Opinon's is westvleteran abt 12 much different than rochefort 10?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by eckstg, Aug 29, 2012.

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  1. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    Is the quality of tastes beween these 2 much different because the price of the 2 is hugely different?
  2. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Price has to do with availability. Yes they are very different beers and both very good in its own right.
    WYVYRN527 likes this.
  3. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    There is no quality difference, you'll definitely taste a difference between the beers. But I'll give you a 50/50 chance of liking the Westy over the Rochefort, both are stellar.
    azorie and TongoRad like this.
  4. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    R10 is $7.49 and a superior beer imo. Different tastes though. W12 is more like ABT12
  5. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,221) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Agreed. I know it will probably annoy the serious geeks, but can you taste a difference between Bud, MGD, or Coors? Can you taste a difference between Hop Devil and 90 Minute? Same idea. Slightly different takes on the same style. You'll notice a difference side by side and you'll likely have a preference, but they aren't worlds apart in terms of quality or flavor profile.

    Probably worth noting that I think Westy has gotten hoppier in recent years...at least to me.
    DevilsCups likes this.
  6. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    I tasted them blind and my suspicion was confirmed that I vastly prefer Rochefort 10 over Westy 12. Fresh Westy's just hot with booze and generally quite unpleasant, Rochefort doesn't really need the aging.
    LambicKing likes this.
  7. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Well, judging by the BA rankings it's slightly higher, 51:49 to Westy. But yeah, basically a coin toss.
  8. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    Quality is similar, taste is different. Rochefort 10 is much "darker" among other things.
    cavedave likes this.
  9. Erix

    Erix Initiate (135) Jun 4, 2001 Vermont

    What everyone else said. They're similar, but not at all identical. I prefer Rochefort 10 by a bit, but they're both incredible. I find the Westy to be just a little bit sweeter. Both are a whole level above Abt 12.

    (As long as you're asking for opinions though, you probably won't mind if I tell you that you don't need an apostrophe to pluralize words.)
  10. BobZ

    BobZ Zealot (508) Jun 24, 2009 Massachusetts

    I believe this is one of the most misguided comparisons often cited on this site.

    The Rochefort flavor profile (of all three beers the 6, 8, & 10) is very unique among Belgian dark ales, they really do have a flavor all to their own, and each one is nothing short of excellent. I guess "very, very, remote similarities" would be the best way to compare the two.

    As others have stated, St. Bernardus Abt. 12 (and even Val Dieu Grand Cru) are actually similar in flavor to Westvleteren 12.

    The only problem with the "straight-up comparison" is that Westvleteren 12 greatly improves with at least one (but preferably two) years of age, drinking it younger is a bit of a waste IMO.
    Prager62 and LambicKing like this.
  11. Brew33

    Brew33 Crusader (746) Oct 24, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I greatly enjoy both beers. I prefer Westy by the slightest of margins but I'm not sure Westy 12 is worth the trouble/cost to obtain when Rochefort 10 is readily available to me.
  12. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,075) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I taste a bigger difference between Westy 12 and Roch10 than I do between Westy and St.B Abt12. I actually don't love Roch10. Too sweet for my tastes. But I still appreciate it.

    And I think Westy 12 is slightly richer and a bit more velvety than Abt12. While Abt12 has a touch more acidity to me (not a bad thing). In the end I love both...it's like choosing between children.

