Old-World Acumen – Belgian Quadrupels

  • Shaun Tolson

We were tempted to feature only U.S. beers in this story, but we had to praise the resident monks at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy near the town of Rochefort, Belgium. After all, the abbey has brewed beer since the end of the 16th century. “There’s so much that you can talk about [with] the new American craft breweries,” says Mesirow, “but those Trappist breweries have been doing things perfectly for hundreds of years.”

The brewery’s crown jewel, Trappistes Rochefort 10, is a dark, sweet quadrupel that offers up flavors of raisins, plums, and dates. “It has a similar sweetness to a big scotch ale or a sweeter barley wine, but it’s effervescent despite its sweetness,” Mesirow says. “The surprising thing about it is that it’s pretty well carbonated, so it makes it much more drinkable than it should be for an 11 percent beer. This is another one of those beers where trouble is waiting to happen.”

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