Saturday, June 1, 2013

Elevation Beer Company False Summit Quadrupel Ale review

Elevation Beer Company False Summit Quadrupel AleSkiiers know that a Double Black Diamond ski run is only for the most advanced skill level. Elevation Beer Company of Poncha Springs, Colorado used this symbol to designate their biggest and most complex beers in their line-up. One such beer is their Elevation Beer Company False Summit Quadrupel Ale - aged in bourbon barrels. False Summit is a massive barrel-aged beer, weighing in at 11.1% ABV and 30 IBUs and packaged in a big 750ml cork-n-caged bottle.

Elevation Beer Company sent me a complimentary bottle of this beer. The label stated that this beer was bottled in the Spring of 2013 and had a bottle number of #00965. False Summit was aged in Breckenridge Distilling Bourbon Barrels for many months. They put in a ton of fermentables including Two Row and Belgian Pale malts and a boat load of dark candi sugar. The bittered this beer with both Northern Brewer and Saaz hops.

So far in my experience with Elevation Beer Company beers - they seemed to have done their homework when they design a beer. I've had several of their beers over their short 1 year history (see links at bottom to other reviews) and this one seemed to be a bigger version of their Apis IV, but I was told this was not the case. It's a totally different recipe. I was eager to give this beer a review.

Appearance: Elevation's False Summit opened with a slight pop as the corked was pulled from the bottle. False Summit Quad poured a very dark, dark brown - nearly black and left some burgundy coloring along the edges of the glass. There was a modest 1.5 finger tall light brown head that rose in the glass, but quickly disappeared. Swirling the beer left just a trace of lacing that quickly slid down the sides back into the right of foam. I could barely see through the bottle of the glass, but didn't notice any sediment in the first pouring. The beer seemed to be lightly carbonated.

Aroma: Bourbon barrel-aged beers have a distinct aroma and False Summit had that classic aroma of being aged in wood. The aroma was filled with scents of dark fruits, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, sweet candy and it all seemed to melt together wonderfully. The bourbon aroma was not overpowering, rather it added an inviting hint of something powerful yet mellowed a bit with age. This beer's aroma really was rather tempting to me.

False Summit Quadrupel close-upTaste: False Summit started out sweet and complex. The alcohol level in this beer was immediately apparent, but wasn't over done. This beer had medium to full body and left a creamy coating in my mouth. The beer wasn't that bitter, just enough to counterbalance most of the sweet dark candi sugar and malts. This beer was a good slow sipping beer. It seemed to glide down smoothly for a high ABV brew. I could pick up hints of bourbon in this beer and when exhaling through my nose I could imagine some vanilla in this beer as well. The taste was immensely enjoyable.

This beer definitely changes character as it warms. They stated that you'll pick up more on some caramel tones later on and I certainly did.

Overall: I've really gotten attached to the Double Black Diamond series of barrel aged beers that Elevation Beer Company has put out in their first year. It's amazing what this 1 year old brewery has already done with many of their beers. If you like your beers big and bold, seek their False Summit out. This beer would be perfect for aging in a cellar further, but it tastes darn good right now just a couple of weeks after its release. Hats off to Elevation Beer Company. This is going to be on my summer bucket list of breweries to visit. It's too bad my daughter no longer lives in Gunnison as I usually had to drive past Poncha Springs on my way to see her. Ah well, I can always take a detour when heading over to the western slope through there.

Disclosure: Elevation Beer Company sent me this bottle as a complimentary sample for my review. I was not paid to do this review.

Related articles:
- Elevation Beer Company SeƱorita Imperial Porter.
- Elevation Signal de Botrange review.
- Elevation Apis IV Quadrupel review.

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