Trappist ales, brewed by monasteries mostly in Belgium, are created and sold by the monastery to support itself and charitable causes. These monasteries tend to produce delicious beer, the most widely known of the eight official trappist breweries being Chimay.
Brasserie de Rochefort is the brewery located inside the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy near Rochefort, Belgium. The brewery has been producing ales since 1595, and its most popular is Rochefort 10. The water used for brewing comes from a well located inside the abbey.
This 11.3% ABV ale is dark brown with a small tan head. The scent is similar to a dark wine; dark, fruity, and a bit boozy. A bit of Belgian yeast in there as well. The taste, however, is less reminiscent of wine. A definite sweet raisin taste in there though, as well as some alcohol and a nice touch of spices. It also contains just a little bit of a sour taste that really fits in well. I wouldn’t go so far to call this a sour beer but it has just a bit of a nice funk. No hop flavors and very little bitterness to speak of. It’s a little thick with a lot of carbonation.
Rochefort 10 is absolutely delicious. I was able to pick it up at the grocery store just down the street; I was told it was just recently reintroduced to the Texas market. If you see this on the shelf you owe it to yourself to give it a try. This may not be a Christmas beer, but it’s definitely good for a Christmas treat.