I've been dabbling in Belgian beers for a few short months looking for one that’ll knock the socks off my ass, if you know what I mean. One of the varieties I’ve been reading about is from one of the world’s famous authentic brewing monestaries, Brasserie de Rochefort (Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy). (That’s easy for you to say). It has beckoned from the shelves for some time, this lovely TRAPPISTES ROCHFORT 8, and so I gave it a try on Memorial Day in honor of all the brave men who perished on Belgian soil in the two WW’s so that I could remain free. Thanks, fellas. This incredible beer instantly became the standard-bearing knockout Belgian beer for me, the one that everyone else’ll have to beat to win my ultimate love & affection. At $4.99 per, it’s not exactly a brewski I’ll be pounding with my buds during the ballgame, but it’s so delicious & smooth I’d reach for it every time if it was sitting in the cooler. Maybe this is what Belgians pack into the Coleman for backyard BBQs and trips to the beach – hey, Belgian college kids are beer-bongin’ this stuff in the dorms for all I know. In the US of A it’s a pricey import and it’s worth every nickel.
ROCHEFORT 8 – not to be confused with Rochefort 6 and Rochefort 10 – is a strong dark ale that packs a hearty 9.2% of alcohol into its formulation. It looks like a beautiful light amber/chocolate syrup, and it poured with a head at least two inches tall in a small glass. It has a medium carbonation and just a pleasing way of not overwhelming yer mouth, but is packed with all sorts of delicious flavors that a more imaginative person could probably describer very well. Here, go visit these guys – they’ll tell you what it tastes like. I was so blown away by this beer that I’m giving it the bullseye – that’s right, the 10/10, the full magoo! I wonder what the “10” tastes like – I saw that in the store and it was > 11% ABV. In any case, that’s the first 10 we’ve awarded here at Hedonist Beer Jive (though Black Butte Porter and Boont Amber already made that cut years ago), and if you have a speciality beer store carrying these, I implore you to give this one a try.