Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
River North Brewery

Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBarrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Quadrupel (Quad)
4.14 | pDev: 9.66%
River North Brewery
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBarrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of zac16125
zac16125 from South Carolina

4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a chalice

A:Murky brown with subtle amber hues when held to light. Less than 1/2 fingers width of light tan head dissipates quickly but leaves a good amount of lacing. 4

S: Very sweet, lots of caramel/toffee, dark fruits, apple, vinous notes. Barrel notes with charred oak and bourbony vanilla. Excellent nose. 4.5

T: Like the nose its very sweet. I get caramel and toffee, candied sugar, and dark fruits. Subtle cocoa and bitterness. Barrel notes are noticeable but aren’t particularly prominent. Some balancing booze. Delicious. 4.25

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation on the lower end but appropriate, ABV is very well masked and drinkability is very good. 4.5

O: Really nice beer here. Quite enjoyable. 4.25

Nov 11, 2015
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer smuggled out of Colorado, this 22 oz. bottle sports a lovely black-and-white (with a red highlight) label that would look appropriate on a $173 bottle of wine. Classy. Dated 2015, release 3. Split with my wife.

The pour is a fuddled, very dark orange, minimal head; looks solid enough to walk across. Those nose is interesting: tons of sugar, sweet apples, and barrel that feels more rum-like & festive than a gun-totin’ whiskeyness. Huh.

Quandary - Whiskey Barrel Aged takes a backhoe to the style. Whiskey is in charge here, kicking the upper lip & the palate, but by the finish - vanished like a fart in the wind, as The Warden once said. After that it’s all kinds of freak. There’s that apple juice/cider, sweet, sweet sugars that give my next door neighbor a diabetic attack just from proximity, raisins, & a bite that stops just this side of tart before it’s overwhelmed by the air horn of sweetness. The back-story is almost wine-like, oaky, & a touch of peat. Heavy, a bit under carbonated, but the complexities keep me coming back for more.

There’s more going on in this beer than in an Edward Gibbon doorstop (which brings back memories oh, so, many, hours, of, memories). But who gives a shit? It’s tasty, & that’s what tickles the tail. Excellent beer.

Oct 29, 2015
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

cool beer here, 2013 edition, on tap at falling rock for the GABF launch party last night. a real unimpressive look to it, lots of sediment and almost no head, a weird opaque brass to brown color, odd and swirling. it smells strange too, maybe a little oxidized and with hints of bandaid or medical tape going on, but i get the barrel through the scent too, and its vanilla forward with a nice char on it. the flavor is so much better than the nose, almost unexpectedly good after it. tons of whiskey, and a nice belgian yeast strain that has held up well and continued to dry this out quite a bit, so much less sweet than i remember it being in the bottle. its lack of carbonation doesnt hurt it much for me, its drinking more like a barleywine at this point, with some of the malt complexity dumbed down or mellowed together enough to be kind of straight forward in its richness. the alcohol is also quite muted for its strength, i am impressed by that too. obviously a beer that ages pretty well. i like how many quads these guys do, its a style that doesnt get enough attention in america, and it was nice to have one of this depth and quality, although i think i probably prefer it fresh. the complexity seems to have fallen off. overall though a real nice treat to start a special week here in denver.

Sep 22, 2015
Photo of DeepBrew
DeepBrew from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bomber into goblet.

A: Hazy caramel with a slim white foam, leaving behind spotty lacing.

S: Great dark fruit smell throughout, with malt and booze keeping it company.

T: Rich dark fruit, wine-like flavors, the booze feels to me more like rum than whisky.

M: Strong, almost creamy feel

O: Excellently done, 'upgraded' quad

May 10, 2015
Photo of sjdevel
sjdevel from Utah

4.99/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Case: 120 Release No: 3 Year: 2015

Appearance of this beer is an amber/brown, mostly cloudy with some co2 bubbles and riled up sediment apparent. No head to speak of but a bit of a foam ring and some stuck to the sides of the glass.

Smell is of apple cider and a hint of a tart vinegary aroma.

Taste, at first, is a battle between sweet and sour that quickly gets cut with a bite of whiskey. The whiskey fades and you are left with a mixture of sweet, sour, apple, raisin, and wine with a smokey/oaky tart finish. Heavy Malt and Belgian yeast tones are apparent throughout.

The mouth-feel of this beer is fairly thick and creamy without much carbonation present. This is surprisingly a fuller bodied taste than expected.

Overall, this is a great Belgian Quad that is further enhanced by being aged in whiskey barrels where it can draw out the charred oak and whiskey flavors. I live just over an hour from this brewery and just may drive up there and give the brewmaster(s) a big bear hug. Very pleased.

