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Westvleteren 12, St Bernardus and Rochefort tasting...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by digita7693, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (645) Germany Jan 19, 2010

    A few weeks ago while visiting a friend in Portland we did a tasting and had a lot of fun
    2009-2012 Westvleteren 12
    2009 St Bernardus 12
    2010 Rochefort 10


    Initial results we both ranked:
    Westvleteren 20009, 2010, St Bernardus, Westvleteren 2011, 2012..... Rochefort 10 2010
    Rochefort was the clear loser for both of us.

    Then we did a blind tasting of Westvleteren 2009, 2010, Rochefort 2010, St Bernardus 2009

    My results:
    Westvleteren 2009
    Westvleteren 2010
    St Bernardus 2009
    Rochefort 2010

    My friends results:
    St Bernardus 2009
    Westvleteren 2009
    Westvleteren 2010
    Rochefort 2010
    Both of us found the Rochefort to be our least favorite, by far.
    Heatwave33 and Duff27 like this.
  2. raynmoon

    raynmoon Advocate (575) California Aug 13, 2011

    Considering te availability of St. Bernardus, it will always win over Westvleteren.
  3. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (645) Germany Jan 19, 2010

    Guess it depends on where you live.
    But if I was living in the US, St Bernardus would most likely be my go to quad, especially with 2-3years on it, delicious!
  4. n2185

    n2185 Advocate (660) North Carolina Apr 14, 2008

    Cool tasting. I wish I had easy enough access to do verticals of the Westy 12, but I feel lucky enough just to have a couple of bottles tucked away for another year or two.

    Despite the praise that Rochefort 10 gets around here, I agree that it is the worst of the three (meaning it is still a good beer and far better than nearly all American quads) and that St. Bernardus 12 is much more similar to Westy 12. I've done two side-by-sides with Westy 12 and Rochefort 10 and both times my friends and I agreed that the Rochefort was boozier and had a buttery flavor that was slightly off-putting.
  5. I have to agree with your results. I basically ruined Rochefort 10 for myself by trying it next to a Westy12. I had originally really enjoyed the beer, but it seemed so one dimensional next to the Westy it was scary.

    If given the choice I would always take Westy first, Abt12 next and then the Rochefort 10. Glad you guys got to conduct this trial.
  6. I almost go with your line up Dan but i prefer the Rochefort 10 a bit above the Abt 12!

    tobelerone and Bitterbill like this.
  7. As you can see from profile picture, I have also done that tasting. I rank them Westy, R10, and ABT 12. I absolutely love all three.
  8. fullmetal1381

    fullmetal1381 Savant (270) Florida Jul 30, 2011

    I have never had Westy 12, but I would rank R10 over Abt12. That said, I will almost always buy the Abt12 over the R10 because it is still a fricken' amazing brew and is so much cheaper than the R10 it's almost criminal.
  9. CaptainTripps

    CaptainTripps Savant (315) Oregon Aug 8, 2010

    Obviously you and your friends taste buds are out of whack. Rochefort 10 owns.
    tobelerone likes this.
  10. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,320) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    This, Thijs.

    Though the 60th Anniversary put it ahead of of Rochefort for me.
  11. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (645) Germany Jan 19, 2010

    LOL, I guess so, seeings as how objective personal taste is;)

    I have done blind BSDA tastings several times and Westvleteren always seems to win.
    I used to think I liked Rochefort over St Bernardus, but not on that day.

    Personally I would probably rank my favorites as:
    Westvleteren 12
    Pannepot Grand Reserva
    Pannepot Special Reserva
    St Bernardus 12
    Rochefort 10

    those are the ones that jump out at me.
    I have never liked La Trappe, though the oak aged version is very good. I have not had blauw or chimay in some time so I do not feel it is proper to comment on them, but if memory serves me correctly they were great.

  12. Westvleteren 12 is cerebral, stern and fascinating while St Bernardus 12 is instantly joyous but without a comparable depth. Rochefort 10 is somewhere between the two. They're all fine beers.
    johnnydicfore and drtth like this.
  13. I've never been fortunate enough to land a bottle of Westy 12, but for me Abt 12 beats out Rochefort 10. The Abbot is a wonderful drinking experience. From the pop of the cork and the smoke that comes spewing out of the bottle, to the last sip of rum-soaked fruity goodness, it is a joy to drink.
  14. Bobheed

    Bobheed Savant (355) Texas Dec 27, 2010

    I've never had Westy 12, but I think Rochefort 10 absolutely obliterates Abt 12. Abt 12 is still nice, but Rochefort 10 is almost godly. Did a blind test of R10, Abt 12, Pannepot, and Pannepot Reserva and it came out like

    Rochefort 10
    Abt 12
    Pannepot Reserva

    But in the end, it's all just a matter of taste. If it's true what people say, that Abt 12 is more like Westy 12, I may still like Rochefort more than that, we'll see though, some day
  15. I've never been fortunate to try the Westy either. I enjoy Rochefort and St Bernardus immensely, but I've also never done a side by side of them. Sounds like I have defined a task for myself. Maybe I'll throw Pannepot into the mix too. I better make sure I don't need to walk afterwards though. :p
  16. Rochefort 10 was much better than Abt 12 IMO. Haven't had Westy. Something about Abt 12 that was just intolerable for me. I would've had trouble finishing the second half of the bottle, but luckily a friend who didn't like it, but will drink anything regardless, drank it for me.
  17. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    I found W12 the worst of the three. R10 the best. People love W12 though. I have 3 left, and no desire to drink them. I include them as extras in trades.
  18. I enjoy both Abt 12 and R10, I recently aquired 2 bottles of Westy 12 and plan a similar tasting but most likely including Panepot.
  19. Interesting results! We did a blind quad tasting and it was almost exactly opposite of your results.
    1. Rochefort 10
    2. St. B ABT12
    3. Westy 12
    4. LaTrappe quad
  20. I also should add I recently had my first Pannepot....wow. Gran Reserva was...just wow
  21. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    I had that at Stone Oakquinox and didn't like it. Man, humans are different =)
  22. IpeeA

