The '12' is a dark ebony colour with a thick, sticky tan head leaving very impressive lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of dark fruits, gentle spice, bready yeast and sweet malts.
The first sip delivers a complexity of flavour that could be explored for days. There is sweetness from the malts and dried sweet fruits, and hints of gentle spice in the background which aid the dry yet deep aftertaste. There is a little tingle of alcohol warmth on the long, smooth finish which adds another layer to the experience.
This is an amazingly well-crafted beer which fully deserves the accolades and comparisons to its famous 'cousin'.
Did you know: This small brewery in Watou, one of three in the 'brewer's town', was licensed by the St Sixtus Trappist Monastery to produce beers under the 'St Sixtus' name. This agreement lasted from 1946 until 1992. The St Bernardus brewery continued to make similar beers under their own name, with the ABT brewed to the recipe of the elusive Westvleteren 12.
Availability : 330ml bottles included in August 2013 beer pack. Small quantity still available.