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Best of the Trappist Beers

designerboy01 Aug 28, 2006 06:13 PM

Which of the six do you think is the best?

  1. Josh Aug 28, 2006 06:46 PM

    If I had to pick one, I'd go with Orval. Second would be Rochefort 6.

    1. o
      olia Aug 28, 2006 06:52 PM

      Rochefort 10 as meal substitute (albeit a dangerous one) and Chimay Blue

      12 Replies
      1. re: olia
        e
        esg101 Dec 29, 2006 12:46 AM

        The Chimay Grand Reserve may be one of the best, if not the best. However, choosing beer, trappist or otherwise, is very subjective. Let's face it, some people still drink Bud.

        1. re: esg101
          k
          kenito799 Dec 29, 2006 02:48 PM

          "Which of the six do YOU THINK is the best?"
          the "and why" is of interest, I think. Of course it's subjective!

          1. re: kenito799
            e
            esg101 Jan 1, 2007 11:02 PM

            I like the Chimay Grand Reserve best, and you are right it is subjective, it is in the taster of the beholder, so to speak. Allagash Brewing Company of Portland, ME makes a very decent trappist like brew. Check it out at this site:

            http://www.allagash.com/home.htm

            1. re: esg101
              e
              esg101 Aug 5, 2011 08:55 AM

              Allagash makes a very nice trappist beer. I had it on tap in Maine, and I have to say, it was great.

              1. re: esg101
                n
                ncyankee101 Aug 5, 2011 09:46 AM

                Allagash makes Belgian style ales but not one of the trappist breweries.

                1. re: esg101
                  s
                  slvrmermaidgurl Aug 5, 2011 10:33 AM

                  You cant just "make" a trappist beer. Its not a style. It implies the origin - meaning it comes from a trappist brewery. That being said...allagash is one of my fav breweries. Rob Tod is the man!

            2. re: esg101
              j
              jackismydog Aug 3, 2010 09:52 PM

              Trying my first Chimay Grande Reserve right now. Excellent. Bud lite and coors lite are definitely better Texas summer beers. Too hot to drink good beer.

            3. re: olia
              Delucacheesemonger Nov 12, 2013 11:01 AM

              Those are two of my favs right there. Sure all know but drink the 750's of Chimay Blue at around the 5 year age point, oh my.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                t
                TombstoneShadow Nov 12, 2013 11:19 PM

                Great to hear they age so well... are there any particular conditions that are best for them? About like storing wine or??

                1. re: TombstoneShadow
                  Delucacheesemonger Nov 13, 2013 09:20 AM

                  Nope, keep the cork upright unlike wine, l just stand them in the original carton. Buy now, drink later.
                  Just drank one that was 6 months old, nothing like when age on it.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                    l
                    LStaff Nov 13, 2013 11:56 AM

                    10 years ago or so, they were all aged - no one knew what they were - nor was anyone willing to pay $9 for a bottle of beer - and they would sit on my local beer store's shelves until I gave them a good home.

                    1. re: LStaff
                      Delucacheesemonger Nov 14, 2013 12:35 PM

                      Still have magnums from the mid nineties in the 750 bottle style not the champagne style.

            4. l
              LStaff Aug 28, 2006 06:57 PM

              By far, Westvleteren, but good luck finding it - and if you do, consider taking out a loan for a case. Westy 12 was out of this world, yet the memory of the blonde always seems to sneak its way into my head.

              Achel is pretty good, I love Orval, Chimay's are always reliable, I'm not a fan of the Rochefort beers, and I love the dubbel from La Trappe but the quad is the most popular.

              1. JugglerDave Aug 29, 2006 01:37 AM

                The Bride & I had the good fortune to be in Belgium last September. The Westvleteren 12 was found and tried twice in a restaurant, around 5 EURO. It was stunningly fantastic. Westy 8 was good but didn't have the depth.

                Rochefort 8 was The Bride's favorite overall, out of 44 beers sampled during the trip. I like Rochefort 10 a little better.

                Orval was OK but not great.

                I liked Maredsous 8 & 10 better... But then, that was on draft, served in ceramic mugs, and eaten at their outside courtyard.

                1. l
                  liegey Aug 29, 2006 06:50 PM

                  I vote for Rochefort 10. The complexity is astounding.

                  The more forward brettanomyces character of Orval is somewhat of an acquired taste...but goes well with blue cheese & crusty french bread.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: liegey
                    k
                    kenito799 Dec 11, 2006 04:36 PM

                    Agree with Rochfort 10 as the best beer I have ever had, Orval interesting and great but an acquired taste.
                    This weekend I tried Achel Brown and found it to be the perfect expression of the style, malty, complex, but with a tart backbone that kept it refreshing. So expensive though...can't indulge too often...($7 for 11 oz!)

                    1. re: kenito799
                      k
                      kenito799 Dec 12, 2006 01:01 PM

                      Correction, I looked at my receipt and Achel 8 Brown was $3.99 at Ameican Thrifty, Brooklyn.

                  2. b
                    big o Aug 29, 2006 09:21 PM

                    Westvleteren 12, then Rochefort 10. Or maybe the other way around.

