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Westvleteren 12 vertical tasting | by Bernt Rostad
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Westvleteren 12 vertical tasting

Three glasses of Westvleteren 12 during the vertical tasting at Amundsen on 12 September 2012. From left to right: 2006, 2007 and 2008 vintage.


Westvleteren 12 is a 10.2% abv abbot ale and one of the most exclusive beers in the world, brewed in limited quantities and mainly sold directly from the St Sixtus trappist abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium.


While the 2006 was oxidized, the 2008 turned out to be "corked" with a strong smell and taste of TCA, so we had to pour that one out. The 2007 vintage, on the other hand, was perfect.


The 2007 (glass in the middle) poured a deep reddish brown color with a good, beige head. It sported a lovely malt aroma, with a rounded sweetness and ripe fruit notes. Very nice! The mouthfeel was medium heavy with a soft creamy texture. Flavor started out with an elegant sweetness, again with a rich malt character. Aftertaste was very long, a minute or more, with lingering malt notes.


Unlike the 2006, this beer is still at its peak - rich, elegant and delicious.


Observation: After leaving the beer in the glass for half an hour, much of the aroma and flavor disappeared, so it seems one should drink the 2007 very soon after opening a bottle. And it probably won't get better with cellaring, so drink it this year.

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Taken on September 12, 2012