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Yonder Alder Porter
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Image by Blue~Canoe
A pint of my homebrewed porter made with home-smoked malted barley. I "warm smoked" American 2-row barley by burning punky red alder in our homemade smoker, and used 1 lb. in the all-grain recipe. It turned out to be a very rich, almost syrupy smoke flavor. Probably not for everyone.

Westvleteren 12
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Image by Bernt Rostad
The neutral brown bottle of a Westvleteren 12 from the famous Trappist monastery Abdij St. Sixtus in Westvleteren, Belgium, at Amundsen Bryggeri & Spiseri in Oslo, Norway. Only the yellow cap reveals its content, and the price tag its year of production (2012).

Westvleteren 12 is a 10.2% abv abbot ale. It poured a clear deep golden red color with a massive beige head. It had a sweet fruity aroma with notes of ripe fruits, mainly prunes, which grew stronger as the beer warmed up. It had a full bodied mouthfeel with a smooth texture. The flavor started out sweet, with ripe plums but also notes of dried fruits. Mild hop bitterness in the finish made it feel well balanced.

The 2012 vintage of Westvleteren 12 has an elegant, rounded sweetness with ripe and dried fruits. It’s very enjoyable, but hardly the best beer in the world (it has topped RateBeer top 50 for many years).

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