Friar's Quad - New England Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Friar's QuadFriar's Quad

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

31 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 122
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.39%
Wants: 12
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co. visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: davey101 on 05-11-2012

A Belgian-style ale whose flavor is as bold as my wide's meatloaf - and four times as tasty, *b'dump-tssssh* But I kid, folks. This ale is a real mensch. We're here all week.
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 122
Photo of woosterbill
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml, unlabeled, brewery-aged bottle into a Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Matt for giving me one of these after already opening one to share during my last visit to NEBCO.

A: Clear deep persimmon body glows radiantly when held up to light; above is an inch of frothy off-white head that settles into a sticky ring and leaves plenty of lace. Excellent.

S: Rich, complex aroma comprised of burnt bread, raisins, prunes, hazelnuts, chocolate and faint alcohol. Excellent.

T: Follows the nose: great balance of sweet and toasted malts with rich dark fruits, backed up with some earthy bitterness and warming alcohol. Tastes very authentically Belgian - almost incredibly so for an American Quad.

M: Smooth, creamy, and thick. Very frothy and decadent.

O: I enjoyed this beer just fine when it came out, but I didn't think it measured up to the greats in this venerable style. After a few months in a bottle, though, things have changed entirely. I know a group of knowledgable drinkers did a blind Quad tasting and placed this second, behind St. Bernardus Abt 12 and ahead of Westvleteren 12 and a host of others. I'd have to have it side-by-side with those myself to make a similar claim, but my sense memory takes me back to Rochefort when I drink this - it reminds specifically of a blend of Rochefort 8 and 10 that I did on a day trip to the town. It was a waste of time compared to Brussels and Payottenland, but it's hard to hate drinking lots of great Trappist brews. The fact that my local brewery has put out a beer that involuntarily takes me back to Belgium - well, that's just great.

Cheers! (1,604 characters)

Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2012 bottle, though no date to be found, poured into NEBCO tulip.

A: Pours a deep mahogany - amber that shows when held up to the light. Free floating sediment. Fine, tan, 1.5 finger head.

S: Boozy, dark fruits, cherry and fig especially, sweet bread and molasses with Belgian sugars.

T: Dark fruit: cherry, raisin and fig that start sweet then fade to slightly tart, with warm brown sugar, honey, and sherry flavors towards the finish. Belgian and chocolate malts with little hop bitterness. It hides its alcohol very well, with only a nice warming sensation to hint at its high abv.

M: Heavy yet smooth, chewy, syrupy with low carbonation and warm booziness.

O: One of the better Quads, though not quite on Rochefort 10's level. NEBCO continues to please with this one. This beer is great for holiday meals and for fighting off cold winter weather. Worth seeking out IMO. (884 characters)

Photo of jimmy82063
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle - Been waiting for this for a year or so. This pours a nice translucent brown. Light smell of toffee. I love the taste of this raisins figs a bit of chocolate and vanilla and maybe some smokiness. This along the Three Philosophers vein just a tad sweeter. Well done! (273 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky chestnut brown with lively bubbles of carbonation beneath a thin light tan head that quickly dissolves to leave only faint lacing around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is sweet with malts part nutty and part cocoa and also featuring dark fruits like plum.

The flavor offers toffee sweetness as well as fainter cocoa than the aroma and again and nutty sweetness as well. The dark fruits are again present, more resembling raisins. There is a yeast presence as well as the beer warms.

Medium to fuller in body with medium combination with a unique finish that is part malty sweetness and part alcohol kick from the 10.2% abv.

These Nebco guys are alright. The quad style seems to be open to some different variations on the malt and dark fruit aspects and they seem to have incorporated a couple. It’s a great sipper. (839 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Pours a murky brown color. Darker brown but somewhat radiant. Head is not very intense but it rings quite well. The color combination of the tan head and humming brown body makes this quite attractive to look at.

