Quad Reserve

quad reserve_O-01Belgian-style quad ale fermented with Shiraz grape must and aged in red wine oak barrels

Batch #1:

Bottled on 3/28/12; Alc. 10.5% by Vol.

Brewed on 2/13, bottled on 3/28, and released on 5/12, it had about 3 months of aging before hitting the shelves, which allowed the beer to mature nicely. There’s plenty going on here, with grapey flavors mixed with a strong maltiness and some almost musty undertones. We’re very pleased with the batch, but want even more fruity flavors to come through (and also a more purple color). Batch #2 (already bottled) has even more grape juice, so expect some changes when it releases in a few weeks. 

Batch #2:

Bottled on 4/30/12; Alc. 9.8% by Vol.

Aged for 3 months like batch #1, this batch has about 50% more grape juice added than the first, so the wine-like flavors are much more present and noticeable. It’s a little bit lower on the ABV, and much fruitier. We like this batch more than the first – it drinks easier, tastes a little less burnt, and showcases the Shiraz very nicely. However, now the grape tones are almost too overpowering. Seems like threre’s a balance to be struck between this batch and the first. 

Batch #3:

Bottled on 7/2/12; Alc. 9.5% by Vol.

We think this is actually one of the best beers we’ve released yet. With the grape tones dialed back a bit, this is an incredibly balanced, understated beer. All of the flavors are much more subtle in this than in the previous two batches, and it seems to acheive something closer to that quintessentail “Belgian Quad” taste, but slightly shifted. More dry than the other two, it sips very easily for a 9.5% beer and has almost zero burn. This one should develop some really nice fig & plum flavors with time. It’s also the last Quad Reserve we’ll brew in 2012 – nice to end on such a high note.