Posted by The Beerded Lady on:
Thank you for coming to visit me, The Beerded Lady, and my blog about beer. I'm going to get to the heart of the matter here and tell you about two fantastic beers, available at fine purveyors in Santa Barbara.
The first is the magnficent St. Bernardus Abt 12, a quadrupel style ale from Watou, Belgium. Quadrupel-style beers (also sometimes referred to as Belgian dark ales or grand crus) are intensily dark, thick, and complex masterpieces with a high ABV that is all but indiscernable in the midst of a rich bouquet of aromas and flavors. The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is no exception and a benchmark of the style. Fluffy and light on the palate, the Abt 12 has discernable caramel and chocolate notes, with a well-balanced malt profile.
The second is the equally stunning, though rather different, Grand Cru of the Emperor (this one a 2008 vintage) by Gouden Carolus of Brouwerij Het Anker, Mechelen, Belgium. Noticably darker and thicker than the Abt 12, this grand cru has a sweet (perhaps overly so) attack that gently dissipates to an array of flavors, including but not limited to toffee, raisin, dates, and brown sugar. Side by side, with the Abt 12, the Grand Cru of the Emperor comes across as stronger, richer, and more complex, while the Abt 12 feels more balanced and lighter.
Either of these would serve as an excellent introduction to the world of Belgian beer and especially its quadrupel style.