willblake (2626) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAY 26, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
330ml bottle, obviously; poured in Westy glass. Sadly, this bottle was a gusher, but only a few ml of beer were lost. Intended to be the highlight of my recent trip to San Francisco, this beer absolutely lived up to every expectation. After the first whiff and sip, I made the decision to put down my pen after jotting a quick: "This is what beer is supposed to be." The supreme highlight of my first and only night at the Toronado, a night that included more than my fair share of interesting to amazing beers from California and Europe.
If Westy 12 does not actually deserve this, my first perfect score, any imperfections in the beer were compensated for by the bliss of the day. It is without shame that I offer a perfect score without any attempt at written justification. What more could possibly be said that hasnít already been written?
gnylen (12) - Topanga, California, USA - MAY 25, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Proof of the existence of God. The yard stick by which all other Belgian Trappist beers (indeed, beers in general) should be measured. Head: the ultimate rocky Belgian foam. I would not be surprised if they pack the pillows of the monks at the abbey with this heavenly mousse. Thick, long lasting, creamy, dense. Aroma: mysterious, deepening with increasing temperature. Chocolate, layers of malt, Viennese coffee, caramel, notes of port. Flavor: the Everest of complexity. Sweet treacle and toffee but not cloying, because a well balanced bitterness, alcohol and spice mixture immediately tempers the first impression. Roasted malt, chocolate chip cookies, caramel sundae topping, hot buttered rum. Let it warm up a bit and discover why people become monks at the abbey breweries. Palate: creamy without being thick. Delightful. Immediately brings up perfect moments: sitting by a fire in a ski lodge after a perfect day on the slopes, reading a book in a European cafe on a rainy night, playing traditional music with friends in a dimly lit pub.
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - MAY 23, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 29, 2008 Aroma: very fruity, red wine, grapes, marshmellow creme, fruit salad scents, grape juice, and carmel malts
Appearance: cloudy, murky brown with a creme head, lacing
Flavor: strong and sour--acidic like that of a good red wine, sharp--like cheddar cheese, sweet vinegar flavors
Palate: smooth with a tart, bitter bite, grape juice aftertaste
Re-rated 2008 at brewery
Aroma: alcohol, brown sugar, raisins, some hay and oats, some sweetness
Appearance: dark brown--]black, off-white head, lacing
Flavor: sweet, raisins, dark plums or prunes, some hay, some smokiness, and minerals/moss
Palate: very sweet almost too sweet, slightly burnt/charcoal aftertaste
Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - MAY 23, 2004
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 19, 2004 Courtesy of Indra and consumed at the very fist Belgianfest for Kansas City. Chocolately, coffee, intense and yet smooth flavoring. I enjoyed this one very much. I can see why this brew is rated as high as it is. Also props to Mjames and Phillybeer, thanks for the trades and it was great meeting you guys. This is a prelimary rating until Iíve consumed a full bottle.
Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled. Iíd been saving this mystical beer for some time, actually since before my trip down under. Reddish brown with sediment and interest. Attractive and interesting, I was many things but most of all intrigued. Sweetness set against rich complex alcoholic elements. Something like a complex single malt. Infused with mineral and ripe fruit flavours. Iíll need to have a few more I think to settle on an opinion I can defend but this is it for now.
PetetheMeat (621) - Hove, DENMARK - MAY 17, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Red-brown ale with beige head. Complex flavour with roasted and sweet malts. Pepper? Banana? Honey (muscovado sugar?). Lactose? Creamy palate. Long finish. An extraordinary and overwhelming ale.
skaughty (627) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAY 16, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 22, 2005 Re-rate
After my fourth tasting in a year, I must downgrade this legendary beer. The consistency just isnít there. Every time the rich cholocate is there. Otherwise, the aroma goes from cobwebs to fresh brewed coffee depending on the bottle.
Surely handling has something to do with this inconsistency. This inconsistency could be attributed to the volume of its complexity, with a new element shining through each time...I just donít really believe that. Still a great beer...just not the best.
To celebrate my 33rd bithday, what else could I request...A 33cl bottle of Westy for my 133rd rating, of course! Best By 25-Nov-05 (18 months old). Iíd like to give all the alluring details, but this one was a *slight* dissapointment. The aroma and appearance are second to none. The flavor is not. While all the complexities are present, roasted chocolate dominates, making this less than ideal for me. The mouthfeel included noticable alcohol burn, without being creamy. All of this seems to paint a grim picture, but really these are just gripes that make me belive this beer is a *tad* underwhelming compared to its reputation (and price).
Boutip (4292) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 14, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle: Poured a deep ruby colored beer with a huge thick foamy dark white head with incredible retention (the head was still in place when drinking the last sip of this beer 30 minutes after the bottle had been opened). Carbonation is really good with lots of bubble at the bottom of the glass and some other ones sticking on the side of the glass. Aroma is comprised of light and sweet roastiness with a nice touch of spice but I could not detect any alcohol. Taste is an almost perfect mix between caramel malts, candi sugar and something else, which might be cinnamon. I was really glad that I could not taste the alcohol since it could have been quite harsh at 10.2%. Wow, what a beer. I originally thought that this might be a bit of an over hyped beer but Iím glad to report that it lives up to all the praises.
Probiere (992) - Iowa, USA - MAY 12, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
This was a total surprise rating. I helped my professor bottle a batch of his homebrew and afterwards as were standing around talking he opens this and pours it round. Zowie! I actually have a bit of allergies left, so my nose is not as good as it should be. Nevertheless, it smells like honeyed sweet-dough biscuits and cream, like raisins and apples and passion fruits, grapes and apricots. Also alcohol. The fruity smells were most apparent, I was hard pressed to get any non-ester malt smells. Looks supremely confident of itself in its shimmering dark brown translucency. Taste is like a sticky bun full of cinnamon, rum, apricots, dates. Sweet muffin dough malts and just a little bit of yeastiness. Finish is chewy and long. This is way more complex than I was up for tonight, but I DO intend to try it again (har, har) and will probably adjust my description. Only detriment was an apparent alcohol taste, but at least it wasnít harsh...it was warm and soothing, but it still tasted like ethanol.
TheDean (786) - MIlwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 8, 2004
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is a great beer, but I have to believe it is somewhat overrated. Actually, the more I have of this, the better it gets. Not bad, but I?ve had better that are ranked lower.