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Malheur 12

Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

For such a hefty beer, Malheur 12 is surprisingly quaffable and should be approached with more than a modicum of restraint and caution. As a “Quadrupel,” this beer falls loosely within the Belgian dark strong ale style and is dominated by alcohol, chewy malt and spices. The nose swirls with notes of caramel, cinnamon, figs and even a hint of Calvados. Tom dug beneath the alcohol in the nose and uncovered a soothing blend of molasses, palm dates and fresh rye bread. Tim generally agreed with Tom’s comments but found the aroma to have a bit more spice complexity, including whiffs of cardamom and cocoa. Pouring a seductive chestnut brown, with the merest hint of haze, this beer produces a massive meringue-like orange-ish head that refuses to fall. Laced with flavors of dark Caribbean rum, sticky caramel and ripe citrus fruits, Malheur 12 skillfully camouflages its rather substantial alcohol content. In addition to the upfront alcohol, Nick detected opulent flavors of candied pear and nutmeg and offered high praise for the almost quenching, somewhat dryish finish that left him wanting more. Pete picked up some “hot” alcohol notes that detracted from an otherwise flawless performance. He did, however, enjoy the lightly caramelly malt that floated over the whopping alcohol. Overall, Malheur 12 is a thoroughly enjoyable brew, beautifully crafted to be shared on memorable occasions.