Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Includes styles: Belgian Quad, Quadrupel

Recipes:
4,235
BJCP 2021:
26D
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇧🇪 Belgium
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Amber
Strength:
Very High
Taste:
Malty

Profile

The Belgian Dark Strong Ale, also known as a Belgian Quad or Quadrupel, is a beer style deeply rooted in Belgium's rich brewing heritage. It emerged around the time of World War II, and later saw an expansion with both monastic and secular breweries adding their interpretations towards the end of the 20th century. Characterized by its dark, complex, and robust nature, this ale offers a rich blend of malt, dark fruit flavors, and spicy notes, making it a distinctive and indulgent experience. It is akin to a more robust version of a Belgian Dubbel, with greater body and malt richness. It is less bitter and hoppy compared to a Belgian Tripel, yet shares a similar strength.

In aroma and flavor, the Belgian Dark Strong Ale is a masterpiece of complexity. The aroma combines a rich maltiness with deep fruit undertones, enhanced by spicy phenols and alcohol. The malt character is pronounced, with a deep, bready-toasty base complemented by dark caramel notes, but without any dark or roasted malt impression. The esters are strong, evoking thoughts of raisins, plums, dried cherries, figs, dates, or prunes. Spicy phenols like black pepper or vanilla may also be present, along with a soft, spicy, or perfumy alcohol note. The flavor reflects the aroma, offering a rich and complex maltiness that finishes not heavy but rather moderately dry to dry, and sometimes moderately sweet. The balance typically leans towards malty-rich, but can be fairly even with the bitterness.

The appearance is equally impressive, featuring a deep amber to deep coppery-brown hue, indicative of its rich flavor profile. The beer typically sports a large, dense, moussy head, ranging from cream to light tan, and is usually clear. The high carbonation, smooth alcohol warmth, and a body that varies from medium-light to medium-full contribute to a typically medium-bodied mouthfeel.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
8.0 – 12.0 %

In Database
6.8 < 8.9 < 12.0 %

Bitterness

Specification
20 – 35 IBU

In Database
16 < 27 < 40 IBU

Color

Specification
24 – 43 EBC
12 – 22 SRM

In Database
21 < 39 < 49 EBC
11 < 20 < 25 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
18.1 – 25.7 °P
1.075 – 1.110 OG

In Database
16.0 < 20.6 < 26.6 °P
1.066 < 1.086 < 1.114 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.6 – 6.1 °P
1.010 – 1.024 FG

In Database
1.8 < 4.7 < 7.3 °P
1.007 < 1.018 < 1.029 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes