Phantom Sway would like to introduce a new author from our Lifestyle section – Patches Miltonious. Patches will occasionally get drunk and review 2 beers for us. Here is his first in a tournament of “Beer-Offs”.
Round 1: Trappiste Rochefort 10 versus Ommegang’s Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend
With Oktoberfest just around the corner (the only holiday named for the month it precedes…Germans – go figure), it is time for Phantom Sway to delve into the most important debate of our time: Who has the better beer?
Now, with a German holiday, you’d assume I’d pick a German beer. But, considering Germany has spent so much time in Belgium on its way to France, and America has spent so much time in Belgium trying to kick the Germans out, I figured this needed to be a US versus Belgium affair.
The world just finished a huge international competition in Rio this summer and the Americans eked out a victory over the Belgians in the all-important medal count – 121 to 6. But, can the upstart democracy beat back a longstanding monarchy when it comes to grande brewskis?
Today, we enter a blissful arena – the world of quads. Not only do they taste like ambrosia, they have some of the highest alcohol content of any beer, ranging from 9 to 13 percent. Yee-haw!
I mentioned one of the beers was ancient. Well, the same year Pope Clemens VIII recognized Henry IV as king of France and said king declared war on Spain, (I dare even say anything so obvious, but for the few that do not know, I’m talking about AD 1595) Rochefort abbey began brewing and perfecting Rochefort 10. By contrast, possibly to help heal the world after Princess Diana’s and Mother Teresa’s deaths, or maybe in celebration of OJ’s liability in civil court, (We’re talking 1997 here) Ommegang opened in possibly the most American city in America. Cooperstown, home to the MLB Hall of Fame and the famed locale where the first apple pie was baked by Phantom Sway’s very own Mavis, is the home of our younger contender by Ommegang.
When talking about test parameters, temperature is critical. Good beer such as this must be consumed at a perfect 47 degrees. While that high of a temperature causes the DNA in red-blooded Americans’ bodies to cringe, as American beer must be served 0.1 degrees above alcohol’s freezing point, the palate must not be shocked into shrinkage by such frigid, beer-abusing temperatures.
Let’s take a swig and see how this plays out. Bottoms up!
Rochefort exits the gate quickly with a smooth taste and a glorious hint of sweetness left behind.
The Three Philosophers stumble a bit due to the large head typical of quads made by Duval (yeah…just like Budweiser, Ommegang is owned by a Belgian company).
Rochefort takes an extended lead with its full body and consistently tantalizing hint of caramel.
The Three Philosophers gains ground with a similar hint of caramel and doubles down with subtle toffee!
It’s getting down to the wire, folks!
Across the line Rochefort proves to be overall delicious while the Three Philosophers overdoes the thickness of the brew just a touch. Rochefort wins by half a length!
Coming soon: We will continue overturning the overabundant hops-laden world of IPAs pervading local bars. Malt’s where it’s at! Quads will continue in the next round with this set of quads serving as the first semifinal. Next, two Quads will compete once more with the loser being cast into the abyss forevermore. Then, in the finale, we’ll see Rochefort 10 take on our next winner to see who is the King of the Quads!