Released late last year by Almanac Beer Co., Paris of the West is a 9.5 percent ABV quadrupel-style ale brewed with dark candi sugar, dried flame grapes and orange peel before being fermented with a French ale yeast.

Almanac Paris of the West bottle

The Almanac website has a bit more information:

San Francisco, a.k.a “The Paris of the West,” has long been home to a diverse culture of bohemians and a bastion of art, creativity, and progressive thinking.This decadent dark quadrupel-style ale was created in that same spirit.

The beer is packaged in 22-ounce bottles and is part of the San Francisco, Calif.-based brewery’s Fresh Beer Limited Series, which includes four different beers:

  • Valencia Gold (8.5 percent ABV) — golden ale brewed with valencia oranges and orange blossom honey
  • Emperor Norton (9 percent ABV) — dry-hopped Belgian-style ale brewed with apricots
  • Paris of the West (9.5 percent ABV) — quadrupel-style ale brewed with dark candi sugar, dried flame grapes and orange peel
  • Barbary Coast (10 percent ABV) — imperial stout brewed with cacao nibs, chili pepper, oak and sea salt
Almanac Paris of the West bottle design
Interestingly, the artists who designed the bottle, DKNG Studios, based the art on the Panama-Pacific International Exposition that took place in San Francisco in 1915. According to them, “the ferry building and waterfront are featured on the bottle as well as the Playland amusement park erected on the boardwalk at the time.”

Visually, Paris of the West pours a dark purple color with a half finger of off white head that dissipates quickly into a respectable lacing. Aroma from the glass is a combination of sweet candy, wheat, oak, raisons and citrus, with a touch of pepper.

Almanac Paris of the West

The flavors are obvious from the start, with a dominant raisin sweetness on the palate along with both citrus and a slight bitterness on the finish. The bitterness is noticeable, but thankfully not really strong enough to negatively affect the overall profile and the carbonation is moderate, working nicely with the style. Along with raisons, I taste dates and molasses on the palate, and while the quad is sweet, it is a generic sweetness, not something I could point out as candi sugar.

Almanac Paris of the West
BREWERY: Almanac Beer Co.
LOCATION: San Francisco, Calif.
STYLE: Quadrupel
ABV: 9.5 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $9.99
AVAILABLE IN: 22-ounce bottles
It is always a bit strange for me to drink a beer from Almanac that is not sour in any way, but Paris of the West features an interesting profile due to the use of a French yeast strain as opposed to the Belgian strain that is more commonly used in quadrupel-style ales. The profile is well balanced, albeit not overly complex, and uses the raisins and candi sweetness to it best advantage. While it is nowhere near the best quadrupel-style ale I have had, it is a very good addition to the Almanac lineup, and well worth trying for fans of the style.
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