Yet another great sampling session, this time with probably the strongest selection of beers we’ve ever had and the highest overall ratings as well. The majority of the beers were in the abt/quadruple category. These are very strong, tending to around 10% alc, and very malty, fragrant, and fruity. We had a few Belgian strong ales in the mix.
The tasting session was a blind one. Only one participant, who poured the beers in flights of three beers at a time, knew exactly what we were drinking, and he didn’t let on until all of us had rated and described them.
The three highest rated beers were, not surprisingly, from three breweries that pioneered the style: Rochefort, St. Bernardus, and La Trappe.
One disappointment was the Westvleteren 12, a hard-to-find beer, that is regarded as one of the best in the world. Our bottle was around eight years-old and had oxidized too much.
The Achel Extra Bruin, however, held up amazingly well for a six year-old brew.
Chimay Blue would probably have gotten higher ratings, except that it was served alongside the La Trappe Quad and the Achel.
Near the end of the evening, we took it easy with two pale lagers, one from Tibet and the other from India, to accompany a restorative beef stew.
Average Ratings: High-to-Low (50 points possible – five raters)
46.4 Rochefort Trappistes 10 2008 (Abt/Quad) 11.3%
44 St. Bernardus Abt 12 2008 (Abt/Quad) 10%
41.4 La Trappe Quadrupel 2008-09 (Abt/Quad) 10%
40.6 Achel Extra Bruin 2005 (Abt/Quad) 9.5%
39.4 Westvleteren 12 2003 (Abt/Quad) 10.3%
39 BrewDog Abstrakt AB:01 (Abt/Quad) 10.2%
38.6 Brugse Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel (Abt/Quad) 11%
38.2 Struise St. Amatus - Oostvleteren 12 2010 (Abt/Quad) 10.5%
37.2 Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru (Belgian Strong Ale) 9.5%
37.2 Gouden Carolus Classic (Belgian Strong Ale) 8.5%
36.4 The Lost Abbey Judgment Day 2009 (Abt/Quad) 10.5%
36 Grimbergen Optimo Bruno 2006 (Abt/Quad) 10%
35.8 La Trappe Quadrupel Oak Aged Batch #1 (Abt/Quad) 10%
34.6 Allagash Four 2009 (Abt/Quad) 10%
34.6 Ommegang Three Philosophers 2007 (Abt/Quad) 9.8%
34.4 Urthel Samaranth 2010 (Abt/Quad) 11.5%
32.8 Weyerbacher Quad (Abt/Quad) 11.8%
32.4 Chimay Blue (Belgian Strong Ale) 9%
31.8 Boulevard Sixth Glass Quadrupel (Abt/Quad) 10.5%
21 Golden Eagle Lager (Pale Lager) 5%
NR Tibet Green Barley 10°P (Pale Lager) 5%