Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘quadrupel’

1999 Chimay Blue

Posted by jwpiper on February 7, 2009

The beer which I wasn’t going to leave Kulminator without trying was an aged Chimay Blue. I figured 1999 would be just about right – old enough to be one of the older beers I’ve had, but young enough that I shouldn’t tun too much of a risk of it being way over-oxidized. I was looking for something which would allow me to make some generalizations about aged Chimay’s which get some pretty high billing as extremely cellerable beers. As before, it was brought straight from the cellar and poured perfectly into the Chimay glass, leaving a finger of beer left in the bottom with most of the yeast.
Appearance
5
Basically black with a nice off white head which holds well through the session.
Smell
4
A little thin. Smells of cardboard. Some rich fruits. Sweet.
Taste
4.5
Again a little thin. Cardboard yeast dominates. Extremely well balanced flavors. Port flavors, but not too much. Rich fruits: prunes. There’s a lot going on in this beer.
Mouthfeel
4.5
Smooth and mildly tingly.
Drinkability
5
So smooth, well balanced, and alcohol completely hidden.
Overall
4.55
A fine beverage. Might have been a bit over-oxidized for my taste, but still quite good.
Price
€8/33cl or thereabouts. Unfortunately I don’t remember exactly. I’d buy it again, but I prefer the

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2003 Rochefort 10

Posted by jwpiper on February 7, 2009

My original plan was to grab just a couple of beers at Kulminator before going for dinner and maybe return afterwards. So, I had to go for something special from the start. Since I’ve always thought Rochefort 10 should age well, I figured I’d give a bottle from 2003 a try. The numbering on the bottle was 281008, which means it was brewed at the end of September in 2003 – more than five years ago. It came to me straight from the cellar and was poured perfectly into an old school Rochefort glass, leaving the last 2 cm in the bottle with the balance of the yeast.
Appearance
4.5
Pours a dark brown with amber highlights, developing a nice tan head which quickly recedes.
Smell
5
Some port qualities – less than expected. Nice rich fruits, like dates. Caramelized sugars.
Taste
4.5
Still has the caramelized sugar backbone. A bit thinner than I expected, but very little alcohol bite. There was minor oxidation. Rich fruits on the palate as suggested by the smell. Some chocolate as well.
Mouthfeel
4.5
Much thinner than I usually prefer for this style, but it is so smooth and the thinness deceptive – as the flavor is by no means thin. Provides a tickle of carbonation.
Drinkability
5
So easy going. A sipper, but not because it couldn’t be consumed faster, but because it’s a precious treat. Very, very easy going down.
Overall
4.65
Delicious – again, not nearly as delicious as Westvleteren 12, particularly with a few years under its belt. Final pour is thick and sludgy. It adds some smoothness and bready notes – quite good. Don’t be worried about mixing this in unless you prefer the appearance of a clean pour.
Price
€6.50/33cl. A no brainer in my mind – or age your own. I don’t know if or when I’ll ever buy enough of this to hold onto for 5 years, so I’d likely go for this again if/when I’m back at Kulminator.

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Rochefort 10

Posted by jwpiper on February 5, 2009

To accompany my Coq Spinnekopke at In ‘t Spinnekopke, I chose a bottle of Rochefort 10. Now here’s one beer which I just can’t bring myself to buy in the US. I know I’m in the minority on this, but in my experience this beer doesn’t travel well. I’m not sure how that could be with it being such a big beer, but at $6 a bottle at stores in Ohio, it’s not worth it for what you get. Fresh in Belgium is a completely different story. This is an exceptional beer which is pretty easy to find (and cheap), so I’ve had quite a few of these when I’m overseas.
Appearance
5
Thick, rich, dark brown color with perfectly lacing off white head.
Smell
4
The smell is caramel, candied sugar and dish soap (I suppose that means bright, fruity smells). It richens as it’s consumed – more caramel and some fruity smells.
Taste
4.5
Reminiscent of Gouden Carolus Noël or a La Trappe Quad without metallic or burnt sugar flavors. Very much caramelized sugars with some chocolate, rich fruits, and a nice bittersweet finish. To compare with another quad: not nearly as complex as Westvleteren 12.
Mouthfeel
4.5
Carbonated and smooth. Not cloying or heavy, but rich.
Drinkability
4
Perhaps too sweet to be extremely drinkable. Hides ABV very, very well, though. A sipper, largely because of the sweetness.
Overall
4.45
An excellent beer. Much better in near the source than in the US.
Price
Not sure what this ran at the restaurant, but in Ohio it’s usually $6/330ml.

