The Rarest and BEST Beer in the World

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Zyn which went something like this:

Subject: The Rarest and BEST Beer in the World

WESTVLETEREN XII

This beer has been consistently rated “the best beer in the world” by most beer critics and experts around the world. This is the only time that Westvleteren XII will be available in Canada. The Trappist monks have released a small quantity of this beer to Canada to finance the building of their new abbey. The beer arrives in July.

Did we want to pre-order a gift pack?

You bet we did. We picked up our order last night and split a bottle with dinner. (We’re rationing.)

Our take on the best beer in the world: it’s very, very good. It’s not particularly thirst-quenching but I’ve never had a dark beer quite so smooth as this. It’s sweeter than I expected but not at all cloying. I taste a bit of brown sugar, fig and Christmas plum pudding, but offset with something heavier like milkier like chocolate or toffee. There’s a strong spicy finish like a heavy dark chocolate.

The boy’s thoughts: “It’s good. You’ve got to enjoy strong beer. It’s got a nice malty nose.”

The cool story behind this beer: it’s made at the Trappist Westvleteren Brewery in western Belgium, which has been run and owned by the St. Sixtus Abbey monks for 175 years. Their beers consistently rank highly on beer-rating websites, and the Westvleteren 12 has often been called the best beer in the world. Until now, the beer has only been only sold from the monastery, and only to customers who have made reservations with the “beer phone.” According to the monks, “we make the beer to live but we do not live for beer.”

This year, for the first time, the brewery is selling a limited number of gift packs (6 bottles Westvleteren 12, 2 glasses) to the public in order to raise funds for urgent renovations at the monastery.

In Calgary, it’s available at Zyn in Inglewood, Highlander and some Co-op locations.

~Chris