Category Archives: Tripels

Nogne O ‘Aurora Australis II’ Port Barrel Aged Tripel

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13417645_526941857489964_8735033148347618719_n“In Norwegian tradition alcoholic beverages are sent across the globe to benefit from the temperature variation and climate changes experienced when crossing the equator. This Belgian triple was brewed at Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth, Australia. Maturation took place in Australian port barrels on its journey to Norway. Blending and packaging was carried out by Nøgne Ø.”

Served in wide-rimmed chalice. The appearance is heavily clouded with an apricot hue. It’s covered by a one finger cap that gradually peels back to a halo with scarce lacing left on the glass. Some really pungent aromas emanating here – we can certainly get strong wafts of port from the barrel aging process this Tripel underwent. Furthermore we get a soft oaky tannin that works brilliantly in to this mild funky tartness. There are some fruity elements too – stewed apples, pear and apricot are all somewhat emphasized by a subtle alcohol burn on the olfactory’s. It almost has this sherry-like sweetness to it as well. Gorgeous, really complex but a delight to take in. The mouth feel is oily and slightly sharp. The 11% ABV doesn’t overplay its hand which is great because it allows the port tannins to wash over the tongue. Co2 is moderate and the body is medium. Drinks very nicely. Upfront we definitely detect those traditional Belgian candy sugars that marry together beautifully with light port notes and oak. Hints of caramel sweetness flow through the mid along with flavours of artificial fruits that lead in to a sweet fruity, tart and slightly spicy finish with a lingering alcohol warmth on the rear palate. Not a great deal of traditional Belgian Tripel characters here but the barrel aging in port barrels is a master stroke and really gives this beer its unique flavour and aroma. Far from a sessional drop but with enough flavour to sink a ship, this is a damn fine Tripel that’s tough not to enjoy.

 

La Sirene ‘Wild Tripelle’ Tripel

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12112514_501708230013327_9030278463199115605_n“La Sirene Wild Tripelle is a 100% spontaneously fermented Belgian Tripel produces with the indigenous resident microbes within our brewery’s walls. A concoction of complex citrus aromatics & flavours, floral hints & funky wild yeast driven characters. Wilde Tripelle is a testament to the magic of Mother Nature & untamed brewing.”

Served in a beer tulip. Hazy golden orange pour with a healthy two and a bit finger head that retreats to a halo with scarce lacing. Certainly getting a lot of traditional Belgian yeasty aromas with a clove-like spiciness, banana runts and bubblegum gushing out. A suggestion of vanilla comes through with a delicate citrus sweetness to balance. All the Tripel characters are here but the ‘wild’ component is completely M.I.A on the nose – no funkier than your average Tripel which to be honest suits us just fine but your seasoned Sour drinker probably wouldn’t be all that thrilled. The texture of the beer is mineraly with a medium-high Co2 level. Body is quite full but not heavy on the palate, it’s got more of a dense and frothy fullness to it. The 8% ABV is kept well in check while a slight sourness has the saliva glands working. The flavour profile begins quite sharply. A vigorous fusion of alcohol warmth, citric acidity and carbonation ease into softer notes of clove, apples and white grapes across the mid. The sourness maybe missing on the nose but it’s surely made up for in flavour as it leads in to a clean and dry finish with reasonable length. Not as interesting as we’d hoped for but it still has plenty to offer. A little more funkiness would have helped the beer live up to its name but the Tripel characters were spot on. Definitely not in the league as their praline ale but a decent quaffer all the same. Good, but not great.

Trappistenbrouwerij De Kievit ‘Zundert’ Tripel

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539211_465714063612744_4729403675372599495_n“For the first time in 125 years a new Trappist brewery opens its doors in the Netherlands. The name of the beer is Zundert , named after then place where the brewery stands. Zundert Trappist is a copper-gold, fermented beer with eight percent alcohol.”

This is the Netherlands’ 2nd Trappist brewery. 2nd only to one of the worlds most famous Trappist breweries, La Trappe. For us, it’s another Trappist brewery/beer we can tick off our list in our quest to try a beer from every Trappist brewery in the world.

