Additional notes 11/27/22 (pictured):
Have had this several times since the original notes from 2008, but this is the first time doing some thoughts to those 14 year old notes.
TBH, there isn’t much to add to what I wrote below. Still the same perfect mouthfeel and lovely silky creaminess, that I subsequently attributed to all Westvleteren beers (it’s the attribute that for me, truly sets the 12 ahead of St. Bernard’s 12 and Rochefort 10). pretty sure it’s the yeast that does it, and yes I know about yeast comparisons across those beers.
Still that light, beautifully drying pepper in the finish.
Original notes 03/21/08:
330 mL bottle. Poured into the Westvleteren chalice.
Amazingly dense, perfectly white head with excellent retention and lace. Golden (and I mean golden), hazed body.
Creamy smooth in the mouth. A combination of cream and velvet.
Nose is frankly NOT much! A little disappointing.
Classic peppery, mild bitterness in the taste with an alcohol edge way beyond the advertised ABV. Drying finish and VERY clean.
Champagne-like character for me.
As Jason (Alström) once noted, this may be the very best session beer in the world. Obviously slightly too high in ABV for a TRUE sessionable beer, BUT it’s only slightly above what I would tolerate, and for an experienced drinker in the right frame of mind this could be THE perfect beer for a long night of drinking. In the USA, the availability and price obviously negate that!
In summary, a deliciously drinkable brew IF you can appreciate the subtleties of this beer. I think this one is really for the experienced drinker.