                    I hold St. Bernardus Abt 12 in equally-high regard.

                    1. Chrispy75 Aug 30, 2006 01:17 PM

                      Westy Red Cap 6. Had it once and it was unbelievable. My regular choice is Rochefort 8.

                      1. MVNYC Aug 30, 2006 08:58 PM

                        Rochefort 10 is the best i have tried, but i have missed out on the Westvleren beers. I need to try those as well.

                        Chimay Blue label is a good beer that is easier to find.

                        24 Replies
                        1. re: MVNYC
                          Jim Dorsch Aug 30, 2006 09:41 PM

                          Westvleteren is hard to find ever since it was proclaimed best beer in the world (with accompanying press release) by another online community.

                          1. re: Jim Dorsch
                            JugglerDave Aug 31, 2006 11:53 AM

                            When we were in belgium, we read/heard that it's hard to find because

                            1) unlike other abbeys, Westvletren only makes enough to support the order, rather than essentially selling as much as they can

                            2) In order to get the beer, everyone (individuals, cafe owners, stores) need to call the phone number to find out when and which beers are available, queue in their cars at the abbey, and there is a limit of 10 cases per car or truck. No official distributor system or similar, though I would assume that there is some informal distribution from those who go and get 10 cases and sell to others.

                            1. re: JugglerDave
                              Jim Dorsch Aug 31, 2006 12:40 PM

                              What you say is basically the case (although I believe the case limit is less now). However, before the proclamation I mentioned, you could buy bottles in the US for maybe $10-11 each. After the proclamation, the small amount typically available was immediately snapped up, and I've never seen it again in the US.

                              1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                jgg13 Aug 11, 2008 10:13 AM

                                A friend of mine just found a pair of bottles in some store in OH (she was there on a trip).

                                1. re: jgg13
                                  b
                                  brentk Aug 11, 2008 10:40 AM

                                  If that store is in Columbus, I have purchased it there as well.

                                  1. re: brentk
                                    jgg13 Aug 11, 2008 11:00 AM

                                    It might have been. She's not from Columbus but I think she was there, but i think it might have been in Cleveland? I'll have to ask.

                                    That being said, the gf will be in columbus soon, any chance you'll reveal your source? :)

                                    Edit: Yes, it was in columbus. In case you did want to try to obfuscate the location, the initials were FTV.

                                    1. re: jgg13
                                      b
                                      brentk Aug 11, 2008 05:37 PM

                                      FTV is indeed the place, but it has been about a year since I was there.

                                      I checked on Beer Advocate and it appears that someone has purchased the Westvleteren 12 there as recently as June of this year.

                                      1. re: brentk
                                        jgg13 Aug 11, 2008 06:45 PM

                                        Yeah - which was right around the same time that she bought it. The gf wlil be heading over there in about a month, so here's hoping for the best.

                                        1. re: brentk
                                          jgg13 Aug 18, 2008 02:21 PM

                                          FWIW my mom turned out to have been in the same area this weekend so I had her snag me a few of them. It'll likely be a few weeks before I can get my hands on them, but I'll report back on things like the date, etc.

                                          1. re: jgg13
                                            Ernie Diamond Feb 25, 2010 06:04 AM

                                            I am guilty of replying to an old thread, I know but I am a bit surprised that no one called BS on your "obfuscation" of the source for Westvleteren in Columbus, OH. I know you want to protect your sources but please.

                                            Stock up on your bottles and share the source with those of us who might also enjoy one or two for ourselves.

                                            The store name jgg13 and brentk were mincing around is "From The Vine"

                                            http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...

                                    2. re: jgg13
                                      Jim Dorsch Aug 11, 2008 11:50 AM

                                      Do you think they were a few years old? I can't recall if they have dates on the bottles, but I suspect they do. Just wondering if any product is getting into the US at all, outside of someone's suitcase.

                                      There was a big discussion a while back on beer advocate about whether it's ethical to buy this product in the US, given that the brothers don't authorize it for export to our country.

                                      1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                        jgg13 Aug 11, 2008 12:03 PM

                                        Will have to ask her (again) about the dates, although reading about the place on BA makes it seem like they have a steady stream of product.

                                        Speaking of BA, as for your second paragraph, I'd argue that anyone who really cares about that needs to get a life. You buy it, it is yours to do with what you want, which would include bringing it somewhere else and reselling it.

                                        1. re: jgg13
                                          Jim Dorsch Aug 11, 2008 01:53 PM

                                          Come to think of it, the date is likely an expiration; not sure how long that might be from bottling.

                                          There certainly are a few folks on BA that meet your description.

                                          1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                            jgg13 Aug 11, 2008 02:34 PM

                                            I'd guess that properly cellared that the expiration date would be quite a bit in the future. Normally when I've seen those things have expiration dates they're upwards on 10 years in the future.

