The ever expanding craft beer industry is great not just for the beer itself, but that as the industry grows, brewers become more creative, trying new styles, methods of brewing and reviving old styles as well. This leads to some new amazing brews, some duds that leave you disappointed, and some that leave you scratching your head or perhaps jumping up and down with joy pausing just long enough to check in the beer on Untappd. Today I cracked open Quintaceratops from Brooklyn Brewery which was certainly a unique brew and one showing creativity and originality. Quintaceratops is a version of Brooklyn Breweries Quadraceratops and is a Belgian Quad that is aged in Trinidadian Rum Barrels before being aged in American Bourbon Barrels. The beer is then oak aged and refermented in the bottle to produce a beer that is 10.9% ABV and comes packaged in a 750ml corked bottle.
Despite it being a Tuesday evening, I decided to crack this one open rather than safely wait for the weekend. Upon cracking the cork, I was hit with a strong smell of alcohol even from a distance, and when I say strong, it was very potent leaving no doubt this beer was barrel aged even had I not read the label. Although this beer was aged in rum and bourbon, it was the rum aroma that dominated almost making me question if this was actually a beer I was drinking. Now, I am a fan of barrel aged beers when it supports the beer itself, but it is different when the aging overwhelms the beer itself, which was what this beer leaned towards.
On first sip, there was a strong flavor of rum, a hint of bourbon, and the Belgian candi syrup left a lingering taste accompanied with an oaky flavor from the barrels. For a quad, there was a somewhat thin mouthfeel and not the usual body one finds in a quad. For a high ABV beer, the beer drinks fairly easily and is not overly harsh and the alcohol flavors mellow as the beer warms. The biggest thing I missed was the traditional flavors of the quad which were just overwhelmed with the bourbon and rum and the beer seemed thin for a quad and high ABV beer.
Craft beer inspired ingenuity and bold new beers. Quintaceretops is original and bold, but it ends up being just a bit too bold and over the top. A more solid foundation and toned down barrel aging could have made this an amazing beer and despite this missing the mark for me, I’d be willing to give next year’s version another shot and will certainly not be turned off of other beers from Brooklyn Brewery.
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