Sunday 26 October 2008

Beer Of The Week - Oct 26 - Koningshoeven Tripel Trappist Ale

750 mL bottle
Price: $ 6.95 Beer
8.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content : 4
Made in: Netherlands, NetherlandsBy: Koningshoeven B.V.

I was at the LCBO on Brock Street again looking for another beer which I have never tried. There were some excellent choices which I was trying to decide from when I spotted the Koningshoeven Tripel Trappist Ale.

According to the Koningshoeven Monastery website (for some reason I never expected a monastery to have one), "'Tripel' (8% alcohol) is a dark Trappist lager with a fruity, bittersweet taste."

What exactly is a Trappist beer? From the International Trappist Society Website:

1- Products which carry this label are produced within the walls of the monastery or in the vicinity of the monastery.

2 -The monastic community determines the policies and provides the means of production ... with the monastery benefiting from the production, and must be in accordance with the business practices proper to a monastic way of life.

3- The profits are primarily intended to provide for the needs of the community or for social services.

Trappist beer is a protected Trademark product. The International Trappist Association grants a monastery the right to use the label "Authentic Trappist Product". There are only 7 monasteries that currently are allowed to wear this label. Six are from Belgium and one from the Netherlands which is Koningshoeven.

Trappist breweries rate there beers as "single", "double", "triple". (Enkel, Dubbel and Tripel in Dutch) to rate the strength of their beer.

The beer is "bottle conditioned" which means it keeps fermenting inside the bottle. Because of this, the beers have sediment in the bottles and many Trappist beers have pouring instructions on the side of their bottles. This one did not but this one also did not have any sediment.

I uncorked the bottle (yes, one of the features that put this over the top from the others I was thinking of choosing was the cork) and poured it into my sample glass. It was a copper colour which surprised me as I expected a much darker beer.

It is a strong tasting beer but very smooth. I expected a beer with 8% alcohol to have a bite, but instead it has an intense flavor without the edge. The beer finishes well with a pleasant lingering taste. I very much enjoyed drinking this product and would purchase it again.

I love craft beers and I guess Trappist monks are the original craft beer brewers.

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