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
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River North Brewery
Colorado, United States
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #41
Ranked #5,105
4.17 | pDev: 9.35%
May 24, 2022
Jul 24, 2012
Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBarrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
Notes: Our signature Quadrupel aged in Whiskey Barrels. Released once per year.

23 IBU
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Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

May 24, 2022
Rated: 4.11 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Dec 23, 2021
Photo of CraftFan5
Reviewed by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
5 February 2020 - Beer #21

Price: $11.99 at Mr. B's in Denver

Appearance: 3 - Quads and barleywines tend to look alike: ugly. Darker than usual, no head whatsoever after about 10 seconds.

Nose: 5 - ooo, lots of barrel! Digging a little deeper reveals tons of fruit, like raspberries and cherries mashed up together. Complex!

Taste: 3 - might be infected... A little tartness with some off flavors. Really not terrible, but I can't imagine this was the plan.

Mouth: 3 - kind of flat, maybe a little bubbly on the tip of my tongue.

Overall: 3 - a bit disappointing. Must have been really good sans infection, because it's still decent, not at all a drain-pour. If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.

Feb 06, 2020
Rated: 4.51 by Gagnonsux from Texas

Sep 22, 2019
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Reviewed by Greywulfken from New York

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Ah, quads and english barleywines just bloom with a little barrel aging, and this is an example of how nice that marriage can be... Deep ruby brown and clear with a short-lived tan head, this 2019 vintage presents ample notes of sweet, lightly-boozed fruits such as date and fig - aromas of whiskey wood accentuate the fruity flavors and lighten the feel on the palate... Moderately sweet, not much by way of bitterness, smooth, and graceful... a real nice drink...
Feb 21, 2019
Photo of Avitra
Reviewed by Avitra from California

4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
It’s nice and Smokey. Definitely feeling the whisky along with anice and grapes. More bubbly than expected but good even on summer day. Refreshing though heavy and quite unique
Aug 26, 2018
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Bottle info: VINTAGE - 2017 RELEASE NO. - 5 MO. IN BARRELS - 18 CASES BOTTLED - 125 ABV - 11.1%

Somewhat murky, reddish-brown body; thin yet lasting head; some rings of carbonation down the glass. Strong aroma of roasted grains, caramel, and big whiskey notes. Rich brown sugar and caramel flavors soon followed with an intense, penetrating whiskey presence; some dark fruit notes like figs. Heavy body yet ironically seems a bit weak; warm and rich overall; plenty of boozy heat.

The whiskey barrel aging dominates this beer yet enough of the quadrupel base remains to add depth and complexity to things. It's a tad disappointing in the mouthfeel, but otherwise shines in all other aspects.
Jun 16, 2018
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Reviewed by larryi86 from Delaware

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Thank you Wasatch for this
375 ml bottle poured into a goblet

A- A clear brownish ruby red with a very small off white head.

S- Whiskey, dark fruits, some cherries, some vanilla, touch of caramel malts and dark chocolate.

T- Whiskey, caramel malts, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, earthy.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A solid barrel aged Quad, not as complex as some of the other Quads I’ve tried but still tasty and worth seeking out.
Oct 07, 2017
Rated: 4.24 by Blazer22 from Colorado

Aug 10, 2017
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Reviewed by Wasatch from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
12.6 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some dark fruits, nice touch of whiskey/oak. The taste is malty, yeasty, very nice touch of dark fruits, nice touch of whiskey/oak. Full Body, ABV hidden pretty well, a nice complex brew. Overall, a very tasty brew.
Apr 04, 2017
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Reviewed by strohme2 from Michigan

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours a murky brown/red. Small off white head that leaves just a small ring around the glass with small soapy bubbles. Smells like cherry, whiskey and wood, some alcohol heat. Taste is cherry syrup then tart cherry, plums, light whiskey, wood, raisins, caramel. Tiny bubbles tickle the tongue. A unique beer with red wine like tastes.
Apr 03, 2017
Photo of BEERchitect
Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
While the "mile high" goes all "dark strong", the brewers of River North embrace both arenas of thought by brewing a true to style Belgian dark strong ale and marinating it in whisky barrels for a mile high kind of taste and effect.

