“This Quad is 11% ABV and best enjoyed when refrigerated and will evolve over time if stashed with care in your cellar.”
Oh, they shouldn’t have told me that. Sweetwater brewery did actually, as those words come straight from the pained label bottle of Sweetwater Dank Tank Series BSP Quad Ale. You see, I have this habit of buying a lot more beer than I can drink, and stashing it in my reserve. That’s exactly what I did when I bought this beer in spring of 2010.
I have been aging it ever since, and finally popped it in the spring of 2014. Fortunately, a beer this big is well suited to aging, which is why Sweetwater suggested it. Beers in the Dank Tank series tend to rub large, and Sweetwater BSP Quad is the 6th installment in that lineup. For me, this is the 10th Dank Tank beer I’ve sampled, going all the way back to the very first such brew, “The Creeper” that I enjoyed on draft at Summits Wayside Tavern in 2009. That beer was an abbey tripel by style, so I guess it fitting I should mention it in relation to this quad.
I’ll confess that in many cases the paragraphs on the beautiful painted labels for Dan Tank beers don’t make a lot of sense, but this one is amusing and alludes to just what BSP stands for:
Belgian, Strong, Pause……for a moment and let’s consider the possibilities. Sure, you were thinking pale but it’s not at all pale. Rather the contrary. The P could stand for perfect: perfectly befitting a warm respite in front of a fire on a cold February night-but we don’t say chit like that. You’ll probably just drink this Belgian Quad like a session beer and hope for the best in the morning, so screw it. Maybe the P stands for your favorite Pub, the place where you go to hang out, drink killer beer and enjoy life. Yup, that’s the one. The Quad part, well it’s a style for sure, but it could be in reference to a collaboration between a Pub and Brewhouse that opened in the same year out of friendships and a love for great beer. Yeah, those 4 things are in here too.
Sweetwater said of BSP Quad “This is fantastic now, but should be spectacular in 1 year if you can hold out that long!” My patience was four times longer than they refer to, so let’s jump in and sample the results, shall we?
Sweetwater BSP Quad pours to a dark murky brown color with a moderate creamy head formation and wonderful tart black cherry fruit in the nose. Taking a sip, I get thick caramel up front followed by slightly vinous notes of grape, figs, plums, bubblegum and currants, and black cherry as the beer progresses. Not getting Belgian funk and the grassy hops I would expect from Sterlings has long departed, but the beer has alcohol warmth to balance, though it still finishes a bit sweet. Just wonderful with the fruity complexity here, a winner that really has improved with age.
I wish I had tried a bottle young to compare with tonight’s sampling, but all the same this one has aged gracefully indeed. And at $5.99 for a bomber bottle, it was quite the bargain, too. I’d definitely recommend buying it-but you probably can’t, unless Sweetwater rolls it out again.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.