Last night the boys from Deep Ellum Brewing Company were out in full force at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House to celebrate the release of their latest and insanely good beer, Four Swords. Four Swords is not a beer for the faint of heart or weak of knees. This Belgian quadruple has a bold flavor of dark fruits, figs and toffee. The mouth feel is gentle and creamy, although it clocks in at a powerful 9.5% ABV.
We scurried up to Goodfriend last night for a taste and meet up with brewmaster, Jeremy Hunt who was happy with his latest brew. We are as well. We asked what his inspiration was behind Four Swords.
“One of my first beers I was really blown away with was Trappistes Rochefort 10, a quad brewed by Brasserie de Rochefort in Rochefort, Belgium. So in my mind I was trying to blend the best characteristics of the Rochefort 10 and a St. Bernardus Abt 12 [another spectacular quad]. I wanted to capture some of the big dark fruit flavors that are synonymous with the Rochefort as well as some of the big yeasty notes that people find in the Abt 12. I studied the recipes and picked out the yeast that would best capture that. I used a few more specialty grains that is traditional in this style to really round out the malt complexity to augment what the yeast was offering. This gives it this spicy banana and bubble gummy flavor,” said Hunt.
You will definitely notice the big fruit flavors as well as a strong toffee note. As far as the high alcohol content, Hunt says the brew hides it well. It is slightly warming in the back, but definitely not hot. Hunt used a traditional Abbey Ale yeast strain and fermented the beer at a warmer than usual to coax the yeast into producing these flavors.
“That is one of the things that is important about a beer like this. If you have any use of alcohol it can really detract from the flavors. This is where pushing the yeast to produce the extra profile we were looking for; it extracts that alcohol flavor. I think we did a good job this year. We have some ideas on how to make it a bit cleaner and better next year.”
What is next? In a few more weeks Hunt will introduce his coffee stout. In the meantime, look for Four Swords in your favorite brew pub or in 750ml bottles.