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Trappistes Rochefort 8 | Brasserie de Rochefort

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1,894 Reviews
Trappistes Rochefort 8Trappistes Rochefort 8

Brewed by:
Brasserie de Rochefort

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-12-2001

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Reviews: 1,894 | Ratings: 5,197
Photo of PerzentRizen
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I like this beer but I don't love it. I really think this might be my first true let down beer. It's just a belgian version of a brown ale. It's not all that spectacular to me.

Poured into a St. Bernardus apt 12 glass this beer has a dark brown, yet clear look, with a white puffy head that dies to nothing - no lace, nothing (after only 1 minute). So far it's not looking good (pun intended) for hold Rochefort 8.

I loved the nose on 10 but 8 is rather bland. There's not much going on at all. It's smell is much like a homebrew all grain wart I helped make last weekend (that was a rye wheat).

The flavors are much more refined and complex than the nose on this beer. I really didn't expect to have this marriage of malts. The first taste is toffee and caramel that is whisked away by the carbonation (a bit much for my taste - where's the head???). The next pour does coax a head out of hiding but it's gone as fast as it came. There is no hop character but I didn't really expect one after trying the 10.

Mouthfeel is light, a bit over-carbonated and a touch thin for my taste.

Drinkability is off the charts. For a beer over 9% abv this is an easy drinker. I couldn't decide between this and a barleywine for my after dinner drink tonigth, but I think this was a fine choice.

Overall, this is a good but not great beer. For me the 8 is a mere shaddow of the greatness that is Rochefort 10. Both are no match for St. B apt 12. I'm a bit dissappointed but glad that I can still be surprised; even if it's a bad surprise.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.41/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: ton of foam rising w/ each gentle pour.... opaque, deep reddish amber liquid.... constant cap, no lace

S: pretty complex - fresh roses(?!), lemon tart, orange zest.... definite olive-y B/Y culture in the works...

T: strange, funky sort of herbal, vaguely vinegary bite up front (whaaat?!).... fairly rich caramel maltiness, yet obfuscated a little too much by whatever's living in here.... all that's left on the tongue is a faint (chili-)peppery bite and a cinnamon-like spice and, i guess, flavor

M: smooth-bodied yet fizzy-scrapy.... certain slickness.... either the alcohol and/or the mysterious funk is leaving a peppery-spicy heat, though mild

O: not sure if this was a top-notch bottle.... actually pretty certain it wasn't

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Photo of taez555
3.41/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a huge foamy whitehead with a dark opaque brown body.

The nose was a mix of alcohol, garbage, soft chocolate and malt.

Taste was very grassy and tea like. Medium to A sour and very present bitterness. Lots of dark and very muted caramel and chocolate malts. Sort of like someone turned the volume down on the dark roasted flavor. Mild dark fruit tones, some yeast and malt. A large carbonation that needs it’s time to settle.

Overall a very tasty trapist ale, not the greatest, but basically decent. The carbonation really overpowered the taste.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.42/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

LOOK: Brown Cloudy Color. Slight Green Tint.
AROMA: Banana, Pumpkin, Cloves, Bread, Apple
TASTE: Banana, Pumpkin, Cloves, Bread, Apple
FEEL: a bit "sticky" on the palate, but the beer is lively.

Pretty good, but I liked this less than both the "6" and the "10".


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Photo of falloutsnow
3.42/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: 070715 08:30
Glass: St. Bernardus chalice

I didn't really enjoy Rochefort's 8, and I was hoping for a show-stopping beer that would complement this very cold winter day. The ethanol was too pronounced, while other flavors were too muted. Perhaps this doesn't age as well as thought, because with two years of age on it, this is not a particularly good beer to me (if it ever was). One I might try again at some point, but only due to the songs of praise others drop upon it, and the ever-increasing price point for a single bottle is certainly not conducive to further experimentation.

