Overview for the Quadrupel

The Belgian Quadrupel or simply Quad is a name given to the strongest of the Trappist and Abbey ales. La Trappe pioneered the Quad while a nearly identical brew, the Abt, was crafted by Westvleteren and that beer would become St. Bernardus. Its color ranges from a garnet to brown and its aroma and palate are rich with sweet malt, fruity esters, and moderately spicy phenols. Its bitterness is typically mild at best and instead, the focus is on its malt character and strong alcohol. Comparatively, the Quadrupel is stronger and more intensely flavored than the Dubbel and Tripel.

Style Expectations

A dark, complex, very strong Belgian ale with a delicious blend of malt richness, dark fruit flavors, and spicy elements. Complex, rich, smooth and dangerous.

Appearance

Deep amber to deep coppery-brown in color (dark in this context implies more deeply colored than golden). Huge, dense, moussy, persistent cream- to light tan-colored head. Can be clear to somewhat hazy.

Aroma

Complex, with a rich-sweet malty presence, significant esters and alcohol, and an optional light to moderate spiciness. The malt is rich and strong, and can have a deep bready-toasty quality often with a deep caramel complexity. The fruity esters are strong to moderately low, and can contain raisin, plum, dried cherry, fig or prune notes. Spicy phenols may be present, but usually have a peppery quality not clove-like; light vanilla is possible. Alcohols are soft, spicy, perfumy and/or rose-like, and are low to moderate in intensity. Hops are not usually present (but a very low spicy, floral, or herbal hop aroma is acceptable). No dark/roast malt aroma. No hot alcohols or solventy aromas.

Flavor

Similar to aroma (same malt, ester, phenol, alcohol, and hop comments apply to flavor as well). Moderately malty-rich on the palate, which can have a sweet impression if bitterness is low. Usually moderately dry to dry finish, although may be up to moderately sweet. Medium-low to moderate bitterness; alcohol provides some of the balance to the malt. Generally malty-rich balance, but can be fairly even with bitterness. The complex and varied flavors should blend smoothly and harmoniously. The finish should not be heavy or syrupy.

Mouthfeel

High carbonation but not sharp. Smooth but noticeable alcohol warmth. Body can range from medium-light to medium-full and creamy. Most are medium-bodied.

Reviews

Bourbon Barrel Quad

Quadrupel  •  Boulevard Brewing Co.

Bourbon Barrel Quad is a Belgian-style Quadrupel by Boulevard Brewing Co. that’s sweet and sugary with dark fruits and lightly balanced with clove and oak. Read More

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Baby Horse

Quadrupel  •  21st Amendment Brewery

Baby Horse is a Belgian-style Quadrupel by 21st Amendment Brewery whose malty palate blends banana and dark fruits with spices and booze. Read More

Be Mine

Quadrupel  •  Barrel of Monks Brewing

Be Mine, a Belgian-style Quadrupel by Barrel of Monks Brewing is a decadent treat of tart cherries, dark fruits, dark chocolate, and booze. Read More

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Quadrupel  •  Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a Belgian Quadrupel brewed by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV that blends dark and tree fruits, various spices with pumpernickel and rye. Read More

Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad

Quadrupel  •  Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad is a Quadrupel by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. that’s decadent with a taste of chocolate, dark fruit, spices, and coffee. Read More

The Sixth Glass

Quadrupel  •  Boulevard Brewing Co.

The Sixth Glass is a Belgian-style Quadrupel by Boulevard Brewing Co. that’s decadent in feel and a complex palate that’s still approachable. Read More

Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel

Quadrupel  •  Brouwerij De Halve Maan

Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel by Brouwerij De Halve Maan balances sweet flavors of dark fruits and chocolate with nut, coffee, and coriander. Read More

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