                                            "There certainly are a few folks on BA that meet your description"

                                            Now that's something I've realized for years now :) I like what they try to do but BA as an organization (including posters and such) don't do a whole lot to contest my belief that modern beer snobs are far snobbier folks than snobs of most other things out there :)

                                        2. re: Jim Dorsch
                                          TongoRad Aug 11, 2008 12:09 PM

                                          It's been a couple of years since my last one, but they used to be date-stamped on the cap.

                                      2. re: Jim Dorsch
                                        JessKidden Aug 11, 2008 04:42 PM

                                        "Grey market" Westvleteren (well, even that isn't techincally correct- it's perfectly legal in the US, with TTB approved labels, etc., simply bought by the importer through a secondary source rather than directly from the Abbey) has been available off and on for the past decade or so- brought in by 3 different imports (B. United, D&V and "World of Wines") and those bottles are easily identified by simply *having* a label, which also has the US required "Gov't Warning" and the name of one of those importers.

                                        I don't recall the prices of the bottles when they were "new" (I sort of remember them being even cheaper than Jim mentions) but I've seen them, now 4-5 years old, still on the shelves recently for $15-20.

                                        A "hand carried" or a true "grey market" bottle would be label-less, I would guess.

                                        A copy of the label that's been used in the US can be found here-
                                        http://www.beerlabels.com/labels/labe...

                                        1. re: JessKidden
                                          d
                                          DougOLis Aug 11, 2008 05:57 PM

                                          I don't want to get them in trouble, but a bar here recently had label-less bottles of Westvleteren. Sadly I didn't have enough cash (their credit card machine wasn't up at the time) so I didn't buy any. By the time I got cash and came back the few bottles were gone. Oh well.

                                          1. re: DougOLis
                                            b
                                            brentk Aug 11, 2008 06:33 PM

                                            Westvleteren bottles don't have labels on them, so I doubt they were trying to hide anything by removing the labels.

                                            1. re: brentk
                                              JessKidden Aug 11, 2008 07:35 PM

                                              The other way around. The label-less bottles would be illegal to sell in the US and would certainly suggest they weren't brought in by a legitimate importer, who DO put labels as required by TTB on the Westvleteren they bring in.

                                              1. re: JessKidden
                                                jgg13 Aug 11, 2008 08:43 PM

                                                FWIW as it applies to this store, I'll ask my friend if they were labeled or not. I know that she's told me, but I no longer remember.

                                                1. re: jgg13
                                                  b
                                                  brentk Aug 12, 2008 04:17 AM

                                                  Mine was not labeled. I have never seen a Westvleteren label, in fact, so I am curious about JessKidden's post.

                                                  1. re: brentk
                                                    Jim Dorsch Aug 12, 2008 04:36 AM

                                                    All the Westvleteren I've seen in the US has been labeled. If it's on the shelf in a retail store, it must have a federally approved label.

                                                    1. re: brentk
                                                      JessKidden Aug 12, 2008 04:42 AM

                                                      Besides the link to the Westvleteren bottle photo in my post above, one can see a copy of the US TTB approved label, along with a brief explanation here-
                                                      http://www.whitebeertravels.co.uk/sixtus.html
                                                      http://www.whitebeertravels.co.uk/images/sixtus_label_us.jpg

                                                      In addition, a search of the TTB site https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline...
                                                      will turn up the actual applications and labels. Search for both "Westvleteren" and "TRAPPISTENBIER" but, note, that that website 's seaches can be squirrelly and will turn up items one time and not another.

                                                      I'd expect that most bottles one finds on the shelf in retail shops for off premises consumption are going to be the labeled versions. Unlabeled bottles,( i.e.- "hand carried" "self imported" "grey market" whatever term you wanna use) are probably going to be "behind the counter/bar", available only on request >wink, wink<.

                                                      By saying the unlabeled bottles are "illegal" I'm not saying that I think the states' ABC's have busted (or should bust) "grey market" Westvleteren sellers (tho' it's not unheard of for the competition to turn folks in for "bootlegging" beers across statelines).

                                                      OTOH, stranger things have happened in the current atmosphere. Wasn't there a story soon after the Patriot Act was passed where the FBI was hassling some little novelty shop owner in the PNW for selling "illegal" versions of the Rubic Cube?

                                                      1. re: JessKidden
                                                        TongoRad Aug 12, 2008 04:59 AM

                                                        Yeah- a lot of the one's I have seen have had that label. I also recall the "Saint Sixtus" label of maybe 15 or so years ago:
                                                        http://www.gyzzj.com/microbrews.html
                                                        (scroll down)- but I'm guessing that those were brewed at Saint Bernardus back then and may not have been the same exact beer.

                                  2. Jill Aug 31, 2006 02:42 PM

                                    Okay...I'm salivating. Where can some of this beer be tested? I know of one Belgian beer bar in the East Village that has a good assortment but I can't remember it's name. Little help, please? Thanks.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Jill
                                      k
                                      kenito799 Aug 31, 2006 03:04 PM

                                      I have been to Hop Devil Grill, St Marks at Ave A, which has a connected "Belgian Room" with only Belgian and Ommegang offerings. I was drinking lambics so I didnt check for trappist but they have a nice large selection of bottles. The other side of the bar has a ton of IPAs and stuff on tap. The frites are good, too.
                                      http://www.hopdevil.com/

                                      Vol De Nuit (148 W 4th) is a Belgian beer bar. Have not been.
                                      http://www.voldenuitbar.com/main1.html

                                      The other fantastic Belgian selection is found in Williamsburg at Spuyten Duyvil, Metropolitan and Havemeyer. You could call and see what trappist they have at the moment.
                                      http://www.spuytenduyvilnyc.com/

                                    2. b
                                      big o Aug 31, 2006 03:07 PM

                                      Hop Devil Grill, perhaps? Decent place.

