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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3218   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 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
steview (1029) - 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. there’s 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 I’ve 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. It’s almost dry at the very end, and some of the citrus I smelled comes forward. There is noticable alcohol, but it’s a big beer, so that’s 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 hasn’t 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! It’s from the rater Snoot, out in California. Snoot, who I had traded beer with in the past, writes something to the effect of: “Hey Matt, I noticed you haven’t yet sampled Westy 12. I had an extra bottle that a buddy in Belgium sent me and it’s in the mail on the way to your house!”
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 that’s 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. Toffee’s, caramels, and baker’s 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 pumpernickel….. this is very Remarkable!
The palate is lush and velvety… near perfection I suppose.. I’ll 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 clove… Damn… 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 (757) - 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 aroma’s 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 (2654) - 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 hasn’t already been written?

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
gnylen (12) - Topanga, California, USA - MAY 25, 2004
Proof of the existence of God. The yard stick by which all other Belgian Trappist beers (indeed, beers in general) should be measured. Head: the ultimate rocky Belgian foam. I would not be surprised if they pack the pillows of the monks at the abbey with this heavenly mousse. Thick, long lasting, creamy, dense. Aroma: mysterious, deepening with increasing temperature. Chocolate, layers of malt, Viennese coffee, caramel, notes of port. Flavor: the Everest of complexity. Sweet treacle and toffee but not cloying, because a well balanced bitterness, alcohol and spice mixture immediately tempers the first impression. Roasted malt, chocolate chip cookies, caramel sundae topping, hot buttered rum. Let it warm up a bit and discover why people become monks at the abbey breweries. Palate: creamy without being thick. Delightful. Immediately brings up perfect moments: sitting by a fire in a ski lodge after a perfect day on the slopes, reading a book in a European cafe on a rainy night, playing traditional music with friends in a dimly lit pub.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - MAY 23, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 29, 2008 Aroma: very fruity, red wine, grapes, marshmellow creme, fruit salad scents, grape juice, and carmel malts
Appearance: cloudy, murky brown with a creme head, lacing
Flavor: strong and sour--acidic like that of a good red wine, sharp--like cheddar cheese, sweet vinegar flavors
Palate: smooth with a tart, bitter bite, grape juice aftertaste
Re-rated 2008 at brewery
Aroma: alcohol, brown sugar, raisins, some hay and oats, some sweetness
Appearance: dark brown--]black, off-white head, lacing
Flavor: sweet, raisins, dark plums or prunes, some hay, some smokiness, and minerals/moss
Palate: very sweet almost too sweet, slightly burnt/charcoal aftertaste

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - MAY 23, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 19, 2004 Courtesy of Indra and consumed at the very fist Belgianfest for Kansas City. Chocolately, coffee, intense and yet smooth flavoring. I enjoyed this one very much. I can see why this brew is rated as high as it is. Also props to Mjames and Phillybeer, thanks for the trades and it was great meeting you guys. This is a prelimary rating until I’ve consumed a full bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21, 2004
Bottled. I’d been saving this mystical beer for some time, actually since before my trip down under. Reddish brown with sediment and interest. Attractive and interesting, I was many things but most of all intrigued. Sweetness set against rich complex alcoholic elements. Something like a complex single malt. Infused with mineral and ripe fruit flavours. I’ll need to have a few more I think to settle on an opinion I can defend but this is it for now.

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