“Grand Crus are traditionally known as ‘The best beer that a brewery makes.’ This Belgian-style quad lives up to that name and then some. Available once a year, in May to celebrate our Anniversary.”
Dragonmead Armageddon Grand Cru
Quad, 11% ABV
Sayeth the Guys:
Ryan: I kind of handled the cellaring of this beer backwards. Much like what you read in my review of New Holland’s Pilgrim’s Dole, I bought a bottle of this and threw it in the cellar without ever trying it first. The only difference between that experience and this one is, a year later I found a fresh bottle of the Armageddon so I snagged it and gave it a try. It gave me a very nice comparison and, frankly, I was wowed when I cracked open the 18 month old bottle in November.
The fresh bottle of the Armageddon was water thin with cloying flavors of pears, cloves and cherries. If you like your beers puckering and sweet, than a fresh off the shelf bottle is the one for you. But if you prefer your Quad with a heavier body and a restrained sweetness than give it some time in the cellar.
18 months did this beer a lot of good. Instead of pouring out a watery mess, the cellared bottle poured a thick, cloudy dull orange in color. An aggressive pour unleashed tons of sediment, I’m guessing yeast from the bottle conditioning, spilling out of the bottle and in to my glass. In fact, you can see the dark colored floaties in the picture below.
The nose gives off a bit of dark fruits, banana and cloves. The alcohol is well hidden in the aroma. Take a sip and you get a mix of dark fruits, plums, figs, dates and cherries followed by banana and cloves. Armageddon finishes with a bright and refreshing burst of freshly squeezed lemons. If you didn’t look at the label, you could almost confuse this for a hearty hefeweizen. While you don’t get the banana and clove right away, they are easily the dominate flavors on the palate. The alcohol is well hidden both in the aroma and in the taste. But I could most certainly feel it.
I noticed, as I got closer to the bottom of my glass that there was a hearty buildup of sediment there too – which closely resembled pulp from orange juice.
Not to worry, the sediment didn’t alter the flavor and aside from being able to see it I didn’t really notice it was there (nothing got stuck in my teeth). It’s your choice on whether you want it poured in to your glass. Some people prefer to leave it in the bottle while others like to dump it all in. In this instance, i wasn’t paying enough attention so it wasn’t done by choice.
This beer is a great candidate for the cellar and drank nine kinds of awesome after 18 months in a cold, dark corner.