Archive for the ‘Belgian Strong Ale’ Category

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Day #363 – Rochefort Trappistes 8 & 10

December 30, 2011

2 Days away! This project is finally coming to a completion and it couldn’t happen on a more impressive of a note. Today’s selection is a fantastic one, but there is more to celebrate than merely enjoying a good beer. I recently had a chat with a writer for the local paper, the Star-Telegram. Steve Campbell contacted me through my blog noting that he had been a long-time follower and was interested in doing a story on…well my story. I met with him on my birthday, over a pint and told my tale. The result is HERE, and for those of you who were brought here from Steve’s article, thanks for reading! Today’s selection will not disappoint.

Rochefort Trappistes 8 & 10

As today is a very special day indeed, I opted to feature not 1, but 2 awesome brews! Don’t worry, I didn’t break my rule of 1 per day as I shared them with a special person. 😉 Rochefort is one of the 7 breweries that officially carry the Trappist label, and they did not distribute to north Texas until very recently. I was super excited to find the 3 big ones here a few months ago and reviewed the Rochefort 6 as soon as I could. I decided to sit on the last 2 for a special occasion…and Day 363 seems special enough. The 8 is classified as a Belgian Strong Ale and checks in at 9.2% ABV. The 10 on the other hand is an Abt/Quadrupel and rings in at an impressive 11.3%! Very glad to be sharing these fine brews this evening.

Note: Both of these beers are bottle conditioned, meaning there is a small amount of yeast sediment remaining at the bottom of the glass.  Pour with caution, leaving the last quarter-inch in the bottle.

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Rochefort Trappistes 8

This beer pours a fairly dark brown color that turns quite orange in the light. It appears slightly murky in the light as well, but still maintains a bit of clarity. I was careful to leave the yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle while pouring. It also forms a nice fizzy beige head which sticks around for awhile.

Aroma is lots of Belgian yeast and fruit tones. Dry smelling with some woody characteristics. Smells a bit strong but not alcoholic.

Flavor is dry wood and fruit. The fruit comes through as a grape/aged wine type taste. There is a big dry finish that leaves some bitterness lingering with a sharp tingle on the tongue. As it dries it almost starts to develop a chocolatey taste. Interesting, just a bit too dry.

Rochefort Trappistes 10

This beer pours a very dark brown color, and the murkiness on this one is very apparent when held to the light. Only a dark orange color comes through the light here. Tall fizzy beige head forms and disappears rather suddenly.

The aroma here is all dark fruit; plum, grape and raisins. Dark malts and sweet brown sugar with a woody balance.

The flavor is smooth, dark fruit again that leaves a lingering sweetness on the tongue. The tingle over the palate is noticeable immediately and almost pushes to a burn. The raised alcohol level here is certainly felt, but this one has more flavor to balance it out.

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Thanks so much to Steve Campbell for lending me his ear and for sharing my story with his readers.  Only 2 beers left….CHEERS!

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Day #343 – BJ’s Brewhouse Grand Cru

December 10, 2011

Very late night for me last night so I’m plugging in the review this morning. Will have another review tonight while I watch the Cowboy game.

BJ’s Brewhouse Grand Cru

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BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is a chain of restaurants that also serve their own beer. There are several of them in the area but all have the same beers on tap. It’s a place worth checking out but I won’t be making it my weekly stop. I like more variety in my brewpubs, and these restaurants have pretty much the same thing on tap year round. However, they do have a rotating tap for seasonals and special beers. The beer I will be enjoying tonight is the Grand Cru, their winter seasonal. (Usually comes out in time for New Years.) It is a Belgian Strong Ale at 10%. I also purchased the nifty glass it was served in because I liked it so much!

This beer pours a hazy golden yellow that has some orange tint to it as well. White foamy head for sure that leaves a bit of residue on the edge of the glass.

The aroma is big time fruit and Belgian yeast characteristics. Lots of sweet notes of banana, clove, yeast and citrus. You can tell it is higher in alcohol by the intensity it puts forth, but cannot smell any alcohol esters.

The flavor is pretty tasty. Belgian fruit and yeast notes are the first thing tasted, with a touch of spice like clove and citrus again. Light tingle on the finish, yet remains smooth. Nice.

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Day #309 – Rochefort Trappistes 6

November 6, 2011

So I was out riding my bike with a riding group and we stopped at a local beer store (Central Market) and I went straight in to the beer aisle. What do my wandering eyes do appear but a glorious beer called Rochefort! This beer hasn’t been available in Texas in recent memory, and certainly not since I starting garnering an interest in beer. Apparently we now get all 3 of the most widely distributed beers from Rochefort. (which also happens to be the only beers they make.) Brasserie Rochefort is based out of Rochefort, Belgium and is a true Trappist Brewery. This is the number 6, which is a Belgian Strong Ale at 7.5%.

