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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3072   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
ElGaucho (2189) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JUN 23, 2004
It is fairly accidental that Westy 12 ends up as my 600th rating. I rated quite a few beers on my recent visit to Chicago and rated them as close to in chronological order as possible. It just ended up that way. 1997 vintage. Molasses aroma with a decent amount of alcohol evident in the nose. Very murky and muddy body. Looks like an ashtray or chewing tobacco spittoon. Very rich and complex flavor. Molasses, plums, dates, apricots. Very smooth and drinkable. Alcohol is very well hidden. Some hops in the background.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
mreeves (274) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - JUN 23, 2004
Truly an amazing beer. I finally found it somewhere and despite being pretty hammered (which might be why I was willing to be $18.00 for it) found it to be the most amazing beer Iíve ever had. Appearance is amazing, taste is indescribably good (especially since I only really remember the experience itself) and overall itís really the best beer in the world.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - JUN 21, 2004
Can this beer really be as good as everyone says? Yes. Truly amazing. It pours a brownish ruby color with an expected creamy tan head. The aroma is an amazing combination of heavy and dark fruits and chocolately goodness. Itís also noticeably sharp and a bit acidic on the nose. Finally, I am able to taste this gem that Iíve heard so much about. What a wonderful sensation. Such a smooth beer, and there is a wonderful nuttiness to this beer coupled with some nicely roasted malt flavors. All of this mixes with the strong fruit and chocolate mentioned with the aroma. The beer finishes great as well. The nutty taste is the last to leave the palate proceeded by an alcohol presence and the previous flavors mentioned. I have to thank my buddy Mike who called me from World of Beer in Tampa and said "Hey, Iím at this huge beer store, do you want me to see if they have anything for you?" I immediately said "GET ME WESTVLETEREN 12". He brought me 3. One recently consumed, two stashed away for a special occasion. This is the best beer Iíve ever tasted. I know believe the hype.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 21, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2005 Original rating (6/21/2004 - 9-5-10-5-20=4.9): Sweet bread-like yeast, dark fruit and strong malt aroma. Opaque brown with dense tan head that recedes to cover, coating the glass. Some yeast in suspension. Gingerbread, pastry, more fruitiness (dates, figs, plums) and big sweet dark malt flavours - caramel, toffee, chocolate with alcohol peering through the fog. Strong, dry, gently roasty finish. Even the after-taste is a complex interplay of the bitter roastiness and a rising sweetness. Creamy smooth with gentle prickling on the tongue. This was indeed everything I was hoping it would be. Bottle. Thanks Guzzler67!!!
Re-rate (27-Feb-05 - 9-4-8-4-17=4.2): Chocolate, nougat, dough, dark fruit and a strong sweet maltiness in the aroma. Clear burnished copper with ruby tones and thin, white head that recedes rapidly to ring. Dark fruits, cocoa, dark candy sugar, grapes and pear flavours. Roasted malt bitterness is strong in the very dry well-attenuated finish. Medium body fair carbonation. Bottle (BB: 25/11/2006) enjoyed with MartinT and Olivier.
Rerate (7-5-7-4-15=3.8): Doughy sweet, malt forward aroma has a strong grape character. Clear, burnished copper coloured body is topped by a huge off white head that lasts very well and leaves some very nice lace. Grapey, sweet doughy flavour with leafy hops and some notes of dark malt flavour. Alcohol becomes apparent in the finish. Medium full body with a rich, velvety texture and soft pointy carbonation is very hot. Bottle enjoyed at the GABF 2005 wrap up at DenverLoganís loft.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
steview (1018) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 20, 2004
duvel tulip glass, cellar temp. to room temp., (cap # 26.08.06): the bottle is uncapped with a loud fizz. immediately i smell a bakery of tasty pastries from breakfast to dessert. i pour the bottle into my glass and listen and watch. the body is a dark and hazy brown while the head comes out sparkly, cremey, slightly rocky, and light tan. the lacing seems average. the palate is very smooth and it is also lively. the flavors are much like the aroma and both are complex. thereís HOW much alcohol in this? what else can be said... read the numbers and read the ratings. this is fantastic. the best belgian brew i've ever had...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
arjoseph (639) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 17, 2004
Bottle into tulip glass. A long time ago, back in my college days, I had the opportunity to sample the legend before I knew it was the legend. I choked. I asked for more lemonade-flavored punch. Oh, for those innocent days, when the existence of such a beer as this did not influence my whole drinking outlook. Now, knowing what I know, having tasted what Iíve tasted, never again will I have an Abbot Quadrupel, or any creamy dark beer for that matter, without subconsciously comparing it to "Westy" Westvleteren 12, and being slightly disappointed. One gains, one loses, however; and having lost that beer drinking innocence, I have gained the appreciation of this fine specimen. Malty and faintly acidic in the nose, it had a foamy, creamy and huge lightest-of-browns head with beautiful lacing and an amber red color in the bulb of the glass. The taste was malty, chocolate milk at first, completely filling my mouth with flavor; the hops in the finish start very faint and somehow grow in intensity like the sun emerging over the horizon to attain a smooth, smoky quality, which fades into the twilight of a fond memory. Itís almost dry at the very end, and some of the citrus I smelled comes forward. There is noticable alcohol, but itís a big beer, so thatís understandable. My only complaint: the finish became a bit metallic at the very end. That's why my palate rating isn't a 5.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
blatantdream (78) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - JUN 9, 2004
What hasnít been said about this one? Deep reddish-brown in color almost black. Very beautiful. The flavors are extremely complex like a good bottle of red wine. This beer definately is deserving of its praises.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JUN 1, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 6, 2007 So, one day back in early December 2003, I sat down and log onto RateBeer. I find a message in my BeerMail! Itís from the rater Snoot, out in California. Snoot, who I had traded beer with in the past, writes something to the effect of: ďHey Matt, I noticed you havenít yet sampled Westy 12. I had an extra bottle that a buddy in Belgium sent me and itís in the mail on the way to your house!Ē
Dudes!!! Is that not the coolest gesture of any RateBeerian? So, CHEERS to my buddy Snoot, You Rock!

