Style: Belgian Abbey Triple Dark Ale
Brewery: Brasserie Des Rocs (Montignies-sur-Rocs, Belgium)
Availability: year round
Pairing: vanilla ice cream, glass of water, Carbonnade Flamande
You can’t go wrong with Belgian beers. That’s my logic at least and so today I am continuing my love for those classic big beer styles with Triple Imperiale which comes from a more modern Belgian brewery, Brasserie de Rocs. Founded in 1979 on the border between France and Belgian, Brasserie de Rocs brews in the traditional style and all their beers are double fermented without additional sugars, bottle conditioned, and unfiltered. Triple Imperiale – the brewery’s strongest offering – is a unique dark tripel that straddles the line between an abbey dubbel and a British barleywine.
Appearance: Pours a deep reddish-brown with a vigorous tan head that recedes slowly to leave little lacing
Smell: There’s a big nose on this one. Lots of burnt caramel malt notes mixed with crisp apple and orange peel… some peppery spice as well.
Taste: Lots of malt flavor here. Tastes of maple syrup and golden delicious apples. Behind that there are nice pepper elements and an underlying hint of oaked vanilla. You can taste the 10% alcohol here but it manages to finish out very even.
Mouthfeel: You could almost call this one oily as the rich, thick mouthfeel and vigorous, fine carbonation result in a syrupy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: The thick mouthfeel, assertive malt, and big alcohol here would overpower a lot of drinkers but I could sip one slowly on a cold day. While it finishes dry, cracking another bottle would be a reach for me.
Overall: The Triple Imperiale is an ambitious beer, the heaviest of all the Brasserie de Rocs offerings. It is a little too massive for my tastes but would probably serve you well during the winter months of monastery life or in the French Alps. Sip slowly, perhaps with a glass of water on the side, and enjoy.