“Rochefort 10” begins with a density of 24.5º Plato and ultimately reaches 11.3% ABV. This lovely beer has to be drunk with measure! It is often called the “Marvelous.”
This is one of Belgium’s six Trappist breweries and it leaves only Westmalle and Westveleteren out of the six that we still haven’t tried. We’re keen as mustard to get in to this so let’s roll on with the review. Served in to a Snifter. This deep mahogany pour provides an extremely active amount of carbonation which streams up to form this fizzy one and a half finger cap. The head is retained quite well and gradually peels off, settling to a firm covering over the top. Not a great deal of lacing is to be omitted though. Our first whiff of this flings us back to our early days when we used to smash a 750ml bottle of straight bourbon at a party. The nose offers a firm waft of whiskey that is very well blended in to those rich Belgian yeasty aromas of doughy banana bread, raisins, prunes, brown sugar, toffee, cola and earthy fig. A timely reminder of how our palates have matured! In the mouth it’s lively carbonated, giving it a real light and bubbly texture. Good weight to it though, really bedding down on the tongue as it flows down with ease. Great balance. And it’s about now that we have to admit that we are gobsmacked at the ABV. How do they do it? How do you make an 11.3% beer drink like a 7% beer? Only these genius Trappist brewers know we guess. We can’t help but think of cherry cola as we take our first sip of this seriously complex quad. There is this sweet, syrupy fruitiness that offsets the earthy, almost tobacco-like flavour on entry. We are reminded of this ginormous ABV through the mid as it really warms the edges of the tongue. A viscous caramel/toffee element comes through which leads on to this spicy, yeasty finish. Brilliant. When the first timer comes begging for a world class Belgian Quadrupel this is the beer he should be passed. This is executed perfectly. It’s sweet, earthy, alcoholic and full flavoured. Top notch.