Archive for the 'Quadrupel' category
Newly arrived into my beer stash. A gift from a co-worker who travelled abroad recently. No tasting notes yet.
Man, I have not had a Belgian style quadrupel in a long, long time. There was a time when I’d grab all of these I could get my hands on (and there really aren’t that many). However, due to either my ignorance or a lack of this style on shelves, I haven’t touched one in a while. And, oh, how I have missed it! I was quite excited to see this particular offering from Sweetwater. Quad isn’t a genre I’d generally associate with this typically lighter and fruitier Georgia brewery. However, they always make a good brew, so I’m anxious to see what they can do with it.
This quad pours a rather dark brown with hints of purple throughout. When held up to a light, the beer is rather clear, which isn’t always a case with this variety. There is a thick caramel head that surges up on the pour and diminishes slowly, leaving spiderwebs of sticky goodness down the glass as it recedes. The aroma here is dark and sweet, full of grape and dark cherry, but with a thicker caramel hint to it, as well. In the mouth, this is pure flavor – reminding me of why I like this genre so much. There are a number of notes to this beer, and they are all so big and bodacious that it’s amazing they play nice together. On the front of the tongue, it’s a light fruity sweetness, reminiscent of dark grapes. As the beer progresses down the tongue, this sweetness is joined by some light toffee and molasses, then with more pronounced dark fruit with some acidity. Finally, a good biscuity sweetness settles over the tongue while an acidic burst kicks in as the beer goes down the throat. Finally, we’re left with a melange of the biscuity malt and light grape flavors in the aftertaste. Frankly, it’s just a lot to deal with, but the balance is surprisingly pleasant. There’s no need to pair this beer with any food, as it’s a dessert in it’s own right. This really isn’t a beer I’d generally reach for on a 70-degree March night, but I’m glad I did tonight. It’s tasty.
Sam’s Blue Light is having a sale on all of their Ommegang beers so I picked this up since I haven’t had any of their beer in quite some time. I had planned on watching some tv and enjoying this beer leisurely but at the last minute I checked the site just to make sure we had chronicled this beer. Much to my surprise we had not. How could we have missed this one? Many of the Ommegang offerings were reviewed during SevenPack’s infancy at the world renowned Boone Beer Fest tastings (thus the brevity of the write-ups), but this one was left out. So tonight I’ll revisit this Belgian quadrupel and finish off the reviews from the Ommegang family of beers.
This beer sits with a deep crimson hue in my goblet after the fluffy, caramel head dissipates. The first thing I notice as I hold the glass to my nose is the size of this beer. The 9.8% abv is very apparent in the aroma. It is sharp, a bit aggressive, and the spice accentuates its power. There is a mixture of oranges and soapiness that attempts to soften the overall smell, but the size is too much to overcome. This is a very flamboyant ale with flavors that attack the tongue from all sides. Subtle citrus notes are sprinkled in the front of the mouth, while stronger cherry flavors thicken the mouthfeel and slide across the tongue. Clove and peppery spices brush against the back third of the mouth as well as the entire roof. The alcohol content opens the nasal passage and warms the stomach . This beer ends with a bubbly mouthfeel and a muddled finish. The latter isn’t surprising given its complexity although it does mean you have to wait a few seconds to take another sip. It’s just a big beer folks, no two ways around it. Enjoy it slowly and at length. The taste evolves and grows as the beer warms so there’s a really good chance your best swallow will be your last. I remember being completely enamored with Ommegang when I first began drinking craft brews and while I can’t say I’m still in awe of the experience it has brought back some good memories.
Finally, we’re taking a little jump over the pond to the nice folks in Belgium with this offering, the Koningshoeven Quad. I haven’t had a quadrupel in a while, so this is a nice divergence from my recent escapades.
