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Notes on beers in the style

Quadrupel (Quad)

Biere de Noel
(for Amanita Muscaria)

What an interesting beer. Pour is good looking, with a black body and a head, retention and lace that one would expect for a 12.2% beer, that is to say it's relatively short lived and not spectacular but appropriate. No problems or issues here. Nose has some of the acid notes that signal what's to come (see below) and plenty of fruit. A little surprisingly, not much alcohol. The initial tastes - just for a moment - suggest a deep, alcohol laden fig and raisin experience. Of course, that would...

Straffe Hendrik
Xmas Blend ’21

Had no idea the this beer was available in the US until I stumbled across it in Atlanta recently. I bought this 2021 750 mL, and a 33 cL 2022. Great pop on opening, with a little gun-smoke. Superb pour with a high mocha head that turns into a creamy film, and some lovely, dense, creamy lace. The nose offers a boozy, caramel and cheery note. Dark copper body. Tastes start with more of the boozy cherries. Light, fruity acidity and more cherries. I'm not generally a fan of any Belgian styles...

Gulden Draak
9000 Quadruple

Beautiful, deep orange-golden color. Rocky head, lace is fantastic. Obviously a ridiculous color for a "Quad" but that doesn't make it unattractive. Nose offers sweetness, and some bready malt, but it doesn't give away what's to follow. At 10.7%, to me, this drinks less aggressively than the original Gulden Draak at 10.5%. Go figure. This seems smoother to me than the original. Carbonation may play a part in this which seems light. Some caramel, but the alcohol remains relatively in check....

Zundert
10 Trappist

The context here is that this beer was consumed as part of a quadruple, Quad tasting with Westvletern 12, St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Rochefort 10, and also in the wake of a separate tasting of Zundert 8 which was rather unimpressive. Surprisingly dark pour, close to black if the highlights are ignored - some dark garnet if they are not. Head is great, retention is excellent. Looks fantastic. Nose and tastes have a decent amount of licorice and slight bitterness. Smooth. Finishes dry. The alcohol...

Spencer
Monks’ Reserve Ale

I’ve had this a few times before these notes, so this is a collective narrative from more than one sitting. It pours with a lovely look. Dark brown, a better than average head and lace when one considers the ABV, and a retention that is also better than I was expecting. Nose offers little other than a slightly surprising acidity. This is not really reflected in any tastes. Some bakers chocolate in the initial tastes. This is followed by some dry alcohol, some raisin based fruit, and a touch of...

Practise What You Preach

I have no interest in getting into a pissing match about James Watt's antics - I mean that I literally don't care about Brewdog or their attitudes at all - BUT what I will say is simply this. About 15 years ago when Brewdog started, I had some brief dealings with him, and he was a dick. That's it, no more, no less, but that's the truth. Now back to this beer. This review is based upon a 33 cl bottle that was imported from Belgium. A couple of weeks later I saw 750s of it here in Fort Wayne,...

Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel 11°

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...

Partridge in a
Pear Tree (2020)

Beautiful, clear chestnut red body underneath a medium sized tan head that fades appropriately quickly. Nose is mostly light alcohol even on warming. EtOH warmth is apparent immediately, and a cinnamon, Christmas spice note hits up front. The cinnamon is not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination but it works here. The finish is quite punishingly dry. There is plenty of alcohol warmth here, but the beer is immensely drinkable, and by that I mean not at all heavy. It doesn't feel like a...

Pannepot Reserva – Old Fisherman’s Ale

11.2 oz bottle from Charleston Beer Exchange, Charleston, SC, USA. $7.99. 2008 vintage. Pour is a Dubbel-like affair that is a murky brown but also has a slight plum-colored, "grapeish", light purple hue - possibly just the light. Thin film sits atop the beer and a ring forms around the edge of the surface. No lace. A few alcohol legs. Even with a decent amount of warming, as the beer comes to ambient temperature the nose is largely muted - surprising. Tastes are largely as expected with a...

Quadzilla (Cherry Quad)

Many thanks to PittBeerGirl for the chance to try this one as part of Secret Bunny 2010 - thanks Sara. 750 mL capped bottle with white foil on the neck, not gold as in the BA db picture. Pour is a surprisingly light, cloudy, orange color that is reminiscent of tea. I was expecting a dark, black cheery color which would fit with the advertised fruit and the quad categorization. Not much head and little or no retention. Nose gives some fruity notes, but they are not strong and definitely not...

Baby Tree

22 oz bottle thanks to Penney who brought this one back from The Foodery in Philly, PA, USA. Mid brown body that sits nicely in the Brasserie de Abbaye des Rocs chalice with a lovely, frothy light tan head. Some lace. Nose is surprisingly neutral to me (even with warming) and gives only the slightest hints of sweet malt, a touch of alcohol and some sharp carbonation (yes, carbonation in the nose!) Taste start to reveal more of the dark fruit, BUT the taste remains quite distinctly "unsweet". A...

