CABPOM July: Roquefort and Rochefort 10

Well, gorgonzola, actually, but I liked the wordplay.

Trappistes Rochefort 10 is one of those beers I've had before and will certainly have again. Its been about three years since my last bottle; so this is long overdue. Its the strongest of three produced at L'abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy in Rochefort. Held in high regard (and rightly so) its fairly widely distributed in the UK; do go get yourself some if you've not had it!

Resplendent in its chalice
It pours dark chestnut with a luscious, mocha foam. Fantastically complex nose, plums, stewed apples, molasses, toffee and vanilla. Mouth coating, sweet crystal malt at first, followed by a big boozy note, touch of buttered popcorn, increased vinous fruit towards the end, a touch of noble hop and more vanilla.

It slips down far too easily.

Gorgonzola is an Italian semi-soft salty blue cheese, often using the same peniciliium roqueforti bacteria for its blue streak as the eponymous French cheese. Its salty and sharp and an acquired taste. Certainly I had to first overcome my dislike for Stilton before Gorgonzola and Roquefort even got a look in. Looking back I can't even see what my issue with it was!

Gorgonzola (left) and Mature Cheddar
At first it jars slightly with the hops and looks to be a duff pairing, but try a second mouthful and its transformed. Suddenly there's a lot of sweetness and fruit in the cheese which just serves to accentuate all those vinous flavours in the beer. The salt here has a part to play too, seemingly accentuating the alcohol in the beer in a complementary way, lifting it to sherry territory. Pears and other orchard fruits also dance on the tongue as the cheese is washed away. Not so much evidence of that umami of blue cheese and dark beer here, those fruity flavours being the strongest players. Nevertheless, superb beer, great match.

The beer also works well with mature cheddar, the older the better and of course if you can get hold of something unpasteurised like Keen's you're on to a winner.


  1. You'll be trying a 1970s Rochefort 10 shortly ;) Oldest one I've had so far is one from about 1998 last year. Was stunning but the Westmalle Triple 1998 blew it out of the water! We had them side by side and they had been in a proper cellar from new so it was a fair tasting. After that I've had a massive respect for Westmalle.


  2. Ohh and theirs also a Westmalle Triple from the 1970s to go side by side as well!


    1. Its those I'm looking forward to a lot as I haven't had westmalle in an age, nor chimay. But the sours will be ace too. Did mark get in touch with you and that beoir chap?