Westvleteren XII is often mentioned by beer aficionados as their favourite beer, and has been ranked by industry magazines as "the Best Beer in the World". The fact the beer is generally only available for sale direct to customers at the abbey has only added to the beer's mystique.
Last spring, the Trappist monks at the Abbey of Saint Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, in Vleteren, Belgium, decided to release some of their beer for retail sale in the US, in order to raise funds for the abbey. Thus, a limited amount of their famed Westvleteren XII quadruppel became available to an eager market.
DOZE managed to get ahold of a number of bottles, thanks to the generosity of several of the club's members, and thus the club held a Belgian Trappist ale tasting session.
Of course we all eagerly awaited our first taste of the coveted Westvleteren XII.
What's really dumb is that I took some notes on these beers and now I can't find them!
Anyway, I do recall that the Westvleteren XII was very smooth, with a nose and taste reminiscent of dried cherries to some extent, with a bit of wood, a bit of sweet. Even t 10.2% ABV there were no discernible alcohol aromas, nor alcoholic "burn" or off-flavors. Definitely good stuff.
The Trappistes Rochefort 10 was also excellent. Also with cherries and stonefruit flavours.
Much the same profile was to be found in the St. Bernardus Abt 12. However, despite the similarities, and the hype given to the Westvleteren XII, the St Bernardus Abt 12 was my favourite of the three, an opinion shared by most of my companions at the table.