Dorwart (2382) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - OCT 9, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice dense, light tan head which reduces to a nice thin foam. Reforms quickly upon swirling. Light carbonation. Nice rich aroma. Plums, raisins, alcohol, caramel and a myriad of other smells in this complex aroma. Bit of cheese as the brew warms. Medium brown/mahagony in color. Huge amount of sediment in the bottle. Very woody in flavor. Soft on the palate with a good bit of malts, alcohol and more fruit. Seems slightly off to me but I canít explain why. Seems, dare I say, like a little plastic in there. Still excellent flavor but not quite as complex as the aroma. Alcohol kind of dominates the palate and may be killing some of the flavor. Finish is warming and a little sweet. I have been holding on to this one for a while to be used as my 500th rating. Thanks to AMX1970390 for the brew. I am a little disappointed with this. A very, very good brew but to me there are some better brews out there.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - OCT 4, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 20, 2005 I brought 6 bottles back from Belgium and decided to open one up to celebrate the anniversary of my birth last night.
Heavily aromatic, complex, winey nose of cherries, plums, currants, caramel and toffee.
Complex, melded flavor. Up front, the beer is lacking in my opinion but does possess notes of cherries and grapes. Mid-palate leans into a brandy-like sweetness, notes of caramel and pepper and finishes with hints of plums and berries. The alcohol is precisely hidden throughout the brew and it simply just doesnít show its potency. That being said, I truly donít find this beer to be all that flavorful and I never have. Itís a great beer but I donít think its the best beer in the world. I can see why others do though.
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 3, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2004 11.06.06 on the cap. Dark brown with a red hue, nice sized dense creamy tan head. Full, almost orgasmic aroma of prune juice, grape skins, tobacco, vinous notes... so much more that I canít describe. Flavor.... just as full. A dry fruity caramel, whisky barrel flavored sweet coffee, vinous prunes, spices, banana. A bit of yeasties in the glass... hard to pick it out in the aroma/flavor though. Maybe its the slight dryness. Sticky mouthfeel... fizzy by the looks, but not so much in the feel (which is good). Warming in the belly... to be enjoyed slowly. Mmm..... I almost feel bad knocking it down slightly... I think I'm just insecure about perfect scores.
Kevin (2098) - New Mexico, USA - SEP 28, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
pours a dark brown garnet with a thick tan head. aroma is a little yeasty and dry. wow, the taste is rich notes of chocolate fruits caramel spices finish is dry and leaves a lingering sweet flavor. this is like drinking silk, or something similarly smooth and exotic in liquid form. this gets so much better as it warms, and i let it the temperature come up before i cracked this. dry fruit taste that is very complex and hard to put to words. this beer is the definition of subtlety.
roomtempbeer (185) - Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 27, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
A special thanks to Jim Dorsch of Vienna, Virginia (Whole Foods Market) for supplying me two cases of this remarkable beer. The bottle is dated "11.06.06" - was very carefull not to confuse 6 with 8, as 8 lacks a solid vertical line on the left side like the 6. This beer pours (in Westvleteren glass) a dark, dark brown-red liquid with a generous one inch thick light caramel colored beige head that dissipates slowly, so slowly leaving a nice sized layer on top. Aroma is of port wine, figs, grapes, plum, faint-pleasant alcohol, berries, dates, malt, yeast. My mouth waters, but I canít tell if it is because of the aroma or simply the anticipation. Flavor is of port wine, figs, all those things and more!! I was expecting quite a bit from this beer - and it delivers. As this beer warms - it hits me - this beer is St. Bernardus Abt 12 with a fruitier nose, and less intense taste, very seductive. Definitely one to drink again and again.
Mathis (48) - KBH K, DENMARK - SEP 27, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The aroma is very wine-like with hints of herbs and madeia, yeast, choco and so on and so on... It has many dimensions! It has a dark body, with a short lasting head. The wildest thing about this beer, is the tast (as it should be) It has a fine and sharp taste of sirup, nuts, caramel, espresso, dark fruits ext. and is sweet, bitter and sour at the same time! A very good beer all taken in consideration!
NYMojoMan (12) - Arden, North Carolina, USA - SEP 21, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUN 27, 2005 I Have Tried all of the Trappists and This one was close to a sexual experience for me!! The Best beer in the world! The complexity in this beer is beyond description and is about a 3 minute taste per sip. I gave this to a friend who is really into wine and said Oh beer is just beer and when he tasted it he said, "this is the first thing that I have tasted that tastes as good as it smells!!Most Profits go to charity. Come on these guys pray for good beer!
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - SEP 20, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a deep ruby brown with thin but long lasting head...my girlfriend said it smelled like melons (she is coming around in the smell department...she said everything from Newcastle to Rochefort just smelled like beer)...I have to agree, though....melons and earth fruits and musty in the nose along with alcohol that became much more clear as it warmed (BTW, I actually broke out a digital stem thermometer for this one)...tasted, well a little disappointing...had I not been hyped up trying to get this for over a year it probably would be ONE of the best beers Iíve ever had...a surprising lack of flavor...earth fruits and alcohol...maybe some pepper...the mouthfeel is what made this one up to me...finish was all alcohol but quite crisp and quick...the Westy 8 is a much better brew I think...
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - SEP 20, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Brown/Ruby Coloring. Thin Ring of Head Around Glass. Prunes..A Bit of Warming...Malt, Herbs and Was Pretty Sweet.....and a MAJOR Disappointment. The Rochefort 10 Laughs in the Face of Westy! Decent Belgian...but not by any means, "The Shit.".
badgerben (4491) - 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! Donít 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).