Whisky Barrel Quandry pours a hazy garnet with a tepid off white froth. Medium on stature and longevity, the bubble pop to release a host of sweet malts, dark fruit, stone fruit, spice and with a tingle of whisky. Sweet to taste, a medley of steely caramel, honeysuckle, brown sugar and hard candy play early on the tongue.

The ale simply blossoms on the middle palate. Relaxing sweetness allows for the fruit forward taste of fruitcake to slowly take command. Stronger with red grape, blackberry, plum and currant, a natural red wine flavor permeates the taste. A backdrop of raisin, date and fig are balanced with light peppercorn, sassafras-like hops and a velvety vinous plum wine character.

Sitting on the lighter side of full, the beer's lasting sweetness is of sweet wine with those hard candy influence playing a grape tone into a spicy, woodsy and slightly tart finish. Simmering warmth of brandy and the savory dryness of madeira lead into a semi-long aftertaste with a carbonated zest.
Mar 17, 2017
Rated: 3.8 by DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

Nov 28, 2016
Rated: 4.07 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado

Aug 07, 2016
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Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Appearance: Pours tea brown with a modest cap; dots of lacing hang around

Smell: Brown-edged sugar cookies soaked in whiskey

Taste: Whiskey tones dominate the front end, with the brown sugar and vanilla cookie elements building; overwhelmingly sweet, through the middle, with just a hint of stone fruit; boozy finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Overly sweet and one dimensional; lacks the layers of complexity that should be there in a quad

Thanks, eawolff99. for the opportunity
Jan 22, 2016
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Reviewed by zac16125 from South Carolina

4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
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
Reviewed by maximum12 from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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
Rated: 4.25 by FLBeerGuy from Florida

Sep 29, 2015
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Reviewed by EyePeeAyBryan from Arizona

4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Draft in River North tasting room - 2015/fall

Probably in the top 5 beers I had for GABF weekend 2015. Pours a dark brown color, a little murky and not much head. Smells of sweet dark fruit, whiskey, vanilla and caramel. Aroma comes through in the exact same way for the taste and it's just glorious. Doesn't have the syrup feel for a big quad but instead a great balance of all flavors and a great mouthfeel. I'll finish by saying I normally HATE quads but this was just spectacular.
Sep 28, 2015
Rated: 4.23 by RajaSTL from Missouri

Sep 26, 2015
Rated: 3.53 by mendvicdog from Maryland

Sep 23, 2015
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
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
Reviewed by DeepBrew from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
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
Rated: 4.44 by Tommo from Massachusetts

Apr 23, 2015
Photo of sjdevel
Reviewed by sjdevel from Utah

4.99/5  rDev +19.7%
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
Reviewed by samuelp23 from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
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
Reviewed by Beer-Revelry from Texas

4.95/5  rDev +18.7%
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
Rated: 4.7 by Bitterbill from Wyoming

Mar 31, 2015
Rated: 4.33 by DahWag from Colorado

Mar 17, 2015
Rated: 5 by kylemckinnis from Colorado

Mar 15, 2015
Rated: 4.13 by pagesofphotographs from Colorado

Feb 28, 2015
Rated: 3.71 by spoony from Colorado

Feb 27, 2015
Rated: 4.07 by Stillmakingnoise from Colorado

Feb 19, 2015
Rated: 4.05 by 2013beer101 from Colorado

Feb 15, 2015
Rated: 3.87 by ThomasC from Colorado

Jan 24, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by GRG1313 from California

Jan 01, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by BDeibs from Colorado

Jan 01, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by lysergicdream from Colorado

Dec 05, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

Sep 04, 2014
Rated: 4 by afsdan from Colorado

May 22, 2014
Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from River North Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 53 ratings