Just like you, but different
A Quadrupel!, actually a Barrel Aged, Sour Quadruple – and I chose it by the label without reading it, a sucker for packaging. I probably would have brought it anyway had I thought it through. On the packaging all the labels are crinkly – they say because of deformed bottles – beauty is in the eye….
Grand Cru started out as The Sultan. When we made this beer last year I filled 8 old Pinot Noir barrels and more or less forgot about it. The native bugs in the barrels kept fermenting the beer, making it slightly sour. To further enhance the funky character, I blended it with 2 barrels of a Flanders Red kinda thing, that has also been fermenting funky for about 18 months.
Which screams of – to minimise a loss we’ve thrown something together – given it a fancy name, and an impressive looking label, and sell it for a goodly margin. At least they’re up-front. I’m not sure that this isn’t the whole ethos of 8 wired though – a bit of hit and hope. Unless I’m just being cruel for the sake of it.
Anyway. Opening aroma is cider apple. It’s a murky cloudy pour, with an effort at a head but not a good one, the sour aroma remains. I guess it could be tannin wine? It settles to a red-wine nose though.
So it’s fizzy red-wine then. Or is it. It’s got a lot of what seems like cherry flavour. And it does have a wine background and nose, but does not carry the roughness of the tannin that get with some red wines.
This is at both times then a bit cranky and weird, but odd and comforting. It’s not a hard drink, and you’d forget that this is a strong beer, and being as how it’s a large serve you’ll soon be squiffy if you take it lightly.
The off-putting thing is the muddy cloudy colour, and to be honest I would have enjoyed more head, well to be honest any head. The up-side is that this has an understated sourness, none of the tannin rough, no after burn from alcohol and is pretty tasty.
I can see how this might not please either a wine drinker or a beer drinker. It says Quadrupel, and it probably could say anything. I have to bow to their description.
The pdubyah-o-meter is confused as all heck, but seems that an 8.5 is a good score. I like it but I don’t love it, It would a fantastic beer to crack out in a bar and impress your less well travelled companions, and as a gift to a wine drinker this might be something to consider.
Would I rush out an get another? Possibly not. Would it get better with age? It’s not a wine, it’s doubtful. Am I ashamed at dissing them with insinuations of hit and hope? A little, yes.
An update to this : I have brought more, and I really like it, it’s clever and a tidy small drink to finish you off for the evening. I should revise my score and be more generous. This really is good.