THE REVEREND: 89 Points
This Quad is available year-round in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Our brewers included as many authentic imported Belgian specialty malts as they could, making this the perfect beer for folks who love malty beers and are ready to take the next step. A divinely complex and beautifully layered beer with hints of dark cherries, currants, and molasses, complimented by an underlying spiciness. Sinfully smooth considering the high alcohol content.”
My Description: Avery has delivered a smooth Quad that is a bit thin in body but delivers a complex flavor profile that satisfies. It begins with a decent, light beige colored head that fades quickly leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of berries, cherries, and a hint of molasses. The Reverend is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile enjoyable; it is malt forward with a good amount of fruit presence. Notes of caramel malt can be detected along with plums, currants, stone fruits, and a hint of spice. An oaky undertone peaks through from time to time and the alcohol notes are slightly detected. The aftertaste is minimally bitter leaving this beer more on the sweeter side. Overall, this is nice example of the style that makes for a great Summer sipper. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with steamed mussels, lamb chops, or baked brie.
ABV: 10% Color: Hazy Brown/Garnet Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
ARMAGEDDON GRAND CRU: 89 Points
Not the biggest Atomic Bomb
This Belgian Quad is released once a year in Spring in 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Grand Crus are traditionally known as “The best beer that a brewery makes.” This Belgian-style quad lives up to that name and then some. Available once a year, in May to celebrate our Anniversary.”
My Description: This Quad is extremely smooth and flavorful, though it is lacking some depth. It begins with a weak, tan colored head that fades quick to a ring leaving no lacing. The aroma is welcoming with fruity notes taking center stage like raisins and prunes. This is accompanied by notes of toasted bread, honey, and caramel. Armageddon is full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose nicely with notes of caramel malt, toasted bread, and some fruity notes. There are also some herbal hints and raisins. The alcohol creeps in slowly and does not distract. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with lingering toffee notes. The beer is more on the sweeter side and slightly sticky but it doesn’t become too cloying. This is a great sipping beer and one you should look for in the Spring. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, baked ham, or mild cigar.
ABV: 11.6% Color: Golden/Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
SIXTH GLASS: 97 Points
Am I in Belgium?
This Belgian Style Quadrupel is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “”Do you know what dwells in a glass?” asks Ole, in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Watchman of the Tower. Better known for stories such as The Little Mermaid, Andersen wrote this short, cautionary tale for a somewhat older audience. Our quadrupel ale, also meant for the mature connoisseur, is a deep and mysterious libation, dark auburn and full-bodied, its sweetness deceptive. As Ole describes the glasses in turn, their contents become more ominous until, in the sixth glass…”
My Description: This Quad is brewed spot on with its Belgian counterparts in every category. It begins with a very large, light beige colored head with an excellent retention level that delivers a wall of lacing. The aroma is complex and smells fantastic with deep malt notes taking center stage along with notes of dates and other dark fruits, some fruity sweetness, and yeast spice undertones. Sixth Glass is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is also complex with a thick malt backbone holding up notes of raisins and dates, yeast spices, sweet candi sugar, and a hint of banana. Warming alcohol notes can also be detected but are not hot or fusel. Even though there is noticeable sweetness in the beer it is not over the top or cloying, a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste brings balance and makes for a delicious finish. This ale is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with aged cheeses, roasted duck, or dark chocolate.
ABV: 10.5% Color: Dark Amber/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
BOURBON BARREL QUAD (2014): 100 Points
This Quadrupel is released seasonally in 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel’s share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.”
My Description: Boulevard has done an amazing job with this ale. The aging of this quad works wonderfully as the bourbon and oak notes marry beautifully with the yeast notes and full body of this beer. It begins with a large, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with oak notes dominating along with notes of dark fruits like cherries. Bourbon Barrel is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is amazing and becomes addicting immediately. Dark fruit notes are prominent such as raisins, plums, and figs. Bourbon undertones and oak add dimension with deep malt notes becoming more noticeable as the beer warms. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and does a great job adding warmth. The finish brings lingering vanilla and cherry notes that delight and make for a great ending. This beauty is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, grilled steaks, or chocolate desserts.
