THE Trappist Westvleteren 12
Beer: Westvleteren 12
Serving type: bottle
Brewery: De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren
The Trappist Westvleteren 12 is regarded by many as "The Holy Grail of Beers", as it is not only near impossible to obtain, but also considered the best beer in the world. The beer is brewed by Trappists monks, and is one of only seven Trappist beers in existence. Six of those Trappist brews are widely available, Westvleteren being the lone one, which is not. The beer is so rare, that it is only available for (legal) sale in Belgium, at two places: the abbey where it's brewed or at the cafe across the street, which the abbey owns. Enter the world of beer trading.
We found a dude online via beeradvocate.com that had some Westy's and we had some beers he wanted, so it was a match made in heaven, giving us the chance to experience the beer of all beers. Holy crap, and heaven it was! Below is my review of the Westy 12...
Appearance - 4.5 out of 5
I poured the beer into a goblet and I gave it some air to produce a nice thick head, about an inch thick. The head was foamy, as opposed to creamy, and the color was that of sand. The head dissipated some but stuck around for the duration, with very slight lacing. The beer is dark and cloudy and has a chocolaty look to it.
Smell - 5 out of 5
The smell was confusing, which was awesome. It ranged from bitter fruits (raisins) to mild fruits (banana) to chocolate to yeast.
Taste - 5 out of 5
Similar to the smell, the taste was hard to pinpoint. It's very robust and complex and hides its alcohol extremely well. The initial taste is similar to that of a St. Bernardus .Abt 12, although the Westy 12 masks its alcohol much better and has a broader range of flavors. Not to mislead though, the Westvleteren 12 surpasses the St. Berny (which is outstanding in its own right) in flavor. To date, I have not tasted a better beer.
Mouthfeel - 5 out of 5
The beer is very smooth with a slight dry finish. Again, the most similar comparison is the St. Berny 12, although the Berny has more carbonation feel to it, where as the Westy replaces that with more of an oily feel. It has a perfect brief aftertaste, leaving me wanting more. "The Holy Grail" of beer? Nah, more like "The crack cocaine of beer", I just kept wanting more...
Drinkability - 5 out of 5
I could go on and on about this beer. I had really high expectations for it, and it completely delivered. To my surprise, it exceeded my expectations. Suffice to say, I will constantly be looking to get my hands on more of these.