Thursday, 18 March 2010

Special beer day

Ok folks. I'm 28 today so I'm going to be invading my cellar. This cellar is next to walls and usually shut off from day light. This is the larder cupboard but I use it for my beer as I find it's the ideal temperature for storage. I consume my beers warm unless it's a heavy, hoppy IPA or a blonde or a larger. I feel the exposure of the coldness from the fridge manipulates the taste of the beer and has an affect on the yeast strain and also the flavour. Too much sunlight can kill a beer! That is why my beers are safely stored away. It makes sense. They are vertical. I would love my lambics to be horrizontal but there isn't enough space so sorry about that. It is s problem with my cellaring as there is limited room.

Anyway ramblings' aside. I popped open a bottle of Westlveteren 8 aged a couple of years from May 2008 fresh at the Cafe. This I have kept specially. I have some more but will be aging these. When I asked Carlo from De Struise he said I am wise man to do so so I'm happy there. If anyone knows Westvleteren it's Carlo and Urbain.

I firstly picked up my classic Westmalle bottle opener:

Next I proceeded to slowly open the bottle which unfortunately exploded a little. I poured it as slowly as possible which is tricky when it's recently exploded. I poured the beer into my own Westvleteren glass which I acquired from the Cafe opposite where the Saint Sixtus abbey is.

Then I tasted and logged into rate to make my observations. This is as follows:

"A classic trappist beer to celebratae my 28th. Poured from bottle into the goblet Westvleteren glass. Lovely foamed head. Very creamy on the texture. The beer is dark brown. redding out at the bottom. The beer is prominent of caramel; rich dark malts, dried fruits, brown sugar and a touch leathery. A lovely beer. Drinkability is good for the abv. The mouth feel is well balanced and the finish is moderate with notes of caramel and spices. This is aged a little. I haven’t rated it yet so thought it would be an appropriate beer to continue with after Pannepot. Some good beers to go through today and this is just the start. A classic beer".

Following this I found there is a hint of sherry or port at the end. I'm not a liquer guy in these areas yet so feel I will need to step this up in order to appreciate the agings of the beer. This is a perosnal note. I didn't use this for the site.

I think this beer is rather good. It's not as high a callibre as other beers I enjoy but it's exceptionally solid. There is the right amount of complexity in a beer which I enjoy. However, I prefer a Rochefort 10 or a De Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva. I also enjoy my IPA's. This beer is a special beer and not to be consumed all the time. It's meant for good incentives. The monks brew this as and aid to find their path for god. This beer helps them support their local charities and projects in Westvleteren. They also consume the beer as part of their dietry regulations, however the monks have this beer fresh. I have had this both aged and fresh. I can see the appeal in the aging.

Overall this beer is thoroughly worth seeking. If you like complex beers you would enjoy this. If you don't then you have just sampled a hard to get special beer. Some people may not appreciate it but that's not the point. It is a special beer for good causes. This is against the monopoly of the big beers which are in this world. This is a craft beer. I now wish I had some gorgeous Belgian wheat bread to go with this or the abbey's on cheese. Now that would be an ideal appetizer.

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