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Beer – #1,057 – McLeod’s – Smugglers Bay Quadrupel

McLeod’s Smugglers Bay Quadrupel – A Quad! An honest to goodness Quad, honestly to goodnessly aged in Bourbon barrels. This is bottle 1472 of around 1700 that made it in to bottles.  There a hierarchy of beers that Quadrupels, and for me, are near the top of that tree (you know I think the Barley Wines are the top). This is a beer that could be cellared. Or drunk now.

let it rest

McLeod’s Quadrupel is a 500ml bottle of a beer that is 10.3% ABV and this would me about 309 calories a  serve and 4.1 standard drinks in New Zealand

McLeod’s Quadrupel – is made in Waipu, New Zealand in the style that is of a  Quadrupel / Abt

Big beer for the big lad

We like a challenge.

We also love a well-made quad.

This beer satisfies both in one fell swoop.

Our house Trappist yeast nudged this Belgian Quadrupel in the right direction before ageing in Kentucky bourbon casks. Brimming with bready malt and spice underpinned by rich caramel and bourbon notes from barrel time make it a glorious brew.

Before drinking, let it rest at room temperature to reveal its complexity.

So, What could possibly go wrong?

It takes about and hour to set up, and the beer has been warming next to me, and it’ll continue to warm as I drink it, hopefully it’s a sipping beer, not a quaffing beer.

An interesting aroma on opening, I got more red wine than bourbon, I’m not a big bourbon drinker though. It does have a  sweetness about it.

Pour is a proper toffee brown orange that looks magnificent, and it settles with a lovely caramel head of small but firm substance. It’s a fine looking beer is that.

I’m not particularly picking up any hints of a bourbon nature, I might be expecting a lot, and I’m not overly fussed that it’s not there where I think it might be.

The taste is outstanding. A really rich toffee note, backed up instantly with a billowing softness, some tang from alcohol and it settles into that lovely back note of warmth and comfort.

It’s really understated, the expected richness and fullness from the sugars, giving that rich steeped raisin note is quite muted, and searching for it means you have to get through a couple of other notes.

It is at both times a soft palatable drink without drama, and instantly full noise and fireworks, without either of them getting the upper hand. Balanced you might call it.

That sugary raisin note is there now in the glass as it gets some warm air around it, filling this out into a lovely sensation.

Personally I’d prefer this to have that fuller sugary pillow, the steeped raisins, but this is about a good a beer as I’ve had this year, and I’ve have a couple of properly nice beers in the last few days.

I like this for the things it’s might not have, that alcohol burn, I don’t miss that for instance. I like that smash of warmth at the back as it gets there, and the way that lingers, that’s rather good.

I might also be living in a fantasy land of how good this beer should be and have a goal that can’t be reached as to taste and expectation. Quads are not common, at least I don’t see them often, and go a bit loopy when I see them.

This is a class above the Beer – #1038 – McLeod’s – Dubbel 2018 which I thought was 8 (A magnificent score) but just stumbles short of Beer – #1039 – McLeod’s – Triple.  But if you wanted to buy me any of these I’d be well chuffed.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing. This is the best Quad I’ve written about, possibly tried, and I have had the Rochefort – Trappistes 10 and this for me is better. It’s probably then the best Quad I’ve ever had, and I’m going to have at bar to mark the others against.

Checks notes and see what CraftWorks are up to 🙂

What a challenge.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The local Liquorland of course.
  • Am I enjoying it? It is the Bees Knees of course
  • Would I have another? I would there are only, wildly over estimating, 1699 bottles left, probably more like 99
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Absolutely It’s probably then the best Quad I’ve ever had, and if you had this the Dubbel and Tripel you’d could have your own BeerHereVarana and it’d be the best of times.

Music for this:  KIWANUKA by Michael Kiwanuka

I think I might have called him a New Zealander, wishful thinking.

Michael Samuel Kiwanuka is an English Indie folk singer-songwriter and record producer who is signed with Polydor Records. His 2012 debut album Home Again went gold in the United Kingdom and his second album, Love & Hate, debuted in 2016 at number one


Abt, or quadrupel, is the name given to ultra-strong Trappist and abbey ales. The name Abt was pioneered to describe Westvleteren and the beer that would become St. BernardusQuadrupel was pioneered by La Trappe. Abts are the darker of the two, with more rich, deep fruity notes. Quads are paler, with corresponding peachy notes. Neither have much in the way of hop, and both are very strong and malty. Though both are bottle-conditioned, abts trend more towards yeastiness. Alcohol is very high (10+% abv) for both.



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