Monday, June 8, 2009

Beer Weekend: Koningshoeven Quadrupel

Since my last entry was about beer, I figured I'd contribute another article about... beer :)

My sweetheart and I will occasionally visit Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena; I was first introduced to Belgian-style ale by my friend "Yozhik" at this location. As such, the pub has a warm place in my heart, despite the fact that the woman's bathroom is apparently not terribly hygienic.

I try to visit Lucky Baldwin's to experience new Lambic ales, as they have a remarkable selection that they keep on tap. I ordered several beers for my friends to enjoy, and was dismayed to find out that Lucky Baldwin's was out of several of our old favorites (Sarah enjoyes Wittekerke Rosé on tap), and was out of Koningshoeven Quadrupel (I have never sampled a quadruple-fermented Belgian-style before). Side note: Wittekerke Rosé, out of the bottle or can, is HORRIBLE. When we tried it on tap at Lucky's, it was GREAT (albeit sweet, like Lindemann's). When we bought it at Beverages and More, it was ATROCIOUS, and tasted horribly artificial.

Fortunately, I learned that a certain 7-Eleven at 52nd street and Figueroa in Highland Park stocks a peculiarly large selection of Belgian ales (supposedly, the owner of the store loves Belgian). I lived in Highland Park for about a year, and had always passed this store by due to its apparent rough character. How sad that I didn't know what was hiding in the back, near the beer cooler! After church, Sarah and I came by for a visit. And there it was: Koningshoeven Quadrupel, next to an Alaskan Brewing Co. smoked porter that was not available at Lucky's. I bought both.

Koningshoeven Quadrupel is wonderful. The taste is definitely complex, with an immediately raisiny flavor. Next, a sweet alcohol, and finally, a subtle and complicated malt of rum or cherry. This is followed by a subtle old-cellar aftertaste that I enjoy immensely. The flavor is distinctive and strong enough to remind me of good double-fermented beers that I have had in the past, but with subtle spices and the "old basement" flavor. I find that the beer is on the sweet side, however.

Highly recommended.

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