Beer review: Westvleteren 12

Haffy and Kjetil again from the Die By The Beer blog, back with our third and last guest review for BeerNorway (for now). The challenge to taste the best beer in the world is not a challenge we take on easily. Before this one we had a Rochefort Trappistes 10 just to try to make it harder for Westvleteren 12, that’s the kind of attitude we sport. But lets get into the beer review…

Westvleteren 12

Photo by Helge & Kjetil (Die by the beer)

Looks

This beer also has a reddish brown look, it’s hazy and the foam is slightly more yellow/off-white than the Extra 8. I like it when the foam has a hint of yellow in it, gives me great associations. As I’ve said with the other Westvleteren’s, this one is also not over carbonated, which suits these beers perfectly!

Aroma

The aroma of this beer is actually less complex than that of the Extra 8, but still a lot of the same. It smells like the most awesome brew day mash ever, green apples, bread crust, candy sugar, it smells sweet and very friendly so before even tasting I know we’re gonna get along just fine!

Flavor

Ahhh, the last sniff before the first sip of what is rated by all the big beer rating sites as the best beer in the world. It’s extremely malty, and has a great taste of dark dried fruits and freshly baked bread (grandma style), a little coffee, toffee, liquorice, caramel, nuts and green apples. It’s vinous, it’s salty and very bitter, the hop profile is slightly spicy and floral and you get the great banana flavor from the yeast. What can I say? Is this love? I wish I knew what to write here, so you could understand how good this beer really is…

Finish

It leaves a tasty salty and burned bread flavor in your mouth, it’s quite dry, and the flavor just lasts and lasts. There’s also a great bitterness there at the end and it’s still there even after the other flavors have disappeared. But the flavors don’t go away fast, cause it lingers and it lingers, and the alcohol from this beer numbs your mouth as you move your tongue around in it searching for new flavors. Yummy!

Rating

Before rating this beer a thanks have to be handed out to John Åge Wee who works at Cardinal, the best beer bar in Norway who brought these beers to us all the way from Belgium.

If you ever get the chance to drink this beer, take it! Doesn’t matter how, even if you have to steal it, it’s that awesome! Then take your time, make sure you temper it right and have a great glass for smelling it’s awesomeness, then just enjoy, search for the flavors, feel it’s burn, enjoy the power of an supremely great and balanced beer! This brew is at 10.2% ABV so there’s no reason to rush it down the throat! Savour it! Treasure this beer as if it were your last…

Westvleteren 12, the best beer in the world? I don’t know! But it’s definitively up there, best Belgian beer I’ve ever tasted, hands down! No competition, and that’s saying a lot! Now where is my monk robe?

Score: 5/5

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