Tuesday, 8 April 2008

La Trappe Quadrupel

With the Ardennes winter retreat beers all tasted and finally accounted for, it is time to open new bottles, and the 84th beer review of this Belgian beer blog: La Trappe Quadrupel.

The Koningshoeven Brewery, the only Trappist brewery in the Netherlands, has created a bit of a gimmick with this beer. With the concepts of “dubbel” and “tripel” fairly open, and confusing, as categories, they’ve gone ahead and produced a “quadrupel”, a label which doesn’t really mean anything at all as far as I can tell. To me this is simply Spinal Tap marketing hoping to attract those looking for that little bit extra.

The reality is that this is a slightly above average strong blond ale. Don’t expect greatness just because “this one goes to eleven”.

And it doesn’t quite go to eleven, if truth be told. It’s got 10% abv. This is all too obvious from the first sip, which is fumy, almost to the point of overkill. Not quite a fire-breathing Bush Amber but not far off either. Behind the alcohol, La Trappe Quadrupel is fairly sweet, though this is balanced by a slight citrus taste, like grapefruit pith, and roasted cashews, and these two flavours save this beer.

Overall then, the Quadrupel is a good beer, but mere “good” fails to meet the -- perhaps, “my” -- expecta-tions of a Trappist brew. To credit them, Koningshoeven also makes La Trappe Dubbel which I reviewed earlier and rated higher than this one.

Maybe the best feature of La Trappe Quadrupel, however, is its colour. Though a blond in style, it’s dark orange, like rust, with a thick, creamy head. “Wow, that’s a gorgeous colour”, says Fiona peering through the full glass towards the last rays of the setting sun.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. La Trappe Quadrupel is probably my favorite overall beer. You're entirely correct... it isn't a 'true' Belgian, and doesn't contain a lot of the fruity overtones I associate with Belgian ales. However, if you drank it from a bottle after pulling it out of the fridge, you missed out. It should be poured from a keg, at something like 50 degrees and served in a Brandy snifter. Once it has developed a nose, it should be sipped slowly, preferably in front of a roaring fire. Mmm... Quadrupel. You have a great site here, and I love the nature of your quest. Keep up the good work!

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