dmradus (227) - Ithaca, New York, USA - APR 26, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2008 Bottle at ’t Waagstuk, Antwerp. Pours a deep, deep brown bordering on black with a dense and foamy one-finger off-white, bordering on tan head. Nose is complex and distinctive. Dusty and earthy notes are heavy, as well as dark pit fruits that round into a nice fruity sweetness. Also significant yeast presence here, in the form of some interesting esters. Well balanced between an overarching sweetness and a subdued, massively complex and inviting stable of other elements. Taste does not disappoint: the epitome of the sweet/savory interplay that I find in a lot of really well crafted brews. Dark pit fruits in prunes and plums, caramel, hints of milk chocolate. Slight, complexity-adding yeast funk. Finish is short and sweet, after just a dash of mild alcohol. The lack of alcohol presence in this beer is really to be marveled at. Palate is so incredibly sexy: stunningly smooth and velvety on the tongue, this is the ultimate in sipper beers. Searched far and wide for this and it definitely did not disappoint. Easily the best I’ve ever had - 4.7 may as well be a 5 for me, considering how conservative I am in my ratings.
Update: had the opportunity to try a 25 year old (1983) vintage bottle of this at Ebenezer’s in Lovell, Maine. It held up - mouthfeel a little lighter, taste definitely sweeter and noticeably complex. Estery, spicy notes faded and more caramel and chocolate came up front. Aged quite well. Rating still based on fresh bottle. oberabcbbsok (693) - Hoboken, BELGIUM - APR 26, 2007
One of my top beers, only problem is the price is getting out of hand. I try to drink it about 5 times a year. Really top of the beers KAME (161) - California, USA - APR 22, 2007
Bottled. I had high expectations for this brew, and it didn’t fail to deliver. It wasn’t the best beer I’ve ever had, but it was quite wonderful. Aroma is sweet, but not cloying, with very present raisins, oak, and belgian yeast. Flavor is much more impressive than the Westy 8, with caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, and a light alcohol presence all forming a quite wonderful brew. The creamy mouthfeel is probably the highlight of this very complex belgian quad, really explaining why it is so highly rated. It’s not the best at anything, but it does everything very well. scanovajr (729) - Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL - APR 21, 2007
Bottle 33 cl at Café Belgique, Amsterdam. Pours dark brown with a small beige head. Aroma is extremely complex. Caramel, fruits, raisins, wood and some chocolate. Hard to say everything you can feel drinking this beer. Taste is also complex. Lots of fascinating flavours. Sweet, caramel, cherries, oranges, chocolate, vinous. A bit of hops to balance everything. Sweet in the beginning and dry and warm in the end due to the high alcohol %. Smooth mouthfeel. Fascinating, the best beer I ever had. bpcsatx (2) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - APR 20, 2007 does not count
The simple bottling and crating is not indicative of the great taste. The Trappist family simply knows how to make some of the best beer in the world. The fruit is quite amplified and the balance is perfect with just enough hops to compliment the fruit. Simply an enjoyable beautiful beer. To-date the best ever.
JohnnyOlhus (43) - Amager (Copenhagen), DENMARK - APR 19, 2007
Dark beer, very little head. Taste of spicy fruit. Very wine-like in character and finish. padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - APR 19, 2007
Bottle thanks to fordest. This poured with a very small head, that lasted throughout. Smellls of raisin and chocolate. Taste of raisins, fruit, chocolate, and spice. Very good. The best in this style for me. Excellent. yespr (48876) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - APR 15, 2007
UPDATED: APR 16, 2007 33 cL bottle several times and at different ages. Pours dark brown, murky. Aroma is a complex blend of fruit, chocolate and caramel malt. Mouthfeel is soft and wineous. Flavour starts sweet, goes into a toffee sweet-/softness, a slight touch of bitterness breaks the sweet notes. Extremely well balanced palate, all elements blend perfect into each other and none of them dominate. Has a touch of warming alcohol in the finish. Simply perfect. hcalsos (205) - Rælingen, NORWAY - APR 10, 2007
A truly great Belgian strong ale, just too bad its so hard to come by. A MUST! ChrisThomson (522) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 10, 2007
I finally tasted this beer after years of pining. After a blind tasting with Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus Abt 12, I thought Westvleteren 12 fell just a bit short of Rochefort 10. Still an amazing beer, but it lacked the complex nose of Rochefort12. The beer poured a deep red-brown with thick beige head. A very complex thick malty taste with lots of raisin and winey notes, and more bitterness compared to Rochefort 12.