Rochefort Trappistes 6

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I certainly did not do this beer justice by drinking it out of a plastic cup. The beer gods will smite me.

The appearance is murky; very murky mix of brown and red. This also has a big head response which turns into a foamy brown color.

The aroma is very nice. Lots of Belgian fruit and yeast notes, dark fruit and perhaps a bit of grains. Bready almost as well.

The flavor is also bready and fruity. Belgian yeast notes and plum mix with grains that have a lightly bitter finish. Very good and I’m so glad I found this here!!

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Cheers!

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Day #237 – New Belgium Lips of Faith – Super Cru

August 26, 2011

Ok. I’ll be honest and say I fell behind this week. It became ridiculously crazy and I just didn’t have time. It’s ok, life got in the way. I plan on catching up today. Got a good one to start.

New Belgium Lips of Faith – Super Cru

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New Belgium has a Lips of Faith series in which they do small batches of experimental recipes. The Super Cru is based on their Fat Tire recipe with slight changes, namely the yeast strain and alcohol content, which is 10%.

Pours a clear bright orange color with a fizzy white head.

Aroma is lemon peel, coriander, popping citrus and belgian spices.

Flavor is spicy Belgian fruit, orange and lemon zest, yeast and the gentle kiss of alcohol. Very nice.

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Cheers!

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Day #236 – Dogfish Head Raison D Être

August 25, 2011

Day 4 of my week of hell continues. I’m beat. Straight to the review.

Dogfish Head Raison D Etre

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This beer comes from Dogfish Head Brewing. This is one of their top selling beers but I don’t know if it’s their flagship or not. This is a Belgian Strong Ale at 8% brewed with raisins!

This beer pours a clear mix of orange, red and brown. Nice foamy head. It looks great in this glass.

The aroma is a mix of raisins, alcohol and woody notes. Some sweet notes of sugar as well.

Flavor is bitter sweet, wort, woody flavors and Belgian yeast. Slightly bitter on the finish.

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Cheers!

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Day #213 – Barbãr

August 2, 2011

Barbar

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At Gman today and there’s a crowd. Today’s beer is called Barbãr. It is brewed by, I hope I get this right, Brasserie Lefebvre in Rebecq-Quenast, Belgium. It is classified as a Belgian Strong Ale. It’s filled with honey which is commonly used as a fermentable sugar to push the alcohol higher. There are alcoholic drinks that are made with honey as the base fermentable and these are called Meads. Remember this term for the test later. (and you may see it return later this week…) Sometimes you can taste the honey but moat times the flavor completely ferments out.

They are giving 8 oz servings of this due to the high alcohol. I intentionally have not mentioned it up to now. We’ll see how it tastes first. 🙂

It’s a little difficult to see through my frosted glass but it appears to be fairly clear. Amber orange in color with a foamy white head.

Aroma is sweet and full of honey notes. There are some bitter fruit notes that just touch on being tart. Smells strong.

Flavor is sweet with a touch of honey but there are lots of flavors of dark fruit. Plum and grapes, which might be where I was pulling the tart nose from. The flavor isn’t tart per se, but it easily could be if thought of in that manner. Finishes dry and sweet. Certainly wouldn’t know this was 8% unless I looked it up.

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Cheers!

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Day #205 – Delirium Tremens

July 25, 2011

Quick review today as I got home really late from work and just want to hit the sack.

Delirium Tremens

Solid Belgian beer today. This is a Belgian Strong Ale at 8.5% brewed by Brouwerij Huyghe. This beer is known for it’s classic pink elephants! You’ll notice them on the glass and bottle. Hope I’m not seeing pink elephants after I finish!

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This appearance is less than appealing. It pours a rusty golden color with a big foamy head. The head subsides quickly enough. What is so unappealing about this are the chunks of yeast sediment suspended in the beer. I tried to keep most of the yeast in the bottle but couldn’t stop all of them. Be careful with this pour!

Aroma is spicy and bready. There is a big bread aroma, some Belgian fruit, obvious yeast notes and some hints of alcohol.

Flavor is fairly tasty. Fruit notes of banana, light citrus and grapes are tasted upfront. Also apple. There is a big tingle on the palate. Bready grainy flavor.

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Definitely worth the try. Cheers!