Wednesday, January 2, 2013


There are certain things that drive me to get out of bed like Christmas morning, cooking bacon and a rare limited release beer. Sanitarium was Bier Brewery's silver medal winner at the Great American Brew Festival. Because this was a limited run of bottled brews, Bier released 50 gift sets on the 21st and 50 gift sets on the 22nd when they opened. Both days there was a line out the building of craft beer fans looking to get their hands on this bad boy.

It is a Belgian Quadruple (Abby Style Ale), which makes it one of the booziest beers around. A beer is a quad because when they were brewing on the Belgian countryside they would reuse wort. Wort is the grain sludge mixture used to make beer. The first use would be higher in sugar to produce more alcohol. This made it last longer since alcohol helped preserve the beer. A triple would be the first of three batches of beer, so it had to have a bunch of sugars. Just imagine what a quad would have to be like...

No more imagining. This beer was 13.1% abv, which is more then a lot of wines. The beer poured a hazy brown that you could not see through. It had a light tan head that falls away to lacing quickly. There was a light fruit and alcoholic smell to the beer. Normally I am a heathen and drink out of a pint, but Bier supplied a tulip glass with each gift set, so I classed it up.

The first thing I noticed was how effervescent the beer was. I was not expecting such nice carbonation from such a dark beer with so little head. The flavor was very malty with strong notes of caramel and banana. The booziness was noticeable but not in a bad way. Since I was drinking out of a tulip glass, my hands were heating the beer up faster than normal. As the beer warmed up the flavor opened up. Some of the alcohol flavor faded away and more of the fruits came shinning through. 

This beer had a long lasting sweetness that lingered on the tongue  I tried to wait to have my next sip until I couldn't taste any traces of it, and this kept me going for hours. Sanitarium was a great beer for the cold weather. If you were lucky enough to wait in line and snag one, enjoy it. I have one more that I will be holding on to for another six months or so to see if the booziness mellows out. Expect a report then.

By the way, your burps taste like banana

I give this one a 4.5 very tasty brew.

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