Malheur 12°

330 mL bottle as part of a recent trade - thanks Chad. Beer pours as expected with a dark brown body, very little head and no lace. The color is a bit of a dirty brown dubbel which, as usual I don't find especially attractive. Not surprising, just not especially attractive. Alcohol hits the nose with plenty of brown sugar notes as well. The alcohol does not manifest in the taste quite as strongly as the nose would suggest. Yes, it's there, but it's not hot rather it's laid back with a gentle...

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)

Bought this 22 oz bottle a couple of months ago at Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. I've been holding on to it for a little while waiting for the moment that I felt like drinking a bomber full of a Quad - last night was that time. Beer poured with a lovely, reddish hue with some real deep brown highlights. The head was decent on the aggressive pour and the foam left behind was creamy and made of fine bubbles giving a really smooth experience. Nose revealed virtually no alcohol but there were plenty...

Pannepot – Old Fisherman’s Ale

11.2 oz bottle, 2007 vintage. I've had this a couple of times before, now time for a formal review. Pour gives a rich, dark brown body with a mocha, coffee colored head that is fairly dense at first look. The head disappears fairly quickly (unsurprisingly considering the ABV) but does leave a nice collar and some spotty, creamy film on the surface of the body. The aroma and the taste do have some of the sherry, Madeira and fig/raisin notes that one is looking for in a Quad, BUT the spice is...

Sixpoint Express

22 oz bomber courtesy of Grant via Bierkraft. Must have been filled from a tap, so I guess this could be classified as a growler fill. The appearance is unusual for a Quad. It is very orange. Clouded body and a decent amount of head, lace and retention considering the ABV. A little light for a Quad. Nose and tastes are extremly fruity. Alcohol is conspicuous by it's relative absence in both the nose and tastes considering the whopping 11.3. The fruit is not easy to place, but it's definitely a...

The Sixth Glass

750 mL corked & caged bottle with the Batch #68100. Pretty BIG pop on opening with some gun smoke. Poured in several stages into the Terrapin 22 oz snifter. Body is a dark orange, murky color with a light tan ring of lace but none on the glass. Thin film of fine bubbles on the surface of the beer. Subsequent aggressive pours produce more frothy head. Nose has some significant sweet alcohol and a little Belgian candy. This comes through exactly the same in the tastes. It actually seems more...

Monk’s Brew (Monk’s Elixir)

750 mL (plastic) corked, caged and silver foiled affair. Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. I wish there was a real cork. This one has been in the cellar for a few months. Dark brown pour with a lovely head and that classic, spotty, creamy quad lace on the surface of the beer and on the glass. Into the Ommegang chalice. Wow, what a combo. Close to perfect in terms of the style, taste, mouthfeel and nose. Creamy body with very light and fine carbonation. Nose and tastes combine to give the...

Unplugged Belgian Quadruple

Lucked upon this at the Brick Stone on a Friday afternoon; thanks to Dave and some other (nameless) benefactor. 12 oz bottle. The pour was a simple, light brown with some chill haze and minimal carbonation. I'd be curious to know the ABV for a head/carbonation reference point. Nose reveals some Belgian sugar notes, a touch of yeast, a very mild funk but not much else. Impressive light touch. A mild-funk starts the taste experience which is followed by a sweet and sour combo. Very light,...

Whisky Barrel Aged Quinte55ence

Better known as "The Answer", this is the Barrel Aged version of Quinte55ence. Crawford was kind enough to give me a bottle of this (along with the Quinte55ence original and a couple of Cloud 9's). I shared these with the boys at the Brick Store. Pour is identical to the Quinte55ence - no surprise there, and equally unsurprising is the aroma which gives the smoky notes from the barrel. I need to put a disclaimer right up front here, I am just not that interested in Barrel aged beers. They...

Trappist Westvleteren 12

Notes added 07/21/21 10.02.15 - The final bottle from the retail pack that made it to the USA maybe back in 2012? Odd thing about this bottle is the aggressive fizz that disapate to nothing almost immediately. Turns into a sherry like experience, albeit a thin one. Not the best experience, and age is clearly a factor. Notes added 07/16/21 12.01.24 (Pictured). If I’m completely honest, this has grown on me over the years. Looking back at my earlier notes, I feel I was harsh over the last...

Quinte55ence

Thanks go out to Crawford for generously giving me a bottle* of this (plus bottles of The Answer and Cloud 9) in February of this year. Shared this (along with The Answer), at The Brick Store with Dave & Bob amongst others. *Obviously this is still a draught version, but Crawford bottled some of this beer in corked & caged 750s. Pour is a dark brown almost black body with very little sustainable head. I thought it was rather porter like it its appearance. Very nice nose with plenty of...

