Archive for the tag “Tripel”

Tripel B – Adelbert’s Brewery

tripelb_adelberts9.3% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club ($/25.4 oz.bottle) and poured into goblet glasses.

This bottle-conditioned Belgian tripel from Austin-based Adelbert’s pours a cloudy cantaloupe juice orange with a minimal, bright white head.  It smells of grass, toffee, some farmhouse funk, melon, cantaloupe, and tropical citrus.  There is a lovely warmth and restrained sweetness on the first swallow, with the expected tropical and melon flavors given a biting contrast from the peppery Belgian yeast.  Adelbert’s Tripel B is very heavy for a Belgian tripel, reaching more into the realm of a strong Belgian gold.  It’s not a boozy beer, but while some cracker-like grains, spice, caramel, and marmalade flavors are present, the overall taste is fairly neutral and tiring on the palette.

toasts-3   3 Toasts


toasts-3   3 Toasts

He Said Tripel – 21st Amendment/Elysian collaboration

HeSaid_Tripel8.2% ABV
Purchased at Curtis Park Market ($11.99/4-pack of 12-oz. cans) and poured into goblet glasses.

This collaboration between San Francisco’s 21st Amendment and Seattle’s Elysian is a Belgian tripel brewed with pumpkins, tarragon, and galangal (aka Thai ginger).  It pours a light, peachy orange with a tight white head, and presents a lot of earthiness and spice on the nose, including pumpkin and gourd flesh, sweet potatoes, ginger, and other autumnal spices.  He Said Tripel feels lighter on the tongue than anticipated, with a nice effervescence on the front end that gives way to those expected autumn spice-bomb flavors, led by pumpkin, ginger, and candied yams.  Despite the potential here for a cutesy hybrid, the flavor profile is expertly balanced, with a little banana-like sweetness cutting through the heavy, lingering spice notes.

toasts-4   4 Toasts


toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Tropical Tripel – Cigar City/de Proef Collaboration


9.5% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club and poured into goblet glasses.

This limited release collaboration between Belgian brewers De Proef and Tampa-based Cigar City pours a clear mandarin orange with a minimal bright white head.  Tropical Tripel was “aged on oak chips with coconuts and peaches”, and the nose offers a pina colada-style aroma of tropical fruits, including oranges, guavas, pineapples, and coconuts, with hints of Belgian farmhouse yeast.  It is strong and sweet on the palette as well, dominated by distinctly overripe fruit flavors like oranges, tangerines, guavas, and bananas, along with a touch of hop bitterness on the aftertaste.  The fruit adjuncts definitely heighten the candied fruit and hay taste of a Belgian tripel, but while this brew is thirst-quenching and flavorful, the overwhelming sweetness quickly becomes stomach-turning.

toasts-3    3 Toasts


toasts-3    3 Toasts


Heavenly Feijoa Tripel – Lips of Faith Series New Belgium/Dieu du Ciel! Collaboration

feijoa_bttl9% ABV
Purchased at Nugget Market ($8.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into goblet glasses.

This Lips of Faith collaboration between Colorado legends New Belgium and Montreal-based Dieu du Ciel! – brewers of the excellent Solstice d’Hiver barley wine – pours a heavily burnished gold with a slight white head.  The strong nose smells of fermented barnyard grains, Belgian yeast, and the hibiscus flowers promised on the bottle.  However, it’s a tart, super-sweet tropical note that dominates the palette, presumably from the addition of feijoa (aka “pineapple guava”), eventually fading into more of those strong, spicy grains.  It’s definitely an original brew, and I have loved other Lips of Faiths beers (including the new Cascara Quad), but it’s also pretty one-note and too sweet for my tastes.  (2½ toasts)

toasts-2.5   2.5 Toasts


toasts-2.5   2.5 Toasts

Birra Etrusca Bronze – Dogfish Head

Birra-Etrusca-Bronze8.5% ABV

Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($13.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into mugs.

Another one of Dogfish Head’s “historical beers”, this marriage of archaeology and brewing is an attempt to recreate the ales of pre-Christ, pre-wine ancient Italy.  Birra Etrusca Bronze pours a clear bronze with a decent, dirty-white head and plenty of fizzy carbonation.  There are some incredibly funky-in-a-bad-way aromas on the nose, including raw flour, dehydrated fruits, and a touch of pilsner-y sweatsock.  Utterly curious upon the first swallow, with a mix of intense grains (thanks apparently to the use of hazelnut flour and “heirloom wheat”), along with a slightly tangy, cider-style aftertaste.  This beer presents an odd and unpleasant mix of flavors, both nutty and slightly tart, that only grow more off-putting the more you drink.   It’s simultaneously a fascinating historical project and thoroughly undrinkable.