Served in a wide-rimmed tulip glass. Pours to a deep amber hue with a soft copper tint. A fizzy three finger head is generated, eventually it retreats to a thick overlay with healthy lacing being strewn down the glass. Smells like a good traditional Tripel – rich, complex, fruity and yeasty. Banana, clove, bubblegum, and vanilla lead out while undertones of peppery spice, stewed apples, alcohol and crystalized sugars work in the background. Good texture in the mouth, medium-full in body with a vibrant Co2 level. The 8% ABV is detectable upfront but the burn does taper off as it progresses down with ease. So simple to drink. The palate somewhat mirrors the aroma. Very yeasty, quite estery, and a little fruity with a touch of spice coming through. The alcohol warmth is discernible but it eases off leaving a sweet, spicy finish to round it all off. Decent length. Excellent Tripel. Traditional in style and super easy to drink. May be not as good as the likes of La Trappe or Westmalle but it’s definitely a classy drop. More to the point, it means now only St Josephs and Westvleteren are the only two remaining Trappist breweries we are still to try. Challenge accepted.

Black Heart Brewery Limited Release Tripel

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12247205_451707221680095_7752108012098403400_n“This complex strong Belgian ale is a marriage of spicy, fruity and alcohol flavours mixed with orange and peppery notes along with a low but distinctive floral hop character.”

This is the 2015 limited edition Tripel. Bottle 304/500 so it’s quite rare and we’re pretty damn happy about getting our hands on one. Served in a beer tulip. The somewhat bronze appearance caps off with a finger of beige foam that rapidly reduces to a halo with minimal lacing. Looks a lot darker than the standard Belgian Tripel. A light twirl of the glass evokes slightly complex aromas. Very multi-layered. Initially we get sweet scents of caramel and raisin with a kind of plummy juiciness. Delve deeper and a subtle liqueur-like quality is detected, not quite as sharp as sherry or port, more like a spiced rum character. Definitely a hint of pepper, a touch of candy and a somewhat stewed pear fruitiness to fill it out. Solid aroma! Good balance in the mouth. While the texture is smooth and velvety there is a subtle alcohol (9.2% ABV) warmth that stimulates the palate. The Co2 is mild and body is around the medium mark. Initially the sweet malts, raisin, caramel and alcohol burn combine on entry. Midway, fruits like banana and orange are introduced as a slightly peppery spice leads in to a dry and fruity finish. Our first crack at this breweries range was a bit of a disappointment but this Tripel has certainly won back our respect. Good complexity, true-to-style, tasty and above all it’s highly palatable. This is a decent version of a Belgian Tripel.

Red Duck ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ Barrel-aged Belgian Tripel

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12185103_446500915534059_5125094796394700475_o“Red Duck Bizarre Love Triangle is our extended version of Blue Monday, aged in a Hogshead (oak barrel) for 6 months, which changed this simple Tripel into something much more complex, different, softer, oakier, and delicious. Notes of a little caramel, butterscotch, vanilla and a whole lot of love.”

Served in a snifter glass. This barrel-aged Tripel pours a deep amber hue with a soft crimson tint. A short white head is generated but it reduces quickly to a lonely island of foam in the middle. Laced poorly. The aroma offers a lot of sour and bretty features initially. We detect a lot of tart citrus, lemon juice, rosewater, pepper, dried tea leaf, oak, caramel and an unwelcome sulphuric scent to round it out. Brown bottle so it being light-struck wouldn’t be the case. Probably just a byproduct of the barrel ageing process. Ultimately an unconventional Tripel aroma but somewhat nice in its own right. In the mouth it’s as smooth as silk with a kind of wine-like woody tannin. We get a subtle sharpness from the 7.8% ABV but the malts snuff that out quickly. Not a great deal of weight to the beer so it’s coming across as quite thin in texture. All in all it’s not too bad in the mouth. This sour funkiness is transferred from the aroma on to the flavour. Plenty of oak earthiness, lots of tart citrus, a suggestion of musty dryness and a warming heat from the alcohol is what we’re getting. All we’re missing is almost every hallmark one would expect from a Tripel! Here and there we get hints of spice and maybe a hint of vanilla but there isn’t a lot other than sour, oaky, tangy and musty flavours. Loving the complexity! And we’d be loving it even more if we were actually drinking a wild ale or a sour but it’s marketed as a Tripel and we hardly got any prominent Tripel flavours out of it. Points for all round aroma, flavour and complexity but somewhat disappointed with the missing Tripel character.