Pours a 2cm tall head of beige colored foam, constituted by small bubbles, with above average retention, lasting over two minutes. The head fades to a 1cm cap atop the body of the beer, where it remains for the duration of drinking. Lacing is present, of moderate accumulation along the glass' sides, in various small shapes and lines. The body is a very dark garnet color, nearly opaque due to darkness, but slightly transparent when brought to light, which also lightens the hue of the dark red-brown coloration. Carbonation is active and visible, streaking up along the sides of the glass.

Aroma of sweet amber Belgian candi sugar, obvious ethanol, faint raisins, and dried brown figs. Overall, the scents are rather faint, and the only easily discernible ones are the sweet sugar influences and ethanol.

The flavor of the beer is primarily sweet, with hints of Belgian yeast and fruit esters, until the ethanol hits, which makes this come across as much harsher. Age has not, perhaps, been kind to the beer. Front of palate picks up mild sweetness and fruit esters (plum, grape, raisin). Mid-palate is of slightly musty Belgian yeast, amber Belgian candi sugar, ethanol, heavily faded raisins and plums. Back of palate is slightly bitter and astringent (ethanol and hop presence?) with ethanol, ghostly fruit esters, and sweetness that reminds me a bit of heavy, old-style cough syrup. Closes in a flash of hot, burning ethanol, leading to an aftertaste of more ethanol and some rum-soaked (heavy on the rum) raisins with Belgian yeast flourishes.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a fizzy mouthfeel that gradually settles to a calm, smooth, slightly foamy flow. Ethanol is easily, aggressively felt in the nostrils, on the tongue, and the back of the throat. Not impressed at all. Closes semi-dry, with substantial stickines lingering across the palate.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.44/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a light hazy brown with a small tan head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell is of raisins, bread and plums.

Taste is similar. Very much raisin/plum taste comes out with a little bit of malt. Finishes very dry with just a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is light for what I was expecting. Lots of carbonation and not very sticky.

Not a huge fan of this one as there are better options for this style out there. It's a bit too sweet although the high alcohol content is hidden well.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had the bottled version of this beer in a beer tasting event. This beer has a thick cloudy deep brown color with a thick even light brown head and good lacing. The smell is rich with fermented fruit and leather. The taste, like the 10, is still lighter than I would expect, but better than the 10. The taste, although light, is of nuts and fruits and a bit of tannin. It has all the tags to be a great beer but it lacks a full flavor. It is better than the 10, I’m looking forward to drinking a 6 for the final comparison.

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Photo of BlackAura
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rather than write my own review I'd just like to agree with the user Falloutsnow with their review.

I recently found a gift-box version of this ale that had been tucked aside at my local shop a few years prior. It was the only one remaining and I was happy to get a box of 4 already-aged bottles with a glass.

It poured beautifully and I was very excited by the initial aroma, however my first sip was not quite what I expected. As per Falloutsnow's review, there is a very strong ethanol flavour that I just can't get away from.


I'm hoping to go back and pick up a fresh bottle to give it a try, as the bouquet when I initially opened it was amazing.

For reference my bottle is "best before" March 2015, so would have been bottled March 2010. Opened April 2013.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.46/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy brown beer. Aroma doesn't distinguish itself. Taste, sweet, must be the belgian yeast. A little buttery (not the spoilage kind). No hops. Might be one of those Belgians that add belgian sugar or whatnot.

Kinda light feel for a 9+%er. Alcohol remains very well hidden.

Mouthfeel, the body seems to get lighter throughout. Good. Kinda drinkable. This definitely is not my style of beer, but must recognize that it is well made, and exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of ccrida
3.47/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 33ml bottle into my 70s era Westamalle chalice, the Rochefort 8 is murky brown with a 1 finger tan head that has fairly large bubbles and leaves moderate lace. I like the color and cloudiness, but I'd like to see smaller bubbles with a rockier head. My benchmark here is St. Bernardus 12, which looks much better.
The aroma is very rich but not that strong, malt, spicy yeast that touches on cinnamon and nutmeg, and fairly boozy. Of course, as it warms, it opens up, getting richer and sweeter.
The taste is richer then the aroma, toffee and toasted malts dominate the spiciness of the yeast, with a boozy finish that is mildly sweet yet clean. There are also notes of banana and clove, reminiscent of a dunkleweizen, though only one of many layers here. Still, there's a bit to much bitterness from the husk tannins, which distracts me from the deep character. I don't recall these being much of an issue with the 12, which of course is much richer. Overall, it is a bit more abrasive then some of the benchmarks of the style.
The mouthfeel is moderate, lighter then one might expect from it's appearance and ABV, with only a few streamers ripping through the glass, and a bit of texture from the soft yeast, which I purposely swirl up from the bottle for the last 1/2 inch, no decanting for me!
The drinkability on this is not the highest amongst the Trappists. There is a lot of dept to unlock, but I find the roastiness to be a bit much, and overall the taste is not so great that I just can't get enough. After this, I'm going to have to revisit the the 12, which I've always considered perhaps my favorite beer (and have had both in Europe and the US), because this was a bit of a let down. Good, but not fantastic, although I don't think I've had the 8 before, and preceded it with a pair of Westmalle tripel's, so perhaps I raised the bar to high. I just prefer to drink different beers in order of least to more robust taste, which is why I had this last.

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Photo of enfield249
3.47/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy reddish brown, with a slightly off white head

S - Dusty, with a hint of fruit, maybe plums.

T - Funky, dark fruit, raisins, slight anise flavor, and candy sugar.

M - Full, with not to much C02.

D - Not bad, but I wouldn't want it every day. Very much a desert beer.

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Photo of number1bum
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly reddish dark brown with a somewhat soapy/fizzy two inches of beige head. Head settles to a full, thick lace that leaves some patches of stick on the sides, too. Some yeast sediment is evident in the bottom of the glass and in the head, too.

Smell consists of dark fruits and some sweet candi sugar and malt. There are aromas of sweet red grapes, plums, brown sugar, maybe even some rum. The smell is quite nice but it's also on the weak side. Were it stronger it'd probably be a 4.5, but given the prominent booze in the nose it still wouldn't quite be perfect.

Even though the smell was weak, the taste does not live up to it. There is some candi sugar sweetness and nice fruity flavor, but there is also a tannic harshness and a strange dirt/woodsy flavor that doesn't seem to fit. Some grapey flavor, candi sugar, plums and some alcohol in the finish, too. Definitely improves as it warms, but still has the bitter tannins, in particular.

The mouthfeel is much too fizzy and has a wet cardboard sort of quality to it. Medium bodied but really not very smooth or creamy at all. Odd and disappointing.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed in this beer. I was really looking forward to trying it but I'm definitely let down. Not very smooth and a bit harsh and rough around the edges. Neither smell nor taste really popped, either. It was ok but I didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

I'm not convinced that this bottle wasn't kept very well or something, because it just seems a bit off to me. Reading other reviews, however, I see that others have given similar sentiments, so I'm just not sure. I'm going to pick up another bottle next week from another retailer and revisit this review as necessary.

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Photo of TerryW
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark walnut colour with a moderate head that lingers a bit before settling away. Nice curtains of lace as you go.

A decent beer as it warms in the glass and gives up more of its character. Fruit and leather and the barnyard give it interesting features, but they're not married to well to the alcohol in the beer which has a sharp disruptive edge. Takes away from some of the relaxation lurking in the glass.

Some thiness on drinking, and flavours that are too quickly overwhelmed by the alcohol. Good, but needs polish.

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Photo of PeatReek
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even chilled to a medium-cool serving temp (~50F), poured ridiculously foamy. Head is huge, rocky, and just a tad off-white towards beige. Body is deep amber/copper with a touch of haze, not especially cloudy. Aroma is caramelly sweet and resinous, with a prominent floral hop component; maybe even edging towards lavender-soapy. Waiting several minutes for the head to die down so I can take a taste... Carbonation is very prominent, a sharp buzzing on the tongue throughout each sip. The initial taste is round and floral, with a somewhat abrasive and alcoholic bitterness. Then fruity sweet with a hint of prunes, and finally a sweet smoky finish. Hmm. Honestly it kind of tastes like someone poured Mad Dog 20/20 into a hoppy brown ale.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

It may hit the mark for style, but for me almost anything in this ruddy brown murky floatie appearance isn't going to be beautiful. Aroma was boozy and kinda neutral, which often I will take instead of a band aid heavy aroma.