    IpeeA Savant (420) Missouri Jan 22, 2010

    I thought these were quads, not BSDs as your photo is titled. (Oh, how I miss Apex!!!)
  23. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (645) Germany Jan 19, 2010

    See other post, about life after Rochefort, this came up.
    As far as I remember, Quad is somewhat of an American made term. The official term is the all encompassing BSDA. If you look at the BJCP guidelines they list the following under Belgian Dark Strong Ale:

    Commercial Examples: Rochefort 10 (blue cap), Westvleteren 12 (yellow cap), Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue), Rochefort 8 (green cap), St. Bernardus Abt 12, Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor, Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru, Gulden Draak, Kasteelbier Bi̬re du Chateau Donker

    A rose by any other name...
  24. Quad is somewhat of an American made term. But it was taken to describe the perceived style from La Trappe's Quadrupel which was first brewed about 20 years ago.
  25. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (645) Germany Jan 19, 2010

    Gotcha, thanks!
    La Trappe just happens to be my absolute least favorite bsda, though as mentioned before the oak aged version is quite good.

    and IpeeA, yes Apex is great:)
  26. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Savant (365) Georgia Feb 25, 2010

    Am I the only one that found blauw to be so cloyingly sweet to the point that 3 years later I have absolutely no desire to try it again unless someone else is paying for it?
  27. LaTrappe is my least favourite too but its still pretty good.
  28. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (510) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    BSDA is the BJCP name. It's not the "official" name in Belgium.
  29. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,035) New York Mar 12, 2009

    In our comparable tasting there was so little consensus it is pointless to refer to the results. We all agreed, though, that the tasting itself ranked as the best we'd ever enjoyed.
  30. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,035) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Only one? Doubt it. But I do love that beer despite it being sweeter than I normally enjoy. I think its subtle complexity counteracts the unbalanced sweet of it. And I thought it cleared pretty well and wasn't cloying.
  31. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Savant (365) Georgia Feb 25, 2010

    Its weird because the only time I bought it I shared it with about 10 people that only one is a BA but they all liked chimay blue and rochefort 10 but when I poured this beer, every single one of us took a sip and was like fuck this lets drink something else and drain poured basically the whole thing. Then I checked the ratings and was like WTFo_O how the hell do so many people give it a good rating yet every single person I'm with drain poured it? I guess I was somehow with a group that was all in the minority that finds that beer to be a drain pour.
  32. These are 3 great Quads!

    This is how I rank/prefer them:
    Tie for First between Westy 12 and Rochefort 10.
    In a very close Third is the Abt 12.

    Rochefort 10 is an easy to get westy 12. I will take a Rochefort 10 over an Abt 12 any day, but they are so close its not even funny!

    I also believe that Westy 12 and Abt 12 share the same yeast strain between the breweries, someone chime in an confirm or dent this fact.
  33. According to this blog: http://belgianbeerspecialist.blogspot.com/2010/09/westvleteren-and-st-bernardus-real.html

    Westvleteren has used Westmalle's yeast since the '90's, while St. Bernardus has continued to use the original yeast strain.

    Also I concur with your ranking sir ;)
    4DAloveofSTOUT likes this.
  34. I second. I think both beers edge out westy and whoever called Rochefort 10 "one dimensional" next to Westy is off their rocker
  35. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Advocate (630) Oregon Mar 2, 2008

    I enjoy Rochefort 10, but I prefer 8 when they're both fresh. Haven't aged either appropriately to make a judgment there.

    A couple years ago the Portland BAs did a blind Quad tasting and St. Bernardus Abt 12 came in first of the fresh quads. Rochefort 10 was middle of the pack, as I recall. I attribute this to some batch variation in Rochefort 10 has as I've had a couple which were really good and a couple which were just good.
  36. They're certainly all amazing beers! I get confused sometimes at the grouping of the Pannepot/PR/PGR as Quads...I always thought the spiced depth in these were more characteristic of a BSDA. When I visited the De Struise Farm this summer, Carlo was telling me that he views it more as a BSDA while the St Amatus was supposed to be more an adherence to the quad style. Has anyone been able to compare the Amatus to a Westy 12 or St Bernardus? I'd be interested in hearing how that came out!
  37. Vaison

    Vaison Aficionado (190) Delaware Aug 27, 2010

    I agree that all three are great brews. I have a favorite, which you can tell from my avatar, but I've never put that to the test with a blind tasting. I wonder if I would pick something different? I may have to try this for myself. On a side note (I haven't been active on these boards since the new format) but I remember reading that Westy 12 was going to be distributed to the USA in March/April. Did this already occur?
  38. MDDMD

    MDDMD Advocate (580) Pennsylvania Jun 4, 2011

    We did the blind Quad tasting as well with the following results:

    1) Pannepot
    2) Westy 12
    3) Rochefort
    4) St. Bernardus

    We felt that the Westy 12 and Rochefort were close and the order of those two could have gone either way.
  39. douginromeo

    douginromeo Savant (360) Michigan Apr 1, 2013

    Not the same yeast, but St. Bernardus actually brewed Westy's beer until 1992.
  40. I see this tasting/contest come up often. I think it's great. However, how come very few people ever include Chimay Blue?