This isn’t a backpacking beer. This is a beer for sipping in a proper glass at the right temperature. This is a beer brewed in old-world tradition with pride and care. This is a beer AB would spend millions to make fun of. This is one of my favorite beers of all time, and I’m hard-pressed to think of any beer that is definitively better. This beer is Rochefort 10 brewed by the monks at Abbaye St. Remy where brewing began in the late 1500s. According to the U.S. importer for the Rochefort beers, the current recipe for the 10 was developed in the 1940s and 50s. From a simple yet elegant label to a modest yet thick bottle, this beer exudes pride and tradition. Rochefort 10 The Rochefort 10 Belgian Quadrupel Ale pours a deep, dark brown with red hues when held to the light. The beer shows a nice, medium head but this is fleeting and fades rather quickly. The head rapidly thins in the center of the beer, but thicker areas are seen where it clings to the glass. Though the head fades quickly, there is always a thin layer of bubbles on the surface of the beer remaining until the glass is empty. The aroma is composed of both dark fruits and dark sugars. The scents of raisins, figs, and dates initially are found with a lingering caramel malt and dark brown sugar sweetness in the nose. As you swirl the beer, it looks deceptively thin. With your first drink, you realize it isn’t. This Quad is creamy and thick. The natural carbonation in this relatively fresh example which was bottled in July of 2014 results in a nice tingling on the front of the tongue. The candy sugary sweetness on the middle of the tongue gives way to darker fruit on the back. The dark fruit is reminiscent of figs, dates, and plums, though the taste leans more towards a prune than a fresh plum. Rochefort 10 There is a slight hint of ester and phenol from the yeast before the aftertaste is dominated by an interplay between candy sugar sweetness, dark fruit flavors, and a nice hop balance. Late in the aftertaste as the sweetness fades, notes of tobacco and oak arrive. This is a high ABV beer at 11.3%, but the alcohol is hidden well, even in this young example. This Quad pairs well with meats such as lamb and duck, dark gravies, and rich chocolates. However, it’s such a complex beer that it’s the most fun to drink by itself and see what flavors you can find. Being a big beer with heavy use of dark malt, it will age well for many years. All Trappist beers are interesting and special, but this one is tops in my opinion. Yes, even compared to the Westvletern 12. And at about six bucks for an 11.2 oz bottle, it’s definitely cheaper. Winter is still here, and this is a fantastic cold weather beer. Grab a friend, pour a few of these, light a fire, sip it slowly, and enjoy the liberation of various flavors as this beer breathes and warms. Should you have never had this beer before, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me you suddenly have a new favorite. Cheers, Alex ___________ Aroma                                     10/10 Mouthfeel                                 9/10 Flavor                                      10/10 Style-appropriateness       10/10

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