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Jim Koebel's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - Barrel Aged Bad Abbot by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co.

April, 2023

Barrel Aged Bad Abbot

Barrel Aged Bad Abbot

United States
Barrel Aged Bad Abbot, Gnarly Barley Brewing
Beverage Profile
Pilsner, Aromatic, Munich, Special B, Belgian Dark Candi Sugar, Molasses



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Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
4 / 6
36 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Barrel Aged Bad Abbot by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is a barrel-aged Belgian quadrupel, judged as BJCP Category 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer. Quads, or in BJCP parlance Belgian Dark Strong Ales, are often the biggest of the strong Belgian ales. They have much in common with Dubbels (color, hopping, malt richness and esters) but have the strength of a Tripel. When aged in wood, one should expect a complementary and not overpowering flavor enhancement.

This beer has dried fruit and esters in the aroma. It has a characterful yeast that adds notes of pepper and spice. It's a reddish-brown beer that pours clear and lacks any real foam. Fruity, rich malt character continues into the flavor, noticeably fig. It does not taste bitter from hops, but instead has a dryness from a high ethanol level and mellow wood tannins. Despite being well attenuated, this beer has a full body with some viscosity. The carbonation level feels only moderate and should be higher. Overall, this wood-aged example allows its inner quad to take center stage. It's possible the barrel killed its foam retaining ability, which would have given this beer a livelier quality and better appearance.