4Shadow | Freetail Brewing Company

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18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Freetail Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Smoke Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jnn4v on 03-04-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by cisteve:
Photo of cisteve
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this growler. Always excited to try a new beer from Freetail.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate, roasted malt and smoke. The smoke is not dominant, but it compliments the other flavors very nicely.

The smoke is more prominent in the flavor. Other than the smoke, I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt. The smoke is not harsh, but is definitely the focus of the beer.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 484 characters

Photo of nickhiller
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of spaceycasey
4.49/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pulled from my tasting notes on a 01/27/09 visit.

This beer is currently listed as a Quad here on BA - but it is more certainly not a Quad. I had the same explanation provided to me from the owner - that this is being called a "Belgian Smoked Stout." The owner, Scott, said he searched fairly extensively on Google as was confident this is the first recorded version of a Belgian Smoked Stout.

Appearance is black, opaque with a thick creamy head. Upon first glance one might mistake the beer for a nitro-stout, but taste tells you otherwise.

Smell is the highlight of this beer in my opinion - lots of complex things going on with this beer. Smoke, chocolate, and Belgian phenols & esters all interacting and playing off one another. Unlike anything I've ever encountered in a beer before.

Taste is along the lines of the smell. Chocolate and smoke are the first to hit you, with the Belgian charateristics coming out shortly thereafter. It's as though you took a De Dolle, dropped in a Hersey's Kiss and set it on fire.

Mouthfeel is smooth and enjoyable. Maybe slightly higher carbonation that a stout or a porter, but still very enjoyable. Since this is theoretically the first of a style, hard to judge against anything else.

While I found this extremely enjoyable, I don't think I could drink more than one just because of the strength of the flavors found within. One of the bartenders mentioned to me that he is personally responsible for putting a huge dent in their inventory after each shift - so at least someone finds it highly drinkable.

 1,556 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of fthomasl pours a rich black color with a fluffy cap of tan foam. Pretty nice looking growler pour here.

Nose is roasty chocolate with a compliment of smoke, rather than that being the whole enchilada. Some black licorice and burnt biscuit bottoms come out as it warms.

First couple sips I was a bit disappointed in the lack of rich malts and sweetness. But after a couple ounces, the smooth, silky roast and light smoke take over and it is just so damn drinkable! It is like a thirst-quenching smoked beer, how cool is that? Very much so…this growler wont last long. Some mild brown bread and licorice notes are there for some depth. Nice brew!

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Photo of datphoo
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of AndyD
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of videofrog
3.69/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Freetail. 16oz pour into a standard pint glass.

A: Dark brown with a light tan head. Minimal lacing down the sides.

S: Really good bacon smoke here. Dominates over the slightly present roasted malts (mainly coffee).

T: Follows the nose almost perfectly. Able to detect the Belgian yeast way in the aftertaste once the brew warms up.

M: This was the only disappointment, as I found the body to be very thin and under-carbonated (even for a stout).

O: Taste was really good; couldn't get enough of that bacon smoke. I see the abv listed here as 7.0, but the menu listed it as 3.9% when I had it Saturday night 2/4/12. This was my first Freetail brew and it definitely has me curious about their others.

 722 characters

Photo of cjtwigger
1.5/5  rDev -58.6%

Photo of elNopalero
4.04/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruddy. I really like the aroma on this—it’s super-smokey, to the point where the smoke dominates over the roast and about anything else. That’s not a bad thing in my book! Smokey flavor, smoky finish, smoke runs through the body. Dry, not sweet, and light bodied (for a stout). At 3.9% this could easily be the last beer of the night, or a sessionable warmer.

 376 characters

Photo of Phoenix2443
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of DexterP236
1/5  rDev -72.4%

Photo of duff247
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black with red hues when held to the light, topped off with a tan head about a finger thick that fades to a thin lacing on the top.

Aroma: Big smokey notes, like putting your nose in a campfire. Peaking through the smoke is a chocolate aroma and roasted grains.

Taste: Slightly smokey, roasty, and chocolatey with a hint of bacon, probably derived from the smoke.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation and a dry smokey finish.

Overall: It's like a baby La Muerta, which makes since because it's from the second runnings.

 581 characters

Photo of jl28r1
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of jnn4v
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an interesting beer. In fact, I'm not even officially sure what Beer Style to have added it under. I picked "Quad" since it has the name "4Shadow" and I'm guessing that play on words hints that it's a quad. However, the owner calls it a "smoked Belgian stout." That category certainly doesn't exist on the BA list, and it was a quite unique beer.

A: Very dark, but not quite as thick or oily as their imperial stout. It was black, not brown, except for the dark brown head and the foam around the edges.

S: Burned wood, caramelized sugar, Belgian yeast, alcohol. Some coffee did come through on the 2nd attempt.

T: Pretty tasty, but definitely weird. It wasn't an exceptional beer in any regard, and I'm still debating whether or not I liked it (yes, I know I said it was tasty). Maybe flavorful is a better term? Anyway, it had classic stout elements (coffee, chocolate) along with classic Belgian Double/Quad elements (yeast, alcohol, toasted malts, maybe some molasses) and also a persistent overtone of smoke.

M: Good mouthfeel, but not great. Maybe I'm just a bit jaded now since I already had the imperial stout and the winter warmer, both of which were very good. This is much more carbonated, as I guess it should be since it's got wild yeast, but still a bit much for something parading as a stout or quad.

D: Not bad at all. It was enjoyable, but odd. Relatively low ABV for the style and not-too-thick texture makes it more drinkable, but the relatively high carbonation and odd flavor combos don't help much.

 1,549 characters

Photo of pwsoldier
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of billab914
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had during my visit to texas a few weeks back. Reviewed from notes. It was Dark brown in color with a thin and brown head concentrated around the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows roasted malts with a bit of smoke to it. Just a bit of a tart fruit like flavor comes through in it as well. Pretty flavorful, the tart and fruit like flavor mixing with the smoke was pretty interesting.

The roasted malts come through first and foremost with some roasted, slightly burnt bitterness. There is a modest amount of smoke along with a tart fruit or apple like flavor in the finish. Pretty flavorful and interesting beer.

It was medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was good, I really enjoyed this one and it was the best one I had that evening. It had a lot of flavors to it and they all mixed pretty well without one completely dominating. Very nice beer overall.

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4Shadow from Freetail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 18 ratings