Westvleteren 12 vs Rochefort 10 and Bernardus 12

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bochman, Mar 15, 2013.

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  1. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Personally, I'm not keen on Rochefort 10 when young. I really don't like the coriander thing. Put 5 or 10 years on it and it's sublime.
  2. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    No, he/she was 100% correct. Westy brought their recipes and yeast strain to St. Bernadus in 1946 who then contract brewed for the St. Sixtus abbey until the early 90s. St. Sixtus required a contract brewer because WWII had damaged the facility and surrounding roads, so having the beer contract brewed was easier.

    The yeast strain that St. Bernadus currently uses is the old Westy strain. Since the early 90s the Westy beers have used Westmalle's yeast. The recipes are also different, hence the difference in ABV.

    Educate yo self:

    Brabander, tbryan5 and BobZ like this.
  3. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,945) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I'll have to muster the patience to wait that long, then, and do a comparison. So far, I've only had them in the 2-3 year range, and it didn't seem as lively as it is fresh.
  4. cdmillard

    cdmillard Aspirant (245) Feb 17, 2013 Maryland

    All depends on my mood Most of the time, I prefer the Westy, but occasionally, the Abt 12 just seems to taste better. Haven't had a lot of Rochefort, but what I have had, I truly enjoyed. Either way, all 3 are phenomenal!
  5. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2008 New York

    Throw La Trappe in there... I've never had West but I'd take La Trappe over any other Quad, Trappist or otherwise.
    Danny1217 likes this.
  6. frankiepop

    frankiepop Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2011 Pennsylvania

    wow cool...gonna have to get some 10 again....to me a good runner up to these is 3 Philosophers......
  7. ColonelW

    ColonelW Initiate (135) Mar 11, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I think a lot of these "blind" taste tests are skewed because most have had abt 12 and Roch 10 beforehand and can therefore already pick out the Westy 12. To be truly blind you would have to do the test with no prior tasting of any of the beers.
  8. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

  9. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Thanks for the link, according to this blogger, I am incorrect...however, I don't find him to be the end all source; I see he credits himself for having written for numerous beer related sites/mags however a xxx.blogspot.com link hardly constitutes for a factual end all informative source.

    I also have a beerblog and with almost as many followers and while I haven't been visiting Belgium since the mid nineties, I have been to Belgium over a dozen times in the last 2 years and visited numerous breweries as well as been published/cited in a few websites/publications myself.

    Regardless, my point isn't who has the bigger, what have you, it's the fact that you sited seemingly a stranger on-line to dispute my claims...not saying I'm right or have more accurate information than the gentleman you sited, just saying that your reference is well, an internet reference and I don't find it to have as much clout as you gave it.
  10. radagascar

    radagascar Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2011 Illinois

    I've tried all three and here was my impression:

    Rochefort had the most noticeable alcohol content, it was "heavier" than its opponents. I was disappointed by how poorly hidden the alcohol content was. I thought the West was the most balanced and of the bunch and had the most complexity of flavor (to my inexperienced taste buds). I thought the ABT was more citrusy than the rest and was the most drinkable/enjoyable for me. Honestly, I didn't like the Rochefort or Westy. I've come to the conclusion I don't care for Belgian style anything unless it's an IPA.
  11. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    "because I say so."
  12. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,265) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Westy 12 and Rochefort 10 tied for 1st. Bernardus 12 is not far behind. All are fantastic Quads.
    Titans77 likes this.
  13. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    how does the sixth glass compare to these? i personally loved it and thought it was better than the rochefort 10 but i havent had bernardus or westy.
  14. Rohkey

    Rohkey Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2013 Michigan

    Interesting. I must be an alcoholic. I'm trying Rochefort 10 right now for the first time and can hardly tell it has alcohol in it. There is a bit of an aftertaste, but other than that...nope.
  15. frankiepop

    frankiepop Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Inspired by this thread, I compared St. Bernardus 12 straight up against Rochefort 10.

    The result was Rochefort 10 came off a little sweeter and better than 12. But this shed a new light on 10 for me.

    I've been a Westy & 12 type of guy. I feel enlightened. Next I shall compare 12 and 10 with 3 Philosophers.
  16. frankiepop

    frankiepop Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2011 Pennsylvania

    That's exactly what I am going to do. I'm tossin' in 3 Philosophers. 3 P's is the shit man.
  17. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Zealot (532) Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    I thought 6th glass was not even in the same ballpark as Rochefort 10 or Abt 12. Not even close for me.
  18. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,264) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but the yeast used by these breweries was covered in Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymus. St. Sixtus uses Westmalle these days, and drives up and gets a pitch the day before they brew.
    jtmartino likes this.
  19. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    Nice drive....

    About a 4 hour round trip
  20. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,264) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Small country, isn't it. Achell also uses the Westmalle yeast.
  21. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    My girlfriend was raised there. Went to visit in 2011. Can't wait to go back and visit some of the Trappist breweries next time.... the map clearly illustrates it can't be done in even 2 days... probably 3. Strangely, they are all dotted along the borders.... almost all of them within 5-10 miles from the border.
  22. Mnmaverick

    Mnmaverick Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2013 Minnesota

    I bought 2 bottles at the brewery for 3 euros each. Well worth that expense :wink:
  23. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    i really liked the roch 8 but idk.. i drank sixth glass cold straight out of the fridge and the roch 10 i let sit out for like 30 min like you're supposed to apparently? i thought it gives u a more complex tasting experience or something but it just wasnt as great as i was hoping. still a good beer but i def prefered the sixth glass as thats my only quad comparison but i will be trying the bernardus soon.
  24. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I've never been there but my Google skills are pretty awesome.