ABV: 11.8% Color: Brown/Amber Hues Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
JUDGMENT DAY: 96 Points
This Quadruple is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A massive beer in every sense of the word. A stronger and more contemplative version of our Lost and Found Ale. Judgment Day is the base beer for our Cuvee de Tomme. Many of the Trappist Breweries produce a version of beer which ages incredibly well for many years to come. And, since none of us knows when the end of the world is coming, we suggest you stock up with lots of Lost Abbey beers so that when the end of the world magically appears from no where, you’ll have a beer or two on hand for even the stingiest of angels.”
My Description: There is nothing wrong with having this beer on Judgment Day. It pours a large, tan colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a great amount of lacing. The head is actually quite nice considering how high the alcohol is here. The aroma is welcoming and definitely dark fruit forward with notes of raisins, cherries, some yeast phenols, toffee, and a hint of booze. Judgment Day is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer has a big malt backbone that’s nicely layered and deep. This holds up notes of toffee, yeast spices, dark fruits, raisins, and a hint of cocoa. The alcohol is beautifully hidden, creeping in from time to time to add character. The aftertaste is minimally bitter but overall this ale is on the sweet side. The beer get slightly creamy as it warms up and more dark fruit notes develop. This is a really nice Quad that is more on the malty side than on the spice side. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, grilled lamb chops, or potent cheeses.
ABV: 10.5% Color: Dark Garnet Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
GULDEN DRAAK 9000: 94 Points
This Belgian Quadruple is available year-round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “All features of the Gulden Draak The extremely rich and complex taste sensation and the stable beer head can also be found in the Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple. The sweet caramel touches, however, are still reserved for the Gulden Draak. With addition of extra malt The new recipe, on basis of 3 different kinds of malt added in a volume of 4 times the content in lager, provide the Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple with a deep golden amber colour and a fruity scent. Together with the smooth and subtle sweet taste ensures this a wonderfully accomplished bouquet. In line with the traditions of Brewery Van Steenberge Just like the other specialty beers of Brewery Van Steenberge is the Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple a beer of high fermentation with secondary fermentation. A wine yeast is used for the secondary fermentation, which also contributes to the grandiose taste.”
My Description: With a more pronounced yeast spice flavor and a lighter feeling, this Quad is not your typical Abbey Quadruple but there is nothing wrong with that as this is still an addicting and satisfying ale. It begins with a large, light beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is not overly complex but is pleasant with notes of caramel malt, plums, dates, and some white pepper. 9000 is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Very smooth and highly drinkable, this beer tastes great. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and you almost forgot how strong this beer is. Light caramel notes dance throughout along with notes of yellow raisins and yeast spices that linger nicely. A wide array of fruit flavors are noticed but are somewhat hard to pinpoint exactly. The aftertaste has hardly any bitterness and makes you want to take another sip immediately. This beauty is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, beef stew, or pungent cheeses.
ABV: 10.7% Color: Orange/Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
TETRAVIS: 94 Points
Lots of yeast spices
The Belgian Quad is generally available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Bold & rich, this enveloping quad builds its force and character through interlacing layers of flavor. Its deep complexity begins with a molasses sweetness with notes of dark fruits like raisins and figs but develops further with an undercurrent of tart spice from its distinctive Belgian yeast for a truly transfixing brew…”
My Description: This quad needs to be aged some to allow more fruit notes to develop but otherwise this a great sipper to enjoy at any time. It pours a very large and fluffy, light tan colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of raisins, plums, cloves, a hint of malt, and other Belgian yeast characteristics. Tetravis is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is complex and satisfying. It is more on the sweet side with notes of raisins and malt along with a touch of earthiness. Cloves and other yeast spices dominate the flavor profile helping to hide the alcohol beautifully. The aftertaste is hardly bitter and leaves a lingering spice note on your taste buds. This quad is lacking a bit of depth but otherwise very enjoyable. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled pineapples, sweet sausages, or a chocolate dessert.
ABV: 10.2% Color: Deep Mahogany Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
QUADRUPEL: 95 Points
Strong and Clean
This Abbey Quad is available year round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Quadrupel is La Trappe’s heaviest ale with a stunning amber colour. Its warm and intense flavour is rich and finely balanced. Malty sweet, slightly burnt, and pleasantly bitter with a sweet aftertaste. Quadrupel continues to ferment after bottling and offers aromas of banana, almond, vanilla and others.”
