Brewed by Brasserie Rochefort
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Rochefort, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3415   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.08   EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%
The lower gravity cousin to Rochefort 10. Nicknamed "Spéciale" (’The Special’), this beer is the most recent production. The Rochefort 8 has a more tawny colour and a more pronounced aroma, with an even richer fruitiness (a slight undertone of fig?) and a little more spiced dryness, like that of a cake, which gives a balanced finish to the final notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ross (2128) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - MAY 15, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 5, 2006 my first belgian strong ale. pours dark brown with a huge off white head. smells like plums, alcohol, and malty. taste is sweet with a chocolate like/ plum flavor. this reminds me somewhat of hair of the dog adam in the aspect of the plums.. but it certianly is nothing close. this is a great beer. sampled around 60 degrees. a nice sweet flavor to this as well. i like this beer. perhaps the belgian beer just doesnt do it for me as much as the american super hoppy beers do.

update: having drank this many times since my original rating, i feel that I rated it a bit low the first time around. This stuff is great, probably one of the best belgian strong ales on the planet. Amazing nose and body, great great beer, and a staple at my house for sure.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
tiggmtl (4545) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 15, 2004
Dark bitter chocolate, plums, raisins, mild horse blanket, and sweet malt in the aroma. Dark brown, opaque with tan head that recedes to a lasting cover and some yeast sediment. Chocolate, plums, raisins, light roasty bitterness. Alcohol is fairly apparent. Nice effervescence. Medium-full body. Definitely a world class beer but not in the same league as the Rochefort 10 for me. Bottle (at Le Bistro des Bieres Belges).

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (982) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - MAY 14, 2004
Poured out of the 11.2 oz bottle into the goblet with a very murky brownish red appearance. A lot of little Belgian yeast floating was observed around in the glass. The head was about an inch in height and died down pretty quickly. There was a generous amount of lace on the sides of the glass. The aroma was sweet-sour with cherries, licorice, molasses, and Belgian horse blanket smells wafting through. The taste was a balance between dark skinned dried fruits and dry peppery spiciness. The malt exhibited a roasty burnt quality, but not to a degree found in a stout or a porter. A more pronounced hop bitterness than that typically found in Belgian strong ales was also detectable. The beer was medium thick on the palette, and never felt watered down compared to its bigger and bolder brethren. This is one masterful brew thanks to those Trappist monks. If they did not require celibacy, I’d have joined the order a long time ago.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
frink (467) - coquitlam, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 10, 2004
A great trappist beer! Pours with a thick longlasting tan couloured head and a dark brown body with plenty of yeast chunks floatin’ about. The aromas are so many that I can’t identify them all. Some were chocolate, burnt caramel,burnt toast,mild coffee notes, raisins and some alcohol. The taste was awesome, not unlike the ten but more subdued in the alcohol and some of the other flavours, quite a smooth rich mouthfeel just the same.An awesome belgian strong ale. Sheer artistry in a bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
haf (525) - Gijon, SPAIN - MAY 9, 2004
Cerveza de muy alta graduacion (9.2%). Con color marron oscuro y fuerte sabor. Muy buena cerveza de abadia

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
st23jt26 (17) - Charlesbourg, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 9, 2004
Servie froide. Brunâtre avec quelques reflets rouquins. Pétillement et mousse peu abondants mais soutenus. Nez de prûnes. En bouche,goût sucré et de malt qui me fait penser à celui du brandy. Excellente pour égayer une fin de soirée entre amis.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
ontario102 (794) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAY 8, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2004 bbd082906: Pours with a nice, frothy, head; chaw-spit colour and pungient aromas: alcohol, licorice, oak, cheese, shoe-repair shop....that’s just strange....; the flavor is very rich, nutty, alcoholic, definite notes of raisins and dates; a bit sour on the palate; some slight coriander spice and maybe black forest cake coming though; this is a brew like no other. Not quite as I recall drinking it from the proper glass in Haarlem......but still, amazing!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - MAY 2, 2004
it’s a fine specimen to behold: a lightly yeasted pour the color of dried tobacco, the warm ochre of a martian twilight, the color of dough and the dirty-gold of a back-lit morrel mushroom. here’s another one of those desparately expensive beers where with every sip you feel the meter running--like a san francisco taxi ride. you say: "i smell red licorice and spanish boot leather", and take a sip. bam. that’s fifty cents worth. you ask yourself: "is it woody and sweet and delightful?" and take another sip. bam again, a buck. "yes, yes, it IS!" you slurp it loudly and languorously over the tongue like the wine tasters do-- to savor every molecule of encapsulated trappist wisdom-- and still you curse yourself for selfishly swallowing it. another dollar’s worth is gone... and so it goes. a tug of war to carefully catalogue the intricacies versus the overwhelming impulse to drain it away. amazing. where else will you smell cranberry and chocolate in the same sniff? it’s the very deffinition of complexity in a masterful libation: few essences are overbearing, and nearly any taste can be offered as a reasonable discriptor: mint and raisin? sure. haunting verisimilitudes weave in and out: "was that mustard and cheddar? hmmm, maybe... plum jam and peasant bread? yes. bourbon and lemon tea? honeycomb and cedarwood? yes. all of the above". peppery chunks of yeast settle out like buckshot; carbonation is the gently roiling air upon which the butterflys of flavor can play, this ale is milky textured and sweet with moderate bitterness. the alcohol dots the ’i’s and crosses the ’t’s, and ultimately crosses your eyes as well, and by the time you get to four dollars fifty cents worth, you’ve tossed aside the notes and given in to the hypnotic flow of flavors. sweet dreams.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerandsteak (12) - Syracuse, New York, USA - MAY 2, 2004
There are quite a few flavors in this beer. Chocolate, coffee, fruits... this beer is great for rewarding yourself. Pours a wonderfully dark, rich body, with a head that lets out some amazing aromas. Alcohol is masked very well, goes down smooth, with a satisfying aftertaste. Squeezed this bottle ’till the last drop, this beer ain’t cheap. But it was certainly worth it. Still have a 10 hanging out, that’s next.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
Sammy (9685) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 30, 2004
a wonderful sip. Complex spice mix. Great at end of meal, after meat and such. Replaces a great wine. Worth getting the signature glass and plunking down two or three times your cheap beer once in a while. Fruit (and the fig/date richness fruit) and hops and spice smell.

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