kujo9 (1094) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - DEC 26, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
First of all, props to Slikwily for the 1999 bottle of this beer for the Secret Santa. I was surprised that is had a very small light beigish head, but I'm guessing it was knocked down by the alcohol; the body is a nice even coppery brown color. Wow! What a plethora of aromas to be taken in all at once. "Do you know what a plethora is?" Malty, bready, yeasty, apple juice, raisins, a light malt whiskey, hints of buttery oak and caramel. Plums and raisiny malt flavor start things off, then caramel and dates! It's very well balanced with a malty finish; the aftertaste is malty smooth with a light roastiness. A little woody flavor and light hop flavor makes their way into the finish as well, as well as a hint of vanilla. I'm still waiting for the alcohol to show up! Very smooth mouthfeel, so smooth it's only lightly warming and has a full body with low carbonation. Also probably another reason for no head. Merry Christmas to me!!!!! Again, thank you Slikwily for this phenomenal beer! I think someone forgot to tell those monks to put alcohol in this because it is barely noticeable making this a very dangerously drinkable beer. In the immortal words of Ferris Beuhler, "if you have the means, I highly recommend it, it is so choice!"
EdPaulsen (117) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2003
4.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
paid 12$ for a 10oz bottle, though at the cafe de vrede across from the abbey the were charging 1.25$! wonderful sweet, rich taste with big sediment pieces. not much hop taste...a great beer, but i'm still amazed that everyone likes it THIS much.
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - DEC 23, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours with a large tan head that quickly fades to a thin layer that remains for the rest of the beer. Aroma is very raisiny with some other dark fruit, a slight mild chocolate, and a noticable but not overpowering alcoholic vapor. Flavor is raisiny with a slight chocolate and a slight coffee and a mild alcoholic warmth. Body is medium to full and the palate is very creamy. It is a very drinkable beer.
envane (568) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 21, 2003
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Oh, it was good. Not the best I've had though. Taste is a sweet assault of raisin/date/fig and other stuff, very complex. Aftertaste is, oddly enough, kind of bitter. It doesn't hide its alcohol well, especially as it warms - probably the biggest flaw. I'd have it again if it were not $11 a bottle.
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - DEC 9, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2005 No doubt, this beer is amazing, but the more good beers I try I discover that, to me, it is not the best beer of the world.
Pours a dark brown body with a fine reddish glow and a foamy tan head! The aroma is very full and complex. I smell a basket full of fruit, plums, raisins, toffee, yoghurt etc. Flavor is just as full-bodied and complex. Sweet fruity with millions of things I can even describe here! Soft, smooth, full, heavy and complex...excellent!!
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle dated 01-14-06 Poured a cloudy murky brown with small beige head and light lacing. Aroma is decadent. Malty caramel, spicy and big notes of sweet cherries. Body is full, smooth and delicate on the tongue. Possibly the most smooth ale I've experienced. The flavor of this beer is also one to savor and combined with the aroma is one that's hard to beat. That's one thing about this ale I found most impressive. The in your face aroma with the flavor is an onslought of your senses. The malty caramel and fruit flavor leads to a gentle warming sensation towards the middle of the glass. I'm glad I finally had a chance to sample this wonder, but at a price of $13 a bottle it's one I won't enjoy often. The only downfall of this brew.
vector (163) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 5, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ok, my favorite beer types are strong ales and stouts, but I can see this beer as deserving of the 100 percentile position at ratebeer. Sweet, luscious, rich, aromatic, complex. This will not dissapoint.
MrDick (351) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 3, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
After telling a dangerous vixen about the top rated beer in the world, she batted her eyes and whispered sweet promises if I opened a bottle for her to try. At first, she wasn't too impressed as the lager was too cold for the complex flavors to blossom. I stole the glass from her unsuspecting hands and told her to wait - all her desires would be fulfilled in time. Minutes passed, the sweet expectations driven by the site of the beads of sweat slowly dripping down the glass. The lager warmed and she took another sip. Her eyes widened. Her mouth opened and words tumbled from her quivering lips. I could only smile as she muttered words describing the amazing port flavors, ripened with fruit and covered with chocolate, lingering with spices and coated with molasses.
NathanJ (42) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 28, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
dark amber tan head, blah blah... smell is amazing, dark fruits, malt, alcohol. tastes far too complex for my pallate, but it's like getting your ass kicked by a supermodel, you don't really understand it, but you love every second of it. the answer to anyone who has ever claimed that brewing is not an art.
sayravai (4677) - Helsinki, FINLAND - NOV 28, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2008 (2005 bottle sampled 12/2008) Aroma of raisins and dried plums, anise, saltiness. Salty-anisey flavor, lots of dried fruit, quite intense, sweetish maltiness, slight sourness, orange-peel and anise in the finish. Medium body, no alcohol presence.
(Bottled, BBE 09/2007, sampled Dec 27, 2005) Smooth, syrupy aroma of raisins and plums, plus anise hints. No alcohol. Very malty, syrupy, smooth-anisey flavor with soft, warming alcohol hints. Some sticky-sugary bitterness. Quite full-bodied, silky-smooth-carbonated palate. Already considerably better than the fresh (06/2008) bottle I compared this with. Will probably get much closer to 5 by more cellaring...
(Bottled, BBE 09/2007, sampled Dec 19, 2004, was 8-4-9-5-18=4.4) Dark reddish brown color with a medium, beige head. Slightly roasted, malty and alcoholic aroma with licorice and some coffee hints. Sweetish, malty and wineous flavor with some salty soy-sauce, fruit, anise and other herbs. Quite full-bodied, smooth and slightly alcoholic, very warming palate with a somewhat high, but balanced carbonation. A very nicely balanced, complex, but a bit alcoholic brew. A few years of maturing would probably do good for this one.
[Old re-rate Feb 4, 2004, was 3.7 before this] Dark drown color, no head. Wineous, a bit alcoholic cocoa aroma. Very full-bodied, wineous, peppery flavor with plenty of herbs (anise). Heavy stuff! Needs to mature more to soften the flavor, but very good anyway.