St. Bernardus Abt 12 by Brouwerij St. Bernardus (Redux)

547438_10101140074513500_1317156498_nRating: 6/5 *Like Trois Pistoles, this is a very common beer. Since my seek for the Holy grail of Westvleteren 12, I realized, that this beer is the closest but because of its commonality and its availability, it has become my favorite beer in the world right next to Trois Pistoles. Forget all the worldly hypes because this beer is truly from God!!

St. Bernardus Abt 12 by Brouwerij St. Bernardus is a 10%ABV World Class Belgian Abbey Quadrupel. 

Label: 
Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium. These exceptional quality ales are brewed by using only the finest malts, local grown hops, yeast and artesian water pumped from a depth of 500 feet. After the brewing process these traditional ales are matured in tanks for three months, before being bottle conditioned. The results is a naturally carbonated ’living ale,’ which can be aged for up to 15 years and will satisfy the taste of even the most discriminating connoisseurs. 

“Bringing heavenly nectar within reach”

Abt 12 – abbey ale brewed in the classic “Dubbel” Style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 52-56 degrees Farenheit in a goblet glass to best enjoy its delicate bouquet
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Here is some history from the Abbey and why it is very close to Westvleteren even without the “Trappist name”:http://belgianbeerspecialist.blogspot.com/2010/09/westvleteren-and-st-bernardus-real.html

I can give several reasons and do many more reviews of this beer’s grandeur. However, it would be nothing short of what I haven’t already covered in the past. I will be doing another review, in 15 years 😉

Past Reviews: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/st-bernardus-abt-12-by-brouwerij-st-bernardus/

UPDATE:
I changed my mind, lets have at it. I still have some left over but also I still have one cellaring for the next 15 years. More than likely, as the earthy hops go down, this is gonna literally be a complete caramel sticky mess but so good I might give it a 7/5 ;). I realize my previous review may not do this enough justice. Fragrances are of raisin bread pudding, very rich dulce de leche caramel, earthy mild hops, apples, slight apricot, slight chocolate, more dark fruits like figs, grapes, slight cherries, banana, cloves, sweet bread, candi sugar, slight peppercorn notes and spices. The flavors are of rich liquid dulce de leche caramel, apples, banana, raisins, cherries, figs, raisin bread pudding, slight Leche Nestle (Sweetened Condensed milk) sugary notes, candi sugar, raisin bread pudding, pecan pie, brown sugar, clove, bubble gum, slight earthy hop notes, stone fruits, fruit cake, currants and slight wood oak like the dulce de leche they sell in Mexico that comes in wooden boxes. So there you have it. Now go get this one. Every craft brew place has this, it is hard to miss 🙂

 

Heady Topper by The Alchemist

Rating: 5/5

Heady Topper by The Alchemist is a 8% ABV Double IPA. Considered to be the 2nd best IPA in the world right next to the Fabled, Russian River Pliny the Younger and 3rd best beer in the world overall. At one point it did held the record for the best beer in the world taking battle after battle between Westvleteren 12 and Pliny the Younger. Surprising as to why the best beers in the world are between Belgian Quads/Strongs and IPAs?? Well, maybe because those that do not spend the time to research and explore these types of treasures end up short to realize what truly awesome beer could be…

Label:
From the CAN: “DRINK FROM THE CAN! [x3 for added emphasis]”; “Heady Topper is an Ameri[CAN] Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of Ameri[CAN] hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it’s scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the [CAN]. Freshness and control have always been my main concern[s] when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the [CAN]? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, [sic] hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom – leave them in the CAN when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more. [Undersigned] John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont”; “Don’t be a D-Bag, recycle this [CAN]!”.

How is this beer in Flavor?? The epitomy of Tropical…. The focus of this beer is strictly not on super bitter, just tropical and hop extremities. Pine, Grass, Minor Grape Fruit, major Mango and Peach Flavor, pears, sweet grape, papaya, apples, oranges, pineapples, Sugar Cane, caramel, vanilla and hazel nut. I had saved some from the can and drank it straight…WOW …they are right… Drinking from the can makes it where right amount of hops is more active than served in the glass… How is this possible??? even though drinking from the glass has always been better…Makes no sense but it is what it is…damn GOOD BEER…Wow…Is this really an IPA or a tropical fruit drink with hops??? It is amazingly balanced. You know this is an IPA even IPA haters CANNOT avoid….. Look here is the thing…. I have never EVER had Pliny the Younger, but I am sure if this can go toe to toe…then it is definitely a force to be damn well recognized. Some say it was the Pliny the Younger Killer, I would agree because of it’s availability. I cannot say this enough…this is just brimming with what an IPA evolution into a sweetened and hoppy bitter taste truly is. WOW….JUST….WOW!!!

Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Rating: 5/5Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) is a 10.2% Mother of all the Beers in the world and leader of all quadruple fermented Belgian ales. Rated one of the best beers in the world right next to Pliny the Younger and Elder as well as others. One of the hardest beers to find due to its exclusivity or the Monasteries of Saint Sixtus Westvleteren. Meaning you have to buy it there physically or be stupidly lucky to find it *Ebay…ahem*. Founded in the year 1838, the brewery has been brewing and selling beer to support the monasteries as a non profit organization in Belgium. This beer goes without saying, but it doesn’t even need the label to show that this beer is something close to the Divine. You know, the stuff that Ben Franklin said about how “Beer exists because God wants people to be happy” kind of thing. Good news is that they will soon be working with distributors to make it available here in the states. 

So how is this beer really… and is it really the best in the world? Well, for starters, how does it compare to St Bernardus 12 and Trois Pistoles which to me are the best in the world? This is one is very similar but more flavor intense. Like trying to eat an entire jar of sweet dulce de leche. It is actually overwhelming. This is the second time I try this beer and in comparison this one is alittle more awesome. Almost feels like my body was going numb just it was hard to describe all the good flavors. Almost like a sugar comma. The flavors just explode leaving no taste buds untouched in sweetness. The 10.2% does kick in fair. So the flavors I can make out are a ton of caramel, dulce de leche, burnt sugar, honey, raisins, grapes and plum bread, chocolate, oak and other good spices. Very chewy and creamy beer as well :P.Just like I said last year I will say it again though. It is only the best beer in the world only in comparison because I can easily find St. Bernardus 12 and Trois Pistole 1000 times much easier than this one. Trust me, even though St, Bernardus is not considered Trappists by Belgian Standards, they should be as they make the beer using the same yeast as Westy 12 made since they obtained the licensing in the 1940’s A time when Sixtus needed money and St. Bernardus, a cheese producing Monastery assisted them. After the 1990s is when Bernardus decided not to renew the license though. Either way, in a taste test, even though Westy 12 may have it down more complex, St Bernardus 12 has the 2nd best complexity that comes the closest to the Westy 12. As soon as this beer hits the states, go get one…LOL unless your willing to get on ebay or a special beer shop that knows some hookups 😉

2011 Review:
The Westvleteren 12, known as the best beer in the world is only sold by monks in Belgium to be drunk over there and not resold. They do not make any money off of this and the proceeds go to their monasteries. I was finally able to get a hold of this beer and I will wait for the special occasion to give it go. Of course being a beer geek, I will have to get the right glassware and all to give this one a go. Drinking this will probably be like reaching the peak of beer tasting experience. I’ll see how it goes..lol

UPDATE: So me and my brother finally got around to trying this beer. It was the same beer I gave to my friend as a wedding gift. The smell was very rich and fruity. A wiff of this reminded me of a lost abbey. When I finally got around to tasting it, the first thing that came to mind was a combination of a less sweet st berbardus abt 12 but as strong and deliciousness of the deliverance ale of lost abbey. Nice and creamy beer full of extreme complexity and nothing too overwhelming as another. You have your caramel, malty, dark fruits of figs raisins, alcohol sense, bready flavor from the yeast, spices and minor bitterness. Not like the st bernardus 12 where it is more sweeter, but the balance of all the flavors put together is like a roller coaster of Belgium awesomeness. It is more dry and creamy than lingering forever, but the instant you have it in your taste buds is like trying to taste everything at once but your mind isn’t fast enough…. A beer to truly remember as I had this in celebration of my new car, but also because this is a beer that is very hard to get a hold of and also once in a life time opportunity for me. I was glad I had ya westy :)…Truly the best beer in the world….LOL…only cuz I can find other beers easier too :P…..