Total Score: 8.95/10
Nøgne Ø, despite being one of those brewers from Norway with that ‘Ø’ symbol in their name, how the **** do I even pronounce that??? Anyhow, they brew some good shit, you might even say “sheeeit” to emphasise the goodness of said shit. Last brew I tried of theirs was the Imperial Stout, and like Darth Vader I was “most impressed” with this Norwegian brewer (I also even thought to myself at the time that “the force is strong with this one”). So here we are – a massive 15.5% ABV red wine barrel Quad. Socks are set to their ‘soon to be blown off’ setting.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Like most brews over the 15% mark the head reduces quickly to a thin collection of tan coloured bubbles, then nothing. Body is a cloudy chocolate brown. Everything looks decent, it’s not a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park hit but it’s neither an ugly duckling. 8/10.
S: Straight away the nose is smacked sideways by bold dark plum/red wine barrel characters. Further whiffs introduce that grape hubba-bubba bubblegum note that you get from a certain Red Flanders Ale named Rodenbach Grand Cru. A touch of sourness as well, hopefully not a defining feature, and that all too familiar Vegemite note you get in high ABV dark beers. This is indeed a formidable Quad in front of me, but who are we kidding – it’s more of a Quinque than a Quad. 9/10.
T: Woah! [said in my best Keanu Reeves impression voice] Tasty, tasty drop! Upfront dessert wine sweetness gives way to rich plum, hints of Vegemite, vanilla and caramelised (slightly burnt) sugar. Finish has a light woody dryness. The overall flavour is squarely in the realm of dessert wine with fig notes coming in as well. Damn, damn tasty. Reminds me of Commandaria port (without the metallic notes I often find in Commandaria). 9/10.
M: Heavy bodied with an almost black-hole dense carbonation. 9/10.
D: If you enjoy a dessert wine, and you know you do – you’re drinking this beer right now, look in your hand… how did I do that? Magic – you will love this rich tapestry. A downside to this beer? It is sweet. Very. No really, it’s quite sweet, you think a glass of dissolved sugar is sweet well that’s peanuts to this beer*. As far as 15%+ brews go this is definitely the best I’ve had. Nøgne Ø nailed it. 9/10.
Food match: Dessert. Cheese platter. Angina. Infarction of some kind. Early death.
*Yes I may have recently read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, what of it?