Beer Review 0200: Trappistes Rochefort 10

My two hundredth review!

The beer I have chosen for this grand occasion is Rochefort 10, a beer made by Trappist monks, inside of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy, near Rochefort, Belgium.

Seven Trappist monasteries produce beer; six are located in Belgium, while one is in the Netherlands. The beer is made to financially support the monastery and contribute to charitable causes — no profits made here.

All Trappist-made beers carry an authentic Trappist logo, and each monastery must abide by these three rules:

  1. The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.
  2. The brewery, the choices of brewing, and commercial orientations must obviously depend on the monastic community.
  3. The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not toward financial profit.

The Rochefort Brewery produces three beers; Rochefort 6, 8, and 10. The higher the number, the higher the alcohol by volume. Rochefort 10 comes in at 11.3%, and is classified as a Belgian Quadrupel. All Rochefort beer is brewed using water drawn from a well inside the monastery walls.

This beer is dated 220616 (legibly right on the front of the bottle, yay!) meaning it was brewed five years before June 22, 2016 (June 22, 2011). Shelf life for this beer is five years, although it can be aged longer than that. The bottle I’m reviewing has just over a year of age on it.

Pouring this classic Belgian Quad produces an average size head, long lasting and creamy, off-white in color. The head was made of small and tight bubbles, and carbonation zoomed to the surface making an audible fizzy sound. This beer was tawny dark brown in color, muddy in body, and filled with heavy particles and sediment. Frankly, this looked like dirty river water, and it was gorgeous. You couldn’t begin to see through this liquid, and the lacing was sparse but the head retention was great, making a foam similar to what you might find on a chai tea.

As soon as I cracked the cap, I could smell this pungent aroma…this addictive aroma, filled with a huge alcohol note that for once isn’t too much or distracting, mixed with a bready malt and yeast. This is a sweet, sweet beverage, presenting caramel, butterscotch, and rum soaked raisins to the nose. There’s a tiny bit of spice; honestly, this is like raisin bread fresh out of the oven with an alcohol twist. If I could make this a cologne, I would seriously wear it, even though I might smell like an alcoholic and get dirty looks from all the girls. Simply incredible, high quality, and it blew my mind.

Oh, and I’ve yet to taste it! It’s sweet from the moment it hits the palate, opening up with caramel and dark fruits of all kind — raisins, plum, dates, fig. There’s boozy rum, which mixes delightfully with that raisin flavor, then layers of freshly baked bread. The finish is achingly sugary, but not cloying, and the alcohol warms your entire body. I could feel my body temperature rising as I drank, and the very bottom end of the finish features a wonderful parting gift of coffee treated with cream and sugar, with a trace of booze.

This is an ultimate dessert beer, and on the night of my 200th review, I treated Rochefort 10 as exactly that. Folks, this is world class all around, and if you love beer a mere fraction as much as I do, you owe it to yourself to pick up a bottle. Without a doubt, classic — and Rochefort 10 becomes the sixth beer that I have reviewed to score perfectly.

Roll on two hundred reviews!

Trappistes Rochefort 10, 100 points. Price: $7.49 US for one 11.2 oz. (330 cl) bottle.


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