44. Westvleteren 12

What a nice vacation.  Took about a month off from computer-related activity, well most computer-related activity (I’m totally kicking ass in Angry Birds Star Wars) and took in some delicious beer to celebrate.

The “End of the World” came and went.  The Mayan calendar started over from the beginning.  Kinda like our calendar starts over at the end of every December.  I’m surprised the conspiracy theorists behind this one never considered that the Mayans just flipped over the calendar like we do.  Oh well.

To celebrate:  Pipeworks – End of Days

EndOfDaysSight:  Dark.  Like staring quietly into a black hole, moments before it swallows you whole.

Smell:  Sweet and malty with some coffee and chili pepper notes.

Taste:  Thick and creamy with lots of chocolate and coffee.  The sweetness slowly subsides and leaves behind the mild pepper burn in your mouth and throat.  That burns sticks around long after the beer is gone.

My overall grade:  A-

Nice and sweet, a good amount of booze and a chili pepper kick.  Also, cacao nibs, so I love it.

Christmas Eve was upon us.  I decided to stick with the local theme.

To celebrate:  Revolution – Fistmas (it sounds dirtier than it is)

FistmasSight:  Copper red in color with a little white head.

Smell:  Spicy with hints of citrusy hops.  Lots of pine.  Seemed like a true Christmas ale to me

Taste:  The spices and pine were the shining stars in this one.  They showed up early and stayed throughout.  A malty sweetness tries to take over in the middle, but ends up giving in just before the bitter hops show up.

My overall grade:  B

Not a bad beer.  It kept with the Christmas theme and didn’t deviate far from the plan.

Christmas Day showed up, and I had to show up with something special.

To celebrate:  Anchor – Our Special Ale (2011)

AnchorXmasMagnumSight:  Dark brown, nearly black

Smell:  Malty, spicy (think cinnamon and nutmeg), and lot of juniper and pine.  Like being out in the forest on a cold winter day while eating a gingerbread cookie.

Taste:  Lots of malty sweetness up front and then a crushing blow of spice and pine that eases away to a subtle hoppiness.

My overall grade:  B+

This magnum (the big bottle you see in the picture) was carefully aged for a year to become a wonderful Christmas gift.  And by “carefully aged”, I mean left in my in-laws garage for a year.

Since I’m a father now, Christmas is a little less exciting for me (I’m not complaining).  My daughter tends to be the focus, and my presents tend to be minimal.  However, I gave myself the gift of beer this year.

To celebrate:  Westvleteren 12

Westy12Sight:  Reddish brown in color with a thin bubbly tan head, and oh so fancy in its personal glass.

Smell:  Malty sweetness with a mixture of dried fruits and molasses.  There’s also a slight sourness lingering in the background.

Taste:  Malty throughout with a little bit of cinnamon.  Dried cherries seem to sneak in about mid-way through.  It has a tight boozy flavor in the finish and end up pretty dry.

My overall grade:  A+

This beer is incredible.  Imagine a more complex Rochefort 10.  Delicious from start to finish.

Now to hide away my other 5 Westys.