FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 8, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
33Cl bottle. Deep red-orange, large pillowy light tan head. Biscuit, caramel, raisin aromatics, with acidic tinges of apple skin and "alefruit." Lusterous raisin and caramel flavors, which lead to vinous and dark fruit flavors. Hints of cocoa and a faint toastiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, slightly hot and slightly chewy.
kepano (246) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 7, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
It is a shame but the only way to describe this beer is in comparison to its older brothers, the Rochefort 8 and 10. It seems unfortunate that the monks of Saint-Rémy have decided to brew three very similar beers that all retain a distinctive flavor but degrade in excellence as you descend in number. All three are extraordinary products but once you’ve tasted them, it seems appropriate to ask: why? Why not focus on Rochefort’s exceptional achievement and celebrate the "10" rather than dilute its greatness by marketing the lesser siblings? As an explanation I would propose to compare the Rochefort 10 to a famed renaissance painting. The first contact reveals its true grandiosity, you realize all the minute detail and scrupulous work that truly demonstrate the skill of the artist. But as you go on to study this chef d’œuvre you may find the process of execution more interesting than the final product itself! The rendering of this painting would therefore benefit from its original sketches and drafts as a means to understand the creator’s technique and vision. As you have guessed, I would consider Rochefort’s 6 and 8 to be mere sketches of their champion. However this does not demean them as beers of their own. In fact, they are a useful tool in building a real appreciation of the paradigm that is Rochefort 10.
The short-lived soapy ecru head foams above a swampy red body crowded with chunks of yeast. The nose instantly labels it as a Rochefort. Figs, red wine, bitter dark chocolate and caramel compose the basic aroma but simultaneously an unusual dusty, dry, musty cellar odor surprised me as a habitual Rochefort 10 drinker. Some of the complexity is obviously lost. Similarly the flavor feels watered down, more acidic and entirely reliant on its dark cacao and roasted malt tones. Still a delicious flavor but it does feel incomplete and unfinished. The palate loses its velvety touch to the aggressive carbonation that dramatically reduces some of the subtler notes in the flavor. Some might think it preferable to start with the Rochefort 6 and work your way up to the best. I would recommend the opposite and start with the Rochefort 10 in order to appreciate the full stupefying effect of its excellence. The other two are meant for education.
stouby (3769) - Holbæk, DENMARK - JAN 5, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, at home.
Brown with light brown head, unfiltered, almost lasting, good lacings. Aroma moderate to heavy malty (caramel, roasted, brown fruit). Flavor moderate to heavy sweet, light bitter. Medium body, oily, soft carbonated. Very fine taste, but missing some more body.
jgentgesdo (673) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - JAN 1, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours beautiful amber-red, cloudy with large tan head that lasts and laces well. Nose is complicated - dark fruit and crushed oak leaves, old and mysterious - reminds me of a cellar. The flavor is of dates, raisin, malt, and several spices. Quite dry. Mouthfeel is slightly watery and final palate is thin and slightly uninteresting.
nick76 (4238) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
The aroma is brown sugar, plums, and figs. The appearance is a cloudy red brown with sediment at the bottom. The head is fizzy like a cheap lager. The flavor is sweet with a fairly strong alcohol taste and a dry wood like finish. The palate is way to thin. This was sort of a disappointment. I don’t dislike it but it’s weak for the style.
TaktikMTL (5864) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 30, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bouteille de 330 ml obtenue via les Importations Privées Bièropholie. Arôme: Odeur de prunes et de cassonade. Apparence: La couleur est ambrée foncée voilée avec une présence de dépôt en suspension et une faible densité de bulle. Présence d’un moyen col beige mousseux et d’une large dentelle sur le verre. Saveur: Goût de petits fruits foncés et de mélasse. La durée de l’arrière goût est moyenne. Palette: Le corps est mince avec une texture minérale. L’effervescence en bouche est moyenne. Présence de petits fruits en arrière goût. (Rating #393)
Sobchak (131) - Skagen, DENMARK - DEC 24, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Amber coloured. Caramel, fruity and grassy nose. Quite soft mouthfeel, with notes of dried fruits, bitter chocolate and grassy hops.
ElGaucho (2225) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 13, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Aroma has elements of dark fruits and sweetness, as well as clean laundry and dry hops. Once the head has subsided, the laundry aroma is gone; this is a really unique, wonderful, otherworldly aroma. Dark, murky, reddish brown body with a large tan head that is relatively well lasting and leaves excellent lace. Large particles visible at bottom of glass. The flavor very much flows from the aroma. Initial mouthfeel is a zingy carbontion, but this really isn’t overly caronated at all. Flavor is quite subdued compared to the 8 and 10. I frankly am not overly impressed. A little drier than I like and seems somewhat thin and overly alcoholic. Appears unfinished and overrated, and at $6.49 for an 11.2 oz bottle, overpriced.
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - DEC 13, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
My least favorite of the Rochefort beers, but still good. Flavor was very thin, but the alcohol isnt even noticable at all, abit malty, muddy flavor. Not bad, but not great.
Lubiere (10187) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 11, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle shared with Hunsell at Café Bar Le Duc, ’s Hertogenbosch. Red amber ale with a very sweet caramel aroma, good hops and cherry notes. Rather sweet malt with notes of brown sugar, prunes and raisins. Woody notes appers. Nice light hops but short bitterness. Medium bodied.