clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 10, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The beer gods have smiled down upon this brewery. Absolutely the most satisfying beer that I have ever tasted. It pours a dark and murky brown with hints of red and an impressively large head that dies down quickly. The aroma reminded me of a barley wine with a lot of fruity scents and a hint of alcohol (I'm not a fan of Barley Wines, so I was hesitant). The flavor was incredibly complex. The flavor is so incredibly smooth that I was in shock (considering the aroma) I think I notice a hint of chocolate in the taste as well as some different fruits and a couple spices. The mouthfeel of this beer is extremely smooth and satisfying. I could drink this beer all night long - although I'd probably not last more than three because of the alcohol. Again, this is THE best beer I've ever had and I would recommend it to anyone regardless of the $8 per bottle price.
Shag (2668) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - MAY 9, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 4, 2006 Aroma is of pears, spices, and alcohol. Apperance is brown with a ruby tint. Flavor could best be summarized in a 12 page essay after no less than 20 different samplings, but considering the limited space I will do a brief summary....Chocolate covered raisins, darker fruit is present maybe plums or dates, caramel, and other things I cant pick apart very easily. Its like trying to pick out every single instrument in a symphony. It goes down smooth with an alcohol warming effect. This would be an excellent way to warm up on a cold night. Palate is spicy, fruit filled, and tingly. I’m a hophead by nature but for this style of beer, by god, you cant and wont go wrong. Go to whatever means to obtain this beer!
Eirikur (374) - hafnarfjordur, ICELAND - MAY 8, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2003 Very nice brew, I was actually a bit surprised to taste the hopps in the aftertaste, it was a surprised, I just wasnt excpecting it.
I´m gonna order some of these soon from Belgium.
Sven (229) - Lancaster, California, USA - MAY 8, 2003
4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fantastic head, lacing, and carbonation. Try as I might though, I had a lot of floaties in my glass. Ambrosial aroma. I think maybe the most complex smelling beer I have had. However, the mouthfeel was desperately lacking with almost no body and a thin, feeble texture. The flavor was vacuous compared to the aroma and nothing like I was expecting from this distinguished beer that does not live up to it's hype. Try a Unibroue 11 or Epluche-Culotte instead.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 6, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 2, 2007 Bottled on 9/7/2001 sampled 3/2/04: Cloudy brown with some sediment and a nice lacing head. Big caramel complex malty aroma. Bready sweet body has some dark fruit complexity and crisp dry balance. Hides its alcohol well. A nice beer, but I still prefer the Westy 8 or Rochefort 10.
5/6/2003: Pours a murky dark brown with a thin, lightly lacing head. Musty wood and malt aroma with notes of alcohol. Light chocolate flavor with some caramel and a moderately bitter finish. Silky, effervescent body terminates with a soft alcoholic burn. This is a good Belgain ale, but I was not as impressed with it as its rating shows. I guess you come to expect a lot out of the highest rated beer on the site.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 1, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thick head fades to leave mohagony , brownish beer. Alcohol tickles the nose. Beer has one of the best mouthfeels I've experienced, like velvety somehow. Light bitterness. Raisins, dark fruits, and bready. Finish is dry and toasty. A very well crafted beer, but still not my favorite of all time.
JorisPPattyn (8344) - Ursel, BELGIUM - MAY 1, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
VERTICAL TASTING WESTVLETEREN 12. Beer A: recently purchased, BBd:07/02/06, 10.2 ABV, Beer B: BBd:17/04/99, 11 ABV, Beer C: purchased 10/87, "Cat. S", no BBd, no ABV mentioned. Points above are for the youngest version, beer A.
Colour: (A) dark brown, reddish shine, thick brown head; (B)deep dark brown, reddish shine, hazy. Slight brown head, disappearing. ; (C) deep brown with reddish shine, no head []. Nose: (A) dark malts, blue cheese, wood, restrained hops; (B) creamy, dark malts, dried dark plums, chocolate, some madeirisation, biscuits ;(C) caramel, portwine or madeira, cow dung (truly!), vineous, raisins, chocolate []. Taste: (A) roasted & dark malts reign. Excess sweetness is gone already, but enough sweetness left, chocolate cake; (B) roasted malts, chocolate cake, biscuit, crème de noix, walnut oil, madeira, dried fruit, vineous ; (C) portwine, old sweet Sauternes, vintage sherry, woody, dark, ripe fruit, restrained sweetness, slight roasted malts []. Mouthfeel: (A) very chewy, complex; (B) very chewy, extremely complex, alcohol ; (C) thinner mouthfeel, drier, infinitely complex, fusel alcohols [] Aftertaste: (A) long lasting chocolate, sense of fulfillment; (B) big fruity aftertaste, full of tantalising glimpses of forbidden fruits [Overall:19]; (C) more old sherry-like aftertaste, but again, infinitely complex [[Overall:19]] It is obvious that the older this beer gets, the more complex it becomes. BBdates are bleedin' nonsense in this kind of beverage. I think the beer (B) is the youngest one should drink it. The difference between (A) and (C) is hughe, yet both are, qualitatively speaking, world-class.
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - APR 30, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I consider myself lucky to have this beer for my 100th rating. Thanks urbnhautebourg! Awesome chocolate, raisen floral aroma. Very subdued. Purple-Black color with tan thin head. WOW! I believe this is the smoothest most drinkable beer I've had. Beer seems to melt in my mouth and burst with flavors. Great finish that makes me warm inside.
AxeMaster221 (343) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 27, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Lovely color, tight white head, and intense aromas that need to be smelled to be believed. Lots going on here, malt, chocolate, fruity esthers,toffee.... very lovely, wish it wasnt so hard to find here, or so expensivc.
haukur (1345) - Reykjavik, ICELAND - APR 27, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 24, 2013 ratebeer.com is finally back :) so lets begin again by rating one of the world best beer, the westvleteren 12. I knew this was going to be a bit special and it was. I havent smelled a trappist that smell so good, what an aroma! nice thick little head and the taste was excellent, hints of malt, toffee, cocoa and more just filled my mouth.. very very very nice beer and I´m looking forward to having this again! (re-rate: a six year old vintage, same charachteristis, a bit overly sweet and yeasty, very sticky. Thick dark chocolate, coffee, fruits (bananas?). Sticks to your tongue, nice lingering moutfeel - rating 4,4)