Name: Maredsous 8
Brewery: Duvel Moortgat
Country of Origin: Belgium
City & State: Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8%
First Brewed: 1963
Very dark ruby with a rocky white head. Hints of pine and licorice in a caramel and fruit aroma. There’s caramel and raisin alongside sweet black coffee in a lightly drying palate, with slight roasted notes, coal tar, and salty gravy on the finish. Recommended with rich meaty dishes.
I am not a huge fan of Trappist beers. I get the whole “made by monks” thing, but they all have a similar flavor and never do much to impress me. But this bottle reminds me of something… I don’t know what, but it’s familiar. Regardless, there are three beers in this series, the 6, 8, and 10. Two of them are on our list. Tonight we drink the 8. I have no idea what to expect, but… the same. I hope I’m wrong. Prove me wrong monks!
In the Glass: This beer looks pretty in the glass. It’s got a distance head, and a nice ruby red, amber sort of body. It poured out of the bottle REALLY thick, yet doesn’t appear thick in the glass. The head sticks around for a while too, making me think this beer has a strong nose and some intense flavors. (It’s a trend I see in beers that smell and taste great.)
Nose: The nose is immediately sweet, then quickly turns into a copper overtone. The longer you smell, the more you think about the change in your pocket. After a few deep sniffs, you can almost taste the metal notes in the back of your throat. I sure hope this beer doesn’t taste like that!
Flavor: The beer starts weak, and has very little flavor to start. Then, as the beer circles round your palate, you start picking up the coffee notes… you start picking up the raisins that they talked about above, and then you settle in with a nice dry finish. The dry is something you long for though, even after the beer is gone.
Mouthfeel: There is a TON of carbonation in this beer. I mean, a ton. At first anyway. When you first take a drink, the front of the tongue is overwhelmed with dancing bubbles and you just want the drink to be gone. But as the drink settles, it stays on the tongue for a while leaving a blanket of flavor for your mouth to enjoy.
Aftertaste: I like the aftertaste, but it doesn’t last long. It is there, somewhat sweet, and then is gone before you know it. What does stick around is the dryness that you get in the nose. The dryness in the nose is that copper note that I was talking about. You never get the copper flavor though, which is nice. Like I said before, not a huge fan of beers made by monks… but I would order this one again. It’s solid.
Ricky tells me that monks make today’s beer. Those are usually good, right? Well, the first thing I noticed about this beer is that it has a LOT of head. In fact, when Ricky opened the bottle, it foamed out of the top. We had to wait for the foam to go down some before we could pour it. The color is a dark reddish-brown, and looks pretty thick. You definitely can’t see through it. It has a very rich scent to it, smelling kind of like a barleywine (maybe that’s what it is? Ricky didn’t tell me). At any rate, it smells yummy. Let’s see if it tastes just as good.
First thing I notice is that this beer is pretty carbonated. However, it lacks a lot of taste. There’s much more substance to the smell than the taste. It tastes carbonated with a hint of aftertaste that is slightly like an IPA, but way less strong. It’s got a little bit of spice to it, but the flavor just doesn’t match up to the nose. I’d probably sit and smell this beer for a long time before drinking it. The thing it does have going for it is that it’s unique. Unique, but not quite enough flavor to be the great beer it could be. I’d buy it again, but it probably wouldn’t be at the top of my list.
936 bottles of beer on the wall…