Westmalle Trappist Tripel

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imageIn one of our recent reviews of a Trappist beer we revealed our plight to review, at least, one beer from every brewery that is brilliant enough to own the Trappist label. This Tripel from Westmalle is one of those beers which we can’t honestly explain why it’s taken us so long to review as it’s a beer, that until now, was constantly overlooked. Cool bottle too, this distinctive ring that protrudes around the neck is very unique and we must admit, something we’ve never seen on any other bottle. OK, on with the review.

We served in to a snifter glass. The cloudy light golden pour arouses a bubbly one and a half finger head which peels off a cm before resting to a thin, foamy covering over the top. Laced well, shedding some thick, soapy residue as we imbibe. The nose is quite conservative for a Belgian Tripel of its strength (9.5% ABV) not as sweet as most of its counterparts as this certain savoury caramel fudge-like feature Is detected initially. A certain candi sugary sweetness is there but it’s held back by wafts of dough, lemonade, herbs, banana, clove, pear, alcohol and white pepper. Still quite traditional…and essentially a very nice aroma. In the mouth it’s quite sharp with the alcohol burn really piercing the tongue. Quite a nice and smooth texture which does help to balance out the ABV. Mild-moderate carbonation. Certainly on the fuller side, really taking its time as it grips on its way down. Sweetness is prevalent upfront, amplified by a firm alcohol presence and citric fruit esters. Some candi sugar develops late as the mid displays some spicy and floral notes that lead on to a herbaceous finish that offers lingering hints of coriander and lemongrass to round it all off. Impressive. Another top shelf brew that can easily be added to the list of benchmark Belgian Tripels. It’s not like the authentic Trappist label is awarded willy nilly, beers of this quality gain the label, and this one definitely deserves it. Classy stuff.

Brasserie St. Feuillien Tripel

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image“Since 1873, the Friart family has been brewing various beers, among others, the St-Feuillien. But the history of this beer goes back even further. In the 7th century, an Irish monk by the name of Feuillien came to the Continent to preach the Gospel. Unfortunately, in 655, while travelling through the charcoal forest, across the territory of what is now the town of Le Roeulx, Feuillien was martyred and beheaded. On the site of his martyrdom, Feuillien’s disciples erected a chapel which, in 1125 became the Abbey of Prémontrés, but later became known as the Abbaye St-Feuillien du Roeulx. The Abbey prospered until the upheavals of the French Revolution. During these troubled times, it was condemned by the revolutionaries. For centuries, monks have brewed beer and this tradition has been preserved until this very day. Fourth generation of brewers for the Friart family but still the same passion and know-how”.

Served in to a snifter. The slightly hazy golden pour is alive with active carbonation and fine suspended sediments. The heads swells to just over two fingers in height before peeling off about 1cm and retaining. Healthy lace trails are being omitted. What we first like about this aroma is this unique scent of spicy dried tea leaves that is really well blended in to the distinctively Belgian wafts of pear, vanilla, banana lollies, clove and honey. A few deeper sniffs and undertones of black pepper and stone fruits are uncovered. It’s refreshing to smell a Tripel with a slight twist to it. In the mouth it’s light and frothy with medium-high Co2 levels. It’s amazing how these Belgians brew beers so heavy in ABV (this particular one is 8.5%) but manage to keep them so smooth. Upfront we get a honeyed lemon sweetness which is offset by a muted peppery spice and that lovely herbal tea leaf we were talking about in the aroma. The ABV drops in around the mid but it’s well contained as it gradually progresses in to spicy notes and eventually on to a yeasty finish with lingering notes of banana and bready malts. Damn good Tripel. This is actually our first crack at this breweries range and to be honest we’re more than impressed. The base aromas and flavours are there, the high ABV is well disguised and that beautiful injection of spicy tea leaf really finished it off for us. Very nice, we will certainly be keeping an eye out for more of this breweries beers.

Sierra Nevada/monks of the abbey ‘ovila’ abbey tripel

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imageThis latest edition is a collaboration between famed Sierra nevada brewery and the Monks of the abbey of New clairvaux. Tripels were first created by the belgian monks. We are particularly interested in the flavour profile of this brew, as Sierra Nevada have just recently been placed 3rd in America’s top breweries by the Brewers Association. Firstly we love the old champagne style bottle with the use of cork. Let’s taste!

