Back in June of 2012 I got my hands on a package of the ever-covetted Westvleteren XII. This beer, brewed by monks in Belgium, had previously only been available if you visited their monastery. Only in the last couple of years had the monks decided to distribute the beer in very limited quantities. Rumor has it that they were building a new abbey.
Over the past 15 months I have, let’s just say, “liberal” with handing out my Westy 12. So much so, that of the six original bottles, I only had 1 left. And on Monday night I took my final bottle over to friend Greg’s house to share with him and his buddy Joe.
I have to admit, going into the review I wasn’t particularly excited. If you have been reading for a while, you know I have an issue with beer hype. And this is the most hyped beer of all time.
I am humbled to say that Westy comes close to meeting the hype. The 10.2% ABV Belgian quadrupel is extremely complex and flavorful. Dark fruit is the main flavor, which Greg described as plum and grapes, with a bready finish. Joe thought it smelled like wine, which made sense given how much grape aroma there was. I agreed with the plum/grape comments and also picked up a spiciness that I would expect from a Belgian beer. Shockingly, I got virtually zero alcohol burn.
Joe liked it. Greg liked it (and he dislikes Belgians). And I loved it.