argeru (94) - Hillsboro, Oregon, USA - FEB 9, 2017
22oz, foamy crisp pour, deep copper color. Lots of raisin, brown sugar, and bready malt. Pretty tasty stuff, listening to the Monk and Coltrane while I sip makes it just right. Alengrin (5535) - BELGIUM - JAN 28, 2017
Quadrupel by North Coast, named after Thelonious Monk - handily linking his name to the tradition of brewing Belgian monks - and apparently intended to promote the appreciation of jazz music, which I can only support. Bubbly but creamy, pale greyish white head, quickly reduced to a few disparate ’islands’ in the middle but retaining a firm moussy rim, over a beautifully purple-hued copper brown, clear beer. Quite intense bouquet of plum brandy, rum-soaked raisins, Belgian chocolates, toffee, both plain rusty and more noble madera-like oxidation (this bottle is 14 months old), even madera sauce, candied cherries, brown bread, walnut, sweet chicken curry (clearly the oxidation again), overripe tomato, egg yolk (or rather: a sulfuric note of yeast autolysis), horse steak, bitter honey somewhere. Fruity onset mixes cherry and candied fig sweetness with soft blueberry sourishness and a notable meaty umami accent, medium carbonated, with a thick but still very supple, resinous mouthfeel. Very caramelly malt sweetness with a bittersweetish nutty edge in the middle, chocolatey aspects but restrainedly so, while the fruit (and residual brown sugar) sweetness persists, but not in an overly cloying way. Acquires a toasty bitterish edge in the end, matching well with a peppery hop bitter touch providing spiciness and drought; further ’pepperiness’ is added by white rum-like alcohol, which heats the back of the mouth and throat without becoming obnoxious and wry, not impairing drinkability in spite of its ’palpable’ presence. Retronasally, I get a certain amount of port-like oxidation though subtly so; rusty oxidation on the other hand is more obviously noticeable. The best quads (think Westvleteren 12 or Chimay Bleu) can easily age for years without becoming this oxidized - clearly this beer, even though it belongs to a category usually suitable for cellaring, is intended to be consumed fresh, or at least more fresh than this bottle, which already suffers from oxidation in both the good and the bad way after a mere 14 months. I am convinced, though, that this is a beer of international standard when younger. In this form: highly enjoyable and interesting, but not quite up there with the greats, which are still primarily Belgian - and primarily brewed by actual monks... Glad I tried it though, after having encountered its name on more than one occasion in past years. Derbeth (987) - Kraków, POLAND - JAN 12, 2017
Bottle. Dark brown colour with ruby reflexes, rocky head that does not stay long. Aroma is quite much candy sugar, raisin, pleasant warming alcohol. Medium sweetness, not bitter. Soft carbonation, smooth, not cloying. Not very complex, but well balanced and easy to drink. Good. mediamaven (1) - Fort Bragg, California, USA - JAN 10, 2017 does not count
A Belgian Style Abbey Ale that sets the standard AND makes a contribution to Jazz Education thru every pint sold. john44 (3189) - SW London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 10, 2017
Bottle. Red Brown in colour. Small off-white head. Very Malty; toasty bready malts, caramel, brown sugar, notes of chocolate. Fruity; dark fruits, raisins, some citrus. Spicy. Yeasty. Sweet very malty fruity and quite dry throughout. Decent but I expected more. (2015-09-24)
hohops (1047) - Kent, ENGLAND - DEC 11, 2016
Appearance- murky dark brown, ruby hints, a small off-white head which doesn’t last long. Aroma- cherry, dark fruit, blackcurrant, caramel, toast, dark malt hints, vinous, more fruits. Taste- cherry, fruitcake, sweet malts, boozy hints, nutty undertones, fluffy mouthfeel, juicy fruit, sweet malty finish. Tasty. VueltaBirrista (126) - Murcia, SPAIN - DEC 8, 2016
Es una reinterpretación americana de una Abadía belga. Vierte por tanto rojo oscuro, prácticamente marrón y su espuma color beis es discreta pero acompaña bastante bien todo el rato.
Aroma a caramelo y licor. Su sabor es dulce al principio. Te recorre la boca pasas, plátano y regaliz, pero su final estropea un poco la experiencia, ya que es algo áspero y astrigente.
En términos generales es una birra agradable, pero no aguanta la comparación con una auténtica abadía belga. sinfull (1728) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - NOV 23, 2016
Brown color. Thin, beige head. Aroma of dried plums, bread , caramel and fruits. Rich taste with strong malty backbone and notes of fruits and yeasts. Full body, moderate bitterness at the end.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone brigg (700) - New York, USA - NOV 18, 2016
(Bottle) Cloudy muddy-copper body with medium-big tan head. Tart, fruity aroma; spices. Light to medium body. Spices, apple, mild alcohol, caramel malt, vanilla. muzzlehatch (4969) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 30, 2016
12 ounce bottle from Everett’s in South Beloit IL, consumed at cellar temp from a Leffe glass. Dark plum, translucent, with a small-to-moderate fast-diminishing off-white head....plummy-brandyish aroma, touches of caramel, some fairly strong yeasty notes coming through on the second nosing, light noticeable alcohol presence...front very very sweet and also really viscous and syrupy, like a soda with the syrupy settled to the bottom; on a second sip this is a little less noticeable, and it’s not quite so cloying-sweet; grapy characteristics dominate with a fair bit of soft murky yeast in the middle...dries out somewhat towards the finish but remains thicker and moister (if that makes sense) that I’d like...alcohol presence is fairly subdued until it’s going down the gullet; it remains very thick and the carbonation being fairly low doesn’t help. Not exactly terrible but kind of a soggy mess that’s really mostly drinkable because I wanted a Belgian strong ale at the moment; alas this wasn’t my best possible choice. Could have sworn I’d rated it before also, I know I’ve had it before. Well, it’s available in small bottles, that’s one thing to say for it, but alas that’s not enough.