Liam Deegan

Archive for the ‘Trappist’ Category

Beer Review: Koningshoeven Tripel

In Reviews, Trappist, Tripel on November 6, 2010 at 1:58 am

The next “Belgian” beer is a style that Belgium is most famous for: the Trappist Tripel.  Chimay White is the most recognizable and most available of the Trappist Tripels.  Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeven is based in the Netherlands, so technically not a Belgian, but the six other Trappist monasteries are in Belgium so this is going in Belgian week here at PourThought.  Here’s my review:

The beer comes out of the bottle a murky copper color with an off white head.

The smell is very bready and nutty with hints of marzipan (almond candy) and some raisin along with grain and cereal.

A strong carbonation bursts onto the palate, delivering some serious liquid bread.  Sweet, bready and raisin flavors are the most bold with the usual yeast spice and booze that runs into a residually sweet finish which quickly snaps dry at the very end, leaving nothing but a prickly carbonation feel.  More flavors that develop as it warms in the glass are port, brandy, grape, raisin bread, toffee and estery, spicy yeast on the end.

It is medium to full bodied, a bit chewy with lively bubbles.

It is dark for a Tripel and doesn’t have as dry of a finish as most do.

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and I think this would really go well with pumpkin pie.  The breadiness, the spice and the sweet will meld with the pie’s flavors, and the carbonation will lift it and any whip cream from the palate.

Style: Tripel

ABV: 8%

Cheers!

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Beer Review: Trappistes Rochefort 8

In Reviews, Trappist on February 21, 2010 at 7:35 am

This is one of the 7 Trappist breweries in the world.  “Trappiste” is an appellation, which is legally defined. In order to have this appellation, the beer must be brewed under supervision of the monks and on the property of the monastery.  Trappist however, does not define a style but is just the legal name for these beers produced by monks.  There are abbey beers, which are beers done in similar Belgian styles or named for a monastery, and many are very good, but legally cannot be called a Trappist beer.  The classic Trappist styles consist of the 3 runnings of the mash.

The monks, being prudent, achieved three different beers by running water through the mash-tun of a single mashing three times.  The first was the strongest, “Tripel” which was saved for special royal guests or occasions.  The second, “Dubbel” the middle strength, and a weaker Singel, which is mainly brewed just for the monks themselves, and is not really available for retail.  Additionally Trappist breweries and abbey beers now also offer “blondes” and Belgian Strong Dark/Pale ales. The number 8 (they also make a 6 and 10) refers to the original gravity, which is a way of measuring a beers potential alcohol by volume by measuring the amount of dissolved solids (ie. sugar) which eventually will be converted to alcohol by the yeast.

Belgium has a very diverse beer scene, and a very rich history in brewing.  If the beer is brewed right, you can taste that rich history.  This Rochefort 8, a Belgian strong dark ale was so good, it brought me halfway there.

Pours a rich mahogany with a dense and creamy mocha head that has remarkable retention.  I chose to pour in the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, which created a nutmeg-esque swirl in the center of the foam.  Some sediment settled to the bottom, and fine bubbles consistently rose to add to the perpetually creamy head.

From the pour, the alcohol and yeast immediately became present, and once in the glass, the initial notes of raisin and earthy dark fruits and some licorice became very noticeable.  The malt delivers a strong sweetness, followed by yeasty earth tones of oak and vinous quality, followed up by sweet raisin and prune coming through as the focus.  There is no hop presence in bittering, aroma or flavor, which is expected for the style.  The residual sweetness from the candi sugar and full mouthfeel makes this beer an incredible dessert choice.

The mouthfeel of this beer is amazing.  The dense foam gives way to a pleasant and natural feeling carbonation that is deliciously creamy, and reminiscent of a root beer float.  There is not much heat, which is surprising for a 9% abv beer which made this one go down pretty easy.

My food recommendations are that you enjoy it with smoked or sweet BBQ, or after/before a meal with some sharp cheese that might contrast the beer’s sweetness.  Or just have it for dessert.  It is that rich and delicious!

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 9.2%

Cheers!