Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Trappist Westvleteren 8

Trappist Westvleteren 8 is a Belgian Dubbel by the Westvleteren Brewery in Westvleteren, Belgian. The brewery is a part of the abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren. The beer can only be bought on premise in Belgium. Its suggested you call to make a reservation as they only sell enough beer a day to maintain the abbey. Westvleteren also makes the Westvleteren 12, which is the top rated beer on Beer Advocate.

A friend brought this back after I suggested they visit it. I usually only review beers you can buy in northern California, but this was so good and rare i wanted to write it up. I got one bottle and savored every sip. It has an ABV of 8%

The beer pours a dark, opaque brown with a medium, fluffy head that leaves no lacings.The aroma has tart apple, light dark fruits, bread malts, toffee, candy sugar, and light spices. The taste has a distinct dark grape or prune flavor, with light toffee, roasted and bread malts, slight butteriness, spice and light honey. There's a light alcohol taste at the end. The mouthfeel is creamy and it has a medium body with light carbonation. The finish is slightly dry but leaves a nice coat to the mouth.

Overall, this is a really good beer with complex, balanced flavors. I've never had a beer like this. While its a Belgian, don't expect any strong Belgian yeast flavors. The fruit flavors are distinct, delicious but subtle and are backed up by delicious malt flavors. This is definitely a Must Have It.

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