Poured into a shaker glass as there are no belgian glasses on hand, there is an audible pop as the cork comes out. Lovely champagne style aroma. Pours a golden ale colour with a 20mm thick rigid foam head that retains beautifully. Lots of little carbonated bubble intermixed with bigger bubble. First sip reveals decent booze, with the addition of bready dough, banana, and clove. A good swish around the mouth elicits an alcohol wash over the palate. This brew is sitting at 8.8% so we can understand why. There is mild bitterness here and as you drink we get the impression that this is a pretty smooth drop because the back palate is well balanced. Decent Belgian yeast dominates with sweet malt and sourdough all the way down. Can get glimpses of the famed Sierra nevada malt backbone. Medium body here with mild carbonation on tongue. Definately a drinkable and enjoyable Tripel. Nothing overtly flashy, just true to style.

Moa ‘Special Edition’ Tripel Sauvignon

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image“A Belgian style Tripel experimental fusion beer where the candi sugar adjunct was replaced with unfermented Sauvignon Blanc grape juice from the 2014 Marlborough harvest. The end result is a beer where the typical Tripel banana and spice fermentation derived characters are complemented by vineous yet fruity and tropical notes.”

This special edition release also came with a rum barrel aged Quadrupel which we reviewed very recently. Unfortunately it was way off the mark for a quad so we’re really hoping this Tripel can restore back some faith. Corked and uncaged then served in to a beer tulip. The appearance offers a bright golden colour with good clarity. The short and compacted white head grew to about 1cm before collapsing on itself, leaving a thin film over the top. Some lacing is left to be seen, but it’s watery and sparse. The aroma is a little restrained for a Tripel, we are getting some delicate wafts of your typical Belgian yeasts – banana, clove, apple/pear and esters but they are slightly outweighed by the wine components – white grapes, stone fruits and lime. To be honest the two characteristics do work well together without any sort of clash. Decent aroma. In the mouth it feels light and oily with mild carbonation. Medium bodied. Very palatable, it seems to breeze down with hardly any grip. Following on from the aroma is, again, another decent display of balance between the sweet Belgian yeasts and the fruity NZ grapes. Initially, like the aroma, flavours of banana, pear, alcohol and muted spice are followed by grapes and stone fruits with a slight Sauvignon-like acidity. The subtle alcohol (9.3%) warmth seems to gel the two combinations together as it finishes light and dry with an emphasis on spice. We would have to give points here for daring to put a spin on a Belgian recipe that’s been brewed the same way for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Unlike the rum barrel quad they have got the balance right. Give me an original Belgian Tripel any day but this spin on a classic style has to be respected. Gutsy, but it’s come off and it is quite a nice beer.

Moa ‘St. Josephs’ Belgian Tripel

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imageIt’s always a good sign when you check out some stats on a beer and see more than a dozen medals ranging from bronze to gold over a decade have been awarded to it. That’s the case here and it comes as no surprise when we find out that Josh Scott (owner of Moa brewing) has local winemaking royalty in his blood, being the son of a very well known and respected Marlborough winemaker, Allan Scott. This passion for wine comes out in his beer as we take a good look at the bottle – corked and resembling a half bottle of champagne.

We proceed to pop the cork and pour into a wide rimmed tulip glass. We’re met with a hazy, honeyed amber appearance that’s capped off with a short white head which takes about a minute or two to peel away to a fine covering. Wet, streaky lacing is being omitted. Smells wonderful, enough to excite the most seasoned Belgian beer drinker. Big yeasty component here, we pick up lots of oriental spices (clove, star anise, nutmeg) banana, bubblegum, pepper and vanilla initially. A little muted honey sweetness, hints of pear/apple and citrus work nicely in the background. Great start, sticking very true to style and getting it right. Nice and creamy in the mouth with a healthy tickle from the 9.5% ABV. The carbonation is moderate with a beautifully weighted body. Certainly has some good grip on the tongue. Quite complex on the palate, upfront the taste buds are in a frenzy trying to isolate flavours of banana, clove, sweet malts, honey and slightly tart lemon. Incredibly, all these are carried forward through the mid as an evident warming of the mouth is brought on by the alcohol volume. The finish sees a tapering off of the alcohol and a substitution with a sharp and dry peppery spice that endures on the tongue. Damn fine brew here. We love how the brewer has kept true to style but put his little spin on it. Really good drop.

