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Westvleteren 12 (XII)

(10.2% ABV. Quadrupel, Westvleteren, Belgium) 330ml bottle Westvleteren 12 (XII) is the most sought after beer on the planet, bar none. A world class Trappist Belgian quadrupel style beer with few peers. The most limited production, regularly brewed, Trappist ale. Laden with rich candied dark fruit and bittersweet molasses flavour and aroma. Matures incredibly well when cellared. With few notable exceptions, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder and Younger, and Three Floyds Dark Lord aside perhaps, no beer has ever garnered so much buzz and rumour as Westvleteren 12 (Westy 12 to its friends). For many beer lovers and beer geeks, Westy 12 is an extremely elusive fermented pot of gold at the end of a hoppy rainbow. To say you have actually tasted the beer continues to be a point of pride for beer drinkers both old and new. A mark as it were, of just how serious a beer nerd you actually are. There are a few simple reasons why this one Belgian beer has become such an iconic point of desire. It is brewed in relatively small amounts at the Trappist monastery Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren, alongside only two other beers; Westvleteren Blonde, a 5.8% ABV. Belgian style pale ale and Westvleteren 8 (VIII), a malty 8% ABV. mahogany coloured Belgian style Dubbel. With the exception of a small amount that was sent to market a couple of years ago in Europe and the U.S., the beer is not distributed at all and must be collected from the brewery itself. This lack of distribution combined with the fact that the beer garners the highest ratings... read more

Burning Sky Monolith Vatted Black Beer

| 8.0% ABV | English Wild Ale | Lewes, East Sussex, England | 750ml bottle | Monolith is one of a rapidly growing number of English produced sour and wild ales. Bittersweet with an acidic edge and an intentionally funky aroma, this soured black beer spent eight months resting in an oak foudre that previously housed Chianti. Sour beers and ales fermented with “wild” Brettanomyces (or Brett) yeast strains, are becoming more and more popular in the U.K. This is in large part due to the sterling efforts of Somerset’s Wild Beer Co. While there are other breweries in the U.K. producing excellent sour and Brett fermented ales, few are doing it with the dedication, regularity and celebration that Wild Beer are or to the extent that many U.S. craft brewers now are. You can however now add Burning Sky to the short list of British breweries taking sour and Brett beers very seriously indeed. Like Wild Beer Co., this East Sussex based brewery is dedicating significant time, infrastructure and cash to building an ambitious barrel aging and sour beer program. In an effort to help supplement their bold wood based venture, Burning Sky produces a core range of high quality American style pale ales, IPAs and Belgian farmhouse style saisons. The relatively short turnaround time of these ales means the brewery can remain financially operational until the sour projects, which have a much longer maturation time, are ready. Monolith has many of the same characteristics that distinguish the archetypal Flemish red sour ales produced by Rodenbach, the much lauded modern pioneer of aging soured beer on a large... read more

Bristol Beer Factory Wheat Wine 

(10.0% ABV. Wheatwine, Bristol, England) 330ml bottle One of the very first commercially brewed wheatwines in the U.K. Rich, desserty and beautifully complex. A beer with massive cellaring potential as well as being moreish and delicious freshly bottled. In keeping with many native examples of this new American strong ale style, Bristol Beer Factory have keenly experimented with the base idea of a strong wheat ale by aging it in bourbon barrels and by blending in some cold brewed coffee courtesy of Bristol’s Extract Coffee Roasters. The malt bill of the beer is 75% wheat. For the uninitiated and non-brewers among you, that is a very high percentage indeed. The result of so much wheat; without getting too sciencey, provides loads of fermentable sugars for the yeast to eat up and convert onward to a hefty 10.0% ABV. Equally important is the uniquely smooth, creamy and full mouth feel that so much wheat protein gives the beer. Add to that the vanilla notes from the oak bourbon barrels and the roasted cocoa notes of the high quality Extract coffee and it’s not a stretch to describe this beer’s overall flavour and aroma as vanilla latte like. This is the third release in Bristol Beer Factory’s new Unlimited series of small batch limited release beers following a 7.0% ABV. Belgian Rye and an 8.5% ABV. Double IPA. This being a robust and strong wheatwine, it’s the first brew in the series that has significant cellaring potential, the Belgian Rye and DIPA being designed to be enjoyed as fresh as possible. The aging and evolutionary potential of Wheat Wine is especially exciting... read more

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