antwerpenaar (1) - USA - JUL 13, 2009 does not count
The best beer in the world!
Was last week in Westvleteren form some 8 and 12°. 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 aren’t parting. Concord grape, cola nut, plum. The beer’s 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. I’ve 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. It’s 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. I’m so thrilled to finally be drinking this. It’s a goal I didn’t know I had until I started goofing around on this great website. Thanks to Ratebeer I’ve 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. Bernie’s 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 it’s 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...she’s spot on. Prunes definitely abound; there’s a dark leather scent...even a bit of soapy plums. Very complex with a mild to moderate booziness that’s carrying ginger notes and aided by the solid carbonation.
I’m getting a little bit of floral soapy notes at first, followed by mild gingerbread, a little clove and then some raisins. It’s amazing what 5 more minutes of warmth does for this. The floral soap veneer thankfully burns away and we’re 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. I’m really surprised at the pleasant dryness of this offering. The construction is so well-done that there’s 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 it’s 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 isn’t 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 isn’t enough. With many extreme offerings the flavors and notions are in your face so that there’s 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 (2678) - 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. Pver (3) - Hasselt, BELGIUM - JUL 7, 2009 does not count
I am one of few lucky ones to have a couple of crates at home.
Remark : tastes better in winter.
The sheer complexity and deepness of flavours makes this an exceptionnal beer : caramel, dried fruits, ....
It should not be compared to St Bernardus, as this is the original. It is not as wheaty and has more complexity to it. Best beer to compare it with is Rochefort 10 chibuck (3513) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 2, 2009
UPDATED: OCT 17, 2011 I drank this from a bottle in brussels.
This is a great beer very similar to R10, but I would say its a notch below Rochefort 10.
Great deep amber appearance with a nice head.
The flavor of coffee and alochol.
This is a great beer, but probably given more props because of lack of availability. cyrenaica (1159) - Milton, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 30, 2009
This is my 400th review. I tried this beer on June 25, 2009 at ’Cafe Volo’ in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Several Toronto beer bars have banded together to get several cases and sell it - and I grabbed the chance. The beer poured an opaque dark brown with an off white head...not near as dark as the St. Bernardus or Rochefort quads. The aroma knocked my socks off....fresh figs and plums, with warm yeast and sweet malt. More than satisfying. The mouthfeel was full-bodied, with mild carbonation - yet a bit thinner than other quads. The flavour again was quite complex and full of flavours when compared to St. Bernardus, and didn’t have the alcohol taste and feel I get with the Rochefort. The bitter aftertaste was even pleasant after the sweet malt and fruit tones. On aroma and taste alone, this is the best beer I have ever had. I’m knocking off points for appearance and mouthfeel as the beer was ’lighter’ than I was expecting.