It’s great to make an initial visit to a nascent brewery, earn a few nods of promise, and then after a short while return to find that same promise fulfilled. It was with happenstance that we stopped by Quattro Goomba a year ago on what was essentially their opening weekend, and fate would have it that another random group invitation found us there again recently. I’d liked a few beers on the initial visit, and was curious to try the old flagships and compare to our original notes. At the same time we tasted all the new/rotating brews, and came away impressed that several originals stood tall while a few of their experimentals were also worth the visit. Here’s our thoughts on a certain Milk Stout which was very much improved over the past year. Here’s also hoping that you’re not using Inauguration Day to escape the Beltway, unless of course it’s for this beer in which case…
Torque, Quattro Goomba’s Brewery (Aldie, VA)
Nitro Milk Stout, ABV 4.9%, IBU 12
Presentation: Growler pour into tulip. Yes, we got a growler. And yes, we drank it almost immediately. You’d do the same if your toddlers were screaming bloody murder!
Appearance: The original draught pour had some succulent, persistent head but mild lattice. As for color, deep black while the head skews towards rusted ferrite.
Taste: Oats and a small amount of sweetness akin to vanilla greet the nose. Smooth, mellow roasted notes that trend forward towards room temperature. If you have let it sit in the glass, toasted marshmallows are a decent comparison for the aroma. The finish is pure milk, especially as the nitrogen releases. A year ago, I’d tasted the original batch of this beer and while the nitro was the same, at the time I saw a bit of semi-sweetness that reminded of baking chocolate. A bit of tuning later, and this is a quintessential, almost superlative milk stout that blends a solid balance of the roasted and sweet flavors together.
Mouth Feel: With low alcohol content and no discernible bitterness units, the deeply roasted malts mark the tongue. The nitro presentation is the proper one for this beer as it accentuates the creamy notes.
Overall: A little over a year ago I mentioned that QGB had some growing pains ahead of it, and am happy to report that they’re very much trending upwards. At the time, Torque (aka the Milk Stout) was lacking a solid flavor punch, but with this batch they’ve got something on their hands. A few other of their beers show promise, particularly the Barley & Me, SMaSH Citra, and Rye Not, but after only a single sip I put Torque aside so I could sip on the taster with no other distractions once the rest were done. It’s certainly risky to bring a growler of a Nitro home, but I swear I poured this one barely 2 hours later, and it was every bit as favorable as that first pour on draught. Being a flagship, certainly keep this in mind if you find yourself heading up US-15 North just outside Leesburg!
(Note: As of our original review this beer was Torque, but currently QGB is offering up “Torsion” instead. While we presume it’s a similar beer, a difference as small as CO2 vs. Nitro can be HYUGE as our new President would say. Still, try it!)