Hello Malt Mavens and Hop Heads. Life has been somewhat slow and repetitive in my corner of the world. My mother’s cancer is in remission, the daily grind that the Pope endures to put craft beer on the table continues without drama, and Spring in North Texas is showing its mild, albeit fleeting, head.
To welcome Spring, and clear out an ever growing reserve of craft beer, I will be focusing on beers of the Lone Star State from some of my favorite breweries since my move almost two years ago. I am also hoping to get back into regular publishing of reviews, shooting for one or two a week as opposed to the one post a month or less that has defined my recent attention to my beer duties.
To saddle up this focus on Texas craft beer, I have chosen the Real Ale Brewing Company’s second release under their “Brewer’s Cut” series, a Belgian style “Black Quadrupel“ brewed with Belgian black malt.
Pouring the chocolate hued ale, careful to not exceed the capacity of the sole chalice in my barware collection, I get a small amount of head and active carbonation from my pour.
The aroma from the freshly decanted beer brings bold, but unsurprising notes. Chocolate and coffee play on the edge of roasted malts, as the Belgian yeast adds a slight fruitiness to the party.
Now, to be honest, I was really looking forward to reviewing this beer since enjoying it last November on tap at the Dallas Winter Warmer, a local beer festival. I’m not one that usually identifies as a fan of beers brewed with Belgian yeast strains, but this offering twirled my moustache from first sip.
The roastiness of the malt, bringing a nice chocolate base, combined with the dark currant and fruit notes from the yeast strain, make an ale that offers the best flavor profiles from dark beer and red wine. Allowing the ale to warm up brings out more of the fruitiness, making it quite tasty at any range of temperatures.
My brother, who is bonkers for Belgian and Belgian style brews, often professes he would consume nothing but this brew if it were more than just a one shot from the Blanco, TX brewery. I cannot doubt nor blame my brother for his fanaticism for it is a beer that is making me take another, more open look at Belgian inspired intoxicants.