Building on my last review of the abbey-style Guldenberg, I recently was able to sample and review Rochefort 10, from the Trappist brewery of the same name in Southern Belgian. Rochefort is one of the eight official Trappist monastery breweries and has been brewing beer since the end of the 16th century. They produce three beers: 6, 8, and 10. The alcoholic strength of these beers roughly corresponds to the numbers, a holdover from the days before highly accurate alcohol calculation.
10, which actually weighs in at 11.3% abv, is a deep shade of brown, with a rich, malty aroma that is biscuity and almost breadlike. It has a complex flavour with the character of raisins, caramel, and even notes of rum. For its potent strength it goes down well and isn't syrupy, and finishes with just a bare hint of alcohol. Without a doubt this is a beer to be savoured and enjoyed, I would highly recommend it for a slow-sipping after dinner brew.
If beer is liquid bread, this one proves it, as it drinks almost like a dark winter bread laced with raisins and served with a hot rum on the side. If indeed the offerings of some Trappist breweries have slipped in quality in recent years then I would venture that this beer is not among them. Perhaps the fact Rochefort has one of the lowest production levels among Trappist breweries is a factor in this. Whatever the case, if you enjoy things dark and heady and full of flavour, give Rochefort 10 a try.
Rating: Very Good