This Belgian Is Not A Quad
Eckert Malting & Brewing
The Not A Quad Belgian-style rice beer is brewed in California by Eckert Malting & Brewing Company. Eckert primarily crafts gluten free artisan rice malts, but they also have a small brewery that produces all-rice beers in a dedicated gluten free facility.
I’ve released a few other Eckert Malting & Brewing reviews this season, including their Select Lager and Kristina’s Challenge IPA. Be sure to check out those reviews too. So far I have been pretty impressed with Eckert’s all-rice creations. They contain more complexity than I would have thought possible with a single ingredient malt bill.
So today’s tasting is of the Not A Quad Belgian-style Ale which is packaged in 12 ounce bottles. According to the head brewer at Eckert, this beer has been quite variable over time due to recipe modifications, specifically yeast changes. This particular batch clocked in at 9.29 IBU and 5.38 ABV. (That’s as specific as it gets!)
The Taste Test
Not A Quad – Belgian Style Ale
The Not A Quad Belgian pours with a beautiful and robust harvest orange color. It poured with a minimal head, but several minutes later, it continues to present a thin ring of bubbles around the surface edges. It’s aroma carries a sweet and spicy quality. Faintly fruity as well.
The taste is pleasantly spicy, and full of dark fruit. The malts are rich and smooth and there is a natural-like sweetness that reminds me of a cross between maple syrup and caramel. The spice gives this belgian a warm and soothing mouthfeel. There is a faint medicinal quality to the aftertaste which isn’t my favorite, but it does seem to fade as the beer warms a little.
I would peg this as a medium bodied beer. The carbonation levels create a lovely texture that is crisp and refreshing. I’m left with a lot of malt presentation on the palate…and the roastiness is strong. I wouldn’t call this a sweet beer…but it’s not dry either.
This beer may pack some spice (my favorite part), but the bitterness is low. Overall, I think this is a pretty nice belgian for an all-rice base, but I do feel as though the malt characteristics are a little one-dimensional. It’s still very enjoyable though, and sipping it gives me nostalgia for fall time flavors and savory dishes.
If you’re driving through northern California, consider stopping in Chico to try a few Eckert Malting & Brewing beers. I’d love to know what you think of them. They’re the only dedicated US brewery I know of that brews exclusively with rice malts. So keep that fact in mind when sampling their brews. One thing’s for sure…they’ve found a way to pull an impressive variety of beer styles from rice.
I think I have one more Eckert Malting and Brewing beer left in the fridge for review, and I believe it’s the Doppel Dawg (very dark rice lager). I guess I decided to save the darkest one for last! Stay tuned for it in the coming weeks…