Beer Mania bar/shop in Brussels. At 15 euros a glass it is not cheap, but definitely worth the experience. Definitely a world class beer and a great culture/history surrounding it but I must say it was a little simplistic to give it a perfect score but still... Great beer.

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Photo of Lastmanback
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lucky enough to try this only a short trip from where it is brewed in Belgium. It's been on my list for a long time.

Dark brown with an off-white head. Great retention lasting all the way down.

Very complex aroma, dried fruit, brown sugar, slight boozy alcohol too.

Smooth and velvety mouth feel.

Lovely sweet taste with lots of flavours, sticky sweet fruit cakes, more dried fruit, breads, caramel.
Not as much alcohol in the taste as there was in the aroma.

Very easy to drink.

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

Perfect for the style. Rich malts, toffee, raisins & caramel. Velvet mouthfeel glides over the pallet leaving behind a candied sugar aftertaste. Can see why this has been a world class beer forever.

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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,807 ratings.
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