Sven (229) - Lancaster, California, USA - MAY 8, 2003
4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fantastic head, lacing, and carbonation. Try as I might though, I had a lot of floaties in my glass. Ambrosial aroma. I think maybe the most complex smelling beer I have had. However, the mouthfeel was desperately lacking with almost no body and a thin, feeble texture. The flavor was vacuous compared to the aroma and nothing like I was expecting from this distinguished beer that does not live up to it's hype. Try a Unibroue 11 or Epluche-Culotte instead.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 6, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 2, 2007 Bottled on 9/7/2001 sampled 3/2/04: Cloudy brown with some sediment and a nice lacing head. Big caramel complex malty aroma. Bready sweet body has some dark fruit complexity and crisp dry balance. Hides its alcohol well. A nice beer, but I still prefer the Westy 8 or Rochefort 10.
5/6/2003: Pours a murky dark brown with a thin, lightly lacing head. Musty wood and malt aroma with notes of alcohol. Light chocolate flavor with some caramel and a moderately bitter finish. Silky, effervescent body terminates with a soft alcoholic burn. This is a good Belgain ale, but I was not as impressed with it as its rating shows. I guess you come to expect a lot out of the highest rated beer on the site.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 1, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thick head fades to leave mohagony , brownish beer. Alcohol tickles the nose. Beer has one of the best mouthfeels I've experienced, like velvety somehow. Light bitterness. Raisins, dark fruits, and bready. Finish is dry and toasty. A very well crafted beer, but still not my favorite of all time.
JorisPPattyn (7675) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - MAY 1, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
VERTICAL TASTING WESTVLETEREN 12. Beer A: recently purchased, BBd:07/02/06, 10.2 ABV, Beer B: BBd:17/04/99, 11 ABV, Beer C: purchased 10/87, "Cat. S", no BBd, no ABV mentioned. Points above are for the youngest version, beer A.
Colour: (A) dark brown, reddish shine, thick brown head; (B)deep dark brown, reddish shine, hazy. Slight brown head, disappearing. ; (C) deep brown with reddish shine, no head []. Nose: (A) dark malts, blue cheese, wood, restrained hops; (B) creamy, dark malts, dried dark plums, chocolate, some madeirisation, biscuits ;(C) caramel, portwine or madeira, cow dung (truly!), vineous, raisins, chocolate []. Taste: (A) roasted & dark malts reign. Excess sweetness is gone already, but enough sweetness left, chocolate cake; (B) roasted malts, chocolate cake, biscuit, crème de noix, walnut oil, madeira, dried fruit, vineous ; (C) portwine, old sweet Sauternes, vintage sherry, woody, dark, ripe fruit, restrained sweetness, slight roasted malts []. Mouthfeel: (A) very chewy, complex; (B) very chewy, extremely complex, alcohol ; (C) thinner mouthfeel, drier, infinitely complex, fusel alcohols [] Aftertaste: (A) long lasting chocolate, sense of fulfillment; (B) big fruity aftertaste, full of tantalising glimpses of forbidden fruits [Overall:19]; (C) more old sherry-like aftertaste, but again, infinitely complex [[Overall:19]] It is obvious that the older this beer gets, the more complex it becomes. BBdates are bleedin' nonsense in this kind of beverage. I think the beer (B) is the youngest one should drink it. The difference between (A) and (C) is hughe, yet both are, qualitatively speaking, world-class.
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - APR 30, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I consider myself lucky to have this beer for my 100th rating. Thanks urbnhautebourg! Awesome chocolate, raisen floral aroma. Very subdued. Purple-Black color with tan thin head. WOW! I believe this is the smoothest most drinkable beer I've had. Beer seems to melt in my mouth and burst with flavors. Great finish that makes me warm inside.
AxeMaster221 (343) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 27, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Lovely color, tight white head, and intense aromas that need to be smelled to be believed. Lots going on here, malt, chocolate, fruity esthers,toffee.... very lovely, wish it wasnt so hard to find here, or so expensivc.
haukur (1164) - Reykjavik, ICELAND - APR 27, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 24, 2013 ratebeer.com is finally back :) so lets begin again by rating one of the world best beer, the westvleteren 12. I knew this was going to be a bit special and it was. I havent smelled a trappist that smell so good, what an aroma! nice thick little head and the taste was excellent, hints of malt, toffee, cocoa and more just filled my mouth.. very very very nice beer and I´m looking forward to having this again! (re-rate: a six year old vintage, same charachteristis, a bit overly sweet and yeasty, very sticky. Thick dark chocolate, coffee, fruits (bananas?). Sticks to your tongue, nice lingering moutfeel - rating 4,4)
radiomgb (2143) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - APR 22, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Deep brown in colour. Creamy aroma with raisins, toffee, malts, plums. Flavour of malts(lots), plums, toffee. Finishes soft and very smooth without much alcohol flavours.
Darkover (1511) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 11, 2003
4.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Dark brown/amber color with a big head. Aroma of plums and raisons. Flavor of nuts, berries, and ??? Finish is dry and a little acidic.
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - APR 10, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Very nice dark amber color.Nice tan foamy head.Nice tiny carbonation bubbles spiraling there way to the top of my mug.Some what sweet malt aroma with a slight hint of yeast,and some hints of fruit,that smell like raspberry,or cherry,also a very slight hint of alcohol that i didn't detect until i gave this wonderful solution a swirl in the mug.Flavor was much better then i thought,lightly malty,some cherry,raisin, more tastes then my unprofessional palate can put a finger on.There seems to be a slight citrus tone to this that seems to come through when the carbonation hits your tongue.This is truely a smooth brew,very complex,big on flavor with a after taste that is mildly bitter but turns to a lightly sweet dark coffee taste.This is more beer then i deserve,and should almost be reserved for the really well versed in the tasting world.Nah ,that would be insane if you have the means to get this brew do it,it will be well worth it.