S-Complex nose. Powdered cocoa, dark fruits (figs, raisins, plums), and lingering yeast and spice. A sturdy herbal hop aroma is noticeable too. Alcohol is noticeable but it should be if its a good Quad. Nice depth. Also a bit roasty and smoky.

T-Brown sugar and caramel-dipped plums. Has a Cola component to it as well. Yeast and spice mixes well with the herbal hops. Has some Porter-esque flavors of powdered dark chocolate and coffee beans. Alcohol is masked quite well. Every sip lends a new flavor to examine and enjoy.

M-As big as it is, its surprisingly crisp and easy-drinking. There is a slow-rising alcohol burn, but the body and carbonation make this beer surprisingly easy to imbibe. Heavy and rich but still drinkable.

O/D-This is not my favorite style of beer. However, I love what NEBCO did here. Not nearly as cloying as others I have had of the Quad variety. While this will not crack my Top-5 NEBCO brews, it is still an amazing beer. This brewery is allergic to brewing boring beer. Every time they have a new offering, I get a growler, I drink the growler and I am always happy with the outcome. (1,334 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A - Extremely dark brown, almost black, completely opaque. Relatively small (~1 1/2 finger) cream-colored head that quickly fades, leaving spotty lacing.

S - Strong initial whiff of prunes and plums, cherries, and Belgian candi and yeast. You can smell the alcohol, especially as it warms.

T - Tons of sweet fruit: plums, dates, and grapes (not unlike wine). Candi sugar, toffee, and maybe a note of liquorice. Strong hint of dark chocolate on the finish. Extremely malty. Complex, but imperfectly balanced.

M - Full mouthfeel, medium-full alcohol esters - again, like wine. Excellent drink to swish in your mouth, really allowing you to savor all the flavors.

O - This is a very good beer. I wouldn't rank it up there with the best quads, but it's a good example of the style. Maybe a bit more fruit-forward than some, and the grape notes are pleasant. (857 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark reddish-brown in color, minimal head, cloudy, medium carbonation

Smell: dark bread, dark fruit, brown sugar, and alcohol

Taste: follows the nose--dark bread, dark fruit--maybe plum, brown sugar, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy bodied, medium-high carbonation, sweet with alcohol burn

Overall: One of my favorite beers so far from New England brewing. This is a nice and complex quad that hits all the flavors you would expect in a quad. Makes a nice holiday beer. I will look for this the next time I am in Connecticut. (544 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1 pint .09 fluid oz bottle poured into an over-sized wine glass. Liquid comes out sort of a plumb colored red/brown/purpleish color. Blush wine colored highlights when you hold it up to the light and a little bit of particles and sentiment floating around in there. Whiteish fizzy head with very small bubbles goes away almost instantly after the pour. Ok looking beer, nothing too special.

First sniff, wow, pretty good. Not really 100% true to style, but I'm digging it. It's very grapey, like a nice red wine almost. A few other vinous fruits, cherries, plumbs and some dehydrated apricots and figs. Maybe some plumb, peach, and apple skins in there. A little bit of Belgian breadiness, but not much.

Taste is pretty equal to the smell. Again nice plump, ripe red/purple grapes and some other vinous fruits and tannins. Black cherries, figs, dehydrated golden delicious apples. Hints of cinnamon. A wee bit of dark roasted Belgian grains glazed in honey. A hint of pepper at the back end too.

Mouthfeel is really good. Very low carbonation, close to non-existent, but suits the flavors quite well. Heavy body with long lingering flavors. Tries to be smooth, but a little gritty, only slight bitterness with a earthy/fruity dry bitter finish. Really drinkable, but drinks like a quality red wine. Alcohol is very well hidden. I wouldn't guess a 10+% beer on this, I'd say high 7 low 8. Really delicious. Probably a much more Americanized version of the Belgian Style Quad, but I really enjoy it. It's hard for me not to rate it higher. (1,543 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark reddish-brown with a big and dense tan head. Fades slowly, leaving a patchwork of lacing behind.

