Bourbon Cru Abbey QuadrupelNovember 1, 2012
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Brewed like a quad, displays an orange hue with a substantial head and brilliant clarity. Aged in Virginia bourbon barrels. Almond toffee and oaky vanilla aromatics give way to dark cherries, raisins and mature whiskey. Plum flavor is greeted by caramel overtones and an assertive yet rounded body and a lingering, bourbon-laced finish.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: N/A
Young Hardywood nails this: a big (10.2 percent) bourbon barrel-aged beauty that isn’t sappy or overwooded. The nose is full of oaky vanilla, maple syrup and deep caramel. It’s initially huge in the mouth—malt, barrel, plum—but thins to merely big and easily enjoyed, even refreshing. The finish twists bourbon in malty fruit. Great to see the influence of Virginia’s A. Smith Bowman distillery here as it returns to prominence. On a whim, paired this with rubbed ribs: brilliant.
- Lew Bryson
With 10.2 percent alcohol and a name like Bourbon Cru, I’m expecting something very big, and I’m not disappointed. Burgundy-hued, this beer positively reeks of bourbon barrel, with dark fruit and wood and vanilla leaping from the glass. I’m half-expecting a similarly one-sided assault in the body, but instead I get a rounded mix of vanilla and Christmas spice, raisin and stewed plum, strong, malty ale and whiskey. The label suggests soft cheeses and gamey meats, but I’d say late nights and good friends.
- Stephen Beaumont
Lew Bryson writes about beer and whiskey from his home in southeast Pennsylvania. He has a family and two dogs. That’s all you need to know.
Once described as “beerdom’s Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel and how it all goes together.
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