badgerben (4385) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - SEP 20, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2013 Third Rate, Jan 13, 2013: Courtesy of Skyview, this is a bottle from the recent official four pack set. Brown color with a large head. Malty and lightly herbal aroma. Much the same for flavor. This run seems to be between my previous ratings, and closer to the first. None of the typical yeast or herbal/spice character. No hops, no nuts... sigh. 7/4/7/4/15 (3.7)
Re-Rate Jan 13, 2006: Many thanks to JK for sharing the holy grail. Now my original rating was pretty down on this beer and though my opinion has gone up, I still do not think it is the "end all be all". Still the same murky brown color with a thin tan head. Aroma is outstanding. A complex blend of herbs, spices and dark fruits. The taste is great, yet subdued. Velvety grape, sweet malt and Noble hops. Very fine, but to compare with Rochefort 10, much of the taste is the same yet much more subtle. While subtle can be a good thing, in this case, I think it robs the beer of true greatness. 8/4/7/4/17 (4.0)
Original rating Sept. 20, 2004: Pours a dark amber color with no head. Looks beautiful, like a scotch or brandy! Aroma is... a little bland. Just a few hints of barley for the upcomming joy. Oh well, first sip! ... What? Where the hell is the flavor? This has mild hits of barley and malt with a bit of spice and bread, but barely recognizeable! Don’t get me wrong, this is a decent brew. The best in the world? Are you kidding me? The monks who are bottling this bland beer and eventually peddling it to me at $8 a bottle are laughing all the way to the bank. What a joke. 7/4/6/3/13 (3.3).
Goblincat (381) - Westland, Michigan, USA - SEP 18, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sampled from bottle chilled to around 55 degrees. Pours darkreddish-brown, thick fluffy white head with lots of lacing. Wonderful mouthfeel... extremely smooth and it seems to just dissolve in the mouth. Great mix of tastes, with pepper, spice, malt, coffee, toffee, plum, a touch of hops and brown sugar. Very intense experience, worthy of being called one of the world’s best.
jon112981 (327) - Bristow, Virginia, USA - SEP 17, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
aLl I can say is wow. Dark, almost no head. Smels of malt with a fruity hint. It tastes kind of sweet. The finish of this reminds you of how strong it is. Easily the best of the Trapists. There is no way to describe the taste in words. It is something that is an experience and must be had. The flavor just makes you want more.
JonMoore (1840) - Loughborough, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - SEP 15, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 19, 2005 Bottle from Onlyfinebeer (02.06.07). Poured a murkey dark brown colour, with an initially huge beige head, which is slowly reducing, down to a nice constant layer. Aroma is great and complex; dark fruit, caramel, malt spices and more. Taste is....very complex and very nice. Sweet malt, raisins, plums, port and more. The more you drink the better it gets. Creamy, smooth, full bodied, slightly carbonated. Great lingering aftertaste, noticable but by no means overpowering alcohol. Fantastic!
DocLock (7682) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 13, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A gigantic thanks to Degarth for this (and he sent me 2 more!!). Pours turbid dark brown/ruby, with a big, creamy off-white head. Aroma of malt, dark fruit, some hops. Tastes malty, with layered dark and light fruit, including prunes, cherries, apples, pears, dates, and brown sugar. Medium palate, with a very complex, smooth finish. The finish was also crisp, slightly dry, very fruity, extremely velvety smooth. This is a very good beer, with extremely well hidden alcohol, and an exquisite finish. As it warmed, more pronounced fruit emerged like the swollen labes of a Geisha girl. A marvelous beer......not in my upper echelon, but marvelous.
igel (196) - New Mexico, USA - SEP 1, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Presentation: euro size brown bottle. No label. Yellow cap with freshness date: 24/02/07
This has been my holy grail of beers for over a year now. High expectations abound. Pours a deep red/brown color with no signs of co2 other than a nice large tan head. The head diminishes relatively quickly and leaves a nice creamy layer. Lace clings to the glass. The aroma is rich and earthy; malt and dried fruits, plums and spices. Hints of bubblegum and candy sugar. Flavor has a sweet start with quick effervescent spreading (rolling) of a dry metallic hop bite. Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy and surprisingly effervescent.
Flavor appears one-dimensional at first, but becomes obviously more complex and mellows as it warms. More dry than I had expected. A great warming sensation and a nice buzz that seems to come only from the Trappist brews.
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - AUG 28, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle from 2002. I’m hard-pressed to actually come up with descriptions that will do this incredible beer justice. Chestnut brown, tan head, lots of suspended particles. Big aroma, dark fruits, ginger, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, nuts, and some banana. Full rich flavor carried across by a wonderfully velvety palate. Just the slightest bit of warming, creamy, long finish. Thoroughly impressive in every sense.
bu11zeye (11925) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - AUG 27, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 15, 2009 ( 33cl bottle, numerous bottles, various vintages) Pours a deep burgundy with a large beige head. Beautiful boutique of aromas; prunes, molasses, nuts, sweet malt. Flavors of sweet malt, roasted nuts, raisins, and gingerbread. Long flavor duration. Creamy palate. Alcohol nicely covered up with the rich flavor. Impressive!
bierchik (95) - lakewood, California, USA - AUG 26, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
this was too sweet for me, aroma & taste was fruity & sweet w/hints of chocolate & coffee, was only able to sip this, which the tasted stood w/you for a while i still thought it was good, just couldn’t drink to much of it.
davidflores99 (225) - Long Beach, California, USA - AUG 23, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Thanks to Jcalabre for this one! Even though this beer was too sweet for my liking, it was still an exceptional brew, and I can see why this beer got such a high rating. From the first sip, the flavor was instant, very sweet and fruity, with a smooth finish. These monks know what they’re doing.