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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3584   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Magjayran (1378) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 27, 2006
Pours a gorgeous dark reddish brown color with a perfectly formed tan head that stays intact throughout the drinking experience. Aroma is full of dark fruit like plum along with a hint of citrus. Thereís quite a lot going on with the flavor in this one. Big fruity flavors mix with hints of almond and caramel. Tangy finish and warming alcohol. It may not be the best beer in the world but itís damn close. If only this bottle was a 750mL. I usually take some time drinking beers as big as this one but Iíve noticed that I went through the first half of this one very quickly before forcing myself to savor the rest.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pfhyde (59) - Davis, California, USA - JUL 26, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 16, 2007 Smells of malts, faintly; has a peppery spice, like Westmalle Trippel, though less pronounced; very dark, rootbeer colored. Effervescence is standard for a Belgian Trappist ale. Maltiness approaching a German dopplebock. Everything is well balanced, reminding me of a smoothed out, more sophisticated version of Ayingerís Celebrator Doppelbock. Sadly, thereís no doubt in my mind that itís overrated, due to its scarcity. It cost me Ä12 for one, small bottle in Brussels. After talking with the owner of Beer Mania, where I purchased it, he showed me a receipt of someone who ordered two bottles from London. The total cost was Ä193. Ridiculous! I feel sorry for the beer enthusiasts who feel as if they have to sample this one to complete their repertoire, then overrate it based on the psychology of rarity.Yes, this is a great beer compared to the standard lot, but within the sphere of the best, it falls short.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
brandonbrew (24) - Tennessee, USA - JUL 24, 2006
Whats more to say about this beer. Truly the worlds most perfect beer. It is however my second favorite beer to drink, my favorite to own though. Everything from A-Z is perfected when you drink this beer. Got mine off eBay, stop reading this now and go find this beer. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
LeopoldStoch (201) - Green, Ohio, USA - JUL 20, 2006
What else can I say about this beer that hasnt been said already? I have had the pleasure of trying this beer on two different occasions and it was excellent. The aroma is yeasty, doughy, a little eartiness to it. The flavors are dark fruits, sugars, and just the smallest bit of alcohol. I could hardly even taste the alcohol in it (ecspecially at 10%). My only downfall with this beer, while I dont even think it is a downfall...is that it is almost too balanced (if there is such a thing). I like a little more aggressive taste to my beers. Its almost hard to pick out the different levelsd of this beer because it is so complex and wonderfully balanced in every aspect.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
STEPHENDR (478) - California, USA - JUL 13, 2006
Mocha murky appearance Ė decent tan head- nose dried fruit, anise, honey, alcohol and beef broth - taste honey, dried fruit, anise, malt, alcohol and brown sugar Ė soft creamy with a little bite - aftertaste bitter/sweet taste lingering

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
stegosaurus (1882) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 13, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2006 Bottle sampled with Beerded_one. First I must thank belgianshop.com for this beautiful beer. Pours Dark with a two finger thick light tan head, that lasted until the last sip. The aroma is heavenly, belgian spices, yeast, citrus (orange peel), slight fruit, and alcohol. The flavor is ungodly, god damn smooth, spices, fruit, citrus, sweet, with a slight hoppy bitter finish. Oh then as this beer warms the flavor changes, i started to taste wood (oak), then vanilla, and nuts. I thought this beer was going to be all hype, yet still good, just not as good as it was rated, i was wrong, this is the best hands down.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
JoeMcPhee (9169) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 12, 2006
Rating #2000... Another thank you to my GF for getting these for me. Iíve been staring at this bottle for six weeks, and now Iím going to drink it... profound, no? Hazy deep brown beer, orange highlights, yellow-tan head. Very lacy and sticky. Aroma of spices and mint over a massive malty aroma. Orange rind, plums and dried cherries. Beautiful rich spicy yeast with overtones of clove, cardamon and cinnamon. flavour is amazing, sweet caramel, toast, and a rye-like mintiness up front with a lingering burnt sugar toastiness toward the end. Fantastic jammy fruity flavour as well with plums, raisins, and dried cherries. Honey dipped almonds. Very warming finish. Lingering sweet toastiness and clovey phenolics. Lace sticks all over the chalice. As it warms even more malty sweetness comes to the fore. Lingering peppery flavour and herbal woodiness helps to counter all of the sweetness. Brown sugar and toffee flavours are also noticible. Luxurious palate, wheaty body. I gave the top score to the Extra 8, but this is first rate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - JUL 10, 2006
I want to say this beer is a victim of the hype, but then I look at all the top raters and all but one give it 4.4+, so then I feel a little stupid. I try another sip, try to dig deeper, but still come up blank. Great? Sure. World Class? Absolutely. Number 1??? But I digress...

