Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled. Iíd been saving this mystical beer for some time, actually since before my trip down under. Reddish brown with sediment and interest. Attractive and interesting, I was many things but most of all intrigued. Sweetness set against rich complex alcoholic elements. Something like a complex single malt. Infused with mineral and ripe fruit flavours. Iíll need to have a few more I think to settle on an opinion I can defend but this is it for now.
PetetheMeat (621) - Hove, DENMARK - MAY 17, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Red-brown ale with beige head. Complex flavour with roasted and sweet malts. Pepper? Banana? Honey (muscovado sugar?). Lactose? Creamy palate. Long finish. An extraordinary and overwhelming ale.
skaughty (652) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAY 16, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 22, 2005 Re-rate
After my fourth tasting in a year, I must downgrade this legendary beer. The consistency just isnít there. Every time the rich cholocate is there. Otherwise, the aroma goes from cobwebs to fresh brewed coffee depending on the bottle.
Surely handling has something to do with this inconsistency. This inconsistency could be attributed to the volume of its complexity, with a new element shining through each time...I just donít really believe that. Still a great beer...just not the best.
To celebrate my 33rd bithday, what else could I request...A 33cl bottle of Westy for my 133rd rating, of course! Best By 25-Nov-05 (18 months old). Iíd like to give all the alluring details, but this one was a *slight* dissapointment. The aroma and appearance are second to none. The flavor is not. While all the complexities are present, roasted chocolate dominates, making this less than ideal for me. The mouthfeel included noticable alcohol burn, without being creamy. All of this seems to paint a grim picture, but really these are just gripes that make me belive this beer is a *tad* underwhelming compared to its reputation (and price).
Boutip (5183) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 14, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle: Poured a deep ruby colored beer with a huge thick foamy dark white head with incredible retention (the head was still in place when drinking the last sip of this beer 30 minutes after the bottle had been opened). Carbonation is really good with lots of bubble at the bottom of the glass and some other ones sticking on the side of the glass. Aroma is comprised of light and sweet roastiness with a nice touch of spice but I could not detect any alcohol. Taste is an almost perfect mix between caramel malts, candi sugar and something else, which might be cinnamon. I was really glad that I could not taste the alcohol since it could have been quite harsh at 10.2%. Wow, what a beer. I originally thought that this might be a bit of an over hyped beer but Iím glad to report that it lives up to all the praises.
Probiere (992) - Iowa, USA - MAY 12, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
This was a total surprise rating. I helped my professor bottle a batch of his homebrew and afterwards as were standing around talking he opens this and pours it round. Zowie! I actually have a bit of allergies left, so my nose is not as good as it should be. Nevertheless, it smells like honeyed sweet-dough biscuits and cream, like raisins and apples and passion fruits, grapes and apricots. Also alcohol. The fruity smells were most apparent, I was hard pressed to get any non-ester malt smells. Looks supremely confident of itself in its shimmering dark brown translucency. Taste is like a sticky bun full of cinnamon, rum, apricots, dates. Sweet muffin dough malts and just a little bit of yeastiness. Finish is chewy and long. This is way more complex than I was up for tonight, but I DO intend to try it again (har, har) and will probably adjust my description. Only detriment was an apparent alcohol taste, but at least it wasnít harsh...it was warm and soothing, but it still tasted like ethanol.
TheDean (786) - MIlwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 8, 2004
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is a great beer, but I have to believe it is somewhat overrated. Actually, the more I have of this, the better it gets. Not bad, but I?ve had better that are ranked lower.
JK (4961) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - MAY 8, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 27, 2007 Rerate 1/12/2007. More complex than I remember it. This bottle had an "05" on the cap; Iím not sure if that is the "best by" date or not but if this was old, it has aged very well. The alcohol is completely hidden. The aroma is full with plums, oranges, sweet white wine. Flavor is outstanding as well. Lots of sweet malt, and more fruit. There is a vinous quality, some yeast, wheat, fermenting fruits, apple. Cloudy brown appearance, not much of a head and low carbonation. When the bottle is held up to the light, I can see the sediment. When in the glass it is too dark and murky to see any sediment. Thick and heavy palate. I had this bottle so long I almost didnít want to drink it, but Iím happy a few other people had the opportunity to try it. -------- beer is too complex to do the rating justice from my first bottle.
Aromas of malt, coffee, tea, and flowers. Dark brown, a huge white head, and brown sediment. Flavors of coffee, malt, and an herbal taste. Full bodied, but less so than I expected. Very smooth and easy to drink; the high abv is not noticeable in the taste.
A very fine beer.
hopdog (9829) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 6, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2005 From my tasting notes (tasted on 1/14/04); How lucky was I to find a case of this in PA. Expensive ($160/case but well worth it). I bought the case 2 years ago and these tasting notes were on my last one. Poured a beautiful dark mahagony with a small tan head. Initial aromas of maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses and fruits.Soft tastes (sugar, fruits, molasses, prunes, dates, so many tastes coming thru). Alcohol content well hidden. I canít say/put into words the depth and greatness of this beer.
Sully (1377) - Potts Point, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA - MAY 2, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Now is the time. This is number 666, and what better beer than this to be rated on the devilís number? I have had Duvel, as well as Lucifer. Old Nick doesnít make much of an appearance in these parts and so I am left to deal with this one. Why? Read most of the reviews and you will see that this is described as heavenly, as angels crying on the tongue, as a beer made in heaven, as a religious experience made holy by the dedicated men of the cloth who produce this unctuous brew. So I pour this into two small Chimay glasses, as this should rarely be a beer that is savoured on oneís own. In fact my colleague in taste was one who is unique amongst the Ratebeer community. My 18 year old son, of legal age in these latitudes was the willing fellow supplicant in the search for the beer nirvana. Aware of the beerís standing he treated it with reverence in a way that belies his youthful years. And so it came to pass. Said I, let us exorcise the demons so often worshipped when the meter ticks over to beer 666. Two pours were taken, the first without the sediment so that the rich and bright body of the beer could be noted. A deep and lustrous copper hue with creamy head presented itself. And then it was left to settle. For a respectful period of time. From the nose came a potpourri of flavours, plums, grapes and subtle hop aromas. The initial flavour to greet the tastembuds was the intense frutiness from the nose combined with an equally intense breadiness and clear alcoholic mouthfeel. To state it is warming is an understatment but to also state it is the most amazing beer ever is, regrettably, an overstatement. Hell, itís great alright, but it just doesnít put my head into a 360 degree spin either. The devil is cast out, but there could be a chance of his return. Thanks to you Brother Spiesy for delivering this for my holy consumption.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 2, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Appearance: deep, dark burgundy brown, rich as a raisin, with a fine reddish hue íround the edges. Head is towering, huge, off-whitish color, and slow to sizzle down to size.
Aroma:....requires a new vocabulary! Deep, and heady, rich, full of fruit, grapes, raisins, plums, and spices, a very complex blend, soft, but sensual, deliriously so, and delicious, and the more I breathe it in, the more the flavors become pronounced, more is revealed here, pepper, anise, rich mollasses, rum, sweetness compounded by rich dark flavors...
Now to drink...I...um...serious contemplation is required, for I am seriously, honestly, taken aback by the force of, not only the alcoholic content, but the strong, full, bewitching flavor of this incredible ale! It staggers the senses! Honestly, I reel from itís effects and must wait until my consciousness can comprehend what is going on...many layers, many flavors, many ways that this incredible concoction can impact upon the senses.
I feel thoroughly slayed, laid waste, but utterly uplifted in my oblivion! Let the sword fall upon me more often, if the taste is as sweet!
Have I said heavenly already? No matter if I did, itís a truly transmogrific feeling, it is, and I could be in another galaxy, for all I care...fly me not to the moon, nor Jupiter, or the outer stars, but, merely wherever this impossibly exhilirating nectar may blossom...
Now that I have finally downed a simple sample of this much renowned ale, I can only say..."more, please!"