This week I wanted to start ticking off some more of the 250 top rated beers on Beer Advocate, so for my beer of the week I pick Rochefort 8 (LCBO# 676569). It is surprising that I haven’t tried this yet, but there are a lot of beers out there and not as much time as I would like to sample them all. Rochefort 8 is a Trappist strong ale from a monastery near the town of Rochefort in Belgium. Rochefort 8 is ranked #168 out of the top 250 beers on beer advocate receiving a 96% score after over 4,000 rankings. It is considered to be one of the few authentic Trappist monk beers and meets the following specific criteria in order to make the cut:
- The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.
- The brewery, the choices of brewing, and the commercial orientations must obviously depend on the monastic community.
- The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not toward financial profit.
The above criteria and a list of other authentic Trappist monk beers can be found on St. Peter’s List, a great resource and starting point for those delving into the world of Trappist beers.
Some Facts About Rochefort 8:
- The beer originated in 1955.
- It was originally brewed exclusively for New Years Eve celebrations, but in 1960 due to its popularity it became a beer regularly made by the monks.
- The brewery is in the abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint- Remy, which is near the town of Rochefort in Belgium.
- The monks there have been brewing beer since 1595.
- Rochefort 8 will age well and can be aged at least 5 years.
- The “8” in the name makes reference to a Belgian system for measuring wort (hence Rochefort 6 and Rochefort 10), which is no longer a popular or well used method. *Wort refers to the liquid extracted from the mashing process which contains the fermentable sugars.
- The beer that the monks brew uses hard water from a well on site for all the water in the brewing process. In recent years the water source has been endangered by nearby quarrying. Many petitions to help protect the water source have been started and can be found online if your are interested.
Colour: Opaque, light brown/orange/amber, a bit rusty in colour. Tan foam that was bubbly, but not frothy and that dissipated quickly. Some sediment in the bottle.
Smell: Mild, sweet caramelized maltiness. Very subtle smell.
Taste: Malty, minerally, with subtle orange zest. Spice/ nutmeg notes. Tongue prickling with a slight metallic feel and minimal effervescence. A sharp/sourness that eventually mellows to a smooth finish. All in all an unassuming strong beer that is both sharp and creamy.
Tys and I both really enjoyed this beer and I can definitely understand how it has come to be so highly regarded around the world. I would definitely recommend it!
Have you tried it? Leave a comment or vote below and let me know what you thought of it! Cheers!