River North Brewery: Quandary

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QUANDARY

You know the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" - well, in my opinion, that doesn't hold true for the Quandary by River North Brewing. I saw this sitting on the shelf of my go-to liquor store, and I knew I wanted to give it a try. Let's dig in: 

STYLE:

Abbey Style Dark Strong Ale
ABV: 9.6%
IBU: 28

TASTE:

Right away you know you're in for a treat. As soon as you crack the bottle open you get a subtle sweet smell and a nice caramel undertone. Being a dark strong ale, you definitely get a nice boozy undertone that mixes well with the quiet malt, molasses, and yeast tones on the back of the flavor profile. There is also a good note of darker fruit, something along the lines of plum or fig. It is a very well done abbey dark ale and one that doesn't have an overly powerful flavor. 

LOOK: 

This is a really good looking beer. The Quandary is a deep red in natural light, but a glowing ember red when held up to the sunlight. The head is made of tight bubbles and has a subtle caramel color.  

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LABEL DESIGN: 

Clean, simple, and to the point. The dark blue adds a classy touch, and makes it look as if it belongs in an old monastery with a small cork plug. 

OVERALL:

A delightful dark abbey ale that plays its cards just right and doesn't scare you away with too much or too little.