Venus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rudzud:
4.36/5 rDev +0.5%
Shared with JLindros at his Birthday whale tasting last month. Reviewed from notes.
A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a clearish mahogany hue with a nice quarter inch tan head that faded to leave light wisps.
S - Nose pops quite nicely. Good licorice, chocolate, fennel, sambuca, faint faint barrels and raisins. Hardly any ABV on the nose.
T - Wow, okay. For a very an old quad the taste does not quite match the nose but its still pretty tasty. Good darker malts, light caramel, light barrel notes, sugars, dark fruits like raisins, very faint vinous notes and light sambuca.
M - Mouthfeel is relatively surprising. Very nice carbonation here yet still creamy on the finish with some warm booze feel to it.
O - Overall I was very impressed by this beer. Been waiting quite some time to crack this and thought it quite nice to start the whale tasting off with this.
04-03-2013 17:41:33 | More by rudzud
More User Reviews:
4.38/5 rDev +0.9%
Venus. Belgian Style Quadrupel brewed with star anise and aged in french cabernet sauvignon barrels. 14.3%. Here goes...
Pours a very dark brown with deep deep ruby color and brown tints. Head hangs around good at first, but all in all dissipates fairly quickly leaving behind fairly minimal lacing.
The nose is not as strong as i would have expected. The anise is apparent, dark malts, some alcohol. A bit of dark fruit and some slight cherry.
Taste is quite interesting. Starts off with a nice rich malt character, some caramelized dark fruit, the star anise then rears its head, not as strong as it is in The Viking, I like that the anise is a bit less in your face in this one. The normal caramel, butteriness of a Quad is slightly lacking here, but it is defenitely there. The alcohol makes its presence known at this point, especially on the finish as it really coats the stomach and warms. Anise and dark fruit linger in the aftertaste. The cab sauv comes through just a bit at this point, right before the finish. This reminds me alot of a Gouden Carolus Noel. Sort of that licoricey anise flavor. A very complex beer. I will certainly be altering this review again, probably during my next lesson with a bottle of this one (likely tomorrow)
Mouthfeel is right where it should be for a belgian quad, nice and viscous, carbonation is where it should be. A tiny bit dry on the finish (cab sauv?) but really very nice.
For the style and the abv, the drinkability in this brew gets high marks, although this one is certainly not a summertime slammer. But as i have said in the past, if you bought a 14.3% bottle of beer thinking you were gonna shotgun some at the company picnic, well then your just a goddamn idiot.
Overall a very complex and interesting beer. This one pushes the limits of a quad, both in abv and in innovation. Very unique barrel aging and the addition of anise give this one some added character, and added complexity. I was expecting a solid quad base, ala St Bernie's, Westy, Urthel, Koeningshoeven, etc. but this one is more of something you would see from any of those breweries, but with "Noel" slapped on the label. This really reminds me of many big belgian christmas offerings (probably the anise). A very complex and contemplateable beer. I suspect this one will do extaordinarily well with some age. A very fun, complex, and tasty beer that you will learn from. This beer is not for sessioning, but it is a class session in its own right. Great brew.
11-15-2008 03:31:48 | More by AKBelgianBeast
3.8/5 rDev -12.4%
Quad with brett. Looked and smelled like an imperial stout with added yeast. Very lacey on dark brown body with two inch head. Drinkable but strong, sour, and cloying sweet all concommitment qualities. The sauvignon barreling had worked its way in, and likely where the tannin sourness originates from.Red grapes, but little yeasty taste remains. Above medium mouthfeel.Bottle 3 years past due, received about 1.5 years ago from Mr. Squires.
02-01-2011 00:36:01 | More by Sammy
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
Dark brown with a good tan head. Aroma is sweet fruit, wood, wine, booze, raisin and roast malt. Flavor is raisin and dark fruit. Big body and smooth beer. Alcohol isn't really apparent. This has all the things a good beer should have and will age nicely.
08-19-2009 12:53:36 | More by miketd
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
22 pulled out of the basement over the weekend for a cellar clearing tasting. I got this a while back from the one and only AkBelgianBeast. Reviewed from good notes.
Big/huge head ... 3 finger lite tan foam over a clear deep brown brew... the head lasts forever and leaves great lace behind.
