Sunday, January 10, 2010

Trappistes Rochefort 6 8 10 Tasting Notes

I'm a little behind with a number of posts I've intended to write. Numerous inebriated adventures are awaiting upload and publish. This Rochefort tasting took place early August after having read Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymus (Amazon link to Brew Like a Monk) during the summer. While this post was well overdue, subsequent posts are all related to the recent holiday drinking season.
Quick introduction: These were my written notes months ago and tasted the 6 and 8 one evening and the 10 on the following evening. I used a Corsendonk tulip glass for tasting which concentrates the carbon dioxide bubbles in the center. Any reference to "the book" below is Brew Like a Monk. During the tasting, I was reading Stan's section on Rochefort and his tasting descriptions. Check out Stan's blogs which are linked above.
Rochefort 6:
The book gives the vitals as - OG 1.072 ABV 7.8% (7.5% on the bottle) Attenuation 83% SRM 20 IBU 18
Light aroma with subtle malt sweetness and no perceivable hop. The head subsided within a few minutes. The light body and delicate malt sweetness lent to a bready after taste. Very digestible and refreshing with warming closing in. Towards the middle of the beer (half full or half empty), more bready toast flavors become pronounced with a alcohol warming mineral flavor that lends to tequila notes in the after taste (I must have had a good evening at the cantina the night before this). In my opinion, a fantastic beer!
According to the book, Rochefort uses Dingemans Pilsener, caramel malts, and pellet styrian goldings and hallertauer hops. "The monks weren't concerned about producing a commercially viable product, just a supplement for their vegetarian diets."
Rochefort 8:
The book gives the vitals as - OG 1.078 ABV 9.2% Attenuation 90% SRM 32 IBU 22
Head subsided at the same rate of the 6, quicker than expected. The head fell soon after taking the picture. The aroma has more malt and dark toast than the 6. There's a medium to dark toast bready flavors and alcohol is notes are apparent (as it should be with 9.2%). As the beer warms up, there's more alcohol in the aroma. Its not as sweet as the 6, more dry. There's noticeable use of adjuncts since there is less bready flavor and malt sweetness than the 6. Great beer though I prefer the 6.
Rochefort 10:
The book gives the vitals as - OG 1.096 ABV 11.3% Attenuation 89% SRM 45 IBU 27
Pours with a creamy beige head with more retention than the 6 or 8. The aroma has a very subtle malt sweetness and alcohol. The body is certainly bigger though it still remains very smooth. The 10 is bigger in every aspect than the 8: malt, body, alcohol, bitterness. There are also wine characteristics with tannins (in bitterness more than hop). I also taste roasted to charred caramel flavors, raisin, and fig. The book says Rochefort uses white and dark sugars along with wheat starch as their adjuncts. There's less carbonation than the 6 or 8 yielding a creamy texture with quick warming. Great strong beer though I have to go with the 6 as my favorite of the Rochefort lineup.

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