beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - MAR 26, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
The Westy 12 pours a tawny brown and has some dirty brown sediment drippings towards the end of the pour. Settles super opaque as a rosey dark brown color with a finger high crown of dark ivory creamyness, fading evenly and slow to a hazey broken skim and a firm collar hugs the edge of the glass a good portion through the session. Lace quickly slips back in with minimal spots sticking.
Aroma is soft and yeilding, complexing and layered; at it sits a welcoming orangey fruit yeast tone releases over some really nice cookie sugars and waffer light chocolate. Deeper wiffs bring out some darker fruits within of raisin and fig with and soft dry woodish earthyness. Slight phenolic notes emerge here and there as it warms giving it a bit of spice and burn. There's more here then I can really put my nose too. Cocoa filled fruits and light spices is what I can figure. It's very appealing however way you smell it.
Taste has a refined roundness with an encompassing natural tasting softness of fruits, earth, yeast, spice, cocoa, and some slight roastyness. Its quite soft for what seems to be such a big beer. The flavors carry alot of the effects over from the aroma, lending a bit more dark fruits then the smell would lead you to believe is there and they're there in good stature. There's some artfully placed sweet malts throughout that bring out the darker fruits and sweetness bringing in raisin, fig, apple, and touches of banana, oh but there's a bit more that continues to ensue. There's delicately hidden melding of chocolate cookie sugars, bits of yeasty spices, and mild caramel. There's a milding woody earthyness that keeps a small drying presense throughout as well. Again, there's more here then a can put my mouth too and intermingles with the body and feel of the beer. Quite complex and full of softly spoken actions. Very enthusiatic and engrossing to say the least.
Feel is beyond words here. Wow! Amazingly full, yet calmingly smooth and fluffy with a heavenly fine carbonation that continues to give way to the flavors, never too sharp and never too distant. Well rounded, superbly soft, and exceptionally drinkable. Its nearly a meal! It doesn't seem to have 10.8% ABV, its masked very well. One isn't enough, not nearly enough. It's Loftly, noble, sublime, and wonderfully put together.
Joeh (2038) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - MAR 25, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2005 First Rating (March 2004). Limited rating of this so far; I didnít take notes at the time, but I have several more bottles of it left. Alcohol wasnít overbearing, my mouth warmed up to it straight away. Malty with a raisin or grape quality. Sweet, yeasty finish. Brilliant. A better review will follow. Absolute brilliant and gets a perfect five from me. [5.0/5.0]
Rerate, August 2004. Wonderful dark sweet and malty beer with lots of fruit and high complexity 5/5
Rerate, September 2004. At the brewery cafe alongside the 8 cap. They may serve it too cold, but it quickly warms up. Sitting here in the warm sun and in the middle of the Belgian countryside, can beer get any better than this? A perfect combination of a 5/5 beer and a 5/5 location
Rerate mid September 2004. These bottles I have were only bottled a couple of weeks ago - and are so wonderful when this fresh, certainly better IMO than any older example I have had.
Rerate, January 2005. Still wonderfully sweet and malty - but these bottles are almost 6 months old now and were better fresh.
Yankovitch333 (612) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 24, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a thick biege head. Aroma is a bit sweet with fruit and caramel. Really nice full and chewy mouthfeel. Raisins, brown sugar, dark fruits, alcohol, and caramel are right upfront. Nice lingering aftertaste. There's a lot to sink your teeth into, so to speak. A really complex beer that wants you to ask for more.
kbjames (244) - Utah, USA - MAR 17, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2005 This is one amazingly perfectly balanced brew. Tons of flavor, very rich and dark with lots of body. Its amazing that its a beer. Very good dessert beer. Not a good session beer
jables (101) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 16, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a really, really deep dark ruby brown. Head and head retention are impeccable.
Aroma is very strong. I smell sweet malt, brown sugar, raisins, alcohol, dried cherries.
Flavor is rich and full. Heavy with dried fruits all over it with dark cherries coming through. The alcohol makes a cameo appearance but nothing more. The finish is dominated by the flavors of the fresh juice of a blueberry, as if I just took and squeezed a blueberry between by tongue and teeth, accompanied with the bitterness of the berry skin.
Mouthfeel is robust and full.
Drinkability is hampered by two things: the sheer magnitude of this brew, and the $$$$ that accompanies the beer.
FROTHINGSLOSH (4291) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 15, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 9, 2013 I managed to get a bottle of this at the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh back in 2004. I remember not being incredibly impressed but never had a chance to revisit until now in 2013 with a fresh bottle. I remain unimpressed +++ Sampled from an 11.2 oz brown bottle this beer pours a very dark brown color with a huge foamy orange-tan head that slowly dissipates and left good lacing. The aroma was a bit soapy, yeasty and bready with hints of honey, caramel, dark fruits and a bit of a boozy presence.The flavor is tangy, woody and a bit boozy with notes of honey, caramel, fig, cherry and bread. Long finish of caramel, fig and bread. . A solid beer to be sure but really does not live up to the hype. There are many many Belgians that I prefer to this one.
RuleDylan (1) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - MAR 12, 2004 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
probably the best beer in the world ... i was stunned by his great and soft taste. Also the bottle has no logo on it, just no nonsense.
BIGC (29) - USA - MAR 8, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
at 9.99 for 11.2 fl oz, you might think it's expensive. i think 10 bucks is worth tasting a world best. 11-06-06 expiration date stamp on the cap. Beautiful brown black color with a lasting creamy head. Smelled wonderful and tasted even better. soft as a kiss with a bit of spice towards the end. good carbonation throughout and gets better than sex as it warms (almost). so creamy and smooth and sweet with a slight hop kick due to lack of aging perhaps. a must try before you die. enough said, i think i'll have another, does anyone have 10 bucks? oh , the 10.2 % alcohol is by far the best masked ever!!
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - MAR 6, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
3/6/04. Poured out of 330 mL bottle, obtained in trade with Evan Ochsner, 2/19/04. Bottle expiration 11/06/06. Pours a deep, dark, rich amber brown-- some red edges and even a hint of deep purple. Great, dark cream head that lingers in a thin, dense-but-rocky whisp very long; very, very good lacing. Looks stately and just excellent, but I expected a little darker brown, murkier body. This one looks a little young. Nose is rich and decadent-- cake, raisins, a hint of peppery heat, and a touch of vinous sourness and sharp vanilla pungency. Subtle chocolate notes, but I think this is still too young for that malt depth to be fully charged. First sip reveals what it's all about-- very full-bodied with dense, creamy texture. Peppery yeastiness and alcohol heat cannot be ignored, but it's balanced against a backdrop of swirling dark dried fruit and cake flavors. Feels absolutely divine in the mouth. I do feel that the flavors haven't really come into their own yet, as everything is a little too sharp. Finish is very elegant, even despite the apparent harshness of the beer in its relative youth, but is a little too peppery for me-- seems like the yeast. Also a touch of burnt malt flavors way in the back of the finish. Immediately warming in the throat and a little bit prickly. Tremendously long-lasting finish with bits of brown sugar and cake lending some of the big impressions. Mouth-watering and complex, it reveals new layers and just tickles, teases, and toys with your senses-- once you think you have it pegged, you find something new inside. Truly very good, very unique stuff, but I feel that the bottle I had needs to sit awhile to grow into a top 5 beer. The appearance and mouthfeel are already there, but sadly, it needs to round out its maltiness quite a bit. Still, a damn treat whenever I can get it.
TracyC (1) - West Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 6, 2004 does not count
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Best beer in the world. Too bad it's so hard to find. So smooth you don't notice the high Alcohol content. Delicious and addictive.