Category Archives: Quadrupel

Brewdog X La Trappe ‘Practice What You Preach’ Quadrupel


“This beer represents a collaboration between tradition and innovation. A place where Monks meet Punks. Brewed at La Trappe’s monastery in January 2021, our Belgian Quadruple with Scottish Heather Honey and American hops. The result is a ruby-hued liquid that boasts aromas of rich dried fruits and sweet honey. Hints of citrus fruits run subtly throughout, cutting through the sticky mouthfeel to balance out the sweetness.”

Glassware: Trappist goblet.

Appearance: Deep chestnut colour with ruby highlights . It constructs a thumb of finely beaded head which slowly retreats. Nice wavy lace sticks to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: It has been ages since we wrapped our laughing gear around a traditional Quad. In fact the last time was way back in 2020. First whiffs are pungent, rich and captivating scents of toffee, fruitcake, dark fruits like rum-soaked raisin, fig and plum jam. Honey/honeycomb, candi sugar, banana bread, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Impressive.

Flavour: We’re picking up that citrus fusion now. There’s a mention of it on the label but we couldn’t uncover it on the nose. Here it’s in the form of Cointreau, albeit very subtly. Big and rich upfront but entertaining a delicate dryness. Earthy, toffee, fruitcake, dark fruits a-plenty. The honey, spice and residual sugars developing late and then laying down for an ultra rich and complex finish that draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Very dense and full bodied. Silky smooth with a touch of dryness. Lively Co2 and the 10% ABV is noticeable but concealed well enough for its size.

Overall: It’s certainly a very deep and complex beer. Our only criticism is it was lacking a bit of the ester character that’s synonymous with the style. Pretty darn good Quad though.

Deeds ‘Ruinous Arches’ BA Imperial Stout/Quadrupel blend


“As time passed, the abbeys aged. While the great building fell, the barrels in their cavernous cellars remained. In late 2021 we brewed The Untangling of Chaos Belgian Quad for the Carwyn Cellars Canvent. We loved this liquid so much we decided to age some in bourbon barrels for a special occasion. After a year of aging, we blended in The Fourth Horseman Imperial Stout and left it for another six months. Enjoy this Bourbon Barrel Aged Blend of Belgian Quan and Imperial Stout bursting with candied orange, dark fruit, toffee and of course bourbon!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Somewhat Porter-esque with its near fully black body apart from the little bit of light breaking through at the foot of the glass. Hardly any head formation and minimal lace in its wake.

Aroma: Smells rich, complex and distinguished. This beer has undergone quite the journey too… beginning its life as a Quad which was barrel aged and then blended with an Imperial Stout – Fourth Horseman to be exact – resulting in this opulent fusion of Bourbon oak, molasses, burnt candi sugars, dark fruit chocolate, red wine, coffee, cracked pepper and dates/prunes. Ooft!

Flavour: Striking a very fine balance between the rich sweetness of the Quad and the roasty/charred elements of the Stout. The Bourbon barrels play this crucial bonding role as well. The Quad aspect really brings out the unique side of the beer with chewy dark fruits, dessert wine and or Port, spice, candi sugars and treacle which work back into the roasty stout qualities really well.

Mouthfeel: Thick, oily, chewy. Quite warming, medium-full body and the 12.3% ABV was noticeable but gatekept well enough.

Overall: Once again Deeds add to their supremely impressive range of barrel aged beers. Love the creativity here. Well executed too.

Madocke Belgian Style Quadrupel


“This Belgian Style Quadrupel is a dark coloured beer with plenty of fruity aromas. It strikes a delicate balance of bitterness and sweetness, providing a smooth well rounded chocolatey flavour, with a hint of burnt toffee.” 

Glassware: Trappist chalice.

Appearance: A rather dark Quad – uber dark brown, almost black with a ray of light peeking through at the base. Two fingers of tan head forms then retracts. Healthy lacing clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Quite a conventional interpretation which is what we like about these guys. Belgian Trappist ales are some of the hardest styles to perfect so to go traditional is ambitious. The standout character is the yeast profile – it’s nicely integrated with the sweet and rich dark fruits, banana split, clove, anise, fig. Hints of apple pie, gingerbread, Christmas cake and phenols. Diggin’ it.

Flavour: The dark fruit aspect and mild toasty malts get things underway. The spicy yeast and phenols come to the party early on too. A very subtle hint of orchard fruits in the background as it hits a sweet note through the mid. A soft bitterness and warmth from the booze as it sets up for an ultimately rich yet well balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, velvety, a little creamy. Medium-full body, nicely carbed. The 9.5% ABV was very well behaved.

Overall: By far one of their best offerings. Fairly true-to-style but most importantly it’s balanced and well executed. We like it.

Pirate Life Belgian-Style Quad


Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Bright and clear crimson hue with a thumb of tanned foam on top. The head retains well and weaves a magnificent lace trail down the glass.

Aroma: Sweet and candy-like. Thick, syrupy, but not cloying. Nicely balanced by the savoury biscuits, spice, earthy and herbal hops. Lots of deep-seated dark fruits, toffee, caramel and treacle which adds another layer of depth and complexity. We’re also picking up subtle hints of honeycomb, apple pie and molasses which are very alluring. We must say we’re pleasantly surprised.

Flavour: Again, very well balanced between the ultra sweet and savoury characters. Lots of candy/confectionery, caramelised malts, toffee, earthy hops and yeast esters. The latter opens up more as it settles, bringing those classic banana, orchard fruits, spice and bubblegum. Dark fruits-a-plenty, a mild toasty note and herbal tea which puts a unique punctuation on it.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, velvety and fairly well weighted. Low-ish Co2, medium-full body and a very well behaved 10.2% ABV.

Overall: We’ve been pretty disappointed by PL’s limited release range of late but this one thankfully bucks the trend. Who would’ve thought a Belgian Quad would be the one they got right! Solid offering.

Atrium X Dok Brewing ‘Train Des Ridéra’ Rum & Raisin Quadrupel


“9.8% Rhum Raisins Quadrupel with a rich malt complexity, which leaves it thicker than the Trappist versions. For the eyes, a dark brown colour with dark red reflexes and a clear brown foam. For the smell and taste, delicious dark fruity esters and smooth balance between alcohol and malts. The label refers to the vision of rails after leaving the Train des Ridéra table.”

Glassware: Trappist Chalice.

Appearance: Very elegant looking beer; ultra deep mahogany with a short but finely beaded tan head which does its best to hold together. Wavy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: If we were blindfolded it wouldn’t be the easiest of guesses what we had here as the typical Quad features are squeezed out by the rich rum and raisin. Strong spicy notes of clove, star anise and black pepper, dark fruits i.e cherry, blood plum, cranberry, dates and figs, toasted granola, ink, cooking chocolate, candi sugars and bubblegum. Wow!

Flavour: Well it’s no secret that the richness carries over from the nose. Very earthy, very complex notes of dark fruit, burnt toffee and peppery spice gets things underway. More of the sweeter dark fruits and caramelised orchard fruits huddles up around them. Then retro-nasally we get a lot of molasses, rum and raisin, candi sugars, lightly roasted malt and cooking chocolate. We could keep going but it could end up as an essay!

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy and luxurious. Finely carbed and medium bodied. The 9.8% ABV reveals itself a little but it’s generally well behaved.

Overall: Definitely one for the die hard Belgian beer fans. Even though it’s only a 330ml bottle it was getting quite copious by the end. A very respectable offering all the same.

Atrium ‘Cassadura’ Quad Stout


“A heavy and sticky stout to which has been added brown sugar and rapadura! A Belgian-Brazilian mix sounds familiar, doesn’t it? An extreme beer as we like it! a complex, thick and creamy 15% Imperial Stout with a magnificent brown head. Notes of baked candy, followed by delicate esters of black fruits, caramel, malty and roasted notes! Soft and warming!

It’s a pool party, sugar!

Glassware: Trappist goblet.

Appearance: Ultra dark brown with a deep mahogany gradient at the edges. It struggles to produce much head and whatever forms disappears almost instantly. Minimal lace work as we hook in.

Aroma: This blend of Imperial Stout and Belgian Quad always piques our interest. We love how the rich sweetness from the Quad integrates with the aggressive characters of the Stout…it’s like a match made in heaven. And straight off the bat that’s what we’re getting; candi sugars, musk, vanilla, coffee, nutty chocolate, molasses, lady finger biscuits and mixed dark fruits.

