12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS #3: La Trappe Quadrupel Quercuseik (Oaked), Koningshoeven, Netherlands
Date: December 27, 2018
La Trappe beers are the modern marketing label for the Koningshoeven Abbey, founded on farmland in 1881. The monks quickly added a brewery to pay for expansion of the abbey — which started in a sheep barn and the strategy worked. A dalliance with Stella Artois began in 1969 and, happily for craft fans, ended in 1979. A modernized brewery followed shortly after. It spelled the end of the historic open fermentors, but ensured a production capacity that can come much closer to meeting demand.
The brewery produced La Trappe Quadrupel Quercuseik — a quad– for the first time in 1991. Begun as a winter seasonal offering it proved popular enough to justify year-round production. We had this version of the La Trappe Quad and one of the best beer bars in the history of the world, the Kulminator in Antwerp, Belgium. Kulminator is mom and pop operation that feels more like your grandmother’s house than a commercial bar and breweries practically trip over themselves to be among the offerings. This oaked version of the quad was available in tiny quantities and only on draft. You’ll have more luck finding the regular version and that one is still a pretty special beer for celebrating the season
The Beer— Hugely complex. Smooth cherry fruit and toasted malt with a sweet wood foundation. We rated it well into the top 1% of beers we have tasted.
Value — Very good. Maybe a steal, really, at $8.75 for a good sized draft of this 10% marvel.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.