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

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Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBarrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
32 Ratings
Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBarrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
River North Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RuckusDu on 07-24-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by mactrail:
Photo of mactrail
3.15/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of jmgrub
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of pagesofphotographs
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of blindpiggie
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zac16125
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
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

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Photo of UpToMeBeer
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
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...

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Photo of Graviz
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BigLittleHokis
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of BDeibs
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Stillmakingnoise
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JMBSH
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of chugalug06
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 1,317 characters

Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of RajaSTL
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.95/5  rDev +19.9%
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!!!!!

 1,187 characters

Photo of sjdevel
4.99/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

 1,025 characters

Photo of Kuester
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of maximum12
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 1,297 characters

Photo of ThomasC
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lysergicdream
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

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Barrel Series No. 3: Quandary - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from River North Brewery
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 32 ratings