The saying goes, “All Trappist beers are Abbey beers, but not all Abbey beers are Trappist beers.”
Abbey beers historically refer to monastic life. They are generally high fermentation beers.
Today there are only 11 Trappist breweries in the world. The ATP acronym for Authentic Trappist Product guarantees compliance with the fermentation and brewing specifications and the authenticity of the product. It is made exclusively by or under the aegis of Trappist monks (Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance). And the beers must be brewed in or near an abbey.
Actually, whether it is an abbey or a Trappist beer, these beers are characterized by their high alcohol content (between 6 and 12°) and a beautiful blond or brown colour. They are distinguished by a quitte bitter taste, as well as slightly roasted notes.
Among the abbey beers, there are single, double or triple.
The simple ones are the lightest in density and alcohol and were drunk by monks, as “table beers”.
The doubles, also called Dubbel or “double grains”, are made with more malt, which gives a denser and more alcoholic result (around 7°).
The triples or “tripel” or triple grain, are produced with even more malt and therefore more alcohol (around 9°), and were historically offered to guests.
These beers are best enjoyed in chalice glasses at a higher temperature (between 6° and 10°).