    To the person who said fresh Westy is hot. I just had one that I don't believe was old, and it was fantastic. I think I like it better fresh...didn't get any/much heat. Could have just been how my palate was responding that day.
    cavedave likes this.
  13. n2185

    n2185 Poo-Bah (1,819) Apr 14, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I think Abt 12 and Van de Keizer Blauw are more similar to Westy 12 than Rochefort 10 is. All are great beers, but the Rochefort is probably my least favorite among them since it's a bit boozier and has a very present diacetyl flavor.
  14. Mavajo

    Mavajo Zealot (572) Feb 10, 2007 Georgia

    They absolutely taste different. Now as far as quality goes, yes, they're definitely comparable -- both world class beers.
  15. azorie

    azorie Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    If you buy Westvleteren legally its not that bad, even the cafe price is not too bad. You can TELL the difference. Some cannot tell the St B abt 12 from the westy 12, but I can. In fact we did a blind taste test of all quads last year most picked Rochefort, me I still enjoyed the 12 best. to each his own. In Belgium you can get the rochefort 10 in stores near 2 euros. the bar prices compare well to the de verde cafe prices. try them all you decide, there is no right answer.
    albertq17 likes this.
  16. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Yep, Westvletern 12 spins its wheels in its first year but after that for a few years its petal to the metal a la McLAren F1.
    SammyJaxxxx and RattleheadKV2 like this.
  17. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    thanks for the replies! i am glad i have not paid the $140 for a 6er of westy 12 after reading these opinions. appears its much better to buy 19 rochefort 10 than 6 westies.
  18. WYVYRN527

    WYVYRN527 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2007 Minnesota

    I agree with most. Quality is the same, but the flavors are different. I've only had Westy on two occasions, (the two bottles I owned,) and Found it to be stellar, although like some others have said, I find it similar to Abt 12. While both are extremely complex brews, I actually prefer the Rochefort 10 myself.
  19. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    and as im sure its the same for everyone the bernardus 12 is readily available at a much cheaper price than trying to get westvleteren 12. i have tried the bernardus 12 also and i did like the rochefort more. I woulda been very disappointed if i had ordered the westy 12 at their price.
  20. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    I find it incredibly strange that people think Westvleteren is at all similar to Sint-Bernardus Abt 12. I've heard so many people say it, but there could hardly be a bigger difference for me. Supposedly the recipe's the same, but the Westmalle yeast strain used in current Westy as opposed to the St.-Sixtus yeast used in Abt 12 just renders the taste utterly and completely different. I get REALLY strong banana esters when I crack an Abt 12 from that yeast, and I don't get that from Westvleteren at all. I did a blind tasting on them a few months ago and I could tell which was which from just the smell. The scent on Abt 12 was like a banana smoothie. Both were similarly fresh and poured in the same Westvleteren goblet. Overall I think Westy's much more balanced, but don't get me wrong: you can always wake me up for an Abt 12.
    azorie likes this.
  21. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    I am in the same boat. Sorry to rustle any jimmies I might but I find that Abt 12 is simply an inferior and therefore an obviously different beer than Westvleteren 12.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,002) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If you don’t mind me asking, but were the St. Bernardus ABT 12 and the Westvleteren 12 of comparable age?

    The banana flavor is an ester that is produced by the Belgian yeast strain. I am a homebrewer and my ‘house’ Belgian Ale is a Dubbel fermented with Wyeast 3787 (the Westmalle strain which is utilized by Westvleteren and St. Bernardus). When my Dubbels are young (e.g., less than five months old) the esters are pretty prominent. As the beer ages (> five months) the esters start to fade and the beer is relatively more malt driven.

    I don’t doubt that the yeast strains have ‘evolved’ at the two breweries (St. Bernardus and Westvleteren) but the age of the bottled beer will have an impact as well.

    robinsmv likes this.
  23. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    Yes, they were both within their first year of production, no more than 2 months apart from each other.
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,002) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for that input. It would appear that the Westmalle yeast strain has indeed ‘evolved’ differently at Westvleteren vs. St. Bernardus.

  25. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    Yes to say the least.....but! each one has its own character. The Rochefort is equal to the Westvleteren 12 and is easier to get for you guys in the States. Mostly i drink the Westvleteren 12...

  26. ewright

    ewright Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2007 North Carolina

    Ouch Thijs, no need to rub it in! :sunglasses: Reading this thread reminds me I need to revisit all these Belgian brews that first turned me on to craft beer.

