A major catastrophe was averted just before New Years, when a significant fire occurred in the Rochefort Abbey. Fortunately the brewing equipment and the monks were unharmed, but it was touch and go for awhile. The Trappiste Rochefort 10, which is the last of the trio from Rochefort to be reviewed would have to be the most alcoholic beer to grace these pages at 11.3%. It is such a well made beer, that it holds its strength really well. You are aware of it, but it is just one big thing in a beautiful complex beer. There is so much depth of flavour that lasts well after the swallow. There is a sweet richness, but it is by no means cloying. Definitely one to try, particularly if your boss takes you to a Belgian Beer cafe.
The beer blogosphere has been buzzing with the results of the 100 Hottest Craft Beers of 2010. I think that the poll is into its 3rd year and it is announced on Australia Day like its inspiration – the JJJ Hottest 100. I reckon that it probably falls half way between the two types of JJJ polls – “All Time” and “Hottest of the year”. Little Creatures Pale Ale has won the last two years and came second this year. Interestingly, the announcement pulls no punches as to why McLaren Vale Ale won (and Dry came 9th). It acknowledges a really, really good social media campaign. Good luck to them – BotF praised Vale Ale highly, but was rather tough on Vale Dry.
One of the statistics quoted in the announcement is that almost 500 beers were nominated. BotF has done pretty well to cover off 91 Australian beers since its commencement – the thought that there is at least 400 to go is delighting and daunting all at once. Haven’t delved into the rules, but majors are excluded – though there is controversy over the inclusion of brews from places like Matilda Bay that are owned by Fosters (for example). 29 of the beers reviewed by BotF made it into the Hottlest 100, including 5 of the top 10.