Welcome to Cosmo's Beer Blog!

We’re a small group of friends and family scattered across the country who’ve all developed a thirst for craft and import beer. We decided that a blog would be a great venue for us to share our hobby. Here we will review beer, compare notes and challenge each other with "Beer Missions".

So welcome to our little world of discovering great tasting beer!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mission Two: A Festival Of Belgian Ales

Okay, the completion of this Beer Mission is coming quite a bit later than I had planned, but I have finally sat down to complete it. I thought a bit about the best way to put my thoughts to "paper" and have decided to do sort of a head-to-head comparison.

Trappistes Rochefort
Trappistes Rochefort
Trappistes Rochefort
St Bernardus
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Belgian Quad
Belgian Quad
7.5% (Not noticeable)
9.2% (Hidden pretty well)
11.3% (Warm alcohol feel with each sip)
10.5% (Hidden very well)
11.2oz Bottle
11.2oz Bottle
11.2oz Bottle
25.4oz Bottle
Orval Goblet
Westmalle Goblet
Westmalle Goblet
Large Wine Glass
50 deg
50 deg
50 deg
50 deg
Cloudy light brown with a frothy tan head
Cloudy dark brown with a frothy tan head
Cloudy dark ruby red with a frothy tan head
Cloudy plum color with a gushing foamy white head.
Some caramel and a little bit of sour fruit
Strong estery yeast with big notes of plum
Sweetest aroma of the four with notes of cherry and grape
Clove, anise, estery yeast, dark fruit and light notes of apple
Dry, mildly sweet with some apple and a small spice finish
Rich and sweet with warm fruit tones and a smooth fruity finish
Strong sweet grape, w/some "breadiness" and a light bitter finish
Sweet, smooth with some hints of anise and a sweet finish
Watery with medium carbonation
Slightly thicker than water with light carbonation
Syrupy with almost no carbonation
Watery with medium carbonation
I could drink more than one bottle.
One whole bottle is about my limit.
I could drink half a bottle.
Very, very drinkable. I could (and did) drink an entire 750ml bottle.
Lacks the rich and hearty attributes that I associate with the style
In my opinion,
this is the 
Belgian Strong Dark
Rochefort 10 is very well thought of, but just doesn't suit my tastes and borders on too sweet for the style
I absolutely love the craftsmanship of this ale.

If you're new to these styles, let me make a note about drinkability. These are big, hearty ales that fill your belly and satisfy the taste buds. While technically they are all beer, they have about as much in common with a session beer as a Great Pyrenees does with a Chihuahua. These ales drink more like a glass of rich wine than a glass of Budweiser.

In closing, all four of these brews are good examples of fine Belgian ales and all four are well respected. While I can enjoy them all, St Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 8 are especially magnificent ales that leave little room for improvement. St Bernardus 12 was influential enough that I had to change my Sweet 16 and give it nearly top honors.

Mike, this was a great Mission, one that I throughly enjoyed!

Eis Igian,


  1. Charles, when you have a little free time, would like to post the next mission?

  2. I'll think of one after the New Year.