Exceptional beer and food pairings right to your home
February 16, 2014 - Shannon
Full disclosure, I was dreading reviewing this beer. I have tried several things from Boulevard Brewing, and they’re definitely willing to try new styles of beer, but Belgian quads in general just aren’t my thing. You see: they’re sweet (in beer terms, not necessarily in ice cream terms) they’re raisiny, and they’re thick. I’m not scared by the high ABV, but it really is a beer style that you’ve got to commit to. It would be out of place in the middle of a drinking session, for instance, because your palate would be overpowered, and it would effect the next beer you tried to enjoy.
From Boulevard Brewing Company’s Stackhouse Series, “The Sixth Glass” is a 10.5% ABV Belgian style quad that according to the label is “a deep and mysterious libation, meant for the mature connoisseur." I am confident that my beer palate is mature, though I’m not sure that many would use that word to describe the other parts of my life.
The Sixth Glass comes in an elegant 750mL cork and cage bottle, which pops beautifully when opened. Pouring a deep, brown amber with a fluffy light brown head that quickly dissipates into only a remnant of lacing. This beer looks rich in my glass. Warning - the bottle instructs you to serve in proper glassware which in this case is a Trappist glass. If you don’t have one of these bowl glasses with long stems, a red wine glass will make a reasonable substitute. I know that I don’t often rant about the importance of glassware, but with a beer as intense as this, you’ll be glad to have the foam develop and the concentrated aroma angled toward your nose as you drink.
On the nose, The Sixth Glass has all the hallmarks of a stereotypical Quad: aromas of dried fruit with a definitive malty sweetness with a backbone of alcohol. Tasting this beer is a little shocking. The initial sip is very overwhelming- tart, sour, and strong; brown sugar and molasses outweighing the fruit. Since the beer is called “The Sixth Glass” I feel that perhaps it requires several sips before my palate is fully acclimated. Ok, I see it now. About half a glass in, I feel warm and tingly. Dried cherries, raisins, cinnamon, dark caramel, and vanilla compete with the deep malt and alcohol flavor. It’s far less abrasive and more comforting.
Rated 93/100 on Beer Advocate and 98/100 on RateBeer, I see why the public loves this beer. Though I am not a fan of the style, I can absolutely recognize this as an exceptionally well made beer. If you’re not afraid of a potent brew with a depth of flavor, give this one a taste. You don’t have to grab a big bottle, there are also 4 packs available.
The Sixth Glass - Quadrupel Ale