Trappistes Rochefort 8

By on August 31, 2007 @ 7 PM (2 Comments)

Let me start off by saying this is a superb beer. It however suffers the unfortunate fate of being the second Trappistes Rochefort beer I’ve consumed – see my previous review on the Rochefort 10. With that said, any beer that has to suffer through having such a stud of a big brother can’t help but pale a bit in comparison. In the case of the Rochefort 8, paling in comparison means it’s still an awesome beer, it’s just no Rochefort 10.

My bottle code is L280312 06:36 and it’s the traditional 11.2 oz Trappist Rochefort bottle (the only difference in their 3 beers is the label and cap color). The beer is 9.2% ABV – that’s a little less alcohol than the 10 (which logs in at 11.3%), and makes this one a tripel ale (as opposed to the 10 which is a quadrupel). The pour is a deep, dark brown, almost black with a huge head, dark beige and creamy, that settles to about 1/2″. If you put your ear close to it you can hear a sound like rice crispies with snaps, crackles and pops tempting you to dive in.

The smell is alcohol, roasted malts, dark fruits and a hint of coffee. The taste is subtly smooth and discriminating. It’s got flavors of mild chocolate, dark roasted malts, dark fruits (plum, prune, fig?), earth and an ever so slight sweetness that is not overdone. Despite all this it’s not as complex as you might think compared to the 10 (big brother strikes again). The aftertaste is smooth with subtle hops and a floral hint to it. Mouthfeel is good – about medium with a little carbonation. The beer gets a little sharp as it gets really warm. Compared to the 10 this one is less of a sipper.

Overall this is just a terrific treat. Drinkability is high, repeatability is also good, though you won’t be slamming down 3 of these in a row. I’d love to get multiple bottles and cellar one or two of them to try in 6 months to a year. It’s supposed to get better as it matures. Though I’ve not tried the Rochefort 6, I’ll go out on a limb and say that you can’t go wrong with any of the Trappistes Rochefort beers. When you find them, buy as many as you can (expect to pay between $5 and $8 a bottle though).

Trappistes Rochefort 8 Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

2 Comments (Add Your Comments)

  1. Slam says:

    Good review on Rochefort. I just had a 6 and it was delicious. I’ve had the 8 in Belgium and that was terrific as well.

  2. Guillaume says:

    I agree with your review. However don’t forget that the Rochefort is finished with a fermentation in the bottle, which is also why the taste evolves with age. If you want to taste the best Rochefort 8, you have to buy the magnum bottle (1.5L) ans try it with a few friends. Unfortunately they don’t do the 10 in a magnum bottle and that’s a shame.

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