New Belgium ‘Trippel’

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imageA good American brewery this one, so it’s a safer bet for us as it is easy for non-Belgian brewers to flop when brewing Tripels. This one is brewed with real coriander so we’re interested to see how these guys shape up with this complicated style of brewing.

Served in a beer tulip. The appearance is as clear as day with really active carbonation. Dozens of separate streams rise up to the compact 1 finger head that quickly shrinks down and holds at a very fine covering on top. Lacing is average. Smells good, similar to a Chimay or a La Trappe with it’s firm presence of fruit esters, spicy yeast, pear, coriander, banana bread, clove and orange. Solid aroma. In the mouth it’s quite smooth with a creamy texture. Carbonation is moderate with medium-full body, lightly gripping the tongue on the way down. The flavour is where we get a little bit of the US thrown in as the characteristic Belgian yeasts offer up banana, pear and a peppery spice upfront. A firmer than usual hop bitterness cuts through and is accentuated by a slight alcohol warmth (7.8%) through the mid. A malty sweetness bridges the mid and delivers a fruity finish with a mild, spicy dryness on the rear palate. Good length. We have to give credit to the brewers here they have produced a respectable Tripel. Is it on the same level as a Chimay or a La Trappe? Almost. These guys should be very happy with their brew, we dare say it wouldn’t be easy taking on the Belgians at their own craft.

Leffe Tripel

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image“Leffe Tripel is an authentic blond abbey beer full of character that experiences a secondary fermentation in the bottle due to the presence of yeast. Its flavour is robust and refined”.

For almost 800 years Leffe has been brewing from the same recipe, I mean you don’t have to be a big fan of history but that is simply amazing. The beer we are about to consume is almost the same brew as one of the Monk brewers would have drank back in the mid 1200’s. Absolutely incredible thought. Served in a beer tulip the heavily clouded orange pour produced a 1 finger head before reducing to a halo around the edge of the glass. Mild lace. All those lovely Belgian, yeasty aromas are on show here as we revel in the abundance of banana, orange, pear, caramel, clove, brown sugar and alcohol. In the mouth it’s smooth with a creamy texture. The carbonation is quite mild and the body is full without being too heavy. Upfront the taste buds are treated to a short burst of banana, caramel and spice. Cutting through is a subtle alcohol warmth that settles through the mid-palate and provides a very sweet finish of caramelised sugar and candied pear. The 8.5% ABV is actually very well behaved, only really there offering support in the background of the aroma and flavour. Overall this was a pretty good Tripel from one of the better known Belgian Abbey breweries.

Duvel ‘tripel hop’ 2014

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image“Duvel Tripel Hop is brewed with three hop varieties and each year the third hop is changed to provide its own unique taste and aroma. This keeps the final flavor profile surprisingly exciting for any true beer lover. For 2014 our brewers selected the aromatic hop MOSAIC from the USA.”

This is a limited edition release from the master brewery in Belgium. We’re excited about this marriage of Abbey and mega hops. This brew sits at 9.5% ABV and uses saaz, mosaic and styrian goldings hops. Pours a clear straw, champagne colour with a light, but foamy large head that dissipates slowly. Very floral this one..passion fruit, mango, lemon, Belgian yeast, and banana. The flavour backs up the aroma and has big, lively carbonation in the mouth. Alcohol is extremely well hidden here when swished around the mouth. The malt level is balanced here too. Mild spicy ness also. More passion fruit and banana/bubblegum in the finish. The Belgian yeast shows up on the back palate. Good bitterness. We feel this is a good beer because of the balance. Nice work.

Victory brewery ‘Golden monkey’ Tripel

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image“A magical, mystical Monkey whose golden soul glows with the wisdom of the ages. This warming, flavored ale is rich in the spirited tradition of Belgian-inspired brewing. Our Golden Monkey is both playfully delightful and profoundly satisfying. Exotic spices from the East round out this global journey to joy. Get on board. This Monkey’s bound for glory!”

