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Dry, strong and bubbly: Trappist beers were originally created at La Trappe abbey in Normandy, France by monks who became known as Trappists. Today, there are 14 abbeys – including six in Belgium – crafting Trappist ales, which are famous for their exceptional quality and distinctive flavours. Just as the designation of Champagne is only given to sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France, only ales made under the strict supervision of monks or nuns within the walls of a monastery can be considered authentic Trappist ales.
You May Taste
There are three main styles within the Trappist family:
Dubbels are a deep copper colour with a medium-full body, carbonation and 6-7.5% ABV. Expect flavours of caramel, dark bread, chocolate malt, raisin, plum, banana, apple, light clove and pepper.
Tripels are golden, dry and highly effervescent with elevated ABVs (7-10%). These beers offer pronounced floral, herbal and hop characters with spicy white pepper, wild arugula, orange and lemon citrus notes.
Quadrupels are the darkest and strongest of the Trappist ales. These complex beers have a full body and are highly carbonated with 8-14% ABV. You’ll taste flavours of brown sugar, fig, date, raisin, cocoa, toasted malt and a hint of pepper.
Sip Them With
Pair malt-forward dubbels and quadrupels with roasted mains like lamb, chicken or pork with peppery stuffing, tangy cranberry sauce or Yorkshire pudding. For dessert, try these ales with date squares or sticky toffee pudding. The herbal notes in tripels match well with pesto-topped pasta or pizza while the ale’s citrus notes are perfectly partnered with lemon meringue pie and pineapple upside-down cake.
Take the beer out of the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, letting it warm up a bit to open up the flavours. Serve your Trappist ale in a stemmed tulip or goblet glass.
Crafted by monks, Trappist ales are some of the most awarded and coveted beers in the world.
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