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La Trappe Quadrupel 2002

Posted by jwpiper on February 5, 2009

After my surprisingly pleasant experience with a fresh La Trappe Quad, when I saw an aged bottle at ‘t Arendsnest Nederlands Biercafe, I had to give it a try. The bartender went through a door in the back of the bar and down some stairs for a few minutes, ascending with the bottle of La Trappe Quad bottled in late 2002 in hand. The 6.5 year old beer was poured at cellar temperature (about 55 to 60 degrees) into a La Trappe chalice leaving a couple of cm at the bottom of the bottle with most of the yeast.
Appearance
4.5
As compared to the fresh bottle, it’s thicker, cloudier, and richer in appearance. A nice head developed (it truly was a perfect pour complements of the bartender). Perfect lacing on the glass with each sip.
Smell
4.5
Port all over the place. Prunes and raisins. After tasting, an underpinning of cardboard emerged in the nose – in a good way.
Taste
4
Sweet prunes and raisins. Rich. Yeasty in that cardboardish way. Still a bit metallic. The apples have gone, which is something of a detractor, but I don’t miss the sourness much, just the extra layer of flavor. There are plenty of layers to replace it though. The finish falls a touch flat. Not as sugary sweet, there is a port sweetness instead. The finish is more attenuated. A yeasty finish with still some bitter notes. This becomes dominant about halfway through.
Mouthfeel
4.5
Smooth and rich without being cloying. Plenty of carbonation. Wonderful. A bit drier than the fresh bottle.
Drinkability
4.5
Goes down smoother because of the smoothness. The richness makes it more inviting.
Overall
4.3
I find this beer to be quite interesting. There was no difference except appearance between the first and second yeasty pour. I wonder if it was disturbed on the bartenders climb up the stairs or if the yeast doesn’t stick to the bottom even during a perfect pour. The beer was overall better than the fresh bottle, but I did miss the candied sugar and sour apples.
Price
€7/33cl, I believe. Definitely worth it to try from time to time.

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La Trappe Quadrupel

Posted by jwpiper on February 5, 2009

I’ve had and not really enjoyed La Trappe Quad in the US. From all the praise it gets and the fact that I was in the country in which it is produced, I figured I ought to give it a try. Not to mention that it was the cheapest beer on the menu at In de Wildeman. When I ordered it, I had the choice to get it from the cooler or the shelf at room temperature. I, of course, selected the latter which was about 65 degrees.
Appearance
4
A thinner looking, clear, amber quad with a tall white head after being poured from a 33cl bottle into the brewery glass.
Smell
4.5
Candied sugar, raisins, toffee, and green apples fill the nose.
Taste
4
All the smells are replicated in the flavor as well – jumping off the tongue from the get go. Just a tinge metallic. Lots of apples in the middle and heavy on the candied sugar. Also some burnt sugar from the middle through the finish. Minor bitterness in the finish for balance.
Mouthfeel
4
Smooth, but a bit thinner than I’d like in a quad. Not sticky or cloying despite the high level of sweetness.
Drinkability
4
A but to sweet and the the burnt and candied sugar flavors build more than anything else. Reminds me a bit of Gouden Carolus Noël in that way, but much more multi-faceted.
Overall
4.1
Much better than in the US. I’m actually rather impressed and will have to get this again when I’m in Belgium/Holland in the future. It is reminiscent of Westmalle Dubbel with lots of candied sugar.
Price
€3.50/33cl, I think. It was less than €4, unlike the Belgian beers on the menu which were generally €4 and up. It was the best deal on the bottle menu and very worth it at this price.

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