bitbucket (2159) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - OCT 29, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2013 Bottle shared with after4ewver. Pours a cloudy brown with a big fluffy off-white head. Creamy medium-full body with light carbonation. The aroma is a collection of spices, with cloves and vanilla in the forefront, followed by by caramel and leather. Taste of pears and apples, almost to the point of being like cider, but with the toffee and caramel malt and all that spice behind it. This is a yummy brew.
after4ever (6328) - Brier, Washington, USA - OCT 28, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
12-oz.; thanks (eternal gratitude) to BeachBum25--you ROCK, Jim! Gargantuan tan head over a dark, murky brown body. Big dust, cherry, light green apple, and light horse blanket/funk in the nose. Really alluring, though it doesn’t look like a brilliant-smelling beer in words. Plenty of rich thick sweet malt in the palate--fruity (cherry/apple), slight molasses/brown-sugar-like sweetness from the malt but very subdued. All the big flavor ingredients are there--fruit, sugar, malt, very slight hop colors. Beautifully done--amazing beer.
DJMonarch (9163) - Northwich, Cheshire, ENGLAND - OCT 25, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle at the Prince Of Wales, Foxfield 16/09/2006
Some carbonation. Slightly sour fruit aroma. Mid brown amber coloured strong in alcohol and slightly rich on the palate. Fruity with a little dryness. Bitter and warming malt finish.
strings (377) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - OCT 25, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle (sip) at RBESG 2006. Hmmmm, what can I say about the top rated beer in the world. The sip I had may not do it justice - sweet, malty, caramel, incredibly tasty. Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to re-rate it in the future.
Roberto (3) - Harelbeke, BELGIUM - OCT 21, 2006 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle 33 cl. By friends Perfect !
The greatest belgium beer. Taste caramel/nutty. Balanced perfectly. Like it super !
ChadwickCarey (3) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 19, 2006 does not count
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Best Beer in the World??? What a tough reputation to live up to. I think this is a beer that beer lovers are afraid to rate honestly because they feel their other beer aficianados my have a more sofisticated palate than they have. My honest opinion is that this is one of the top belgian beers that I have tasted. Strangely it is so smooth that I can understand that some (including myself) can not express one defining characteristic to describe this beer. It is in the same class as St. Bernardus abt 12 and Rochefort 10. I still prefer the Rochefort. My recommendation is if you can try it at what you feel is a resonable price you should. However, for those that can’t afford it or choose not to try this rare beer.... you shouldn’t feel like you are left out of the "beer club". If you can try a St. Bernardus or Rochefort you are truly tasting beers in the same class that are as good or better depending on your taste. I will be aging my remaining stock and am looking forward to how this beer will age.
Glouglouburp (6104) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 18, 2006
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 1, 2010 Complete re-write for a very fresh bottle
In short: A decadent Abt. One of the best (if not THE best) of its kind. Lives up to the hype.
How: Bottle 330ml at In de Vrede (pub in front of the Westvleteren abbey). About two months old, bottling date on the cap.
The look: Purple-brown body topped by a medium beige head with medium retention
In long: Intense aroma with earthy dark fruits, tobacco, chocolate and more. That beer has lots of great qualities but its body is my favourite of them all. Big, rich, smooth, creamy, filling. Swimming in this 5/5 body are a ton of malts and juicy leafy hops. Flavors of dark fruits, toffee, milk chocolate, nuts, tobacco, wood, name it! I was very surprised at how hoppy a fresh bottle is. Lot and logs of juicy leafy hops with a medium slightly resinous bitterness. Alcohol remains well hidden until a little bite at the end. Totally decadent. The sad part about being labelled the #1 beer in the world is that you cannot surpass the expectations. It is not my own #1 beer but it will always be in my top 50 nonetheless. It is sad to see that this wonderful beer is circulating a lot but mostly is borderline illegal ways. Very soon we’ll come across suspicious looking dudes going “hash, pot, acid, westvleteren 12, mescaline”.
Sofajoern (146) - DENMARK - OCT 17, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
This really is very, very good. Smooth, full bodied and extremely well balanced without being bland. Almost too perfect. I’d have liked something to stick out about the 12 - so I could say "I really liked the flavour of dates" or maybe something about the aroma of overripe bananas, but it is so nuanced that I really can’t. I’m thinking that a few years in the cellar will improve this considerably. Luckily I’ve got my hands on a few more bottles.
Not my favourite but it might very well be, when I rerate it in a year or two.
Egon (478) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - OCT 16, 2006
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle bought at BeerMania, tasted with a Westvleteren glass together the other two :-) Tasted last of the three and what a beer! The foam is lightbrown with some yellow in it but thinner than Westvleteren Extra 8. Notes of alcohol, it is above ten ABV after all. Tastes of caramel, sweet and very complex. Some fruits and nuts? When the glass was empty, the fragrances was still there for a long time.
Fin (7820) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - OCT 16, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2010 Bottle at The Kulminator, Antwerp, Belgium, 05-10-06. I scoured the beer list, well it was’nt so much a list more like a copy of War and Peace, could I find this mythical beer?The heart rate started to climb, fingers getting twitchy, the other three had decided on their beers "come on Fin what are you having", I started running my hands through my hair and getting more irritable by the minute, it must be here. The lady came over, I asked nervously "Do you have any Westvleteren" without answering she brought a laminated small sheet with a selection of Westvleteren beer back, I gave the others a knowing look and picked the 12. She slowly walked towards me with bottle and glass in hand, I licked my lips, this must have been how Bobby Moore felt when the queen presented him with the Jules Rimet Trophy, and like Bobby Moore I wiped my hands, though on my trousers not shorts and more through sweat than mud. the glass and beer were laid before me and it was expertly poured. I lifted it up and ’hark’ was that the voices of angels belting out ’Jerusalem’? I cradled the glass whilst the others watched intently, slowly I lifted it up, the group on the other table were huddled like a group of Hyena’s staring silently waiting for scaps, I fixed them a steely glance and they cowered back. A delicated nutty aroma, backed up with dried fruits and spices slowly started to fill my nose. The taste was sublime, incredibly full flavoured and complex with some silky chocolate and soft maltiness, some burnt sugar, superb. The place was silent and then I gave them a little nod and a wry smile a triumphant cheer rose to a crescendo. Fantastic, I felt waves of elation course through me, now for the Westvletern 12 1998 A8 A5 F10 P5 Ov19 4.7 I’ve had this a few times since that wonderful day back in 2006, had it at the Westy Cafe 2-3 times, at home 4-5 times and whilst I still consider this a truly world class beer I think that it needs some age on it to be truly excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed that beer then and whilst it was young I think the 1998 Westy I had was even better that day. The bottles that I’ve had since then have all been young, fresh and a bit raw, even dare I say it harsh, the alcohol showing more and without the mellowness of age its just not the same beer. I have a few of these aging now and I will continue to rate it but next time it’ll have some years behind it. A8 A5 F8 P4 Ov16 4.1