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St Bernardus Abt 12 Best By Date

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by djaeon, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    So, I'm having some friends over this weekend to do a tasting of Westy 12, St Bernardus Abt 12 and Rochefort 10 this weekend.

    The Abt 12 has a best by date of 8 10 14
    The Rochefort has a best by date of 11 7 17
    The Westy 12 is from the brick release in December

    I've read that the best by date for Rochefort 10 is five years after bottling. Is this the same for St Bernardus Abt 12? This would mean it was bottled in 2009, is that correct?

    Edit: It may have been more appropriate to post this in the cellaring forum.
  2. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,205) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    St. Bernardus is dated 5 years out, so 09 is correct. 8 Oct 09

    djaeon likes this.
  3. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    Ah, thank you for that link:)

    It would've been nice to have the same bottling year for all three. Hopefully the "vintage '09" Abt 12 will still be tasty. The store that I got it from has their beer section well away from any sunlight, but I can't attest to the temperatures there.
  4. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Savant (300) Oregon Nov 21, 2012

    Florecents (or incandescents) aren't good either, hopefully you pulled from the back of the shelf (and like you mention, they keep the place cool and consistent). I've never tried Westy, but I prefer Rochefort 10 over St. Bernardus Abt 12. It's a more complex brew in my opinion. Like I said I've never tried Westy before, but my guess would be comparing new Westy to aged R10 & Abt12 won't be all that fair...it will still be fun, just might not be so accurate. Cheers!
  5. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    I did pull it from the back of the shelf. And it has the four pack holder blocking most of the sides of the bottles. The friends that i'm sharing with have never had Westy either, and the only one I've had so far was split with my wife. The point of this is just for fun, and so we can all enjoy a whole bottle of it. I thought it sounded fun to try some of the other top Belgian quads a well. I was going to save the bottles from my brick and drink one every year or so, but changed my mind when I realized I would enjoy it a lot more by sharing with some good friends who appreciate good beer.
    Ricelikesbeer and AxesandAnchors like this.
  6. DRBiser

    DRBiser Savant (455) Maryland May 4, 2012

    I think this is a fantastic idea and something i've wanted to do for awhile. I'd also suggest that you throw a Pannepot in the mix; they're delicious quads and quite a bit different than the others you have listed, so it would be an interesting comparison. Also could likely find a regular Reserva out there from 2009 so you could have another 09 bottle in the mix.
    moose1980 likes this.
  7. Sneers

    Sneers Savant (455) Pennsylvania Dec 27, 2009

    Why does Abt 12 have a best-by date five years out when the label says it can be aged for up to 15 years?
  8. matedog

    matedog Savant (255) California Jan 25, 2010 Beer Trader

    I second this question.
  9. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Advocate (625) Georgia Nov 13, 2008 Beer Trader

    And better yet, how useless is this information unless you know where to find what the best buy date actually means? I hate best by dates - just give me bottled on dates.
  10. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    I thought about other beers to try as well, but figured after three 10%+ abv beers, we all may be a bit tipsy. Were each getting a whole bottle of each beer (the smaller size bottles, not 750's).
  11. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,205) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    Yeah, I think three is the limit. Also be sure you have lots of bottled spring water on hand (no chlorine to affect the taste buds) and lay in a stock of *unsalted* pretzels or crackers for nibbling during and between beers.

    The water helps with the effects of the 10% and the unsalted stuff helps re-set the palate toward neutral. (Cheese and other things will change the palate but don't move it back towards neutral....)
    AxesandAnchors and djaeon like this.
  12. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    Good advice. Water and snacks won't be an issue. Lots of that will be on hand.
  13. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    Well, this turned out to be a lot of fun. My wife and I like the Westvleteren 12 the best. One of my friends liked the '09 Abt 12 the best. The other two friends said they liked them all equally, and that these three beers were all the best they've ever had in their lives. All in all, a successful night!
  14. wesbray

    wesbray Advocate (550) Alberta (Canada) Feb 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    Nice, three fantastic beers. In my opinion, Rochefort 10 is the best of the three, but my judgement may be clouded by the lack of availability of Westvleteren. I love St Bernadus Abt 12 but it would have to take a strong third place with the other two involved...
  15. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,205) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    Excellent! Thanks for the report back. I think all three of these beers are easily world-class and on any given day one of them could be my favorite bot on any other given day one of the other three could be at the top.
  16. Metamannen

    Metamannen Aspirant (25) Norway Aug 30, 2014

    Old thread, but I just mailed St. Bernardus brewery, and according to them the best before date and the brewing date for the different beers (now?) differ by:

    Abt - Prior and Christmas Ale: 4 years

    Tripel - Watou Tripel - Pater - Extra 4 and Wit: 2 years.
    Jaycase and drtth like this.
  17. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (620) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004 Subscriber

    I wouldn't advise keeping the Extra 2 years.
    JackHorzempa, drtth and alucard6679 like this.
  18. BeerKarmaNYC

    BeerKarmaNYC Aficionado (195) New York Sep 13, 2015 Beer Trader

    I recently drank a 3yo bottle of St. Bernardus and it was delicious.
  19. Ron, how about the Wit? Is the Wit still tasty at 2 years of age?

  20. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (620) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004 Subscriber

    I never drink it. Wouldn't really know.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  21. Ricelikesbeer

    Ricelikesbeer Savant (445) Colorado Nov 29, 2006

    I think the St. Bernardus could even take the cake amont the three... I love the NOEL version myself.

    However, I think a strong nod needs to go to Achel Extra if we are ranking quads here... My personal favorite.