Saturday, February 21, 2009

The End of Matt's Beer Blog

As you can tell my posting has slowed down significantly, and almost has become non-existent. I won't be posting to this website anymore, and all of my posting will be housed over at Hoosier Beer Geek. We've got some amazing things going on over there right now, and with me going back to grad school, and little feet running around the house I just don't have the time for everything I normally had going on. I am going to contribute only to Hoosier Beer Geek. I started this website to help me catalog the many different beers that I tried, and really try to train my palate as best I could. Thanks to the very few people that read this and commented over the last year and some change.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Trappist Westvleteren 8

Beer: Westvleteren 8
Brewery Location: Westvleteren, Belgium
Beer Style: Dubbel
ABV: 8%

This is the much sought after Westvleteren 8. I've been wanting more of the Westie 12, but I've never had the 8 before. The numbers (there is debate over this) usually correspond to the alcohol getting stronger in strength, but not the ABV content. This Abbey makes a 6, 8, and a 12. Each one gets stronger in alcohol content as you go up, but doesn't mean they are 6%, 8% or 12% ABV. I've read it is a tradition from long before beer bottles had labels the number would indicate the certain type of beer you were looking for. I've also read that it means they refer to an old measuring unit of the density, the Belgian law at the time, which corresponds to the density of the wort before fermentation. The second idea makes more sense to me, but I can see both happening, and perhaps it was a hybrid of both.

This brewery is the rarest of the seven Trappist breweries. Most of the other Trappist breweries are easily found here in America, and Koningshoeven and Rochefort are my personal favorites. Let's see if this beer lives up to the hype.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany color with a decent sized tan head on it. This beer didn't leave any lacing either on my glass.
Smell: I get a good dose of dark fruit dominated by raisins on the nose. I am also getting caramel, sugar, and a little bit of alcohol.
Taste: I am getting plenty of malt character upfront with molasses and caramel, and a prominent grape flavor, a hint of spice, and just a touch of chocolate as well.
Mouthfeel: The prickly carbonation leaves a fairly dry sensation at the back of my palate.
Drinkability: A very nice sipper, and if there beer were readily available I would purchase it often.

I thought this was a very good beer, but is not head and shoulders above the competition that we can get here in Indiana. I've been coming around so much more to the Belgian style beers, and the dubbel is one of my favorites.

My favorite dubbel's that are available locally: La Trappe Dubbel from Konigshoeven, Rochefort 8 from Rochefort, and a stellar domestic dubble is Pere Jacques from Goose Island, and Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium.