cstuartj (1020) - Washington, USA - JUL 6, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 28, 2008 I think I went into this one with overly high expectations. It is an amazing beer, but to be honest I was so hipped up I was expecting some kind of religious experience. What I got was an amazing complex brew that took some serious work to comprehend and appreciate. I tried one and have 3 more cellaring for a year or two to see how they do with some more age.
kumite56 (473) - Cordova, Tennessee, USA - JUL 5, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
OK. Now at least I can die a happy man. I bought this beer over six months ago and have been waiting for a suitable occasion to sample same. The resulting experience was worth the wait. this beer poors a deep mahogany color toped by a nice and large light brown head. The complexity of the beer first makes it presence known in the aroma with a malty and fruity nose present. the tasting experience reveals a cornucopia of flavors. So many wonderful flavors are present that it is hard to single out any specific flavor for evaluation. What a complex and wonderful beer. I did get significant flavors of dried fruit (raisin, dates, plums etc) with some yeast (dough) present as well. Nicely balanced as the moderately sweet initial taste is offset somewhat by an appropriate amount of hops. Alcohol is definately present and adds a nice warming effect. Its presense however is inofensive.
A great soft mouthfeel and perfect palate.
This is truly a great beer. Way to go Monks.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JUL 4, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2007 Finally got my hands on some Westy 12ís. Auburn with a creamy tan head.
Aroma of dried fruit and molasses.
Tastes of yeasty bread, figs, raisins,
molasses. Every sip I taste something different. Extremely full bodied. Like a meal in a glass. Finishes surprisingly dry.
HopsformyHips (113) - Memphis, Tennessee, USA - JUL 3, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Oh what joy and rapture for my tounge, nose and eyes...a truly savory, sensory experience. This simple little dark brown bottle, naked as a jay bird with no lable poured a very attractive clear mahogony brew (be careful however because if you get the yeast in the bottom itíll change the opacity). It had a light brown frothy head, like the foam on a good capaccino. The smell blossoms as it warms like a bouquet of flowers opening in the morning sun (I know, cheesy metaphor, but this beer is the stuff poetry is made of). The aroma had hints of caramel, roasted malt, perfume and herbs in the hops, a dough like yeast, and the darker fruits of plum, prunes and raisins. Every taste bud was pleasurably engaged by the complex array of flavors. A sweet caramel, roasted soy sauce, resin hops, richness of the darker fruits in the aroma, doughy yeast in every sip. The Greeks would use this beer as the perfect example of the "golden mean" for it is very well balanced so no one flavor or smell was overwhelming. There was a warming (yet not offensive) presence of alcohol in the smell, taste and palate. This palate was just awsome. It was like satin sheets on a warm day...smooth, luxurious, yet effervescent. This beer could never become boring...it is definitely a slow sipping companion for any indulgent night.
5000 (6400) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUL 2, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle #400 pours brown, with tan hightlights, large frothy cream colored head, fantastic lacing, with yeasty bits floating about.   Dark pitted fruit, spices, and light alcohol on the nose.   Plums, raisins, spices, and a bit of alcohol on the tongue.   Quite smooth this is.   Maybe a little bit nutty.   Definitely feeling the warming of the 10.2%.   Finishes with slight spices and alcohol.   Yeah, Iíd have another.
veronika (410) - SWEDEN - JUN 27, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark amber, brownish head. Aroma from nuts, honey, salt licorice, spices and syrup. Flavor brings butter, licorice, cream and a lot of different spices. Malty finish. Very good.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUN 24, 2004
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Sampled 3 ozs many years ago, finally a bottle for myself. Iím speechless, thoughtless, donít know what to say. Absolutely the best Belgian Ale I ever had. Deep dark murky brown ale, fluffy off-white head. The nose is so complex with rich buttery dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, fresh bread dough, and a hint of chocolate. Flavor is all of the above with the dark fruit notes of cherry, fig, raisin, and plum dominating. Light chocolate and butter crunch flavors bounce in and out of the dark fruit bowl with grace. Hops are well hidden, but show up ever so slightly as I work my way through the chalice. Full bodied, pillow soft carbonation, smooth creamy, decadent finish. Find yourself a bottle and savor every drop.....
ElGaucho (2319) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JUN 23, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
It is fairly accidental that Westy 12 ends up as my 600th rating. I rated quite a few beers on my recent visit to Chicago and rated them as close to in chronological order as possible. It just ended up that way. 1997 vintage. Molasses aroma with a decent amount of alcohol evident in the nose. Very murky and muddy body. Looks like an ashtray or chewing tobacco spittoon. Very rich and complex flavor. Molasses, plums, dates, apricots. Very smooth and drinkable. Alcohol is very well hidden. Some hops in the background.
mreeves (276) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - JUN 23, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Truly an amazing beer. I finally found it somewhere and despite being pretty hammered (which might be why I was willing to be $18.00 for it) found it to be the most amazing beer Iíve ever had. Appearance is amazing, taste is indescribably good (especially since I only really remember the experience itself) and overall itís really the best beer in the world.
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - JUN 21, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Can this beer really be as good as everyone says? Yes. Truly amazing. It pours a brownish ruby color with an expected creamy tan head. The aroma is an amazing combination of heavy and dark fruits and chocolately goodness. Itís also noticeably sharp and a bit acidic on the nose. Finally, I am able to taste this gem that Iíve heard so much about. What a wonderful sensation. Such a smooth beer, and there is a wonderful nuttiness to this beer coupled with some nicely roasted malt flavors. All of this mixes with the strong fruit and chocolate mentioned with the aroma. The beer finishes great as well. The nutty taste is the last to leave the palate proceeded by an alcohol presence and the previous flavors mentioned. I have to thank my buddy Mike who called me from World of Beer in Tampa and said "Hey, Iím at this huge beer store, do you want me to see if they have anything for you?" I immediately said "GET ME WESTVLETEREN 12". He brought me 3. One recently consumed, two stashed away for a special occasion. This is the best beer Iíve ever tasted. I know believe the hype.