Style: Quadrupel (Quad)
“Quadrupel is La Trappe’s heaviest ale with a stunning amber colour. Its warm and intense flavour is rich and finely balanced. Malty sweet, slightly burnt, and pleasantly bitter with a sweet aftertaste. Quadrupel continues to ferment after bottling and offers aromas of banana, almond, vanilla and others.”
Let me start by saying that La Trappe is one of my favorite Trappist breweries. Now for those of you who don’t know only beer brewed in a Trappist monastery under the supervision of the monks may be called ‘Trappist beer’. La Trappe is actually the oldest Trappist beer in the Netherlands and is brewed in Koningshoeven monastery. All the beer they brew there is wonderful and I highly recommend anything from them. Also if you couldn’t tell by the not so subtle introduction here I have had this and other beers from La Trappe before and we can see where the review is already leading, so lets get to the fun part…drinking the beer.
La Trappe Quad pours a beautiful amber color with the thick head and moderate carbonation. The scent is sweet with hints of bananas, raisins, plums and molasses with the slight scent of alcohol (it is 10% after all). The taste is even better keeping up with the banana and raisin adding in some nice caramel malts and hints of plum to balance it all out and keeping the booziness at bay. The mouthful is surprisingly smooth given the beers high ABV with medium high carbonation and only the slight hint of alcohol. Overall this is one of my favorite quadrupels in the world. The beer comes through with very complex flavors allowing drinkers to taste various flavors all at once. It hides its booze very well which makes it a dangerous beer that I would enjoy with a DD or at home. In the US, it will be mostly available via a 22oz. like the one picture, but every now and then you will be able to find it on tap at a well connected beer bar. Wherever you find it, I highly recommend buying it and consider it a must drink beer.
I don’t think I can write about this beer without mentioning the delicious oaked aged brother. La Trappe also has a oak aged variance of the quad called La Trappe Oak Aged Quadrupel. Now this beer is extremely unique in that it will have an extreme variation in taste and ABV from batch to batch. All of the batches are aged in used oak aged barrels, now what they were used prior to the Quad is what determines its future flavor profile. The barrels can vary and are used to age various wines like Sherry, Chardonnay, Port and Merlot as well as liquors like Bourbon, Scotch, and Cognac. It may also be a mix of the two. The oak aged is much harder to get a hold of as a limited number of cases make it over to the United States, I have been lucky enough to try 5 different batches with all of them being delicious and different. If I can get a hold of another bottle I will review it and share the results with all of you.