Drinking good beer is, ultimately, an act best accomplished with close friends. So this review of Weyerbacher’s Blasphemy is brought to you from a gathering with two of my good friends sitting in a kitchen trading stories and teasing each other incessantly. It’s nice to be out and see my friend (who’s place is quite gorgeous and makes the beer babe envious) and it might be the last time I get to relax for a little while.
This impromptu tasting was brought on by the fact that all of his friends and coworkers have discovered his taste for excellent beer, and whenever they come to his dinner parties they come with a bottle of something special. I like this trend. I think, actually, that this particular bottle – among many beer bottles stored in a wine cabinet at his place – may have come from me bringing it to him at some dinner party past. None the less, the bottle came out for us to taste.
Blasphemy is described on the bottle as an aged Belgian quad. Quadrupel (trappist-inspired) ales are already high in alcohol content because they’re fermented longer than their Trippel and Double sister brews. There’s usually a lot of wheat, a dark color and mucho alcohol. So, take a quad and AGE it and you bring even more flavor, alcohol and just, well, who does that?! This is as shocking an idea as aging Dogfish Head’s 90 minute in their Burton Baton brew that I love so much.
In fact, on the bottle it says:
“When they first said that we should age our QUAD in oak barrels, we said, ‘THAT’S BLASPHEMY!’ …and so it is.”
When you pour it out, the smell is alcoholic, apply and smoky, with some scotch type smell. You can almost smell the sweetness of the wood from the barrel (not making this up!).
The taste is complicated! There’s a smooth beginning, a tart middle where you can get the apple-ish flavor and the alcohol, there’s sweetness from the aging and sharpness from the 11.8% ABV. You can also smell and taste some of the smokiness. It was described as having a “beginning, middle, middle, middle and end” by one of my friends. It is certainly true. The little smooth bubbles make every single sip of this interesting. Each time I brought the glass to my lips it revealed another layer. It’s very heavy on the alcohol content so I was beginning to feel a little “warmth” after about half a glass of it.
This isn’t a beer for the weak of heart, but for someone who is into the quads, it’s a different and deep take on your traditional quad. I really like that you can taste some of the woodiness from the aging process, which means that it was done for a while…
I continue to be pretty impressed with what I’ve had from this brewery. It’s really hard to find around here so I’ll have to keep looking.