Friday, August 17, 2007

La Trappe Quadrupel

There are a total of seven trappist breweries world-wide. La Trappe, located in the Netherlands, is the only non-Belgium trappist brewery. The beer is brewed at the Koningshoeven Brewery in the Onze Lieve Vrouw van Koningshoeven abbey located in Tilburg. The brewery produces five regular beers - a Witt Trappist, a Blond, a Dubbel, and a Tripel - and two seasonal beers - a Quadrupel and a bockbier.

The aging of the monks meant that the total control of the brewery was becoming increasingly difficult, and lead to the sale to a commerical beer brewer, Brand, in 1999. The purchase lead to a dispute with the International Trappist Association (I.T.A.) which felt that the brewery was becoming too commercialised to be labelled a trappist beer. This has since been resolved, with the monks taking more direct control in daily brewery operations.

Since the purchase by Bavaria the quality of the beers has improved. However, there is still some confusion about the fact that Bavaria brews some if its non-Trappist products, including the Moreeke and Kroon brands, at the abbey brewery. I feel it's a great pity that the continued commercialisation and globalisation of the world has not left this little part of the world untouched.

This beer is the Quadrupel, the biggest beer produced by the abbey at 10%. Here is my tasting note:

Nose: nice spice nose with hops and raisins.
Colour: caramel in colour. a delicate white - yellow head.
Palate: a smooth and chewy mouth feel; quite delicate in a way. malt, nuts and spice with a good balance between tartness and sweetness. 10% alcohol is well hidden.
Finish: nice long, spicey finish.
Comments: this is an excellent beer.

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