Tag Archives: Belgian

Maredsous 10

Maredsous 10

From the same brewers who bring us the delightful Duvel, the is the Maredsous 10 Tripel.  While not a Trappist brewery, this is brewed under license from the monks of the Maredsous monastery in Denée, Belgium.

Pours on the orange side of gold, lighter than most tripels. Fluffy and frothy white head. Belgian yeast is evident in the aroma along with rich and complex malt. Starts with a hint of sourness counteracted by sweet malt. Fruity and floral.

What’s the 10? Why, the ABV, of course. But you’d never guess that.

It’s very unique, especially compared to other Tripels such as Westmalle and Chimay. Tough to describe this one other than to say it’s unique and delicious

Grade: A

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Ommegang Abbey Ale

Ommegang Abbey Ale

There is no doubt that Trappist Monks know a thing or two about brewing beer. So Ommegang Abbey Ale certainly has a lot to live up to with their interpretation of a world-class style of beer.

The color is spot on for a Dubbel. Deep ruby with a fluffy off white head. The familiar sweet malt and sour fruits fill the nose. The flavor is quite close, too. Sweet malt, fruit, lots of spice and black pepper. Maybe some anise, too. Full and creamy in the mouth with a pleasant alcohol warmth on the way down from the 8.5% ABV.

If there is any drawback, I’m getting an overly salty soy sauce flavor.

Overall, it’s outstanding, but I would put it a notch below similar offerings from true Trappist breweries.

Grade: A

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Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue)

Chimay Blue

What makes Belgian Monks so good at brewing beer? Chimay Blue is another one of those rare, flawless, unforgettable beers.

Dark brown, cloudy, with a bit of sediment and a thin white head that doesn’t fade. Dark fruits, black pepper, and caramel in the aroma. Soft, velvety texture that is full of caramel, toast, black pepper, a little banana, and butter. A little heat from the 9% ABV warms on the way down.

As with most Trappist beers, the more it warms and the more you savor this, the more complex and delicious it becomes. A 25 ounce bottle is not enough!

Outstanding. A must-have

Grade: A+

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Orval

Orval

One of the 6 Belgian Trappist breweries, Orval pours a hazy orange with a magnificent head that’ll take some taming. Lots of sweet orange, spice, and lemon zest in the smell.

The taste is very unique.Many champagne qualities. Quite sour and a big bitter hop bite at the back end. There’s a bit of lemon and pepper in here, too. Most of the flavor is coming from the hops and yeast, as I’m not getting much malt here. You won’t find many beers with this much carbonation, either.

Exceptionally complex and interesting. I’ve never had anything quite like Orval.

Grade: A

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale

Duvel

The Belgians are certainly known for unique beers, a great brewing history, and Duvel is high on that list. Crisp and golden white a very aggressive white head, don’t let the appearance fool you into expecting something light and watery. The first thing I notice in the smell is apple and some hops bite. It’s full and dry on the tongue, with sour fruit at the back end. Very well balanced between malt and spicy hops, and there is a lot of both. I’m also getting a late alcohol warmth, and at 8.5% ABV, that is expected, but you’d never guess it’s that high.

Here is proof that a light colored, fizzy beer can have tons of flavor. This is one to seek out

Grade: A

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21st Amendment Monk’s Blood

21st Amendment Monk’s Blood

How could I resist a beer called Monk’s Blood? This offering from 21st Amendment is also canned. More on that later.

Not red like you might imagine, but more of the brown of a Monk’s Robe, keeping with the Abbey style. While the nose is nothing but sour, it would be nearly impossible to pick out all the subtleties. Cinnamon, vanilla, wood, caramel sweetness, clove spice, sweet malt. There is some sourness at first and at the very finish, but not as much as the smell would have you expect. A ton going on with this one, and at 8.3% ABV, by the time you figure it all out, you won’t be able to figure anything!

The can throws me, though. I took the first couple of drinks in the can and it just didn’t feel right! Too much of the metal taste, as well.

Give it a try and hold on!

Grade: A

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Trappistes Rochefort 10

Trappistes Rochefort 10

An authentic Trappist Ale, this particular Abbey has been brewing since the 16th Century. Pretty interesting read about it here.

There are three versions of the Rochefort, 6, 8, and 10. I’m lucky enough to have the 10. My beer guy told me it was the best beer in the world. Will it stand up to the claim?

Pours a very sticky mahogany with a creamy tan head. Big, sweet malt with dark fruits in the nose. The taste is very complex. Butterscotch, sweet malt, dark fruits, a peppery and alcohol bite in the very dry finish. It’s huge, smooth, and incredibly complex. I do get some of the 11.3% ABV, but not as much as expected.

The first time I had this, it was cloyingly sweet. It’s still rather sweet this time, but not nearly as intrusive.

This is not a beer to chug, it’s one to savor and try to figure out.

I don’t know if I’d go with “best beer ever”, but it’s quite good and undeniably unique. A must try.

Grade: A+

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Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

Just from the look of La Fin Du Monde, the experience had me thinking of champagne with the foil top and the cork. It even smells a bit like champagne and sweet grapes. The color is a delightful, hazy yellow. The taste starts citrusy, then on to grapes, and finishes a bit dry with a spicy, peppery bite. The 9% ABV is present, but not overpowering. This is complex, smooth, and quite enjoyable. A beer you definitely need to try before The End of The World

Grade: A

*I had the bigger bottle when I reviewed this initially, but did not have a camera on me. This picture is from a later enjoyment

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Westmalle Tripel

Westmalle Tripel

I’m down to just two authentic Trappist breweries yet to try with tonight’s Westmalle Tripel. The color is lighter than expected with a very cloudy pale yellow, but the fluffy white head is unyielding!

Lots of lemon and sweet malt in the nose. The flavor is an interesting mix of sweet malt and sour yeast followed by sweet grapes very late. The finish is long and dry. Very creamy mouthfeel before the hops cut through. As it warms, I’m getting a distinct lemon pepper flavor.

As I’ve come to expect from Trappist ales, these beers are very complex with well balanced flavors and expertly mask their high ABVs, in this case 9.5%

Maybe not as good as the La Trappe Quad, Rochefort 10, or Chimay Red I’ve had recently, but this is still an outstanding beer.

Grade: A

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Chimay Red

Chimay Red

Those Monks sure do know their beers! As my delightful trial of a beer from every Trappist brewery continues (I will have had 5 of the 7 by the end of the week), I’m trying Chimay Red.

Hazy light brown color with a pillowy head that hangs around for a bit. The flavor features big, full malt, a hint of hops to cut through the sweetness, and some apricot in the finish. Starts creamy and ends dry. Very interesting sensation. As it warms, I’m getting butterscotch and some pepper.

Overall, a sensational beer. Big flavors, great texture, complex, and balanced.
Grade: A

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