Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

2003 Rochefort 10

Posted by jwpiper on February 7, 2009

My original plan was to grab just a couple of beers at Kulminator before going for dinner and maybe return afterwards. So, I had to go for something special from the start. Since I’ve always thought Rochefort 10 should age well, I figured I’d give a bottle from 2003 a try. The numbering on the bottle was 281008, which means it was brewed at the end of September in 2003 – more than five years ago. It came to me straight from the cellar and was poured perfectly into an old school Rochefort glass, leaving the last 2 cm in the bottle with the balance of the yeast.
Appearance
4.5
Pours a dark brown with amber highlights, developing a nice tan head which quickly recedes.
Smell
5
Some port qualities – less than expected. Nice rich fruits, like dates. Caramelized sugars.
Taste
4.5
Still has the caramelized sugar backbone. A bit thinner than I expected, but very little alcohol bite. There was minor oxidation. Rich fruits on the palate as suggested by the smell. Some chocolate as well.
Mouthfeel
4.5
Much thinner than I usually prefer for this style, but it is so smooth and the thinness deceptive – as the flavor is by no means thin. Provides a tickle of carbonation.
Drinkability
5
So easy going. A sipper, but not because it couldn’t be consumed faster, but because it’s a precious treat. Very, very easy going down.
Overall
4.65
Delicious – again, not nearly as delicious as Westvleteren 12, particularly with a few years under its belt. Final pour is thick and sludgy. It adds some smoothness and bready notes – quite good. Don’t be worried about mixing this in unless you prefer the appearance of a clean pour.
Price
€6.50/33cl. A no brainer in my mind – or age your own. I don’t know if or when I’ll ever buy enough of this to hold onto for 5 years, so I’d likely go for this again if/when I’m back at Kulminator.
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3 Responses to “2003 Rochefort 10”

  1. […] (RSS) « 2003 Rochefort 10 Antwerp – Afspanning ‘t Waagstuk […]

  2. Judy said

    I can easily splurge on a few bottles of Rochefort 10 with the thought that I’ll age them. But it would be a test of willpower to see them every time I go to my basement/cellar. This is such an incredible beer, and I’m sure it ages beautifully…but I don’t know if they’d last longer than a week while in my immediate reach.

    Great review. L’chaim!

    • jwpiper said

      So true, Judy. I think the key to cellaring is to buy enough so that when you make the inevitable dent in your cellar there will still be enough left to make it through a few years. Good luck with it!

      Cheers, Jon

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