Beer reviewing can sure be intense! After a quick pit stop, a sandwich, and a couple big glasses of water I’m back to report on Rochefort 10. Here is what I found.
Appearance: Similar head as #6 and 8. The color is truly remarkable resulting in a deep ruby/scarlet red. I literally held it up to the light for close to five minutes watching the light hit the glass in various ways. I decanting this final brew much better, but there is still some residual sediment that made its way into the glass detracting from the clarity.
Aroma: Very sweet and alcoholic. The sweetness was nectar-like and the alcohol was almost like a wine. If you were to give it a quick waft without knowing what it was, you might say it was honey mixed with a mild rubbing alcohol (not to paint a bad picture). It is not as complex as #8 in terms of malty notes since the alcohol strength is a key element of this brew. I would say it was more floral (literally flowery) than fruity. The fruitiness I did pick up was of the dried or dark range.
Taste: Sweet honey! There was the spicy yeast flavor as evident in the first two brews, but this beer brought out the sweet tooth. If you have had Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch, you will have a good read on this beer in regards to flavor. Hints of saffron (flower stems), honey, nectar, and syrup were evident (you might also find some very dark chocolate and caramel notes). There was a minor malt character that came through that did help to provide some balance.
Mouthfeel: Relatively thick and sticky. My lips and palate are coated with sweetness which adds to the viscosity. It has lower carbonation than #6 and 8, a very heavy finish, and the ABV is 11.3%. This latter aspect helps to balance the sweetness.
Overall: This was an interesting beer to at least try once. If you do not like it, at least you can say you tried it. I might buy another bottle and cellar it until I’m in the mood. If you want to sample something similar, check out Michael’s review on St. Bernardus Abt 12.
Tried this again (Jan. 2011) and found it to be rather boozy in both the nose and flavor. That, paired with a spicy component were the highlights of the beer. The grape-like flavors were present, but it lacked the smoothness found in Westvelteren and St. Bernardus 12.