Officially known as Brouwerij de Koningshoeven, La Trappe is part of the International Trappist Association. “Of the eight trappist breweries, Koningshoeven is the most commercialised. The brewery is currently operated by De Koningshoeven NV, a subsidiary of the Bavaria Brewery, but the buildings and equipment are owned by the abbey. The monks of the abbey are the ultimate authority on the brewing process. However, the secular company runs the business operations. The abbey also houses a bar and shop/museum, the latter of which is staffed by a monk. As with all other Trappist breweries, the brewery exists in order to finance the monastery, not for profit or any other commercial reason. Originally the brewery was called De Schaapskooi, and this name is still used casually especially around the region.”
DUBBEL: 91 Points
This Belgian Dubbel is available year-round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “La Trappe Dubbel has a deep brown colour and attractive beige froth. The use of caramel malt gives it a gentle aromatic caramelised quality. It has a rich malty flavour with a touch of sweetness. Post-fermenting La Trappe Dubbel is a smooth drink, and yet has some real body and intense flavour to it.”
My Description: This is a complex beer with great fruit notes and an extremely smooth body. It begins with a good sized, tan colored head that lasts for some time leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma smells nice with notes of raisins, sugar, bread, malt, yeast spices, and a hint of wood. Dubbel is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. A nicely balanced flavor profile begins with a malty backbone holding up tasty notes of ripe dark fruits like raisins and plums along with red cherries. Some yeast spice notes add a welcoming flavor component and the alcohol is nicely hidden behind the plethora of fruit notes. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with some lingering spice notes. This beer is more on the sweeter side as it correct to the style and a pleasure to drink. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, grilled lamb chops, or dark chocolate.
ABV: 7% Color: Mahogany Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
ISID’OR: 93 Points
This Belgian Strong Ale is available year-round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Named after brother Isidorus, Koningshoeven Abbey’s first brewer. Brewed to mark the occasion of the Trappist brewery’s 125th anniversary in 2009, Isid’or was so well received that it earned itself a permanent place in La Trappe’s line-up. Unfiltered, slightly sweet amber ale with a hint of caramel, which continues to ferment after bottling and has a rich, slightly bitter flavour, and a fruity aftertaste.”
My Description: It’s easy to see how this became a permanent beer in the La Trappe lineup. It pours a large, manila colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind some lacing. The aroma is a mixture of sweet notes and Belgian yeast: caramel malt, light fruits, bananas, and a hint of yeast spice. Isid’or is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and semi-dry finish. A strong malt backbone holds up flavor notes of caramel, bread, green apples and other light fruit notes, and bananas. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and clean. Smooth and slightly creamy, this is a great beer for any occasion. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with pork chops, grilled portabella mushrooms, or chicken skewers.
ABV: 7.5% Color: Orange/Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
TRIPEL: 91 Points
This Belgian Style Tripel is available year-round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “La Trappe Tripel’s aroma is slightly malty and estery. Despite its full, rich flavour, this out-of-the-ordinary ale still has a light and dry aftertaste with a touch of bitter finesse.”
My Description: A clean and refreshing beer, this Tripel boasts enjoyable flavors and a smooth body. It pours a decent and fizzy, white colored head that fades to a film that holds the whole way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is on the sweeter side with complex notes of bubblegum, biscuit malt, coriander, and light fruit notes; these notes blend cleanly together to create a welcoming experience. Tripel is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose with a bit more complexity. There are notes of bubblegum and yeast spices floating throughout while hints of pears and white grapes delight. The alcohol is nicely hidden but it will be felt. The aftertaste is slightly bitter making this an easy drinking beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled whitefish, sautéed snapper, or a kale salad.
ABV: 8% Color: Hazy Orange/Brown Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10
QUADRUPEL: 95 Points
This Abbey Quad is available year round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Quadrupel is La Trappe’s heaviest ale with a stunning amber colour. Its warm and intense flavour is rich and finely balanced. Malty sweet, slightly burnt, and pleasantly bitter with a sweet aftertaste. Quadrupel continues to ferment after bottling and offers aromas of banana, almond, vanilla and others.”
My Description: This is a great example of a Trappist Quad. It pours a very large, off-white colored head that lasts a long time and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and complex with plentiful fruit notes and noticeable caramel malt. There are also hints of dates and brown sugar. Quadrupel is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is even more complex than the aroma. Notes of bananas and almonds come through nicely. Fruit notes of raisins and figs delight the palate while a touch of pepper helps bring balance. Malt and honey are also present and the aftertaste is minimally bitter. The alcohol is nicely hidden but can be tasted slightly, adding character. As much as I like the flavors of this beer, at times I felt it could have been slightly more dense. Never-the-less, this beer is great and worthy of a go to Quad. It is best served around 55° and pairs nicely with lobster tail, grilled lamb chops, or a baked duck with raspberry sauce.
ABV: 10% Color: Amber/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10