S: Super fruity. Grapes, cherries and raisin primarily. Not much else.

T: Not as fruity as the smell. Up front there are raisins and cherries. Maybe grape too. Earthy and bready flavors follow up along with some brown sugar and cocoa. A bit of nuttiness and toffee. Some spices round out the finish, almost tastes like cinnamon or ginger maybe.

M: Fairly heavy, low carbonation.

O: A unique and nontraditional quad. It kinda tastes like a quad mixed with a brown ale to be honest. It has that nutty, earthy and toffee aspect of a brown but also fruity and spicy like a quad. Tasty and enjoyable, regardless. (730 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found at Pies & Pints in Middlebury, CT this brew shows a dark, transluscent cola color and with a fair, somewhat scattered off-white colored head and some good lacing. The aroma offers deep malt biscuit with a subtle lemon edge and a blackberry-molasses sweetness. Pleasant and suggests a refreshing mouthful to come. The first mouthful does bring a wild burst of elderberry, currant and plum with some light licorice malt. It maintains a refreshing effect throughout, though the feel is more velvetty, mid-plus bodied than I expected. This is a flavorful bugger, but is arguably a bit cloying in my estimation. I wasn't anxious to motor through it after the first few mouthfuls. It's lightly carbonated with a mild booze background. I would call this a “medicinal” flavored concoction. Probably not for every occasion but definitely an artful bit of beer crafting. (870 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle served in a tulip. Pours a brownish-plum hue with ruby red highlights at the base when backlit. Head is fizzy and cream-colored and quickly dissipates from a 1.5 inch head to a thin, tight band around the shoulders in a matter of seconds. No lacing on this one. Nose expresses dark fruit (sugar plums and currants), some cocoa notes and a trace of ethanol. Taste consistent with nose; however, it all comes off a bit too sweet - there's definitely a sugary character to this beer. There's also a slight acidity, but it's really just an aside to the other qualities. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with an even carbonation that leaves a light, residual prickle on the tongue. Overall, closer to a BSDA than a Quad in my opinion - too sweet and lacking some of the complexity you tend to see in Belgian counterparts. That said, it's still a tasty brew with a well-hidden abv. I wouldn't mind the opportunity to try this on tap. (941 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour into a snifter from a 64 oz growler that I just picked up from the brewery. This will be seeing distribution in 500ml bottles.

A - Light brown body that lets some light shine through. A two finger dark khaki head forms but quickly fizzles away leaving behind some faint edging. Nice lacing with some alcoholic legs. I also had this in a plastic cup from the tap and the head stuck around for a lot longer.

S - Burnt dark fruits, caramel and toffee malts, light alcohol notes. Simple but really robust.

T - Loads of dark candied figs and plums. Brown sugar and sweet caramel malts with a chewy toffee finish. Some faint spice and leather notes. Alcohol is really well hidden. Mouth feel is medium bodied, creamy with low carbonation.

O - Not as complex or layered as the Belgians, but just as tasty and enjoyable. This is a really solid beer and I can't wait to grab some bottles. (890 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another New England offering shared by theTomG. Served in a Half Acre taster glass.

A - Lightly tanned foam settles to nothing at all. Mostly transparent dark amber body.

S - Candi sugar, dark fruits, some red fruits, a touch vinous, with only mild spicy Belgian yeast character to it.

T - Taste is fairly similar, with prunes, dark fruits, candi sugar, plums, cola, a bit of tart apple skin, and some nebulous bready malts. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden.

M - Chewy, medium body, with lower carbonation and a sticky finish. Again, not much alcohol heat on the palate.

