ClarkVV (5250) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 22, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2006 9% Abv bottle from the second week of January 2003. Pours a mocha brown with some darker browns, light hints of red and orange and everything between. Good beige head that sticks around and is quite fizzy. Aroma is of dry raisins, figs, and slight hints of coffee beans. Light, but good with a hint of hops as well. Flavor begins quite carbonated, yet I don’t see any sediment and it looks quite clear. Flavor has woodiness in it, hints of dark fruit and tons of dry raisin flavor, with a solid offering of belgian yeast. The flavor is good enough to style and reminds me of Rocheforte 10, but as I keep drinking, the flavor remains too dry, too filtered tasting and ultimately, never develops enough complexity/depth of malt. Finish is odd as well, too much bitter hops apparency detracts from the style, and it has a bit of an acidic bite to it. Lots of astringency, and just kind of lifeless feeling, like they’ve filtered all of the good stuff out. Medium body, with some thinning as it warms. Quite disappointed, perhaps the 8.2 version was much better, I think I have a bottle of that aging, and along with my 3 bottles of the 9 abv aging, I’m really hoping this stuff improves. Rerate. Tried another bottle, hoping for an improvement and there was. I actually saw traces of sediment, the flavor was less dry, some esters and malt. This bottle had some life in it, but I’m still not sold. Would like to see a lot less filtration, and a LOT MORE malt/yeast complexity.
3fourths (8989) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 21, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2009 Deep brown with red observed. Punchy and spicy bananas, apples, alcohol, and sweet plums in the aroma. Flavor of black cherries. Very carbonated and strong. Sharp bananas and oak with some chocolate as well.
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - MAR 18, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Lightly phenolic aroma (band-aid), some cola as well. More phenolics in the flavor. Some cloves and bananas, alcohol and a touch of plum. Very sweet. Considerable alcohol burn in the finish. Cooked apples. Too sweet and muddled to be as highly rated as it is. I'm a bit disappointed, as I thought the tripel was world class, and this I find very average.
Darkover (1534) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 5, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 20, 2004 Very dark red/black with a huge tan head. Aroma and flavor of raisons, dark fruits, and brown sugar. Very warming and acidic with strong carbonation. Too intense for me.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 4, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep garnet beneath a half-inch layer of tan foam. Fruity, sweet aroma of plum, cherry, alcohol, dark malt, caramel, coffee, chocolate, mango and fresh dough. Super malty all around. Smooth, silky body with light, tight carbonation. Malty, fruity aroma with essentially insignificant hops. Incredibly drinkable despite the intense malt. The yeast allows for a little balance, but it doesn't overpower. An enjoyable beer not unlike a good sample of La Terrible, yet uniquely rewarding. Something that could be consumed regularly, if it was distributed in Illinois, that is.
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 3, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz bottle pours a red black color with a monster tan head and cobweb lace. The aroma is yeasty, banana like, spicy, and malty. The flavor is raisin, banana, chocolate malt, nice yeast, spice, minor hops, peppery, and all around just very Trappist like. The body is nice and creamy, smooth, and moderate carbonation. Overall, fantastic!
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - FEB 29, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Opaque dark brown color with a very thick, creamy off-white head. Spicy banana bread, raisin and clove aroma. Very sweet clove, banana, yeast, roasted malt and alcohol favors with a bit of hops in the finish. Very warming feel, with moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Very rich, complex beer.
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - FEB 29, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a beautiful dark opaque brown color with a large, creamy, thick, everlasting tan head. The aroma was full of spices, clove, alcohol, sour raisins, and a nice bready/yeasty tone. The flavor was almost perfectly complex...sweet banana/clove, spiced apples, sweet grapes, alcohol, yeast, and some acidic/spicy hops at the end. The feel was very smooth, thic, creamy, crisp carbonation, with a semi-dry finish.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 24, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very dark mohagany pour with a fine creamy head of tan. Lacing is very nice. Aromas are varied, starting from spice (coriander) and alcohol going to raisins or grapes and a bit of hops and bread or yeast. I have to stop for a minute with the flavors. Complex is the word that comes to mind. More malts and hops than in the nose. The raisin and grape start to fade moreso into a wine like flavor. Alcohol is strong, but is balanced by the other flavors. Spices show up as well. Coriander makes itself known. A bit of caramel is present. There is the doughiness around too. Full body, spicy palate, and a hoppy alcohol finish. Damn fine Belgian. Yes sir, I'll take another.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 24, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Mildly sweet and malty aroma. Some dates and prunes and figs present too. Definetly a robust and well-rounded winter brew. Mild alcohol burn, but it's not unpleasant.