TRAPPIST WESTVLETEREN 12 - VINTAGE 2010
Westy 12 has been regarded by many to be the best beer in the world. A Quadrupel brewed by the Trappist monks in Belgium, this beer (1 of 3 that the Brouwerij makes) is only produced in select quantity, none more and none less. The only way to acquire this beer is to arrive the at monastery itself, or trade with someone who has it. It's debatable and very opinionated but a lot of people who have had the chance to try it can definitely say that if it isn't the best, it is one of the best.
This bottle had a date on the cap of 15.12.13, which would put it bottled on 15.12.10 (Dec 15, 2010) which technically puts this beer about 5 months past it's best buy date.
It pours a clean, opaque burgundy with ample off white head. The carbonation has held up nicely and looks as though it was fresh.
The smell is rich with light dried fruits, cherry, leather, a bit of banana and some grape. It's fruity, sweet and smells rather wonderful. No detection of the 10% alcohol at all. That has stayed true even from when this beer is fresh.
The flavor is almost juicy, but not like a wine or a port. The sweet malts of the beer and the toned level of hops keep the balance of this beer. Banana and grape are huge in the taste. Very interesting to get the grape quality out of it when banana is to be expected from the Belgian yeast. There is an element of fig that is hinted at, and there is a flavor close to that of Belgian candied sugar. Now that I read this back, it sounds all over the place, but the flavors blend so well together and are harmonious.
This beer is awesome. It's great fresh and it's great with age. The one question that comes with aging beer, especially specific beers, is whether or not they benefit from time. I would have to say that this beer doesn't exactly benefit from time in the bottle, but it also doesn't see negative effects, at least from short-term aging. This is mainly only good news for those who are looking for a good opportunity to open one, quite possibly because it is their only one, and just haven't found the good time yet. It'll be safe, and good, but sitting on it won't really do much else for the beer itself.
WHAT IS CELLARED?
Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.