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Venus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Venus - Belgian-Style QuadrupelVenus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 48
Avg: 4.31
pDev: 7.66%
Wants: 60
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  14.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AKBelgianBeast on 11-15-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Venus—goddess of love and beauty—exudes grace and voluptuousness. Indulgent with lush dark malts and sensuous star anise, VENUS is decadent and divine in body and spirit. Leisure lounging in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks results in a lovely liquid feast of fabulously luxurious flavors.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 48
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky chestnut brown with blurry scarlet and orange edges (brighter sunshine might have turned opacity into lucency). The sandstone colored head is surprisingly large, which most likely means generous carbonation. It's whipped creamy, is in no rush to depart, and is doing a decent job with respect to lace.

The aroma is tremendous, despite three fingers of foam. The beer smells like a no-holds-barred BSDA with a generous helping of black licorice, which is courtesy of star anise. This Midnight Sun ale has the potential to be something truly special.

Venus is a wonderful quadrupel that is more true to the style than most. First: the release was 16 months ago and the beer has aged beautifully. While alcohol still packs a punch, it isn't a hot or harsh punch. Second: this big bruiser tastes like a combination of The Beast Grand Cru and Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery. That's good company to be in.

Specifics include dark chocolate-covered caramels, raisin paste, overripe figs, blackstrap molasses, anise and loads of black pepper and clove. It's amazing how bold the various flavors are. They're well-defined, yet work together in seamless fashion to produce a crashing symphony of a Belgian quadrupel that is music to the taste buds.

Truthfully, the whole 'aged in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels' thing is difficult to appreciate given what else is going on. A port wine flavor might be in there somewhere, but I would never have gotten there on my own. It obviously worked, so it looks like that part of the process was as vital as all the rest.

Despite the massive head, which was just recreated on the second pour, the beer is not overcarbonated. It's a little smaller than is optimal, but still has a light chewiness that is impressing more and more with each passing ounce.

Do Alaskans know how lucky they are to have Midnight Sun in their midst? This brewery thinks big, brews big and usually succeeds big. Thanks to sprucetip for one of the most enjoyable quads that I've had in many a moon.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clearish, dark amber body with a small, though creamy-looking, beige-colored head.

Smell: Toasty, biscuity malts with rich, expressive notes of spicy hops, anise oil, a distant red wine barrel, and dried fruits from a trail mix served up with a shot of clean liquor.

Taste: Pale malts along with a maltiness delivering a taste of toasted biscuit tops sweetened with a sprinkling of brown sugar and, why not, some simple table sugar. Touch of dried fruit. Spicy hops display a light, brief bitterness. Add in a full tablespoon of Ouzo. Drying, leathery tannins leech in, as does a lesser hint of red wine. Pinch of chocolate shavings. The strong alcohol presence is definitely evident, but the heavy, dense layers of flavor and complexities help to turn your attention away from it. Return of the anise liqueur for the sweetish, very warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation, which thoughtfully helps to prevent any cloying syrupiness.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable considering the ABV percentage. Though Venus is an inhospitable, downright hellish place, it's namesake beer is one to soak in and savor.

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Photo of jlindros
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to akbeerfiend for this one. Served in my Westvleteren goblet.

A - This one was a slight gusher. Pours with a finger of slow-dissipating ecru foam that settles to a thick cap and leaves solid glass-coating lacing. Body is a very dark brown that is consistent throughout the glass - no light peaking through.

S - Plenty of oak, dark bread, yeast, anise, maple, roasted malts and grain, slight lactic notes. Not much in the way of alcohol at all.

T - Taste is sweet dark fruits, with notes of brown sugar, vanilla and oak. Finish is light roasty bitterness and anise and maybe a touch of spicy phenols.

M - There's a tiny bit of warmth in the finish, but this is probably the smoothest 14.3% beer I've ever had. Smooth, creamy, lower carbonation, medium-full body. Light stickiness in the residual feel.

D - If this is 14.3% then this is the most masterful Houdini job I've ever seen. I can tell from my buzz that this is pretty potent, and that if I didn't share this with ktrillionaire I'd probably be under a table somewhere. Highly recommended!

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Photo of mothman
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours ¼ finger of beige head. Color is a caramel with copper brown hue to it.

Aroma: Rye, oak, gardettos, plums, caramel, toffee, grapes, wine flavors, dark fruits, and raisins. Good.

Taste: Dry oak, caramel, malts, toasted malts, raisins, molasses, dried fruits, plums, very barleywine like and also wine-like. The barrels were a great choice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warming. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very clean.

Overall, a great quad and top notch for the style. Great barrels. Very drinkable. I am a big fan.

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Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.


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Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%?

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Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber fresh from the new brewery, poured into their tall pils glass. Venus is a murky, very dark brown with a big, frothy light tan head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is very strong, a huge punch of anise and alcohol, a bit phenolic.

