roomtempbeer (185) - Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 7, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2004 Beer pours (in Chimay glass) a very dark brown, almost black liquid with small amount (1/2 inch) head with smooth texture on top followed by larger bubbles on bottom. Some sediment in the bottle, but all of it came out when swirled with the last few oz's of beer. Aroma is citrus orange and grapefruit - and aged bannanas? Hey, smells like my wooden fruitbowl. Flavor is woody, barklike, slightly piney, dry, smooth, very drinkable. Lace is complete and doesn't fall away. Mmmm, slight alcohol aroma nearing the end, but alcohol completely hidden and never tasted throughout, ooo, apricot and date flavor came through in that latest mouthful. Very good beer. Will have again. I have had this beer one other time - when chilled. It is much better this time - sampled at 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
RERATED 09-25-04. A special thanks to Jim Dorsch of Vienna, Virginia (Whole Foods Market) for supplying me a whole case of this fine beer. This beer is dated "28.08.06" and pours (in Westvleteren glass) a dark, dark brown-red liquid with a generous 1.25 inch thick beige head that dissipates slowly leaving a thick film. Aroma is so spicy and intense it burns my nose - includes fruit, berries, port wine, grapes, plum, malt, yeast. Flavor is spicy with port wine, malt, etc. Definitely worthy of its score. As it warms, this beer also resembles St. Bernardus Abt 12 as Westy 12 did, just with less alcohol.
GermanBrews76 (678) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JUL 6, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
very havy brown body and a thick dense white head. Nose of ripe fruits and alcohol. Big and ripe. Thick, leathery, fruity and very warm. Dates, tobacco and spices
3fourths (7799) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 5, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 5, 2013 Dark brown, murky. Tan head. Dark berry, nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon in the nose. Very carbonated, with a sharp ginger and pepper flavor. Alcoholic bite, but still has a very earthy feel. A festive, pine and grain flavor, and very satisfying.
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - JUL 5, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This just like the "12" is an enormously complex beer. Great looking beer with awesome frothy head. This has oak, nuts, chocolate and fruit flavors present in the beer. While it is great, compared to the 12 and others I must say that this is a little thinner and a touch dissapointing.
BBB63 (5743) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 3, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Outstanding dark copper hue with large fizzy head and great lacing, medium-bodied. Raisin, toffee, ruby port, molasses, and bittersweet chocolate aroma, very nice indeed. Spice malty sweet flavor with woody and coffee undertones, vinous. Finished with a slighty bitter twang. Creamy and lively mouthfeel. Lighty alcoholic on the finish. One world-class abbey ale, right near the 12, highly recommended!
TheBeerGod (5047) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUN 27, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep brown body with a frothy tan seemingly everlasting head. Cocoa, light licorice, figs, malt and molasses. The taste is divine! Light alcohol, spice, hint of chipped wood, and malt. Smooth as a baby's bottom! Sediment lines the bottom of my glass and there are a few floaties abound. Yes! I love it. Wonderful beer. Like a slightly lesser version of the 12 which is remarkable.
JorisPPattyn (7716) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JUN 25, 2003
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vertical test: sample A: freshly bought, 8%, BBd: 21/02/06, points given as above; sample B: bought 10/87, no ABV, no sell-by date, points given between [brackets]in the text.
Colour: A: thick, beige head, slowly collapsing; dark brown beer with burgundy shine; B: yellow-brown head, fast gone, thick coke-like bubbling, including the jets escaping from surface tension; brown beer, hazy . Nose: a: chocolate, roasted malts, ripe pears, mocca, some faint hops, summer haystacks and more malt or maltbar; B: sweeter, molasses, something lactic, vintage portwine, hazelnuts . Taste: A: bitter at first! a little bit of hops and lots of roasted/burnt malt. Enormous amount of malt overall, but much less sweetness than expected. Aroma's of walnut peel, black coffee, chicory even; B:
bitter again, but now with a fine, spritzy, acid-like surrounding. Very fruity: dark wine-grapes, hazelnuts, dried plums, figs . Mouthfeel & aftertaste: A: fairly chewy; little carbonation. Lots of lasting bitterness and a little restsugar; B: less dense, impact much more refined, would even be thirst-quenching. In the aftertaste, there is a sweetness in abundant, alcoholic tones  Overall: This is THE proof that truly decent beer ought to be aged. A well-made, dense beer is virtually indestructible, and will better and, like this, mellow with the years. The young 8° is a crude, uncut diamond; the old one is a shining brilliant. One thing the monks didn't get right: another five years and the cap would have rusted through. B: 
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 18, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Great beer. A nice dark brown with a sweet aroma. Flavor was a wonderful fruit with a nice bitter finish.
plalo (5) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 13, 2003 does not count
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Beautiful beer! The aroma gives you very little insight as to what the beer is all about, it's complexity is so very well refined it surprises the taste buds instead of the nose. This full bodied beer tends to beat up the palate so save it for last... or first if you plan on only drinking Westvleteren (jealous). This beer stands out on its own. Trying to compare it to others is futile. If any beer should be on your top 3 "must have" list this should. I only wish I could enjoy it regularly. Must enjoy at a mild temp, 50-55 or warmer to experience all the complexities.
Dalle (1145) - Skørping, DENMARK - JUN 12, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Impressive thick and dense head that diminishes slowly and leaves a great lace. Dark brown, full body. Aroma; sweet, chocolate, raisins. Complex and great balance. Slightly bitter finish makes me crave for more. Overall it's just a little better than "12".