Notes added 07/21/21
10.02.15 (Pictured below) – The final bottle from the retail pack that made it to the USA maybe back in 2012?
Odd thing about this bottle is the aggressive fizz that disapate to nothing almost immediately. Turns into a sherry like experience, albeit a thin one. Not the best experience, and age is clearly a factor.
Notes added 07/16/21
If I’m completely honest, this has grown on me over the years. Looking back at my earlier notes, I feel I was harsh over the last fifteen years.
now I see is beautiful, deep mahogany pour, a sumptuous head, and rich nose and body, and a sweetness and alcoholic raisin barrage that is unique.
Drinkability is off the charts, but this is arguably young, still with some solvent alcohol notes.
Had another go at this today – comments much the same as earlier tastings.
(09.05.10 dot-matrixed on cap).
Much the same as below, but in this bottle the alcohol seems to be much more prominent in both the initial taste and the finish. Alcohol in this bottle seems a little more harsh and less smooth. Some more licorice and slight bitterness. Still incredibly complex.
Original Review 08/06/06
Poured into the Westmalle Chalice from the 330 mL, unlabeled bottle with a ridged “collar” 3/4 of the way down the neck with “TRAPPISTEN BIER” molded on it. 05.04.08 stamped on the cap.
Dark brown murky body with a few yeast floaties. Very thin tan head with minimal lacing from the very fine bubbles that form. Outside of the small surface head there is no sign of carbonation. Frankly not exceptional looking in any way.
Aromas develop slowly as the beer warms. Light fruit alcohol and buttered toast hit me at first.
Initially this has all the characteristics of a big, Belgian dark. Lots of fruit and alcohol up front, but this cuts away quickly to leave a dry sherry like experience. The aftertaste is very complex with a mild grapefruit bitterness to go with a mouth filling Amontillado and marzipan taste. Perhaps a mild touch of aniseed too. I have to admit that this is a beer with an amazing taste.
Finishes very warming with some whisky like liquor heat. Alcohol is very evident in the finish too.
The best beer in the world? Well, given that that moniker is all about opinions and differing tastes I would definitely say it’s *ONE* of the best I have ever drunk, and I can completely understand why it stands where it stands in many, knowledgeable folks opinions, but at the same time, some will enjoy this more than others. Not great value for money to say the least!
Many thanks to akorsak for the trade.