July 14, 2010

Our beer taste test.

We're comparing:

1. St. Bernardus Abt 12, our classic favorite over the last year.

2. Trappistes Rochefort 10, the new upstart. New for us.

I tasted blind. Meade, having set up the test, was non-blind. Meade picked the St. Bernardus. I favored the Trappistes Rochefort, for its fascinating extra dimension of flavor. It's been made by monks at he Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy since 1595. "There are approximately 15 monks resident at the monastery. The monks are very secretive about the brewing process, and the brewery is not open to the public...." Good work, secretive monks! "[T]he beer is only sold in order to financially support the monastery and some other good causes." Well, then! I feel like a real humanitarian.


And no jokes, please, about us (or me) being blind drunk. We attended a play last night, and, in that play, blindness was batted about:
I am blind.

Perhaps he can see into the future.... 
I woke up one fine day as blind as Fortune. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not still asleep.

And when was that?

I don't know.

But no later than yesterday—

Don't question me! The blind have no notion of time. The things of time are hidden from them too.

Well, just fancy that! I could have sworn it was just the opposite....

Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It's abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.


ricpic said...

"There's something dripping in my head...a heart, a heart in my head."

Beckett is so great. As great as Shakespeare.

The Drill SGT said...

Interesting, both have a Trappist and a Walloon connection.

Walloons being the French speaking area of Belgium, known for battle fields, rust belt towns, socialism and various leftist general strikes.

The other half of Belgium are Flemish (aka Dutch), who are in the north and consider themselves the hard working subsidizers of Walloonia. Brugge would be the cultural capital of the Flemish area.

Typically the Flemish north is known for better beer, Walloonia is more wine country. It borders on Champaigne for example.

chuck b. said...

Chartreuse is the same way with the cloistered monks and the secrecy. A little bit of chartreuse at the bottom of a pint glass (like a centimeter or two), filled with ice, and filled with seltzer is like summer in a glass, imo. Plus, it's fun to drink green things.

Beer is good too. I drink it mostly in the summer. I'm stocking the Lagunitas IPA currently.

traditionalguy said...

The play is the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King. But getting him drunk first on beer brewed by holy monks cannot hurt.

edutcher said...

Well, now we know how you two got (l)ucky in the woods last night. So, when Meade saved you from the tick, just how big did it look?

PS The Blonde and I don't drink - she can't and I just never liked the taste, so we haven't got a dog in the contest, as it were.

Bob said...

Back in January there was a kerfuffle in Scotland over a fortified wine called Buckfast, which is made by Benedictine monks. It is apparently the wine of choice for getting drunk and violent on, leading to news stories wondering if the monks should be held accountable for the abuse of their product.

Revenant said...

I don't mean to badmouth wine tasting, because there must be something there I don't get -- but in my opinion, beer has a wider variety of flavors and is much more interesting to drink.

traditionalguy said...

Rev..To me wines are tastes that go with foods to enhance the dining experience. Americans substitute beer as food in itself and use it as their social meal shared with other beer drinkers by the Keg.

El Presidente said...

I only see the very recent past. Very recent.

Badger said...

I’ll drink almost any beer, but I find that most bottled beers are at a serious disadvantage to fresh, local microbrews on tap.

KLDAVIS said...

Took European Delivery of a new Volvo a few months ago and did what we jokingly referred to as a 'Drinking & Driving Tour of Europe' (there was always a designated driver!) with stops at several Belgian breweries, multiple French wine routes and the monastery and distillery of the monks who make Chartreuse.

We learned that only two of the monks are actually involved in making the liqueurs...they keep the secret recipe and work in the distillery several days a week until they die or can no longer work, only then is another monk taken from their life of prayer to work on the booze. I imagine it's considered a sacrifice for the betterment of the monastery as a whole...going out into the world to make money so that your brothers can stay behind and devote themselves to prayer.

As for beer, I tend to prefer the Flemish style of sour Belgian beers (try Monk's Cafe in the U.S.), or the natural unflavored lambics known as gueuze (Lindemans Cuvée René is one of the few imported stateside).