My Description: This is a great example of a Trappist Quad. It pours a very large, off-white colored head that lasts a long time and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and complex with plentiful fruit notes and noticeable caramel malt. There are also hints of dates and brown sugar. Quadrupel is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is even more complex than the aroma. Notes of bananas and almonds come through nicely. Fruit notes of raisins and figs delight the palate while a touch of pepper helps bring balance. Malt and honey are also present and the aftertaste is minimally bitter. The alcohol is nicely hidden but can be tasted slightly, adding character. As much as I like the flavors of this beer, at times I felt it could have been slightly more dense. Never-the-less, this beer is great and worthy of a go to Quad. It is best served around 55° and pairs nicely with lobster tail, grilled lamb chops, or a baked duck with raspberry sauce.
ABV: 10% Color: Amber/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
CHRISTMAS ALE: 95 Points
It’s a Belgian Christmas
This Belgian Style Quadruple is released seasonally in 330 ml. bottles and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic ‘Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. (10,0 % ABV) Similar to all the beers from our brewery, it greets the drinker with the signature aroma of the St.Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!) Rivaling the complexity of the St.Bernardus Abt 12, St.Bernardus Christmas Ale offers a spicy, mint-like flavor profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan that are highlighted by the perfect balance of brewing sugars.”
My Description: Though it is not as great as ABT 12, this beer is an excellent alternative when looking for a different Quadruple option. It pours a very large, light beige colored head that seriously lasts forever and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma has notes of yeast spices and dark fruits along with hints of turbonado sugar. The beers aroma is pleasant and welcoming. Christmas Ale is roughly full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is complex and warming. There are notes of biscuit malt and toffee, cinnamon and other spices, bananas and apricots, and a touch of alcohol. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with lingering dark fruit notes like raisins and cherries along with a hint of licorice. This beer is smooth and flavorful and a great treat for the holidays. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, spicy sausage, or pungent cheeses.
ABV: 10% Color: Mahogany Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
ÓVILA QUAD WITH PLUMS: 93 Points
This is a limited release Quad ale and is available in 4-packs.
Brewer’s Description: “Ovila Abbey Quad is heady with aromas of caramel, rich malt, and dark fruit balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. This complex beer is a collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. It features sugar plums grown on the grounds of the Abbey and harvested by the monks in Vina. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.”
My Description: The idea of brewing with plums make sense since plum notes may natural occur in Belgian Quads. However, this addition makes the plum notes undeniable, and the beer tasty. First off, it has a good sized, beige colored head that fades to a film but holds and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is on the sweeter side with sugar notes and plums. There is also a hint of alcohol and yeast spice. It is full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is complex and also on the sweeter side. Plums are instantly recognizable and add a pleasing character along side other dark fruit notes, a clean yeast flavor, and a caramel back bone. The alcohol is beautifully hidden but will be felt. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and does nothing to balance out the sweetness of this beer. This beer is definitely worth checking out but may be a bit sweet for some palates. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with Gouda cheese, smoked game meat, or a plum-walnut tart.
ABV: 10.2% Color: Dark Chocolate Brown Sweetness: 5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
ROCHEFORT 10: 99 Points
Strong and Delicious
This Quad is available year-round in limited supply in 11.2 oz. bottles.
My Description: Probably one of the best Quads on the market. I immediately wished I had a second bottle right after my first sip. It has a big and fluffy tan colored head with an amazing retention quality. The lacing is really good and overall the head is great for this level ABV. The aroma is bold and strong. It smells so good with fragrant notes of caramel malt, some sweetness, and a hint of alcohol. The beer is full bodied and nicely carbonated. Up front you will taste dark fruits like raisins and plums, caramel, and a touch of sugar. This leads into an aftertaste that is semi-sweet and bisquity with a hint of spice. The flavors work perfectly together and the overall experience is divine. It is best enjoyed around 52°F and pairs nicely with lamb chops, filet mignon, or baked brie.
ABV: 11.3% Color: Dark Mahogany Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
ABT 12: 100 Points
This Quad is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A dark ivory coloured beer with a high fermentation. The show piece of the brewery. Thanks to its soft and unconditionally genuine aroma, the beer can be smoothly tasted. The Abt has a very fruity flavour.”
