“Give in to the Prince of Darkness and drown your senses with this wickedly assertive ale. Rich, strong and complex, this is a bold beer for special occasions and a devil-may-care spirit.”
Served in a wide rimmed Trappist tulip. The deep mahogany pour is capped with a finger of tanned foam that slowly peels off and settles to a fine overlay. Not a great deal of lace but some spotty patches are left on the glass as we imbibe. Instantly the olfactory’s are filled with a decadent and super sweet concoction of raisins, fruity yeast esters, candy sugars, banana bread, toffee apple and sweet plummy accents. The 12% ABV conceivably shows up on the nose but no where near the strength it actually weighs in at. As it comes up to room temperature those gorgeous toffee and caramelized malt aromas begin to take shape, adding an extra complexity to this already superb aroma. The beer is quite thick and chewy in the mouth – it has a kind of velvety viscosity. Co2 is kept low, the body is medium-full and the 12% ABV is well behaved. Surprisingly pleasant for a beer its size. A delicious blend of banana bread, fortified wine, fig jam, treacle and ginger snaps pick up a sharp alcohol burn through the mid. The flavour appears to do a full 180 as the booze carries in to rich toffee and dark fruits as it punctuates with a strong estery finish that endures well on the back palate. Clearly the brewers at Holgate possess a remarkable knack of brewing this extremely difficult style of Belgian Abbey beer. Their Double Trouble along with this seasonal Quad are bang on and would surely get the nod of approval from any learned Belgian Monastic brewer. Top shelf stuff here from Holgate.