Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Belgium Cascara Quad (9/10)

The third New Belgium beer we’re going to examine this week is their Cascara Quad, a member of the Lips of Faith series of beers.  Cascara Quad is a Belgian style Quadrupel, brewed with Belgian Candy Sugar, Date Sugar, and Cascara tea (coffee cherries).

The beer pours a cloudy reddish, or even slightly purplish, brown color with a thick white head that leaves behind thin rings of lacing.

The aroma is sweet, with dark fruits, cherries, and malt dominating.

The flavor reminds me of Ommegang Three Philosophers, which is another excellent beer.  It’s sweet, with a definite cherry note, and a small amount of alcohol warmth.  Dark fruit flavors also play a part here.  I found it simply delicious.  (The photo at left was taken in the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, in May 2013.)
This is one of those occasions where I simply disagree with Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.  Beer Advocate gives Cascara Quad only an 82-85 rating or “good to very good”.  Rate Beer gives it only a 70, which seems unfairly low to me.  This is a bold, smooth, sweet, complex Belgian style beer that ranks among the best I’ve had.  I give it a 9 out of 10.

As of the time this review was written, New Belgium’s products were not yet available in Ohio.  The “Lips of Faith” line is expected to become available, so I am hopeful that this excellent beer will be found on Columbus retailer shelves very soon. 

Flavor Profile:

Sweet, Malty, Dry, or Bitter:  Sweet
Spice Level:  Low
Hops Level:  Low
Dominant Flavors:  Cherries, Dark Fruit, Malt
ABV: 10%
IBU:  22
My Rating:  9/10

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