Saturday, 22 December 2012

Best beer in the world?

My boyfriend was gifted a bottle of Westvleteren XII trappist beer from a coworker who waited several hours outside in the cold for a six-pack of this rare beer. It's brewed in Belgium at the St Sixtus Abbey by a group of monks solely for the purpose of supporting their abbey.

Now I'm kind of a beer snob in that I think Coors and Canadian and the like are terrible. I drink them because they are the cheapest or only beers at hockey games, or I drink Bud Light Lime because that's all my parents have at their house. But I absolutely prefer good, flavourful beer. I get this from my grandfather, who introduced me to my all-time favourite beer: Innis & Gunn. If you like beer and haven't tried Innis & Gunn, I highly recommend you pick up a bottle.

When my boyfriend told me this beer was going to be available at the liquor store downtown, but only in limited quantities, I kind of didn't really care. It cost about $60 for a six-pack (and two glasses), and you had to wait in line from about 6AM until they opened at 10:30AM. I've had expensive beer before, and I already have a favourite beer. I mean, whatever. It's beer. Beer is beer. Who cares, right?

Then his coworker gave him a bottle. And I started to get kind of excited. It's fancy beer! That not a lot of people get to have! And I get some!

Some people wait a year or so to drink it, so it has a chance to age. Since we only had the one bottle, we decided to drink it right away. You're supposed to drink it in special trappist chalices, but the best we could find was wine glasses. You're supposed to smell hints of banana, chocolate cherries, and candy sugar. It just smelled like strong beer to me (it's about 10.2%).

But the taste. It honestly did not taste like 10% beer. It had fine, supertiny, champagne-like bubbles. (Okay, prosecco. I've never had real champagne.) It was thick in the glass, but was so smooth to drink. It didn't have the strong, coffee/chocolate/toffee/dessert flavours that I generally love in beer (seriously, go drink a bottle of Innis & Gunn and tell me it's not the most delicious beer ever), but it also didn't have that yucky pond-water taste that big brewery beers have (to me).

Was it the best beer in the world? Maybe. But it wasn't my favourite beer. It was really interesting and exciting to drink such a fancy, world-renowned beer, but I guess my tastes just aren't refined enough. It was definitely a great beer, but I still love my Innis & Gunn, and my cheap-o James Ready 5.5. Although I'm never going to say no to free beer.

What's your favourite beer, or drink in general?


  1. Holy crap that IS expensive! I do love nice beer though. We went to a Belgian bar this weekend and I had some interesting stuff. The only one I remember is the Lost Abbey's mayan apocalypse. So good!

    1. I looked that up on and it looks really rare! I'll have to keep my eye out for that brand though, it seems pretty interesting.