Judgment Day

Additional notes 02/21/23 Carbonation a little low as can be the case with Lost Abbey, but just about within style and ABV parameters. Drinkable, and still a light, fruity alcohol experience. It's quite subtle, not in your face at all, and drinks better than it (apparently) did 15 years ago. Not great, but not bad, I'd drink it again. Original notes 04/02/08 Corked & caged, 750 mL bottle with an impressive looking label featuring The Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse - fantasy style. Nice...

Quad

22oz bomber, $5.99 City Beverage, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. This (vintage?) is advertised as being 11.8% on the label. Dark, burned orange color with a little film of head on the surface of the glass as it sits in the Urthel, Hop-iT goblet. Lace is thin and wispy and only at the extreme edges of the surface. Aroma is brown sugar and some strong bubblegum. Very sweet, with alcohol fairly well hidden until the finish at which point it cuts in fairly strongly, but is still more subtley warming just...

Allagash FOUR

=== Updated Review 05/08 === Second bottle from the Greensboro trip in Novemeber 2007. Looks and drinks more like a Dubbel than I remember from before. Sweet raisin notes still there in the nose which is perhaps the best aspect of this beer. The 22oz Terrapin snifter produces some nice, fine carbonation. === Original Review 12/07 === Sampled Christmas Day 2007 - 750 mL, corked & caged, purchased at $10.99 from GSO Wine Warehouse in Greensboro, NC, USA in November - just before it got to GA....

Blasphemy

$7.99, GSO Wine Warehouse, Greensboro, NC, USA. 22oz bomber shared with a few BA's at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. I was a little wary of this since I have grown not to like many bourbon aged/infused beers, and often I find the simple oak aged to be a little overpowering as well. This was one of the more subtle ones I have tried. Mahogany brown pour with not much carbonation (ABV 11.8%), but nevertheless still some head and lace. Still looking pour. Nice sweet aroma of brown sugar and a...

Southampton Abbot 12

Thanks go out to Brewfan for this one. I've been waiting on this one for a while, and perhaps I have built it up a little too much in my mind! 750 mL, Corked & Caged affair. Different bottle style and new label in 2007. Pour is a little disappointing. Noisy, soda like carbonation that fades quickly to almost nothing. Dubbel, drab color in the body - a little murky. Not great looking at all. Nose has the requisite Belgian yeasts and candy, as does the taste, BUT the beer is way too sweet for...

Pannepøt – Old Fisherman’s Ale (Denmark Version)

$4.99 Green's, Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. 11.2oz bottle. Mid-brown pour with thin creamy head that disappears pretty quickly (as expected for the ABV). Quad nose, but mellow, not aggressive. Figs, some Madeira? Typical Quad notes in the taste. Brown sugar, raisins. VERY smooth. At first it seems a little light on the mouthfeel side, but I suspect that this compliments the beer nicely to make it very drinkable. Superb, sherry like aftertaste, and a really creamy finish. Alcohol is nowhere to be...

t Smisje BBBourgondier

Single, Michael's, Marietta, GA, USA. $4.49. No pop on lifting the cap, and the beer pours out as a completely lifeless, murky brown tea like color. I suspect that this bottle has somehow lost its carbonation completely or is just a plain bad bottle. Still reviewing for my own records. Despite the lack of carbonation you still get the full effect of taste and aroma. Plenty of dark fruits and sweet caramel, all dressed up in a little bit of alcohol, but nowhere near as big as the 12.0% ABV...

V-Twelve

Thanks to ArrogantB for the trade before this got to GA. 750 mL corked & aged bottle, dated, bottled on (something - illegible) 10 06. Orange, chill-hazed pour with a nice high head with a little lacing in the Duvel chalice. Alcohol is quite prominent in the nose, but to be honest, whilst it IS fairly astringent it is also not overpowering. Obviously very sweet, but I get a LOT of tangerines and other mild orange tastes. A tiny bit of pepper too. Drinks below the ABV and can be enjoyed quicker...

Val-Dieu Grand Cru

Additional notes 11/27/22 (pictured): Dark, rich cherry notes abide with great depth and an insanely drinkable 10.5%. Notes below refer to me adding it to the beer advocate.com website back in 2006. Original notes 12/02/06 I am adding this beer since I feel sure it is a "new" version of the Winter offering from Val-Dieu. Beautiful pour with initially what looks like an almost black pour, but becomes more brown as the contents of the Val-Dieu chalice are emptied. Nice head, good sticky lacing...