   1.5 Toasts



toasts-small-2   2 Toasts


As Follows – Stillwater Artisanal Ales

stillwater_bttl9% ABV

Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($13.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “eschatological ale” (no one told Baltimore-based Stillwater Artisanal Ales that the Mayans were full of it?) pours a bright but opaque pale gold with an extremely dense, shocking-white head.  As Follows offers a nose of barnyard funk, bread, peach, and a little bit of butterscotch, fairly Belgian-y in all with some subtle spice notes.  The taste is decidedly un-sweet and very rustic, with a taste and light mouthfeel reminiscent of seltzer water, along with an aftertaste of funk, rye, garden herbs, and some touches of spice and wood.  It’s a very subtle and drinkable beer that doesn’t quite live up to the price tag, although it could be a hit amongst beer geeks with sensitive palettes.

toasts-3.5    3.5 Toasts


toasts-3.5    3.5 Toasts


Jessenhofke Belgian Triple

8% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($14.00/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into goblet glasses.

This “malt beverage brewed with garlic” pours an iced tea brown with a slight white head and a curious nose that mixes champagne grapes, Belgian earthiness, and yes, garlic.  Although billed as a “Belgian Triple”, it is hardly triple-like on the tongue, instead offering a plum-like fruitiness on the front end that fades into a backyard garden mouthful on the finish (with not just garlic present, but a variety of herbs and vegetables).  Upon subsequent swallows, the flavors coalesce into a burnt caramel sweetness with a grape and pressed apple tang around the margins.  Jessenhofke is a surprisingly tasty and decidedly non-garlic-forward brew with a number of welcome surprises.

    4 Toasts

    4 Toasts

Bink Tripel – Brouwerij Kerkom

9% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea ($9/10 oz. serving) and poured into tulip glasses

This tripel from Belgium-based Brouwerij Kerkom (they also brew a Bink Blond and a Bink Bruin) pours a mostly opaque hay yellow with a tight white head and a faint nose of bananas and candy. Warm, butterscotch flavors welcome you on the first swallow, with some yeasty tropical backing notes along with soft bananas.  Bink Tripel contains none of the spice notes of the Westoek XX tripel, but the prominent banana candy and yeast flavors give it a distinctly dessert-like tone, and it ends up tasting a lot like Allagash Curieux without the barrel-aging process. More and more bananas and hard alcohol enter the frame upon subsequent swallows, but Bink Tripel is also amply hopped for a nice balance.

    4 Toasts

   4.5 Toasts

Westoek XX

8% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($4.99/11.2 oz. bottle) and poured into Orval glasses

This fantastic Belgian tripel from Brouwerij Deca Services (besides the lighter sister beer Westoek X, they also brew the Vleteren series) pours a murky copper with a light and marshmallow-y off-white head.  Westoek XX has an intriguing tropical nose of guava, berries, some grapes, and healthy doses of spice and funk.  There is a neat depth of fruity flavors on the first swallow, with kiwi the most prominent but strawberry and bananas also present, along with lots of chewy spice on the finish.  Upon subsequent swallows, the barnyard flavors become more and more dominant, along with warm apple and some more muted and textured tropical notes.

    4.5 Toasts

   4.5 Toasts

Asylum (Left Coast Brewing)

11.8 ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($6.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into goblet glasses.

His Notes:

Asylum is an especially high-alcohol Belgian tripel from San Clemente-based Left Coast Brewing, and it pours a pale gold with an immense, frothy white head and extremely agitated bubbles similar to champagne (it took 10-15 minutes for the head to dissipate). There are lovely tropical fruits on the nose (especially pineapple, coconut shavings, and guava), but it’s the muscular grains that dominate the first swallow, alongside juicy pineapple, coconut, and a unique pepper spice flavor.  Hard alcohol comes in on the finish, along with chewy hops and a dry, cracker-like texture.  This brew offers some really nice complexity and a few unexpected twists and turns.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4.5 Toasts

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