Glassware: As with many Belgian beers, glassware is important. The key is glassware that allows the aroma to take front and center while allowing the beer to warm slowly from body heat through the hands. The first and best choice for glassware is Trappist Rochefort’s own glass but if this is not an option a snifter or tulip glass will suffice.
Description: Rochefort 6 pours a deep ruby red with chestnut brown highlights throughout and has a very fine layer of slightly off white head that remains throughout. The aromatics are wonderful and 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, a wide variety of fruits are detectable on the palate such as apple, apricot, and plums melding with restrained spicy notes of cinnamon and clove before the Belgian yeast characteristic washes throughout and the dark fruit flavor develop into the finish of the beer. The medium body and moderate carbonation gives the beer its signature smooth drinkable quality. Rochefort 6 is an absolute must try, as are all the beers brewed from Brasserie de Rochefort.
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 variance of dishes. Try pairing Rochefort 6 with a lovely vegetable based stew, the carbonation and complex flavors throughout will highlight a variety of vegetables and create an unforgettable experience. Another fantastic pairing is with duck. Many people complain of duck being a little too fatty, however the carbonation and body of Rochefort 6 will make the fattyness all but disappear in the dish and render it to its smooth enjoyable qualities and highlight the caramel flavors that could have otherwise been locked within. Any wide variety of gamey meats make for perfect companions with Rochefort 6 whether you are looking to try wild boar, ostrich, rabbit or venison, this a beer to have on hand for a dream pairing.
The Final Word: The Trappist brewery Rochefort only brews three beers that are readily available to the public. If you are going to rely on such a small beer lineup than the beers must be fantastic. Rest assured these three beers 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 than allow yourself to sit and sip and take in all the subtle complexities and nuances locked within, something many a monk have done while brewing this beer. Another important note is that the glass 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.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Brasserie de Rochefort
Beer: Trappistes Rochefort 6
Style: Belgian Dubbel
ABV: 7.50 %