Flavour: It’s actually really hard to know where the Impy Stout starts and where the Quad ends…the amalgamation of the two is superb. It’s just this rich and intense fusion of Belgian yeast-driven candi sugars, chocolate/cocoa, vanilla, dark fruits, wheat grains, molasses and earthy spice. And we haven’t even touched on the 2 feature sugars used either! (cassonade and rapadura).

Mouthfeel: Slick, oily and warming. Medium-full body, low Co2. The 15% ABV got us by surprise…it’s dangerously well hidden.

Overall: This was our first crack at this Belgian brewery and we’re impressed. She’s very intricate, well layered and rich. We’re thinking we’ll have to explore a few more of their wares now! Solid.

St.Feuillien Quadrupel


“St-Feuillien Quadruple is a very dark and dense beer. She is noticeably alcoholic. She distinguishes herself by a complex and finely caramelized aroma and with shades of Madeira wine and candied fruit and an intense touch of fermentation esters (banana type). A slight hoppy smell (English style) completes the whole. The mouth is long with a powerful body built on the density and generous apparent extract. The bitterness is present but sweet and blends harmoniously with the malty structure.”

Glassware: Trappist Goblet.

Appearance: Muddy dark brown with a faint mahogany hue. It whips up a thumb of khaki foam which slowly peels back. Wet spotty lace clings as we imbibe.

Aroma: Jeez there’s a lot to unpack here! It’s interesting as we were expecting a big yeasty number but instead it’s throwing out massive toffee and treacle, sweet dark fruits like raisin, dates and plum, port and residual sugars, a touch of banana bread and earthy spice. Also picking up hints of ginger bread, musk/Candi sugar and very subtle roast. Absolutely pin point perfection!

Flavour: A little raw and roasty upfront then the wave of caramel/toffee, treacle, dark fruits, port, banana bread and baker’s chocolate washes over. Slightly tart plum and earthy figs develop late and then lay down for a lightly toasted finish but it certainly doesn’t end there. Sweet toffee, yeasty spice and dark fruits linger for an eternity!

Mouthfeel: Sticky, gelatinous, creamy and full bodied…liquid gold basically. The 11% ABV is ridiculously well concealed.

Overall: Holy moly this is the ducks nuts. Quite different to your typical Belgian Quad as it doesn’t just rely on the yeast profile. This thing is deep and complex and full of character. Bloody ripper.

De Brabandere ‘Petrus’ Cherry Chocolate Nitro Quad

“Petrus Nitro Cherry & Chocolate is a perfect blend of our Quadrupel, using 6 different types of roasted malts and delicious cherries. The nitrogen is of great added value to the quad, giving it more body and creaminess and making it extremely drinkable. Cheers to the only Belgian Quad on nitro!”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Doesn’t really offer the typical cascading froth nor the finely beaded creamy head which is unfortunate. Nice and dark though with a thumb of loosely packed head which reduced and settled to a thick overlay. Decent lace as we go.

Aroma: Certainly picking up the cherries straight away. Beautifully rich and sweet…almost sugary like Ribena and berry flavoured cordial. As it settles the chocolate, dark fruits and complex yeast profile begins to open up bringing cocoa, blood plum, rum & raisin, spice and apple pie. Turns a little medicinal after a while which is a bit of a bummer.

Flavour: Wow… literally tasters like boozy Benadryl with a delicate hint of vanilla and melted chocolate. It’s weird coz we keep coming back for more! Definitely dominated by the medicinal cherry as it finishes with a touch of yeasty spice, chocolate and candied cherry.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, creamy and aerated. Medium body. 8.5% ABV is very well hidden.

Overall: Quite a complex number. The medicinal side of it is so evident but they’ve managed to turn it in to a positive with those additions of milk chocolate and vanilla. It’s like a slightly tart Benadryl-flavoured chocolate milkshake. But it’s actually pretty good!

Spencer Trappist Brewery ‘Monks Reserve Ale’ Quad


“Spencer Monks’ Reserve Ale is a classic Trappist Quadruple (“Quad”) in the Belgian tradition. This Quad is fragrant, robust and full-bodied, mahogany in color and crowned with a dense, tan, frothy head. Its malt-forward profile yields to a warm finish, with an ABV of 10.2%.”

Glassware: Trappist Chalice.

Appearance: Deep Chestnut brown with a finely beaded two finger mocha head. It slowly peels off and settles to a wispy overlay with little lace on the glass.

