View Full Version : Belgian Ales - Westvleteren 12.
I do really love me some Belgian ale! One that has me intrigued and seems to be the true Holy Grail is the Westvleteren 12. Made only in St Sixtus and they have strict selling policies. Ebay has them for $20 a bottle, but ebay scares me lately with fake bottles. We have any members from Belgium on here?
You do know the Abbey is very much opposed to the resale of their beer? Wouldn't it be better to respect their wishes and actually plan a trip to get get some directly from the source?
That's how I intend to actually, finally get my hands on some.
I guess so although it would be a tough sell for my wife. They opposed to resell for profit I assume. I just want to try the stuff due to its reputation alone.
I'm extremely lucky in that a friend travels to Europe a lot for business, and he's a total beer geek. Last time he returned we did a westy tasting: The blond, the 8 and the 12, plus Stinky Cheese from somewhere near by.
It is extremely remarkable. I've actually had it a few times (did I mention he's generous?) and while I do apprecaite it, thankfully I don't get crazy enough about it to go spend dough on it.
Another beer we had that night was St. Bernadous Abt 12. More chocolatey in flavor, but similar. I preferred this, and since this is generally available, I'm pretty happy.
Not from the southern Netherlands(Belgium) but from the northern parts.
With what can i help you?
I really could care less what the Abbey intends. Travelling to Belgium is pretty expensive and certainly not something everyone can afford to do to try a rare beer. I'd like to try it and would break any silly rules they make. Once they sell it, it's not theirs to control anymore.
I've had this once or twice but perhaps being in beer circles from the pre-microbeer and import era, I've never liked strong beers much (anything over 6.0% ABV). There are exceptions, notably Imperial Russian stout which is one of the world's great beer styles. I like English old ales just at the edge of the aforestated 6%. It is noteworthy that Germans, who know a thing or two about beers, never developed anything really strong for general consumption, i.e., apart from the few dopplebocks and eisbiers available, and really that is true of England too. Belgium is a case apart to a degree, and there are specific historical reasons for that - spirits were banned there in World War I and that stimulated development of extra-strong beers. But if I want something stronger than 5-6%, whisky seems a better choice. Still, I acknowledge the greatness of the fine Trappiste ales.
the debate about the "monk's wishes" has raged on forever on various beer sites....whatever works for you, personal decision...I first had this beer in Belgium back in 96 and finagled the cafe I sampled it in to sell me a few bottles to go as I was no where near the monastary....this was a good few years before Westvleteren mania hit and the beer was great after a few years in the cellar although many actually prefer it fresh
A few years back a clever US importer was actually buying the beer from the monastary, then putting their own Westvleteren labels on it to import it into the States ...it was on the shelves of my local beer shop for maybe a year before it went bye bye.....it's a great beer but as one other poster noted the St. Bernardus 12 is in the ballpark and it comes in a nice big 750 bottle and is readily available.....
I understand your interest but there is great big world of magnificient beer out there, Belgian and otherwise, I wouldn't get too hung up on this one beer....another one worth trying in a similar vein is Rochefort 10 or LaTrappe Quadrupel....some American micro brewers have also taken stabs at this style
another one worth trying in a similar vein is Rochefort 10 or LaTrappe Quadrupel....some American micro brewers have also taken stabs at this style
I have had the St B Abt 12 and the Rochefort 10 and love them both. Its what made me do more reach and find the Westvleteren 12. I have not been able to acquire the LaTrappe yet, but intend on trying every Trappist ale. Well, I did finally acquire a 12 pack of the Westvleteren 12. A am little embarrassed to admit how much I paid. I will be having some very soon and Ill report my findings.
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