22 February 2009

New Beer Sunday

I am going to be starting a new, and hopefully weekly, column here at Hoosier Beer Geek called: New Beer Sunday. I like tasting new beers and judging them in a style very close to BJCP guidelines. I am not BJCP certified though for the record. It personally helps me pick out the flavors, colors, mouthfeel, and an overall impression about the beer instead of just tasting a beer and saying "wow, this is good." (There is nothing wrong with that, that is how I got my start in the craft beer world). Hopefully people will get something out of the style notes as well as the commentary on other beers to try in that style and from other brewers. The first beer in the series will be Victory's V-12.

Indiana has started to get Victory within the last year, and judging by all of the new beers I keep seeing from them I hope they are here to stay, but as far as I know I haven't seen any of this offering in Indiana. I picked up this beer last time I was in Cincinnati at Jungle Jim's. I went through a Belgian style beer kick recently and this is from that kick. I would assume we are going to get this beer in Indiana at some point, but I am not sure if we actually will though.

The Belgian Quad style according to the BJCP is: "A dark, very rich, complex, very strong Belgian ale. Complex, rich, smooth and dangerous." I will also say that the BJCP classifies a Quad as Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Appearance: This beer pours an almost hazy rustic orange color with a very thin head on it, and it left almost no lacing to speak of for the entire beer.
Smell: I first get an almost sweet floral scent coming in as I pour with strong bubble gum notes to it as well. As I get my nose into this beer the hot alcohol become very strong as well. As I let the beer warm it really came into its own with vibrant scents of pears, prunes, passion fruit, and a Belgian yeast strain that is typical of good Quads.
Taste: The first sip of this beer is almost over top in sweetness that tasted like concentrated apple juice. I really let the beer warm up and the flavors of the orchard fruit really came to life including apple, oranges, and peaches. The complex malt also brings on life of raisins, plums, cloves, nutmeg, and even cotton candy. The hot alcohol though is very apparent in the flavor profile and sometimes comes across as boozy.
Mouthfeel: More than moderate carbonation brings the flavors to life, so that is welcomed, but the alcohol is very hot on the mouthfeel.
Drinkability: A whole bomber of this beer is a tough task for just one person, and the alcohol overtook some of the great qualities this beer had.

Overall: I lean more towards balance in my beers, and the hot alcohol on almost every aspect was a big strike for me against this beer. I could smell and taste it before, during, and after ever sip of this beer. This beer can be aged, and I really think my sample was just too hot out of the bottle and could have used some age on it.

Belgian Quads that can be found in Indiana: Rochefort 10 from Brasserie de Rochefort, St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus, Three Philosophers from Ommegang, Allagash Four from Allagash, and The Reverend from Avery Brewing.

Is anyone in Indiana making a Quad? What are some of your favorite Quads?


1 comment:

  1. i've been to the victory brewery in downingtown, pa. good food and great beer. i have not had the v-12 but your description seems similar to the victory golden monkey. the golden monkey is OK for a few drinks and then the alcohol content seems to take over. too much for me.