33 cl bottle, best before 18-05-2024.
The color of this beer is truly beautiful. An incredibly deep garnet red, with great clarity. Head is light coffee-colored with tremendous depth and pitting. Lace is perfect.
Even at a relatively cool temperatures the nose is apparent. As it warms, the yeasty aroma becomes stronger, and the sugary alcohol comes through beautifully.
Tastes start with a gentle introduction of red cherries with plenty of drying bakers chocolate or cocoa. The beer is nowhere near as sweet as one might expect, and that moves it a little way from being a Quad that is too big. The lack of sweetness helps the alcohol stay in check. Having said that, the alcohol is definitely there, warming and building. There’s a tiny, tiny herbal element for me, and the beer is very, very clean, in fact surprisingly so. Normally with a Quad I’d expect residual sugar, burning alcohol, huge sweetness and a real heavy feel (all appropriate), but this is surprisingly “light”. The flavor is there, but the whole thing comes together very gently.
It’s an unusual Quad for me. It absolutely does NOT smack you in the face as many do, and there a simplicity about it that I wish was a little more complex. These beers usually have complicated palates but this seems simpler. Some alcohol, (relatively) muted fruits, and light sweetness. It doesn’t deliver the typical ‘wave after wave’ flavor assault of some similar beers.
In the end Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel 11° is an outlier in the typical, high ABV Quad stable for me. A more refined and reserved player in a division that is rife with big-hitting, bruising beers. Quite the change of gears and pace within the style.