Saturday, February 2, 2008

Koningshoeven Quadrupel Trappist Ale

I actually drank this ale over a week ago, but forgot to put up my tastings notes. I am a big fan of heavy-duty belgian style ales, especially those that are dark and have a high alcohol content. This Quadrupel, at 10% alcohol, pretty much fits that ideal and is a fantastic bottle of beer. Quadrupel refers to the number of times the beer has been fermented, so you can imagine that after 4 fermentations it's hard to keep the alcohol very low. Also, it is interesting to note that Dubbels and Quadrupels are generally dark beers while trippels are light. As far as I know there is no real reason for this - but maybe I am missing out on some nuance of belgian beer crafting. Koningshoeven is here clearly working in the tradition of great beers like St. Bernardus abt. 12 and Rochefort 10, and I think they did so pretty successfully while not quite reaching the level of those two beauties.

As with most heavier Belgians the Koningshoeven is quite carbonated, which may be to some people's distate as it forces you to sip rather than gulp the beer (which is a pretty good idea given it is 10% abv) unless you want to fill your belly with a lot of air :). There are excellent root flavours, vanilla, and a little spicy herbalness to the palate. The finish is quite nice and of a decent length (given this is beer after all). Overall I'm pretty impressed with this and it will definitely be added to my rotation of top heavy Belgian ales.

$6 / 280ml bottle in BC - ($10 for 750ml in California)
Excellent


4 comments:

J. Song said...

The Rochefort 8 Trappiste Ale is delicious--I find the alcohol a bit too pronounced in the 10, and too low in the 6! The 8 is just right.

I like Belgian beers, though one of my German friends shows utter disdain for anything Belgian (maybe an atavistic aversion of Belgium from World War I). I think people maybe have a negative impression of Belgian beer from overly-sweet framboise lambics.

If I can find it, I would like to try the Koningshoeven Quadrupel Trappist Ale. Sounds good.

Shea said...

It is. And Rochefort 8 is my second favourite beer - after St. Bernardus abt. 12. IF you get the chance, i'd also try Brother Thelonius by North Coast Brewers (I think that's their name). It's great and along the lines of the Rochefort 8.

jan said...

I had this beer for the first time last week and fell in love with it!!
You say this beer is $6 / 280ml bottle in BC, but I can't find it anywhere. Do you have a location where you have seen it retailed?

Shea said...

Hi Jan,

It depends on the time of year, but you should be able to get it, or ask about it, at Viti (downtown-seymore and smithe), Brewery Creek (on Main near 16th) or Firefly (on Cambie). Also, if you are interested in this blog at all, it's been updated and moved to http://www.justgrapeswine.com Cheers.