RobBestwick (583) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - MAY 29, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
rich spicy/fruity nose, dark hue with a magnificent large frothy head, peppery, spices, fruity, hints of cherries and strawberries, very rich texture, well laced, excellent!
plalo (5) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 28, 2003 does not count
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
This beer was something of a surprise. The aroma was splendid with the hops coming through very pleasingly. The appearance was marred not by the beautiful head but the white floaties found in the dark beer after pouring. Beware when you enjoy yours, leave some behind and pour completely. If you don't let the white floaties bother your palate... I don't, then you'll find the flavor to be one of the most pleasing, complexities you've ever experienced. The malty, coffee hints of this strong ale do such a great job of giving exceptional character to this relatively high ABV beer. The sweetness can get in the way at times if you don't care for lingering sweets. Some inexperienced American brewers get the high alcohol but it ends up tasting that way. Not with this fine Belgian example of a great strong ale. If you like this GO FOR THE WESTVLETEREN! It only gets better.
Boystout (1000) - Chisinau, MOLDOVA - MAY 27, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sherbet aroma and flavor. Very malty and gently alcoholic beer with coffee and sweet sugar notes in the palate. Recommended!
adrenalin112 (57) - Lake Forest, California, USA - MAY 26, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
One of the best beers i have ever had. Strong and malty, without the overpowering alcohol notes of the 10. As it warms it improves in the palate. Makes me want the 6 even more.
MEDAY (9) - ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, USA - MAY 21, 2003 does not count
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A beautiful brown color with a rich warm taste. A ture Trappistes masterpiece.
Ednolb (17) - BELGIUM - MAY 21, 2003
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Really dark brown beer. Long-lasting head with a light brown-beige colour. Fruity taste with a hint of chocolate and slight alcohol taste in the end.
SpaceMonkey (182) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 19, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Pours with a beautiful full-inch-up tan foam that fades into a crater filled surface of bumby weird whipped cream with eiry leftover laces coating the sides. The glowing amber red lake sits murky, yet crystal clear around the edges. The aroma hits with a grainy goodness like fresh cooked homemade bread straight out of the oven with a fresh steaming cup of coffee on the side, but in way that makes you want to stick your face straight into it. The dance that executes across the tounge is amazing. This is no mere beer; this is a masterpiece. A finely crafted delicate dance of malt, yeast, and hops that emphasizes none before the other, but combines them in a refined balance of spice and caramel mellowness. Aye, Mother's milk, nectar of the Gods, may ye find this nearby and often.
Suttree (4866) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAY 18, 2003
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Opaque brown with a tan head. Apples and alcohol on the nose. Mild fruit flavor, then a strong peppery flavor through to the end. I thought, judging from the aroma, that there was going to be a big alcohol taste, but it just pops up and says "hello, my name is alcohol flavor, I'll be leaving now". Well made and intriguing beer.
Frank (2297) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 16, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thankfully, this doesn't have the same "Belgian Alcohol Bomb" character of the 10. However, I didn't find this to be especially aromatic or flavorful. A high quality beer for sure but certainly not a great one.
fiulijn (13445) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 14, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2013
2013-02-19,L 220715, 2½ years old, 8-4-8-3-16=39
Clear dark mahogany color with generous frothy head, well carbonated. Nice aroma of caramel with a earthy (soil) touch, light spices, very light yeast. Soft mouthfeel, the body starts to thin; very good malt and caramel flavor, with light nuttiness, low bitterness, and comforting alcohol feeling. In the final there is some rare sweetness, a fine spicy touch, and a shade of oxidization.
Mature, very good.
2013-02-12, L 060606, 11½ years old, 7-4-7-3-15=36
Chestnut color, with small sized head, not as compact. Mild aroma, caramel and light honey. Lean body, with some caramel flavor, very low residual sweetness, almost absent bitterness, some alcohol, very light fruity touch.
Apparently the last sugars have been fermented; it’s a simple version of the original beer, still pleasant and with just minimal signs of Madeirization.
Should be drank with the yeast deposit that increases the mouthfeel and provides very light final astringency (one point extra).
2011-08-30, L 100215 10:17, 1½ years old, 8-5-7-4-15=39
The aroma is almost cheesy, with brown sugar, caramel. The body is lean; there is caramel flavor, with moderate sweetness, and light liquorice impression; apparently it’s not mature enough. Low bitterness, and light alcohol perception too. Lacking of depth.
2011-05-03, L 220715 10:38, 1 year old, 7-4-7-3-14=35
It’s overly carbonated, it pours a gigantic head. Initially there is some yeast smell; later followed by the expected caramel. Having lost most of the carbonation, the mouthfeel is quite soft, but the body is thinner than expected; good flavor, some malt and caramel, maybe with too much accent on the oxidization; traces of liquorice. The bitterness is already quite low, and the final is rather weak. Good Belgian, but nothing special (yet).
2011-02-25, L 200912 10:30, 4 years old, 8-5-8-3-16=40
Very dark brown color; generous head, reducing to a thinner layer, compact and persistent. The aroma is unusually spicy, peppery, with some malt and caramel, and Chinotto (a special citrus fruit from Liguria). The mouthfeel is very smooth (because of the initial high carbonation), then round (a bit later); there is a good flavor of malt and caramel, with clear spicy side; correct bitterness. It seems to get thinner and a bit drier in the end. Good, but it could be better.
2011-01-08, L 060606, 10 years old, 7-4-6-3-12=32
Dark chestnut color; small sized head. The aroma of caramel is nice and quite perfumy. The mouthfeel is quite dry and with an evident alcohol presence; the body is thin; flavor of dry caramel and some liquorice; light oxidisation. Correct bitterness. Too old.
Dark amber color. Aroma of malt, bread, candi sugar, lightly fruity (strawberries). Malty, not really viscous, a delicate but evident liquorice taste at the mid-end, alcohol touch. Good but not astonishing palate. I don’t know exactly why, but I expected more…
Improves a lot when pouring the sediment.