Apr 11, 2015
Photo of samuelp23
samuelp23 from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark but clear; not much head
S: Apple cider; raison and grape; alcohol hits ya strong; oaky, vanilla;
T: Cranberry at the beginning and finishes with prunes; cloves and allspice (like chai); alcohol in the finish
F: smooth; not overly carbonated; soft bubbles;
O: Very good strong belgian; well aged; a good sipping beer; good with stilton

Apr 09, 2015
Photo of Beer-Revelry
Beer-Revelry from Texas

4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay beer chalice.

A - 4.5 - Poured a very hazy, dark brown with touches of orange and ruby. Formed about a third finger of lightly tan colored, quickly dissipating head. Weak head potential and retention, but to be expected from the extreme ABV. Nice solid lacing rings left behind on the walls of the glass.
S - 5 - It's exactly what you'd want it to smell like. Plum, raison, black cherry, wine, belgian yeast and malt.
T - 5 - Oh man, wow. Upfront at first sip there is lightly sweet belgian yeast and malt, but suddenly it develops, especially as you exhale, HUGE amounts of raisin, currant, fig, plum, bourbon, caramel, marzipan, vanilla, black cherries and grapes, wine and a GIANT dusting of brown sugar. Absolutely delectable.
F - 4.75 - Nice medium/full bodied creamy mouthfeel.
O - 5 - This is what I would consider an ideal, PERFECT representation of the Belgian quad style, and the whiskey barrel aging really adds a nice touch of brown sugar to the brew. If you're fortunate enough to get your hands on this stuff, you HAVE to give it a try and set some back in the cellar to age if you're a fan of the style. You will NOT be disappointed in this one!!!!!

Apr 01, 2015
Photo of StoneTSR
StoneTSR from Colorado

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Deep, gorgeous, mahogany in color with a quarter-inch head that foams up for three seconds before quickly fading into just a few wisps floating around on the surface. There is no lacing to speak of.

SMELL: The aroma here is strong and oozes malt; brown sugar, banana, clove, coriander, sweetness. This is a very well-balanced smell with the banana becoming much more pronounced when the beer is swirled.

TASTE: The term “malt bomb” does not carry the same connotation that “hop bomb” does, so I am hesitant to use the term here, but I mean it in the same sense as a hop bomb in that this is everything you want malt to be in a beer. The level of sweetness is just perfect for the style, short of being cloying, but strong enough to make for an outstanding dessert beer. The yeast is also doing a lot of wonderful things here, providing that outstanding banana and clove flavor.

MOUTHFEEL: A very light tickle compliments the fuller-bodied, rich and very sweet mouthfeel. Despite the “very sweet” aspect, it is still amazingly drinkable.

OVERALL: As a Barleywine fan, this beer reminds me a lot of a nice, big American-style Barleywine if it were focused all on the malt with no gigantic hop bill to balance it out. Not my favorite style, but a beautifully crafted beer for the category.

Aug 15, 2013
Photo of UpToMeBeer
UpToMeBeer from Colorado

4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just made my first trip to River North; tried a few offerings; this was my favorite. It's got the raisins, burnt sugars, Belgian yeast you'd expect from a Belgian quad. A nice assortment of spices. Really impressed by this. If I wasn't in such a hurry, I'd have let it warm more to discover (perhaps) even more...

Jan 31, 2013
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark amber brown in the Societe small nonic. Not much foam, but a little spritz in the mouth. Aroma of dried figs and bread.

Intensely raisiny, some burnt sugar, and the dry burn of the Belgian yeast. Tastes more bitter than the claimed 24 IBU. Some serious fruitcake flavors. Very dark roasted malt. The yeasty Belgian flavors come on strong. Spicy and a little hot on the tongue. Some sweet flavors but a lighter body than you'd expect for a Quad. This is kind of an oddity. More like a murky Dubbel with a shot of vodka.

Brewery says this is 9.6% ABV. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Grapevine Liquors in Denver. Release no. 1, bottle 105 of 300.

Dec 29, 2012
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06 from Colorado

3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Flat appearance. Brew is super cloudy dark purple in color.

Lots of barrel, vanilla, raisin in the nose.

Tons of barrel! Smooth and delicious. Mild carbonation, and decent sweetness. Lots of grape-y tones. Bitter for a quad.

Refreshing for a hot day. A bit on the bitter side and on the underwhelming side. But, worth the $12 paid. Recommended.

Jul 28, 2012
Photo of RuckusDu
RuckusDu from Colorado

3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #216/300 from release #1. This is their dark Belgian style ale aged in whiskey barrels until it tasted awesome.

A - There was maybe a finger of light cappuccino head that slowly falls. Body is super cloudy almost plum in color. Dark red and brown with only the slightest purple to it.

S - Absolutely one of the best aromas. Tons of great sweet whiskey, vanilla, caramel. The dark fruits only come out after a little time and there is a ton of sweet prunes and raisins.

T - Lots of whiskey and some vanilla and oak. Some alcohol. The flavors don't meld well.

M - Just too light for this beer. The body is not there. Carbonation is fine.

O - Very near a great beer.

Jul 24, 2012
Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from River North Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 32 ratings