Trappist beers are strong, top fermented and bottle conditioned. The Trappist name itself is restricted by law to a handful of breweries, of which Rochfort is one, producing three beers. This is the middle of the three in strength, identified by a green cap and the number 8. It has a loose, bubbly head that subsides but leaves delicate lacework on the glass. The beer itself is dark brown in colour, with lots of dark, dryish fruit aromas. Figs and dates predominate, but there are also pronounced phenolic notes, the whole combining to give elements of both Christmas pudding and cough candy. It is smooth on the palate, with lots of chocolate accompanying the dark puddingy fruit, and perhaps some grapes in there too. A yeasty chalkiness adds to the smoothness, but there is quite an alcohol hit on the back of the throat, along with a touch of sweetness. Finish is warming alcoholly malt and chocolate, leaving a malty, slightly treacley aftertaste lightened a little by the phenols. A strong, complex ale, hard to find but well worth the trouble. Fabulous as an after-dinner drink or an accompaniment to cheese.