Two Tortugas | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
3.59/5
Good
51 Ratings
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States
karlstrauss.com

Style: Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
It was 2011 when we first released Two Tortugas Belgian Quad as our holiday ale. It was supposed to be a one-time release for the holidays, but your feedback demanded otherwise. Six batches and numerous medals later, our Belgian Quad is back in all its original glory. Two Tortugas has aromas of dark fruit and caramel, with a slight hint of bubblegum from the Belgian Abbey yeast. This beer is robust and full-bodied with rich malty flavors of toffee, plums, and dates. Drink it now or lay it down – Two Tortugas’ journey is just getting started.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#36,399
Reviews:
19
Ratings:
51
pDev:
19.78%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
13
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by beagle75:
Photo of beagle75
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy, medium amber color with a peripheral ring of loose parchment-tinted bubbles. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Crystal malt is syrupy, with some minor savory complexity that suggests a conjunction of Belgian aromatic malt and something more roasted. Malt qualities exceed the tame abbey yeast qualities, although traces of esters are transmitted. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with mild and slightly husky crystal malt that suggests rustic rye bread. Stone fruit is reserved. The remaining flavor profile is defined by its overall softness; no tasted acidity during the transition to the middle coupled with a gradual tapering-off of malt-derived intensity makes for a pleasant experience that lacks intensity. Some stale herbaceous hops bitterness adds to authenticity in the finish. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, supple and slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This high gravity seasonal contribution from Karl Strauss was hailed as a particularly enjoyable quadrupel when it was released over two years ago. Presently it would find itself in good company amongst most high-end American versions, with enough balance to establish it as a traditional take on the style.

 1,283 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear reddish brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and fruity with a big brown sugar and figs aroma. Gingerbread and frosting scents, yes it smells sweet. Ethanol fumes carry the scent of butter rum candy. Quite a pleasant aroma.

Starts out sweet with a buttered rum flavor. Brown sugar and tobacco flavors with a bock like bitterness. Little bit of ethanol burn. Finally a little toffee candy.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty beer but on the sweet side.

 489 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a meringue of a head that fades a bit too quickly though it does leave a smattering of lace around the tulip

Smell: Rum-soaked cherry, caramel and pecans

Taste: Caramel and pecans, up front, followed by the rum-soaked cherry flavors bulding into a peppery, yeasty crescendo by mid-palate; after the swallow, the candi sugar moves the brew into a sweeter realm, while the alcohol adds a warm sensation in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Quite a surprise at how well Karl Strauss tackled a difficult style to brew; while the mouthfeel needs some work, the flavor profile is spot on

Thanks, jodan, for the opportunity

 708 characters

Photo of kenzak
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of HopHead84
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/23/2011

On tap at Karl Strauss.

A: Dark brownish red with a fleeting beige head. Nice color.

S: Toffee is rich and esters are pronounced, reminiscent of plum, date, and prune. Phenolics are peppery and I get a touch of booze in the nose. Caramel accompanies bread and faint toasted notes.

T: Sweet toffee accompanies fig, date, prune, and plum. There's a mild pepper-like spiciness with a soft alcohol profile. Breadiness is pronounced and there's a light bitterness.

M: Upper medium body with matching carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Overall: A well done Belgian Strong Dark.

 602 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -44.3%

Photo of LKFH
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of animal69
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Karl Stauss in Anaheim, on to the beer:

How about a quadrupel before a baseball game? This dark brown beer does justice for the style (at least by American standards) with succulent dark fruits (dates, raisins, pears) and hidden alcohol, swimming in a full body that is best respected with slow sips than a quick chug.

 329 characters

Photo of Philousa
2.02/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at The Regal Beagle in San Diego 12/29/11.

A ruddy brown color, a bit murky, red wine burgundy with wispy head. Little to no head present at the end of the glass. Mild nuttiness, candied sugar, and caramel covered fresh baked bread aromas. Sweet brown sugar, and thick caramel flavors with an alcohol burn lingering. Middling mouthfeel tending towards thick. Dry finish.

This has so much candied sugar present that I wonder if a confectioner engineered this brew. I'm not a big fan of candied sugar unless it's used sparingly or equally with another strong, but opposite flavor. That was not the case with this beer. I think of a Quad as a very complex dark Belgian. I was proved wrong once with Deschutes' The Stoic, which wasn't dark. This beer just reinforced my belief that a Quad must be, above all else, complex.

 827 characters

Photo of ehammond1
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On Tap

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Dark plum color with ruby edges. Very thin khaki colored head and zero lacing left down the glass--no cling whatsoever.

At first, the aroma is decent enough: plum, raisins, dark breads, and a bit of black pepper. As the beer warms, however, the strong, hot, and stinging alcohol content overpowers much of anything else.

The taste follows a similar journey as the aroma: initially, the beer is decent with the dark fruits, caramel malt, mild bitterness, and a touch of spice pushing through. Though, at any temperature but very, very cold, the beer becomes an unbalanced, alcoholic mess.

The mouthfeel is thin and oily--not particularly appropriate for the style.

This was nothing more than a slightly better than average quad. Significant warming does this beer no favors.

 829 characters

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of stawn
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of ineva
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of mhaugo
2/5  rDev -44.3%

Photo of jeezie
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle version seems to have a nice carbonation and lacing. Tastes like a fruity liqueur, like the orange Licor de Naranjas they put in margaritas. So sweet at first taste, but the many flavors stretch out with some bitterness underneath. Sharp taste also gives it some balance.

Boozy aroma with hot cherry flavor, golden raisins, and loads of toffee. A pleasant sip though not my favorite example of the style. Still, well made and clean flavors of malt and more malt.

 470 characters

Photo of kds2437
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy dark red-brown with a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades fairly quickly.

S - Dark caramel malts, date, plum, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, spices, candi sugar, brown sugar, hint of vanilla, and some booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, date, raisin, plum, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove and other spices, candi and residual sugars, some booze.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Excellent Quad. Really nice balance and smoothness.

 525 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of DovaliHops
2.71/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, purplish-amber color with very little white head. Scent is dark fruits with some spices as well. Heavy caramel malt. Taste is initially delicious dark fruits with a strange berry syrup flavor...like the kind you would put on a snow cone. Very sweet candied sugar flavors with caramel malt and booze. Mouthfeel is thin and syrupy. Not the greatest. Drinkability is fair, as this beer becomes more and more syrupy and boozy as it warms. Overall, the dark fruit flavors are nice, but that's about all this beer has going for it. I also don't see it aging well.

 572 characters

Photo of wattershed
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of danwho
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of crvcac
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby/garnet hues
Smell: warming alcohol in the nose, toffee, dark fruits, moderate phenols
Taste: toffee, mild alcohol, toffee, copious amounts of dark fruit, again moderate phenols, belgian candy sugar
Mouthfeel: for an 11% beer, the alcohol is masked extremely well. very sweet, but now cloying
Overall: a great beer. with a little age on this one I can see the intensity rounding out.

 416 characters

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Two Tortugas from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 51 ratings