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HAPPY H(ALE)OWEEN, Time for a Top Rated Quad: St. Bernardus 12, for the Pagan Ritual Haters

Here’s a top 100 beer that has gone unreviewed for far too long. On a larger point, I have neglected the shit out of quads lately, I usually view them as a halfway house between the sweet English Barleywines and the deep dark succor of Imperial stouts, but they are a beast all unto themselves, worthy of reverence and cool reflection. Even if you have disputes with the monastic roots and don’t see the point of pious reflection and fasting to honor whatever deity that you see fit for whatever ritual rooted in pagan fealty that you happen to believe or cast cool skepticism over, you at least have to respect parsing phrases and independent clauses. And beer.

Sure I could have dropped that $8.99 to show you the 33cl bottle, but is your fucking Google finger broken? Here is what it looks like in draft you lazy ingrates.

Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Watou, Belgium
Quadrupel (Quad) | 10.00% ABV

A: Nice deep almost milky caramel countenance, solid lacing, tiny tiny microscopic bubbles that linger long after you drink and a mirror shine to it without any middle carbonation to speak of.

Quads this big and delicious will put your palate in overrustle, use your limit break already.

S: You can hear the groans from the anticipationists a mile away, guess what it smells like? Yes, deep boozy figs, raisins, dates, and a nice malty back bone. If it didn’t, would it really be an exceptional Quad? Maybe but do rhetorical questions still perform well in a global economy? We shall see.

T: This has a nice syrupy quality that is abated by the tiny bubbles that pump up the palate mildly. I don’t want to take deep swallows of this by any means but, it is a great beer to sip on if only a 10oz pour were provided. I don’t want to say that you can’t opt for the old 3 Liter chestnut that we have all seen, however, I will opine that you have demons that you are chasing that the public remains aware of.

You can’t photoshop a quad, no matter how hard you try, it is a tough style to pass off, dating site or otherwise.

M: Again, this has a decent coating lying somewhere between the crazy OG of an imperial stout, that hates you, and a loving DIPA that lingers for a bit too long after dinner parties. This is perfect if you want to brandish a huge corked masterpiece and impress a “boss” languidly. “CORKS IN BEER WELL I NEVER!” the Applebees hostess exclaims as a cork rickochets against a picture of a a tube filled with ice cream.

D: This, somehow, is incredibly drinkable. On paper it seems like a swimming pool in the front yard: things all out of place, problems abound; however this just works. It seems like someone dropped off their idiot savant cousin who decided not to drop a duke in my sink and instead arranged everything amiably. As thick and alcoholic as this is, I still feel this is an everyman[sic woman] beer that is simply delicious.

When you get a trappist ale this drinkable with a solid 10% left hook, someone is gonna be getting some smooches and knuckle sandwiches.

Narrative: “GOD DAMNIT IT, EVERY holiday” “Hey Steve, lower your voice” “OK, every holiday party he does this” Their eyes surveyed the Christmas party and noted several women at the beckon call of a single aged man with a clear graying cul de sac. “HOW DOES HE DO IT!” Steve exclaimed in exasperation. “Come on man, he wears a bold orange robe to parties, talks to women like he’s been drinking 12% beer all day and all night, and performs mild miracles; how do you not love him?” The two watched from their sulking position as old Abby 12 pulled a bottle of Svedka from his robe sleeve. “OK COME ON THAT ISNT EVEN GOOD VODKA!” Both guffawed in disbelief as he chastely rebuffed a woman’s advances and deftly cited passages from the book of Ruth. “RUTH! COME ON WHO KNOWS RUTH!” Steven bemoaned.

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St. Bernardus Tripel, Last Week Fucked Around Got a Tripel Dubbel

Here’s a style that doesn’t get enough love from this site, or people in general I feel. For some reason, restaurants always seem to stock this, but rarely quads and even more rarely dubbels. I would trade all the tripels in the world for an army of saisons, but it’s still a legit experience nonetheless. Westmalle is usually the go to for this style, but why not bring old Bernardus up in this bitch, get some diversity going, you damn intolerants.

Last week fucked around and got a tripel dubbel. Today was a good day.

St Bernardus
tripel 8% abv

A: There is a glowing mild gold meets light amber hue to it with some interesting tangerine notes at the edges. It looks good with the carbonation, full lacing and body. The head is relentless, but some people appreciate that obvious euphemism. I am too old for this shit.

You bring up tripels to most beer nerds, their faces be like

S: There are some fruit notes similar to a crisp pear and pineapple. It just feels like someone chopped a granny smith apple in your kitchen while grinding coriander. You know how often that happens. There’s a bready cornbread with honey note to it like a souped up belgian golden.

T: This has a great apple sweetness at the outset that fades into some sticky turbinado sugar and finishes with light hop notes. It is very refreshing and begins to take the Rhineland back for the Tripel as my forgotten favorite. There’s a great biscuit malt quality and light muskiness to it, with a sort of light plastic finish, but it isn’t bothersome.

I drink beers, say things, sometimes I get free boxes from people.
I don’t know what the fuck is going on anymore.

M: I usually neglect this style for quads but this shows me what I have been missing. Most people love their Saisons, love their Gueuze, love their quads, yet this is a great example of the style. It is not quite any of the foregoing, but it is so much more as a result. Very thin but just presents a bevy of experience like an overstated 8th grade science fair exhibit: your suspicions of parental involvement are present but unconfirmed.

D: This has a crisp light body with a pineapple juiciness. Additionally, there are some apple juice notes and very refreshing grapefruit character that resulted in the genre standard ten percent. If I could forgo deep dark fruits, I would return to the old tripel from the quad chestnut. It is great but I can’t place if it is great within the style or just a reminiscent return to an old favorite. Just second to Westmalle, I would say this is the iconic flavor that you think of, that belgian clove and spice underpinning with a golden frothiness.

This is an exceptional beer that is strange, yet familiar at the same time.

Narrative; No one buys these old YOUTH PROGRESSIVE FICTION TITLES. “I knew when I started,” Albert Ranking thought to himself, “if only I had written a self help book, or a book on mild economics, a memoir, or even a self aware survey of publishers’ rights, I would have been swooped up immediately.” The Avion Newsprint stand couldn’t move his books out of O’Hare Airport but by a parable. Albert stared at his books just sitting there, unthumbed, unmolested by the general public. “Why oh why would they prefer the less salacious books about Dragon Tattoos and Hungry Gamers?” He couldn’t understand why his book about an internal revolution of the metamorphic versus the igneous beds of rock was not selling. “Kids love geology, kids love revolution with their anarchy signs, how did these old stables get overlooked?” He folded his arms knowing that one day, the public would come around and his sigh simultaneously aligned with Thomas Pynchon in his resolve awaiting the return of post-modernism.