Discover the Trappists: Rochefort

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A Trappist beer is one that is still brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery, either by or under the supervision of the resident monks. Additionally, the brewing is not done for profit and isn’t the main function of the monastery. Only breweries that meet these stringent conditions are given official Trappist status by the International Trappist Association (ITA). As a consequence, authentic Trappist beers are few and far between and therefore both revered and sought after. The Rochefort Brewery One of these recognised, authentic Trappist beers is made by the Rochefort Brewery or the Brasserie de Rochefort. This Belgian Trappist brewery is situated inside the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy; home to around 15 monks and has operated the Rochefort Brewery since 1595. Beers The brewery produces three different Trappist beers: Rochefort 6, Rochefort 8, and Rochefort 10. Ensuring that the beer remains true to its ancient heritage, the beers themselves are bottled in modest brown glass bottles, each with a different colour bottle cap. The labels also have a traditional style, with ‘Trappistes Rochefort’ written in a calligraphic font. Rochefort Brewing techniques The water used in the production is obtained from a well inside the monastery. Coming from the Tridane springs, the monks say that this water gives a unique flavour to the beer. The yeast used is also unique as it has been carefully preserved and mutated over time, so that it is distinct to the Rochefort brewery. Tasting notes The beers brewed by the monks at Rochefort all fall into the category of dark, strong ales. However, there are notable differences between each of the three beers. Rochefort 8, is fruity, with notes of fig, spice and sweet tea and a yellow-brown colour. This award winning beer received a gold medal in RateBeer’s “Best Beers of Belgium 2010". In comparison, Rochefort 10 is dark reddish brown in colour. With complex aromas and fruity flavours, it is dark and sweet, with a “strong plum, raisin, and black currant palate” and leather and malt aromas. Rochefort 6, was first made available to the public in 1953. The beer has a reddish-brown colour, with flavours of caramel, herbs and an earthy aroma. This beer won a gold medal at the 2006 World Beer Championships. Want to know more? Visit the official website of the Rochefort Brewery here or to discover more about Trappist beers, read our blog post: “What is a Trappist beer?Photo credits: hans s and  Smabs Sputzer both via Compfight cc

 

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