The taste is a little different, instead of phenolic it came in a little sweeter than expected. Nice light body, alcohol stays out of the way. I'm impressed. It doesn't give you all that banana, clove and band aid shit. There isn't a ton of dark fruit bitterness or pervasive alcohol. Its definitely there in a red wine kind of way, but lacks the harsh overripe bitterness sometimes they fall into.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Large sizzling head eventually settles into a frothy layer. Dark brown, red in the light.

Alcohol, lots of nuts, spice, prune, grape (wine) in the background. Sweetness as well, but I can't quite place it. Smells delicious and complex.

Subtle, tastes almost, watery, bad bottle? I had bad luck with the 10 as well - I bought them together a year or so ago so think I came across a bad batch. In any case I get many subtle muted flavors and nothing strikes me that this beer is fantastic or even exceptional.

Very carbonated, almost soda-like - too much so I'll let it sit..Is this supposed to be so carbonated??

I wouldn't normally, but with a beer with this pedigree I plan to re-review. I really think there is bottle variation with Rochefort because I just had a Westy and there is literally no comparison. For reference the bottle info is: 141014/7:43.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.51/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a goblet, this had a thick, dark layer of sediment at the bottom which i left in the bottle. the appearance is a hazy amber/brown with a tan, creamy head and incredible lacing that does not want to go away. the first smell that hits me is a whiskey aroma. was this barrel aged? also notes of toffee, dark fruit, candied fruit, and some earthy mustiness. barnyardy kinda nose. taste is of sweet malts and alcohol with some of the above aromatics translating onto the tongue. a vague spicy character is present that i'm not familiar with. somehow the carbonation is still lively enough in this big beer to balance the sweet malts. any hop bitterness is in the background and difficult to pick up. this is a showcase of malt, yeast, and however they make this beer. mouthfeel is big-bodied but not as much as the abv lets on. long, warming finish with some alcohol burn. this is definitely a sipping beer, i couldn't do more than one of these, unless it was cold and i had a big, meaty cigar to pair with it. this is more reminiscent of a liquer or madeira than a beer.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.52/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown (a little clear) pour into a rochefort goblet. The head is somewhat thin, but stays through the whole experience.
OK, before you all shoot me about the aroma, I was a little scared when I got to this point of the beer, I could pick few little things out, but almost my entire nose picked up a scotch aroma (I am not a fan of scotch), the aroma balances out better when drinking the beer.
Taste was a very nice suprise after the scare, this thing has a nice spicy flavor to it (cinnamon, clove), but what I really liked is the touch of chocolate that comes through.
Mouthfeel is a little thin, but smooth and very nice, this is a beer I wouldn't mind sitting down and enjoying on occation, but there are more I will go for first.

Glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.52/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ahh, Rochefort. How I've missed thee. Their 10 blew me away over a year ago, and their 6 held up really well in comparison. I'm finally glad I get to revisit 8 for a proper review. Freshness date is "28/09/16," but I purchased this the first week of December 2011. Poured out of a 11.2oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours a dark, brownish color that from afar gives the impression of being Coke, especially with the enormous foamy head. Hard to spot carbonation in the darkness, but it seems there isn't as much as expected - not even through bottle conditioning. Looks hearty and welcoming overall, but not quite what I expected.

Aroma is strong, rich, but above all else, really nutty. I mean *extremely* nutty! If you're a fan of walnuts, roasted chestnuts, pecans, or any variety of rich nuts, look no further. The aroma here reminds me of all of them. I also am getting prunes, candied raisins, rum, and extreme yeastiness, but that nuttiness is very overpowering. The malts are also prevalent here, and I can barely make out any hoppiness under all of these aromas. It's good because it smells like a true meal, but I'm still crossing my fingers for the upcoming flavor.