D - One of the more solid American-made quads I've had, although it's still a pale imitation compared to Trappist offerings. I'd drink this one again, although I wouldn't seek it out. Definitely enjoyed it more than the barleywine. (808 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampling at cellar temp poured into a snifter. the beer pours a dark mahogany with minimal beige head. Aroma is molasses brown sugar, and a little bit of bready yeast. I dont get any hops and only a little bit of booze.
First sip reveals a light body with mild almost non existent carbonation. Flavor is malty and sweet with a bit of dark fruit. I also get molassess and brown sugar. The flavor is actually mild, which is surprising but not a problem.
Overall the beer exhibits no nhints of booze or hops and is easily drinkable.
A decent beer that I enjoy, but it seems a little "brown" or malty as a quad. Double Brown Ale anyone? (633 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16.9 oz. bottle. Served at cellar temp.

Garnet-maroon body. Clear. Thick finger of light sandy-beige head. Some lacing. Lots of fruity sweetness on the nose. Concord grape jam is at the center of it. Caramel syrup, figs, rum, and a hint of woody bitterness.

Plum and grape skin tannic bitterness and woodiness up front. Jammy grape sweetness quickly swoops in and gets behind the wheel. Figs and singed caramel flit about. Slight herbal note sits in the background. Rummy alcohol comes on near the finish, providing warmth and some spicy, peppery jabs. More grape jam in the finish with lingering vegetal, tannic bitterishness. Medium-bodied, with a slick feel. Needs a little more complexity, depth, and body to get up to the level of the great quads, but this one is not bad. (780 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A little sad after Pat's lost, so a big abv beer to drown that out, and how about New England beer. No date on it, but I think it's about a year old.

Pours a creamy ish off-white bubbly head that fades semi quickly with the high abv as expected, a bit of spotty lacing, quite clear mahogany brown color with plenty of ruby light sneaking through.

Nose brings aged malts, almost old ale like, sweet malts as well, molasses, brown sugar, candi sugar even, all there but on the lighter side. It has some toasty brown malts that have that soft aged old ale like aroma, just a bit of booze, clean booze, and faint hints of dark fruit. Overall fairly light on the nose.

Taste starts with dark fruits, candied raisin and fig like, then right into sweet flavors, lots of molasses, tons of molasses almost as if they poured some in, almost a molasses based rum flavor as the booze kicks in a bit and brings warming very slightly tingly feel. More sweeteners, brown sugar, candi sugar, syrup, corn syrup flavors like almost startchy corn stalk sugar, etc, and a bit of a nutty toffee flavor. Malts are mostly toasty brown malts, little nutty, touch of caramel, syrupy feeling aside from the flavor, and faint hint of cocoa, as well as the soft aged malt flavor. Finish is still fairly sweet, a bit sticky and syrupy, booze kicks in again at the finish and lingers throughout, lots more molasses, a bit of corn syrup, brown sugar, nutty toffee, and a bit more of the soft brown malts, etc, all lingering.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, some warming and tingly booze, decent small bubbly carbonation.

Overall OK, but not great. The flavors are mostly there but in the wrong proportions I think, a bit of a corn stalk flavor, husky almost, fruits are barely there, malts are nice at first but seem to get drowned out by the loads of molasses and syrupy flavors. Booze in right on nice, but I wish there was at least a little hop profile in there somewhere. Not sure if the age on it took away from it a bit either. (2,007 characters)

Photo of albertjr21
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a snifter pours a deep and murky mahogany color under a slight but quickly vanishing head. Overall aroma of toasted bread, jammy sweet dark fruit, perhaps raisin or dates...fig...with an influence of oak wood notes. Complex fruit taste (deep woody cherry stands out) plays nicely to the tune of a gentle carbonation. Nicely balanced sweet, sour and tart flavors work out well with a solid foundation of toasted dark malt. Slightly warming but excellently masked abv. (471 characters)

Photo of BobZ
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16.9oz. bottle poured into a De Struise cervoise.

Appearance: Very dark reddish brown with a 1/2" head that quickly recedes to a faint ring.

Smell: Sweetness of dark fruit, plums and raisin. A hint of alcohol and some Belgian yeast.