This is our first crack at this brewery deriving from Pennsylvania, USA. Served in a beer tulip the clear golden pour whipped up a 1 inch white head that slowly faded to a thin covering on top. OK lacing. We’re always unsure of non-Belgian Tripels but we’d have to say this one smells good. Other than the strange dusty aroma the estery, yeasty wafts of banana lollies, clove, booze, apricot, bubblegum, spice and pear drops stack up with some of the best Belgian Tripels on the market. In the mouth it feels oily with medium carbonation. Medium-full bodied. An assertive alcohol sting gets things underway while the taste buds revel in an array of initial flavours such as banana, raisin, sugar and stone fruits. The mid-palate dries up with a short burst of bitterness that finishes sweet and fruity with good duration on the tongue. The 9.5% ABV is actually well buried despite it’s noticeable presence upfront. All the way through this we couldn’t help but think how similar this was to Murray’s Grand Cru. These guys should be really happy with their brew, this Tripel is a very respectable attempt at a very complex form of brewing. We’ll be looking forward to their next offering.

Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet

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image“Tripel Karmeliet is still brewed to an authentic beer recipe from 1679 originating in the former Carmelite monastery in Dendermonde. Written over three hundred years ago, this recipe describes the use of three kinds of grain, wheat, oats and barley. The name Tripel Karmeliet thus refers to both it’s origin and in it’s in-bottle re-fermentation. From many trial brews of mulit-grain tripels carried out at our brewery in the 90’s, it appears that the particular historic combination of three kinds of grain still remains the ideal blend.”

This Tripel would have to be one of the most popular, although it’s not a Trappist, the recipe dates back to well over 300 years ago. Just mind blowing. Served in a beer tulip the translucent, almost milky straw-yellow pour produces a 1/2 inch white head before collapsing to absolutely nothing at all. No lacing which is to be expected. A decent twirl of the glass yields a mixed array of aromas including banana, champagne, clove, lemon, coriander, booze, white grapes, bubblegum and pear drops. Aromas like these are exactly why we love Abbey beers, they are so complex. The mouth feel is frothy with high carbonation. Medium-full body. The palate is amazing, with repetitive flavours of lemonade, bubblegum, banana, clove and booze that intermittently come in and out from the fore-flavour through to the champagne finish. The 8.4% ABV is so well hidden in flavour. How do they do it? How does a clear golden amber liquid offer so many aromas and flavours? We have so much respect for the history and the original brewing techniques used in these beers. So humbling.

La Trappe Tripel (Trappist)

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image“The La Trappe name comes from that of the French abbey of ‘Notre-Dame de la Grande Trappe’ in the Normandy village of Soligny-la-Trappe, also known as ‘La Trappe’. This is where the order of Trappist monks originated. As far  back as 1140, Benedictine monks ran a chapel here, which later became the Cistercian ‘La Trappe’ monastery”.

We were actually quite surprised when we realised we hadn’t done a review on this bad boy. No need for any introductions here, all we need to know is that this is an authentic Trappist beverage. Served in a beer tulip the hazy amber orange pour produced a fizzy 1 finger white head that slowly collapsed to a halo around the edge of the glass. Off the nose we could pick up the dominant Belgian yeast characteristic of banana bread/lollies. Flowing underneath is an array of complex and floral aromas consisting of pear, apple, spice, booze, pepper, herbs and pot pourri. In the mouth it’s quite creamy with medium-high carbonation. Full bodied. Similar to the aroma the palate opens up with a dominant flavour of banana, coupling with a subtle alcohol burn (8% ABV). Peppery spice, fruit esters and toffee form in the mid-palate and are in turn complimented by a soft herbal finish with good length. Over the many years and many more Belgian ales we’d have to say that there are better options on the shelves. We felt the yeast elements was grossly over-represented here and could have done with more balance. Still, a highly palatable tripel.

De Dochter van de Korenaar ‘finesse’ Tripel

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imagePicked this up from a tiny little independent bottle shop in Berry, South Coast NSW. Quite a strange name ‘De Dochter van de Korenaar’ translated to English means ‘the daughter of the ear of corn’. “From old records it appears that Emperor Charles V around 1550 preferred the “juice of the daughter of the Ear of Corn ‘better than the” blood of grapes. “In other words, Charles preferred beer over wine”.

