Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Trappistes Rochefort 8


The middle child of the Rochefort family of Trappist beers. I've never had this one, either, and much like the 6 it's considered a Belgian Strong Dark Ale rather than a dubbel or quad. The 6 really took me by surprised, I could only assume this would be a step up.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (697) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 15, 2012
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a Trappist chalice.

Appearance: Dark brown color, proper. Plenty of spastic carbonation visible. Forms a large, beige, foamy head which doesn’t fizzle away completely but doesn’t leave much lacing on the glass.

Smell: Surprisingly milder nose with a generic Trappist ale scent. Some dark fruits and hints of clear liquor sweetness. A hint of rum or vanilla, some alcohol.

Taste: Both the Trappistes Rochefort 6 and 8 are technically "Belgian Strong Dark Ales" as opposed to "dubbel" proper, but it shows in their taste. Whereas the 6 was overtly sweet and on the lighter side, the 8 is a little more intense all around. Quite mild up front with only a hint of bitterness, the 8 finishes with a very different palate than it begins with. A milk chocolate and almost tart fruitiness finish the palate here. Similar to a chocolate covered cherry or some kind of Starbucks concoction. While sweeter on the ending than the beginning, this beer still ends with more of a thud on the palate. Rum-like flavors combined with tart fruit make for a more "serious" drinking experience. There’s a sweetness to be found, and it’s delectable for sure, but seems to be a bit lacking considering the strength of the beer.

Drinkability: Whereas the 6 felt and drank like flat soda, Trappistes Rochefort 8 drinks like a traditional Trappist brew - spastic and peppery across the tongue with plenty of carbonation building up in the throat. It’s not a sipper, but there’s more of an aftertaste and an alcohol presence - which isn’t surprising considering it’s quite hefty at 9.2% ABV. Yet there’s no alcohol warmth and only a mild dryness to the palate. Not sweet enough to qualify as a dessert beer, this is more of a nightcap.

Grade: 7/10