Friday, March 05, 2010


Last September I finally had my first beer from famed Dutch Trappist brewer LA TRAPPE, who market their beers in the US under the KONINGSHOEVEN brand. It was their QUADRUPEL, and you may recall that I thought it was “shockingly bad”. A huge surprise, too, because people the world over seem to love this one. It also generated some of my favorite comments on this blog, including this one from Niklas: “You've lost your damn mind, son. Recalibrate your palate and try again. Disgraceful.”. So the other night, my first night in Barcelona on my trip a couple weeks ago, I took Niklas’ advice and recalibrated my palate. Then I ordered a LA TRAPPE BLONDE, this time under the native La Trappe branding. Now granted, I had this right after a CHIMAY BLUE in a beautiful Belgian chalice, and man o man is that a great beer. I think the ubiquity of CHIMAY Red, White (“Cinq Cents”) and Blue keeps me from drinking it except when it’s the best choice on a restaurant menu, but that BLUE is something special.

Anyway, I’ve definitely got a beef with LA TRAPPE/KONINGSHOEVEN after my second sub-par beer from them. I mean, really folks – this stuff’s just weak. LA TRAPPE BLONDE is thin, bland and almost like a lager, and it has this cloying perfumed smell that also shows up in the taste. Some yeastiness is present, way way back in the distance, placed there as an afterthought. It might quench one’s thirst, yet there are a lot of ways to do that, starting with water, which is the superior drink in my book. It’s so far removed from the masterworks of the other Trappist brewers – ROCHEFORT, ORVAL, WESTMALLE, WESTVLETEREN etc. – that it’s truly in a remedial class by itself. 4.5/10.

No comments: