Oh, my. What a beer. Creamy gingerbread -- similar to, but not as dried fruity as the Rochefort 10. Rich. Perfectly balanced flavours. Meets all expectations, and almost certainly the best beer of the 40b40.
The location of the drinking was a pleasant modern cafe across the street from the drive-thru abbey. It's got a kind of national park visitors' centre feel to it. Polar opposite of the utilitarian beer pick-up point.
We were only able to buy Westvleteren 8 by the case. The 12 was only available at the cafe. So, after today's Westvleteren 12 day, tomorrow will be Westvleteren 8 day for the 40b40, and I hope that is OK with the judges. If it's not, I'll bribe them with some 8 until they agree.
More on Westvleteren later. In the meantime, some photos below. It was too busy a day, too overwhelming a taste. Your competing athlete is exhausted.