peterstrongale (43) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 3, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hazy warm brown beer with a dens longlasting beige head that leaves a fine lacing. Aroma a is very nutty and malty. it is also rich and has hints of brown sugar, candy sugar, malts, bread, yeast, touches of almonds and port wine. The taste is super smooth and very generous. This beer has it all. It is very malty, the sweetness is perfect and the bitterings of the hops are very complex. Aftertaste is very long, alcohol is well integrated and hop bitters super complex. Westvleteren is hard to get and it is a great beer ! 10/4/10/5/18
rajendra82 (975) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - DEC 2, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2006 The bottle came to me in a trade from BA dogfooddog, and was unlabeled, with a yellow cap indicating a best before date of 08 04 08, making this a little over a year old. As I poured into a tulip, the beer came out murky dark brown and had a two finger thick foamy head. The aroma was spicy-sweet, with the smells of fresh hay, ripe cherries, chocolate, brown sugar, and apple skins detectable. The taste was about as smooth as I have had in a beer of this strength. Sweet tropical fruit and spiced bread like malts interplayed with earthy yeast and spicy hops, and everything was in perfect balance. The beer was somehow robust and delicate at the same time. At this young age the alcohol was evident, but only as soothing warmth. The mouthfeel was oily smooth, and the beer went down very easily and left a sweet aftertaste. Very fine beer indeed.
I decided to drink it side by side with a 2006 St. Bernardus Abt 12 for the sake of comparison. The color of the two was almost the same but the St. Bernardus was much more carbonated. It also smelled stronger, and had a distinctly sour note in the taste that was absent from the Westvleteren offering. The Westvleteren was sweeter and smoother than the secular cousin. Bottom line; can’t go wrong with either of them.
Amaj80HC (13) - 9, BELGIUM - DEC 1, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 17, 2007 Almost every month i get 2 crates.
My experience is that there are huge differences between batches. I suggest that people mention the bottledate. For example 01/07 and 03/07 are way below standard quality. (less carbonation and thus rather dull)
This beer is ... well... awesome good. But people who have diffuculties to find this beer should know that this resembles the "St bernardus Abt". Watou made this beer under license from the end of WW2 until 1992. There is however a difference between a westy of 6 months and a fresh one.
Just recently the monks have limited the visits to 1 car a month. (I know people who managed to go there 5 times (x3 crates) since 14 october 2006), those crates were then exported immediatly. So it will be even harder to find this beer in the future.
PS. I remember the taste of this beer when i was young (’70ies and this beer was made by Watou at that time) Well, it tasted even better ....or did i loose a bit of my tastepotential over time?
spector (906) - Lancaster, Ohio, USA - NOV 26, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma is of dark fruits and belgian yeast.Pours brown with a big tan head.Flavors are complex with belgian candy sugar and dark fruits standing out.Body is very full with a nice alcohol finish.
SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - NOV 25, 2006
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2006 The nose is definitely the winner on this for me. It is literally, never ending - chocolates, wood, tobaccos, creamy caramel, sweet cherries, it goes on and one. Very slight trace of alcohol. Fantastic. Great lacing and creamy mouthfeel taboot. The cherry note seems to take the forefront in the body - followed by smooth plum and banana notes. The fruitiness lingers long into the finish, which is a bit hot. I can definitely see the love for this beer, but isn’t the best I’ve had.
Stew41 (1793) - Woodend, AUSTRALIA - NOV 21, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2009 August 2006 Bottling (Tasted March 2009, 4.1)
Ageing gracefully. Showed lots of powerful toffee, rum and raisen, not at all expected for a bottle with some age. Dried out a touch as the beer warmed up to reveal harder bitter chocolate notes. Even finishes a touch salty Structure is very much in tact although I think the fruit has dropped out a touch due to aging. (score is as per original tasting.
August 2006 Bottling (tasted October 2006)
Ok – the big daddy! Thin creamy head breaks up after 15 minutes. Quite garnet / brown in colour, a little lighter than expected. Sweet malts on the nose show some toffee. The obvious flavour concentration never goes over the top. Big mouthfeel. Whereas the ‘6’ and ‘8’ may have felt a little constrained the beer definitely drops all the shackles. Sweet malts, toffee, cooked sugar, aniseed – plenty happening. Palate structure is less impressive (all things relative), as it delivers the all flavours in a more ‘what you see is what you get’ style (ie perhaps a little forced). Doesn’t really have the obviously layers that a JW Lees Harvest Ale, or, dare I say, Redoak Baltic Porter, delivers. Notwithstanding, this is a great beer. e5.0 @ Afspanning ’t Waagstuk. (Oct 2006, 4.3)
asteele8 (322) - Des Moines, Washington, USA - NOV 20, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Beer #150! I am so excited to finally try this beer. Pours a dark brown color with an nice sized off-white head on top. Looks amazing! Aroma is full of dark fruits, raisins, cherries, licorice, plums, belgian candied sugar, and toffee. Flavor is very complex, all sorts of flavors touch the palate. Raisin, caramel, chocolate, plums, cherries, grapes, yeast, and Belgian candied sugar. A hoppy spicy bitterness at the end keeps the beer from being overly sweet. Wow! This is truly a wonderful beer!
elektronikfagtekniker (891) - kbh, DENMARK - NOV 16, 2006
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
bottle. very dark brown color. medium head. bit carpy. malty caramelly dark fruits aroma. yeasty chokolaty and extremely complex. very thick and rich.
Marko (4180) - Split / Zagreb, CROATIA - NOV 16, 2006
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle courtesy of Ludo from the BC Group (thanks a LOT !)
It looked great. A big, "solid" tan head that dissipated slowly on top of a nice dark brown body. Nose... hmm... honey, malt, chocolate, a weak hint of alcohol, honey, some raisins and coffee. The taste... a lovely malty/sugary sweetness tops it all, but underneath one can find a lot, some hoppiness, caramel, honey, lovely fruitiness coming up from below... like plums with that acidity, only sweeter, just a hint of earthiness, alcohol, sone herbs/spices. Oooh. A chewy hoppiness in the aftertaste. Damn smooth, yeah, velvety is a great word. Yup... pretty much the best beer I’ve had. Not a 5.0... no... the aroma isn’t a 10. But damn close.
rudolf (2342) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 15, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
# 1000, and what a beer it is. HUGE thanks to Mike from Cole’s for allowing me to sample this. Nose is rich malt, toffee, caramel, light english tea, chocolate, yeast, raisin. Flavor is sweet malt, raisin, caramel, chocolate, slightly herbal. Sweet finish with yeast, some alcohol, spice. Amazing. Body is creamy & smooth. No feel of carbonation on the tongue but its there. Rich and wonderful.