At the recommendation that PHM review Rochefort 10, I thought it best to start at the beginning and work my way up, but first a little background.

I sometimes get the perception that people think Trappist ale is this ultimate beer style that only coinsures and sophisticated beer drinkers can enjoy. This is far from true my friends! When you get down to the basics Trappist ales are nothing more than Belgium browns, blondes, doubles, triples, quadruples, and strong ales. (singles brewed for the monk’s consumption). They are special only in the sense that Trappist beers have to be brewed under the supervision of monks on their monasteries property. There are only a handful of beers that can be given the trademark “trappist” name. They are: Chimay, Achel, Orval, Westmalle, Rochefort, Westvleteren, and La Trappe. Most commercial styles are called Abby ales. These beers are bottle conditioned, lightly hopped, most often have a higher ABV (7-12%), and utilize candi sugar to increase their strength while not adding body.

With that in mind let me focus my attention on Rochefort 6. I chilled mine for about a day which helped settle the over carbonation when I opened the bottle. It’s best to serve “trappist ales” at cellar temperature (55˚). I like to experience the different flavors as my beers warm up so it’s really up to personal preference.

With an easy pour (decanting off yeast) I produced a somewhat hazy, light brown beer. It has a tan head that bubbled excitedly for a couple minutes then fell. The aroma was warming with hints of raisins, prunes, spicy yeast, earthy tones, and the most prevalent was of light chocolate. The taste was full and rich like a brown ale, but was not heavy on the palate. The carbonation added to the light mouthfeel, yet the 7.5% ABV let you know this brew has some body. On the backside it left a sweet chocolaty finish coupled with an herbal spiciness. While this is a must try (A range), I’m going to give it a B+ because I think it is missing some gusto.