Fin (8332) - 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 wasínt 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 íharkí was that the voices of angels belting out íJerusalemí? 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 Hyenaís 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 Iíve 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 Iíve 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 itíll have some years behind it. A8 A5 F8 P4 Ov16 4.1
Skidds (252) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 15, 2006
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 11, 2006 Iím very happy to have the privilege to try this beer. Thank you Belgianshop.com! I constantly wonder why, or how drunk I was to be online and felt it justifiable to spend 25$ for a bottle of this all the way from Belgium but when I look at the scarcity of it, the 1# rating, and what a change it was from other beers Iíve tasted, Iím kicking myself for not ordering more. This beer is at the top of its class, and rightfully so. There is so much going on in this beer itís hard to describe. Every sip is different. Chocolate, raisons, and roasted caramel stood out most when I tasted it. Brilliant long lasting head, and gorgeous overall appearance. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on it. From what I understand, almost the only way to purchase this beer is to stand outside the monasterie in Westvleteren Belgium and pray the monks wish to distribute any that day.
Phil (180) - Kent, ENGLAND - OCT 9, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
So, the best beer in the world? Well, it gave me my first emotional experience with beer, back in 1999! Iíve had the priviledge of sharing this beer with many many friends, Iíve probably given more of this away than Iíve drunk? Why? It is simply sublime, that fruity dark flavour, sweet, yet dry, but itís that saline finish that for me seperates it from Rochefort 10. Best drunk, with friends, at In De Vrede.
gladstone (23) - NORWAY - OCT 6, 2006
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Finally, I got the chance to drink "the best beer of the world". A friend of mine hand it over from an outlet in Copenhagen where he had to ask in an extremely polite manner to please buy two bottles, one for him one for me.
Iíve had it in my celler for quite some time and today I drunk it.
And what can I say? First of all, itís good. Very good. These monastery guys really know whats beer all about. Fruity, dark flavour, its got it all. I understand why beer lovers really love and love and love this beer over and over again.
However, for me, itís too much of everything. I loved to drink it, I loved to smell it, I loved to feel it, but I didnít love to feel its incredible taste. Not that it is not excellent (cause it is) not that it is not perfect (cause it probably is) but the hype is bigger than the beer from my point of view. It is objective fantastic, but subjective only GREAT.
I had problems finish it, probably mainly due to my love for not that complexe beers.
Still, what can I say? Itís what beers all about, but still too much of a really good thing.
As you probably understand, the beer puts me in a total duality of a fantastic experience and a feeing of drinkability and enjoyment. It was like "Shit, this beer is gooooood" with a grimmy face.
Thx munks, but youre not my first choice and probably never will be.
BeerandBlues2 (10786) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 3, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle received via SecretSanta. Pours deep mahagony, slightly cloudy, with a medium sized creamy light tan head, somewhat diminishing to more rocky head with some spotty lacing. Aroma is caramel roasted nutty malt (biscuit, meal), yeast (dough, earth), some straw and floral notes, alcohol at the end, perfumey as it warms up. Medium acidity that grows as the alcohol continues to singe the tongue, well balanced malt and yeast flavored body, a hint of hops (floral) with some earth notes, overall a very good flavor, nothing offensive. Full bodied and warm, fizzy palate with some lively carbonation though still pleasant. Overall a very good beer, but it is not "perfect" in my humble opinion.
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - OCT 3, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
I finally got my hands on this beaut. Typically when I taste a beer I pick out flavor spikes - pine, oak, smoke, etc and highlight them in my rating. What made this beer so intriguing was that the flavor profile was almost perfectly round. No single flavor within the spectrum of caramel/nutty/woody etc really stood out, everything blended and balanced perfectly.
Mouthfeel was soft and round, very soft small carbonation, complimenting the flavor profile. Nose was spicy/floral/woodsy/root beer.
While I canít say this is my personal favorite beer in the world, I certainly can agree that this may be the best crafted beer in the world, and so have no remorse giving it a big rating.
And... I canít wait to open the next 5 bottles over the next 10 years :-)
jetzler (622) - oklahoma city, Oklahoma, USA - OCT 3, 2006
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2007 Bottle 53F Trappist. Light banana aroma, with a touch of black licorice, a touch of chocolate. A very cloudy dark, dark brown color, with a tan head that lasts. Heavy fusil tastes, very big tons of raisin, maybe dates too, finishes with warm bread plenty of alcohol as well, with a bit of corn flakes at the end. Sweet taste almost no bitterness. The date on it was 26.04.09 maybe I should have let it set for a year or two. That would have made for better balance. Really big bananas and good bready malts. I think I drank this bottle too soon. I should have given it a few more months or years, it tastes a lot like my homebrew and that really disturbs me. Good palate light but tons of carbonation. A good brew just consumed too soon, damn I have no patience.
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 2, 2006
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2006 Number 500. Cap dated 08-03-09. Ross generously gave this to me as a surprise on our first trade. I had been trying to get this for awhile. Thanks BP! Pours a muddy brown, murky with sediment, with a lasting creamy camel head. The aroma is not very aggressive on this bottle, which is faint sugary plums and cherry. I really expected more out of the aroma, along the lines of a Rochefort 10. Creamy and slight evervescent mouthfeel. Initial flavor of yeast, dried fruit...very earthy. In the middle I get some licorice and cinnamon. This transitions to a slight bitter and warming finish. I was expecting the alcohol to be hidden, it does come out in the finish.. As it warms, more brown sugar sweetness creeps out. Great beer, no question. Worth the hype? Perhaps, but not in my book. Definitely not worth paying the absurd prices from Belgianshopo or trading away your beer cellar. Get a Rochefort 10 or St Bernardus Abt 12 and keep the extra money. But thanks to Ross for giving me a chance to try the holy grail.
Grovlam (4166) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - SEP 24, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2006 This is the top beer in the world, out of all the beerís that I have tasted. 29-09-2006 second time I have tasted this great beer. I was overwhelmed even more then the first time.
Aroma malt was clear caramel, bread. Some raisin and licorice like aroma. Notes of fig and plum as well. Amazingly complex aroma. Appearance was likewise incredible and very pleasing to have in the hand. Color was dark and yet golden like notes. Liquid was light sparkling, but very pleasing sparkling taste in mouth. Head was brownish. Flavor was heavy sweet but in a good way. Slightly bitter, but nothing overwhelming. Just enough to hold the sweet taste in balance. Sour flavour was very light. Maybe a bit of salty notes in the middle. Palate where the body was full full fullÖoverwhelmingly full and rich. Texture was thick and oily and creamy like. Carbonation is soft and the finish just levees you with the longest and greatest finishes ever. What a world class number one beer. This is why I drink beer; it can be such an amazing experience. Just think I have two more at home........wow
cewldre (268) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 22, 2006
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Thanks to IMtheOptimator for this one. Bottle: WOW!! Pours dark in color and smells of some chocolate strawbeery type flavors, with maybe, dare I say, a hint of some sort of meat smell. Taste is incredible. A bit of creaminess with just a taste of bitterness. Very fruity in flavor. This beer deserves itís top spot well. Simply incredible.