nightrider (754) - encinitas, California, USA - OCT 18, 2008
Poured from a bottle brought back from Belgium. Second tasting after sampling in Brugge. Dark murky brown with a thin tan head. Deep aromas of sweet dried fruit. Smooth on the palate and rich. Complex plum, raisin, and malt. Mild hops and trace alcohol warmth. Best Belgian quad I have had. Yum!! Derek881 (1272) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 18, 2008
With great anticipation I poured the beer from the bottle into a trappist glass. The aroma was a highly complex blend of deep and dark fruit scents. The most noticeable notes were those of raisin, plums, prunes, and some other figs. There was also a hoppy component, with some citrus tones, including a touch of grapefruit, and a grainy-earthy hop part; maybe a bit of wheat, and late-emerging toffee notes. The beer had a rich, dark brown color, with the slightest tint of dark copper. The head was a bubbly-foamy off-white/light tan color with a very big size initially. It lost its big head in the beginning, but leveled off to maintain a thin layer on top of the beer, with creamy edges., which remained until the end of the beer and left a lot of clingy foam on the glass. I was worried I might be disappointed going in for the first sip, but far from it... the flavor explodes in the mouth almost immediately. The first flavor to hit the mouth is probably the raisin-plum taste, with some sweetness, folllowed by a good bit of sour-bitterness. As it warmed a bit, some of the grainy-earthy flavors came forward; there was also a toffee malt effect in the taste. The beer has a hugely lively fizz feel along with the flavors, and leaves the mouth feeling full from even the smallest sip. It has a thick, lasting effect, and the alcohol content pokes through from time to time. The body was smooth and wet, yet still left the mouth feeling slightly dry. Before having this beer, and even in the first moments, I was worried that it would not live up to the hype... but it did. While the aroma and appearance were great (especially the retention of the cling and head), it was the flavor and palate feel that truly separate this beer from the pack. I have never experienced such a burst of flavor coupled with a majestic palate feel before. To date, this beer is the best that I have ever had, and in my opinion, deserves its status. jhagmar (114) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - OCT 18, 2008
Bottle, thanks ekstedt. Dark brown with a light brown head. Complex aroma of caramel, port and fruit. Sweetish and salty. Soft and vinous mouthfeel. imadeadguy (378) - back in NJ!, New Jersey, USA - OCT 15, 2008
Pour is muddy brown with small brown head. Aroma burns your nostrils with alcohol and funk. The flavor is terrible. Alcohol and bad sour was all I tasted. This beer did not live up to the hype at all. I’d take a Rochefort 10 any day over this one. Straling (364) - Hoensbroek, NETHERLANDS - OCT 13, 2008
I managed to get a hold of one of these in Antwerp Belgium.
I was very surprised to see it in the first beer shop I walked into so I was very pleased.
Pours a clear red/brown colour.
Has a great size head and good carbonation.
Smell is chocolaty and can also make out raisen and fruits, excellent balance.
Smell is very enrichning and satisfying on it’s own, just smelling this is a treat.
Taste is very complex, but perfectly balanced, the many fruits can be found again, as also some nuts and the yeast with a lovely alcohol finish.
Lies great in the mouth.
Must say this rates up there with the Rochefort 10 and I have to say that it is slightly better even so!
finol (3391) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 12, 2008
This is a great beer but I enjoyed the wv 8 more. I found this a bit to light to its reputation and 10.2%.
It contains a lot of flavour eg. raisins, bread. hirigalzkar (3169) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 11, 2008
Bottle. Hazy brown. No head. Sweet aroma of bread and yeast (not the typical belgian yeast aroma though). Sweet and fruity beer with a complex flavor. Bread. Raisins. Licorice. Etc. Very smooth. HopsWhisperer (10) - , North Carolina, USA - OCT 10, 2008
Many thanks to my friend Troy who brought back two bottles of this from a recent trip to Belgium and was gracious enough to share.
Poured a rich, dark brown color into a chalice. However, when the light hit it just right, it had a deep ruby/garnet glow. Wasn’t a huge head, but stayed around for a while. Also, we were sharing this among several people, so pouring this bottle into multiple glasses may have affected the head size as well.
Aromas were good, but nothing really stood out. Rather fruity, like plums and brown sugar, with some sweetness as well.
The taste was excellent. Lots of dark fruits, honey, some spice, and also a bit of alcohol bitterness.
Mouthfeel was exceptiona, like drinking velvet. Just a tingle of carbonation to keep the palate fresh.
Overall, this was a great beer. Did it live up to the hype--could it live up to the hype? Hard to say. I would love to have another full glass rather than the portion I had in order to really savor and explore this beer. But I can’t say that I was dissappointed, either, because what I did get to sample was awesome.
jacobp51 (5) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 9, 2008 does not count
Had the pleasure of sharing a bottle of this wonderful beer with a group of friends the other night. Very well balanced. The taste is sweet and fruity with a very mild bitterness. The taste of raisins or dates or some other kind of dried fruit is very apparent with each sip. Very complex on the palate, but not overwhelming. Each sip leaves your mouth wanting more. Well worth the hype, but I wish it was more widely distributed. Cheers! xpimptastikx (103) - Austin, Texas, USA - OCT 7, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 9, 2009 No beer is perfect, but this is damn close. Perfectly balanced. Sweet, malty, and slightly hopped. Every time I sip it I taste a new fruit. A complexity that keeps you drinking, and finishing the beer quicker than you’d want. The Abbey experience is one in its own as well. Everyone should try this beer at least once.