Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan - Straffe Hendrik Heritage 2017
- ABV: 11%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 50–57° F
- Suggested Glassware: Chalice, Tulip, or Snifter
The 2017 release of the Straffe Hendrik Heritage line focuses on Scotch whiskey barrels, in contrast to the rum barrels emphasized in the 2016 version. The base Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel gets aged for at least a year in oak barrels, before being blended with previous vintages of barrel-aged quad, including the influence of barrels like red Bordeaux, Cognac, and Armagnac. Like the Heritage 2016, only around 200 bottles of this were sold throughout the U.S. last year.
Heritage 2017 pours a dark caramel-brown color, just a touch lighter than the 2016, with a little less head formation. Aromatics lead with caramel, dried dark fruits, and the whiskey undertones from the Scotch barrels. This is a deeply layered, generously fruity quad, just a touch more youthful and focused on ripe red fruits than the 2016. The Scotch whiskey oak barrel provides serious balance, and this is a surprisingly unique blend of barrel-aged quad.
This leads with dark caramel, licorice, and a brighter, more expressive fruitiness than in 2016. The underpinning carbonation is toned down, but this is still super lively in presentation. We enjoyed the measured expression of the underlying Scotch whiskey barrels, as well as those extra nuances from all the other barrels presenting in lesser measure from previous vintages: the subtle hint of coconut from 2016’s rum barrels, plus the vinous impact of earlier years. Tons going on in both of these beers, from generous core quadrupels of varying ages, to the different barrels used for aging those quads over the years, to the emphasis the blending puts on the most recent barrels… There’s some really cool stuff going on in these Heritage beers.
Heritage 2017 is just hitting its sweet spot and will continue to age gracefully in one’s cellar. As with the 2016 version, the brewery recommends food pairings like strong cheeses, meat and game, foie gras, and dark chocolate.
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