otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Like a wanderer, I drift through life riding as high as possible upon each momentous wave, and whether I wipe out or not, the ride is wholly worth the chance because a chance taken is better than no chance at all or a chance passed by. Mikkeller brews momentous brews both at home and at other craft breweries, domestic and foreign. They also understand that not all sudsy waves of success can be accomplished on one’s lonesome, and so they kindly offer their brewhouse to those who have a dream and are willing to ride that wave of uncertainty. To bring us their Monks Brew Belgian Quad, Mikkeller stopped on by De Proef Brouwerji in Lochristi, Belgium. With buzz words like “Belgian” and “Quad”, I really need know no more; just a glass and some time.
He fills my glass with murky brown depths, deep, dark, and looming with blacks and burnt amber. A small head leaves behind large trails of lace which converge into a thick tan collar. Before I even have a chance to lift my glass, his nose captures my attention. Sweet with large helpings of nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, molasses, cold maple syrup, crunchy caramelized brown sugar crystals, raisin bread, and candied fruit. Mm… dessert in a glass. Or maybe even breakfast with a side of bread slathered in all the ingredients above. My first quaff is refreshingly effervescent, providing more than enough buoyancy for his thick nose and palate. His sweet side is shyer in person, choosing to let dry brown spices mingle with sweetened, sun-dried raisins, prunes, and dates. The candied fruits whisper in the background as a gentle river of sweet sugars, maple syrup, and molasses carry everything across my palate. As we grow ever more intimate, exotic foreign chocolates mingle with the maple and molasses, making for a pleasantly turtle-esque indulgence. My palate grows dryer with each subsequent quaff which in turn makes me thirst for more. I am more than happy to oblige, and as we near our session together, I bid one fond final farewell.
Overall, a far more sessionable quad then some thanks to a buoyant, lighter body and mouthfeel than most. He doesn’t skimp on flavor though, which makes this beer a success in my book. When I want to sup a Quad without the heavy downtime, Mikkeller’s Monks Brew Belgian Quad will be there ready and waiting.
FatPhil (10306) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - JUL 30, 2009
1.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 5/20
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2013 Draught (Pikkulintu, Helsinki) (5:4:3:1:5=1.8)
Deep reddy brown, no head. Big boozy aroma, some sweet bitter hops too. Fucked up boozy taste. No attempt to hide the alcohol at all. Reminds me of a messed up Russian malt liquor that I once had and would rather forget. About as Abt as my arse. Horrible mess of flavours. Sugar, and a coctail of alcohol, glue, hops, rust, and probably dental anaesthetic that just numbs the palate. The best thing to say about this is that the palate wasn’t like battery acid, unlike a previous Mikkeller beer that evening. I used to think that while the weaker Mikkeller beers were unbalanced, they at least did the strong ones well. This has shattered that illusion. A disaster.
Rerate: 375ml bottle (Pudel, Tallinn) (4:4:3:2:6=1.9)
Fuck. So plasticky. What a fucking mess. Chemical. Tastes a little bit of distilled hatred.
leaparsons (8714) - Leicester, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - JUL 20, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Black with a cream foam. Aromas are berries with roast malts and liquorice. Yeasty with oily notes. Flavours are sweet coffee and chocolate with Winter fruit. Dark chocolate bitterness with some woody notes. Good.
JJClark (551) - Roscoe, Illinois, USA - JUL 20, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle. Pours a medium brown color with a small off white head. Aroma of dark fruits, caramel, yeast, and roasted malt. Tastes of roastedt malt, light hops, dark fruits, yeast, caramel, and oak. Has a semi dry slightly sweet finsih. Nicely balanced well crafted brew.
RichardGretton (4388) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - JUL 13, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Black beer with a strongish head. The aroma is lightly malty, and the flavour is milky, bitter and malty. Overall an average beer.
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUN 19, 2009
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Ruby brown. Dense well-retained foam. Grapey nose with notes of taffy, stale chocolate, and iron. Soft carbonation. Initially sloppy and grapey with ensuing medicinal sweetness and overripe plums. Sorely lacking malt depth, and the faint vanilla-cookie sweetness that exudes is quickly dispersed by the sharp alcoholic undertow. Chalky yeast underscores the already stark and empty center as the alcohol continues its fiery push. Despite the off-putting chalky yeast finish, it somehow takes on a flabby and extremely shallow fruitiness on top of that. An extremely poor rendition. Very hollow, sloppy and unrefined.
coops (2) - NORWAY - JUN 15, 2009 does not count
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
A personal favourite.750ml bottle at Den Gode Nabo in Trondheim. Near black with crisp slightly brown head. Fruity, plum/raisins, vanilla and caramel taste. Smells much the same although woodier. Well concealed alcohol taste. Try it, love it!
Jonte (1413) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - JUN 15, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On-tap. Bishops Arms Järntorget. Gothenburg. Hazy brown colour with a beige head. Aroma: Maltiness, spices, fruit, nuts and alcohol. Taste: Sweet malt, alcohol, dark fruit, nuts, meat, lightly yeasty and fenolic. A bit less alcohol and a bit more belgian yeast character would be good for this beer. Also served way to cold.
johndoughty (4209) - cheslyn hay, West Midlands, ENGLAND - JUN 8, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark and clear with a strong presence of alcohol.Full bodied with a combination of fruitiness and other complex flavours.One to be taken seriously.
espenra (916) - Kurland, NORWAY - MAY 29, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
75cl bottle at Olympen. Labelled as Monks Brew. It poured a very dark brown, almost black colour with a big light-brown creamy head. The aroma is sweet and fruity with notes of raisins, hops, vanilla and strawberry. Very nice. The flavour is also sweet and fruity, again with notes of raisins, hops, vanilla and strawberry. Very little alcohol. It has a lingering, but a bit short aftertaste. This is one of the best beers from Mikkeller yet.