ashbeero (51) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JUN 25, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
***Dated 29-09-09, drank 22-06-05 - Aged 9 months
Cloudy dark brown beer with a great beige head, Very dense with good lacing. Aroma similar to the ’10’ but not quite as intense. Dark fruits, malt and caramel. Flavour full of beglian yeast, slight hops and a complex fruit profile including banana and citrus. Relatively dry finish and medium bitterness.
bobaidan (516) - Southington, Connecticut, USA - JUN 17, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Strong alcohol flavors, yet surprisingly smooth to drink. The strain of yeast used imparts a fruity flavor that is only found in the best Belbian ales. An excellent ale.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - JUN 16, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Much like the 10 this beer dances spun sugar and raisin across the tounge mixed in with brandy soaked plum flavors. Every bit as intense as the 10, but less full bodied.
TheDean (786) - MIlwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 10, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Wow, considering this beer is a top 50 in the rankings, this beer is average at best. For the price I paid for it, it’s actually kinda crappy.
highlandlad (1418) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - JUN 8, 2005
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled the spectacular Westvleteren 8 last night and it edges this fine 8 from Rochefort. However, I’m going to commit heresy by saying that neither quite matched Achel 8 Bruin IMHO. This poured a teak colour with a tight, prodigious tan head that left great reefs of lacework as it receded. The aroma is fairly restrained for the 9.2% abv. It’s malt-driven and yeasty with a dash of nose-prickling alcohol, a hint of espresso and grape bubblegum. The mouthfeel is briefly fizzy, fading to a smooth, almost oily texture that slides down beautifully. The last bottle of the 10 that I tasted seemed over-carbonated but this is perfect. There are delicious intense Christmas flavours in there - raisins, nuts, port and cinammon - before that big warming dry finish. As with many ales above 8%, I find the finish a touch phenolic, but that’s a minor criticism. Another outstanding ale from Rochefort. (33cl bottle, International Beer Shop, Perth, best before 29/9/09)
jefcon (1419) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JUN 7, 2005
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep brown with an inch-tall light tan head, which slowly diminishes into a lacy collar on the glass. The smell of this beer is distinct and simple: warm sourdough bread. The amazing thing is from how far away you can pick up the scent. Tasting begins a lengthy trek on the palate. Only after you drink down the sharp, carbonated, somewhat malty beer do you begin to really TASTE it. Yeast, smooth hops of dark fruit, nutty and caramel malts, and a coffee-like finish. I would time the finish, but after several minutes, I want another sip so badly I never seem to reach the end. A stand-alone strong ale that surpassed my expectations.
Eructoblaster (3084) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 6, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Murky brown cloudy body topped with a thick and lasting beige foamy head. Lively carbonation remains until you finish your glass. Robust malty nose with dark cherries, yeasty hints that hides the alcohol almost perfectly. Taste is superbly balanced, surprisingly smooth, and pretty complex (malt, hops, cherries, apples, yeast, spices). Ends with a long and warming finish. Lovely beer!
Stew41 (1742) - Woodend, AUSTRALIA - JUN 4, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Big creamy with very good retention. Attractive toffee coloured brown. Fairly standard nose for the style, fruity and sweet, dark malts. Complex palate as expected: cold tea early then big sweet liquered malts, spice and aniseed. Whilst a very good beer note quite top of the class.
weepingsuds (222) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - JUN 3, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
After suffering through some week brews, this beer came up strong. The aroma is of ripe fruits almost an apple cider scent. It does give the presence of alcohol but for 9.2%, it is fairly hidden. New to belguin beer this really has a nice varied flavor and goes down smooth.
DerWeg (1514) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 31, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2005 Necessary re-rate for fresher product, in tumbler, slightly cooled. This is much better if you don’t stun it in a fridge for 5 years. Deep sugary/malty flavor imbued with dried dark fruit, nice dry edge of hops and alcohol. Still an austere, demanding beer but not one unrewarding. The 24 case I got is actually better then the last sixer I picked up, so there is a real batch inconsistency - the latter six are more harshly dry/exposed alcohol and lack depth, body and balance, overall unpleasant! Rating is for better examples. <P>5 year old bottle hisses open with slight vinegar aroma that quickly dissipate. Free of much suspended particles this Rochefort pours almost clear tea brown. Tan, fine bubble head and ample, sustained carbonation. Aroma is not so intense, a touch estery. Taste peppery, slight citric bite over some dark dried fruits. Warming alcohol feel. Full flavored but by no means a sweet Belgian at this stage! Firm malt/hop structure underpinned by assertive but controlled alcohol presence. Long sustained malty finish tempered with smoothly attenuated hop presence. Grain... caramel.... dry yet supple. So this is what a matured Trappist may taste like. Powerful aroma on the sediment I later rinse from the bottle - I would rate this 8 very differently were it not so ’settled out’ (and had more unruly young flavors present.) Perhaps I’d like it best at 2-3 years. 8/4/8/4/17