Friday, July 20, 2012

Trappistes Rochefort 10


This is definitely one of the most all-time requested beers (although, ironically, no one requested it during All Viewer Request Month last year). I've heard many say they like this better than Wesvleteren 12 - and those are some pretty big shoes to fill. Would Rochefort be able to follow through on that?

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (698) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 18, 2012
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a Trappist chalice


Appearance: Opaque dark shade of maroon/brown; forms a small, off-white, soapy head which fizzles like a soda but does retain a bit but doesn’t lace the glass.

Smell: General dark fruit fragrance plus notable alcohol sweetness.

Taste: Usually when it comes to beer the fresher it is the better it is, but in the case of a beer like Trappistes Rochefort 10 the opposite is true. My bottle was dated 16/11/16 which I assume means it was bottled on 16 November 2011. Since I’ve encountered many Belgian beers of the style I know the beers palate will change over time and usually for the better. That’s not to say this beer is bad in the slightest bit - just that it didn’t seem to be fully matured at the time I drank it. But if this is an immature brew, it’s still quite impressive for what it’s able to accomplish.

Like most others it begins with a pure energetic sensation. Intense Belgian carbonation combined with a sweet taste of dark fruits and a vodka or rum-like alcohol taste open the palate. It makes itself known from the get-go and it makes no apologies for its character. Unlike most which have a wine-like taste to them, this one keeps in the tradition of the 6 and the 8 with confectionary-like sweetness rather than fruity sourness. Toffee and caramel are quite prominent throughout the second half, with minor bitterness and dryness to round out the palate. The aftertaste is remarkably clean (maybe a little too clean), although there’s just a trace amount of alcohol to be found. A delectable palate for sure, but it seems like more will happen with some age on this body.

Drinkability: If Trappistes Rochefort 10 is the most robust of the Trappist quads, it’s also the most spastic in the mouth. The carbonation dances on the tongue, almost causing a bit of a friction burn and it does get stuck in through making it difficult to take more than a sip at a time. While it’s obvious it’s a potent beer, it never seems to be as dense as its 11.3% ABV weight would otherwise have you believe. Alcohol is detectable, but it’s not flagrant or distracting. I’d imagine an older vintage would be perfectly smooth, though.

Grade: 9/10

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