Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘Brasserie de Rochefort’

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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Rochefort 10

Posted by jwpiper on February 5, 2009

To accompany my Coq Spinnekopke at In ‘t Spinnekopke, I chose a bottle of Rochefort 10. Now here’s one beer which I just can’t bring myself to buy in the US. I know I’m in the minority on this, but in my experience this beer doesn’t travel well. I’m not sure how that could be with it being such a big beer, but at $6 a bottle at stores in Ohio, it’s not worth it for what you get. Fresh in Belgium is a completely different story. This is an exceptional beer which is pretty easy to find (and cheap), so I’ve had quite a few of these when I’m overseas.
Appearance
5
Thick, rich, dark brown color with perfectly lacing off white head.
Smell
4
The smell is caramel, candied sugar and dish soap (I suppose that means bright, fruity smells). It richens as it’s consumed – more caramel and some fruity smells.
Taste
4.5
Reminiscent of Gouden Carolus Noël or a La Trappe Quad without metallic or burnt sugar flavors. Very much caramelized sugars with some chocolate, rich fruits, and a nice bittersweet finish. To compare with another quad: not nearly as complex as Westvleteren 12.
Mouthfeel
4.5
Carbonated and smooth. Not cloying or heavy, but rich.
Drinkability
4
Perhaps too sweet to be extremely drinkable. Hides ABV very, very well, though. A sipper, largely because of the sweetness.
Overall
4.45
An excellent beer. Much better in near the source than in the US.
Price
Not sure what this ran at the restaurant, but in Ohio it’s usually $6/330ml.

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