akinm (282) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 6, 2003
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I loved this beer. White rockey head that dissipated slowly until it was firm lacing across the top of the dark copper body and up the sides of the glass. The aroma was pleasantly restrained, it made me work to name things in it. A slight woodiness sneaks out behind bushels of sweet malts. Esters and alcohol compliment the sweet maltyness with aromas of plums and raisins. The moment this beer hits the taste buds life gets so much easier to deal with. Full flavors develop over long periods of time, right through the swallow and keep going until the next sip. Rich maltyness with plums, raisins, a hint of wood and some well controlled alcohol will swim through your mouth as this silky smooth full bodied delight goes down. The finish is not so much a finish as an intermission because the flavors keep going with a slight acidic note to clean the palate. please may i have another?
edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 5, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
3/05/03: bottle. nice tan head with a small bit of rockiness (patches of yeast atop head.) some lacing. beautiful deep ruby color. raisins and malt in the nose. wow! excellent all around mouth activity, something for each and every taste bud to enjoy. taste: raisins, some woodiness, sweet malt and a tad bit sour. somewhat bitter aftertaste. alcohol taste appears more as this beer warms up. most enjoyable.
bender (293) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - MAR 5, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2004 Poured a murky, dark brown with some chunks. Big and rocky head that diminishes to a nice thin coating. Lacing but not much.
Lots of malt, raisin and yeast in the nose. Very bread like smell. There is also a slight smokiness with the bread.
Holy esters! There is so much going on in the flavor. A big kick of malt and hops is a given. Plums and raisins mixed with a ton of alcohol. There is a single malt scotch undertone too. Maybe it's the wood note others have tasted. Or it's more likely the dark candi sugar (if there is any...). I'm need to cellar a few and see what changes.
Very dry finish that almost leaves a chalk-like feeling on the tongue. Nicely carbonated at cellar temp.
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - MAR 4, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow....and i do mean that with a wow!!!! Definitely worthy of the best beer on ratebeer distinction. Upon admiring our bottles for about a minute or two myself and akinm decided it was time for the opening. It poured a reddish brown cloudy color with spots of ruby and extremely noticeable yeasty deposits. It maintained a wonderful pearly white head which danced marvelous around the glass and had moderate head retention. The aroma was ALL OVER THE PLACE and as it warmed led to SOOOOO much more. Raisins were quite evident, plums and cherries..specifically plums were right there upfront. A Deep malty sweetness..some very old oak aged wood was apparent. I also got hints of a citric apricot or peach, with the ever so slightest hint of alcohol, 10.8% is hard to hide. The taste is unbelievable...only the second beer ive ever tasted that got more complex the more i tasted it. Plums were right there..raisins coating the back of the tongue, sweet sweet vanilla and complex malts caressing the sides of the tongue, oak and slight spicing give it an aged feel, with medium carbonation in the mouth. Something of a bittersweet citric orangey apricot that adds a minor and i mean minor but PERFECTLY balanced citric aspect to counteract the vanilla sweetness. This beer definitely got more pungent in every respect as it warmed, just wonderful in every respect of the word. Aftertaste is fairly dry, like chewing on a vanilla covered orange peel, or apricot skin..just magnificent. World class beer for sure, and a nice choice for beer 250, 1/4 way to 1000!!!
SteC (137) - Oostende, BELGIUM - MAR 3, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer is solid as a rock. I have had Sint bernardus before, wich tastes quite similar, but this one has a much more consistent taste.
tkaufman (129) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - MAR 3, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours cloudy, but a nice thick brown with a bright belgian head. Aroma of toffee and caramel with the usual banana/clove belgian yeast notes. Flavor was very complex with raisin, caramel, toffee, and other malt dominated flavors shining through. Finished a little bit drier, but still complex and never alcoholic despite the strength.
21iceman40 (1732) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 1, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2004 How can one describe this, this beer can only beer experienced. Spices, chocolates, madarins, raisins, peaches, and many other flavors which I have not been able to distinguish. Lots of co2, flavor, this is the prized, the best belgian, and 10.2 percent of alcohol that is virtually undetectable.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 23, 2003
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2005 aroma was reminiscent of tart, chocolate covered grapes or raisins with nice added notes of port wine and the carbination was very lively..Upon first sip i noticed definite cocoa, slight grape or raisin, and an ending that wrapped itself around my brain and squeezed me insane...as I was coming to the bottom of the glass, the flavor twisted to creamy and brownie-like and I was enraged that the experience was coming to an end...Second time: finding all the marvelous flavors of before but now noticed an additional surreal and virtual world of juicy sweet raisins and i could actually see and feel myself chewing on a mouthfull of raisins...3rd Time/Older bottle: i felt that the beer had just gone over the hill and was slowly losing its complexities..4th time: i opened a nice fresh bottle of westvleteren 12 ..I put my nose up to the glass and slowly took the aroma apart into must, chocolate, concord grapes, plums, freshly ground pepper, mildew, toffee, and even more must...Upon my first sip the tastes were just where they ended with my very first bottle with thick chocolate brownies, fresh juicy sweet black plums..you know the ones with the pinkish-orange flesh..the mouthfeel was so silky and so velvety it was like fudge melting in your mouth..a little bitterness makes its rounds near the finish and the aftertaste exhibits the most realistic plum and grape skin astringency that...well..Iím speechless..The alcohol does not make a single appearance in all its 10.2% glory..and every sip gives life to new flavors and all new experiences...last few bottles have not been as complex..so Iíve noticed a lot of inconsistency with this beer, although it is still one of the greatest beers there is. Points deducted for inconsistencies.
stephen (308) - California, USA - FEB 18, 2003
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Extremely carbonated. Dark brown, cloudy with tons of chunks floating in it. Aroma is exceptional - fruit, chocolate, malt. Flavor is complex but very smooth. Mouthfeel is bothersome with all these little floaters in the glass. Some people like the chunks but I'm not a big fan. Flavor and aroma are great on this beer but appearance and palate could use a lot of help.
ultrasonix (15) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - FEB 17, 2003
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Could there be any better than this? i have been fortunate to have friends visit Westvleteren and bring some home, previlaged, the taste is incredibly smooth and ritch a slight hint of almost peach fruityness yet a mellow bitter aftertastes that just melts in the mouth. Make sure your sitting when u try this one.