Monday, 4 April 2011


Now for a beer with a bit of history and one that is often confused with my previous entry and mistaken as a Trappist - an easy thing to do because until recently it used to be.

A quick history - shortly after WWII the Trappist monastery of St Sixtus decided to stop the commercialisation of their beers but would continue to brew for their own consumption (and sell to the public at the gates of the monastery)
They contacted local Watou cheesemaker Evarist Deconinck and asked if he would brew their Trappist beers, he agreed and from that day on he brewed under contract the Sint Sixtus beers.

In 1992 however the contract was discontinued in order to adhere to the new definitions of a Trappist beer, to put it simply
*the beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey and be brewed by the monks (or under their supervision)
*the purpose of the brewery must not be for financial profit

As a result the words St Sixtus were forbidden on all labels and glasses and instead changed to St Bernardus (also the picture of the monk changed) The monastery of St Sixtus once again took on the role of brewers of their beers and continue to brew the official Trappist beers - many will be familiar with their chart topping beer Westvleteren 12.

Pours murky dark brown with a reddish hue if held to the light, topped with a large off white head that slowly fades to a thin covering.

Aroma is sweet and slightly burned like demerara sugar, chocolate malts then fruity with banana yeasty notes.
Taste is like dense fruitcake with chocolate toffee edge, faint hops are also in there and a malty bready finish - despite the high ABV it's extremely well to sip because it's far too easy to knock back. 

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