Trappistes Rochefort 10
Note: The Trappistes Rochefort 10 was reviewed by both John and Dad on different days and originally posted as two separate reviews. We usually do our combined reviews together in one post, so this post has been edited to bring you both reviews on one post.
Son Beer Love Review (March 2, 2007):
The Trappistes Rochefort 10 was a beer I was eagerly looking forward to trying. When I bought it I told Mike Brawley I was looking to try one trappist ale and asked for his recommendation. He pointed me past the others to this one. Great directive – this beer was an absolute treat.
I did a some research on trappist beers – of the 171 or so Trappist monasteries, only 7 produce beer. I think Chimay, Orval and Westmalle are some of the other noted monasteries – at least ones I’ve heard of. The Rochefort 10 is made at the Rochefort Brewery – Brasserie de Rochefort – located inside the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy. They make 3 trappist beers – the Rochefort 6, 8 and 10. Talk about a niche. There are 15 monks resident at the monastery, which has been brewing off and on since 1595. It is said the beer is only sold to financially support the monastery and other good causes. That’s a cause I can get behind. At $5.99 a bottle at Brawley’s it should be a worthwhile cause.
The Rochefort 10 is classified as a quadruple ale. At 11.3% ABV, the classification is fitting. This bad boy will knock you down (more on that later). The pour is terrific (using a tulip glass). The color is dark and rich – a dark brown/red color that is quite cloudy – it looks black until you hold it up to the light. The head is a magnificent tan that lasts quite a long time. The smell is intoxicating – roasted malts, chocolate and alcohol. Though you can smell the alcohol, it doesn’t seem to interfere with the taste much. The taste – terrific – malty sweet – chocolate and dried fruit flavors – apricot, prunes and dates is what I pick up, as well as a hint of spice. It feels thick and creamy in the mouth and coats the tongue well. It’s definitely a sipping beer and I took my time with it. It’s got a good bit of carbonation – I burped a lot. I read the monks will use a Belgian candy sugar in the fermentation process, which helps pack in more alcohol. You really don’t taste the alcohol much, but you feel it. Very warming. Afterwards I felt very ready for bed.
I’m writing this review the next day after trying the Rochefort 10. Vivid dreams last night and a tough little headache this morning. I didn’t drink much water yesterday and I think that had a little something to do with it. I should have remembered my lesson from Oktoberfest – one liter of beer to one liter of water means no headache in the morning. Though this is only an 11.2 ounce bottle, with the higher ABV you may need to treat it more like a liter. Man those trappist monks can make some brew!
Side note: I am actively using my new book, Beer: A Guide to Choosing it, Drinking it, Brewing it, and Loving it for the Connoisseur and Wannabe Alike, by Eve Adamson and have adapted my drinking style a bit based on her recommendations. I think I have been trying my beers too cold – starting with this one I’m now pulling them out of the fridge for about 20 minutes so they can warm up before I try them at her recommended beer tasting temperature of around 50 degrees. If this one is any indication it does enhance the taste a good bit.
Father Beer Love Review (March 9, 2007):
This is a trappist Belgian ale. 11.3% ABV 11.2 oz @ $5.99 per bottle. Cool spring evening 52 degrees. Beer temp. 47 degrees after a 20 min. wait out of the icebox. Drank 20 oz. of cool water to slake thirst.
It pours very dark brown with a light brown head. Sweet aroma of raisins, plums and caramel. First taste gives me sweetness, caramel and chocolate. Reminds me of 50% cacao Godiva chocolate I bought in Munich for my wife. Later I catch a little coffee taste. The mouth feel is unbelievable. This must be what a fine dessert wine is like. Flavor coats my entire mouth, front back, top and bottom. The hops aren’t bitter enough to overpower the rich depth of the exquisite malts. I have an aversion to too sweet beers but this is something totally different. Think of this as dessert in a glass. This should be sipped slowly and savored until the taste fades away slowly which takes quite a while. I find I’m swirling and sniffing twice as much as sipping to savor it even more.
Last review I shot my mouth off about how I didn’t think a 10 was possible. I’m going to stick with that as I don’t like to be proven wrong in just a week. I had a hard time reading my writing at the end so it hits really hard.
At $5.99 per, this isn’t an everyday beer unless you’re very wealthy. THIS IS A SPECIAL OCCASION ALE, well worth the price. Anybody inviting me to have one would be a special occasion!
Trappistes Rochefort 10 Rating: 10 out of 10 (?)
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