Friday, March 22, 2013

De Struise Pannepot 2011

Type: Quadrupel
Origin: Vleteren, Belgium
ABV: 10.0%
Price: $6.75/11.2oz
NSP: 4.91
website (I don't know what the hell's going on with this site, so good luck with it)

I saw this at Bottlecraft and thought the name rang a bell.  The bottle says "Old Fashioned Ale" and "ale brewed with spices", which is obviously not really specific.  But I bought it anyway and later found that it's one of the most highly thought-of quads in the world, not quite on the level of Westvleteren (which is made right down the road from De Struise), St. Bernardus, or Rochefort, but not all that far behind.  Sort of at the head of the peloton, I guess.  I looked it up on BA- click here and look for Amandipius to read what's either the best tongue-in-cheek or worst irritatingly pretentious beer review in history. It has to be the former because there's no way anyone would seriously write anything like that.

It smells like a quad, but with an enhanced coffee component.  Lots of dark fruit and vanilla, some chocolate and licorice, and a pretty hefty booziness (though the last fades nicely).  Smells pretty damn delicious, and in my impression a bit more hefty than the Westy brewed nearby.

It's pretty potent in the booze factor relative to Westy, or St. Bernardus, or even Decadence.  Not really one of those delicate quads.  The coffeeness and dark fruit remain in the flavor, but with the booziness, the other details fall by the wayside.  That's unfortunate, because I feel like I can detect a good amount of interesting stuff underneath there, but I can't quite get at it.  So overall, it tastes good, but sort of one-note, and thus a bit disappointing.

Hmm.  I thought I'd like this more.  But I don't hesitate to say that I preferred Decadence.  Worth a try to enhance your quad knowledge, but as with Westy, don't let your expectations govern your opinion.

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