In the Manner of the Stars

Formerly, when beer was made in monasteries — which is still sometimes the case —, the ones called “quadruple” were strongest in terms of alcohol content. It logically followed those called “single,” “double,” and “triple.” Some specialists also use the term abt, which means “abbot” in Dutch (does it mean that the Abbot kept it for himself?)

Whatever the case, we’re talking about beers above 10% ABV; dark beers, very rich beers, complex beers, seriously strong beers. Of the type, the absolute references are indisputably Westvelteren XII and Rochefort 10 — two Trappist beers, which this one is not.

This 11.5%-ABV ale called Willy is from the Brouwerij De Prael (Amsterdam, Netherlands), established in 2002 by Arno Kooy and Fer Cook. It’s said that the brewery targets lovers of special beers. With this one, there’s no mistake.

This fairly Belgian-like beer is for lovers of liquid caramel and dark fruit. The mouthfeel is clearly syrupy. It has the classic “Quad” characteristics, but is maybe not as complex as the Belgians. Rather sweet, and with a huge body, this beer is a real bread-and-butter pudding, yet ends in a surprising very dry way.

A very good exercise in style, a well-structured product that does a good job of hiding its alcohol rate. The only hitch is the overflow of sugar at the beginning.