False Summit - Elevation Beer Co.

Not Rated.
False SummitFalse Summit

Educational use only; do not reuse.

58 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 8
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.31%
Wants: 9
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Elevation Beer Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: chugalug06 on 05-29-2013

Many a hiker has been disheartened by the false summits on Mt. Princeton, Yale, Antero and the 11 other 14,000-foot peaks that ring Chaffee County. We named this beer False Summit, as some may too be disheartened that this is not a barrel-aged version of our famous Apis IV. Yet this Bourbon barrel-aged quadrupel, like the final stretch of trail to a mountain’s peak, is often much more enjoyable and rewarding then what came before.

30 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 8
Reviews by DelMontiac:
More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: 750ml brown glass. Branded hood-and-wire cap over a cork. Generally appealing label design.

Seasonal release. Reviewed live as a bourbon barrel aged quadrupel per the label. Served cold into a Westvleteren goblet and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Expectations are above average; the brewery doesn't stand out in my memory but quadrupel is probably my favourite style. Bottled: 10.24.14. 11.73% ABV. 18 IBUs. Barrel: Breckenridge bourbon.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Plump khaki colour. Creamy, full, and soft-looking, with a smooth even consistency. Supple-looking. It lacks the fragility of the best beers in the style, but it's apt for a quadrupel. Retention is very good for the high ABV - ~6-7 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Translucent dark brown-black of above average vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

It's a nice appearance for a quadrupel, but it's far from unique or special.

AROMA: The bourbon barrel character is wonderful: vanilla, rich white oak, and barrel sugars with some evocative toastiness. It just melts into the base, congealing with the decadent dark fruits, caramel, and candi sugar. Not too sweet at all. The dark fruit is lovely, and well-chosen to suit the bourbon: plum, dark cherry, date, prune, and fig. Caramelization is prominent. I also pick up some raisin and grape as it comes to temperature. Subsidiary cream.

White oak is a highlight, and really stands out. The bourbon barrel character seems to accentuate the already present notes in the base rather than overwhelming them. Seems balanced.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. It's a very appealing aroma for a quad overall, and has me craving the first sip.

No hop profile, alcohol, or off-character is present.

TASTE: Breckenridge Distilling's bourbon is showcased nicely here, with a vanilla-forward barrel character inclusive of notes of white oak, barrel sugars, and caramel. More toastiness would be lovely, and the vanilla sweetness is a biteen high, but overall this is a great bourbon to use in a barrel aged quadrupel.

The barrel character nicely accents the dark fruit notes: plum, some cherry, grape/raisin, faint fig, faint prune, and perhaps some dates. Caramel throughout is apt. The grape is a bit strong, and lends it a bit too much sweetness - which is troublesome alongside the already present vanilla sweetness.

Overall, the barrel complements the base nicely. It's difficult to pair American bourbon with the Belgian dark fruit of a quadrupel, but they've largely succeeded. Still, it's not a perfect harmony.

Above average depth of flavour. Relatively brief flavour duration. Above average flavour intensity.

The Belgian candi sugar seems unnecessary; the Belgian amber and dark malts already boast enough sweetness. To style, there's no noticeable hop profile. More of a Belgian yeast character would really help it; did they use Trappist yeast? I'm not picking up on much intricacy there, and the attenuation seems rather low.

While overall it's nicely balanced, there's plenty of room for fine-tuning. It's a well built quadrupel considering it's American-brewed, but it just can't hold a candle to traditional Belgian/Trappist offerings, and lacks the subtlety and complexity of superior beers in the style. The quadrupel is a style that demands careful subtlety to nail, and this is a bit overt.

It's quite reticent until it warms, and takes some time to open up.

TEXTURE: Creamy, smooth, and wet, with a soft comforting feel on the palate. Medium-bodied. Its silkiness is marvelous. No alcohol warmth at all. It's plump and supple. Well-carbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough. Not too sticky.

Overall, this texture is a nice companion to the taste, but needs honing to really elevate the beer.

The best beers in the style are fragile and delicate on the palate; this is a bit more assertive. More of a chewiness would help coax out nuance from the dark fruit. It would be better with a bit more coarseness and dryness, which would enhance the flavour duration.

