The Taste of Silence

Ultra-Rare Beer from Silent Monks

There's a lot of convenience out there, but if you find something really great, it's worth a little chase.

Say hello to Westvleteren, a virtually unpronounceable—and impossible to find—Belgian beer made by silent monks and frequently named the best beer in the world (most recently by Beer Advocate).

If you've ever had a Trappist beer, you know monks take it seriously, but this monastery takes things a step further, making only 5,000 cases a month and selling beer only at their front door and by appointment. (There's a "beer phone," conveniently exempt from their vow of silence.)

Of course, those 5,000 cases go pretty fast when you're dealing with hop-happy Belgians, so finding a bottle can be a real quest. Especially stateside, where rumored sightings and friends with shady importer connections rarely lead to actual consumption. Plus, there's a two-case limit—one of the reasons bars have trouble keeping it in stock—and unless you're willing to trek out to the low countries, the beer phone might not be too much help.

Luckily, we've tracked some down. Beermania—lifeblood of the German beer community—has three different styles of the sweet monk brew in stock, and if you're willing to shell out the 200 euro shipping charge, it could be in your belly as early as next week.

Until then, you'll just have to take a vow of sobriety.

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