Tasting Notes: Rockmill Brewery’s “Tripel”

I discovered Rockmill Brewery through the blog of my esteemed colleague Nicole: “A Local Choice”. It can be found on my profile under Blogs I Follow. Nicole is fastidiously researching people in the Central Ohio area who are adhering to olde timey food production principles such as “not scientifically enhancing complete foods with utter fucking bullshit” and “refusing to process the beejeezus out of food thus turning it into slow poison”. Her blog provides a thorough review of those producers she likes and their wares. To paraphrase the great Peter Hurricane McNeely, “If you don’t respect what she’s doing, then you have a giant dump in your pants”. Unfortunately, given today’s climate of lazy bovine American eating choices and fear of all things natural which might cost $0.79 more than the ConAgra engineered bullshit (even though you need to eat far less of the natural, eventually making the price difference come out in the wash) that gives people the 5 minute euphoric high accompanying their bodies turning simple sugars into diabetes-cradling fat, I don’t expect many people to start picking up what NP is throwing down. But she is doing yeoman’s work, and Crom bless her for that.

But to the task at hand. While in Ohio over Memorial Day weekend, one of my mother’s work chums was so kind as to retrieve for me 1 bottle each of Rockmill’s Tripel, Dubbel and Saison. A brief background, and please refer to the aforementioned blog which provides more thorough and actually “researched” information on Rockmill: Rockmill was apparently purchased by some guy who quit doing whatever it was he was doing so he could make beer in southeastern Ohio. He has discovered the water which runs through his land is the same mineral makeup as Wallonia, Belgium, in the heart of arguably the world’s richest beer region. The brewery is located in Lancaster, Ohio. No, not Lancaster Pennsylvania where all the Yammies (slang for Amish) live. Given the Amish don’t have Internet access on their electricless farms, I’m sure no one will be offended. If you haven’t heard of Lancaster, Ohio, you are not stupid. Not much happens there. Yonks ago it turned out one of America’s true badasses, William Tecumseh Sherman. But since the “White Tecumseh” took Ulysses Grant’s whiskey-fueled rant about “teaching the South a goddamned lesson about respect” and torching the absolute fuck out of Atlanta and other racist redneck hotspots, not much has come out of Lancaster. And if you’ve been to Lancaster frequently, such as I have, then you will agree with me that this guy might be off his fucking tits to have opened a Belgian brewery there. Absolutely no market for it. But you have to admire his balls for having done so. Last night I had the distinct pleasure of trying the first of the three beers I brought back to Ohio, the Tripel. This is, without a doubt, the best Tripel I have ever had. It makes the Tripels I frequently drink from Belgium taste like when a guy is the last person to leave the office on Friday night and forgets to flush the toilet, and the piss sits there until Monday morning. The color is a rich, dense, unfiltered apricot-gold with a respectable but not intrusive head. The nose is reminiscent of the aroma of the freshly-washed hair of the chick you made out with in the hallway at the 8th grade dance. The one who blossomed earlier than the other girls. The one who put out because her mom brought home a litany of dudes with hair band t-shirts, several of whom had serious boundary issues. When the most recent beaux and her mom passed out after their last bong rip prior to the dance, our mistress helped herself most generously to the remnants of their fifth of George Dickel whiskey. This is why she allowed you most freely up her shirt during this make out sesh. After basking in the scent of the potion it is time to taste. The first sip dances on the palette like the closet homosexual who tries MDMA for the first time and wanders into a gay dance club, only to hear Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” erupt from the DJ booth. From this point the brew storms into your mouth and demands that you pay taxes and kiss its ring. It is like your sense of taste is a large slave plantation in rural Georgia, and W.T. Sherman himself, with his gang of union ass kickers, has stormed onto the property and ordered you off the land and into the woods like common savages, lest you go up in flame with the hay and the chickens. The finish is long and lingering, and recalls notes of subtle spiciness and the time you were coming off those really good shrooms and took a bong rip, then threw in Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and you sort of just melted into the sofa while that weird chick down the hall with the dragon tats danced by herself in the dark, slowly and disjointedly. And at 9.0% abv, there is no danger that sobriety will rear its ugly head and shit in the punch bowl. Suffice it to say, I count myself a fan of this delicious offering from Rockmill. I cannot wait to try the other large formats in the near future.
PS–I decided to delete Nicole’s last name from this review. She probably doesn’t need this popping up when potential employers Google search her name. Though she should be aware she is only as good as the company she keeps, this including her husband’s asshole frat bros.

