Friday, 20 April 2012

Beer Review #20: Trappistes Rochefort 10

Ah here we go. This is the first time I'm tasting this beer so I am pretty excited. Rochefort 10 is one of those beers often compared to (and supposedly rivaling) the legendary Westvleteren 12, so it should be very good. It's also the first Trappist I'm having that isn't a Chimay or La Trappe, and don't get me wrong, those are both magnificent ranges, but they are the most commercialized and readily available of the seven Trappist brewers. That alone is enough to get me ridiculously excited about trying Rochefort 10. It's brewed by the monks of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy in Rochefort, Belgium. At 11.3% ABV this is the perfect light beer to swig from the bottle on a hot summer's day, or drink ice cold watching the match at home.

No, please don't do that.

Quadrupel at 11.3% ABV

L: Pours a very dark murky brown, with an initial two finger off-white head the bubbles away to a film, leaving a good amount of lacing. It looks thick and rich, not exactly attractive, but it looks like a good quad should. Also, I accidentally poured a bit of the yeast sediment into the glass about half-way through, but it didn't make a noticeable difference. 9/10

S: Wow. Malty sweetness is the backbone of the beer, rich dark fruits are there, hints of chocolate and bubblegum. Very deep and rich smelling, with a wonderful complexity. There is a definite yeasty aroma, even before I poured the sediment in. Truly magnificent. 9/10

T: By The Nine. At the front I get chocolatey sweetness, definite fruitiness of dark fruits, cherries and raisins in the middle, slight hints of that malt I picked up on the nose, definite caramel presence. It's beautifully complex. Also, it's worth noting that there is a noticeable alcohol heat with the taste, but there's no real taste of alcohol. Some people like to complain that it has a vodka-like alcoholic taste, but there's literally nothing like that in this bottle. 10/10

M: Incredibly smooth, very rich and intense, full bodied (obviously), almost creamy. There's a light fizz on the tongue, and the warming sensation of the alcohol really contributes to the beer. Brilliant. 10/10

The verdict: I think this the best beer - or at least my favourite - that I've ever tasted, just edging out the Chimay Blue. I know it seems like a cop-out, giving the Trappist beers the best marks, but those two really have been stellar. Fear not though, I recently tasted a ridiculously delicious Belgian Golden Ale... anyway, this one gets 9/10.

The Drunken Destrier score: 94/100

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