Aroma: Smells the goods! Truck loads of banana and clove, cola syrup, molasses, apple pie and Asian spice. Dark fruits galore as well – raisin, dates/prunes, fig and plum jam. Kind of has this sourdough note to it which comes off as toasted pumpernickel. Also rocking some fruitcake and port notes along with pink peppercorn, brown sugar/toffee and licorice. Holy moly! The depth and complexity is incredible!

Flavour: Jeez where do we start?! It’s quite strong and boozy upfront but that’s OK because it gets it all out of the system. What proceeds is an index of complex flavours ranging from yeasty clove and banana, molasses, dark fruits, jammy sweetness and toast to peppercorn, fruitcake, herbal spice, licorice and earthy/nutty gritty-ness. The length on it is just ridiculous too.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous. Medium-full body. Low Co2. The 10.2% ABV is noticeable but tempered.

Overall: Very impressive Quad. The last few beers we’ve tried from Spencer have all been traditional with a very subtle new world twist. Not this. This is straight down the line traditional Belgian Quad. Love it.

De Kievit ‘Zundert’ Quadrupel


“Zundert 10 is a quadrupel, the second beer from Trappist brewery De Kievit in Zundert. It is the big brother of the Zundert 8. The scent has dried dried fruits, sultry herbs, liquorice and some chocolate. The taste is full and soft, balanced by a nice hop bitterness. The characteristic Zundert spiciness subtly returns in the aftertaste.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Glossy dark brown with a rocky two finger cap. Head retention is excellent with tonnes of thick blotchy lace on the glass.

Aroma: Dominated by the yeast – banana runts, clove/nutmeg, bubblegum and toffee apple. It’s oozing caramel fudge and butterscotch sweetness but it’s well cleaned up by an almost dark berry earthy-ness. Brown bread crusts and cookie dough in spades. We know there’s more to unpack but we don’t have the room to fit it all in! Hitting all the right notes though.

Flavour: Pure silky indulgence. Yeast again is the defining factor with its banana, spice and bubblegum but this time around some dark fruits i.e prune/dates and raisin get a run. There’s a mild toasty-ness developing midway with some warming booze and brioche moving in. The finish is yeast-driven, slightly dry and roasty with incredible duration.

Mouthfeel: So thick and velvety. This is actually the best characteristic of the beer. Smooth and creamy with minimal burn from the booze (10% ABV). Perfect Co2 and full bodied.

Overall: Classy stuff. It’s probably just missing the depth in flavor that the likes of Westvleteren and Urthel possess but it definitely has the credentials. Solid drop.

Moon Dog ‘Most Wonderful Time Of The Beer’ Sticky Date Quad


“The holiday season is sorted with this boozy 9.3% Sticky Date Belgian Quad! It’s sweet, caramelly and oozes of Holiday Cheer. It certainly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Beer!”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Light mahogany with deep ruby red edges. It builds a short head which gradually peels off and settles at the rim. Reasonable lace left on the glass.

Aroma: Total decadence. That sticky date base really shines in all of its sweet and caramelised glory. Rum soaked raisins, Xmas cake, banana bread, clove/cinnamon/nutmeg, toffee apple, caramelised pear and honeycomb. They’ve smashed this aroma out of the park! And it keeps evolving too. Brilliant.

Flavour: Oh baby it’s like a mirror image of the nose – crammed full of super sweet and caramelised sticky dates, toffee apple, banana split, Xmas cake, rum soaked raisins and all spice…basically a phenol and ester party in the mouth (gotta love Belgian yeast). Getting subtle hints of Sherry late in the piece but the caramelised sweetness, yeast characters and dark fruits bring it home.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and sticky as the name suggests. Would have liked to see a bit more body though…a tad lean for the style. Perfect Co2. 9.3% ABV slightly evident.

Overall: A very good interpretation of the style. There is only a small handful of Aussie brewers that can brew Trappist ales like the Belgians. Moon Dog were never on that radar…now they are. Top shelf.

Watts River Brewing Quadrupel

67586375_1133880303462780_9111744256283770880_n“Big. Rich. Complex. Warming. Comforting. A showcase of our own malted barley devoured by bold Belgian yeast. Inspired the Trappist “Quadrupel” style to be big, but above all else balanced and drinkable. Best served to share.”

Glassware: Trappist Chalice.

Appearance: Fully transparent deep amber with soft red hues fused through. It forms a short head which quickly dissipates. Pretty minimal lace…spotty and streaky as it ebbs.

