03 October 2008

Been there, drank that

The beer from one particular country always goes straight to my memory cells and conjures up rich malty beer in dark poky wood-panelled pubs. So for this month's Session I'm going with one from this genre which I've never tried before.

The country, of course, is Belgium, and the beer is Rochefort 6. I was a little apprehensive that this baby Trappist might not offer the full strong Belgian ale experience, but the 7.5% ABV claim on the label gave me confidence. It pours a translucent ruby-brown shade with the very typical soft fluffy Belgian head. The aroma is spice, incense and violets, though with none of the heady alcohol vapours I was expecting.

Even though the body is light and the flavour full of sweet fruit and candy rather than earthy malt, this still took me straight back to Belgium on the first sip. It's something about the soft carbonation, the long long plum aftertaste and the slow-burning alcoholic warmth that speaks uniquely of the country. Of course, the two higher-numbered Rocheforts offer the same only bigger, though not necessarily better. I could get used to this light every-day Trappist, especially at Belgian prices.


  1. If you find the Rochefort 8 and 10 to be a bit sharp I'm told that cellaring them for a few months can make a big difference. From what I hear, any amount of cellaring, from a few months up to at least 10 years is good.

    Haven't tested this myself yet, but there are 10 bottles in my cellar now, so...

  2. Can't say I've ever got a sharp Rochefort. Vinegary Westvleteren, yes. But my Rochefort experiences have all been top notch.

  3. RealAleBlog10:37 pm

    Ridiculous I know but I find 6 a bit wishy-washy. Perhaps I've been spoilt by 8 & 10.

  4. I know what you mean, but I reckon there are days when you don't want the full Ulster fry but are content with just a bacon sandwich.