Let me just start off by saying that Rochefort 10 is not only my favortite beer in the world, but my favorite beverage, period. I tried my first Rochefort 10 about 8 years and it blew my mind. This is the beer that instantly convinced me that beer is not just a bloated means to a drunken end, but a sophisticated beverage with endless flavor possibilities.
For me, Rochefort 10 is the anti-Budweiser, a beer that can convert even the snobbiest wine or single-malt scotch connoisseur to the extraordinary world of craft beer. I enjoy a robust Napa Cab as much as the next person (I belong to a Napa wine club and will be visiting the area again next month), but I will choose a Rochefort 10 every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Simply put, it’s just that damn good.
Rochefort 10 is a Trappist beer, brewed by Brasserie de Rochefort at the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy in Rochefort, Belgium. There are currently only 7 authentic Trappist breweries today (6 in Belgium, 1 in the Netherlands). Rochefort is one of them. As you may know, in order to receive the “Trappist” designation, a beer must be brewed at a Trappist Abbey by or under control of Trappist monks that control all aspects of beer selection, production, distribution, and marketing. In 2006 I went on a Belgium beer tour throughout Belgium and visited the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy. It was an awesome experience to visit the birthplace of my favorite beverage surrounded by a beautiful Belgium countryside.
After all these years my anticipation of “10” enjoyment has never waned. I purchased this bottle of Rochefort 10 today at a local supermarket in Western NY. Let the euphoria begin.
Style – Belgian Quadrupel
ABV – 11.3%
Appearance – Rochefort 10 has a dark brown color with an ecru head. The head is about two fingers after the pour but quickly dissipates to a slight film. Upon completion there are traces of sediment, as Rochefort 10 is a top-fermented bottle-conditioned beer.
Smell – Notes of raisin, fig, banana, apple, and caramel.
Taste – OMGooooooodness. Does Heaven have a taste? Right away I taste what I smell, raisin, fig, banana, caramel, but also chocolate, and that characteristic Beligian yeast. As I progress through this deliciousness, I now taste carmelized banana, and hints of licorice. Wow, this beer is amazing. Slight carbonation, a little sweet, but you can hardly taste any trace of alcohol. The body is perfect, not to full and not too light. The delectable aftertaste lingers in your mouth and you don’t want it to leave.
Overall – Words cannot describe the feeling that comes over me when I put this sweet nectar of life to my lips. Sweet, exhilarating bliss. Rochefort 10 is so complex, so good, I just don’t know how those wiley Monks in a small Belgium town consistently do it after 400 years.
Next month I’ll be visiting the Russian River Brewery to partake in the famed Pliny the Elder. One day I hope to taste an offering from Westvleteren. But until then, Rochefort 10 reigns supreme. There is nothing better than a Rochefort 10 on a Friday night after a long week of work. Perhaps maybe two Rochefort 10s. If you’ve never had the luxury of the “10 experience,” go out to your local craft beer emporium and buy one now. You’ll thank me later. Op uw gezonheid!