Aroma: Super sweet! Almost cloying. We pick up a bit of acetone initially but it fades in to those Belgian yeasty phenols and spice, pear, candied sugars, toffee, caramel and dark fruits. There’s a really overpowering artificial sweetness going on – it brings on those banana runts and hints of boiled lollies and blackcurrant juice. Not too bad once it settles actually.

Flavour: Unfortunately we get that harsh boozy acetone character upfront moving into artificially sweet candied sugars and toffee apple, caramel, yeasty phenols/spice and brandy. We detect a bit of tang which reminds us of red currants and banana runts to finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery texture. Has a touch of stickiness on the lips. Its 11% AbV and it certainly is discernible. We lose the flavour and carbonation as we near the a liqueur. This is the point where it almost becomes a chore to finish it off, which is a real shame.

Overall: Slightly disappointing to be honest. We’ll concede that it’s a tough style to brew but we wanted more body, more depth of flavour and less artificial sweetness. We’ve had better.

Boatrocker ‘Sterk & Donker’ BA Belgian Quadrupel

57119648_1072624489588362_2244315150272167936_n“Sterk & Donker, our ode to the Belgian Dark Strong Ale, aged in STARWARD whisky casks for 12 months. We created our own dark Belgian style candi syrup to add to the layers of malt complexity. Notes of whisky, dried fruits, oak and Belgian yeast esters combine into a truly harmonious blend.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Dark brown with soft mahogany edges. It forms a thumb of finely beaded foam which persists.

Aroma: Smells of Christmas cake and gingerbread men! Gets more and more complex by the minute. The Starward whisky barrels are a perfect marriage for this beer with its traditionally dark fruit-forward sweetness, caramel and sherry. Not to mention the subtle musty oak it also offers. The yeasty banana, clove, pear and toasty malts just eat it up.

Flavour: Big and luscious, yeasty, super sweet but well balanced by the whisky barrels. It’s too layered and complex so we’ll just blurt it all out – we get banana runts, earthy spice (clove, anise, nutmeg), raisin, fig, prunes, gingerbread, sourdough, sherry, Christmas cake, toasty malt and apple/pear.

Mouthfeel: Thick and gelatinous. Full bodied with mild-moderate co2. Tell you what that 11.2% AbV is very well concealed.

Overall: We have massive respect for any Aussie brewery that can brew a decent quad. We’d kiss the toes of any Aussie brewery that can offer a quad that would rival a Belgian one. Boatrocker are in this category!

Firestone Walker 2017 ‘Stickee Monkee’ BA Quadrupel

36303243_883002941883852_8819210288541728768_n“Brewed with Belgian candi sugar and aged in a selection of fine bourbon barrels, Stickee Monkee trailblazes its own category as a “Central Coast Quad.” The name Stickee Monkee is a nod to the Central Coast’s native Sticky Monkey flower, as well as a shout­‐out to the Belgian monks who pioneered the Quad style.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Dark brown with a faint cola hue. It only manages a wispy overlay which quickly vanished. Minimal lace as we indulge.

Aroma: Super rich, super bourbony and absolutely in-your-face! The hallmark quad scents are buried deep down with dense and dark notes of Christmas cake, rum, carob, molasses and leather leaving more subdued hints of vanilla, coconut, pure alcohol and woody oak in its wake. She takes on more of an earthy fig, dark chocolate and coffee roast as it settles in the glass. Brilliant.

Flavour: We absolutely love how Firestone’s barrel aged beers allows that perfect balance of flavour. The Bravo, Sucaba, Parabola and this also, all of them possess this straight 50/50 split of barrel complexity along with the distinct flavours of the beer. Here we have strong yet well balanced notes of dark fruit, spice, molasses, banana bread and treacle which marries up with that rather sharp bourbon, vanilla and toasty coconut. And this magnificent synthesis of flavours goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, dense and full bodied. The 12.5% ABV does come on aggressively but can we blame it? She’s rough, rugged and dangerous!

Overall: Very impressive, can’t quite put it on Parabola’s level but it’s a bloody fine drop all the same. At the moment it’s still a bit immature so we’re keen to see how it will improve over the years. Supoib!

