Westvleteren XII expectations.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jpfromb, Dec 17, 2012.

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  1. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Westy 12 is not even the best Quad brewed within 10 miles of the monestary.

    Pannepot (in any of it's variations)
    St Amatus

    Both are better. They only time I have REALLY enjoyed a Westy was a old bottle (8-10 years old) I tried over in Belgium. The beer is just too damn hot when fresh. I would choose the Blond or the 8 over the 12 any day of the week.

    This beers appeal is mostly hype, smoke and mirrors and percived rarity. It's not really that rare even before the Bricks were sold. They brew a lot of it fairly regularly. It's not just sold at the brewery. There are countless local bottleshops and bars in Belgium and the Netherlands that sell it. Locals can by it and re-sell it either with the blessing of the monks or behind there backs. It's hard for travelers to get it at the brewery cause you have to call ahead and give a licence plate number but for locals that is easy to do.

    It's not a wale. It's good but not any better than any of the big quads out there. I would take a Pannepot any day of the week based purely on flavor and mouthfeel and I can by that any day at the store 2 minutes from my house.
  2. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    meaning you all preferred the westy by a long shot? this was done blind?

    i think pannepot is better too, but i've never personally done the blind comparison. have you?

    (and hey, why hasn't there been another metrowest tasting? :slight_frown: )
  3. jtmartino

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

    1. Your opinion is subjective. I (and many others) prefer Westy over Pannepot and definitely over St. Amatus. That said, Pannepot is very expensive too (especially older vintages of it.)
    2. Other vendors are not officially approved to sell Westy (aside from the recent box release in Belgium.) Single bottles (via crate) are abbey-only. From wiki:

    Aside from the brewery itself, the only other official sale point for the beer is the abbey-owned In de Vrede, a cafe and visitor's centre opposite the abbey. All beers can be bought there for immediate consumption or take-away, depending on availability (however, prices are higher than at the abbey). Often there is no beer available at the shop. The shop also sells cheeses made at the abbey, yeast tabs (not yeast to make beer but dead yeast for health) and other Trappist products.
    Buyers of the beer receive a receipt with Niet verder verkopen ("Do not resell") printed on it. The abbey is very much against resale of their beer, and it is their wish that the beer is only commercially available at the two official sale points. To this end, any Westvleteren beer which is sold anywhere else in the world is grey market beer, as no wholesalers or pubs are supplied with the beer. The abbey is actively working to eliminate the illicit sales,[5] and generally only agrees to media interviews to spread their message against drinking illicitly sold Westvleteren beer.[6]
  4. bdub32689

    bdub32689 Initiate (0) May 19, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I enjoy belgians but I did not buy it because its been rumored to be one of the best in the world. 100 would have been the max i would have paid. What I do expect is a beer well above average.

    I really like new glarus beer for some reason if they distributed a small allotment of 6 packs for their moon man IPA or I would pay double the average retail so around 18-20$. 6 pack BCBS would set me back 45-60 $ So 85 for a 6pack from a beer thats extremely hard to get in the US and supports a good cause is a fair price I figure a conservative value of the 2 glasses combined is 10$. Dont think the monks are putting in flat screens in their rooms. I cant wait to try it not only do I expect to enjoy it for its taste but also for the unique opportunity and fun time standing in line to get it. We should all get ready for the super limited Bud Black Crown release I hear it will only be available in 49 states
  5. digita7693

    digita7693 Disciple (394) Jan 19, 2010 Germany
    Beer Trader


    1) the monks have HD projection screens
    2) which lucky state is avoiding Budwesier beers?
  6. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Ok... Trust me. There are vendors that sell it overthere. I can name 6 places I personally have bought Westy overthere off the top of my head. Some of them (I have talked to the store owners) told me the monks know that they are doing this. Some of the probably are selling to make a profit. It's happening trust me.

    The real issue with the Monks was what some scumbag American did back in the 1990's. You used to be able to buy Westy in the stores. An american was going to the brewery buying cases and stock piling a bunch of it. When he got enough he imported it to the US and distributed to to retailers here stateside. There was even a cheesy paper label on th bottles. This is what angered the monks. That is why the are so strict with sales at the brewery. Having someone call with a licence plate number creates a paper trail and makes it so that someone who is not local (european) cannot do this again.