St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary “Special Edition”)

Corked & caged in the commemorative tin, $10.99 Green's, Ponce de Leon, Atlanta, GA, USA. Huge billowing, fluffy head with tons of lace. Great pour. A little drab on the color side of things, a dark brown with a little haze and cloudiness. Colossal aromas fill the nose in the Duvel tulip. Yeast fruits dominate. Big estery mouthfeel and huge Belgian yeast presence. A little hoppier than the regular Abt 12 and in that respect it reminds me a little of Houblon Chouffe. Complex sugars at first...

Urthel Samaranth

Very nice looking with a lovely clear copper colored body, plenty of lacing and a permanent spotty head across the surface. Heady, warming alcohol ester sweetness in the nose, all of which is reflected in the taste, but without either the harsh sweetness or alcohol that one might expect. Mouthfeel is light considering the style. Lack of syrup adds to the drinkability, but this still drinks close to the 12%. It's a big beer, but has a smoother edge than some of both the alcohol content and the...

Founders Bad Habit Belgian Quad

Can you say bubblegum?? Clear, copper colored pour with no head or lace (consistent with ABV%) when poured into the Koningshoeven small goblet. Alcoholic bananas and cloves in the nose which is quite strong. Sweet tastes with an alcoholic warming in the finish, but bubblegum is the overwhelming feeling that this leaves behind. Drinks all of its 9.8% ABV, if not a little stronger. Strong fruit (pineapple)/cough syrup tastes too, which although that does not sound good, it actually tastes better...

Kasteel Donker

$3.99 special price for a 750 mL bottle at Whitlock Package, Whitlock Avenue, Marietta, GA, USA. Poured into the Duvel tulip. Champagne bottle presentation going beyond just corked and caged with gold foil down the length of the neck and with a dimpled bottom of the bottle. Corked has 11-2003 on it so this is close to three years old. Apart from the color (another dirty brown opaque, Dubbel type pour) it looks great. BIg head and great lacing. If this had the color of a Belgian Pale I would...

Allagash Grand Cru

750 mL bottle, batch #11 into the Chimay goblet. Chill-hazed copper body, with a lot of thin carbonation on the pour - almost categorized by me as fizzy! The color is somewhere between the traditional colors of the Belgian Pale and Dark. Mild fruits and spices in the nose, but the tastes are more pronounced than the nose would suggest. Mouthfeel is rather thin. Tastes are malt based, but a definite yeast based bitterness cuts across the finish and lingers. The dry alcohol is also apparent in...

The Reverend

Poured into the Chimay goblet. Light amber, crystal clear pour with a nice head that disappears quickly to leave a spotty, creamy reminder. I don't pick up any really distinct aroma other than the obvious alcohol and general fruitiness of the esters. It is sweet, but there is also a distinct "Belgianness" about this beer, perhaps due to the types of yeasts used. Considering the ABV this has a very light mouthfeel. There is a bitter, hoppy, sharp, high alcohol finish, the hoppiness of which...

La Trappe Quadrupel
(Koningshoeven/Dominus)

Additional notes 04/20/23 (pictured): A light amber body, much lighter than one would expect for a quad. Still drinks in a very mellow manner. Alcohol is there, but it has a ton of fruit and mild, balanced flavor. Lots of marzipan base solvent, and a ton of esters. Not a quintessential Quad for me (or indeed anyone that knows what they are talking about I suspect), never has been, and that's OK. Original notes 04/10/05: Very strong, but controlled flavors make this a Quad one that is not too...

Trappistes Rochefort 10

Additional Notes 01/08 The more I reflect on this, the more I like it and the better it gets with warmth. Very important to let this warm in the glass for 30 minutes IMO. Complexity and flavor dramatically increase in that period, and I see the notes I am used to shine through. Delicious. Original Notes 04/02/05 A pretty good example of how persistence and an open mind can have their rewards. Having tried the 6 and the 8 (neither of which I was especially excited about), I pressed on in the...

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)

Additional notes: 2008 Usual corked & caged presentation in the 750 mL bottle. Time to re-visit this old friend. Pour is as impressive as ever wih a high, rocky tan colored head and great retention and lace. Brownish, garnet body with perfect carbonation. Smooooth! Drinkability rmeains huge for me and the alcohol seems much easier to handle than the last time I reviewed this. Everytime I drink this I really don't get the cherry notes SPECIFICALLY, but I do love the Belgian dark fruit...

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Additional notes: 08/06 19/01/11. $3.29. Original Review 07/01/04 $2.99 Greens Beverage, Atlanta, GA, USA July 1st 2004, First day of higher ABV beers being legally sold in GA! I often fail to pick up and identify fruity aromas in general, but with this beer it's all ripe bananas and pears with a faint alcohol tinge. Yeasty bread too. The breadiness of the beer continues well into the taste and it dominates rather than the Belgian yeast strain and candy elements that sometimes ride high in...