Westvleteren 12 is one of the most pursued and lauded beers in the world. Usually, you can only get it at directly from the Abbey at their store In De Vrede or directly from the Monastery’s gates on special release days. But don’t show up and expect to get a case, you have to call their reservation line and get on the list. But if you are just going to stop by, you can visit the cafe and pick up a 6-pack of whatever’s available. The day I visited last fall, they had the Blond and the 12.
Westie 12 is probably the most famous of the Trappist quads; although, It would fall under the BJCP Belgian Strong Dark Ale category; quad isn’t a category.
Appearance: Murky brown, tan head, great retention.
Aroma: Spicy, cinnamon, toffee, chocolate, coffee, hard wood, coriander, brown sugar, maple.
Taste: Chocolate, spice, brown sugar, hard wood, light burnt toast.
Overall Impression: Westvleteren 12 is a rich and balanced beer with a complex and deep flavorful long finish. Westvleteren 12 is definitely a beer to be experienced. Part of the fun of this beer is the limited availability and all you have to do to get it. I traveled to Belgium, drove to West Flanders, and visited the abbey to get a 6er (you can read about my trip here). Sure there is a lot of hype surrounding this beer. It’s a fantastic beer; truly one of the top beers in its category. Without the hype, this is an amazing, beautiful beer. Try to approach it as it is, not as you’ve heard about it. It’ll blow you away.
Availability: In Belgium, at the Monastery (De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren). VERY RARE.
You can read more about the abbey at my Westvleteren page.
You can also learn more about singles, doubles, triples, & quads at this Q & Ale topic.
Notes: Bottled – 03/09/14 (September 3, 2014)/Best by: 03/09/17 (September 3, 2017)/Tasted – March 2, 2015
Cellar Notes: I have several more bottles from this batch and will be bringing them out at regular intervals to track its progression.