10 August 2008

Trappistes Rochefort 6 (BEL)

I understand that there was a time a couple years ago ago when Rochefort 6 wasn't easy to find in the US. Now it's probably sold everywhere 8 and 10 are. My red-capped bottle of 6 is a year and a half old, but still 3 1/2 years away from its "drink by date." I paid close to $7 for it at my local beer store, and then Googled to find this was a good $1-2 higher than most others pay, so maybe I'm grumpy going in.

According to this old post by Stan Hieronymus, 6 isn't just a lighter version of the others, but has some other recipe differences as well. I've only ever had 8. (one of my favorites), not 10.

Rochefort 6 pours dark brown, not completely opaque, with some red or orange tones when held to the light. Nice head...but not up to the level of 8, which I recall sticking around until nearly the last sip. The aroma promises malty sweetness and dark fruits (no surprise). It isn't a really heavy-bodied beer, but it sticks to the tongue. Lots of tight, fine bubble carbonation.

The taste is of caramel or maybe toffee sweetness, raisins and cherries (but not sour). It's hard for me to describe all that is going on, but on the whole, it isn't as rich and complex as its older brother. This isn't surprising, but I think the size of the step down is greater than I'd wished. I have to say, I was mildly disappointed in Rochefort 6 but only because my hopes were so high and I paid a lot for it.

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