Nose is fantastic, but not exactly what I think of as a proper "Quad" ... waves of chocolate... with rich dark fruits and hints of the barrel... decadent.
Wow! not sure my palate is ready.. again very chocolaty... brownie batter ... with Belgian phenols and esters... spicy dark cherries and even some prune... the Cab barrels show as tannins with hints of dry leather.. a bit boozy, but overall it adds to the amazing complexities.. really big body and big carbonation.
No real complaints... but I will say, I never would have picked this as a Quad blindly.. but I respect and see the brewers' intentions and absolutely loved this beer, especially on later pours.
Franks is the true "Trader's Trader"... a great guy and somebody that I someday hope can share a beer with in person. Thanks.
02-17-2010 08:57:51 | More by JohnGalt1
4.35/5 rDev +0.2%
Lots of carbonation apparent with the big white pillow like head. Good retention left behind lots of side glass lace.
highly spiced with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of yeast. Some pears or apples sneaking in there as well.Lots of apple and pear flavors mixed in with a good amount of spice. A slightly dry finish and something bitter that wanted to come through but never actually made it.
Very smooth, medium bodied and well carbonated. Never slick and had a very nice finish.Not bad, a little bit more then a sippe
10-02-2011 04:39:42 | More by mikesgroove
3.9/5 rDev -10.1%
Burgundy in color with an enormous tan head that lasts and lasts. A bit overcarbonated. Bold chocolate aroma with an undercurrent of red wine; odd but it works rather well. The high ABV is fairly noticeable in the nose, it's a bit solventy. Fruity on the palate, tannic, spicy. Very chocolatey, a bit out of character for a quad but it's not unpleasant. The cabernet barrel shows up most in the tannic, fruity, dry finish. An interesting beer, but not as good as I had hoped.
05-19-2009 22:25:29 | More by largadeer
4.35/5 rDev +0.2%
my personal white whale for quite some! what better time to open it than a casual monday night. For every door that closes a window opens
huge thanks to ben for this amazing chance.
this bad boy (girl?) has 3 years on it
22oz bomber split into tulips
a- much darker than i expected, looks beautiful. super dark brown, almost completely blacked out. one nice thick off white head. this one looks fantastic.
s- noticed this immediately upon opening. this nose is huge. dark fruits right up front. big sweetness, barrel comes out in the back, zero alc in the smell. as it warms the cab barrels really come through.
t- this one is huge! dark fruit and barrel right up front, slight oxidation, vanilla, and more dark fruit, raisen and grape, hint of prune, a bit of anise. no taste of alc on the palate but a huge warming in the chest. at nearly 15% this one restrains the alc very well. lingering sweetness remains on the tongue.
m- big body, one of the biggest iv had. thick and chewy and coats the mouth, brings out all of the flavors. surprisingly has good carbonation.
o- great beer, i think i opened it at the right time. this one is big, rich and very complex, every sip brings out more and more flavors and nuances.
perfect beer for the occasion, i feel good about lies ahead. (well accept for the hangover that will visit me tomorrow lol cab barrel aged beers due me in)
05-08-2012 06:01:04 | More by KevSal
4.6/5 rDev +6%
Reviewed from notes.
Poured into a tulip. Huge, huge thanks to bmanning for cracking open this bottle. The appearance is a dark brown with some garnet hues and a load of lacing after the head finally settles down.
The aroma brings strong notes of dark fruits as well as some nice oak, booze, and black licorice. I'm getting plum, dark berries, figs, dates, and a whole mess of great fruit. The taste follows up on this and is incredibly complex. Quite a strong fruit presence as well as a nice dosing of malty goodness.
Really nice and rich feel that makes my mouth feel alive. A truly wonderful American version of the style. Absolutely exceptional. Thanks again, Ben.
11-14-2010 05:11:54 | More by Thorpe429
4.28/5 rDev -1.4%
Shared at my Birthday whale tasting. Thanks to Rudzud for sharing.
Has a light creamy head covering, nice lacing, dark but clearish mahogany ruby color.
Nose dark malts, nutty caramel molasses like, faint hint of cocoa and aged malts, touch of figs and raisins, light alcohol.
