The lower gravity cousin to Rochefort 10. Nicknamed "Spéciale" (’The Special’), this beer is the most recent production. The Rochefort 8 has a more tawny colour and a more pronounced aroma, with an even richer fruitiness (a slight undertone of fig?) and a little more spiced dryness, like that of a cake, which gives a balanced finish to the final notes.
Incredible and just when I thought Belgian ale couldn't surprise me I drink this gem. High alcohol content but it is masked smartly.
Belgian Strong Ale is a golden ale with a complex, fruity flavor that also sports a fairly high alcohol content — often at 8% or above. Despite being strong, Belgian Strong Ales are regarded as quite approachable thanks to their flavors and the fact that they appeal to a range of different palates. They feature a unique spiciness that comes from its Belgian yeast, and the finish is high and dry.
Belgian Strong Ale carries a fruity, malty flavor that’s tinged with a unique spiciness resulting from the use of Belgian yeast in the fermentation process. The strong alcohol content delivers a warming sensation, and the attenuated dry finish ends in a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. This is an ale for ale lovers — it’s a drink that rewards close attention, as there are a lot of subtleties to enjoy.
The alcohol by volume (ABV) content of Belgian Strong Ale ranges from 7.5% to 10.5%, making it relatively strong for ale, which typically comes in between 3% and 3.5%. This alcohol content partly contributes to the ale's warming sensation, and it’s what gives it its “strong” moniker. However, it also adds significantly to the flavor and character of Belgian Strong Ale.
No, Belgian Strong Ale is not gluten-free. This is due to its ingredients and production process, which starts with malt made from barley (a famously high-gluten grain). Although certain fermentation processes may remove gluten from other beverages, it does not remove gluten from this ale and people with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease should avoid drinking it.
As its name suggests, Belgian Strong Ale is indeed an ale. As opposed to lagers, which undergo cold-temperature fermentation with bottom-fermenting yeast, ales use warm-temperature, top-fermenting yeast that does their work between 60°F and 70°F. The result is an ale with a fruity, malty flavor profile that has a relatively high alcohol content and a high and dry finish.
A 12 oz. serving of Belgian Strong Ale will pack around 285 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Compare that with a regular beer, which usually has 150 calories and 13 grams of carbs. Although Belgian Strong Ale packs more of a punch in the calorie/carb department, it is a drink with a lot of complexities that are meant to be savored.