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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3604   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.43/5   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
Westvleteren has the smallest output of the Trappist breweries, with only a small part of their production available outside of Belgium.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Aeneas (21) - Port Jefferson Station, New York, USA - AUG 10, 2007
Wonderful treat brought back from Europe by a friend. Aroma was subtly spicy with a sense of malty sweetness and hints of candy sugar. Light character of dried cherries perceived upon initial pour, faded into spicier notes when the beer warmed. Appearence was a hazy dark brown with some burgandy highlights. Very little carbonation and very thin head (may have been too cold on initial pour) but what head there was had a medium tan color. Flavor profile was dynamic. When cool, the flavors were dominated by rich maltiness, some plum/ raisin hints of characteristic belgian yeast. As it warmed, the sugars became balanced by the phenolics from the yeast and the maltiness diminished. Mouthfeel was rich and full, despite low carbonation. Significant levels of residual sugars combined with what seemed like a wheat character to create a silkiness that was quite enjoyable. Overall, a great beer, one I’m happy I enjoyed! Is it the best beer in the world? Not sure, but it is a fine product that I wouldn’t mind having access to more readily!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jj21 (84) - Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 10, 2007
Frosted pint glass served from Nitro tap at...Yeah Right!! Poured carefully into a Chimay Goblet. Date ? (I’ll have to check the cap later) Dense, creamy light brown head with great retention eventually leaving a nice lacing. Body is slightly murky brown. Not much carbonation after the pour, at least that I could see. Beatuiful sight. Heavenly aromas! Yeast, dark fruit, caramel, candy sugar- everything you would expect from a quad but nothing out of the ordinary. Complex flavors hinted by the aroma with some dry bitterness. Very well balanced. Such a smooth mouthfeel! Hardly any sign of the alcohol. Incredibly drinkable for a big beer. This was my first, and more than likely last, experience with Westy 12. As good as it was there are other more accessible Quads (St. Bernardus 12, Trappistes Rochefort 10) just as good that don’t break the bank like this does. One of those "At least now I can say I tried it" beers. Now onto the Dark Lord!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hopson (635) - Williamsville, New York, USA - AUG 7, 2007
Thanks to jason for this treat. I was surprised at first scent to discover that even an inexperienced beer drinker would determine that there is something familiar in this brew’s aroma. Banana yeast, coupled with some other fruits and subtle spice combine to make a very sweet and pleasent aroma. appears very dark brown with a shaving cream tanish head that laces a bit. First sip was outstanding, probably due to the anticipation of tasting one of the world’s best. Initial sweetness, some fruits, cherries, spices, and some peppery alcohol dominates towards the end. Sweeter as the beer warms up. The complexity is awesome, and the beer almost changes completely as you take that last sip. A very nice treat.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
beerheart (237) - Erie, Colorado, USA - AUG 7, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2008 Got this off ebay. Worth the trouble! Pours deep mahogany. Thin tan head. Smells of roasted malt and raisins. Sits very full-bodied and sweet on the tongue. Tastes of creamy malt, raisins, and molasses. Finishes clean with a slight alcohol burn. An amazing beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
smhncabot (310) - Cabot, Arkansas, USA - AUG 6, 2007
my 300th rating. drank side by side with st. bernies 12 and special edition. pours deep mahogany with solid light khaki head. aroma is big caramel colored almond with clove, banana, toffee, chocolate, roast, and strange ester. taste is smooth nearly creamy caramel with toffee and nut. there is spice and banana that is well in balance. some sherried flavors and some chocolate. perfect carbonation. extremely smooth.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Ethereal (2421) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 4, 2007
Numerous bottles over winter/spring 2006, courtesy of Swen Vincke at Larian (thanks so much. I was expecting a bottle or two, not a crate!) Fittingly for my hundreth rate, an exceptional beer that many consider the best in the world. The 12 is a feast for the senses and a beer that you really should track down and try if you possibly can. I still remember the first bottle I ever had (in Lowlander with tashi) vividly. It looks fantastic in the glass, ruby red with a good head. The fruity aroma of molasses, plums and raisins is delightful preparation for the rich, fruity, complex flavour. The alcohol is well concealed and the varied caramel and berry flavours surge to the fore. The mouthfeel is perfect, coating the mouth just so. Truly an awe-inspiring drink that you can’t help but wax lyrical about.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
gottalottaibu (243) - charlotte, North Carolina, USA - AUG 4, 2007
dark ruby brown with a big carmel head. big dark fruit aroma of plum and fig and raison. sweet flavor up front. again big dark fruits come through, especially figs and raison with a nice warming alcohol feel. yeast really made the mouthfeel for me giving it a nice chewy feel. definately lived up to the hype in my book. very enjoyable, complex, and flavorful beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bombardier (4) - USA - AUG 2, 2007 does not count
Pours dark brown, cloudy, with large off white head. Balanced fruit (especially raison and plum), malt, and yeast aroma. Complex flavor with brown sugar, fruits, some chocolate, and licorice. Laces the glass beautifully and feels smooth on the palate. I am glad that I waited, as a friend suggested, to get a good deal of beers under my belt to get a true(r) appreciation of this delight.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
NachlamSie (3213) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 1, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 21, 2008 #1000. Consumed in a can with a straw.j/k Bottle best before Feb 8, ’09 thanks to Eyedrinkale. I can already sense an assertive aroma just from popping open the cap. A pour into the snifter reveals a dark cloudy burgundy with a tall head. The head is firm and defined with cascades beneath it as I swirl. Lacing is clingy and dense. The aroma is excellent with assertive floral sweetness and spiced notes. I pick up cardamom, earth, baking chocolate, cloves, honey, molasses, pineapple; I just can’t dissect it thoroughly enough, yet perfect balance is maintained. This is actually lighter on the palate than I was expecting, though it’s still very full bodied and creamy. I’d say Rochefort’s offering is a little more dense. The alcohol comes through, but it’s not bad. The finish is drying with dark fruits throughout. A thin sweetness akin to honey balances things out. Each sip is a journey starting with the more acidic notes of plums and spices, fading into a semi-sweet territory like molasses, cherries, white wine, licorice, and lingering on a tangy, zesty flavor before my tongue is left with sensations of earth, honey, figs, and other fruits. This is easily one of my favorite Belgian brews with its sophisticated flavor profile, immaculate balance, and assertive palate. I don’t know if it lives up to 100% of its hype or the fact that it’s so hard to get (especially since a couple of other delicious quads are a bit more handy), but it is seriously a very damned good beer. Seriously.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
johnadam2002 (529) - Hainesport, New Jersey, USA - JUL 30, 2007
Number 200! Thanks Matt for this gem! Celebrated as I moved into my first house! I liked this as much as the Rochefort 10. Poured dark brown with large white head. Aroma of fruit, sweet malt, spice, and maybe some chocolate. Very complex and different with every sniff. Flavors of fruit and sweet malt to start followed by a spice filled finish. Very smooth and complex.

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