Taste dark syrupy malts, molasses, thick fluffy carbonation, rich tasting, fig date and raisin fruits, a bit of solventy alcohol and burn, syrupy but sweet aged soft malt flavors, chewy malts, candy sugar, etc.
Mouth is smooth thick and rich, some booze, but not that bad, plenty of fluffy carb.
Overall very nice, tasty beer, great malts, some booze, nice aged feel too.
03-04-2013 17:33:02 | More by jlindros
4.58/5 rDev +5.5%
Nothing like beginning to wind down DLD than popping open a retired quad. Thanks to Alex for sharing this one.
A - Pours a brownish caramel color with an off-white head that left some pretty nice lacing on the sides.
S - Dark fruit, oak, toffee, raisins, dates, vinous notes. Really a nice smelling beer.
T - Dark fruit, brown sugar malts, raisins, dark fruits, with a bit of wine influence. Nice malts and a bit of pleasant alcohol burn that cuts into the sweetness. Really a lot going on here, and it's very good.
M - Full bodied, smooth, appropriate carbonation. No complaints here.
O - Excellent beer that I wish I could drink all the time. So glad I got to give this one a try.
05-16-2011 00:11:12 | More by AgentZero
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
Big thanks to Jeff for sending this one down for the Planets tasting! The best beer of the set.
Pours amber in color with a big off-white head. There’s a little bit of wine and booze on the aroma. A really nice dak fruit and sweet caramel malt aroma. Might even be some chocolate. The flavor is quite nice. Lots of chocolate and dark fruit notes. A really nice Cabernet flavor. Solid stuff. Medium and medium.
01-13-2012 20:07:19 | More by womencantsail
4.21/5 rDev -3%
22oz bottle shared by Matt at last night's whale tasting. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.
A - Pours a deep brownish amber...small dark tan head and good clarity. Short foamy head and foamy lacing left on the glass.
S - Boozy, a bit of chocolate, some sweet malts, slight astringency and hints of fruity esters. A touch of solventy alcohol.
T - Didn't quite match the aroma. Aroma indicated more sharp flavoring, but the flavor was super smooth and creamy, layers of malty sweetness and sugars, but well controlled and felt balanced despite not truly having much hop character...a touch boozy.
M - Nice carbonation level despite its age...creamy and mid level. Spicy, warm, noticeable booziness, medium body.
O - Nice and smooth...a bit boozy, but not as high as a 14+% beer typically produces. Tingly and warming. Pretty nice quad.
03-03-2013 16:31:23 | More by portia99
4.03/5 rDev -7.1%
Shared with Dyan the other evening.
The beer pours a rich dark brown color with very good head retention and lacing. There are also hints of red hilights in this beer. However, one whiff of this beer and I was immediately transported to barrel aging heaven. Wow this smells great. I get a huge sweet aroma of milk chocolate, milk duds, vanilla, anise and cherry, with just a hint of bitterness. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, and I get just waves of chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, prunes and plum. This beer is so decadently rich and sweet, it's literally too much of a good thing. Ultimately, although the flavors are excellent, the sweetness is just too much for me. That will likely change with additional aging, but at least right now, the high alcohol and intense sweetness are just a bit much. Mouthfeel is still very smooth and remarkably light, with a long smooth finish. Drinkability is not too bad for the abv., but a little bit goes a long way with this one. Regardless, this is still an altogether excellent beer, and one that will likely only improve over time.
08-24-2009 15:40:46 | More by John_M
4.85/5 rDev +11.8%
Huge thanks to Alex for busting this one out. I had driven non-stop from Tampa to Madison and then back to Chicago (27-ish straight hours of driving, 48+ hours awake!!) I knew I really needed an out-of-this-world brew, and Venus was exactly that. By the time I finished my half, I might as well have been on Venus!
A - It is a slow-motion gusher; Alex and I caught it without a drop of spillage, though. It pours a slightly-better-than-typical Quad, deep brown with a nice off-white cap and some sticky lace.
S - What a delectable brew; I am getting sublime impressions of dark fruit (raisin, fig, date), some dark bread and roasted nutty aromatics, along with maple-brown sugar, anise and spicy-estery yeast. Booze is well-hidden at this point.