My Description: This Quad is world-class. It has a nice sized, tan color head with a retention that lasts the whole way and produces some great lacing. The aroma is marvelous and complex with notes of sweet candi sugar, bananas, and dark fruits like cherry, raisins, figs. You will also smell some of the alcohol but that only adds to the beauty. It is medium/full bodied with an average carbonation level and nice creamy mouthfeel. The thing you will notice most is how smooth this beer is considering how strong it is. Up front you will taste dark fruits like raisins and cherries, there is also a touch of banana and some bisquity-like malt. The aftertaste is semi-sweet with an apparent clove flavor and a touch of bitterness. The alcohol will warm your body while providing only a slight taste to the overall complexity of this beer. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with raspberry cheesecake, dark chocolate, or roasted duck.
ABV: 10% Color: Dark Brown/Purple Hues Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
GRAVITATION: 87 Points
Part of their Big Beer Series, this Quad is available in limited quantities and available at different times during the year. Each release is slightly different, the bottle I reviewed was released in 2010.
Brewer’s Description: “This big, dark ale is brewed using a variety of Belgian specialty malts along with 200 pounds of raisin puree per batch. The resulting flavor is a viscous mix of dark fruit, rum, toffee and raisins balanced with aromatic fruitiness of the Belgian yeast.”
My Description: This Quad is definitely strong and you will feel it. It has a normal quad head which is thin and beige in color. However, it dissipates rather quickly leaving no lacing. It has a huge caramel malt aroma with notes of Belgian yeast, dark fruit, and alcohol. It is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level. Once you start drinking it, you will taste flavors of dark fruits, like raisins. This is accompanied by toffee notes, caramel malt, some sweetness, and an apparent alcohol presence. I was expecting to taste and feel the alcohol because this is a Quad at 12%, but this is much more intrusive than it needs to be. The beer is best served around 52°F and pairs nicely with gourmet cheeses, roasted duck, or lamb shank.
ABV: 12% Color: Mahogany Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1/10
ÓVILA QUAD: 94 Points
This Quadruple is a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and The Abbey of New Clairvaux. It was first released in November, 2011 in 750 ml. bottles. A portion of the sales goes towards restoring the Santa Maria de Óvila chapter house on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux.
Brewer’s Description: “This silky ale is rich, mahogany brown in color with a velvety malt aroma, spiked with hints of dried cherry, fig, raisin, and plum notes. A full and creamy body offers layers of flavor including a perfume-like wave of intense dark fruits and caramel-like maltiness.”
My Description: This Quadruple is big, strong, and a very appreciated addition to the Óvila family. The head is light beige in color and bubbly with some decent retentive qualities producing minor lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a rich caramel note accompanied by some yeast, raisin, alcohol, and some minor vanilla. The aroma is complex and lovely, definitely worth every breath. This ale is full bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level. In the front of your mouth you will taste the sweet malty flavors with notes of dark fruits like raisins and plums. You will taste some alcohol notes and some spice notes as well. It is a sweeter beer but has a very slight bitter addition in the aftertaste that is most welcoming. The flavors and quality of this beer are top notch, pick it up. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with glazed duck, lamb chops, or Thanksgiving dinner.
ABV: 10.4% Color: Dark Brown/Mahogany Sweetness: 5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
THREE PHILOSOPHERS: 93 Points
The quadruple of thought
This Quadruple is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles. It’s around $13 a bottle.
Brewer’s Description: “Created by blending a rich, malty, Belgian-style ale with authentic Kriek, quadruple is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.”
My Description: This is a finely done quadruple that will get you nicely buzzed if you don’t share the bottle. The head on the beer is great; a beautiful light tan color with a good retention, no lacing though. The aroma is sweet and deep; you will get notes of dark cherry, malt, grains, figs, oak, caramel, and probably more too depending on your palate. As the beer warms up, new scents emerge as well. The aroma is enjoyable, inviting, and a great precursor to the taste, super complex. It starts off with a sweet taste with notes of dark cherries from the Kriek which lends a slightly tart addition. You will also pick up on some malt notes and alcohol. The alcohol will be apparent but that is part of the style and not a negative characteristic. The aftertaste is slightly bitter but still sweet and flavorful. This is a full bodied beer that is delicious and strong. This beer is designed to be aged but if you can’t wait, it is good regardless. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with gourmet cheeses, dark meats, and cigars.
ABV: 9.8% Color: Brown/Mahogany Sweetness: 6/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10