Bellwoods Brewery

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Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #48
Ranked #4,221
4.19 | pDev: 9.31%
Bellwoods Brewery
Ontario, Canada
Notes: From the belly of the dragon (barrel room), comes a boozy brew that already seems to have a serious reputation. What started off as a relatively traditional Quad recipe, went into our beloved oak barrels alongside a healthy dose of Brettanomyces Lambicus, and like a recluse, there it stayed for the better part of a year. As to what Lambda was doing while on sabbatical for a year, it’s tough to say. Perhaps it was reading post apocalyptic fiction, or just diabolically planning its return…
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 65
Photo of Rutager
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's gushing like a ....wait. whatever popped into your head right then says alot about you. Anyways...
Amazing nose full of plums, raisins, and all dark fruits, brown sugar, and a touch of booze and earthy clove.
Taste is along the same lines ...just so much luscious dark fruit brown sugar and burnt caramel, light spice and a light woody bitterness in the finish.
There's a touch of oxidization in the nose and taste. Just a bit of cardboard but some nice sherry too. This is a b1 (2014) bottle from a bro I know. Thanks, Damon!

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Photo of Bunman3
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another incredibly interesting brew from Bellwoods. This acts like I expect a Quad to act - fizzy, quickly rising white head that disappears quickly. The smell is heavy on sugar, light on yeast, with ripe juicy raisin assertions. Taste wise, the sweet is just enough - not overpowering, and the Brett seems to pull the whole package together. I have tasted very few things as unique as this beer. It's not completely my thing, but I have deep respect for the folks who pulled this off. A very memorable and distinctive brew.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the brewery for a mighty steep $12.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 10deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens with a mighty POP and pours a 1/2" high off white head that lasted a few minutes until film out. Medium to dark brown colour and filtered clear.

S- Lots of sugar

T- Sugar and spice and everything nice. LOL Not a bad version of a quad. Rather sweet and boozy but the base of the brew is good. Complex to say the least. Wood and heat hit you at the end.

M- Dry and tart. Syrupy at the beginning but that is displaced by dry and tart

O- Nice brew. I like it and will buy again on next release. Have not liked a lot of brews from these guys lately but this one is good.

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went well with........ Leg of Lamb with cinnamon and clove with brown sugar and mustard rub. Roast for 325deg F for 25mins per pound on the leg.


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Photo of imonhiatus
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

snagged a bottle of this at the brewery when I was in town earlier this month. didn't know what to expect in a BA quad w brett...but this is pretty nice. the Brett is not overpowering making it adds a crispness to the brew and tames the barrel back a lot making it fairly drinkable for such a big beer. really solid beer from bellwoods.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From Bellwoods’ retail store Bucky procured a 500 ml bottle of their Lambda Brett-Barrel Aged Quadrupel, 12.0% alcohol by volume with no visible production or best-before date. I believe this one was selling for $12.50 per bottle, but I’m going from memory since my bill wasn’t itemized.

Lambda poured an opaque deep chestnut brown colour, topped by ½” of orange-tinged light tan head that gradually wasted away to a collar and thin film. The retreating head left little spotting or lacing down the glass. The aroma was something unique…sweet caramel and milk chocolate with red-wine vinegar and funky yeast. Getting a big whiff of soy sauce out of the bottle, but not from the glass. Its taste was sweet caramel and milk chocolate up front, followed by a mild funkiness and red-wine vinegar finish. A nice, subtle booziness becomes more evident as the beer warms. This is essentially a messed-up quad…but messed-up in a positive sort of way. It’s a Belgian quad and a lambic in one bottle and this is intriguing stuff. Lambda is a rich, full bodied beer with a tingly carbonation that is more active than a typical quad. Definitely worth a try since you’re unlikely to taste anything like this again…at least not in the same bottle!

