There is a distinct difference between a Trappist Beer and an Abbey beer. Trappist beers, if memory serves, mean that monks play some part in either the production or oversight of the brewing of the beer. Abbey beers simply mean that a particular Abbey has licensed their name to a type of beer. Maredsous is an Abbey beer, and they lend their name to 3 different types of beer.
The one picture (and hence, the one reviewed) is Maredsous 8, a Dubbel.
Appearance: A deep Mahogany with a nice of-white head that lasts. And when it does dissipate, it leaves quite a nice bit of Belgian lace.
Aroma: Sweetness hits first, but lightly. Deep savory fruits seem to be present, such as figs and raisins. A very interesting aroma.
Taste: Malty, with a hit of acid in the back. The fruity aromas translate very well into the taste, with complex fruit flavors with a hint of caramel. If I were judging, I ding this a bit for having v. little hops, as their should be some readily apparent. Although the hops are there, one could argue they should be there moreso.
But as I don’t mind when hops are missing, I’ll let it slide, a bit.
Mouthfeel: Body isn’t as deep as a porter, but not as light as a pale ale. Sort of in between. Light carbonation is there to support the flavor of the beer, rather than overwhelm it. Quite nice.
Drinkability: Probably the second most favorite beer I’ve ever tasted. Complex without being overpowering, and the grain takes precendent with hops almost no where to be found. This? This is the beer I was looking for when I said “There’s gotta be something other than lagers.”