Rochefort 6 was first released to the public in 1953 after Chimay helped the struggling Trappist brewery revamp their brewery and recipes. This would also be the prototype for the 8 and the 10, which use the same ingredients, just more of them. The name designation of “6” refers to the mostly out of use Belgian system for measuring the gravity of the wort. The higher the number, the more fermentable material in the beer and thus, a higher alcohol level. It would be the equivalent of 1.060 in standard Original Gravity.
If you were to categorize this beer stylistically, it would best be called a dubbel. This beer is the “rarest” or the beer with the least production of Rochefort’s beers.
To read more about the Trappist Breweries and Rochefort, you can read my pieces on “The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing” and “The Brewing Monks: The Eight Trappist Breweries.”
Appearance: Hazy amber/brown. Light tan head with great retention.
Aroma: Coriander, yeasty, spicy, roasted notes, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
Flavor: Spicy, clove, cinnamon, caramel, toffee. Medium body with a cleansing carbonation and a long finish.
Overall Impression: Rochefort 6 is a great entry point into Trappist beers. It’s got a ton of flavor, is a bit lighter in body than many but still packs a nice punch. It’s relatively balanced, leaning a bit to the dry side. And sometimes, you may want a Rochefort 10, but don’t want a double-digit ABV. Grab this guy and enjoy the flavor! There’s a reason Rochefort garners such praise from Trappist beer lovers, it’s excellent.
Availability: 6 has the smallest production of the 3 Rochefort beers and may be a little harder to find than the 8 or 10. This beer is being imported by Merchant du Vin. Check with your local beer shop that carries MdV products and request this beer.
Notes: “Best by date:” 28/12/2016