    Pannepot is 7.99$ at my local store.

    I paid 15$ for a 2006 vintage at Novare Res on Zwanze Day.

    Typically I have seen Westy in stores over there for 8-12 Euro's. It's common acepted trade value is 20$ in beer.

    Pannepot is cheaper by my calculations.
  7. jtmartino

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

    I never said Pannepot is more expensive than Westy. Not sure how you came to that conclusion. But it's definitely more expensive around here than what you're paying.

    And the official statement is that those other retailers aren't supposed to be selling it, just like they're not supposed to break up the boxed sets. How the Abbey deals with this, and whether or not it is enforced is not my call.

    Currently, the cheapest I've found Westy online that can be shipped to the US is right around $50 for a single bottle. If you buy more, I'm sure this drops a bit. That said, $85 for 6 bottles and 2 glasses really isn't that bad of a price. Even if each glass was $7.99, that's just under $12 a bottle. Quite reasonable given the cost anywhere else, even if it is more expensive than other really good quads in the US.
  8. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    This price is cheaper than grey-market resellers for takeaway in Brussels, for example -- even including the price of the glasses. I know Westy XII was 10 euro when I got a bottle in Brussels two years ago.
  9. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    $50 a bottle... complete rip off.

    Sorry for misreading your post.

    Pannepot is much better BTW:slight_smile:

    80 for 6 and 2 glasses. Not bad at all. They were selling the bricks this summer after the Shelton Bro's fest in Worcester. I bought one. I shared 3 bottles behind the back of Ebenezer's pub during the post Night of the Kriek bottle share with people I specifically know have never tried it. I traded the other 3 to a local friend new to the beers scene for 8 cans of Heady Topper and 2 Hill Farmstead bottles which in turn I brought to Belgium and shared with some Belgian beer geeks at Borfets and some British tickers in London. Even Jean Van Roy got in on the action! I gave him a can of the HT.

    What is the point of this story. Westy is just a regular beer. Nothing special. Heady Topper is just a regular beer. It's all beer. Nothing to freak out about. It's ment to be shared.
    jtmartino likes this.
  10. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    I don't know why we haven't done a tasting. Tender is down....

    Never done a blind tasting.... but Pannepot is the King of beers in my opinion. I openly admit that I am a Struise fan boy. They are awesome guys and honestly the attention to detail on each batch of any beer they make is 2nd to none. They don't make crap beer. I don't need to do a blind side by side tasting to know that not much is gonna be better than a Pannepot for me.
  11. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    i thought the most recent batch of earthmonk was pretty fucking crappy...
    ShogoKawada likes this.
  12. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    battery acid. Bought 6, LIF'd/Traded 5 away
    chinabeergeek likes this.
  13. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts


    There is a difference between a ticker and whale hunter. The real tickers (at least the Brits and Danes I know) will try anything. There level of organization and dedication to tring stuff is something that I admire. Flow charts for beer fests. I have seen extreme excitement over trying a beer they know is gonna suck but since it's an icelandic malt liquor that they never have tried it's a tick! I don't do this but I have a healthy respect for that. They are adding to the community by rating beers and there is a level of dedication and patience that I just don't have. The whale hunter is a different animal. They just want the rare stuff cause it is rare. Wether to brag about trying it or to horde and collect it. No respect for that from tender!
  14. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    You tried one recently? The "miracle of carbanation" has occured with the bottles I got from Struise. Much better than they were fresh. The Shelton Bros bottles that were sent to Liquid Solutions were crap and still are. I'll give you that. Belgian Kate was bad cause it was flat. Black Jack (from 2006?) was bad too. So a few stinkers are out there but for the most part I stand behind my statement. :slight_smile:
  15. BobZ

    BobZ Zealot (508) Jun 24, 2009 Massachusetts

    I too consider Urbain to be the best brewer currently in the world. I have done verticals of Pannepot 2006 thru 2010, Pannepeut 2006 thru 2011. I also plan to do a Reserva vertical shortly. Also, Black Albert and the Black Damnation Variants are among the best stouts in the world IMO.

