lr99gt (32) - USA - JUL 14, 2009
Enjoyed this beer at Gollem pub in Amsterdam. A must visit for any beer lover. Cost 13 euros. Pours very dark with a little head. So many flavours I cannot pick them out individually. Its very complex. It may be the hype but I really enjoyed this beer felt lucky to have tried it. When i came back to the bar a couple weeks later it was all sold out. hoppopotamus (260) - Santa Cruz, California, USA - JUL 14, 2009
Bottle from a shop in Copenhagen called Barley wine, sorry itís their last one. A deep brown pour with no head. Aroma strikes me as champagne, or a dry white wine, with spice, some dried fruit. Flavor is very dark fruity, fig and plum and raisin, a hint of nutiness and coffee, very well rounded flavor. Mouthfeel is deliciously chewy, with just the tickle of carbonation on the tongue. Finishes with the same dark fruitness, alcohol well hidden. A really delcious beer, but for what I paid for it (80 DKR, ~17 USD) itís not the best beer in the world. alagnak (468) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - JUL 14, 2009
OK - itís been a bad enough night (tail end of a 17 hour day that has no end in sight) that I couldnít resist opening my last Westy 12 to try and change the spirit of the evening. It was either given to me by JoeinUccle or purchased @ Bier Tempel Brussels - didnít mark them differently. Either way, Thanks, Joe. Have been lucky enough to have had a few of these since I started the RB path (lots of time in Holland and a trip to Belgium help that equation), not sure why i didnít rate until now.
Deep dark, dark brown with a mesmerizing tan head. Full of inviting little floaties. Aroma is really really telling that this is no ordinary beer - well accented raisns, figs, charred peaches and spices galore.
Flavor is where the beer stands above. Mild, somehow dry (?), but with well-rounded elements of everything in the nose. Raisin and leathery fruit come to mind, and the flavor lingers on the finish. Each sip followed by a berath of air brings a little different take on the flavor spectrum, and not a bad note among them. This is just flat-out one of the most gloriously complex brews out there.
Is it worth $25/btl if bought in the US? Is it worth millions of pages of hype? Not sure, but itís one damn fine beer. antwerpenaar (1) - USA - JUL 13, 2009 does not count
The best beer in the world!
Was last week in Westvleteren form some 8 and 12į. If god exist he than he made this beer. :-)))) scrizzz (2223) - Bothell, Washington, USA - JUL 10, 2009
17.01.10. Finally. Pours with much less head than the 8, though this was in the fridge for a few minutes longer. Neither bottle had any sediment in the bottom, I was surprised by that. Deep dark brown, and a seemingly identical aroma as the 8. Is something wrong with me? The heavens arenít parting. Concord grape, cola nut, plum. The beerís not cold, maybe 50 degrees. Some dark raisin, but nothing unique and nothing in the way of pinnacle. And the sip. Dark cherry, damp dust, raspberry syrup, and alcohol fuel. Iíve had a few moments where a single beer has changed the way i look at beer as a whole and I was expecting this beer to do that again. Fireworks. Itís not fair to the monks. But I really think that in a blind taste test I would feel the same way. Nearly sticky, not as hot as the 8. Iím so thrilled to finally be drinking this. Itís a goal I didnít know I had until I started goofing around on this great website. Thanks to Ratebeer Iíve become aware of this beer and received a bottle from my Secret Santa. I am forever grateful. I want to thank Al Gore for creating the intertubes.
FlyingTaco (112) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2009
Reviewed on 3/9/2009...
BBD is 12.02.11 (2/12/2011 for us Yanks). 33cl bottle into St. Bernieís chalice. Out of fridge for about 10-15 minutes and breathing a few more minutes before pouring. I wanted to let it breathe a bit longer but I pop the cap and itís happy to see me as it slowly froths above the top of the bottle so I pour a little bit into the chalice. The foam keeps coming so I get the rest in there.
The pour as mentioned is extremely well-carbonated and yields a slightly murky raisin brown. Active carbonation yields a 1/2-finger head in the chalice; it dissipates but leaves a wispy ginger-colored film resembling a solid Kosher rye.
Whoooaaa, camel...first impression is clove, ginger and rum raisin ice cream. The beautiful bride notices prunes and a bit of chocolate...sheís spot on. Prunes definitely abound; thereís a dark leather scent...even a bit of soapy plums. Very complex with a mild to moderate booziness thatís carrying ginger notes and aided by the solid carbonation.
Iím getting a little bit of floral soapy notes at first, followed by mild gingerbread, a little clove and then some raisins. Itís amazing what 5 more minutes of warmth does for this. The floral soap veneer thankfully burns away and weíre back in solid Quad ground. The leathery fruitcake spices, the deep dark dried plums, dates and chocolate covered cherries bring this another level of complexity. Surprisingly austere on the finish...much more dry than expected. As the BB indicated earlier, mild baking/bittersweet chocolate emerges with warmth. Prunes, too. Still, a tad of lingering floral soapiness.
For some reason I expected a big mild spice and raisin bomb. Iím really surprised at the pleasant dryness of this offering. The construction is so well-done that thereís not a lot of mess left behind. The excited carbonation may indicate that the yeast in this deal may have eaten everything they could wrap their cells around. Still, that floral soapiness still lingers.
Maybe itís the thought of enjoying this for the very first time but this dows go down very quickly. It definitely takes a while for that one off-flavor - the floral soap - to burn off its weirdness. Note no real mention of booziness on the taste or palate profile - after the initial rum raisin ice cream scent it simply isnít an issue. My guess is that I should probably invest in a case of this some day to evaluate over time because merely one bottle isnít enough. With many extreme offerings the flavors and notions are in your face so that thereís no mistake. This treasure is definitely more subtle and takes a little more time to figure out. Great, complex construction.
blklab2007 (2120) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 7, 2009
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2014 bottle through trade from daknole rating #800. poured a dark brown in color with a covering of dark tan head and pools of foam erupting at the surface. aroma has plumb, raisin, dark sugar, doughy yeast, light spice, and a bit of sweet fruit. medium mouth feel with low carbonation. flavor has some of the best dark fruit, again dark sugar sweetness, light spices, earthy yeast, and raisins. incredibly smooth and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. organ9 (1) - SWEDEN - JUL 7, 2009 does not count
Tasted this heavenly brew early in my beer drinking career and it was love at the first gulp.... hmm... Slipstream (2612) - USA - JUL 7, 2009
UPDATED: JUL 13, 2009 A great big thank you to Adrian for opening a bottle of this. I was very excited about finally trying this brew, which has achieved near legendary status. And I must say that it is very good, but not one of the best things I have had, and definitely not worth the exorbitant prices some people are asking for it, or the #1 rating it gets in some polls. It could be that the bottle we had was a little dated, since it was from 5 years ago, but Adrian says there was nothing wrong with it. Wonderful aroma of blossoms, plus some tang and malty sweetness. The aroma was something special, and the best thing about it, i.m.o. Dark pour with a little foam. Plain bottle. The taste was surprisingly sweet, with a sugary, dried fruit flavor dominating, along with some cola, clove, and cinnamon. There were some tingly hops in the finish, but this creamy, sweet ale was very much a dessert treat type of beverage. Good, but overrated. I am not sure what makes people think it is so superior to other fine Belgian ales. thewombat (112) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - JUL 7, 2009
Sweet dark fruit aroma, raisins, figs, spice. Pours dark brown with cream head and nice lacing. Medium body, with soft carbonation. Spice and sugar are very well balanced. hint of alcohol.