Total Score: 8.55/10
I don’t mind that druid guy, he’s alright, and the beer – we’re about to find out. So this Belgian Quadrupel is barrel-aged in Shiraz and Port barrels, nice! Well I’m looking forward to this one, the bottle label describes some pretty awesome flavours: “Dark malt sweetness, banana & bubblegum esters combine with raisin, fig and plum characters from the Shiraz & Port barrel aging process…” You had me at “bubblegum”, which I love and don’t find as often as I would like to in any beer. My ideal beer would be some sort of liquid Bazooka Joe [PATENT PENDING!] brew that isn’t too sweet but full of that juicy bubblegum goodness… ironically I can’t stand chewing gum – yes, I am a complex creature.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Deep cola, opaque body with a tasty looking tan half centimetre of head on top. Head retains rather well, better than some Belgian Quads I’ve tried. I’m not going to lie to you – this is one appetising brew sitting in front of me. 8/10.
S: “I wish I had, suuuum… BUBBLEGUM!” – Confidence Man. This aroma is all deliciously dark fruit esters, and importantly: bubblegum. Yep, that allusive flavour and I’ve finally got my nose on it. Bit of brown sugar/molasses notes as well. This is one sugar-truck of beer I’m about to dump on my tongue. Could be a bit more complex is my only negative. 8/10.
T: Dark fruits (plum, raisin, hint of fig) mingle with a touch of over-ripe fruit, brown sugar/molasses character, some woodiness from the barrel aging, less prominent bubblegum (oh well), and a dusty/medicinal herb note in finish. Touch of booziness as well, but it’s at a “grandma pouring brandy on the Christmas pudding” level of warmth – nothing to be distracted by. Not getting much in the way of Shiraz flavours though – some pepperiness and vinous characters might well to the flavours on offer… then again it could become too cluttered as well. 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with a creamy/dense carbonation. Pretty spot on texture – loving how creamy it is – it’s like the double cream granny used to dollop on her brandy boozed Christmas pudding! 9/10.
D: Much credit to 3 Ravens: this is a Quad that rubs shoulders with the Belgians, it’s got all of that “good” stuff. Plus it’s not a sugar-bomb (my pancreas thanks me) so my teeth feel moderately safe [it’s true: I cannot drink Founders Old Curmudgeon anymore due to cavities]. Pity it’s only a limited release then. 8/10.
Food match: Mounds of roasted game meats with a pile of parsnips.