Sunday, February 28, 2010

Belgian Beer Review 14: Rochefort 10

I took a break from scrubbing bottles for my dubbel to try another Trappist ale--this time it was Rochefort 10. I know folks who swear by this beer, some going so far as to rank it the best Belgian they've ever tasted. It's been so long since I've had this beer that it's essentially like tasting it for the first time.

Brewery: Brasserie de Rochefort (Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy)
Brewery Location: Belgium
Beer: Rochefort 10
BJCP Style:
18E. Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Serving: Bottle

Appearance: Pours charcoal brown, with bright, vivid tan head that dies quickly

Smell: A big complex nose present as soon as the cap is open; chocolate and coffee mingle with dark fruit esters, layered over a spicy alcohol foundation

Taste: Yeasty and dark fruit flavors meld with spicy hops and chocolate malt. There is the slightest hints of sherry oxidation, and as the beer warms, alcohol becomes more present around the edges

Mouthfeel: This beer has a sharp bite, in a way that one might expect from an artisanal Vermont cheddar.

Drinkability: Pleasurable but not as much so as I was expecting. Don't misunderstand--this is a solid beer. However, I had been expecting a melange of exotic flavors, and while this beer was complex, it was complex on the side of darker, richer aged flavors. I'm not sure the age of the bottle, but it hinted of beer that had been cellared for some time. Reading through reviews on sites like BeerAdvocate, my experience seems to differ from those of other drinkers, so perhaps this beer is a good candidate to cycle back to.

No comments: