I’m sure my upcoming heart surgery will go just fine, but before I go, I wanted to make sure I had this beer. It’s considered by many to be one of, if not, the best beer in the world, and is on the list of “1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die.” It’s one of the most coveted beers by all beer geeks. I was fortunate enough to get a six pack brick when they went on a once-in-a-lifetime sale here in the U.S. a few months ago. I had been waiting for a special occasion to try it, and was planning to make it beer number 1000. However, this is a better time than any to go ahead and try it. The bottle cap says 01.08.15.
Location: Poured into a Westvleteren 12 glass from the bottle at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 10.2% ABV, 380 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brown with some dark-reddish highlights, and lots of carbonation. The head fell quickly, but left a creamy ring of tiny, tight bubbles around the edge of the glass. The aroma is a mix of fig, beet sugar, and alcohol fusal smells.
Taste & Feel: The body is full, and the mouthfeel fairly effervescent from the carbonation in it. There’s a good dose of sweetness up front with fig and dark caramel flavors growing into the middle. Finishes very sweet and dry with lots of figs and candy suger sweetness.
Food Pairing: With the rarity of this beer, I recommend enjoying it by himself. However, if I had to pair this with a food, I’d go with something solid, like a steak, to mix with the fig and caramel and cut down a bit on the sweetness.
Overall Impression: I enjoyed the boozy aroma with the mix of fig and sugar. At first this beer was a bit too effervescent, making it difficult to pick up on the dark, complex flavors. The sweetness was enjoyable and fairly complex. I decided to crack open a St. Bernardus Abt 12 to do a side-by-side comparison. The flavors were somewhat similar (it’s suggested that St. Bernardus Abt 12 is the same beer, as they were granted a license to brew Westvleteren 12 at one time), but I think the St. Bernardus actually edged out the Westvleteren for me. I’ve still got a few more bottles, so I’m going to save them and see how they change over time.