This one pours a deep amber color with tons of debris and a slightly off-white head. The aroma is very spicy with hints of molasses and dark cherry – it’s very full and almost ‘syrupy’ in the nose, if that’s possible. In the mouth, this is brimming with big flavors. There is a lot of dark fruit – mostly cherry and grape. In addition, there is a sweetness of molasses and toffee, and a mouthfeel that seems to pull from molasses as well, as this is very thick and sticks to the walls of the mouth. Sweetness is the predominant flavor here, and the aftertaste leaves us with a very cherry-like sweetness that sticks around for some time. All in all, this is a very big beer. It tastes extremely full and has flavor for days. However, I’m tempted to say that the sweetness can be just a bit cloying – not a bad thing if you’ll be enjoying it slowly over the course of an evening, but a bit overwhelming if you’re in a hurry. Also, for one reason or another, this is giving me a headache about 1/2 of the way through. However, that might be more about myself than anything particular in the beer.
I just got back to Lunz’s apartment after drinking for 5+ hours at the Publick House in Boston, MA (which was absolutely amazing), and although I certainly don’t need anymore alcohol in my system, I need to review a few beers because I can’t take them home on the airplane. I bought this little ditty in NYC at the New Beer Distributors (another wonderful place). We have been to quite a few beer-havens on our “Beer Tour 2007″ and this was one of the best. Look for a quick recap of our trip some time in the next few days, I think you will enjoy it very much…Anywho, according to the the label Ichor was the “blood” or “life force” that circulated throughout the body of the mythical gods, setting them apart from the humans. I like to think after drinking this I will distinguish myself from the majority of the beer lovers in the world by poisining my liver with this supernatural brew. Masses beware because I am now officially better than you, I challenge you to tell me I’m not…
This beer pours a deep brown color, almost like a coca-cola or a pepsi. There was little head with this particular pour thus making it look like a flat soda. The aroma has a warming effect and is fraught with dark fruits and raisin, with a hint of dark chocolate. It smells very juicy, if you can imagine that. My intial impression is that the taste is very smooth, so smooth infact that I am almost not noticing the flavors involved. This beer flows nicely over the first 1/4 of the tongue and then erupts with a spiciness over the very middle. It mellows over the last half and thickens creating a robust malt flavor that coats the throat. I had the Avery Quad for the umteenth time tonight and I am sad to say (because I love Avery) this is better. I’m getting some dark cherry and maybe a little licquorice but it isn’t doesn’t have a tremendously tangy bite. There is a mild hop burn that emerges during the aftertaste but that has almost no bearing on the overall taste. This is an interesting and complex brew that I am very happy I bought. We can’t get this product in NC just yet but I hope a distributor will bring it and others from the Slyfox family to us very soon.
The folks at Weyerbacher certainly have made quite a name for themselves in their small time in the North Carolina market. Well, at least amongst the Sevenpack drinkers, that is. This abbey style quadruple had tempted my fancy on several occasions, but I finally found the perfect time to try it out. I’m honestly not too sure of the difference(s) – except for the aging in an oak barrel – between this and the Blasphemy. I haven’t sampled the Blasphemy yet, so I can’t really compare the two on those levels.
The Quad pours a beautiful deep copper, almost caramel color. The head was plentiful, initially, but dissipated quickly. The beer comes in at a robust 11.8 abv – I expected the flavor to be much more sweet, and for the alcohol to be very present in each sip. The alcohol flavor was much less than I expected, and I think this is a good thing. The beer is not overwhelming, but allows for a smooth drinkability that, I think, is uncommon for quadruples. The beer is medium-bodied, and the mouthfeel reflects this. The taste is smooth and sweet throughout, with a nice bite at the end of it. The flavors of banana, candies, and fruit are present throughout the tasting. I think the bite is more reflective of the alcohol content than anything else – it’s not overwhelming by any means, but you can certainly tell it means business. Emily remarks that it has the complexity of a decent port without the heavy sweetness.
All in all, this is a very good variation of the quadruple. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good, all-around version of a little heavier Abbey style ale. I continue to be impressed by Weyerbacher’s exceptional brews – everyone I have had has been interesting and all-around pleasant. On a random side note, I would say that this label/marketing is much better than their other varietals, and perhaps that is why it caught my eye earlier than others.