Kereru ‘Sweet Bippy’ Belgian Quadrupel

29694922_836173873233426_5062740234490503721_n“Sweet Bippy is a quadruple Belgian-style ale, dark, strong, and not hoppy. It’s sweet and malty with a strong Belgian candi sugar taste reminiscent of spiced fruity Christmas cake. Makes a great dessert beer.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Deep chestnut colour with a finger of well retained head perched on top. Fine lace work as we go.

Aroma: We really get those sweet candi sugars coming through – butterscotch, toffee apple, caramelised sugars, gingerbread, taffy and maple syrup. As she warms we begin to pick up the spicy notes, the slightly funky sourdough and creamy vanilla accents. Just a touch of Sherry in there too.

Flavour: Holy moly, absolutely packed with Belgian fruity esters and accentuated with a toasty and almost burnt sweetness – treacle and molasses come to mind. Raisin, dates and Christmas cake along with burnt chocolate and hints of orange rind finish it all off.

Mouthfeel: Rich, silky and dense in texture. The 9.3% ABV does slightly overplay its hand. Full bodied, low co2.

Overall: After reviewing a few of their beers we’d formed this belief that Kereru were a bit inconsistent. Little did we know that they actually possess a freakish talent of brewing top notch Belgian-style ales. This one doesn’t offer as much class as the Velvet Boot but it comes pretty close.

Dainton Family Brewery Rum-Soaked Raisin Belgian Quadrupel

22814322_763820613802086_9078733086737528349_n“Fermentologist Cam returned from a Belgian sojourn with a ‘beer full of mind and a mind beer of thought’….? Behold his exotic creation! Delicate caramel characteristics dance with dark fruit in a lusciously styled brew. Rum-soaked raisins give subtle complexity to deliver an exquisitely enticing elixer.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. She pours that attractive deep mahogany hue with two fingers of well retained head perched on top. It only peels off a smidge which allows a thick and soapy lace to be strewn down the walls of the glass.
The aroma is super sweet but not cloying. The hallmark quad scents of raisin, dates, banana, clove and toffee are all present but there’s a touch of something spiced and caramelised. It has to be the rum component which works in beautifully. It’s certainly showing its ABV (11.2%) but with everything that’s already going on it just simply falls into line. Superb aroma.
Holy moly! A torrent of sweet, sticky and spicy flavours are let loose on the palate. Lots of dark spiced rum, toasty sugars, boozy Christmas cake, banana bread and plum jam make up the body of it. Quite a hefty booze burn is felt throughout, although not as prominent in the finish where we get a dry sweetness and hints of spice on a length.
The texture is sticky and dense but it’s very well balanced by a mild dryness and the brawny 11.2% ABV. Full bodied, mild-moderate co2 and just….full on.
Bloody impressive quad. As most would know, this is a very difficult style to brew but Dainton have hit the nail on the head. The injection of rum is genius, it works in so well with the sticky, sweet and spicy characters of the quad. Could have either masked or scaled back on the booze a touch but that aside…ooph. Top shelf drop.

Deschutes Brewery ‘Not The Stoic’ Belgian Quadrupel

22279595_757034764480671_881489524923112817_n“Aged and sequestered in select oak casks. The result – a contemplatively brewed quad created in homage to all those who doubted the original. This unrepentant rendition is definitively Not The Stoic. (Released April 2014).”

Served in a snifter. It hits the glass with a deep and murky brown hue which forms a finger of tanned foam on top. The head falls away and settles to a thin veil. Despite the diminishing head it still paints a nice wavy lace as we imbibe.
The nose offers a lot of residual sweetness – a lot like a barleywine only more complex due to the Belgian aspect. It’s teeming with brown sugar, alcohol, banana bread, clove, raisin, cherry, red grapes and black pepper. Also getting a lot of caramel and toffee, butterscotch and molasses. Brilliant.
Oh wow that syrupy sweetness really comes on strong. Plenty of assistance from the booze here but nevertheless those sugary and super sweet dark fruits like raisin, fig, plum and cherry fuse with the banana and spicy rye notes beautifully. Seeing a bit of dryness around the mid palate as it surges in to a sweet finish which offers apple, plum and subtle caramel on a length.
Sticky, chewy and gelatinous in the mouth. Medium-full body, mild-moderate co2. 12% ABV.
Quadrupel or barleywine? That is the question. We could literally cut down the centre of the two styles here although the slightly stronger Belgian yeast component maybe just inches forward in the end. All of that aside it’s still a really good drop that deserves respect.

