Twelve Twelve Westvleteren Twelve

"But even without the whole story, if you take your time and pay attention to it, then you notice the difference," says Theijs van Welij. "And you really think, this is really one of the few quality beers that you should have tried in your life."
--NPR, "A Sign From Above"
A portion of the Westvleteren grounds open to the public.
Today, in what is likely a once-in-a-lifetime chance, you can go down to your local bottle shop and pick up a "brick" of Westvleteren 12.  The geeks are going crazy!  The cost is dear ($85 for six), but it goes to the monks at Sint Sixtus as a part of their capital fundraising effort to build a new roof.  So you could think of it as a donation in which the monks give you a token for your support.  I would strongly urge you to consider that when weighing the question of "worth."  (You might also compare it against the price of a plane ticket to Brussels.)

But if you do want to descend from the heights of the spirit, I have done a blind tasting of quads that included Westvleteren 12.  You can see how the august beer faired here.  Based on the results, you might think, nah, not worth it.  But wait!  Don't descend too far: there is more to consider when assessing "worth" than mere sensory data.

At eighty five bucks, you probably have a decent shot at getting your own brick, but you best scamper on down to the store with haste just to make sure.  At $14 a bottle, they're at least as cheap as you'll find them online, and you get the glow of knowing you're not dabbling in the gray market.  So go, spend profligately, and feel good about yourself.  You're helping monks.  In Oregon, these are your locations.  (A full list of all the retail outlets in the US is here.)

Corvallis Beer Supply, Corvallis
Market of Choice, Corvallis
Bier Stein, Eugene
Market of Choice, Eugene
16 Tons Beer & Wine, Eugene
Belmont Station, Portland
Beer Monger, Portland
Saraveza, Portland
Hop & Vine, Portland
John’s Market, Portland
Market of Choice, Portland
Market of Choice, West Linn

Oh, and happy 12/12/12.  You won't be celebrating another date like this for another 89 years, so enjoy it.
Jeff Alworth6 Comments