Westvleteren 12

Yes, you are reading this correctly.  How is this possible?  A flight to Paris, a rented car, getting lost in the Belgian country side, getting directions from a local working at a ‘tea room’ where they display pig legs on their bar, and the instinct of a Trappist enthusiast – myself.  The moons aligned for a brief moment for myself as I walked out of the abbey shop where a monk sold me six Westvleteren 8’s and two gift sets, each with two goblets and one Westvleteren 12 (the holy grail of beer).  Somehow, and I really mean it, somehow I managed to bring home all of this loot without any mishaps.  So, Rob Nagy and myself took a moment to enjoy the splendor of the 12.

Now I won’t go into heavy details of the beer because its virtually impossible to describe.  Just look around the net at other reviews – no one can figure out the magic of this ale.  But what I can say is “Holy Holy..”  While different than the other Trappist ales, this one is smooth, extraordinarily rich in flavour, zero water-taste, and one of the most pleasant beers I have ever tasted.  I’m sure that this marvel has a whole host of secret ingredients, prunes, raisins, caramel, cocoa, flowers, magic, whatever; but there is no way of knowing for sure.  The Abbey of Saint-Sixtus is tighly sealed and you ain’t getting in to that brewery to take a look around.

I did make one major mistake though.  In all of my excitement I failed to look around and realize that there is actually a Westvleteren Cafe/Restaurant, called In De Vrede, that has all three beers on tap, local cuisine, Trappist cheese made at the Abbey, and a gift shop with who know what kind of marvels!  This restaurant is not mentioned on the Abbey’s website, on the automated phone response that you get when you call the Abbey to have a hope in hell of securing a case of beer, or on any signs in the Saint Sixtus area.  What a bummer!  Well, I guess this isn’t a bad thing as I will definitely have a reason to revisit the Abbey of Saint Sixtus in the future.

“This is a real treat” – Robert C. Nagy

6 heads out of 5.

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One Response

  1. […] get even more in depth, St. Bernardus is like an alternate version of the Trappist beer Westvleteren. In 1945, the St. Sixtus Monastery (where Westvleteren was originally and continues to be brewed) […]

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