What: Quad [11.5% ABV]
How we had it: Out of a bottle in to a wine taster glass.
What we saw: A really rich dark brown almost maroon hue. Against the light, the edges of the glass appear to be a light brown and ruby (just look at the picture above). A two finger caramel colored head appears after the pour which fades quickly leaving a nice amount of lacing and a thick ring around the glass. The lacing remains throughout the entire glass.
What we smelled: Lots going on here. Up front there's dark fruit , cherry, figs, dates, and toffee. There's a hint of alcohol in the background which you can expect with an ABV of 11.5%. As the beer warms, the sweet cherry notes become more pronounced on top of an earthy, caramel base.
What we tasted: All that fruit we smelled comes through on a really nice velvety and soft beer. Raisins, plums, toasted bread, caramel, and dark fruit predominate while a hint of tobacco, raw honey, and and alcohol linger in the background. A sturdy, sweet, and bready backbone hold up the high alcohol content of this beer which is seemingly downplayed by the high level of carbonation and the bone dry nature of the beer. As the beer warmed, more of the really nice toasted bread, earthiness, and dark fruit character comes through and the alcohol becomes slightly more present.
What we thought: This is a really great expression of the style. It's a beautiful looking and smelling beer and the taste follows through. While being such a high alcohol beer, the carbonation, mouthfeel, and dryness really make this a drinkable and enjoyable beer. The alcohol character comes through just enough to let you know this is a big beer and really adds a nice complexity to the already incredibly flavorful profile of the beer. The velvety mouthfeel of the beer is really beautiful and marries well with the dominant flavors. The dryness of the beer is one of the major high points for me - allowing a big beer to become incredibly drinkable. The raisins and dark fruit are really the feature here but the less pronounced flavors add to the beer and elevate it. Enjoy this one with some aged cow's milk cheeses (like gouda), and savory dishes like roast duck, braised short rib, or oxtail.