Brewery: Rochefort Brewery, in association with Rochefort Abbey
Type: Brown Ale (Trappist)
ABV: 9.2% (!)
Appearance / Aroma / Body: The beer pours quite delicately and appears rich and creamy, with a medium to thick body. Its smells absolutely beautiful; both soft and sweet. It holds a flowery characteristic – not like hops but more like sweet, fragrant lilacs. I can also pick up on a deep grain and roasted malt.
The head is big and fluffy and gradually gets smaller. It definitely helps bring those amazing aromas out.
It has a nice brown color, akin to mahogany or rose wood.
Taste / Feel: I was already excited before taking my first sip, but also quite nervous that I’d set my expectations too high. Well, I hadn’t. In fact, this beer far exceeded my expectations in every way. Usually I’ll take a sip and write up my thoughts in a calm, controlled manor however I’d like to paste an excerpt of my first thoughts as I frantically and furiously wrote them down:
“NO! I cannot figure out how to do this justice. It has a cherry, roasted malt. The flowery fragance comes through in the taste, too. Simply perfection. I’ve never tasted something like this – yet it’s just so beer. I don’t know if that makes sense but, sometimes when I taste a specialty type of beer I finish it wanting a normal beer because that’s I crave. This is what I’ve been craving.”
It has a wonderful sweetness to it all the way through – not an artificial sweetness. In fact, this beer actually is sweeter than a normal beer. It’s considered ‘Demi-Sec‘, which is the 2nd highest rating on the sweetness of wine rating system
Towards the end, there’s a slight burn or numbness due to the high percentage of alcohol – similar to how wine feels in the back of the throat. Because it’s 9%, you can taste the alcohol at times however, in my opinion, it actually helps control the sweetness as there’s no bitterness to speak of. It’s creates the balance. It’s not uncomfortable or offensive in any way. The exhale brings the cherry and roasted malts back.