Author Topic: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....  (Read 11193 times)

Offline hariii2

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Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« on: May 25, 2011, 08:02:15 AM »
I was wondering if anyone knows where I can find some Westvleteren 12 for a wedding present?  I know that you can't "get" it here in the US, but I was just wondering if anyone had some extras......

Thanks,
hari

Offline JKL

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2011, 10:11:45 AM »
A few years back, my brother met a guy through E-bay and got a sixer each of red,blue, & yellow caps.  He even got a Westy crate.  The beer was cheap but the freight was "OUTRAGEOUS".  Then again, if you have the money, I'd say it's worth it to try one of the most reclusive beers in the world.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 10:27:43 AM »
A better value is flying your own butt over there and trying them where they're best.

Still very hard to find in Belgium, though.  Even bottle shops have to do the "call them at the magic time and then go wait in line" schtick.  How's that for a distribution model?  You want it?  Come and get it.  But only when we tell you to.

You also have to realize how hit-or-miss this beer is too.  If it's on, it really is the best in the world.  If it's not, it sucks.  I mean, undrinkably sucks.  Hard to tell they are even the same beer.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 02:35:57 AM »
A better value is flying your own butt over there and trying them where they're best.

Still very hard to find in Belgium, though.  Even bottle shops have to do the "call them at the magic time and then go wait in line" schtick.  How's that for a distribution model?  You want it?  Come and get it.  But only when we tell you to.

You also have to realize how hit-or-miss this beer is too.  If it's on, it really is the best in the world.  If it's not, it sucks.  I mean, undrinkably sucks.  Hard to tell they are even the same beer.

Alternatively you can go to the pub across the street from the brewery where they have it on draught. Supposedly. I dunno if they still do this.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 03:34:09 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/user/ansbeertv#p/u/3/jgBFS2RNjA0

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Offline SiameseMoose

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 04:06:18 AM »
Alternatively you can go to the pub across the street from the brewery where they have it on draught. Supposedly. I dunno if they still do this.
The problem with the the pub, In de Vrede, is that the beers are served absolutely fresh. No maturing time at all. We tried all three, and none of them were ready to be served.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 08:34:59 PM »
Alternatively you can go to the pub across the street from the brewery where they have it on draught. Supposedly. I dunno if they still do this.
The problem with the the pub, In de Vrede, is that the beers are served absolutely fresh. No maturing time at all. We tried all three, and none of them were ready to be served.

+1  Same experience.  Except they didn't have the 12.  The 8 was about a month old, and way too young to be served.

With very, very rare exceptions, Trappist beers aren't served on draught.  How did I know the 8 was a month old?  I looked at the date code on the bottle cap.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 11:39:32 PM »
Bought a 12 from a bottle shop in Brussels in December of 2009... just drank it to celebrate passing the NY bar... pretty good, but no better than Rochefort 10 or St. Bernardus 12, IMO.

Offline theoman

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2011, 01:37:00 AM »
Bought a 12 from a bottle shop in Brussels in December of 2009... just drank it to celebrate passing the NY bar... pretty good, but no better than Rochefort 10 or St. Bernardus 12, IMO.

I agree on the 12. It's a bit overrated. The 6, on the other hand, doesn't get nearly enough attention.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2011, 03:05:50 AM »
How close are the St. Bernardus beers to Westvleteren's line-up?

Offline MDixon

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2011, 03:43:52 AM »
IME pretty close. Part of the allure of W12 is how difficult it is to procure. If it was on the grocery store shelf on every corner of American would people still crave it? I suspect the answer is no...
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Offline johnf

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2011, 06:03:05 AM »
When I have had Westvleteren it has been a banana bomb. I haven't had enough (2 12's and an 8) to be confident that I have the entire range of quality but every Rochefort I have bought off the shelf (dozens) has been better to me than every Westvleteren I have had. All Westveleteren were grey market offerings at beer bars in North America.


Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2011, 06:38:44 AM »
Keep looking. It's worth it once you get one that is good.

If you have a bottle in your hands but haven't bought it yet, I found that a good indicator of quality is whether it has noticeable floating flakes in it.  Hold it up to a light and take a look.  Not haze, not particulates -- flakes.  When a beer has that, I've found that it's gone off (some kind of oxidation, by taste). The beer will taste harsh, thin, and more bitter.  I use that approach when looking at Westmalle Dubbel and DeKoninck with success too.

I've had maybe two dozen of these beers, and maybe a handful were that amazing quality.  I had some back luck with buying the grey market beers in the US; those are mostly the ones that have been crap.  Anyone go to my talk on Belgian Dark Strongs at the AHA Conference in Chicago?  I had a case of that beer, and it had that problem.  Bought it local in Chicago at Sam's (now Binny's).

It's a fragile beer.
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Offline johnf

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2011, 07:26:12 AM »
Keep looking. It's worth it once you get one that is good.

If you have a bottle in your hands but haven't bought it yet, I found that a good indicator of quality is whether it has noticeable floating flakes in it.  Hold it up to a light and take a look.  Not haze, not particulates -- flakes.  When a beer has that, I've found that it's gone off (some kind of oxidation, by taste). The beer will taste harsh, thin, and more bitter.  I use that approach when looking at Westmalle Dubbel and DeKoninck with success too.

I've had maybe two dozen of these beers, and maybe a handful were that amazing quality.  I had some back luck with buying the grey market beers in the US; those are mostly the ones that have been crap.  Anyone go to my talk on Belgian Dark Strongs at the AHA Conference in Chicago?  I had a case of that beer, and it had that problem.  Bought it local in Chicago at Sam's (now Binny's).

It's a fragile beer.
No Chicago for me. I'm a newbie.

My wife and I have agreed in, in principal, to go the Belgium next year. The problem is I hate to fly international for a trip less than two weeks and we both work a lot so it is a little hard to schedule those trips. We managed Germany last year but probably won't leave the country (on vacation, I am in Japan now for work) this year. When we get to Belgium I will definitely make getting case(s) of Westvleteren via the beer phone a priority. Then I can bring it back, know it is fresh, store it well, and try them over time.

I am probably done with grey market as it tends to be about $15 and I've been burned every time. Not that $15 breaks the bank but the places that have some Westy in the back usually have a lot of good fresh stuff in the front.

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Westvleteren 12, where to get some....
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2011, 07:46:09 AM »
Keep looking. It's worth it once you get one that is good.

If you have a bottle in your hands but haven't bought it yet, I found that a good indicator of quality is whether it has noticeable floating flakes in it.  Hold it up to a light and take a look.  Not haze, not particulates -- flakes.  When a beer has that, I've found that it's gone off (some kind of oxidation, by taste). The beer will taste harsh, thin, and more bitter.  I use that approach when looking at Westmalle Dubbel and DeKoninck with success too.

I've had maybe two dozen of these beers, and maybe a handful were that amazing quality.  I had some back luck with buying the grey market beers in the US; those are mostly the ones that have been crap.  Anyone go to my talk on Belgian Dark Strongs at the AHA Conference in Chicago?  I had a case of that beer, and it had that problem.  Bought it local in Chicago at Sam's (now Binny's).

It's a fragile beer.

We get that over on this side of the pond as well. I got a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that had lots of particulate in it. Unfortunately non-drinkable. You wanna talk sad, though - I ordered a bunch of Pliny (I have a case of 9 at home for Sunday's "Hopmageddon", but I wanted to have 11 or 12)  and had a coworker order two extra because of the shop's 2-bottles-per-customer limit. Well, he got his address wrong. Bottles were marked as undeliverable and have been on their way to be 'returned to sender' for about 4 weeks now. Two bottles of uber-fresh Pliny, sitting in a hot warehouse somewhere, now that's sad.
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