T - This beer is fantastic; I get some impressions of roast-toast, dark fruit, maple-brown sugar-vanilla, anise and earthy oak-like notes. There is certainly a ton of flavor imparted by the yeast, some fruit and lots of spice, but overall this brew strikes me as slightly more Dubbel-y than the average Quad; it has more of a dark nutty-bready flavor than an emphasis on fruitiness. There is no real impression of alcohol in the brew; certainly no perception of a 14% beast.
M - As easy-drinking as 14% gets. Velvety, rich and smooth.
D - This is one of the best beers I've ever had.
07-18-2010 18:47:37 | More by ktrillionaire
4.5/5 rDev +3.7%
A big THANK YOU to John Michaelsen for this generous trade!
11-14-2008 Bottling Date; Served at 53 degrees.
A- Poured with a proteinaceous khaki colored head, which was reasonably retained, and left some nice lacing behind. The body was a dark sedimented semi-opaque garnet-tinged dark amber, with little traces of carbonation of the sides of the glass.
S- A very complex nose consisting of stewed malts, Belgian yeast aromatics, mild vinous notes, non-descript savory aromas, and perceived candied nuts.
T- Stewed malts are right up front, along with some mild Belgian yeast phenolics. Impressions of burnt candi sugar, allspice, and soft dark fruit flavors throughout. The finish is dry and slightly bitter, presumably from hops and/or oak tannins. The finish lingers on the tongue tremendously. As the beer warmed, the flavors of candi sugar and allspice became more dominant, pushing the rating to the 'near-exceptional' level
M- Thick, syrupy, and velvety in texture. Coats the mouth wonderfully. A touch of astringency, and a little heat from the alcohol. A very delicate carbonation here. Nearly perfect!
D- The alcohol is certainly noticable, but I never would have guessed this to be a 14+% ABV brew! So smooth, complex and quaffable... I wish I had more!
05-27-2010 00:27:14 | More by jgasparine
3.83/5 rDev -11.8%
22 ounce bomber, was approximately $14 at Brown Jug Warehouse, Anchorage, AK.
Appearance: using a beer-clean wide-bowl red wine glass, pours a deep brown, with a solid, dense, medium brown head. Huge lacing -- nearly complete. Head sticks around, very impressive for a 14.3% beer.
Aroma: candied cherries, brown sugar, hints of licorice. Kind of muted for such a big beer.
Taste: strong brown sugar, licorice / star anise, stonefruit, candy sugar. Huge malt backbone, minimal hop presence. None of the oak barrel flavors some through, even when I'm looking for them.
Mouth: Bright and slightly sharp carbonation.
Overall: A very tasty beer. Immensely similar to The Viking. (Ms. Warmstorage thought that was what I'd opened.) While I'm enjoying it and will happily drink it, dollar for dollar, I'm probably as disappointed in this beer as any beer I've ever purchased. I mean, c'mon, $14? Bah. Humbug.
12-25-2008 00:35:40 | More by warmstorage
4/5 rDev -7.8%
John was only too generous this past weekend. Thanks, friend!
A: Dark brown with reddish highlights. A thin, tan head recedes to a ring rather quick
S: This is an anise and vanilla bomb. These two aromas dominated the nose. Behind the strong anise aroma, there is plenty of big sweetness with brown sugar, molasses and burnt caramel. Not very yeasty. The wine character is reserved, but opens up as it warms up. Pretty good
T: Opens up big and sweet with a big anise character. There's also a lot of molasses, brown sugar and toffee up front that melds into a vinous sweetness from the wine barrels. I am left wishing for something to cut through the sweetness - a little tannic character or some bitterness - but it's not there. The strong anise character persists through the finish, along with vinous and sweet flavors and a touch of alcohol
M: A bit sweeter than a like my quads but creamy with an good, spicy finish
D: A bit of a chore because of the sweetness but otherwise enjoyable. But I have to ask - would it have hurt to make this closer to 10-11%?
08-24-2009 12:06:20 | More by DefenCorps
4.93/5 rDev +13.6%
From notes. Bomber into Midnight Sun goblet. So grateful for the opportunity to try this one, as the brewery is distributing some of its special ales outside of Anchorage now. Thanks to Specialty Imports and the manager of our one local liquor store, Robert, for helping get a case of this precious nectar to our remote little town.
