It pours very dark. I’m not great with color, but it’s like a black plum sort of deal. And it smells dark, too. Not in the “roast your face with malts and alcohol,” but in a sort of “dark cherry, plum, Cab Sav” manner. And then seeing as how I know just a little bit more about wine than I do about color I immediately ran to Google to do a little research (and mostly to see if I was right). I was! “Subtle fruit flavors are complimented by rich Madeira wine notes.”
Hops – 2 Its labeled as a quad? Maybe? And it’s especially not bitter at all. I can’t really pick anything up on the nose or by drinking it, though I did spend more time drinking it than smelling my beer.
Malts – 7 It’s More fruity than malty, but it’s definitely there.
Carbonation – 7 It’s bubbly in the mouth, but I didn’t get much pouring it into the glass. Whether that was from a bad cork, or a bad pour (probably not my fault, let’s be real) I’m not sure.
Character – 9 There’s a lot going on here. Wine and dark fruit and spices and some malt with some of the stereotypical yeast esters you get in the belgian style ales. A bunch of dark, tasty flavors are having a party in my glass right now and I’m RSVP-ing yes.
Palate – 9 I can smell everything I taste, and I can taste even more than I smell. A cavalcade of flavor, and each one is just as good as the last.
Overall – 8.5 WHOA WHAT’S WITH THE SCORE?! Well sit down, I’ll explain. Everything in this beer works really well. It won’t be for everyone, it’s pretty intense. But there’s reviews are for me because I can’t predict how each of my 12 different viewers will percieve taste. I like this a lot and I’m glad I tried it, but there’s nothing that will keep me coming back to it. With certain stouts they have that character that you don’t find, or a certain burn on the finish. With IPAs you have bitterness, fruits, malty backbones. With this Belgian, it kind of worked its way into a corner. It’s a dark quad-ish, but I know I’ve had better quads. However, if this is the best thing on the menu when you go out somewhere, absolutely get it. It’s worth a try or six and at 10.5% you’re gonna have a good time. I won’t guarantee it, because I could take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed.