Sunday, September 25, 2011

Abbaye St-Remy Trappists Rochefort 10 - Quintesential Quad

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed "The Stoic" from Deschutes and concluded that, while a very good beer, it was not a Belgian Quad. So I decided to go get an authentic Belgian Quadruple brewed by real Belgian monks. Trappistes Rochefort 10 from the monks at Abbaye Notre-Dame De Saint Remy. I can see why some folks are a surprised and confused. When the term "Old Masters" is used in art it usually conjures up thoughts of DaVinci, Botticelli, and the Renaissance crew. If I apply that term to beer, it means these guys, and there 6 brethren Abbeys. They really are the masters.

It Pours a hazy dark brown with light doughy head. It reaches up the side of the glass a little less than an inch. Just the perfect amount. The nose is very full. There is light banana, expected in any Belgian beer, booze and Carmel malt. And then a rich dried fruit note like raisin or dried plums.

It tastes very malty and boozy. It creates a boozy warmth like I see from barrel aged beers with a stout sweet malt backbone. The raisin and plum dried fruit flavors are there to balance out the alcohol. There is little to no hops. If there are they are only there to help balance the malt and sweet booze aftertaste. They are not there to be tasted, just contribute to the overall complexity and balance. This is an excellently complex beer that is still very drinkable. I see why they are the masters.

This is a big round complex boozy malty sweet amazing beer. Truly one of the defining beers of the Belgian quad style. It's a rare thing to be able to make a strong sweet ale like this that is neither too sweet or to alcoholic. My wife kept trying to steal tastes from me as well. When was the last time that happened with a 10%+ abv beer. this is a perfect beer to warm you on a cold night, relax after a long day, or to sit and sip while reading a good book. Absolutely lovely.

Pros: A defining Belgian Quadruple that is simply a joy to drink.

Cons: At $10 for a 12 oz. bottle it's more of a treat than a fridge standard.

Verdict: A beer that is more than a yardstick for a Belgian quad. It's more like a pole vault.

5/5 stars


TypeASeattle said...

Hi Shaun!
Is this something I could find at QFC or would I need to make a special stop at Bottleworks, etc? I love the thought of a malty Belgian w/o the hops.

Thanks for the review!

BeerShaun said...

I bought it at the QFC on Broadway in Capitol Hill. It's definitely not a bottleworks exclusive. go get some!