                                      The best, and cheapest, way to get yourself acquainted with Belgium's offerings, though, would be to stop by New Beer Distributors on Christie and bring home a selection.

                                      I've only found Westvleteren in two locations. The first was the Vienna Whole Foods (in Virginia), where chowhounds pointed me towards a gentleman familiar to us here on the Beer board. The other score was at New Beer Distributors.

                                      I'll reiterate my previous comment that St. Bernardus is a worthy purchase, whether or not the true Trappist ales are available.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: big o
                                        Jill Aug 31, 2006 03:18 PM

                                        Hop Devil Grill...that's the place! Thanks!

                                        1. re: big o
                                          g
                                          ghbrooklyn Sep 1, 2006 03:20 PM

                                          Another place for Belgian beers at great prices is American Beer on Court St and Butler in Cobble Hill. They have a great selection and you'll probably end up buying alot of other things while you're there, which is good and bad.
                                          And Rochefort 10 is a multi-course meal in itself.
                                          And Hop Devil does have a good trappist selection.

                                        2. h
                                          Hapa Dude Aug 31, 2006 09:41 PM

                                          I bought a bottle of Rochefort 8, but maybe I need to buy a bottle of the 10 and try them both.

                                          Do you suggest drinking these alone or what are some good things to snack on w/ these beers?

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Hapa Dude
                                            Josh Aug 31, 2006 09:43 PM

                                            Good cheese is your best bet.

                                            1. re: Josh
                                              JugglerDave Sep 1, 2006 12:45 PM

                                              In fact, go to your neighborhood cheese shop and get some of the Chimay cheese!

                                              In Belgium the cheese was served with celery salt to sprinkle on top.

                                              1. re: JugglerDave
                                                Jim Dorsch Sep 1, 2006 01:15 PM

                                                There are two or three varieties of Chimay cheese. IIRC one incorporates beer.

                                                1. re: JugglerDave
                                                  Josh Sep 1, 2006 02:39 PM

                                                  The Chimay cheese is good, but really any good flavorful cheese works. I like stuff like Red Dragon (an English cheese with mustard seeds in it), aged Gouda, dry Jack, aged Cheddar. Anything rich and flavorful is great with those kinds of beers.

                                                  I'd stay away from milder cheeses - they can't really stand up to the beer.

                                            2. k
                                              Kevin B Sep 2, 2006 04:21 PM

                                              I go with Westvletern 12. BTW if you really, desperately MUST try this beer, it is available through belgianshop.com.

                                              My favorite available Trappist is the Rochefort 8.

                                              Did a blind tasting of all the Trappist beers at a cafe in Amsterdam about a year ago. They were matched up roughly by type, (The 6s and Chimay Rouge the 8s the Tripels and the 10/12s.) Before we started, everyone agreed that Westvleteren 12 was our favorite. While the Rochefort 10, Westvletern 12, Achel Extra and LaTrappe Quad were on the table, we all blindly picked the LaTrappe as the best. After, the tasting, the pub owner admitted that the Quad was 2 years old, everything else was a year old but the Westvleteren 12 was picked up from the Abbey that week.

                                              By type (Orval doesn't categorize and you could pick it out blind easily) we liked:

                                              Westvletern Blond
                                              Rochefort 8
                                              Westmalle Tripel
                                              LaTrappe Quad

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Kevin B
                                                b
                                                bowmore36 Sep 29, 2008 11:33 AM

                                                wow... the first mention of westmalle this far down. i think the dubbel is the best out there

                                              2. designerboy01 Sep 3, 2006 08:09 AM

                                                I have the westmalle Tripel in stock at home. Where do you people buy these beers in NY? I go to a garage, which is on Chrystie Street north of Chinatown. They got the best selection I've ever found in NY. Anybody got any good stores?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: designerboy01
                                                  g
                                                  ghbrooklyn Sep 4, 2006 12:11 AM

                                                  Thrifty/American Beer on Court St, Cobble Hill. Huge selection, great prices. worth the subway ride in my opinion.

                                                2. z
                                                  zcicala Oct 3, 2006 03:22 PM

                                                  Am I the only person who was really dissapointed by Westvleteren? I was incredibly excited to find a bottle of it at the liquor store (Martys in Newton Ma). It was liek 2 years ago but I remember the beer being too sweet. I sincerly hope that I simply had a bad bottle.