The flavor starts out slightly fruity and yeasty - then quickly descends into an excessively malty and bittered roasted taste. While I'm trying to make out various flavors - such as dark fruits and smoked grains - I can't seem to get my palate to keep track of individual aspects that are occurring within this beer. Furthermore, while it seems to be equally complex and perplexing, I'm am extremely let down by the beer's body. This may be a bad batch, because I don't remember Rocheforts being this thinned. It's practically watery towards the finish, which is confusing (to me) for a beer this malty to feel this way! The alcohol is well masked - but maybe it *needs* to come out a bit more to make this reach full potential.

In short - disappointed. I really wanted to give this a great review, as Rochefort 10 is one of the greatest I've ever had, but it seems messy overall in terms of conflicting flavors and thinned body. Again, this may be a bad batch, but I have had this at least once before and it didn't blow me away. It perhaps seems to be too middle-of-the-road in between 6 and 10. But no matter what, it is still a good quality product that should be tasted, as it is very popular and well loved in the global beer community. I just find that there are far better (and cheaper) DBPAs or "imperial dubbels" that can be found out there.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.52/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a thistle glass.

Aroma: Raisins, brown sugar, dark fruits, cherries, plums, some citrus, floral hops, spicy.

Looks: Hazy dark brown with ruby red highlights. Medium sized white (dull white) head with average to poor head retention. Not much lace to speak of.

Taste. Prunes, figs, dates, raisins, cherries, cloves, molasses, and a touch of citrus. Malty, yeasty... and some hops too.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very prickly carbonation, fine carbonation though. Lots of bubbles... could be toned down.

Overall, it's a good Beer. I'm looking forward to the # 10 that I have in my fridge.

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Photo of scott
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've waited to drink this ($6/bottle), so it should be special. Cannot say that it is. It is good, don't me wrong, but this isn't from a "'round the corner" brewer, so they aren't provided the leverage. Maybe it isn't in it's prime, because I truly taste ripened cider.
Earthy bouquet with a murky-as-the-Loch Ness body. The mouth is left with a lot of silt, like after an English Breakfast. Small head and very little lacing.
Smell is enticing and quite promising, but alas, far from alive.
I let it sit before consumtion and it didn't open up.
Darn it.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with large bubble head that fades quickly.

Strong alcohol, almost mediciney which is probably accented by the spicey bitterness. But there are sweet malts and brown sugar with molassas flavors present. Medium to full body with good carbonation. Oddly enough, the alcohol, which gives it that medicine quality, makes this rather drinkable with it's warming quality.

Decent beer, but not terribly impressive.

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Photo of liamt07
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 vintage, from Sammy. Into a tulip.

Mahogany with a small but solid cap of offwhite head. Nose is potent, loads of nutty liqueur, dark fruits, plums, currants, brown sugar and some alcohol. Taste has some more nutty liqueur with some harsher than anticipated ethanol, oxidized in a light cardboard-y kind of way, and retains only mild dark fruit and brown sugar qualities. Watery feel, and ethanol (almost tequila-like alcohol) comes out again in the finish. Over the hill, and unfortunate. I'll need to try this much younger for reassessment.

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Photo of oelergud
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Close to being completely opaque the body is a muddy brown reddish color. Tan silken head with great retention and lace. Very little carbonation.
The scent has strong sweet and alcoholic notes. Some plum and raison. Brown sugar and almond as it warms.
Nutskin and molasses tastes along with raison and almonds. Hoppy aftertaste with a pretty dry finish.
Medium mouthfeel, no coating with was abit strange.
Ok drinkability, but not something I'll seek out again. Maybe if it wasn't so damn dry.


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Photo of sewald
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice large and creamy head, with a cool lacing effect. Pale dark reddish colour. Smells of pepper, chocolate and a sweet smell of caramel. Low on carbonation. Tastes of different types of malt. Medium bodied with some fruity flavors on finish. Heavy on aftertaste, with some alcochol mouthfeel. A very bitter ale.

As other fellow BA member said, I think expected more from this beer. Not bad though.

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Trappistes Rochefort 8 from Brasserie de Rochefort
4.3 out of 5 based on 5,197 ratings.
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