- Style: Quadrupel. God I love a good Quad (although "God I love a good Quad" is not an official variation category)
- ABV: 11.0%
- Ease to locate: Une Annee is a pretty new Chicago brewery just celebrating their 6 month bottling anniversary. They are rather easy to find in Chicagoland beer stores (and the simplistically minimal label makes them stand out brilliantly on a crowed craft shelf) Like many of the baby breweries, they keep their fans very well updated on deliveries through social media. Here's a link to Une Annee Facebook and a link to their Twitter account.
- Color: A soft, mahogany brown with amber undertones that is slightly see through
- Head: A fluffy two finger head of ivory carbonation which results in a decent amount of sticky lacing
- Aroma: A well done nose with notes of plum, dried cherry and toffee. Light, fruity esters remind you of it's Belgian origin. A hint of peppery spice rounds out the nose.
- Mouthfeel: Not quite full bodied, but almost. A good amount of carbonation dries it out just enough to keep it from going over the edge.
- Finish: Long and satisfying with the warmth from the alcohol trailing it's way down your throat in a comforting, almost "there, there" sort of way.
- Food friendly: Yep. Belgian beers are wonderful with food (Tripels and Dubbels are easier to pair, but Quads can work well too.) Try it with a fancy dinner plate of roast beef or with something as simple as a fig jam grilled cheese sandwich (What? Fig jam grilled cheese sandwiches are not typical Wednesday night meals for you???) Pair it with buttery or nutty cheese, such as Harvarit or with Blue cheese, such as Irish Cashel Blue.
Apple Users link: Hey, Mom. I'm looking pretty darn good, actually. In comparison, I mean.
A few months ago I made the mistake of introducing the Down the Hatch matriarch (AKA my 80 year old mother) to La Trappe Quadrupel Ale. By introducing I mean innocently pouring her a small taste one night from the twelve ounce bottle I had opened for myself. And by mistake I mean now having to deal with every beer that I've poured for her since not measuring up to that (rather expensive compared with what I'm used to paying for a four pack) Quad. "It's a nice beer, but it's not as good as..." is exactly what I've heard with every single beer pour since that fateful night. I should have known better. My entire family really only totally agrees on three beer styles, Belgians, Belgians and more Belgians. Dubbels. Trippels. Strong Ales. Golden Ales. They're not really picky. Just as long as said beer pocesses a pronounced fruity ester and the sweet nectar of the gods' candi sugar, the family unit is a harmonious place to be. I started out in much the same way, my first real favorite craft beer being a St. Bernardus Abt 12. In fact, way back before I even knew what a Quad or an Abbey ale were, I would actually go into a store and ask for the Monk beer with the blue label. Oddly enough, it always worked. So it was with a resigned sigh that I cracked open an Une Annee Quad one night at the dinner table. I needn't have worried.
I love to serve Belgian style beers with food. They just go hand in hand with so many meals. Try serving this Une Annee Quad with a fancy dinner of Roast Beef Brisket and Potatoes Au Gratin. The bottle is such a simplistic and classy design that you can pour it for your fancy guests with just as much pride as you might with an expensive bottle of wine. I double dog dare you to try that with a bottle from Clown Shoes or Flying Dog (Host: "More Tramp Stamp or Raging Bitch anyone?" Me: "No thank you. I prefer my misogyny with desert.") My favorite comfort food is a simple grilled cheese sandwich. Easy to make, even easier to make interesting. This Quad would be wonderful with just about every variation you can imagine from Grilled Cheese With Peanut Butter to Inside Out Grilled Cheese (which might just be the most brilliant thing I've ever seen.) As to my mom's reaction to Une Annee's Quad? The only thing that disappointed her about this beer was the empty bottle.