  27. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    Honestly, we can get the Westvleteren 12 almost as easy as the Rochefort10. I have to drive a bit for it but it is buyable at the abbey. To make it more decadent.....i drink the Westvleteren beers and with the guezes and lambics i clean the toilets, hahahaha!

    davey101, BobZ, tewaris and 1 other person like this.
  28. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    Me and my friend did a head to head with latrappe westys rochefort and st banardus. The abt 12 sucked compared to the other beers no where ne'er as good as the other beers. The westys won hands down and the la trappe was a close second. The rochefort seemed like it had a hard flavor while the other ones were softer. All beers were aged about 6-12 months.

    I used to think rochefort 10 was as good or better then westys but never did a head to head with them.
  29. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    wikipedia says rochefort has been making their brew for over 400 years!
    i just wonder if this can be traced and true or if its just somethin they take their word on? Being monks id hate to say i would be curious of them lieing but hell i am.
  30. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    Yeah but... Westy 12 is hard to get!
  31. davey101

    davey101 Meyvn (1,080) Apr 14, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Different taste than rochefort 12. As stated above, it's closer to St. Bernardus for me. Westy had a better appearance and mouth feel, but wasn't that much better than abt 12 in aroma and flavor. I've made the conscious decision to never try to trade for a bottle again. It is a world class beer though.
  32. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

  33. BEERchitect

    BEERchitect Poo-Bah (8,648) Feb 9, 2005 Kentucky

    I had the distinct pleasure of trying these beers side-by-side about six months ago. Both were within 8 weeks of the "brewed on" date (roughly). Both were extremely similar, and here are the highlights of how I broke them down:

    Rochefort 10 was a bit sweeter with more caramel, more succulent richness, and more of a fig or date ester profile. It's a digestive beer for sure.

    Westvleteren Abt. 12 was noticicably drier with more of a grape-like ester display and with more of a champagne-like carbonation. Highly drinkable, or as the Belgians put it- digestible.

    Where there was a point, counter-point with each of these characteristics, I felt like the effervescent dryness of Westvleteren Abt. 12 pulled it ahead of Rochefort 10, but by extremely narrow margins. But for the value, Rochefort 10 gets my nod.

    I'm interested in hearing others' impressions as well.
  34. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    As I am sure you know, the reason that people compare Abt12 to Westy 12 is the fact that historically speaking, they are more or less the same beer...I've never gotten banana esters from Abt 12 but it has been a while...probably need to do a blind tasting of Westy 12, Abt 12, and Rochefort 10...
  35. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Thijs, are you also a hater of the "sour beers" ?
  36. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    26000 hectolitres equals 571,920 gallons
    571,920 gallons equals 73,205,760 ounces
    1 case equals 288 ounces

    Westvleteren produces 60,000 cases per year
    rochefort produces 254,187 cases per year
    westmalle produces 1,173,169 cases per year
    chimay produces 1,955,282 cases per year
  37. Hannibalism

    Hannibalism Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2008 California

    I "know" you on the forum mainly as the guy that hooks U.S. BAs up with Westvleteren and for that you seem like a cool guy. However, your Lambic/Gueze comment makes me want to fly over there and challenge you to a duel. While I'm there I guess I'll drink some great beer as well.
  38. BobZ

    BobZ Zealot (508) Jun 24, 2009 Massachusetts

    Have you ever read a Weihenstephaner label? On a different note, in a different country, I'm quite confident in the Monks assertions with regard to how long they have been brewing beers as during the middle ages beer was much safer to drink than water! (jesskidden may arrive and post the details)

    Believe it or not "dude some countires are like wayyy old, even older than like 236 years"! :grinning::stuck_out_tongue:
  39. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    I'm very much aware, but I have no problem separating them blind. I'd be more than willing to repeat my little party trick in an unedited video or something. They just taste extremely different to me.
    BobZ likes this.
  40. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    I was saying I need to do a blind tasting; sorry, that wasn't very clear.
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