Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - JUN 28, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2006 Saw all the talk about Westly 12 lately, so went to a rerate, just different year.
2002 bottle- Many of the same characteristics Yeast, rum, figs, and raisins are there. Palate is incredibly smooth, very different from the 98 bottle, but also on the room temp side. The complexity change alone as it warms is remarkable. Truly sets the bar for all other beers.
1998 bottle -
Careful pour, just enough for a small head which recedes slowly. Dark brown with ruby hues.
Aromas of nougat, sweet bread dough, rum, and figs. More complex every second, but cant hold off on my first sip.
Doughy, yeasty, the layers keep coming through. Midway malt prominent with subtle hints of pastry and overripe prune. Almost a bit cloying, my only complaint. Carbonation is a bit on the low side which might explain the mouthfeel.
Finishes long. Lingering toffe/doughy tastes coat your tongue just to tease you that its all gone...
As it nears the bottom of my glass, I know that it is a beer like no other. A few beers in the world fit into this category, and most are at the top of the charts. No mistake this being one of them.
BlueDevil0206 (122) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 28, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. Pours a deep, but penetrable, brown with red edges with a small white head that dropped quite fast. Aroma was of candy and dried fruits: raisin, cherry, figs. Some bready malt and caramel sweetness also came through in the nose. Flavor was sweet of crystal malt and Belgian candy sugar, with tons of fruitiness and spice. Hops were there for bittering but only bittering as I got none in the flavor. Alcohol was more apparent than I think is reasonable, both upfront and in the warm finish. Body was moderately thick and it went down smooth with slightly more carbonation than I would have liked. Not number 1 in my books....or 2....or 3.....or 10.....
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 27, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle 33cL. I was sitting around at a tasting Sunday, when we were about to start up the main event (side by side Dark Lord vs. Speedway). Glenn (a beeradvocate fellow) was about to leave after the imperial stout showdown, so he generously interrupted us and said, "Hey, before we move on, is there anyone here who hasn’t had Westy 12." A couple of us, myself included, replied, "Why no, Glenn, why do you ask?" At which point he proceeded to pull an unlabeled, yellow-capped bottle of this from his cooler, crack it and serve. Helluva guy. Dark brown pour, with little whilte head. Aroma is initally alcohol dominant, but gives way quickly to immense amounts of dried fruits. The yeast esters are just incredible -- cherries, dates, figs, but mainly raisins. Spices come through, too. Cloves and nutmeg mix in with the alcohol. The flavor is equally complex and interesting. Raisins dominate, but there are massive amounts of other dried fruits begging to be identified and savored. Caramel malt is there in force as well. Unfortunately the alcohol flavor is as strong as the alcohol smell -- it has to be looked past. The mouthfeel is oily and thick, but the alcohol keeps it clean on the finish. I docked its aroma and flavor for the over-present alcohol, and the overall simply because I’m not sure it lived up to the incredible hype of the world’s best. Incredible, absolutely. World’s best, not quite.
Papsoe (25083) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUN 27, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2009 (Bottle 33 cl) Dark brown with only a small beige head. Extremely complex with notes of plums, raisins and perhaps some chocolate as well. Starts sweetish but ends with a fig-like driness. Hops are present but only to balance things, they never dominate. Westvleteren 12 is a revelation, a truly heavenly experience - the kind of beer that explodes with flavours in your mouth giving you new impressions each and every time. And if you store this it only gets better. More a meal than a drink. Excellent, excellent. 100398
GarethYoung (1109) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - JUN 26, 2005
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2006 [bottle from Magic_dave6, thanks :D] Pours a deep brown colour with a large tan head. Nose is complex with plums, raisins, figs, nutmeg, brown sugar, choclate and a little alcohol which does not tell its 10.2%. Body is huge and oily, with an enormous dry finish. I hate to go with the masses and say this is my favourite beer, but i cant help it, i just really like quads **sigh**
theacelatrain (262) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 25, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I found one of these at Pivni Galerie (www.pivnigalerie.cz) in Prague. I’d read about it on ratebeer, and Petr, the owner, couldn’t tell me enough about it. Tastes sweet, of raisin, rum, fruits, you name it. Masks the alcohol quite well, not too sinewy. Although I liked the 8 better, one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted.
DonMagi (5596) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - JUN 19, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2007 Well, well, i managed to get 3 of these bad boys after about 4 months of trying. It is hard for me to discribe fully what this beer is like, The aroma is like, rich deep amazingness that is very similar to all the trapist ales, malt and sweet and dark fruits. Taste, mmmmmmmmmmmm, the taste. Rich sweet, fruits, citrus, rum and raisin, malt, alcohol, and about 40 other things ever second. However, i cant help but think its lacking something, more body i think. This is a very very good beer, your can drink a few of them too, if u can get them, unlike alot of quad’s. Pleased to have been given the opertunity to try it and will be aging the other 2 for a while, to see what goodness i can get out of that. RERATE: Having had it numerous times now i think its a decent belgiun ale but nothing that is really worth getting excited about.
sabbac (3) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 14, 2005 does not count
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Absolutely amazing! Thick, smooth, full fruity flavored. Lived up to all the hype, even after it took me 3 years to find it.
mds (2240) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 13, 2005
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle. big thanks to a friend of mine for sharing. burgundy-ruby coloured body with a plush white head. incredible complexity in the aroma - plum, cherry, raisin, and a subtle tartness in the forefront. this was tasted at just the right temperature - probably around 15C. phenomenal rich malty flavour with loads of dark fruit and comforting alcohol in the background. This is perfectly drinkable, all components are well married. Definitely worth the hype and I hope to be able to try it again.
Ughsmash (7184) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 11, 2005
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle @ the Map Room. This lived up to all of my expectations! Deep murky-brown pour with about 1/2" of well-sustained creamy off-white head. Aroma left nothing to be desired... dark fruits (plums, raisins), tannins, bread/yeast, spices.. The wonderful complexity makes the taste buds work overtime to appreciate this brew. Starts vinous, and works through the yeast and spices to the raisins and honey as it makes its way to the throat. Creamy & coated the mouth perfectly. Wonderful lengthy vinous finish.