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We finally got around to trying the Trappist ales we bought from Beers of Europe. We had a selection of five Trappist ales, and Jon, Dan, and Myself congregated at Jon’s and had a tasting session in the garden, making the most of what was a lovely day.
Anyway, you should be used to this by know but before we get on to the beer tasting, I’ll throw a bit of brewery history into it.
La Trappe, is actually the one, and only, Trappist Ale brewed in The Netherlands. Now to make a Trappist Ale, and have it called a Trappist Ale, it must be brewed at a Trappist monastery by, or under the supervision of the Monks. There are actually only seven Trappist breweries remain, and the other six are in Belgium!
Now the Koningshoeven Abbey was founded in 1880, when Monks travelled from France to set up a Monastery in a safer location. Come 1888 they had more and more people turning up to join the Monastery, and found they could not sustain themselves on farming. this is when the then Friar Romaldus who was a brewer himself first installed the brewery. Now the brewery didn’t change too much until 1920, when it was modernised, since at the end of the World War the demand for beer had risen significantly. In 1928 La Trappe Blonde was introduced, although not the same as the blonde they produce today. During the Second world War the brewery struggled along, but they manage. Then from 1950 – 1970 big developments were made, from starting a lemonade factory, introducing a pasteurisation machine for the beers, and also upgrading new equipment and opening a laboratory. Buy 1960 they were producing dark, Pilsner, Dortmunder, Super and Bock styles, and due to the growth of th brewery they looked to collaborate with other breweries.
Then in 1980 the monks decided to take full control of the brewery again, and start producing beers under the La Trappe brand. In 1987, a completely new modernised brewery was built, with upgraded equipment. The brewery continues to grow and expand until around 1999 when they decided the production was too much for the friars alone, so the collaborated with a Bavarian brewery to help them meet demand. However it is still supervised by the friars and the traditions are kept.
Since then the brewery has developed new beers, even in 2010 they decided to revive a tradition of oak ageing their Quadruple ale. The brewery now has a range of Trappist Ales, many of which we were lucky enough to try!
So, finally, on to the beers we tasted!
La Trappe Witte Trappist 5.5 % – This was on of mine, a lovely light Trappist ale. It was very light, refreshing, and tasty. A great creamy head, and a huge aromatic aroma, a great thirst quencher. apparently the only white Trappist beer in the world!
La Trappe Blond 6.5% – This was one of Dan’s beers, a lighter clear Trappist ale. Very nice with a fruity fresh flavour.
La Trappe Dubbel 7% – Another of my beers, a rich dark reddy brown ale. A very caramel, woody flavour with a hint of sweetness. Tasty but pretty strong too!
La Trappe Tripel 8% – The second of Dan’s beers, lighter in colour than the Dubbel but equally as tasty. Stronger, but with a fruity, bitter-sweet taste.
La Trappe Quadrupel 10% – This is Jon’s beer of choice, the strongest of the Trappist ales. It has a warm sweet malty tasty. Its aged and sorted by year in the cellars of the brewery. they also now ages this in oak barrels.
For more of our tasting notes and which were our favourites, check out the podcast of the session HERE!
There are still a few more Trappist ales for us to try, and as we’ve discovered the small number of Trappist Breweries we may have to compare them.
either way if you come across any Trappist ales, grab one, and see if you like them. You cant miss the highly recognisable bottle from La Trappe.
Also check out their website HERE, and if your ever in the area head down as they do tasting sessions and tours!
Some pictures of the session!
Well, look out for the Pubcask, and further posts from us!