Rating #500
Pours with the darkest of crimson. The head is a substantially thick; a fluffy kaki cap with lacing that is plentiful, yet fine enough to adorn Princesses wedding gown.
The aroma is far more fruity and less chocolaty than the Rochefort 10. Dark notes of plums, raisins, figs, prunes, apricots, sweet red apples, a note of banana. Wow, what a robust fruity complexity!
The coco must have been hiding in the flavor, because thatís where I found it! I totally pull out monstrous notes of Figs, Dates, and Prunes, a touch of that tart-ness that is mostly found in the prunes. There is a great depth of sinister malty complexity here. Toffeeís, caramels, and bakerís chocolates to eternity! There is a great nutty complexity.. wooded cinders, a hint of smoke, and earthy notes of peat! The yeast brings a depth of pumpernickelÖ.. this is very Remarkable!
The palate is lush and velvetyÖ near perfection I suppose.. Iíll probably never actually know perfection; even if it were in front of my face. There is some spice in the finish, black peppercorn, with undertones of cloveÖ DamnÖ Westy 12 is very much praiseworthy of its high marks!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
lachesis (756) - St Idesbald, BELGIUM - JUN 1, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 25, 2004 This unique beer is a real blockbuster with angelwings. It is a dark and very dens beer with an ivory like creamy head. The nose is filled with complex aromaís like roasted malts,dried fruits,nuts and even a little touch off mappleleaf sirop all this well packt and ending in an extreem freshness.The taste is full,complex,rich and again very fresh.It also has this nobel bitterness in the end that lingers on and on and on...

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
willblake (2645) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAY 26, 2004
330ml bottle, obviously; poured in Westy glass. Sadly, this bottle was a gusher, but only a few ml of beer were lost. Intended to be the highlight of my recent trip to San Francisco, this beer absolutely lived up to every expectation. After the first whiff and sip, I made the decision to put down my pen after jotting a quick: "This is what beer is supposed to be." The supreme highlight of my first and only night at the Toronado, a night that included more than my fair share of interesting to amazing beers from California and Europe. If Westy 12 does not actually deserve this, my first perfect score, any imperfections in the beer were compensated for by the bliss of the day. It is without shame that I offer a perfect score without any attempt at written justification. What more could possibly be said that hasnít already been written?

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