Brewery: Westvleteren Brewery
Type: Quadruple (Trappist)
About: Westvleteren 12 is brewed by a monastery in Belgium called the Saint-Sixtus Abbey and is widely regarded as the best beer in the world. It is sold in limited quantities and, like a fine wine, gets better with age – in fact, it is not recommended to open the bottles within the first 1-2 years of purchasing.
Appearance: A medium-dark brown colour, similar to the colour of the bottle itself, actually. The head is wispy and fluffy but dies off quickly, likely due to the beer’s high carbonation.
Aroma: Starts with a really tangy, bright presence. After the head died off, the aroma changed to dark and malty, with alcohol being quite prominent. It’s also sweet smelling with raisin or dark fruits and various mild spices. After drinking about half the beer there was a very pleasant cherry pie smell with a buttery pastry base.
Taste / Feel: Wow! Initially there’s this sweet, deep malt flavour. The carbonation is definitely there and about half way through a sharpness kicks in. Overall, it’s dark fruit and prominent raisin, without that dreaded copper/metallic taste. The exhale brings back a lot of delicious roasted malt along with some of the alcohol vapours as well.
The high ABV gives it an almost dry mouthfeel, with additional warmth at the back of the throat. The body itself is medium thick.
After warming a bit, I get a sense of bananas and more of a pie crust and yeast.
Final Thoughts: This was an absolute pleasure – best beer I’ve ever had. I’m insanely grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this.