Beer Review: Real Ale Black Quad

F

From Real Ale Brewing in Blanco, Texas comes this rather strange brew. Officially listed as a Belgian Quadrupel (four grains – and typically very strong), this one is several shades darker than most and has a higher IBU rating. This beer weighs in at 10.5% ABV, 33 IBU and Real Ale kindly discloses the original gravity – 22 plato. Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get right into this one.

Pours a hazy (unfiltered) opaque dark brown color with a thin ring of head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of fruity Belgian yeast, a slight tartness and surprisingly a bold overtone of dark roasted malt. The taste follows with the typical Belgian flavors of banana, caramel, dark fruit and a subtle tart spice which then gives way to a roasted malt with a dark chocolate and coffee back end. Heavy body, medium carbonation. Definitely a sipping beer with a bit of an alcohol burn on the way down.

If I were to characterize this beer, think of it as half Belgian Quad and half Imperial Stout. It’s a rather interesting, complex blended flavor that I’ve never experienced from a beer. I actually quite like it. Rating: 4/5.

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