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Old 08-06-2007, 10:31 PM   #1
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Default Trappist Westvleteren 12

I was thinking of skipping my last homebrew club meeting b/c I was busy, and b/c last week I was the only one to bring beer! Man am I glad I decided to go. New guy brings one of the $15+ hard to find Westvleteren 12's! What's interesting is I brought a bottle of St.Bernardus 12, so it was interesting to compare the two side by side.
The 'West' 12 was much more complex and tasty. Super malty and sweet, but it had a nice dry, simple finish that made it very drinkable. Very dark, complex sweet dark fruity aroma. Flavor was everything you'd want, dark fruit, bready, toffee/caramel, big malt.
It really blew the Bernardus out of the water, eventhough the bernardus is a great beer IMHO. If you can try this beer please do, its #1 of all beers on beeradvocate, and if you like the style I don't think it gets much better. I am amazed at the clean/dry finish after the initial assault of flavor/malt/sweetness. Most beers I think, "I could brew that" but this one.....wow if only. Something to aspire to, I don't know how do they do it - so many flavors/aromas. In the belgian, non-sour, category its the best I've ever had.

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Old 08-06-2007, 10:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landhoney
I was thinking of skipping my last homebrew club meeting b/c I was busy, and b/c last week I was the only one to bring beer! Man am I glad I decided to go. New guy brings one of the $15+ hard to find Westvleteren 12's! What's interesting is I brought a bottle of St.Bernardus 12, so it was interesting to compare the two side by side.
The 'West' 12 was much more complex and tasty. Super malty and sweet, but it had a nice dry, simple finish that made it very drinkable. Very dark, complex sweet dark fruity aroma. Flavor was everything you'd want, dark fruit, bready, toffee/caramel, big malt.
It really blew the Bernardus out of the water, eventhough the bernardus is a great beer IMHO. If you can try this beer please do, its #1 of all beers on beeradvocate, and if you like the style I don't think it gets much better. I am amazed at the clean/dry finish after the initial assault of flavor/malt/sweetness. Most beers I think, "I could brew that" but this one.....wow if only. Something to aspire to, I don't know how do they do it - so many flavors/aromas. In the belgian, non-sour, category its the best I've ever had.
One of my all-time favs. I snagged a few bottles while we still had some here at the shop...every session is transcendental!

I think that 75% of the greatness of these brews is the yeast (see: Fantome!). I never thought I could replicate the Rochefort 10, until I found out that the Wyeast Abbey II is actually Rochefort's strain. While it's not bottled yet, I swear it tastes almost exactly like the real thing out of the carboy. If you could find the yeast and do some research, you could re-create the St. Sixtus.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:58 AM   #3
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Westvleteren 12 is a truly amazing beer. I had it a couple years ago when I was touring Belgium. We met some locals that introduced us to it. They said "we must try the greatest beer in all of Belgium." It is great indeed!

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Old 08-07-2007, 02:47 AM   #4
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I was thinking of ordering some off ebay, because I want to try it so bad and short of going to Belgium thats the only way to get one.

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Old 08-07-2007, 03:11 AM   #5
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Yeah, this guy got his off ebay. I think he payed ~$100 for a six pack. Unfortunately if I'm going to be spending $100 on that approximate volume of alcohol it'll be wine, most likely a bordeaux to lay down for 10-20 years, not a six-pack of beer. Although it's almost worth it. I also can't imagine it would benefit from extended aging, how much more complex can it get? You might get a little oxidation bringing sherry 'notes' to the party but I'm not sure the other flavors might not suffer. I'd find somebody to go in on it with you, its a great experience but maybe not worth the pricetag on your own.
I think its almost too good/intense to drink regularly although just one would be very drinkable. Unless you could get it regularly and afford it, drinking too much could ruin you on other belgians of the same general type. Like how most of us don't like BMC and how I can't drink what most consider 'good' wine. You know what I mean? I remember what the beer was like, but I'll still appreciate other belgian quads and dubbels. If I drank a whole six pack I might have the beer so engrained that others would pale in comparison and thus be not as enjoyable. Maybe not, I don't know. Definitely worth trying and aspiring to brew something similar. In fact, I was going to slow down on belgian styles for a while, but this made me want to hone my belgian skills and brew another!

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Old 08-07-2007, 03:41 AM   #6
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yeah when I was telling my roommate about it, he looked like I was crazy, I have found some that would be about 70 for the six pack. And when I consider I have spent 10 bucks on single beers before It does not seem to bad. Maybe ill just have to settle with finding a clone and brewing it.

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Old 08-07-2007, 04:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanh1801
yeah when I was telling my roommate about it, he looked like I was crazy, I have found some that would be about 70 for the six pack. And when I consider I have spent 10 bucks on single beers before It does not seem to bad. Maybe ill just have to settle with finding a clone and brewing it.
$70 out the door wouldn't be too bad, and honestly I think you'd have to try it before cloning it. I agree with Evan that a lot of its greatness must be from the yeast, if you can replicate the beer even closely you'll have something great. It's just so different/interesting/complex that I can't imagine being able to clone it. Most beers I think, "I could brew something like this." But not this one, I'm obviously inexperienced brewing < 1year, but it seems way beyond my capabilities
at present to come really close to replicating it.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:41 PM   #8
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Old 08-07-2007, 04:05 PM   #9
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And here they've been giving me cheap port at communion at my church - your church serves Westvleteren! Where you at? I'm comin'

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Old 08-07-2007, 04:21 PM   #10
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I was luck enough to get the chance to go to Belgium. The picture is in the In de Vrede, which is the cafe next to the abbay of Saint Sixtus (Westvleteren) monastery. I also have a few souvenirs stashed away for a special occasion.

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