Little Brewing Co 2016 Vintage Xmas Ale – Quadrupel

22195650_755785517938929_752211307981373282_n“Like a Christmas cake in rum, this Belgian Dark Strong festive beer has aromas and flavours of rum, dried fruits, spices & sweet alcohol.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. The 2016 vintage offers a murky brown pour with chestnut edges. It only manages a wispy cap before it retracts to a ring. Wet and streaky lace is seen following it down.
Just a heads up….you may hear us saying this a lot during this review but it’s very similar to the 2015 vintage with its dominant notes of raisin, fig, toffee, port, plum jam and clove. There’s certainly a stronger presence of spice in this year’s release, it’s showing a bit more pepper, five spice and nutmeg. And what would a top shelf quad be without banana bread, sourdough and apple pie? Impressive.
The flavour profile hits that Christmas cake character perfectly. Fistfuls of yeasty spice, banana, gingerbread, dates, figs and dark fruits envelop the front palate. Just an inkling of warmth which is monumental considering the 11.1% ABV. Caramelised pear and a warming peppery spice ties it all up with some good duration on the back end.
Sticky, thick and gelatinous in the mouth. Co2 is perfect and the body is full and well rounded.
Tell ya what, stand the ’15 and the ’16 side by side and it would be very difficult to choose which is better. Although the ’15 had a bit more complexity the rye component in the ’16 puts a whole new spin on it. Really not a lot of difference between this and the likes of Westmalle and Rochefort.

Little Brewing Co 2015 Vintage Xmas Ale – Quadrupel


22195768_754646508052830_7404020866250263857_n“Like a Christmas cake in rum, this Belgian Dark Strong festive beer has aromas and flavours of rum, dried fruits, spices & sweet alcohol. This is the brewery’s highest ABV% beer yet and a new regular beer in their Mad Abbot range.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. Dark brown hue which reveals chestnut edges when held to the light. A finger of finely beaded head forms before it recedes to a thin sheet. Seeing some nice wavy lace work as we imbibe.
The aroma is giving off some incredibly sweet and sticky perfumes. Truck loads of dark fruits: prunes, raisin, fig and blood plums. Equal amounts of yeasty spice and phenol, apple pie, maple syrup, caramelised pears, gingerbread, cola, toffee and dark berries. Boozy accents of Sherry and port with undertones of doughy malt. Wow!
The flavour backs up the aroma really well – it’s super sweet, absolutely flush with raisin, prunes, treacle, gingerbread, Candi sugar and cola on a length. Relentless.
So nice and sticky in the mouth, really coating the whole palate. The 11.3% ABV is predictably evident and so it should be! Low co2. Medium-full body.
Even though TLBC has fallen on hard times we still believe they are one of, if not the best Belgian Style brewers in Australia. This 2015 vintage further solidifies our position. Best of luck for the future Warwick & Co (we can only hope it involves brewing more craft beer)


3 Ravens ‘The Druid’ Quadrupel

21752133_748795638637917_1601090570109818470_n“The Druid is as arcane and eldritch as the name suggests. Dark malt sweetness, banana and bubblegum esters combine with raisin, fig and plum characters from the Pedro Ximenez barrel ageing process, to form an extremely smooth and dangerously easy drinking beer.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. The Druid offers a dark brown body that reveals chestnut edges when held to the light. It struggled to maintain its short head, eventually settling to a halo that deposits thin rings as we imbibe.
Bam! The nose is absolutely spot on. It’s hitting those rich and super sweet raisin notes and accommodating for the yeasty banana and spicy clove as well. Then we’ve got this creamy vanilla accent, a syrupy caramel and toffee and caramelised pear/apple pie scent over here. Even getting hints of blueberries as it warms. Brilliant.
The flavour comes on strong with prunes, raisin, clove, banana and stewed plums. It holds this combo so well as hints of brown sugar and toffee apple are offset with a bit of warmth from the booze (10% ABV). The alcohol burn hits a crescendo then eases in to a yeasty finish where we see an arsenal of flavours like banana, clove, bubblegum, rum & raisin and vanilla finish it off with excellent length in the tail.
Dense and syrupy in texture but held up really well by the alcohol. Full bodied with mild co2.
Jeez the difference between the Little Raven tripel and this is like chalk and cheese. This quad has all and we mean ALL the traditional aromas flavours whereas the tripel was left lacking and a bit off target. More of this please! Top shelf offering from 3 Ravens here.