Taste is robust, but luckily not as strong on the anise, which frankly, on the nose, scared me. But actually it's pretty smooth, big caramel and figs, certainly some anise, no coriander though that I can tell. Also, I was really hoping to get more from the cab barrels, but it's really just a generic vanilla oakiness.

Mouthfeel is typical MSBC creamy, only medium bodied. For a stupid strong beer, it's super digestible.

Drinkability is surprisingly high. I had Mercury first, and this actually went down easier. And it was just because I was already buzzed, Venus was just that much tastier! I can't believe its so damn strong, you'd never guess it from the taste. But the fact is, it's a strong ass, intensely flavored, not cheap bomber.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of gford217
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of kwjd
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sammy had shared this bottle. Pours a dark brown colour with a finger or so of head. Lacing around much of the glass. Smells quite oaky for a quad (probably barrel aged?), chocolate, candied sugar, with Belgian yeasty aroma. Flavour is fairly sweet, not cloying though. Medium bodied mouthfeel for a quad. I guess I'll likely never try this again if it was only brewed once, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber into tulip on 10/30/09. Thanks to KRAMER17081 for sharing!

A - Poured a dark cola brown body with an almost purple tint and a frothy light tan/beige-colored head that reduced to a patchy retention and sparse lacing.

S - Initial aroma is strong and boozy with a prevalent dark fruit suggesting raisins, prunes and currants. Hints of star anise/licorice and chocolate also emerge.

T - Like the aroma, the flavor boasts a ton of dark fruit character, especially heavy on prunes and raisins, but also black cherry. A hint of sourness develops in the middle, accompanied by some drier woody notes and tannins. Finishes with a mild earthy hop bite.

M - Venus is uber-full-bodied with a thick, syrupy texture and chewy mouthfeel. Finishes slightly dry with rich, sugary sweetness on the palate.

D - This is a freakin' huge Quad to say the least, and half a bomber was certainly more than enough for me. Still, not too shabby for a 14.3% heavyweight.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to imperialking for cracking this one at the Chicago Burbs Random Mega Tasting. Poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a mirky caramel brown-color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Dark fruit, burnt sugars, oak, light cabernet, and light oxidization. The sweetness & booze work wonders together and the oxidization is there but compliments the beer. All very mellow, yet very complex.

T - Lots of sweetness in the form of caramel, burnt sugars, plums, figs, raisins, molasses mixed with a very smooth booze and perfect barrel notes. The cabernet doesn't come through quite as much as the nose, and it's more oak then anything. Booze is ultra-smooth for 14.3%...aging really nice. Finish is caramel & booze.

M - Full body, rich and smooth, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - An excellent BA Quad from MS. Once again, they make yet another amazing beer that appears to be aging gracefully. I'd say there's still another year left in this beer, which is crazy. Overall, give me more!

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Photo of DucksFan16
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. This brew pours a dark reddish-brown with a tan head. The flavors of this beer change as it warms up towards room temperature. One of the most complex tasting beers I’ve tried in quite some time. Fruits, caramel, licorice, candy sugar hints come through with the addition of the oak from the aging in the cabernet barrels. Lovely beer.

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Photo of portia99
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours with a full three inch-plus head of dense tan froth, and a dark, clear ruby body when held to the light. The whipped foam settled slowly to a solid quarter inch on the surface, with ripped rings of thick lacework.
A hump in the middle of the surface is evident from the etching in the bottom of the Duvel tulip.

Aromatics lead off with lush malts, ripe fruit, spicey phenols, and rich Cabernet tannins.
Grape jam, raisins, nougat, black licorice, and red wine. Some mild, boozy fusels follow through.

The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with the body being on the thick side of medium. Slightly chewy and quite velvety.

Sweet, fresh malt, rum-soaked raisins, red grapes, and anise lead off the palate. Caramel, peppered figs, earthy tannins, and a building boozy component step forward. Hints of Schezuan peppercorns, vanilla, toffee, and cocoa follow through.

Finishes with a lingering warmth, shades of brown sugar, and a bit of tart, oaky red wine.

Wowza. This one should be called Bonanza. Think of an Imperialized Pannepot aged in Cabernet barrels. The Anise is a bit heavy now, and the brew could a bit of drying up in the cellar. Give this one a few years and I'm thinking straight fives.

Redonkulous gratitude going out to Tim in Alaska for such a tasty one.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another dmeadows treat.

A: Burnt orange color with a touch of a cola color to it. Really nice looking beer.

S: Oak. Sweetness. I did pick up some anise but I always pick that out. Kind of a tight nose.

T: Super sweet. The oak comes through nicely. Little bit of dark fruit in there as well. The ABV is noticable but not too hot.

M: Very syrupy body. Very low carbonation.

D: Again no hint of the 14.3%. They make some of the best big beers you have no idea are big. Just a really great drinker.

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Venus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.