Settles a deep dark muddy brown color, pours out a softer brown with lots of brown wet dusties and chunks from off the bottom of the bottle falling into a super gorgeous tall head of cream colored girth thats thick, puffy and whipped smooth. Lacing appears in fast dripping sheets and leaves behind some larger ink blots. A very thick skim snugs the top during the entire glass.
Aroma is a bit subdued but is layered with some nice subtleties with utmost positioning yeastiness thats creating some major fresh yet dried wood characteristics upfront mixed with dirt. Very dry overall with hints of dried, even roasty, lemon, pine, and sugars.
Taste has quite a mixture of things within, mostly dryish with some moderate dry wood and dirt mostly. That levels off and intermingling nuances of dried fruits, chocolate notes, and light mild spices fill in adding interesting little delicately refined yeasty layers which all maintains one very incredible smoothness. There's just a small twinge of hops but never is it in control or ever present for long. Its squeezed in there with some of the woodish yeast tones. Overall the flavors are mellowing and mild with very subtle tones and really becomes a treat as it warms. After a while I didn't even realize I was drinking a beer, it seemed more like cold Japanese herbal tea. Smaller chocolate tones appear a wee bit more as it warms with a waffer cookie dryness. Outstanding... very smooth yet thick with a mellowing full mouthfeel and easy-on-the-palate dryness that has a nice carbonation thats not overly lively. One very well put together beer, it went from wood and earthy to slightly fruity and spicy to chocolatey and always stays dry. Quite a nice cup of a tea, I mean glass of beer.
Reviewed originally 02-09-2004
Served In: Goblet
Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this bottle and the oppurtunity to try a world class brew. This puppy was served up in goblet.
A: Pours a thick, dark brown. Probably the darkest a brown can possibly be without being black. this puppy lets no light through. A somewhat gentle pour yielded a good finger and a half of light tan head. The head is amazingly creamy. It sticks to the glass with a thickness I have never seen before. It leaves the thickest sheeting I have ever seen on a glass. Simply beautiful to look at.
S: Smell is of Belgian Yeast, I know I was shocked as well. Nice bready malt is there in force. Then infiltrates the fruit: apple, fig, raisin. The fruits are very subtle and are rounded out by a brown sugar presence. Very nice.
T: At first this beer is incredibly subtle. Then the yeast pushes through as it warms. Then comes a sweet, shortbread malt. The fruits are even more subtle, with apples really coming out and fig and raisin chilling in the background. The brown sugar sweetness is just barely there in the aftertaste rounding the beer off. This beer evolves as it warms. Very interesting.
M: This is a full bodied beer but it almost doesn't feel like a full bodied beer and that is its genius. Its carbonation is big time, making the beer crisp and refreshing, but the texture is wonderfully creamy. All the flavors coat the mouth and really let you explore what this beer has to offer. No notice of the ABV. This is really good. This beer is liquid velvet. It does for texture what Lionel Richie did for the ear drum with all those soulful classics.
D: I could drink a case of this and not blink. These monks know what the fuck is going on. This beer is damned near perfect. I want more and I want to move to Belgium. If you get the chance, do it. All of the above.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 10-08-2008 05:37:18
Served In: Goblet
The date on the cap is 17.10.11, meaning that it was bottled October 12, 2008. Pours a medium brown with orange highlights. The two-finger head is off white and wonderfully creamy. It lingers seemingly forever, and leaves insane lacing. Other than the head there are not really any signs of carbonation, and there is such a thick yeast layer at the bottom of the bottle that I have to leave almost an inch of beer in the bottle.
The aroma is pretty subdued overall. Belgian yeast and candi sugar come thru the strongest, but there is some dark fruit notes too, namely raisins.
The flavor is disappointingly thin and is almost completely lacking any of the dark fruit flavors I was anticipating. There is some malt sweetness along with the candi sugar flavors, but not a whole lot else going on. There is also an unpleasant astringency that makes me wonder (i.e. hope) that this is just a bad bottle.
The body is very thin, and has almost no carbonation. It’s very watery and underwhelming.
At this point I have to think that this is just a bad bottle. I’ve had some really hyped beers that have been disappointing, but never anything I disliked this much.
Served In: Pint Glass
*Uploading my old reviews, this one has a review date of: 11-06-07. If I can acquire the beer again I will re-review it*
Nov. 6, 2007
Another present to drink on my b-day, the second Westvleteren of the day. This one courtesy of the very generous metallitone1, thanks for hooking me up!
Date on the cap is 20.12.08 (or 09)
Pours a beautiful mahogany color with lots of bubbles. Active carbonation in the center of the glass with a thin ring around.
The aroma is quite fruity, dark fruits mostly. I can smell some figs, dates, ripe prunes, dark candy sugar (not a fruit, I know), cherries, and a bit of alcohol. A bit of cinnamon is picked up once the beer begins to warm up and breathe. Also there are some grapes in the mix.
The taste is in line with the aroma. Lots of dark fruits and a faint dose of alcohol, but tasty alcohol not fusel or overpowering. It’s really well crafted, I don’t see any one flavor overpowering in this beer. Hmm, some caramel flavors start to show up as I’m finishing my beer.
The mouthfeel is fantastic; the carbonation makes it feel almost creamy and velvety. The finish is very clean and doesn’t leave a trace of off flavors, just a little sweetness which is quite tasty. Great beer to just let it sit on your tongue and feel the carbonation and a foaming sensation—I dig it!
2 Westvleterens down, one more to go!
Served In: Goblet
Review from 10/20/06
11.2oz bottle, stamped 18.02.09 on the cap.
A - Milk chocolate color. Looks thick and inviting. Pours with a big, fluffy tan head.
S - Tons going on here. Dark fruit a plenty (plums, cherries, raisins, maybe a bit of fig). Belgian yeast. Bready with a bit of toffee.
T - Caramel malt sweetness. Dark fruit as noted in the smell, with dates tagging along. Suprising bitter hop bite. Big belgian style yeast taste to it. Brown sugar sweetness to it. Surprised by the taste of citrus rind poking through.
M - Thick and rich. Probaby medium to full bodied with medium, but prickly, carbonation.
D - This one will be gone in an instant. Very very easy to drink.
Served In: Other
10.8.06 on the cap. Pour is great, dark amber with a good sized light tan head. Smell is a touch lighter then expected, but that might be the only semi-negative of this brew. Taste is great, full bodied and smooth to drink with only a hint of alcohol coming inat the end.
Served In: Pint Glass
From BTG ---
First time Westy 8 drinker, long time lurker......
Poured dark, sort of a caramel and toffee color. The head was overly aggressive actually, but that might have been because I got distracted during the pour. Lots of foam, sadly.
Smell is semi-sweet, molasses, some fruit (not sure what), caramel, maybe some brown sugar.
Taste a little caramel. Malts for sure. Starts with hops, then to the malts and unsweetened caramel. Like TT said, surprising citrus in there too. Alcohol is somewhat apparent.
Mouthfeel is a little thick and a bit oily. Carbonation dominates a lot more than I would have thought.
Overall, this one was easy to drink despite the tingle in the back on my tongue with the carbonation and alcohol bite at the end. Good, but thinking the Westy 12 should be substantially better.
Served In: Pint Glass
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