marcus (6780) - Sacramento, California, USA - JUL 31, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This Trappist ale is the epitome of what beer should be. A dark brown color, wonderful rich bouquet, moderate but attractive head, with a complex and delightful flavor. The alcohol leaves a pleasant, warm aftertaste without being overbearing. The monks got it right!
Gorbalev (2953) - Ontario, CANADA - JUL 30, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: APR 21, 2005 Bottle, Ciro’s, Toronto. Dark brown / purple colour. Fantastic aroma, lots of spice, plum, and slight alcohol. Very little head on the pour in a nice trappist style glass. Mouthfeel was a little disappointing in that it was thinner than the appearance suggested, but still it was complex without being syrupy. Lots more spice and warm alcohol in the taste - I couldn’t really describe it, but I knew it seemed well balanced and quite agreeable. This beer got better as it warmed as well - the flavours were less intense, but by the end, I couldn’t identify the 11% alcohol level. A nice experience with good company.
Re-rate April 20 05. Acquired a bottle in a trade with Mustang3. My initial rating of this was when I was still at a pretty infant stage as far as trying new styles were concerned. The bottle I had last night absolutely blew me away in a way no beer has. The appearance of this beer was quite different, as I was in my well-lit living room and not a dark enjoyable bar. It was very dark brown with red hues and a murkiness that looked fantastic. Small tan head. The aroma was amazing - fresh hops, sweet malt, a little spice and some alcohol - I’ve never wanted to try a beer based on its aroma before so bad in my life. The mouthfeel was also very unique - full-bodied, yet really frothy - this is where I encountered the biggest difference in my 2 ratings. The taste was of rich malt, a well-balanced bitterness and the alcohol was incredibly restrained. There was almost a sweet rum like quality to this beer. I have not done it justice, but this was without question the best beer I have ever tried.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 29, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2004 Very deep ruby in color...caramel/molasses/raisin nose...the nose made my mouth think the beer was going to be very tart...I have to agree with DaveZee b/c it is much more complex than Chimay GR, but a lot more aggressive. Definate earthy fruit taste with that hint of tartness my mouth expected...had to order from another state to get it... :(
jtw (1112) - farmington, Michigan, USA - JUL 28, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
huge tan head on a deep burgundy liquid with lots of yeasty floaties. aroma of strawberries, raisins, brandy, and tons of malt. very harsh taste, perhaps too strong to be perfectly balanced. lots of dark fruit and caramel, with a residual hops bitterness. excellent beer but too expensive. for the $ there are other belgians to be had.
side note, i'm the 500th rating of this beer!
DaveZee (6) - California, USA - JUL 28, 2004 does not count
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I was finally able to get this fantastic brew from Whole Foods. It was certainly worth the wait. Far more complex than Chimay Blue. Sweet without beeing cloying, and warm, but not overly alcohol in flavor. A must-have.
kumite56 (471) - Cordova, Tennessee, USA - JUL 27, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer poors a deep brown color with a huge and foamy tan head. Great appearance. Aroma is malty, fuity and has alcohol as well. The flavor is complex and well balanced. Hints of dried fruit for sure as well as heavy malt exist here. a great beer
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUL 27, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
330 mL bottle (drink before 2008 – fairly fresh in this case): Orange mahogany – growing off-tan foam; settling, but persistant. Enormous bouquet that fills the room -> fruits make the biggest impression on me: blueberries, black cherry skins, strawberries, sweet melon and kiwi…Also some darker notes of toffee chips, cherry oak, mocha and toasted rye. Great body, full of complex flavours: chocolate covered strawberries, honey-buttered toast and caramel-toffee clusters; all wrapped in a delicate (though strong) blanket of alcohol. Wonderful yeast complexities take control in the finish – it makes me wonder – the secrets of these monks: how old is the yeast they use, where did it come from, how has it changed through the ages…anyway back to the present/now: this beer is truly amazing.
nickchalk (229) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 27, 2004
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Top marks for appearence, dark brown, perfect size off-white head. Aroma is yeasty, though I felt a little more shy than I was expecting; plum notes. Raisin in the flavour, dark and nutty, quite soft while retaining some the intensity of a Quad. The palate is smooth; beer goes down deceivingly easily. Great beer, but really not as complex and thought provoking as Westy 12. I think i prefer the 8 by a hair for its superb balance. 33 cl bottle.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 24, 2004
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
7/24/04. Poured out of 330 mL bottle, bought at Liquorama in Upland, CA 7/22/04. Pours to a deep, dark burgundy red with an explosive light tan, densely frothy head. Lacing is superb. Aroma is spicy and vaguely reminiscent of a red ale; some sort of cinnamon bread, unsweetened brown sugar (does that shit exist??), and definitely some alcohol, but it’s also cakey and dessert-like. I wish it jumped off of the beer more, but it is pretty elegant nonetheless. Initial taste is sharply alcoholic and surprisingly potent, but also very smooth to the palate, especially considering the creamy head. Incredibly rich, dark liqueur cake and trace nutty flavors, as well as some blunted fig and raw earth shading. Harsh pepper tickles on top, and thin spectres of alcohol dances around the mouth throughout the experience. Very full body with a yeasty presence in the finish, subsiding to a faintly bready rounded flavor. Very long. Some flavors of flour and nuts. Nice balance of sweetness and dryness-- it almost suggests a much stronger sweetness than it actually gives off. Very interesting. Quite good, but a bit hard to take in in any sort of quantity at this intensity.
bb (6860) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 23, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Dark brown beer with a small beige head. Great fruity aroma (stone fruits) with some malt and raisins. Sweet complex malt flavors that have some fruit - cherry/plum - and a bit of an earthiness to it. Dry finish. Just a touch too much carbonation, but not more than most Belgians and it doesn’t have as much of Belgian tang. Hides the alcohol well. Nice lace on the glass all the way to the end. I wish I could have another one.