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First Posted: 5/6/2014

Beer: Trappistes Rochefort 6

Brewer: Brasserie de Rochefort

Style: Belgian Dubbel

ABV: 7.50%

Description: Rochefort 6 pours a chestnut brown with ruby red highlights throughout and produces a very fine layer of slightly off-white head that remains throughout. The aromatics are wonderful and extremely complex with notes of apples, raisins, ripe plums, biscuit malt, dark fruits, and a very subtle note of spicy hops. The taste follows the nose with an engrossing amount of complexity with appearances of sweet malt and a wide variety of fruits that are detectable on the palate, such as apple, apricot, and plums. These meld with restrained spicy notes of cinnamon and clove before the Belgian yeast characteristic washes throughout and the dark fruit flavor develops into the finish of the beer. The medium body and moderate carbonation give the beer its signature smooth drinkable quality. While Rochefort 6 is considered a Belgian Dubbel, it may be quite different from others that may have been sampled in the past.

Food pairing: Rochefort 6 is a beer that is wonderful to have on hand all year round and can find its home with a huge variety of dishes. Try pairing Rochefort 6 with a vegetable-based stew, as the carbonation and complex flavors throughout will highlight a variety of vegetables and create an unforgettable experience. Another fantastic pairing is with duck. Many complain of duck being overly fatty, but the carbonation and body of Rochefort 6 will make this quality all but disappear in the dish and render it to its smooth enjoyable qualities, highlighting the caramel flavors that could have otherwise been locked within. A wide variety of gamey meats make perfect companions with Rochefort, 6 whether you are looking to try wild boar, ostrich, rabbit, or venison.

The final word: The Trappist brewery Rochefort only brews three beers that are readily available to the public, and if you are going to rely on such a small beer lineup, then the beers must be absolutely fantastic – rest assured that they are breathtakingly wonderful. However, despite the beer being only 7.5 percent ABV, this is still very much a sipping beer that will continuously change while sitting in your glass. If you have the ability allow this one to warm up a bit before opening, or if you are out and order it, then allow yourself to sit and sip and take in all the subtle complexities and nuances locked within – something many a monk have done whilst brewing this beer – then do so. Another important note with this beer is that the glass certainly matters; this is not a beer to be had in a standard pint glass, as you will not experience the full bouquet of aroma and it will stifle the effervescent carbonation. Rochefort 6 is an absolute must-try beer, especially for fans of Belgian beers. It may be a bit pricey, but it is absolutely worth every cent!

Rating: W W W W W

Where can I get it? Currently available in 12-ounce bottles at: Backyard Ale House, Scranton; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Arena Bar and Grill, Wilkes-Barre; and Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.