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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3288   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
HopsOrDie (687) - New Lenox, Illinois, USA - APR 26, 2005
Pours a hazy dark amber/light brown color with a fizzy off-white color. Not much head to start. The smell is dirt-like with hints of alcohol, raisin, yeast, and that Belgian horse-hair flavor common in many. Flavor has some sweet dark candy sugar up front with a raisin/plum flavor coming in later. Very warming as the alcohol hits you pretty quick but is not overwhelming in the aftertaste as a sweetness re-enters. Some aging will do this beer well, but I am surprised by itís world class rating since it doesnít seem as complex as the Westy 8.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 26, 2005
I stared at this one for half an hour before mustering up the courage to begin. Finally, I went for it... Hazy copper-brown color with a lively, fizzy, off-white and thin head. Beautiful lacing as the experience progresses. Aroma is chocolate, prunes, coriander, nutmeg and sugar-brazed walnuts. Flavor? Delicious. Flavor was a rotating sequence of caramel, nuts and toffee. Subtle carbonation and wonderful malt complexion. Warming in every sense - there goes my head, there glows my throat... Not the second coming of Christ, but this is good stuff.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
meadlover1959 (14) - Wisconsin, USA - APR 25, 2005
UPDATED: APR 26, 2005 First, thanks Chris for the present. An excellent beer. Gave a sip to my son who commented that it was nicely sweet, not too bitter. He was very correct. It had also nice appearance with a very nice head. Even so, it still was not as smooth as the Rochefort Trappistes 10 which I felt, regardless of availability, was a slightly better beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 24, 2005
Wow! I decided that i would wait to crack this beauty until i set a personal best in the pole vault. well, friday i jumped 17í1" and today i just finished my bottle of westy 12. the cap was best by 10.03.07 meaning march 10, 2007 so, this was just over a year old. this was amazing. It poured into my westy glass a pleasing brown, with lots of floaties and an ample sized head that fades a bit while a thin layer exists until the end leaving some nice lace on the sides of the glass. the smell just said "drink me". it was sweet and yeasty. the first sip made me want to just suck down the entire glass, but i restrained myself and enjoyed the rest over the next 40 minutes. the taste included a bread, candy, and fruit. there was a distinct tartness in the middle and a nice bitterness toward the end rounding out all the wonderful flavors. alcohol was not present hardly in the taste, but the warming in the finish was very welcome. if you have not tried this yet, somehow acquire a bottle--mail order, trade, you should try this. that being said, this may be the best beer i have tried to date. not one that i would drink every day, too expensive now hard to get(and probably too heavy) to be a favorite, but this is so artful. as satisfying as a 7 course meal. i am glad that i got to try westy 12. and i look forward to someday drinking a beer that will surpass this in quality if that is possible.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Gorbalev (2974) - Ontario, CANADA - APR 23, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2006 Iíll keep quiet as to where I actually got to sample this beer, as I donít want to get anyone in trouble, but it was very kind of the person to do so and I thank them for it. Poured a lovely dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of plum and spice - almost like a very nice warmed piece of plum cake - very unique and inviting. The taste again was dominated by plum and spice - Iím having a hard time describing it - it was very rich a dessert like, almost like a fine after dinner port. The alcohol is very present but only adds to the overall taste. This was truly a lovely beer, but only one I could have a sample of after dinner once in a while. Contrast that to the Rochefort 10 I tried earlier this week, which I could drink very easily a couple of bottles. Still, an incredible drinking experience, one of the main reasons I got into the ratebeer community.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Schioth (41) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - APR 19, 2005
UPDATED: APR 22, 2005 25 cl. bottle. Everything about this beer is as close to perfection as Iíve seen so far. Probably the best beer in the world!!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 18, 2005
UPDATED: SEP 22, 2007 I sought it out because of its high ratings on this website. While it is a very good beer but it wouldn’t put it in at 100%. It definitely has a small batch, hand/craft-brewed taste. Rich caramely alcohol on the nose which is repeated in the flavor along with dark, sweet fruits (figs, dates, and prunes). Has a well-rounded and smooth mouth feel across its wide ranging flavor profile. Very complex all around. A very nice trappist ale with a homemade feel.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
chrisfrey (15) - Franklin, Wisconsin, USA - APR 18, 2005
A friend of mine said that this beer is everything that is right about beer and he was correct. It is simply the best beer I have ever had. It is warm and creamy and nutty with a touch of fruit and no bitter taste afterward. Lkke a previous rater, I will let my supply age and see how it is in 6 months or so.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - APR 17, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 4, 2005 If this beer was any more rare Iíd probably be rater #5507 rather than #557... or, am I understanding these numbers backwards? Whatever the story of this ubiquitiously rare beer, itís not pleasant to look at, a residue-filled, muddy brown with a white film for a head. The aroma is darkly sweet, malt mashed with dark dry fruits, raisins and prunes and dates... and a lurking alcohol presence. The taste is excellent - yeasty and fruity and toasty and laced with alcohol - sweet but well-balanced. The finish is a long, dry alcoholic one. I see that tradition seems to dictate that I rate this higher than I am today, but this is the best I can do despite the fame of this ale. I will try some of my cellared stock of this rare brew next year and rerate.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
piwodevo (53) - chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 16, 2005
tricky to rate, this Westveltwelve. most seem tempted to rate it tops in all categories, due, i suppose, to its price and rarity and renown. itís aroma is typical belgian (a nose i usually donít particularly care for, in most cases), its appearance a murky brown with short-lived head. thereís my lowest ratings. but the flavor is out-of-this world. balance. as with the rest of life, great beer is all about balance. sweet, with a backup dryness and spiciness, smooth mouthfeel, great finish. excellent.

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