Served in a tulip glass the heavily clouded amber/orange pour produced a tight 1 finger head that maintains for a minute or so but gradually collapses to a halo around the edge of the glass. Minimal lacing. The aroma is choc full of sticky malts, caramel and honey. Underneath this though is where all the Belgian magic is happening. Subtle yet rich notes of spicy Belgian yeast, banana, brown sugar, candied pear, apricot, grain and nougat are the reasons we keep coming back to strong Belgian ales. Simply delightful. In the mouth it feels slightly frothy and well-rounded with mild-medium carbonation. Medium-full bodied texture. Upfront a maturing and flavoursome splash of sweet fruit esters, toffee and white pepper fills up the mouth. A slight alcohol warmth (8.5% ABV) develops and moves forward onto a chewy finish of lingering caramel, brown sugar and grains. For such a rare and unheard of brewery this tripel has definitely won our appreciation. Boozy, rich, sweet and spicy. So Belgian. So good.

St. Bernardus Brouwerij Watou Tripel

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image“Watou Tripel is a traditional abbey ale brewed in the classic “Triple” style of Belgium’s Trappist Monks. This golden pale ale is mellow-sweet with lightly perfumed aromas and some spicy yeast notes. Rich and fruity with a soft mouth feel. (7,0% ABV)”

Served in a tulip glass the slightly hazy golden- orange pour produces a fluffy 1 finger white head that retains well but laces minimally. Plenty of suspended sediment, so watch your pour if you don’t like your floaties. The aroma offers everything you would hope to expect from a big yeasty Belgian tripel – banana, bubblegum, clove, dried fruits, herbs, apricot, booze and champagne all combine together so well it’s like a match made in heaven. An absolute delight to take in. The mouth feel has a slightly frothy texture with medium carbonation. Quite light on. Upfront we get sweet malts and hints of banana with a slight alcohol warmth on the tongue. Sweet malts and spice develop through the mid-palate while a subtle touch of peppery spice along with dried fruits and honeyed malts finish off an impressive tripel. The 7.5% ABV is actually quite low for a tripel but is used with precision in taste and aroma. You can’t really ask for too much more from this type of beer. Executed perfectly.

Brasserie du bocq triple moine

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image“The Bocq brewery founded in 1858 by Martin Belot, is currently one of the few Belgian breweries still 100% family. Located in the heart of the wonderful tourist region that is the Condroz, this dynamic company has remained true to traditional manufacturing of high fermentation beers with bottle fermentation processes. Today, the sixth generation presides over the Bocq brewery that looks to the future with confidence.”

Releases such as Blanche De Namur, La Gauoise and St. Benoit are synonymous with quality beer and they are all the brainchild of Du Bocq. Served in a beer tulip. The clear golden pour generates a thick fizzy white head but unfortunately it diminishes quickly with average lacing. The aroma is offering everything you would expect for a Belgian tripel. Smatterings of Belgian yeast (banana, pear and spice). Hints of fresh herbs, stone fruits and sour dough are also detected. Lovely. Medium-high carbonation and medium body. Surprisingly light mouth feel. The palate delivers plenty of fruity characters (stone fruit, pear and apple) spice, some earthy notes and zesty orange peel leading to more sweetness in the finish. The 7.3% ABV is really well hidden. It’s good, but it just doesn’t have that pizzazz that an authentic Trappist tripel would. Not bad but not great.

Tuatara Belgian tripel

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image“Originally brewed by Carl in 2001 when, back in the day, punters weren’t quite ready for the sensory onslaught.. after biding its time, this Belgian style strong golden ale now has a beloved place in the market!”

Here here. Served in a beer tulip. Our slightly aggressive pour aroused a big, puffy 2 finger crown that maintains well. Excellent head retention that allows for dense lacing to cling to the glass. The bright amber appearance offers an attractive bronze glow that presents a slight haziness with active bubbles. Good looking beer. The aroma is a little disappointing initially as it struggles to offer any more than pilsner-like aromas of grain, bready malts and herbs. With a bit of time and adjustment to the room temperature we start to detect more funky aromas like clove, banana bread, tangy orange, buttered popcorn, dust, honeyed nuts and apricot. Woah! This really comes alive with warmth. In the mouth it’s velvety smooth with a creamy texture. Carbonation is mild with medium-full body. The flavour profile kicks off with with chewy stone fruits and banana bread over sweet honeyed malts. Subtle spice carries these forward through the mid as a very faint alcohol warmth develops late delivering quite a surprisingly smooth and fruity finish with really good duration on the tongue. The ABV (8.5%) masks itself exceptionally well as this beer just gets better and better. Well, a couple of minor hiccups at the start mean little when it wraps up nicely, and that’s what it’s done. Not quite on Belgian levels here but it’s a pretty fine attempt. Good drop.