Brewery: De Struise Brouwers
Country of Origin: Belgium
City & State: Oostvleteren, Belgium
Style: Quadrupel (Quad)
Alcohol Content (ABV): 10%
First Brewed: 2004
Price: NA (This was a gift from Mickey Salem, Store Manager, Cellars Fine Wine & Spirits.)
Pours very dark brown, nearly black, with a tall and enduring chestnut brown head. The contemplative nose includes dark candy sugar and notes of chocolate, dried figs, and red grapes. Tastes quite sweet, with retained alcohol warmth and spice coming through the aftertaste.
Boy, am I excited to try this beer. Mickey Salem, Store Manager at Cellars Fine Wine & Spirits gave me this bottle… Let me tell you something about Mickey. This dude is legit. He is a beer geek, hop head and LOVES his customers. He has quickly become a friend and I am honored that we get to review this beer he gave us. Mickey, thank you, sir.
This beer claims to be sweet, is high in alcohol, and was bottled in 2011… So it is ripe and ready to drink. Not usually a big fan of quads, as they tend to all taste the same, but I had one the other night that tasted like raisins… So my palate is ready for a nice chewy beer like this. I am sorry that Mickey can’t be here to join us, but man… This review is dedicated to you, sir. Cheers doesn’t even begin to explain it.
In the Glass: They said it was dark brown… What they meant to say is, “pitch black.” It looks like I just poured a glass of Diet Coke or something. That isn’t a bad thing, and I can already smell the dark fruits and I haven’t even put the beer anywhere near my nose. There isn’t much head on this, and the lace is weak, at best. I wonder where Mickey got this bottle…
Nose: Holy smokes… That smells amazing. I am getting a TON dark fruits here. Have you ever had a Fig Newton? That. That is what I am smelling. I bet, as this heats up, it will really start to open up and I will be smelling, and hopefully tasting, more raisins. Man, this has me excited to drink it. So… Here we go!
Flavor: Hands down the best quad I have ever had. Wow. That is SO complex. You get those dark fruits up front, and then the spices really come into play. I am not getting a ton of flavor from those, but it has a nice allspice finish. The finish is lingering, too.
We have had a lot of quads over the years, but this one is the most flavorful and most complex I have had yet. Delicious!
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin, and you don’t get a ton of flavor until after you swallow. But then the flavors dominate and you are left with a ridiculous amount of flavor as it sits there. This beer has held up really well, too. They talk about the warmth from the alcohol, but that has mellowed quite a bit over the years. Again, this was bottled in 2011.
Aftertaste: The aftertaste is great, and it lingers for 7-10 minutes. Those same dark fruits that I was smelling are sticking around, and every time I swallow they get better and better. It is almost drying, but the entire experience is dry. Imagine this beer sitting in the bottle for 3, 4, even 5 years just marinating in itself getting better and better as the years go by. I would like to try this fresh, just to see. But I am glad that I got one that had some age on it for a true sign of what this beer can do.
Again, Mickey, thank you. I truly appreciate you giving us this bottle. It means a lot and I am glad that we were able to share this review with you.
Pannepot – The bottle says: “In the early 1900s, the village of De Panne, close to the French border, was famous for two things – the ‘Pannepots,’ or fishing boats, that could be seen along he coast, and the unique dark ale enjoyed but the local fishermen.”
“Our Old Fisherman’s Ale is a tribute to these hardy sailors and their rich, flavorful brew. Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Bottle-conditioned.”
Ricky is making me review another beer tonight. This one is a list beer. I hope it is a bit more impressive than the last one. I don’t know much about this one, and Ricky stole the bottle, so I can’t tell you anything about it right now. I don’t even have any idea what the style is!
This one might have some promise, if the way it looks in the glass is any indication. It looks very thick and cloudy. You can’t see through it. It’s a dark brown color, with almost a tiny hint of red to it. It had some head when poured out, but now there is absolutely none. It smells really good… spicy, strong, and boozy. If I had to guess, I would say that I think I will like this beer! Let’s find out.
Oh yeah, this is a good one. It’s definitely got a lot more character than the last one. It’s spicy, rich, full of flavor. It’s got some carbonation too, but it’s not overly carbonated. It’s got a good aftertaste too. There’s some heat left over, but it’s also got a raisin kind of aftertaste. It’s really good. It actually kind of makes me think of Christmas. This is one I would definitely buy again.