Sunday, December 16, 2012

Westvleteren 12

On a wet, misty Los Angeles afternoon we picked up a tiny, cheap Christmas tree and toasted it with glasses of Westvleteren 12, one of the rarest beers in the world. 

As soon as you start drinking craft beers, you begin hearing about Westvleteren. Everyone talks about this beer but few people get the chance to taste one, as a plane ticket to Belgium is the usual price tag.

When an unprecedented 15,000 cases of this beer were released in the U.S. on 12/12/12, fans allegedly camped out overnight for it, participated in lotteries for it, and everyone had something to say about its price. Stores across the country were inundated with requests for the "bricks", which included six 11.2 oz beers and two glasses. 

Because of the hype surrounding this beer, it is hard to objectively say whether or not the $85 price tag is worth it. For (some) beer enthusiasts, it almost certainly is. This special release is, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to drink this beer, and $85 is much cheaper than a trans-Atlantic flight. We were lucky enough to get a six pack and waited four days to try it so we had enough time to sit down and enjoy the beer properly.

Tasting Notes
We recommend taking a bottle out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to drinking. 

Nose: honeyed dates with fruity esters and light alcohol spice.
Palate: very textured and effervescent right out of the bottle; caramelized Belgian candi sugar up front, with a complex, fruity mid-palate; dates, dried figs, apricot, and honey; finish is surprisingly dry with a lingering hop bitterness.

Driven by spicy alcohol and fruity esters, Westvleteren 12 is a balanced, well-structured quad. 

No comments:

Post a Comment