    However, that doesn't mean that I completely write off Wesvleteren 12, as I stated before the smoothness is truly unique and the attribute that pushes this beer into the exceptional realm.

    Tastes are subjective, but the reasons Michael Jackson appreciated this beer are still valid even if you don't completely agree with them.

    I blind tasted Westvleteren until I could recognize it's taste immediately, then the "blind" part became ridiculous.

    As I said before, whether or not it's worth it will be up to the individuals palate.
    BlastBeats likes this.
  16. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    ordered direct from their online shop about a year ago, same as shogokawada. when i tried it, it was carbonated just fine. nasty acetone/fusel/solvent character and way too much acetobacter. yuck. i almost retched. i still have several bottles but have been afraid to even bother because i'm really THAT disinterested. the liquid solutions ones from 3-4 years back were actually tolerable to me, at least to my palate at the time.
  17. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    It may taste bad, but everyone says its good, so that means it is good. Maybe even the best.
  18. Reagan1984

    Reagan1984 Poo-Bah (2,161) May 15, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Hey Xenon... What's up? To answer your question.. Yes and Yes. I am a big believer that different folks have different preferences... and that we are discussing all great beers. But this was our experience.
  19. ChadQuest

    ChadQuest Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2009 Illinois

    "Expectations"......Y'all haven't had this many times before?
    BlastBeats likes this.
  20. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    I agree 100% about Urbain. I also think that Carlo is a huge part of the success of Struise. That man's pallet and nose are amazing. I have witnessed him break down a beer to an amazing level in terms of favor and smell. The whole team is a great unit. Even the new guys. Bart is the man. Jeroen is doing a great job brewing too.
  21. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Who am I to question you and Shogo... I think you would agree that you and I have vastly different pallets :slight_smile: Earthmonk is extreme as hell. I love it. The Liquid Solutions bottles I got were bought at a store in Portland after Liquid Solutions went under. They are nasty!!! I had a bottle from the same batch that came straight from Belgium that was real real good. I am convinced that when Liquid Solutions went bankrupt that something happened to those bottles before the they hit the store shelf where I bought them. That's the thing with the Earthmonk. So much bottle variation. Who the hell knows what the bacteria is going to do to that beer. Even the guys from Struise have admitted to me that the Earthmonk is a fickle beast.

    If you really want to get rid of your bottles i am sure we can work something out:slight_smile: I would love more for the cellar.
  22. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    If I remember correctly you were a big fan of the 1st batch Hansen's experimental right? That was battery acid. I couldn't even finish my bottles:slight_smile:
  23. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I was a big fan, but I'm a bit of a masochist. Soooooo, yeah.

    I was a bigger fan of bringing Experimental to tastings and not telling people what they were drinking.
    tendermorsel and chinabeergeek like this.
  24. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    lol are we talking about the experimental raspberry? yeah, that was gross.
    ShogoKawada likes this.
  25. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Yeah the cassis too. Only the original batch though. The more recent bottles were the typical hannsen's rot gut but not complete sewer water.
  26. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    how long ago were the original batches?
  27. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Three or so years, but not 100% on that. Original cassis smelled like rusty buttholes.
    chinabeergeek likes this.
  28. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    well, the one i had about 1.5 - 2 years ago was definitely of the rusty butthole category.
  29. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Meyvn (1,417) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Id heard some ridiculously high stuff about Westy 12, so i went in with another guy on a bottle. I also arranged for a bottle of the 8 as well. Now the 12 was a really freaking good beer, but the 8 made me revisit the entire style--Dubbel--(which I had come to hate). It was so balanced, smooth, sweet, fruity, and drinkable. I enjoyed the 8 alot more than the 12. I hate to admit it, but the hype just didnt live up. I do wanna try a fresh bottle to see if it was aged improperly and whatnot.
  30. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,340) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Fresh Westvleteren 12 isn't my cup of tea either.
  31. blivingston1985

    blivingston1985 Disciple (326) Jan 7, 2010 North Carolina

    Ah, didn't even think of that.
  32. dgugliuzza

    dgugliuzza Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Drinking one now and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I love the big, warming alcohol presence mixed in with the sweet dark fruit and spices. It's a world class beer, let alone quad. All ridiculous hype and comparison aside, it's just a damn fine beer that's worth trying.
    chanokokoro likes this.
  33. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Chad

