Last night was the blind taste test of the GI Pere Jacques against 3 competitors. I managed to forget to put the newest bottles in the refrigerator (didn't want any of them real cold but was trying to bring them down to Belgian monastery cellar room temperature!) so I ended up with the four selections pictured.
Ommegang Abbey Ale - Belgian dubbel style American ale
St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Belgian non trappist dubbel (found it already refrigerated on last trip out to get ice and other necessities for the evenings activities)
Goose Island Pere Jacques - AB InBev's newest entry in the widely distributed "craft" beer market that positions itself as a Belgian dubbel style
Achel Bruin - Trappist Dubbel
4 different people in addition to myself played along. I set it up so I knew what was what but nobody else did. All poured a reddish brown although the Achel was the darkest of the group. From the picture you can see the GI maintained almost no head whatsoever while the Achel was almost overly exuberant.
The clear winner (5 for 5) was the Achel. The St. Bernardus and the GI were a close second and third (essentially a toss up) while the Ommegang finished in a close fourth. None of the beers was one that would not be bought again by the other tasters. For me the GI was easily fourth. It had the same flavor profile but was much more muted, almost flat. The St. Bernardus was the most different in flavor while the Achel had the best mouthfeel and roasted malt flavor.
I probably won't seek out either the GI or the Ommegang again but the St. Bernardus was a nice ale that is worth future consideration.