Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) Westvleteren 12 - 10.2% ABV
I have been delaying writing this review due to the fact that I don't know what to say. Westvleteren 12 is consistently rated as the best beer in the world, so what in the world can I write that has not already been written? I really don't wish to be glib, or sound pompous, but this beer deserves all of the praise that it gets ..... it is stunningly good.
Near the Medieval city of Ypres is the small village of Vleteren, which has an Abbey called Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren. In 1838 the trappist monks began producing the nectar of the gods The abbott will tell anyone who asks that they are not brewers, they are monks who brew beer to fund their religious lifestyle. Their 3 beers are of limited availability and the first thing that you notice when you get one of the beers is that the bottles have no labels and that the only way to tell the 3 beers apart is by the color of the caps. The 12 has the gold cap.
Let me keep this as simple as I can. I will give you my impressions and I am afraid that you wlll have to judge whether this is the best beer in the world for yourself.
The beer is a cloudy dark brown color with lots of goodies floating around and pours with a huge head that rapidly dissipates. The smell is quite rich with malts, sugars and alcohol ethers prevalent. The beer has more carbonation than expected, more than most belgians that you will try. The flavors are earthy with malts and dark fruits and not as sweet as expected. The complexity is amazing and the balance of flavors is unlike any other beer that I have tried making it hard to pick out any flavors as dominant. As we sipped we simply looked at each other in stunned silence, knowing that we were in the presence of greatness.