    I had never had Westvleteren 12 before. I did a tasting tonight with Westvleteren 12, Abt 12, Roquefort 10 and Pannepot. Of the four, fresh Roquefort 10 was the clear best "closest" match to the batch of Westy 12 that just hit (and comparing between the two, Roquefort was received better than Westvleteren.)

    Not hating at all - I waited in line 6 hours for the beer and I'm happy just to have had the beer and compare to other quads/strongs that I have had in the past. I'd given a few of my sixer away already and willl be cellaring the rest to see what happens.

  34. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    (roquefort is a french blue cheese, btw :wink: )
    TheMonkfish likes this.
  35. terrapinfan88

    terrapinfan88 Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2009 Virginia

    I bet it tastes like a twenty dollar bill. That price tag is offensive, and I'm not personally a fan of the exclusivity.
  36. TurdFurgison

    TurdFurgison Poo-Bah (3,058) May 29, 2005 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I've had Westy 12 aged up to 35 years (and roughly every 5 years in between). What I can say is that it starts to taste a little oxidized around 10 years, and gets even more disappointing at 15 years+. Still smells great though.

    Carbonation was spotty but generally more bubbly than you'd expect. Granted the oldest ones were capped at St Bernardus, and the caps themselves were different back then. So no idea on the lasting ability of the current caps.
  37. CaptainTripps

    CaptainTripps Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2010 Oregon

    1. Drink Rochefort 10 all day.
    3. Profit.

    I seriously believe that Rochefort 10 is easily the best beer you can get for the money you pay, its available year round and is always sitting there on the shelf (unless i recently just came across it).

    No hype, no waiting to get it, and always taste amazing.

  38. RockAZ

    RockAZ Disciple (371) Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Glad I bought two bricks of the WV12, also glad I was able to stop after opening only two bottles - this is going into a dark box for a few years, hopefully five. Love the glasses, I ignore people who undervalue the brick cost by being satisfied with the glasses. Right now the WV12 taste is too sweet for me, prefer a few of the vintage Pannepot Reserva's over it, and I have had those along with Roquefort 10 and Rodenbach Grand Cru of a few different years in the last two weeks. I enjoyed the smuggled WV12's I have had over the years, it deserves the high ranking it has. True, there are other Quads out there that should have higher marks along with the WV12 which it may have earned partly due to its rareness; even my local brewery Dragoon, makes an awesome Quad - Bière del Bac, which I have on draft at my home.
  39. chanokokoro

    chanokokoro Champion (835) Jan 31, 2012 Illinois

    Sour grapes? Perhaps you weren't able to get a brick? I would imagine you are offended easily and often, then. Factoring in $10 a piece for the chalices ($10 is fairly standard for a Trappist brewery's chalice) the beer runs about $1 an oz. There are plenty difficult to obtain or "exclusive" domestic and imported beers that are running $1-$1+ an oz.

    Everyone in this thread can debate endlessly if Pannepot, Rochefort, St Bernardus, fill in you favorite quad here, is better than Westvleteren 12. As mentioned before, it's subjective--it's based on personal taste. However, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn't consider Westvleteren 12 to be in the top 3 or top 5 quads.

    As far as personal expectations if you were expecting more than a world-class quad and were disappointed then there is nothing wrong with the beer at all. The problem was your expectations.
    digita7693 and BlastBeats like this.
  40. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (1,883) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    TWStandley said:
    I challenge everyone who purchased the Westy bricks to side by side it with a Rochefort 10. Matter o' fact, do a blind tasting.

    Not discrediting Westy at all - it is phenomenal. Just curious as to what others think.
    Haha, your profile pic is amazing....

    ^^Agree, Amazingly classic avatar. Says so much about many of us in the BA community.:stuck_out_tongue:
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