(Belchertown, MA) – A source confirmed today that the U.S. release of Westvleteren XII is likely to be pushed back to June.
Originally slated for April release, the 7,760 gift packs that will flow through Shelton Brothers’ network are now scheduled to ship from Belgium at the end of April.
Shelton Brothers will handle the territory east of the Mississippi River with the exception of Illinois. Manneken-Brussels Imports will handle all states west of the Mississippi and Illinois (including Minnesota and Louisiana). Last year, The Abbey of Sint Sixtus appointed the two companies as the only U.S. importers for the Westvleteren XII gift packs.
As of right now, Shelton Brothers has no formal plan for a single release day though that could change where things have not yet been finalized. Shipments are expected to make their way to retailers in the Eastern territory all around the same time.
The Abbey has set a target retail price for the gift packs, each of which will contain six 330ml bottles and two glasses, at $85 per pack. Ultimately, retailers will each set their own price though Shelton Brothers’ aim is for as much money as possible from the proceeds to go toward The Abbey’s restoration project. The Abbey has gone so far as to stipulate that the packs must be sold in-tact by retailers. They do not want the gift boxes broken down and sold as individual bottles, an issue that will inevitably cause some contention with retailers and consumers given how limited the packs will be.
Shelton Brothers has been working with the Abbey on the project since last summer.
The 7,760 gift packs that the company expects to receive are part of a plan to export 70,000 packs out of Belgium, according to a local news report from last year.
Manneken-Brussels Imports, importers of Chimay, has not yet responded to a request for more information though the source said that MBI would likely receive the same number of gift packs so we are likely looking at around 15,000 packs total for the U.S..