Beer hounds like me live for moments like I experienced last night. We buy new beers we’ve never heard of or only read about, rarely drinking the same beer over and over again. The thrill of the hunt, the joy & shock of the new – that’s what many of us crave, just like any obsession. David Duchovny knows what I'm talking about. I have spent a healthy portion of my life doing the exact same thing with music; finding some obscure gem from the 60s that I’d only read about, and finding that it’s instantly one of the greatest records I’ve ever heard. It translates exceptionally well with this beer quote-unquote hobby I’ve taken up as well, no doubt activating the same pleasure centers in my hippocampus as buying 45s & downloading mp3s.
The biggest thrill of 2009 so far is discovering, thanks to a clued-in friend, TRIPLE IMPÉRIALE from Belgium’s BRASSERIE DE L’ABBAYE DES ROCS. It is about as perfect a beer as I’ve ever had, and it will immediately go into my Top 5. I’ll be seeking this one out wherever I can find it. Amazing. TRIPLE IMPÉRIALE is a strong, 10%-ABV, dark brown ale, with a rich, creamy, very yeast-heavy mouthfeel. It’s soooo smooth and delicious, with brown sugar, toffee and dark fruits coating the tongue. You can smell the Belgian candi sugar from a mile away, but it’s all about balance here – no sickly-sweet tastes, and the alcohol is almost completely hidden. Lots of sediment – it’s a live one! – but it’s total silk on the tongue. If it weren’t for ROCHEFORT 8, and the fact that I’ve only had one bottle of this (so far), I’d call TRIPLE IMPÉRIALE my favorite beer all of a sudden. Yeah, THAT good – but more research is obviously needed, wink wink. 10/10. Masterpiece.