Beer Review: Trappistes Rochefort 10

February 12, 2011 at 18:51 (Beer)

330ml bottle, poured into a chalice glass. The colour is of root beer, right down to the nice brownish-white head, which is just pretty to look at as it settles from half-a-finger’s worth to just a thin layer.

This beer is a joy for the nose. There’s banana, apple, burnt sugar, biscuit, cherry, bready yeast, and an understated hoppiness, and that’s just for starters. It’s so lovely I could be happy sitting here and not even drinking it.

Dear sweet gods of brewing, the taste is unbelievable! The burnt sugar flavours come out much stronger on the tongue, and there’s a pleasant note of something between caramel and cocoa to accompany it. And yet it’s not too sweet – clearly the bottle-conditioning yeasties have seen to that, as there’s a solid bready backbone that rises up right away to balance things out. The fruity ester-y elements are still there, but playing a supporting role, though that lovely banana-going-on-bubblegum taste lingers nicely. There’s a lively, almost spicy phenolic twist as the taste experience resolves. The hoppiness is barely perceptible, which is just fine by me; this beer doesn’t have an aftertaste so much as a warm afterglow. The carbonation keeps the slightly-heavier-than-your-average-beer mouthfeel in check, and the 11.3% (!!!) ABV is never intrusive or even all that noticeable.

There’s a part of me that wants to quaff this incessantly until I’ve finished the entire bottle, but it’s so good that it’s worth waiting a minute in between sips lest your taste buds just get overwhelmed by the beautiful complexity and start sending extensively abridged reports to your brain. I think that means it scores well for drinkability.

This is one of the most impressive beers I have ever come across. It’s like Chimay Blue on steroids. If you see this for sale anywhere, I urge you to drop what you are doing and purchase it. You will thank me later. Effusively.

Alright, I’ve written enough. Me and my half-a-remaining-bottle of Trappistes Rochefort 10 need some time to bond.


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