It's no great secret that I have a fondness for Trappist beers. They're considered some of the best in the world for a reason. I've made my way through every Trappist beer available in the United States (no, I have not had the elusive, difficult-to-get, available-at-the-brewery-only Westvleteren 12) and have rarely found them lacking. Even those that didn't thrill me were still top beers worth savoring.
So needless to say, I wasn't surprised when the La Trappe offerings I had were good. But I was surprised they were so off-the-charts good. Because damn. Wow. This was some fantastic stuff.
Wonderful aroma with all the banana and yeast you expect from a Trappist beer, plus some nice spicy notes. It was heady and herbal and inviting. Once poured (it generates an active, lively head) it drinks with a medium body and tastes of raisin bread, herbs, and pleasant sweetness balanced perfectly with mildly bitter hops. Hints of dark fruit tantalize throughout, though aren't as rich as, say, Rochefort's beers. All in all, this is like a delicious banana bread in a glass. Wait! If you've had this awful banana bread beer, please don't let the description dissuade you; the La Trappe is divine. This really is delicious.
Highly recommended. Got mine in a gift pack that included four bottles -- two of these and two of their Quads -- along with the lovely glass pictured at left.
Incidentally, the photo above won Beertography Photo of the Week on the beer photo blog of the same name. Cool! Go check them out.