It has been a couple of weeks now since our ungettables gathering in Boise at Brewforia, but there were so many great beers that I had a chance to try I may never get them all posted on this site. There were however a few standouts that I need to get up here, because they were so unique or in this case just super amazing awesome. I kind of tipped my hand in the title of this post, but this is perhaps the best Belgian beer that exists. Period. Oh, you can go on about Westy 12, and I haven’t had it yet, so it might be amazing as well, but this beer was truly special.
St Bernies has an elusive 100 ranking on Rate Beer, and the brothers over at Beer Advocate give it an A, and in my estimation it was well earned. You could balance this beer on the head of a pin it was so well rounded and the flavor profile just spot on in every way. This is a quad that has a 10% ABV, but the alcohol mixes so well with the brewing that it was well hidden. The brew was very floral, and that always gets me. I love floral aromas and flavors. Great use of the hop, but at the same time this beer has a great malt backbone that plays really wonderfully with those hops and the alcohol, and that Belgian Yeast! Now let’s face it that isn’t an easy strain to work with, in lessor brewer’s hands it can taste too bready, or it can taste metallic, or it can just be too in your face, but the St. Bernies is up to the challenge and incorporates this often off putting flavor in a masterful way. It is floral, and has a flavor of dark fruit like plumbs and cherries, and is sweet on the palate, but finishes kind of dry, but crisp.
Every once in a while you have a beer that just sticks with you, and this is one of those beers. On the Belgian side of the ledger there have been only two other beers that have even come close, they are Chimay Grand Reseerve (Blue Label) and the Trappist Rochefort 8. This beer eclipses those by leaps and bounds in my opinion.
While I know this is an ungettable in Idaho, I really have no sense of how rare this beer may be. I’m guessing this was someone’s crown jewel in their beer bunker that they were nice enough to bring and share with the group. What a special treat. And one that I will be on the look out for, and will not soon forget. This is the kind of beer that if I saw it at a restaurant I would build my meal around the beer instead of trying to find a good brew to go with my meal.
Have you ever had this beer? What are your thoughts? How rare is it? Let me know in the comments.