Pours deep brown with a lightness at the edges. Deep mahogany when held to light, with reddish/brown highlights. Thick head lasts and lasts. Lacing fades quickly. SMELL is initially pleasant but not strong. It smells of raisins and other dark fruit, rich malty aroma including sweetness, boozy, rich and complex. Later getting some faint woody notes, Belgian yeast character, spicy anise and some long legs. Later it gains some more prominence and boldness. By the end the nose is strong and dominated by dark fruit, spices, caramel maltiness and boozy aromas. Still very balanced and complex. TASTE is Super rich and complex flavors hit quickly and forcefully: sweet caramel malty, bitter hop backup, cherry and raisin fruity, woody and boozy. These flavors change composition as they generally increase throughout the middle and into the finish. Some bitter dryness in the finish. Wicked bold and complex! FEEL Perfectly moderate carbonation. Thick, full, rich and viscous texture and body. Bit of a drying sensation, with a mild bitterness, in the finish. Luxurious.
OVERALL, as sensuous sipper if ever there was one. Bold size and price (both 14+) buttress the sipping sentiment. But drop for drop, the flavor explosion rivals the all time greats. As well it should, considering the price! And I say that as a huge Midnight Sun fan. The cost of this one is roughly equal that of Pannepot, and is more than Chimay and Koninghoeven. Quad is a bit of an enigmatic style, but I tend to like ales that call themselves quads (Kongings, Samaranth, Pannepot, Boulevard, Four, Westy 12 (only twice), and even the Rev). Now I'm not saying Venus isn't a quad, but I am suggesting here that perhaps it leans a bit toward the similarly amorphous styles Dark Strong Ale or even American Strong Ale? What do you say Frank (AKBelgianBeast)? It clearly has Belgian character, but it also has one huge, strong, bold extroverted personality (assuming a beer can have a personality).
03-27-2009 04:45:59 | More by sprucetip
4.22/5 rDev -2.8%
These 22 bombers are killing me... this is a must pour into a glass, don't waste this guy from inside the bottle.
Appearance: pours mostly dark and chocolatey, stoutish, with slightly red lights through thinner parts of the glass.
Smells of carmelized fruit, brown sugar.
Tastes like a spicy, butterscotch fruit glazed with brown sugar or some sort of carmelization with strong tones of a sweet sweet wine.
Most remarkable thing about this quad is it's ability to hold taste. The taste stays with you & stays strong for up to a minute after the sip. There are also signs of nuts or sugary/spicy malt that is good with a taste that holds.
Mouthfeel is mild carbonation and the wine surely come out here as the buds feel this for a good long minute after the drink hits your stomach.
Drinkability I rate a bit low just because the guy is strong at 14+ percent and its a brown sugary sweet feeling as well. I don't know about you, but I can drink cases of mild beer all day, but I can't drink 50 oz+ of lemon vodka or jungle juice from the sorority girls, just too much sugar for my liking.
07-07-2009 04:09:06 | More by randawakes
4.38/5 rDev +0.9%
22oz bomber courtesy of a very generous Alaska trader poured into a snifter.
This one pours a deep mahogany out of the bottle and settles in almost black in the glass with a rocky tan head that lingers as a small cap for the duration.
The aroma is huge on this one with tons of sweet dark malts, oak tannins, and candied dark fruit, like raisins soaked in booze and covered in brown sugar. There is a dry red wine character that balances the huge sweetness and leaves a bit of alcohol burn in the nose.
The taste is very sweet as well up front with lots of candi sugar and caramel malts. The dark fruits are present as well, but the alcohol really makes its presence felt in the finish with a massive burn in the throat going down. The red wine dryness is barely detectable in the finish with a bit of the barrel presence trying to peak out behind the alcohol burn.
The mouthfeel is crazy smooth and velvety with lots of carbonation which, for me, helps ease the boozy presence a little bit.
This is one helluva big beer from MSBC and despite being fantastic, it's a little on the hot side. I have a feeling that after a year or two, this one will be world class. That said, it's already a seriously great beer and another original brew from the boys in Anchorage.
03-25-2009 01:41:10 | More by gford217
Venus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.