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle courtesy of @TheSevenDuffs

The brett is much more muted than I initiated expected (although it did sit for 1 year) but it added an interesting complexity and rounded out the sweetness. Well worth seeking.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown color with a small foamy off-white head that reduces to a thin film floating on top

S- tons of dark fruit on the aroma with an emphasis on dried cranberry and raisin. Just a hint of sour/tart aroma, but barely noticeable

T- sweet caramel/toffee malt up front produces lots of dark fruit flavor that follow the nose; cranberry, raisin, fig & date, a hint of cherry. Hint of vinous notes with some woodsy flavor, singed brown sugar sweetness on the close

M- medium-heavy body with low carbonation leads to a thick mouthfeel and creamy finish

O- a nice quad that provides plenty of those dark fruity characteristics that you look for in the style

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head. Aroma of dry fruits and residual sugars offset by some funky yeast notes is quiet singular and interesting. Taste is also dominated by residual brown sugar notes with some dry fruits and candy ester offset by some Brett and funky yeast notes. Body is full enough for style with good carbonation and some light arming alcohol notes. Very interesting mix with good amount fo complexity while retaining some drinkability.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 29/6/14, thanks liamt07 for yet another want

A dark brown liquid, you can almost see the other side under the foam, gushed when the bottle was cracked no surprise there's a massive three fingers of foam, good retention and leaves lots of random lace

S figs, raisins, brown sugar, sherry notes, wood, just the right amount of brett, some spice and caramel, white grapes, dried cherries, a hint of booze, lots going on, very interesting stuff

T slightly more spice and lots of dried fruit, red vinous notes, funk, brown sugar, lots of wood, slightly different from the nose but just as great

M leaning towards full, creamy, a little heat, sticky on the lips, lots of wood and brown sugar on the finish

O I'm very impressed by this one, so much going on and I can't recall something similar in recent memory, good use of barrels, just the right amount of brett, drinking well now and I'm not sure if I'd want to age it

I wasn't sure what to expect but I loved it start to finish, I'm guessing the base beer was solid before brett and barrel, this one went down a little fast for 11% and I still want another

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Photo of SebD
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a nice creamy beige head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit (grapes and raisins), some tart cherries, oak, sweet caramel and a slight roastiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has alot of sweet dark fruit (grapes, raisins, cherries, dark berries), some Brett funk, oak and sweet caramel.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Another great one by Bellwoods.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Another treat courtesy of Peensteen...

A - Pours a dark ruby, two thumbs of head, solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Dark fruit, plums, raisins, hints of barnyard funk, dried hay, and caramel.

T - Much like the nose, this fruity notes dominate, lots of sweetness, dark fruit and yeast esthers, the brett notes are subtle but still very present, making for a pleasant flavour profile. A bit of ABV heat, but still incredibly drinkable at such a high octane.

M - Medium bodied, a bit sticky on the finish.

O - Another winner from a brewery that seems to be able to live up to the hype. Just a fantastic example of the style and a unique concept brew that pairs sour funk with a sweet dubbel, and pulls it off with flying colours.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a turbid dark brown with ruby glints on the edges. Plenty of patches of lace are left behind by the compact tan head. The aroma is very malty with dark fruit abounding, and a bit of barnyardy funk. The taste is sweet fruityness, toasty dark malts, Raisin Bran, molasses, candy sugar, maple syrup, anise, vanilla etc. etc. with a sherryish and vinous sweetness. Enveloping this Quad maelstrom is a funky,hay, horsey, cidery brett character. The mouthfeel is full bodied and luscious with a low carbonation level. Alcohol surprisingly well hidden throughout for 11%.

Amazingly complex and drinkable Quadrupel, further establishing Bellwoods as the best brewery in Canada imo. Lots of Quad and wine barrel character mixing with a subtle rustic funk, a must try.

I bet it will age quite amazingly, with funkiness increasing.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a stemmed tulip glass.

Pours a dark, ruby-brown with 2-3 fingers of bubbly, tan head that falls quickly to a thick persistent collar and some ephemeral lacing. The nose is full of sweet roasted malt, raisins, dates and Brett! On the palate there is a massive malt profile, sweet caramel, treacle, raisins, honey and vanilla. The Brett really comes out nicely on the finish and attempts to dry out the palate. Lambda has a big body and lots of carbonation (a bit too much). This is a delicious beer with a great deal of complexity.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend brought this back from Toronto for me.

A - Deep ruby colour. Nearly opaque. Very strong carbonation coming up to a thick, two finger light brown head. Spotty lace and a finger of retention.

S - Brett, grapes, dark fruit, acidic, wood, tart cherry notes.

T - Sweeter than aroma leads on. Sugar, dark fruit, yeast, some tartness and heat. Assuming it will show more Brett character when the bottom of the bottle is added. Holy hell this has a nice flavour though. Once the bottom of the bottle is added, there is a bit more funk, but it's not too intense. This is a lovely Quad full of dark fruit and tart cherry notes.

