As we come back into season, why not hit the cellar and break out some Belgians brews. We hit another style of Belgian beers last summer with our affinity for Saisons. One of my favorite styles, in my opinion, to usher seasonal change is Trappist Belgian Beers. They seem to have a unique mellow candy aftertaste. I find that the few Trappist styles I've had, have a complex taste as they warm. I often used to overlook Trappist and Kriek styles as one that I would never enjoy. However, I've grown to appreciate these delicious and unique beers with age and an older palate.
Also, my appreciation for these beers grew by an off-chance trip to the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, where we had the chance to stop by Ommegang Brewery (which I highly recommend). Once there, I began exploring the various styles of Belgian-inspired beers. There I had the chance to try Three Philosophers and some of the aged iterations of Three Philosophers; I also had one of the flagship beers, the Abby Ale, which is not a traditional Trappist. However, it piqued my interest as it was as if every sip had a different taste; however, it combined seamlessly into a great sipping beer.
I started to branch out and try some Belgian beers from Belgium, the county from which they've been founded and perfected. Through the years-long quest, I've ultimately tried to have as many as possible as there are multiple styles. Most recently, I had these beers from Rochefort after finally being able to locate the 10yr. I appreciated the differences in the years and ages of each beer. Each seems to have its distinct and unique flavor profile. I went into it thinking that without question, I would love the 10yr with its age and higher ABV, and the 6yr and 8yr could fight for 2nd place. However, I was pleasantly surprised as the 8yr to me brought out the best of the beers. It met in the middle with age and still had that sweetness that the 6yr possessed, which I felt was missing in the 10yr.
I plan on trying a few more Belgian beers here as we work through the Spring into Summer months. A fun experiment to try with the different years and taste the differences in each beer. Although I have done this with a few Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops stouts for one reason or another, I never tried with Belgians; for sure, I will try to recreate this experience this year.
We invite you to hit us up and let us know your favorite verticals or vintages beers worth checking out! As always, Cheers! 🍻