Tag Archives: quadrupel

The proper glass

boulevard tripelBoulevard Brewing’s quadrupel ale, The Sixth Glass, comes with a stern piece of advice on the back. In capitalized, block-white letters on a black background, the potential drinker is admonished:

STORE UPRIGHT
SERVE IN THE PROPER GLASS

with a little picture right above this warning of what the proper glass would look like.

Now, I could show you what the proper glass is but there are over 8 million entires under Google’s image search under ‘proper glass’. They cover pipes, slippers, magnifying glasses and a few less than subtle jokes that go on t-shirts college boys wear. To be honest, I don’t have the inclination to actually hunt down what they insist is the proper glass visually or physically. And I suppose now is as good a time as any to make my confession:

I am a good beer drinking barbarian.

I will drink from the bottle if there is no glass. I don’t care about the fancy pants labels on a beer if the beer is good. A clever name is nice but not required. Just give me the drink and I’ll take it from there. I don’t believe that the glassware enhances my drinking experience…ever.

Now, let me back away from that last statement just a touch. I am aware that beer is a sensory experience. Sight matters but not nearly as much as the aromas, which are critical to the process of drinking a beer, then the flavors of the beer. As a beer drinker I try to be aware of the feel of a beer so I can appreciate that part of the experience too. Of these inputs, smell is the one that is most blunted by drinking a beer from the bottle instead of a glass. In the case of some beers (and in this case I’m thinking of my experience with Session’s black lager) limiting the senses might improve the taste of a beer but for the most part, drinking beer out of a glass is  preferable because you just get more out of it.

All that said, don’t try to sell me on ‘this glass is more important than that glass for x beer style’ because I think it’s utter hogwash.

In the meantime, the head on my quadrupel sits there like white frosting on a liquid bourbon cake. The beer warms up and the caramel flavors stretch out over my mouth, like a rubberband moving from the front to the back. The finish is a bit dry, not quite white wine levels of dryness but still enough to whet the appetite for more.

The proper glass? A full one. Pour me another, please. Happy New Year everybody!

The argument

I enjoy going out with my buddy Jim. We pretty much argue half the time, but it’s always about things that utterly don’t matter
(him: Deep Purple was a hugely influential band with great songs
me: No they fucking weren’t, they had Smoke on the Water, and everything else was shit.
The Decemberists are awesome and lyrically amazing!
The are the dullest band ever.)

so our feelings never get hurt.

Of course, all of this is inspired by the Morrison Hotel playing really shitty Foo Fighters songs (instead of good ones), and we could both agree on that. So it was in the spirit of spirited argument, I had the following:

Some unpleasant tasting beer that I couldn’t exactly see who made. It was known as a ‘Dark IPA’ and it tasted bitter, like it had been burnt. I regreted choosing this over the Dogfish beer that caught my eye, but I had to try it.

Nostradamus Belgain Brown. The nose was full of banana. As a matter of fact, it was like a banana split; sugary and whipped cream backing up the banana nose itself. This banana flavor ran through the whole beer–the belgain yeast just dominated over the malts. However-and I’m just taking this from my notes- as the beer warmed up, I noticed a cinnamon touch in the nose, and the dessert confection started to mellow out. It became easier to drink the warmer it got. I suspect this beer might’ve been served to me too cold, and if I’d just given it a couple minutes my experience would’ve been different.

Next: St Bernardus Quadrupel. I got this b/c at the Belmont Station for the Six Rivers event, my girlfriend asked me: what’s a quadrupel? And I had no idea, aside from it being Belgain and probably following in the line of the dubbel, trippel ales that Belgain abbys are so famous for. The head on this was as dense as a nerf ball, and I could hardly get a scent off of it, but clove seemed to touch my senses for a moment. The flavors were very, very common to a trippel; sweet, with an alcohol warmth to help bring it back (11%!), but then I caught a touch of something else…sourness. Just a little bit at the end, a nudge utterly opposite the rest of the beer. That’s when I realized that maybe this yeast is what’s being used for the raspberry lambic at Six Rivers.

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale was next up, as I came back to the choice that I’d initially hoped to drink. This beer had mocha running in it, chocolate malts that were really tasty…of course, between the lateness of the evening and my allergies, I got no nose off the beer whatsoever. But there was a slight coffee bitterness and drying effect at the very back that had me wanting more. However, it’s strong for a brown ale (7.2%) so I opted to cease so I could get home.

Or at least, I thought I had. Earlier in the evening, Jim in a kind of faux-macho swagger ordered an Old German. It came in a can. I’m not sure I can say anything more about that, except the waiter grinned and gave Jim an ‘Oh yeah!’: he knew how bad it was, and exactly why it was being ordered. When I saw it, (about the time I was drinking the St B’s) I laughed and said that I had to order it.

And it was after the Indian Brown Ale that Jim reminded me of that.

It was terrible. My notes plead with me: I have to finish a pint of this? I didn’t.There\'s a straw in my beer

And yes, the Old German was served to me with a straw in it.