Sunday, April 3, 2011

The LAST Belgian Beer Sunday's - Westvleteren - 12

Hello Everyone and welcome to the last Trappist Belgian Beer Sunday! Today I had the pleasure of tasting one of the rarest Belgian beers in the United States, Westvleteren 12. Westvleteren is the only Belgian Trappist beer that is not available commercially, so to get your hands on this beer, you either have to go to the Abbey, or purchase a bottle off Ebay. Last time I wrote that I was going to go to Beer Revolution (a VERY nice bar in Jack London Square [Oakland]) and share a bottle of this brew with a nice female bartender... well due to complications, we were unable to meet on Wednesday. However, we were able to meet today and crack open a bottle of this brew. The younger bartender's name is Rebecca, and she is the owner of Beer Revolution. She was kind enough to call her husband and have him bring us this bottle from their house. Unfortunately I tried this beer after I had the other beer I am reviewing today, so I didn't remember to take a picture of this beer, but I will post one later, when I review this beer for the second time. Well here it is, the review of the last Trappist Belgian beer and by-far the most difficult to get.

This beer comes from the Abbey in un-labeled bottles, so this was no exception. The way you can tell which version you are getting is by the bottle cap. The bottle cap on this one was a nice gold with a black circle around the edge (which tells us that it is the 12 and has a ABV of about 10%). This beer had a gorgeous thick white head, that lingered for about two to three minutes after the pour. Most people that purchase this beer and bring it back from Belgium let it sit around for a while, they think that this beer grows better tasting with age. The first smell I took of this beer, I could smell carmel, and what I would think a nice aged beer would smell like... I had a friend taste-testing with me today (Mark), and he said that it smelled like a nice aged cheese (or an attic :p). After seeing the dark color of this beer and taking a nice whiff of the aroma, I was ready for something that was going to be heavy... but this beer is actually a lot lighter than it would seem. The first sip tasted of hints of caramel and did not have the alcoholic Belgian beer aftertaste. After smelling this beer many times and taking many sips, I was amazed at how light it tasted and how light it was on my lips and my tongue, there was no lingering after taste. After about five or six sips, I started to taste more caramel and citrus, but the flavors are very difficult to detect and taste. I am going to give this beer 4/5 stars, It is unfortunately less flavorful than I would have thought it would be and it is VERY difficult to acquire. However, I would definitely recommend picking one up if you are in Belgium, or you would like to spend $40+ on Ebay, this is one of the lightest tasting and darkest Belgian beers I have ever had. I prefer a flavorful citrus Belgian beer, but I could see people enjoying this beer for it's color and it's light flavor.

If you are looking for a nice selection of beers and good food, check out Beer Revolution in Jack London Square, very nice selection and tending staff. Thank you again Rebecca for the beer, it was very nice of you to help me out in acquiring this beer. :D

See you at the bar!

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