Trappistes Rochefort 10
The Rochefort brewery (Brasserie de Rochefort) is located within the nearly 800-year-old Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy in the southeastern Belgium town of Rochefort. It first began brewing in the late 16th Century, and today microbrew connoisseurs regard the three beers it produces as the quintessential “Trappist” ales. This designate is currently held by just eight breweries, six of which are Belgian, and awarded by the International Trappist Association, which also assigns the seal of authenticity to a variety of foods and other goods that meet the standards of quality and traditions rooted in the monastic life of a Trappist community.
At 11.3 percent alcohol by volume, the quadrupel-style Trappistes Rochefort 10 is the strongest and most full-bodied of the brewery’s ales. While dark brown in color, the Rochefort 10 is delightfully light and effervescent in taste, with a creamy head that evaporates quickly and leaves a smooth, rich drink. Enjoy it cold or let the beer sit for a minute to warm up and excite more flavors. Initial notes of coffee and dark chocolate precede hints of raisins, figs, and even bananas. The warmth and sweetness of its flavors easily control the beer’s potency. After settling for a few minutes, the Rochefort 10 shines as an easy albeit potent sipping beer.
(www.abbaye-rochefort.be; prices range from $5.50 to $8.00 per 330 mL bottle; check your local beer merchant for availability)