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    "Like water" is admittedly a huge overstatement. But I was with a friend who knew nothing about beer, and even he could pick out which one was Westvleteren -- he could tell it had more depth of flavor and a ridiculously long aftertaste. Sadly, that made him like it less.



      Ended up at a pre- Belgian Beer Fest throwdown at my local bar last week and ended up having:

      Cantillon Mamouche

      Allagash BAM (Barrel Aged Mead)

      Allagash BAT (Mead aged in Tequila Barrels)

      Allagash Fluxus 12 (Gingery yet great!)

      Allagash Bookers Curieux (aged in Booker Bourbon barrels)

      Evil Twin Lil' B Imperial Porter (chocolatey goodness!)

      Evil Twin Femme Fatale Brett

      I'm an IPA fan and waiting for my Stone Enjoy by 9.21.12 IPA to arrive in mail. Thankfully, the local beer scene in Boston area is really good right now.



        @lakechares, +1, brother

        "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



          @Lewis: I actually just gave a buddy a bottle of Saison Dupont as a bday gift last weekend. I've never been to Deschutes (at least not the brewery, I've fished the river), but I need to. I'm about to get into some Black Butte porter as a matter of fact. One of my last trips to Portland I checked out Rogue and just yesterday took my wee lil daughter to Hopworks Urban Brewing while we were in the city. I recommend both.

          It's cool to see several people mention Russian River. I have family near the Korbel champagnery - RR branched off from them - and spent summer vacations swimming in the river itself. I guess it's a small world after all.



            Sometimes I feel I should visit the SF area just to get to the Russian River brewery. I had a Vermont trip planned this summer that got cancelled that'd have involved stopping by at the Alchemist brewpub, Hills Farmstead brew house and Lawsons' Finest liquids. Hopefully that works out this fall or next spring.



              For those looking to try some Belgian ales, you can't go wrong with Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue).

              Some beer snobs consider this rather pedestrian probably because of its relative availability at most large liquor stores (you won't have to scale the walls of a hidden abbey to find it). But it's an excellent example of a Trappist Quad: a Belgian strong, dark ale beer brewed by Trappist monks - and the strong stands for alcohol content, not taste or bitterness. It's a staple in the Johdus household.

              If you like Chimay I would work your way towards some more complex Trappist brews like Rochefort 8 or 10.



                @Lewis Hollow. I've had St. Bernardus Abt. 12 and it is excellent. Great call.

                At this point in the thread, I would like to thank the Belgians for either inventing or perfecting: beer, french fries and chocolate. You have made the world a better place.



                  For quads I've been a huge fan of Ommegang's Three Philosophers.

                  For a Belgian strong you might want to try Brother Thelonious.



                    What a great thread. I can't wait to try all of these suggestions!

                    No one has mentioned Unibroue yet - they're from Quebec and mainly brew Belgian style beer. I HIGHLY recommend the 'La Fin du Monde', and the 'Maudite' is good too.



                      Since this has turned into a Belgian beer discussion, the one beer that stood out to me on my trip to Belgium (other than Westy 12) was Piraat. It's available in the US but not something I had heard of before my trip. It's a Belgian pale ale / strong ale, hits hard at 10.5% and has a ton of different flavors that develop from initial taste to aftertaste. You should be able to find it at most shops with good to excellent beer selections.

                      But the Westy is amazing and the most impressive thing is that it actually lives up to the hype.



                        There are a ton of good suggestions here. Rochefort 10 is my favorite beer that I've ever tasted.

                        @shallyboy, Unibroue does make good beer. Their Blanche de Chambly is delicious. Also, they make Trader Joe's special "vintage ale" each year, usually available around Christmas for a very, very good price.

                        "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



                          I was able to get my hands on 3 bottles of Parabola this year. That was hands down the best beer I've had and I drink a lot of pretty good beer.

                          My cocktail videos >



                            Glad there are so many fellow beer geeks here!

                            @BB - a little beerperbole is okay in my book

                            @Johdus - I like Chimay Blue, definitely solid, just not as much as St. Bernie and some other quads. And yes, thank you, Belgium and associated monks!

                            @JoshB - I like both Three Philosophers and Brother Thelonious, the latter which is somewhat easy to find on tap around SoCal, which is cool.

                            @shallyboy - I'm a fan of Unibroue and the beers you mentioned. I just had their recent 17 Grande RĂ©serve, and it is fantastic. Check it out if you haven't.

                            @John - I dig Piraat. It's a good friend of mine's all time favorite.

                            @tdig - Parabola is incredible! FW makes some amazing stuff. My favorite beer is their (sadly limited edition) 14th anniv. ale, which has a good deal of Parabola in it.



                              Duvel, St. Bernardus 12, Delirium Tremens, Bacchus, Chimay.

                              And when I'm with my wife, Framboise Lambic

                              My side "job"
                              Simple, elegant, pocket squares and ties



                                I've had my share of Westvleteren 12, St. Bernardus Abt 12, Roquefort 10, all the Chimays, etc., etc., etc. I've also had a number of the other Westvleterens, including one which has been out of production since the late 1980s.

                                Honestly, the only Westvleterens I've ever had that clearly beat out St. Bernardus Abt 12 (which is made using the same recipe as Westvleteren 12) have been Wesvleteren 12s that were aged for a lot of years before I drank them.

                                I'm currently cellaring a Roquefort 10, a St. Bernardus Abt 12, and a Westvleteren 12, with the intention of opening them in 2020 (ten years after I started aging them) for a "horizontal" tasting. I'll report back with my findings at that time.