Brewed by Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Westvleteren, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1819   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.22   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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Westvleteren has the smallest output of the Trappist breweries, with only a small part of their production going very far into the world.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Joeh (2049) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - JUL 1, 2004
Beer number 500!! Served in a chalice. I love these label-less bottles! Pours almost black, with a red/orange tinge up to the light, thin, fluffy white head that stays the same thickness all the way down. Alcohol/malt/dried fruit in the aroma, with some yeast and a little bread when you get your nose closer. Starts off slightly dry, with fruit and malt, subdued bitterness and a sour tinge on the back of the tongue. Further down the glass and it becomes sweeter, but itís never too sweet, some bready and roasty flavours even pop up. Brilliant.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - JUN 30, 2004
Dated on cap: 31.01.06 Dark w/ good head, lace. Lotsa dark fruit aroma, fig newton, raison, malt, chocolate, slightly woody, earth, elegant & complex. Smooth, medium bodied beer. A really malty brew, layer upon layer of malt & mild dark fruits w/ good bitterness at the finish. Overall, it proves wonderful. I followed this with a St. Bernardus Prior 8 via 75cl corked bottle, and the Bernie was a let down!!! Maybe only the Westy 12 can top this one. I was going to rate the Bernie, but Iíll wait until I have a clean slate, just unfair otherwise. Wonderful Westy!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Quetzalcoatl (153) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUN 30, 2004
What a magnificent brew. The aroma is rich and enticing, layers of fruits and spice. The head is a nice thick lasting foam. Pours a deep ruby/brown. The taste starts with dark fruits, hints of yeast, but ultimately a perfect balance. A nice rich velvety feel, it fills the mouth. The beer releases more flavor as it warms, becoming wonderfully complex and enjoyable. A pleasure to drink, I canít wait to try the 12.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 27, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2004 Generous and lasting creamy tan head, with a dark red/amber body. Sugary fruit aroma... orange, plum, and spices. But it seems a little lacking in strength, and covered by sugars. Taste is really pleasant. A spiced fruit concoction, featuring cinnamon, apples, plum, stuff. Good body, and great overall!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheDean (786) - MIlwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 26, 2004
Much smoother then the 12. Smooth and goes down easy. Once again, there are a lot cheaper beers that are much better, but this one is not bad.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ElGaucho (2262) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JUN 25, 2004
Not nearly as strong an aroma as the 12. Dark, orange red in color. Clear, not murky like the 12. Not as in your face rich as the 12, but very similar. More carbonated. Great beer. I love it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
Sammy (9128) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 21, 2004
bergundy in some light. Vanilla, fruit, yeast and malts. Mouthwarming sizzling carbonation with light-medium texture. Spice and dried fruit, bannana with raisin, carmel . Bit acidic. Great by itself and as appetizer, but beware that the alcohol is there. Thanks IPFreely.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
arjoseph (639) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 17, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 6, 2006 Re-Rate. Bottle, Oud Arsenaal, Antwerpen. Fluffy, creamy ecru head at 5/8", continually regenerated by tiny rivulets of bubbles up the side of the glass. Lacing is uniform with different sized small bubbles, crumbling down to leave an arch of residue and an archipelago of foam beneath. Smells like baking bread, banana cream, and some faint strawberry cream. Sweet with noticable warming alcohol in the chest. Soft carbonation makes a soft foam for a nice mouthfeel. Some pepper and spice on the alcoholic dry finish. This is the exact opposite of the Rochefort beers: the mouthfeel is amazing, one of the creamiest, smoothest beers Iíve ever had (just like Westy 12). Flavors are subtle; this is much more about feel and balance. Very enjoyable, very unique. 7/5/7/5/16

Original Rating. Bottle into tulip glass. Unfortunately for the 8, I had it right after the 12. It couldnít live up to the butressed expectations I had erected for it. Nevertheless, I donít think it would have fulfilled them even if I were tasting this after Anchor Small Beer. The aroma was faint, but what I could pick up was hoppy and a bit green. Frothy head, big, with good lacing and a brown amber color in the glass. This was bitter from the start, I would say tart, and it knifed into the top of my tounge. No sweetness. The carbonation and wateriness were nice and refreshing for a beer this dark, and not what I was expecting. There were spicy tones on the finish, and I got some noticable burning from the alcohol. For what this costs per bottle, and for how highly itís rated, I would say itís a disappointment. 6/5/7/4/14 = 3.6

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
hopdog (9327) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 12, 2004
Here it is, my 100th rating on RateBeer and what better way than to do it with a Trappist Beer! Bottle tasted from case bought on 1/1/02. Reddish brown in color with an off white head. Lots of particles. Aromas of dark fruits (plums & raisins), spices, dough, caramel and slight yeast. Mmmm, nice smelling. Tastes are just as complex, if not better, than the smells. Great tasting beer. Alcohol content hidden. Lively carbonation. This is a very good beer - one of my favorites (Iím glad I still have 12 in the cellar).

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChazyRPh (583) - Chazy, New York, USA - JUN 1, 2004
Pours a clear deep garnet with a small off white head. Slight yeast aroma, nothing else very discernable. Very mild malty essence, alcohol is non-evident. Very smooth, not as complex as Iíd like or expect. Kinda disappointing.

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