For a start, let me say that this is my 500th rating, after a bit more than a year on the site; a milestone I thought I would never reach (I tend to get bored of things pretty quick), and certainly not this fast. Suddenly, 1000 seems very close.

Only 20 ratings ago, I had no idea what I would choose for the big 500. Probably one the Speedways sitting in my basement. But, lo-and-behold, my fellow ratebeerian Hopscotch started a goofy contest which held the top prize of a Westy 12. #1. The Big Numero Uno. Hyped so fiercly that mail-order shops in Belgium manage to sell it for $25+ a bottle. Yikes! After all sorts of complications at the end of the contest, my hard work paid off (and believe me, looking through hundreds of pages of pictures of half-naked hot celebs to get a positive ID is HARD WORK!). Suddenly, #500 seemed like a clear choice (though I almost caved and drank it for #492 the day I got it).

Now, on to the beer. I couldnít have been more excited for this brew. The blank bottle and elegant cap just add to the allure. Of course... the best beer in the world is so small, odd, ridiculous, that it doesnít even have a label! I warmed the brew with my hands for a good 10 minutes, bringing it to around I believe 50F, popped it and poured it into my brand new, virgin Gouden Carolus challice. The pour was a beautiful thick brown, with a foamy biege head and enough solid crap to form a nice beige base. First smell was pretty bland, though as it warmed, I picked up strong bread (reminds me of Dulle Teve), cherry, fig, alcohol and chocolate. The flavor is more exciting, very smooth and relaxing, distinctly bready, with late licorice, more fig... and a big alcohol burn. Most mention that they see no alcohol, but I am getting quite a kick. I guess now would be the time to mention that this bottle is supposedly only 4 months old (feb 2006), if the article about a Westy vertical on this site is to believed -- the cap is dated 15.02.09. Many have said before that this beer is strongest after years in the cellar, and this tasting has lead me to believe that. Now I just need another bottle.

So, hyped or not?? Iíll certainly throw it out there that I think your average beer taster wouldnít at all rate this higher than Roch 10, St.B 12, if it were a blind tasting, and provided they didnít already have the flavor profile locked in memory. Certainly, the three are distinct, but this just doesnít have the otherworldy prowess that itís taken on on the site. So, yes, I think this beer has been hyped out of existence. Maybe for the truely discerning palates, it offers something above and beyond pretty much anything else out there. Or maybe, by the time its 3 or more years old, itís developed in to the beast it is rumored to be. But, for now, well, itís just another solid beer.

That, and I think Iím going to cry, because my glass is nearly empty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 9, 2006
Bottle: My second go íround with this beer. And one that I absolutely refused to rate on memory. Pours a dark brown with a bit of haze, big off white head. Aroma was yeasty, floral, and fruity. Just a bit of alcohol was noticeable. Flavor, caramel, sweet and floral, with a beutiful fruity undertone to it. The finish is softly bitter with some more fruits. And just a touch of warming as it lingers in the mouth. Medium bodied with nice lacing. While drinking this I couldnít stop grinning at how good this was. I had it once before about 8 months ago right as I was really getting started on this site. I loved it then. Some of the beers I had earlier on though just donít hold up anymore, but my god does this one keep itís spot. If I could I would sip on this stuff for every waking moment, it is just so amazingly drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
IPAndy (120) - minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 9, 2006
Poured with little head, murky brown. Has a spicy aroma with noticeable alcohol. I was kind of surprised by how prevalent the alcohol was in this beer. It really threw the balance off for me. Taste is good though- much more german hefe tasting than other belgians in that I detected clove spice and a bit of banana. Also plum/raisin and apple. Quite sweet, but spicy hop finish balances that nicely. Iím glad that my friend was able to get one of these while studying in France.

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