Well. Wow. So.
For those not in the know, the very rare and (supposedly) best beer in the world was released in Ontario LCBOs today. Westvleteren XII, previously only available in the St Sixtus Abbey in Belgium, upped production and came out with limited box sets in order to raise funds for renovations to the abbey and sent them out. Ontario snagged quite a few and, thanks to a Toronto Star article by Josh Rubin, the buzz was huge. The LCBO was hazy on when they’d actually be releasing the beer out in to their stores so many people, myself included, got in extra early throughout the week to check in.
And today it was released at a few stores. Thanks to Mike for letting me know that the store I was heading to wouldn’t have it today which led to me going to a location that did. There were over 150 people lining up and only 120 boxes. The line was huge and my hands were numb from waiting outside in the cold for 40 minutes. But hey, I’m no wimp when it comes to lines. I’m a veteran of the last Harry Potter book release (second in line) and many anticipated movies. To the people who moaned about this wait, I laugh at you.
And once the doors were open it all went so quickly. Staff were at the doors handing off a box to each person who came in until they were all gone. According to the store manager they sold out within four minutes. And considering each set, which included six bottles of the rare brew and two souvenir glasses, costed about $76.85, that means that particular store made $9222 in four minutes. Cripes.
And I got mine, which was fun. I can now cross this beer off of my Bucket List of beers I have to try. I already had one of the beers and the rest will most likely go in to the cellar to be aged for a few years.
The bottle is gorgeous and so is the glass (will definitely be using it for a while). The beer itself is pretty young, with a HUGE alcohol burn cutting through the sweetness (not unexpected since it’s about 10.5% ABV), but once it warms up a bit some nice notes of dried fruit and a hint of vanilla kick in. It’s a very pleasant beer and one that I think will benefit from a couple of years of ageing. Worth the price? I’ll let you know in a couple of years. But I’m not disappointed by this beer. It really is a delight.
LCBO stores will still be trickling them out this week, but for me the hunt is over and I’m looking forward to some good times with this rare brew.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m still thawing from that wait. Brr…