Yet again, the Leyerth breweries come through with a delightful beer. This beer is more malty than the previous selections from Leyerth that have focused almost entirely on the hop content. The aroma is standard malt ale and finished through the mouth with considerable carbonation and a pleasant pale taste with some slight sweetness. Another good beer from Leyerth, and the most regular and repeatable beer of the bunch
It seems I stirred up a bit of controversy with my review of the Left Hand Oak-aged Imperial Stout so I’ll return to one of the styles I know a little more about. Seeing as how I have been on a Weyerbacher kick lately I’ll try my hand at describing my experience of their new oak-aged quadruple. They took their stunning interpretation of this classic belgian style and let it marinate for a while in some wodden barrels. Here this brew was left to mellow out and age to perfection. To tinker with an age-old style might be balsphemous, but the theory behind it lends the potential for it to be divine.
It sits a beautiful, murky, copper color in my Grottenbier chalice. The thin white head rests gently on the top of the beer and already I know I’m in for a treat. There is a nutty richness that is intertwined with citrus and hops that creates a mouth-watering aroma. I’m sensing a bit of mango, grapefruit; even some lemon and banana. This might lead one to believe that it is going to make your mouth pucker but such is not the case. The anise and raisin flavors race to the back of the mouth and the spice warms the body to the core. There seems to be a hint of liquorice and vanilla that rear its head just before the taste dissipates which gives this beer its body. A common theme emerging from my oak-aged experiences is that I am also tasting dark cherries. The 11.8% abv is noticable but is quite mellow given its size. This is a complex, well-balanced brew. As the aftertaste evolves it moves from the back to the front of the tongue and caramel becomes that dominating flavor. This beer is absolutely delicious and quite impressive for an American quadruple-style ale. It is enjoyable on all accounts and I urge you to give it a try.
Now, this beer is everything that the Angelique should have been. From reading the label, it labels this as a ‘Belgian abt Style Ale’ – quite frankly, I don’t know what this means. From some research, I find that a lot of folks don’t know what this means, but the nearest I can come is that maybe this is close to a quadrupel-style ale. Regardless, this tastes to me like what a great Abbey-style ale should be. It is MUCH less boring than the Angelique – it contains a tastier aroma rich in dark cherry and raisins. In the mouth, you get lots of dark fruit, light hints of horehound, and just a touch of cinnamon. This all combines for a very complex beer that is also very tasty. The beer leaves you with an aftertaste heavy with fruit. I find this a highly agreeable beer, especially at the $7 price tag. I will certainly drink this again, and I would recommend it to any discerning beer drinker on a budget.
[Ed. Note - Since this is apparently like a Quadrupel, but tastes to me like an Abbey style ale, I'm putting it in both of these categories - you have been warned.]
This beer is advertised by Allagash as “Four Hops, Four Malts, Fermented Four Times”. That, for those who aren’t into obscure beer terminology, would make this a Quadrupel. I really like quadrupels, if only for the gluttonous excess that they represent. It’s like taking a perfectly good beer and saying, “Ah, what the hell – let’s go ahead and ferment this 3 more times just for the hell of it.”
Speaking to this particular beer, I can say that this is one of the better quadrupels that I have tasted. It pours a deep and very cloudy amber color, so this must not be a filtered ale. The aroma has less licorice in it than most quadrupels, and this aroma is replaced by a fruity sweetness. In the mouth, the initial taste is rather strong and shocking. Lots of fruit, some anise, and a pretty big amount of hops that is masked by the malty sweet. If you really take the time to analyze the flavors, you’ll find that there are a LOT of them. Down the throat, the beer leaves behind a sweetness reminiscent of berries that is very pleasant. I am very impressed by Allagash and American beer in general, as they have made a quadrupel that easily rivals most of the native Belgian counterparts. This is highly recommended, and you might want to get this while you can, because I fear that it is a seasonal offering.
This is a Belgian quadrupel ale, and the first quadruple I’ve had. It is dark and appears to be filtered, because it isn’t terribly cloudy. It has a malty/fruity taste, and is more aggressive than the tripels I have had, probably due to the 10% abv. However, it doesn’t have the complexity on the tongue of some of the better tripels. Really, this is almost a mix between a barleywine style ale and a Belgian tripel, and the color would fit such a blend. Although lacking much complexity, it is an intriguing blend of flavors. Quite good, and worth a try.