The Belgian Trappist Beers are speciality beers brewed by Trappist monks within the monasteries. The hard work and dedication that the monks put into the beer does pay of. The Trappist beers have won countless awards and are regularly placed on top beer lists. Naturally the Belgian Trappist Beers are rated highly on RateBeer and other beer ranking sites.
According to RateBeer, the best Belgian Trappist Beers in 2020 are:
- Rochefort 10
- Westvleteren 12 XII
- Westvleteren 8 Extra
- Rochefort 8
- Chimay Blue
- Achel Extra Bruin
- Westvleteren Blond
- Westmalle Tripel
- Westmalle Dubbel
1. Rochefort 10
Rochefort 10 is the flagship of the Rochefort Trappist monastery. It is a Quadrupel with no less than 11.3% alcohol. This phenomenal beer requires time and attention.
The Rochefort 10 gets the highest ratings from beer lovers all over the world. Not surprising because the Rochefort 10 is so incredibly rich and complex. Before enjoying the long, creamy sweet aftertaste, you have become acquainted with the sweetness of alcohol, spiciness of cardamom and canal and an insane amount of fruit, such as grapes, plums, raisins and figs.
2. Westvleteren 12 XII
This Trappist, also called the Flemish Burgundy, colors dark amber and has a stable, strongly wall-adhesive, white head.
Westvleteren 12 is masterly in its complexity, but delightful in its simplicity. The sublime soft taste of caramel and chocolate goes perfectly with the raisin-sweet and nutty notes in the aroma. Together with the firm alcohol content, this results in a pleasant fullness and a nice, long-lasting warm aftertaste.
3. Westvleteren 8 Extra
This beer turns dark amber and is crowned with an abundant and strongly sticky foam head. The nose of the Westvleteren 8 is an attractive combination of green notes, soft fruit and a touch of caramel. The different flavors of this beer lead to a harmonious yet complex taste sensation. You taste the malts, as it were, even to peel the barley. The taste is rounded off with a surprisingly complementary and powerful hop bitterness.
4. Rochefort 8
Rochefort 8 is a strong monk with 9.2% alcohol. This beer is an authentic Trappist monastery brewed and proudly bears the ‘Authentic Trappist Product’ logo. This dark beer is so rich in taste, it contains the fruitiness of dark fruits, plums and figs. In addition, these 8 also have a spiciness and of course a sweetness of caramel and roasted malt. The Rochefort 8 is one of the most appreciated beers worldwide. An undisputed winner!
5. Chimay Blue
The Blue Chimay is a dark beer with a powerful aroma and a complex taste that gets better with age. The beer has a scent of fine herbs. The finish is relatively dry with a hint of caramel. The income from this activity is largely spent on the needs of the community and social works.
There is also a Chimay Grande Réserve, which is based on the Chimay Blue but is barrel aged in oak barrels. The type of oak barrels are changing each year, so you can try something different each year.
6. Achel Extra Bruin
It was in 1914 that beer was last brewed in the Achelse Kluis. The tradition was restored in 1998. The Achel Bruin Trappist is brewed in 2 strengths: 8% and 9.5%. Both variants are being praised on RateBeer, the stronger Achel Extra Bruin at 9.5% is being ranked 6, while the more common Achel Bruin at 8% is ranked 16th out of the Belgian Trappist beers.
Buy Achel Bruin (8%)
Orval is brewed in the Notre-Dame d’Orval Abbey. This beer has a beautiful amber colored beer with secondary fermentation in the bottle and has an intense bitterness and a rich taste that is dry and hoppy. Preferably let this beer mature for a few more months in the cellar before you start pouring this beer. Orval beers aged 10 years and older are known to still taste delicious, according to experts even better than a fresh one.
8. Westvleteren Blond
Poured cool, the beer turns a slightly cloudy blonde with an abundant head and a strong sparkle. Westvleteren Blond starts with a fresh and fruity aroma of pleasant citrus and a strong zest of lime. The taste is nicely balanced with the sweetness of the malt and a firm bitterness from a large dose of hops used in brewing. Also in the taste, the delicious citrus provides a fine and refreshing touch that results in the exquisitely dry aftertaste.
9. Westmalle Tripel
Original from the start
First brewed in 1934, the Tripel van Westmalle is sometimes referred to as the “mother of all tripels” and was followed by many other breweries as a style. The Westmalle Tripel was created as a result of the opening of the new brewing hall in the abbey. In 1956 the recipe underwent an adjustment, but it has remained unchanged since then, for more than 60 years.
The Tripel joined the range in the 1930s. The name refers to a tripling of the ingredients of Westmalle’s original Trappist beer, an idea that other beer brewers also adopted to indicate the type.
10. Westmalle Dubbel
The dark, reddish-brown Trappist beer of Westmalle, the Dubbel, has a rich and complex taste thanks to secondary fermentation in the bottle (7%). It is characterized by notes of caramel, malt and fruity esters reminiscent of ripe banana. The first introduction to the Dubbel van Westmalle is a cream-colored thick foam head. After drinking it leaves a nice lace in the glass. But the real memory of this balanced Trappist beer with a soft mouthfeel is undoubtedly the long, dry finish.
Trappist or double?
The monks of Westmalle have been brewing a dark Trappist beer since 1856 next to their existing meal beer. In 1926 they adjust the recipe and brew the beer a bit heavier by doubling the ingredients. This is how the beer got its name Dubbel, although many often just call it Trappist. That recipe is still the basis for the Westmalle Dubbel we know today.