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Old 05-05-2007, 08:48 PM   #1
Airtight
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Default Trappist Tasting of a Lifetime...

For those of you who love Trappist beers, this should interest you.

Last February, I got together with three other friends to do one hell of a Trappist tasting.

We tasted the following beers:

Orval
Achel: Bruin 8, Extra 8
Rochefort: 6, 8, 10
Westmalle: Dubbel, Tripel
Westvleteren: Blonde, 8, 12
Chimay: Red, Blue, White

The only one we didn't have was La Trappe, which is fairly new.


One of the guys who tasted with us is a Beer Judge with a Master ranking.

We didn't rank all the beers from best to worst. In the end all we cared about were the top 5.

I apologize in advance for the simplistic, incomplete tasting notes. They are really just a small compilation of the main points we made about each beer. We were not really hung up about all the different aspects of each beer. We just wanted to narrow it down to what we all thought were the best Trappist brews.

1. Westvleteren 8
Amazing. This was the best one by far. Sweet then dry. Reminds you of pecan pie. Gentle alcohol. Many complex layers of flavor and aroma. When you walk into Heaven this is what they will hand you when you ask for a drink. A very special beer.

2. Westmalle Tripel
Yeasty, fruity, fun. Ripe apple and lots of pear.

3. Westmalle Dubbel
Candy cherry and plum aroma and taste. Full and clean. Very fun.

4. Orval
Very dry. Musty. Brettanomyces is definitely there. Slight horse blanket. Cooked apple aroma. The nicest surprise of the lot.

5. Chimay White
Apple. Clovey. A little mousy. Very nice.


I think its interesting to note that the Rocheforts and the Westvleteren 12 didn't even make it into the top 5. Rochefort was totally unimpressive and the Westy 12 was harsh and lacking character.

~Airtight

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Old 05-05-2007, 08:55 PM   #2
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Thats crazy I though the westmalle were the worst trapist beers I have had. I loved the Rochefort though. Just shows everyone has different taste.

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Old 05-05-2007, 11:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ryanh1801
Thats crazy I though the westmalle were the worst trapist beers I have had. I loved the Rochefort though. Just shows everyone has different taste.
Yeah, all four of us were surprised too at what we thought about all the beers. Whats interesting is that we didn't argue about what we thought were the top beers. We were all in agreement about beers 1, 2 and 3 with a little dispute about numbers 4 and 5. But thats usually how it goes, judging beer. The top 2 or 3 are usually obvious. Its the rest of them that are difficult to place. Tasting all the Trappist beers side by side is very very different from tasting them alone. I thought Rochefort 8 was wonderful when I tasted it alone but then tasting it with the Westmalles and Westvleteren 8 it wasn't very good.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
The only one we didn't have was La Trappe, which is fairly new.
Brouwerij de Koningshoeven was founded in 1884 so they're hardly new. They are however, the only trappist brewery outside of Belgium. They began exporting to the US sometime in the mid to late 1980's.

Sounds like a great tasting. I love Orval and the Westvleteren beers are outstanding! I also think Westmalle Tripel is the best available in the US.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brewtopia
Brouwerij de Koningshoeven was founded in 1884 so they're hardly new. They are however, the only trappist brewery outside of Belgium. They began exporting to the US sometime in the mid to late 1980's.
New, meaning they were recently granted the privilege to once again call themselves an official "Trappist" brewery. They are rather difficult to find in the states though. Only place I have seen them is in Florida.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:06 PM   #6
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Man, I love the rochefort... 10 is definitely my favorite of the bunch, but I'm a big fan of them all. I got them fresh in Belgium though, maybe that makes a difference?

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Old 05-07-2007, 06:48 PM   #7
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I'm wondering the same. Maybe poorly handled bottles? While I agree Westy 8 is a superb beer, I feel that the 12 blows it away!! But mine were fresh from the cafe.

Great tasting though. I've been celaring some myself so that I can do something similar.

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Old 05-07-2007, 08:12 PM   #8
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One hting to keep in mind is that some times those beers are so old/poorly stored in shipping that you may not be tasting what the beer is really like. Could explian why those 2 beers didn'tt make it neer the top.

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Old 05-08-2007, 12:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dennys Fine Consumptibles
One hting to keep in mind is that some times those beers are so old/poorly stored in shipping that you may not be tasting what the beer is really like. Could explian why those 2 beers didn'tt make it neer the top.
That is definitely a possibility. Better make a trip to Belgium and taste them all in one day to compare
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dennys Fine Consumptibles
One hting to keep in mind is that some times those beers are so old/poorly stored in shipping that you may not be tasting what the beer is really like. Could explian why those 2 beers didn'tt make it neer the top.
That right there is the reason when I buy my beer I go into the back of the store and pick them right out of the box. Most people don't have the opportunity to do this and I don't suggest you ask the liquor store guy to do it for you. But even if they are in brown bottles they will get light struck in the time that they sit on the shelf. I need to try more Belgium's though.
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