OVERALL: Surprisingly drinkable for the high ABV. For an American-brewed attempt at the style, it's well executed, and Elevation has done a nice job of matching a bourbon barrel character to the flavour profile of the base. The vanilla on the open is lovely, but I do wish the dark fruit notes had more depth. I do think that unfortunately the bourbon is far more interesting than the base. I'll enjoyable finishing the bottle alone, and wouldn't be opposed to picking this up again - ideally for 2-3 years of aging. It's a nice brew that has me wondering if I shouldn't give Elevation more attention. Worth trying. It'll scratch your quad itch, but won't impress the discerning drinker.

High B-

Serve chilled; it took a long time to open up after serving at fridge temp.

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Opaque dark-brown with ruby highlights; one-finger beige head with decent retention. Leaves filmy lacing.

S - Healthy aroma of prunes, black cherry, plum, date, brown sugar, caramel, red apple, vanilla, and toffee. Very complex.

T - Taste matches the nose; complex, sweet, fruity. Some grape/vinous flavor. Barrel aging lends more of a generic booziness than a true bourbon flavor. Some oak in the finish. Really nice.

M - Full side of medium bodied, with low carbonation. Very oily and slightly sharp feeling. Found myself wishing for a little more creaminess.

O - Solid BA Quad. Definitely on the sweeter side; just on the edge of becoming cloying after a while. But overall it's excellent.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Bottle # 00531. Bottled Spring 2013.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, bourbon, dark fruit, and fruit cocktail aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer as it is, but there seems to be a slight infection going on.

Photo of chugalug06
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Awesome lacing, small tan colored foamy/bubbly head grows from a near black brew; lots of purples and deep reds.

Tons of red grape, pear, bourbon, vanilla, sweet.

Way sweet and wet, slight cough syrup flavor. Light carbonation, no bitterness, heavy sweetness, plums, dark red apples, pear, vanilla, slight burn from the bourbon. Bourbon notes lay flat and subtle. Nice.

Very straight across, not much strays away. Very much down the middle for quads, quite solid.

Photo of beergoot
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahogany body topped with a very thick, chunky light tan head; lots of stickiness clinging to the glass. Initial aroma hinted at nuts and dark fruit; further scents are of figs and cinnamon. Sweet and rich malt flavors with ripe fruit undertones and noticeable alcohol presence; well-tempered phenolic characteristics. Heavy yet smooth mouthfeel with a syrupy edge.

This beer has complexity, balance, and taste galore. Everything combines to produce a kaleidoscopic burst of beer goodness in your mouth. Good boozy feel underneath yet this sipper remains quite easy to drink.

Photo of denver10
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours maroon with a slight off white head. Aroma is dark fruits blended with some bourbon barrel and slight vanilla. Flavor is some plum and red grapes that are coated with bourbon barrel with a little vanilla carrying through. A fuller, not too active mouthfeel that worked well for the beer. Overall, a great beer from Elevation here. Glad i got to try this on tap rather than bottle as there is no way I have could downed a full bottle of this big, sweet, and rich beer solo. But the pour I got at the bar was the perfect size to close my evening out with.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

finally i got my hands on some of this, it has been a really long time coming, dont know how ive missed it until now, given how much i love these guys, but it was worth the way. a barrel aged barleywine with all the bourbon you could ask for. looks mostly still in the glass, somewhere between mahogany and rusty crimson, molasses looking, but not real thick, plenty of light getting through this one, and just a patchy little froth on top. the nose is great, smells like sweet vanilla from the bourbon, and as much wood as booze. more grain coming through than other examples of the style than tend to be barrel dominant. a touch of smoke, toasted coconut, vanilla bean, and honey, dried cherry, and almond all come though in the smell, while the taste is a bit different. i get more of an apple complexion, especially in the finish, both green and red apples, tart and sweet, sort of odd, not like a cider or anything, like the fresh fruit, but its cool with all the vanilla and bourbon flavors, and it makes the finish unique as any. nice rich malty middle, what you would expect from a good barleywine, but thinner in feel, not quite so daunting. it does allow the booze to show through a bit, especially at temperature, but its nothing to worry about, not a flaw at all, but rather a reminder of potency, and a needed one at that! as good as thing these guys do, they continue to be one of my favorite in the state!

Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bourbon barrel aging has added the perfect amount of carmelization to this quad.

False Summit from Elevation Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.