About Zach

Male homo sapien. Warrior poet. I live in Chicago with one wife, one offspring, and Scout the dog. I enjoy various stuff. Besides skinny skiing and going to bullfights on acid, I also enjoy running, reading, drinking, eating and procrastinating on many things, such as starting this blog. I have a mom, a dad, and a younger brother who recently produced a sister-in-law. I'm the only person in my family, sister-in-law included, who doesn't have a post-graduate degree. I guess that makes me special. I grew up in a small to medium sized town in the middle of Ohio. In fact the even smaller town next door has a sign which reads "The Geographic Center of Ohio". Given this is what they choose to boast you can only imagine how exciting that town is. My town is infinitely cooler. For example on weekend nights people from my town and the surrounding villages and hamlets converge on the public square to "cruise" in their souped-up mini trucks, some bearing Confederate flags, despite growing up and living rather safely north of the Mason-Dixon line. This is high-minded stuff we're talking about here. I graduated sometime during the Clinton presidency from the local high school where I played football and participated in absolutely nothing else. This strategy paid huge dividends when I applied to numerous colleges on the eastern seaboard which were highly selective. When you show up to the admissions table with "HIgh School Football and Nothing Else" on your application, you get respect. After graduating from Ohio University with a degree in Economics that I've used for absolutely nothing, I moved to Boston. Boston is a lovely city. I was doing things I'm not proud of for beer money and I left after 16 months. My next move was to Chicago and 10+ years later there I still reside. I write this blog for therapeutic reasons. Much like some people paint to relax or smoke crack to unwind after a stressful day, I record my thoughts on Al Gore's World Wide Web for 9 friends, 4 family members, 1 person who accidentally clicked through after an unsuccessful Google search for something else, and a guy named Patriot1 who lives in a silver Air Stream in the Nevada desert and broadcasts his own radio show. Is there a point to all of this? I doubt it. Years ago and in a galaxy far, far away (College Park, Maryland, then Athens, Ohio) I was toying with the idea of being a journalism major. I enjoyed writing so it seemed the obvious fit. Then I attended career day and learned that journalism majors could look forward to a salary of $EA,TSH.IT per year with the promise of a fatal heart attack at 47 years of age. I'm not falling for that trick, I told them (them being no one, and told being saying it in my own mind in the shower). Approximately 15 years later here I sit declared the big winner in that battle: I never made any money doing anything else and now I'm writing entirely for free. So suck balls, journalism career day. The views expressed in this website are mine and mine entirely. I don't wish to be an even bigger black eye to my family than I probably already am. As a result of this I will never be able to run for public office and I accept that reality. But this website is a very dignified, well-dressed skeleton full of witty retorts and honorable deeds compared to the disheveled, stenching, staggering and loud skeletons who would come marching out of the closet to White Zombie's "Thunderkiss '65" if they ever unearthed the college years. So enjoy your train ride, your hangover day at work, your AA meeting or your dump. I'm here to serve.
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5 Responses to Tasting Notes: Rockmill Brewery’s “Tripel”

  1. Aaron says:

    Zach, it's Aaron from Glunz!

    Or better I should say, previously from Glunz – I just started a new job! Still working in the wine biz, but now instead of peddling wine inside of four walls to all and sundry, now I am working for a distributorship managing their internal operations and day-to-day logistics. I am now the nerve center of the company, baby. Which means, of course, that they're doomed. I'd tell the owners to get out now while they still can, but I'm concerned that doing so might not reflect well on my first quarterly review…

    Anyway, managed to stave off my usual internet diet of porn, Top Gear videos, and wine dork blogs to come check out your website. Pretty swanky, sir! And by coincidence, bang first post I see you mention Lancaster Ohio, which is of course my hometown. So you see, it may be easy to be a jaded Buckeye, but you never know where genius will spring from :)

    In any event, I am not cool with losing track of you guys, so we socialize sometime soon. Plus, now there's no conflict of interest, so I can tell you just what I think about various potables that I may or may not have sold over the past few years. Lord knows I've been such the picture of discet… oh wait, nevermind. But we should definitely hang out. I'll even bring one of those nitro funny car zinfandels that you guys like and I despise, and we'll take turns alternately singing its praises and damning it to the furthest circles of hell. I don't know if you can PM through these comments, but if not we'll work it out. Talk to you soon, man.


  2. ZSG says:


    Email or call me sometime soon. We're devastated. Like when I found out Neal Patrick Harris was gay. We'll definitely get together in the near future, I've so many prying, uncomfortable questions.


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