Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Imperiale

By on January 28, 2008 @ 10 PM (No Comments)

I’ll admit I’ve dragged my feet on posting the review for this one. I was very excited to find a 4 pack at Total Wine a few months back because this is a Top 100 (number 83 on the 2007 list). Alas, I’m finally just now finishing the fourth one. Initial impressions of this one were a bit harsh and I’ve now honed in on the subtle goodness that makes this a top beer.

First off, I love the name – Triple Imperiale – a truly great beer name. One of the best beer names out there. The label reads “Belgian Special Dark Ale” and it checks in at 10% ABV in an 11.2 oz bottle. It’s made in Belgium, of course, and it’s recommended between 52 and 56 degrees F.

I opened it initially and let it sit out for a few minutes. When I returned it had foamed out of the bottle onto the counter. Yeah, it’s definitely a foamer.

The initial pour is a nice deep red to brown amber color (boy that narrows it down, huh?). It’s got a nice deep head to it – thick and laces well on the glass and hangs around for a while before eventually going away completely.

It sports a very rich smell – brown sugar, roasted malts, molasses, caramel, alcohol and spices. A sweet smelling treat. The taste continues to build on the smell and offers a great complexity – coffee, oak, some dark fruits (black cherry, plum), raisins and dates. It has a sweet edge but no alcohol in the taste. Overall it’s quite smooth and balanced – surprising with the gravity. The mouthfeel is a bit heavy but it’s good. The aftertaste is bittersweet and winds up smooth – you can still taste it minutes later.

In researching it a bit online it’s packed with 7 types of malts with 3 kinds of hops (Belgian, German and Czech). Despite the numbers the malts and hops work together as a team to create a good balance that skews, of course, a bit to the malty side. Surprisingly, there’s no sugar added (I was thinking some Belgian candy sugar must be present).

The one down side, and the source for my harsh initial impressions, is the sediment. There is a lot of sediment, and I mean A LOT of sediment. Not just a lot by volume, but some very large and thick sediment resembling the dried skins off cherries. Some large 1/4″ pieces – a disturbing amount of sediment. You have to fish them out. This is by far the most sediment I’ve ever had in a beer. After the first tasting subsequent pours went through a strainer, which gave me my final rating.

Overall it’s a worthwhile beer, very unique in both taste and texture. If you can find it get it. Then strain it and enjoy.

Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Imperiale Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

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