                                                  1. c
                                                    chilihead Oct 7, 2006 11:11 PM

                                                    While I am very fond of far too many begian beers, there are a number of trappist style beers out of Quebec such as Fin du Monde, Raftman and a number of others from Unibroue in Montreal. There used to be a place on Bleeker in the west village run by a greek guy named Hercules (I shit you not) that had a great selection of everything. I've heard that he has moved down to Tribeca.

                                                    There is also New Belgium out of Fort Collins CO that makes a nobel effort.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: chilihead
                                                      t
                                                      tuquegrrl Dec 12, 2006 02:41 AM

                                                      I would hardly compare fin du monde with a true trappist ale, though it is a fine drink. If you're in Canada you can try special orders through the LCBO for the rarer Belgian ones.

                                                    2. d
                                                      di0nysus13 Dec 17, 2006 01:36 PM

                                                      i really like the Rochefort 8... one of my favorites... does anyone know where i would be able to purchase this beer from a beer store or liquor store? either in upstate New York, Eastern Michigan or Quebec? thanks...

                                                      1. braineater Jan 2, 2007 03:03 AM

                                                        I've tried several of the Trappist ales, and by far my favorite is Achel Extra. All of the Achel brews are excellent, but the Extra is hugely malty and delicious, going down ever so easily. Of course, I think there are better beers out there, either from independent breweries or from non-Trappist abbeys, that don't get the respect they deserve because they're not made by Trappist monks.

                                                        1. Josh Jan 28, 2007 09:09 AM

                                                          I finally had Wesvleteren 12 last night. I can see why it's considered the best of the Trappists.

                                                          1. s
                                                            Sean Dell Jan 28, 2007 09:14 AM

                                                            Ah, my favorite clergymen, the Trappists. Thank heavens the Irish monks didn't brew beer or we would have had trouble on our hands, way back when.

                                                            Is Corsendonk a Trappist beer? It's one of the best I've ever tasted, and the little Belgian bistro around the corner from my office stocks it, along with several others (Petite Abeille, in New York, if you're interested)

                                                            Keeping the faith..

                                                            - Sean

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Sean Dell
                                                              k
                                                              kenito799 Jan 29, 2007 06:34 AM

                                                              Corsendonk is a good Belgian beer but there are only 6 Belgian Trappist breweries, making these beers:
                                                              Westvleteren
                                                              Chimay
                                                              Orval
                                                              Achel
                                                              Rochefort
                                                              Westmalle
                                                              There's also a Dutch Trappist brewery, Koningshoeven, which doesn't seem to be in the same league, but I have never tried their beers.
                                                              There are lots of great Belgian (and non-Belgian) breweries making abbey style ales, similar to many of the Trappist brews.

                                                              1. re: Sean Dell
                                                                braineater Mar 6, 2007 08:42 AM

                                                                As kenito said, Corsendonk is not a Trappist beer, but it is a phenomenal bargain as far as Belgian abbey ales go. Their Abbey Brown Ale (sometimes also labeled, simply, Pater) is a favorite of mine, but the Abbey Pale Ale (aka: Agnus) is also a decent brew. I absolutely love their Christmas Ale. It's big, dark, malty sweet, and complex.

                                                              2. hitachino Jan 29, 2007 06:38 AM

                                                                i've only had a few trappists (chimay - blue is favorite, westmalle dubbel, rochefort 6 and orval - disliked orval, phewy blechk bandaids) but for my unsophisticated palate and for the money/ease of access, i think that there are many american microbrewers who 'copy' the style well enough to make them frontrunners.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: hitachino
                                                                  Josh Jan 29, 2007 08:07 AM

                                                                  Anderson Valley's trappist-style beers are awesome. Brother David's Dubbel tastes very close to the real thing.

                                                                  1. re: Josh
                                                                    hitachino Jan 29, 2007 08:40 AM

                                                                    thanks...alas, they don't distribute to FL (i just checked their website)

                                                                    however, i have been able to try ommengang, allagash, north coast (love pranqster, haven't tried brother thelonius yet) flying fish dubbel (can't find that in FL anymore though) victory (had that in NC, not in FL) and i've liked everything i've tried as much as or more than those few actual trappist ales i had ;)

                                                                    1. re: hitachino
                                                                      Josh Jan 29, 2007 08:59 AM

                                                                      I just had a great Allagash quadrupel called Four. Really awesome stuff.

                                                                      1. re: Josh
                                                                        braineater Mar 6, 2007 08:45 AM

                                                                        Allagash does an excellent job creating very authentic Belgian-styles ales. Their Tripel Reserve is incredible, blowing away many of the Trappist tripels, IMHO. Four is also awesome, and I eagerly await the day they finally bottle the barrel-aged version of said beer (aged in Beam barrels, I believe).

                                                                      2. re: hitachino
                                                                        n
                                                                        niquejim Mar 6, 2007 11:04 AM

                                                                        Try the brews from Unibroue, they are available in Florida and quite wonderful.

                                                                  2. e
                                                                    equinoise Mar 5, 2007 04:29 PM

                                                                    Rochefort 10 is my favorite, followed by Westmalle Trippel, barely edging out Chimay Blue. Haven't tried Westvletern.

                                                                    1. n
                                                                      negronilover Mar 9, 2007 08:29 PM

                                                                      Not to be too dismissive of the whole topic, but isn't asking for a favorite Trappist like asking a parent to name their most loved child? I mean, sure, your preferences change from day to day, but surely you love them all in their own special way.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: negronilover
                                                                        braineater Mar 10, 2007 08:19 AM

                                                                        Well, it's not like asking someone what their very favorite beer, in any style and of any origin, is. To be honest, I think some of the Trappist beers are overrated anyway. Take Westvleteren, which people seem to hold in ridiculously high regard, no doubt in large part because it's so rare outside of Belgium. If you could walk into your local liquor store and pick one up on any given day, would anyone really think it was so much better than Westmalle, Rochefort, or Achel? Also, as much as I like Chimay Grande Reserve, I think a lot of people call it their favorite because it's so widely available, and they haven't had a chance to try something comparable, like Rochefort 10.

                                                                        Having said all that, I don't have a favorite Trappist brewery, so much as I have favorites among each of the styles produced by these breweries (dubbel, tripel, quad/cat. S). Additionally, I have a favorite overall beer amongst all my faves in their respective styles, so I think it's a pretty relevant question, with answers that will undoubtedly lead some people to find new and exciting brews they would not otherwise have tried.

                                                                      2. t
                                                                        The Chemist Aug 8, 2008 05:34 PM

                                                                        Tripel Westmalle. Best beer I have had. Period.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: The Chemist
                                                                          w
                                                                          Whisper Aug 9, 2008 10:35 AM

                                                                          I've been lucky enough to visit Belgium a number of times and have tried beers by all seven of the authentic Trappist breweries. Of course it's all a matter of taste, but my favorite among them (and favorite beer on earth) is the Westvleteren 8. I preferred it to the 12, which itself is a wonderful beer. The 8 is just out of this world. If I could only drink one beer for the rest of my life this would be it, and I'd never tire of it.

                                                                          Among the rest of the Trappist beers I enjoyed the Rochefort offerings next best, then Chimay, Westmalle, Orval, Koningshoeven (brewed in the Netherlands) and finally Achel.

                                                                        2. a
                                                                          aventinus Aug 24, 2008 11:32 PM

                                                                          Westvleteren, particularly the 12, has been my favorite beer for a long time. When I was in grad school, it was available on the shelf at my local Whole Foods. I haven't drunk it in quite a while, unfortunately--maybe five years now. I know it's available online.

                                                                          Next, Rochefort. I don't really like the 6 that much but the 8 and 10 are excellent.

                                                                          Chimay is next. I think I would rate them white, blue, red. I think the white is possibly the best Belgian tripel.

                                                                          Then Westmalle. I have very fond memories of the dubbel from drinking it in various locations (oh yes, the bar in Amsterdam). It's light and not so complex (compared to other famous dark Belgians, especially quadrupels), but it's elegant and delicious. The tripel is also very good.

                                                                          Achel next. I've not had this beer so many times. When I have, I've thought, damn all Belgian beers are good, but I've not liked it as much as the ones above.

                                                                          And last, Orval. This is the one my dad likes, and I realize we have absolutely opposite tastes. This is the trappist beer that tastes most like "beer" as we Americans know it. Dry, tangy, hoppy, refreshing. More often than not, I'd rather have a contemplative beer like Rochefort 10.

                                                                          Though it's not a trappist beer, I would like to mention that St Bernardus is very much like the Trappists--the 12 (quadrupel) is on par with Rochefort 10 and Westvleteren 12, the tripel is excellent, and the white beer is very good too.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: aventinus
                                                                            Lapis Sep 22, 2008 04:35 PM

                                                                            Really nice thread and it made me recall the only time that I have ever had a Trappist beer: Orval, in college. Sorry, I think I just had a Deja Bru moment...

                                                                            1. re: aventinus
                                                                              k
                                                                              kelarry Oct 3, 2008 12:47 AM

                                                                              St. Bernardus is made from Trappist Beer.

                                                                              1. re: kelarry
                                                                                JessKidden Oct 3, 2008 04:30 AM

                                                                                "St. Bernardus is made from Trappist Beer."

                                                                                The privately owned St. Bernardus brewery once contract-brewed beer for the Trappist Monastery St. Sixtus (brewers of the Westvleteren beers), but their beers can't be called "Trappistenbier" nor are they "made from" Trappist beer.

                                                                                One could say that they are made "like" the Trappists beers- thus the term "abbey beers".

                                                                                http://www.sintbernardus.be/en/histor...
                                                                                (Rough translation, but one gets the idea...)

                                                                            2. s
                                                                              slvrmermaidgurl Jul 6, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                                              There are 7....

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: slvrmermaidgurl
                                                                                weeare138 Jul 6, 2009 12:33 PM

                                                                                I think the constant confusion is due to Koningshoeven Brewery in The Netherlands, who were off of the Trappist Brewery list for 6 years. A few years ago I once again saw the logo on one of their bottles and wondered when the heck that happened.

                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brouweri...

