Don't recall exactly what I paid for this corked and caged 12.7oz bottle, but I don't recall it being particularly cheap. I pour into an oversized snifter at 45 degrees to review. This is batch 3 as stamped on the back of the bottle.
BATCH 3 (blended on September 17, 2010). New Oak Medium Toast - 18% Port Medium Toast (French Oak) - 55% La Trappe Q. Medium Toast (French Oak) - 27%
Cork was a little tough to get out and a modest spurt of the carbonation lets me know it is not flat. The large off white dense head reconfirms that notion. A mysterious cloudy brown color which you can almost see through when held to the light. Superb lacing and a nice layer of retention sticks around the inner rim of the snifter.First whiff is quite pleasing to me.
First whiff is quite pleasing to me. Seemingly complex with sweet malts, dark fruits and a medicinal oakiness to it. Fig, raisin and prune all evident with an almost grape soda like sweetness to it. There is also molasses, brown sugar, Belgian spice and hints of butterscotch. I tell just through my nose that this is going to be velvety smooth with some welcomed warming from the alcohol.
This beer is damn near an oak bomb, if an oak bomb exists. The woody character takes on a smoky character as the beer warms. Dark fruits, lightly roasted malts. There is that warming alcohol.
As predicted, velvety smooth, a silkiness only the best Belgians retain. Perfect carbonation to hold up this medium-full body. World class mouthfeel.This is a very impressive Belgian Dark.
I can put it right up with my top 3 favorites in the style. If you run across it, get it!
A+ / 4.68
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5