Brewed by Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus
Style: Abt/Quadrupel
Westvleteren, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3339   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.44   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
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Westvleteren has the smallest output of the Trappist breweries, with only a small part of their production available outside of Belgium.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Stefano (1891) - Thisted, DENMARK - SEP 17, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 4, 2007 It is almost sacrilegious to call this beer. It transcends the category, with its deliciously enticing fruity-wine aroma and magnificent, malty raspberry/plum taste. Strong yet delicate, imagine biting into a perfectly ripe pear to get an idea of the texture and heartiness exhibited by ’12’. With such a high alcohol content, one would expect an overwhelming alcohol flavor, but it was masked as well as any ’beer’ I’ve had. With its rich, delectable taste, beautiful dark color, frothy head, and luscious aroma, this IS the perfect ’beer.’ An orgiastic feast for the senses.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
DTB (51) - South Philly, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 15, 2006
This beer looked much like a cloudy root beer that picked up some straw towards the edges, but had a mossy green halo around the edges when held to the light. Also, there were a few flecks floating around. The dirty off white head looked a little like my carpet with uneven bubbles creating a pleasantly chaotic surface that didn’t last for all that long. Smelled of salty, flakey pastry that was creamy and doughy. Also included ideas of gooey cookie and/or bread dough with a sweet musky honey. Hell, it could even smell like baklava if you squinted right. There’s also some fruity notes of figs, cherries and plumbs. I was really astonished (as if I wasn’t impressed by now) by the “residual alcohol suggestion” where my mind pointed out where the 10.2% should be, but my nose could only pick up its shadow. Very nice indeed. Tasted of creamy, milky caramel then picks up a pleasant tingly sensation that blossoms into an amazing syrup, peaches and pecans. Then there are also some playful light nips of hop that roll around my tongue, back and forth re-releasing little hints of a milky bread dough, honey and nuts in between the suppressive drops of dryness. Finishes like the pastry from the smell with some honey. As I exhale, I get an amplified, brilliant doughy yeast. The mouth feel is light to medium and creamy with a brilliantly paired sandy feeling carbonation. Perfect! What can I say? This one’s in a class of its own.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beachbum25 (1085) - Powellville, Maryland, USA - SEP 11, 2006
330 ml bottle-cap dated/coded 23.08.09-Hard to believe I’m actually tasting this beer, thanks to Marsiblursi for giving me this oportunity in a trade. Poured a brownish/reddish color w/a moderate long lasting head. Had an incredable aroma. Deep, fruity, complex winelike aroma of dates & figs. I could have sat here & smelled it all day, but I wanted to taste it!! Seems so hyped up that you almost expect to be dissapointed, but that is just not the case. It’s just a flavor explosion. Very fruity, winelike, floral character of grapes, figs, dates, cherries, chocolate, raisins, brown sugar, toffee, peet, just pick an adjective & you can find it in there. Has a finish that’s a week long. This one lives up to the hype!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
reakt (949) - Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 10, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2007 Bottle from The Bier Circus, Brussels. Although not entirely disappointed, I was a little let down that only the Blond was being served at the festival. When we left for dinner I couldn’t help but order one of these with my meal. Pours a deep ruby brown colour with an off white foam of head. Earthy aroma with hints of rasin, brown sugar and spice. Complex with a cornucopia of flavours... berries, plums, rye bread, honey, malt and nuts. As sipped becomes sweet with a long spicy unoffensive yet bitter finish. Slightly less body than expected which is my only gripe. Was a great accompaniment for my steak and frites, only rivaled by the chocolate mousse a’la Chimay for dessert...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
OKBeer (1171) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - SEP 7, 2006
330 ml bottle, cap dated 26.04.09. At long last. After losing one to Canada Customs in a trade, I wondered if I’d ever get another shot at it, but thanks to a suggestion from Ross on a source, here it is. Dark ruby brown colour with an everlasting rocky, creamy, and rich tan head with lots of lacing. Dark fruit, chocolate covered cherries, brown sugar, toffee, orange peel, raisin, fig, and amber rum aroma. Brown sugar, toffee, and molasses flavours lead into dark chocolate, fruit, figs, raisins, and cherries which in turn give way to a light alcohol finish with more molasses, rum, and dark chocolate to top it off. Mouthfeel is remarkable – rich and full bodied yet soft and delicate, smooth and easy drinking yet substantial, warming but no sign of alcohol heat. Definitely worth the wait and a fitting tribute for my daughter’s 3 month birthday – one of these will hit the cellar to celebrate another one of her milestones 17-20 years down the road. Also a fitting end, after 866 official Ratebeer ratings, to notebook #1.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
ElBorracho (472) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 5, 2006
Bottle. The Holy Grail among beergeeks has finally managed to find it’s way to this humble being. A big thanks to Rayboy for hooking me up with this hard to find bottle. Pours copper with some sediment. Dark fruit, clove, various other spices along with a nice earthy basement funk. Finishes slightly warm. Overhyped?... definantly. Tasty?... absolutely.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Skinnyviking (7523) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - SEP 4, 2006
Bottle. Head non-existant. Muddy black body. Spicy herby aroma with caramel butter notes. Very complex flavor appearing fruity and yet spicy, seems to contain brown sugar as well. Hard to describe.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BeerBiker (1413) - Odense, DENMARK - SEP 2, 2006
[Bottled at Carlsens] First time I tasted it, it was a little bit too much, but now for every time I discover new notes. Being a monk in Westvleteren must really be the right thing between religios beer geeks.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
LtJudge (468) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 2, 2006
Thanks to Brewblackhole for giving me a sample of this one! Poured a nice tanish red color.Has a a malty/fruity aroma to it. When I first tasted it my first thought was that I was was drinking a carbonated wine! Nice malty taste with a big flavor of cherry. This was a very good brew,but the #1 rated in the world? I don’t know about that.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Phatz (225) - Paradise, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 2, 2006
How do you review this beer? How do you rate a beer that many people believe to be the best beer in the world? With all the hype surrounding this beer and all the anticipation, (including the price tag), I had very high expectations. I was almost expecting to be disappointed as this beer has been pedestalled as "the holy grail" of beers. Truth is; it is deservingly in a league of its own. Appearance: Pours a deep brown color with a nice beige head that fades into a frothy cap and an attractive halo. It was surprising the head and lacing on a 10.2% ABV beer. Smell: The aroma is complex and sweet. Dark fruits like plums, figs and dates are all interwoven into a truly enticing aroma that smells only like Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap)! I was surprised at the amount of floral character this beer displayed. Taste: The taste can only be described as tasting like Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap)! It is completely unique. There is a tartness surge on the front end, then a very mellow smooth silky vinous middle with caramel flavors that lead into what I might try to liken to figs and dates and toasted brown sugar malts; but it is really so well blended that is hard to isolate individual flavors. In the aftertaste, there is again a yeasty tart that maybe be similar to a splash of green apple, and a bit of alcohol warmth. I love the stinging character on the lips. It is not clear what causes that spicy stinging sensation (maybe the acidity) but it begs you to drink more. Truly though, I can only describe this as being in a league of it’s own! Mouthfeel: Super freaking smooth and so creamy it is sinful! It is light and perfectly carbonated to be full and easy to drink at the same time. Drinkability: Absolutely dangerous. I was pleased to share this beer with a couple of close friends, but I must say, a beer this big may never go down so easily! Is a $300 case out of the question? If it fits in your budget, absolutely go for it; you won’t regret it. It goes down so dangerously easily its indescribable. Until next time someone shares a Westy 12 with me, I will keep a special place in my heart for this spectacular gem. Hope this is helpful. Cheers!

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