    Per the St. Bernadus Website:


    The Brewery - Trappist Monks of Westvleteren

    Shortly after the Second World War, the Trappist Monastery St.Sixtus in Westvleteren was looking for somebody to commercialise their beer because they did not want to do that themselves anymore.
    They gave a license to the cheesefactory, and Brewery St.Bernard was founded. The brew master from Westvleteren, Mathieu Szafranski (from Polish origin) became a partner in the brewery and brought along the recipes, the know-how and the St.Sixtus yeast strain.
    We started selling the trappist beers under the brand names Trappist Westvleteren, St.Sixtus or even later Sixtus.
    During a period of 46 years we brewed and commercialised the beers, while the monks continued to brew for themselves and for sales to 3 pubs in the neighbourhood, amongst which In De Vrede, just next to the monastery.
    In 1992 the license came to an end and since then we are brewing the same beers, with the same recipes, but under a different brand name: St.Bernardus.

    Michael Jackson also wrote about the history, which may be a little clearer:


    Hopefully you find this informative!
    pixieskid likes this.
  25. Steamer

    Steamer Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2012 Missouri

    Haven't had the Westy but the love the Rochefort 10 and StB12. I favor the Rochefort 10 a bit more.
  26. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Crusader (796) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    True, and even after you've acquired one there's no guarantee that it'll be fresh.
  27. frankiepop

    frankiepop Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2011 Pennsylvania

    i compared St B 12 v Rochefort 10 and threw in Ommegang's 3 Philosophers. My verdict is 3 has the coolest name and a very close runner up to both St. B and Rochefort 10. 10 won hands down actually. I edited my reviews. But 3 is an animal unto itself. I also think 6th Glass is worthy to compare. (Some later date.) A unique animal with a wonderful flavor.
  28. ChestSplitter

    ChestSplitter Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2011 Mississippi

    These are my favorite beers. To me, the Westy 12 and StB are more similar to each other than either is to Rochefort 10. St. Bernardus is a Nissan GTR, and Westy is a Porsche 911 Turbo. Drive both cars and you'll understand the story that the 911 Turbo was the benchmark/test mule that Nissan used to design the GTR. StB is Westy with somewhat less refinement for a lot less money. Rochefort 10 is different, and my favorite of the 3.
  29. frankiepop

    frankiepop Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2011 Pennsylvania

    12 v 6th glass

    12 wins, but ipa lovers might prefer the drier 6th glass by boulevard. 6th almost finishes with a coca cola taste.......... Me? i appreciate the richer sweeter maltier fruitiers brews like 12
  30. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,177) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, but that is just the actual story from the actual brewery and since I am an actual brewer making homebrew I must believe that their word is only as good as mine and I believe differently :wink:
    jtmartino likes this.
  31. BostonHops

    BostonHops Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    6th glass is definitely a solid American quad but IMO can't hold a candle to it's Belgian counterparts, be it the rochefort, abt 12, or westy. or pannepot. not as complex, I found the booze to be a little too prevalent, and overall just tastes... well, worse.
    darky likes this.
  32. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (1,787) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I plan on doing a side by side of these beer 3 times: fresh, at 2 years, and at 5 years. Ive had all of them multiple times, and Im guessing Rochefort might win the fresh batch. 2 year old Westy 12 is probably the best beer Ive ever had in my life though. Will be doing the first side by side in the next few days probably. Ill get back with detailed notes and results.
  33. JimDH

    JimDH Initiate (60) Feb 7, 2011 Kentucky

    Hard to put Three Philosophers into a side-by-side comparison. As it is 2% Liefmans kriek to impart the cherry flavor it's going to stand out from the others. I like it very much but I recall it being thinner than the Belgian quads too--not sure how much the blend has to do with that.
    dar482 likes this.
  34. Ahappyhiker2

    Ahappyhiker2 Initiate (194) Mar 27, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Westy 12 and St. Bernardus are very close IMO but I like the Westy more. As for the Rochefort, never been a huge fan. I always get a moldy-cherry smell off it and I've had it several times. I love quads, and I've enjoyed 6 and 8 several times but 10 just does not do it for me.
  35. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    Really couldn't have said it better! Thanks Brendan!

  36. Relik

    Relik Aspirant (202) Apr 20, 2011 Nova Scotia (Canada)

    Ive done the "Quad Trilogy" before.
    1. Westy 12
    2. St. B abt
    3. Rochfort 10
    basic concencse among 3 people, all fantastic Quads and wouldnt turn any of them away at any time.

    Speaking of Quads im cracking my La Trappe tonight with some Bock glazed Ham...
  37. Tucquan

    Tucquan Poo-Bah (2,284) Oct 11, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I rate them in this order:

    1 = Pannepot
    2 = Westvleteren XII
    3 = Rochefort 10
    4 = St. Bernardus Abt 12.

    My wife rates them in this order:

    1 = St. Bernardus Abt 12
    2 = Pannepot
    3 = Westvleteren XII
    4 = Rochefort 10
  38. tzolandz

    tzolandz Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Virginia

    I opened a Bernardus last night and it was a gusher :slight_frown: pretty sure the whole bottle was over carbed. anyone ever had this happen with this beer? it didn't seem to taste right until the last few sips an hour in...
  39. mjshearer1

    mjshearer1 Aspirant (213) Dec 16, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    This is pretty much my exact experience as well.
    highdesertdrinker likes this.
  40. patkorn

    patkorn Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2007 California

    I got a 6 pack of Westy 12 last week. Felt pretty guilty about for a day. Had one of the bottles over the weekend. Instantly did not feel any more guilt. What a great beer.
    TdLJg likes this.
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