If you’re hankering for something rich, malty and complex this season, a Belgian quadrupel would be an excellent choice. These ales are usually classified in the Belgian strong ale category and are considered to be a bigger, more intense version to a Belgian dubbel. Deep red to dark brown in color with a thick, fluffy light tan-colored head, quadruples typically display an aroma abundant with soft roasted malt, fruity esters and sometimes caramel or burnt sugar. Belgian candy sugar is often used in the brewing process to increase the alcohol content while adding color and flavor. As a result, most quadrupels are medium to full-bodied with alcohol content in the range of 8-11%. On the palate, expect layers upon layers of malty sweetness and dried fruit such as raisins and plums, and depending on the style they can often be slightly spicy. These ales are definitely more malt dominated with little to no hop bitterness, flavor or aroma. Traditional Trappist versions are typically drier, while Abbey styles tend to be considerably sweeter. Either style you choose, expect a long luxurious and often warming finish. These bottle-conditioned ales will only improve with age and if properly cellared can age 3-5 years or more.

Belgian quadrupels are magnificent with strong gooey cheeses, hearty stews, roasts, game and would be a stellar combination with chocolate truffles. Or just pour in a snifter and serve as a digestif. Delicious!

Look for these Belgian Quadrupels out in the market:

The Lost Abbey Judgment Day (coming soon)

Weyerbacher QUAD

Sly Fox Ichor

De Proef Lozen Boer

Urthel Samaranth

La Trappe Quadrupel

Malheur 12

De Struise Pannepot (by special order)

‘t Smisje BBBourgondier (by special order)

Westvletern 12 (coming soon and very limited!)

 

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