M - Strong carbonation. Might be a bit strong for the style, but the Brett is a wild animal that does this sorta thing, medium to full body and a fruity, plum and Brett finish that is very dry.

O/D - This is solid. I was expecting something overly Bretty like alot of beers that do this, but this was done very well. The brett is balanced and well integrated with the Quad, which seems like a solid base to begin with. No complaints here. Very well done Bellwoods.

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Photo of biegaman
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lambda is not as colourful as its label; the ale is molasses brown and has an equally syrupy complexion (compounded by the fact that it's flat). Indeed, the lack of head and highlights makes for a Dr. Pepper-like appearance, one that fails to live up to the beer's true brilliance.

Lambda is aged in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces but doesn't smell especially tannic or sour; it's more like a raspberry-filled dark chocolate truffle. There's some funk, that's for sure, but it's not enough to curl your nose hairs. There's enough dried fruit, alcohol esters, and malty sweetness to distinguish this as a Quad...

...but also enough kinks that it's apparent this ain't your average monastic Belgian ale. The palate is laced with cherry sweetness and red-wine notes of wild field berries, cedar shavings, musty wood, and a dusting of cocoa. There are also minor hints of black licorice, dark toffee, and a forest-floor earthiness. A tinge of gooseberry sourness too.

Lambda has all the barnyard characteristics and leathery texture of Russian River's funkiest, but it's all buried within so much dried and tart cherry, clove and anise, as well as rich balsamic flavour that it's easy to overlook that fact. This sour, spicy, sweet, funky offering has the depth of an Olympic swimming pool and, even at 11%, no more alcohol presence than a root beer.

More often than the weatherman is wrong, Bellwoods is right. And who could have seen coming a red wine barrel-aged, Brett quad? I'm not sure what the brewer expected to find a year later, but I bet he was mighty happy. I sure am. Whereas most North American offerings aren't fit to wipe the boots of the likes of Westvleteren, Rochefort, or St. Bernardus, this one does its own thing and still manages to show them up at their own game. Another Bellwoods triumph.

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Photo of peensteen
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brownish ruby colour, 1.5 fingers of tan head, a bit of lace as well. Smell is brett and oak forward, dark fruit, plums and raisn, a bit of a port wine and brown sugar as well here. Taste is bretty and funky, dark fruits, raisin and plum, sweet jammy fruits, a bit of alcohol but not close to the 11% listed. Medium carbonation, full body with creamy points. This was really enjoyable, rich and complex, excellent stuff in line with the rest of the stuff these guys are doing.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Poured an opaque deep amber/brown colour with two big fingers of taupe coloured head that slowly receded.

S - The funk from the brett is very noticeable up front. A big sweetness from the base beer adds dark caramel, toffee, dates, raisins and hints of dark fruit.

T -Sweetness up front - caramel, toffee, dates, raisins and plum are all present with a hint of dark cherry coming through as well. The brett is much more muted than the nose suggested, but shows up in the finish adding a slight funk and some dryness. A slight alcohol presence help to cut the sweetness.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Slightly dry. Light carbonation.

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Photo of yancot
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In this new and strange "only reviewed beers count toward a score" world of ours I feel the need to write a quick blurb on a few old gems that deserve the love. Lambda is definitely one! It may not even be my fave Bellwoods offering but it's always felt very underrated. The base beer is boozy and balanced and the brett compliments that base better than i ever could have imagined. Despite its 11% abv i could session this brew if that wasn't utterly foolish. I love this beer and will miss it when the last one is gone.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark brown with a good-sized beige head. Good retention.

Nose is good, with a lot going on. Dark fruits, including cherry, plum and red grape, with a vinous winey note. Oak. The Brett is noticeable, giving a bit of a leathery scent.

Flavour is also very good. Quite sweet, with similar dark fruit flavours, as well as bread. Oak and red wine. The Brett is not strong- it adds a bit of a dryness and a very slight bit of funk, though it is still very sweet.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation level, very silky and smooth.

Overall, I like it very much. You have to like sweet beers, otherwise it will not be up your alley. The barrel and Brett treatment reminds be somewhat of the No Sleep Til Brooklyn, but the base beer is of course very different.

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Lambda from Bellwoods Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 65 ratings