What follows is the June 12th edition of my weekly column written for DIG Magazine.
While many people missed out on the one-time release of the acclaimed Belgian Trappist beer, Westvleteren XII, late last year, it is possible to get a taste of virtually the same recipe, and with a price tag that’s much more reasonable. St. Bernardus contract-brewed the Westvleteren line of beers from 1946 until 1992. When that deal ended, St. Bernardus continued to brew the same recipes, releasing them under their own label. Today, St. Bernardus’ Abt 12 is widely regarded as a world-class Belgian quadruple ale.
After a careful pour, so as not to disturb the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, you’ll notice a deep ruby-brown colored ale with some decent carbonation. It has an aroma that is complex, with notes of bread, fig and dates. The taste is just as appealing with plum, Belgian candy sugar and even vanilla hints. There’s just a hint of bitterness on the finish, but it is smooth, especially for such a big-bodied beer.
St. Bernardus Abt 12 is sold in 11.2 ounce bottles, as well as larger format 750 ml bottles. The small ones retail for around $6, while the larger ones sell for roughly $12. Find them both at Calandro’s Supermarket on Perkins Road, as well as other specialty grocers and liquor stores.
Read more about the craft beer scene in Louisiana and on @TheAleRunner.