                                                                                1. re: weeare138
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  chimay5 Mar 7, 2010 11:48 AM

                                                                                  Just noticed that La Trappe is back on the market and is labeled as a Trappist Ale. Wonder where this leaves Koningshoeven which is from the same Abbey?

                                                                                  1. re: chimay5
                                                                                    JessKidden Mar 7, 2010 04:10 PM

                                                                                    Aren't they the same beers, only labeled differently for different markets? That's the implication given by the US Importer:

                                                                                    "In the USA and Canada the La Trappe Trappist Ales are marketed under the name Koningshoeven Trappist Ale."

                                                                                    http://www.artisanalimports.com/brewe...

                                                                                    1. re: JessKidden
                                                                                      c
                                                                                      chimay5 Mar 8, 2010 07:11 PM

                                                                                      Well, what I saw were La Trappe and Koningshoeven side by side in a retail account last week. I just wondered if the trade mark dispute had been settled with the US holder of the La Trappe trade name.
                                                                                      I'm sure the beers are the same and that one or the other name will disappear.

                                                                              2. h
                                                                                HayatoJin Aug 17, 2010 07:54 PM

                                                                                I've only tried La Trappe (all), Chimay (all), St Bernardus (Prior 8 and Tripel)

                                                                                From those... My favorites are Trappe Quadrupel, Chimay Red, and St Bernardus 8

                                                                                I look forward to trying Rochefort 10 (already spotted a place that sells it here in Chile, but it's like $15 for a 330ml bottle) and Orval (same place)

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: HayatoJin
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  Danielvi Apr 22, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                                                  Hi. i live in Santiago and would love to hear from you where they sell the Rochefort or any other great beer. Cheers Daniel

                                                                                2. Tripeler Aug 17, 2010 08:25 PM

                                                                                  Overall, it would be Westmalle. I love the Tripel, and like the Dubbel as well.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                    Pata_Negra Aug 18, 2010 03:26 AM

                                                                                    me too, and i've drank all other trappist beers multiple times, some on tap and in bottle. but Westmalle tripel (and/or dubbel) every day keeps the doctor away. in terms of price-quality it's a brilliant tripel. plus, most supermarkets stock it. so much beer pleasure for only eur. 1.25

                                                                                    1. re: Pata_Negra
                                                                                      Tripeler Aug 18, 2010 08:27 PM

                                                                                      I really like the balance of Westmalle Tripel. Not to far away in any direction, just right.
                                                                                      Of course, Orval is very interesting, but it really needs to be fresh and well cared for.
                                                                                      Rochefort 10 is interesting, but really too much unless it is really cold outside.
                                                                                      Chimay has really been dumbed down too much in recent years, though the White on draft is fairly refreshing.

                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                        Josh Aug 19, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                                        Orval, when aged at proper cellar temperature, is amazing with a year on it.

                                                                                        1. re: Josh
                                                                                          Tripeler Aug 20, 2010 03:19 AM

                                                                                          Even after three or four years it is great. But it is fairly delicate, and needs to be well cared for. I've had too many bottles that have had some heat shock or other trouble.

                                                                                  2. n
                                                                                    ncyankee101 Aug 31, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                                                    Since the six true trappists have been hashed to death on this thread, I thought I would mention a few I like that are Belgian but not true Trappist.

                                                                                    Gouden Carolus makes some very nice Belgians, especially their Noel Christmas ale - it might be my favorite Belgian, that or St Bernardus 12.

                                                                                    Struise Pannepot is right up there also.

                                                                                    I love the flavor of Des Rocs Brune and Grand Cru, but you have to get past the weird floating chunks of sediment (which don't bother me).

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: ncyankee101
                                                                                      deepsouth Sep 16, 2010 12:24 PM

                                                                                      westvleteren 12
                                                                                      rochefort 10
                                                                                      westvletern 8

                                                                                      my top 3

                                                                                      1. re: deepsouth
                                                                                        g
                                                                                        gtweath Sep 29, 2010 07:23 PM

                                                                                        Westvleteren is overrated just because it's hard to get. I had it at the brewery cafe and found it too phenolic with way too much hot alcohol. Rochefort 10 is probably my favorite trappist but better than that is probably the St Bernardus 12, which is not trappist.

                                                                                        1. re: gtweath
                                                                                          deepsouth Sep 30, 2010 06:34 AM

                                                                                          i disagree, but that's why opinions often differ. the westy 12 and the rochefort 10 are close and i wish i enjoyed the rochefort more as it is easier to obtain.

                                                                                          1. re: gtweath
                                                                                            h
                                                                                            HayatoJin Aug 5, 2011 10:33 AM

                                                                                            I'd forgotten about this thread.

                                                                                            Recently my sister-in-law got me a couple of Rochefort 10s...
                                                                                            The best approximation I can make to their taste is "chocolate-covered rainbows"

                                                                                            I haven't had the St Bernardus 12 (not available here) but I have had the Prior 8 and it's among my favorite beers; and by far my favorite Dubbel.

                                                                                            1. re: HayatoJin
                                                                                              Tripeler Aug 5, 2011 04:54 PM

                                                                                              Your description of Rochefort 10 is great.
                                                                                              I have always called it "liquid chocolate brownie." It is really a beer for very cold weather, though.

