Chocolate Raisin Belgian Strong - West Sixth Brewing Company
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Ratings: 3 | Reviews: 1 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
If the world ends on the Mayan calender date, then West Sixth's Firkin Thursday (December 20, 2012) provides us a beer that ends things on a high note. A delicious Belgian-style quadruppel ale sheds its usual spritzy carbonation and favors the subtle creaminess of cask- risky in its delivery, but hey- why not one last adventure, right?
Opening with the classic low-lying carbonation, the beer is shy of flat, only generating a short lived veil of foam with a vigorous swirl of the glass. Hazy brown with supple highlights of mauve and ruby, the beer lays flatly in the glass and could easily be mistaken for well vintaged English olde ales. Slim lacing really takes the beer in a different direction than the typical Belgian experience.
Where the appearance may cause some confusion, its aromas do not. Dark fruit and mellow spice give the beer the descernable wine-like character that separates Belgian dark ales from the rest. Prunes lead the way, but supplemental esters of plumb, red grape, and dark berries. With no hop presence, the fruity nose is balanced with mild peppercorn and acidic vinous notes. All this fruit and spice interplay happens within a weave of candied malt sweetness and mild biscuit richness. It's noted that the aromas are somewhat muted because of the lack of popping bubbled that would be a better delivery system for aromas.
To the nose, the beer could be a complex Belgian-style dubbel ale, but to the taste- it's all quad! Candied malt sweetness caresses the front of the mouth with the taste of hard candies, fruitcake, port wine, chocolate and prune. The malty upstart bridges seamlessly of those dark, dried, and pitted fruits. Cherries, figs, raisins, and dates all contribute to the rich and fruity taste. Vinous wine-like tastes become the bridge that transports the taste from early sweetness to an acidic and peppery finish.
As the lowly carbonated ale presses firmly against the mouth, the soft tissues become saturated by the savory succulence of residual sweetness, acidity, and alcohol for a rather intense taste that becomes more of a sipping ale than a drinking one. The beer finishes warm, tart, and malty-dry and is oddly compelling for these flavors to be represented in this type of mouthfeel.
As the palate and the mind continue to agonize over the dialogue of Belgian taste and English texture, my heart begins to fade. The last of the cask ale has been served and now I'm not sure that I care about the end of the world happening tonight.
Serving type: cask
12-21-2012 05:15:09 | More by BEERchitect
Chocolate Raisin Belgian Strong from West Sixth Brewing Company
- out of 100 based on 3 ratings.