Taste: Well executed to style, the dark fruit is present as it is in the aroma. The cola flavor is there also which is present in some quads. There is a little bit of alcoholic heat but that is mostly masked. The only minor complaint is a very faint metallic taste in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very light in body more cola like than creamy; otherwise clean on the palate.

Overall: A solid take on the style, much, much better than most American versions, worth a try. (703 characters)

Photo of Lars3
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

My first review in over a year.

I've been hanging on to this bottle for over a year, I think it is from their first run of bottles. I'm not sure how many batches they've made, but I know this is one of the first if not the first.

No head. Nothing. Nada. A very vigorous pour into a Duvel tulip and nothing but large bubbles that immediately burst. No lacing on the glass either. The color of the beer is wonderful. A sanguineous hue of garnet or burgundy.

I'm not getting a huge nosefull of smell on this one, but what I am picking up is quite nice. Very sweet and wine-like. Almost a barleywine smell, with a ton of dark fruits.

Like other have said, sweet with a hint of flat cola. Very interesting. A light mouthfeel for a quad.

I like this beer. I don't drink a ton of quads, but I'd certainly like to drink more of this one. Hopefully when the new brewery opens up we'll be seeing much more of this beer and other Belgian style beers from NEBco. (959 characters)

Photo of BranfordBound
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had when it was first released in 2012. Picked it up from the brewery after I got out of classes at SCSU. Finally going through my notes and putting the NEBCo beers on the system. Overall wasn't very impressed with it, but was nice to drink. (241 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always like picking up a NEBCO special release. This quad pours translucent deep ruby brown. Kind of a garnet color? The head is light tan and dense, but deminishes quickly. The aroma is familiar. Raisin, cacao, fruity ester, light banana, clove and even a little cardamom. The flavor is less complex. Sweet with brown sugar, molasses, and fuggy raisin reduction. Light flavors of cacao and toffee. The finish is a little sweet, but not really cloying. The mouthfeel is dense but hot, a little hot at least, the alcohol shows itself. While this beer is surely tasty it lacks the complexity of superior examples. (611 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared with friends. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a clear mahogany color with an off-white head that fades leaving spotty lace.

The smell is sweet and fruity with noticeable mildly solvent alcohol and a sweetness that feels more like candy than maltiness. The flavor continues with dark fruity feel like raison blending to more alcohol and at times hints toward citrus.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Not my favorite quad but not bad and an interesting take on the style thats worth at least a try. (540 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Thanks to my brother for this one.

A: Pours a deep reddish/brown with a decent one finger head on top, thick foamy bubbles forming with moderate retention and lacing.

S: Slightly fruity, a little banana/estery aroma, some brown sugar, chocolate, and a little plum.

T: Slightly sweet and fruity, some plum and a little cherry with some caramel, brown sugar and a little chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Slightly sweet.

O: A nice little quad, tough to go again at that price point, bit glad to have tried it. (561 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a mahogany / chestnut tone with ruby highlights; aggressive pour yeilds 1 and 1/2" head with middling retention and lacing. nose offers bready malt with fruity esters and some brown sugar. decent, although maybe not as robust as i look for in my quads.

flavor mostly follows the nose with a strong bready maltiness leading the way, joined by the fruit characters, toffee, candi sugar and belgian yeast. not bad. for north of 10% ABV the alcohol is very well-hidden. medium bodied mouthfeel / medium carbonation.

overall, a relatively tasty quad that hold its own. definitely worth a try, as long as one's expectations are in check - rocherfort 10 it is not. (701 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the oversized bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown/black. No foam. Still. Fruity nose, candi sugar scent. Bubblegum too. Taste is very sweet with virtually no carbonation. Somewhat syrupy. hints of chocolate, raisins, cherries, cola. Builds to a boozy, cough syrup taste. Brown sugar. Packs a wallop & a lot going on. (336 characters)

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Friar's Quad from New England Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.