                                                                                              1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                                h
                                                                                                HayatoJin Aug 5, 2011 05:10 PM

                                                                                                I think I got that covered with 6°C

                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                        jpc8015 Apr 23, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                                                        I like Orval and Chimay White.

                                                                                        1. a
                                                                                          aventinus May 14, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                          Westvleteren 12, then Rochefort 10. This was my opinion back when I could buy Westvleteren 12 at Whole Foods, and before I was familiar with its status, so it has nothing to do with its difficulty to find today.

                                                                                          1. estilker Nov 9, 2013 05:56 AM

                                                                                            Something you beer geeks probably already know but St Bernardus is the actual Westvleteren recipe and they were licensed by the abbey to make the beer until the 90ies or so when the monks decided to get back into the beer business. St Bernardus uses the original Westvleteren yeast strain (both the original brewmaster and yeast went to St Bernardus as part of the license deal). Westvleteren uses Westmalle yeast.

                                                                                            I have not tasted them side by side though ...

                                                                                            There is clearly something to be said about the marketing success of the trappist designation and other abbeys outside of Belgium getting into the beer business as a viable source of income (Switzerland and a new one in the Netherlands, right across the border from Belgium, only 30min drive from the Westmalle abbey).

                                                                                            Trappist beers are great, but it is a bit of a marketing schtick, so I am equally happy with a St Bernardus or Tripel Karmeliet.

                                                                                            1. c
                                                                                              cwdonald Nov 9, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                              First of all there are more than six.. there are now seven. Second of all, many of the trappist breweries make more than 1 beer.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: cwdonald
                                                                                                l
                                                                                                LStaff Nov 11, 2013 12:00 PM

                                                                                                Currently there are 8 - soon to be 9.

                                                                                                http://firstwefeast.com/drink/st-jose...

                                                                                                1. re: LStaff
                                                                                                  estilker Nov 12, 2013 02:20 AM

                                                                                                  Didn't know there was an American one in the pipeline. So soon to be 10 (if you count the new Dutch one as well).

                                                                                                  Funny how the article's author at the end refers to St Bernardus ABT 12 as one of his faves (technically not a Trappist).

                                                                                                  1. re: estilker
                                                                                                    w
                                                                                                    Whisper Nov 12, 2013 05:51 AM

                                                                                                    It says ..."quench your thirst for high quality beer with one of our favorites...". I'd consider St Bernardus Abt 12 to be a high quality beer, and of my favorites as well.

                                                                                              2. Tripeler Nov 12, 2013 06:07 AM

                                                                                                Best of the Trappist beers? That's easy -- the one you have in your hand. Are there any bad Trappist beers?

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                                  w
                                                                                                  Whisper Nov 12, 2013 07:45 AM

                                                                                                  Can't say I've ever had a bad Trappist beer, but some are better than others.

                                                                                                  1. re: Whisper
                                                                                                    n
                                                                                                    ncyankee101 Nov 12, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                                    Though it would hardly be called a "bad" trappist, the opinions on Orval are very divided. The peppery hops profile is so different from other Trappists and Belgians in general, and is very polarizing.

                                                                                                    I thought it was awful the first two times I tried it, but after a friend who also hated it went to Belgium for brewmaster school and came back loving it (and almost everything brett), I tried it again and found it drinkable. I still likely wouldn't buy it when I can get Rochefort 10 at the same price.

                                                                                                    1. re: ncyankee101
                                                                                                      Josh Nov 12, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                                      I think the brett in Orval is probably the more polarizing ingredient. I think Orval's one of the best trappists out there.

                                                                                                      1. re: Josh
                                                                                                        n
                                                                                                        niquejim Nov 12, 2013 04:55 PM

                                                                                                        I love Orval and it inspired my best homebrew
                                                                                                        http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f72/drunk...

                                                                                                      2. re: ncyankee101
                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                        brentk Nov 13, 2013 04:03 AM

                                                                                                        Orval is great when paired with cheese. I didn't like it the first time I tried it but that was early in my beer journey. Now, I think it is terrific but it was the cheese pairing (with blue cheeses, if I recall) that opened my eyes and transformed my palate.

                                                                                                  2. Beachowolfe Jan 15, 2014 05:22 PM

                                                                                                    BUMP... anyone looking forward to the newest Trappist coming out of St. Joseph's Abbey in Mass?

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Beachowolfe
                                                                                                      JAB Jan 15, 2014 05:42 PM

                                                                                                      Yea, if I can get ahold of it.

                                                                                                      1. re: JAB
                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                        LStaff Jan 15, 2014 06:00 PM

                                                                                                        Shouldn't have a problem finding it if they are shooting for 4,000 bbls their first year and have capacity for 40,000. Finding it fresh in 6 months might be another story considering the $18 four pack.

                                                                                                        1. re: LStaff
                                                                                                          Jim Dorsch Jan 15, 2014 10:08 PM

                                                                                                          http://tinyurl.com/kpp36mf

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