I cracked open the Kerberos Tripel tonight, from the Flying Dog promo package I received last Friday. It’s Flying Dog’s version of a Belgian, er, Tripel style of ale, and they’ve put some effort into recreating the "Tripel experience."
(I just made that up. Basically, they’ve tried to be faithful to the style by using appropriate malts, European hops and even taking the unusual step—unusual for a big brewery anyway—of bottle conditioning the beer.)
Flying Dog must have fun naming their beers within their dog theme, and this one especially. Kerberos (or Cerberus) in Greek mythology was the three-headed dog of the god Hades; three heads → triple → Tripel (style) → get it? Okay, that was probably more fun for me, but still.
This beer is 8.5% alcohol by volume, and I decided to do something unusual and serve it up in a large snifter (I don’t have a goblet, which would be more appropriate).
Appearance: Hazy amber-gold colored beer, with an off-white head that dissipated quickly but left a nice ring of lacing.
Smell: Sugary, fruity (a bit sour), a hint of the alcohol heat. Belgian candy sugar and a tad estery.
Taste: Belgian-sweet base with a hoppy bitter kick. A sense of winter root vegetables and a touch of Belgian funk. Some white pepper spiciness and you can tell there’s some alcoholic punch hiding in there.
Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with a lingering hop bitterness… an effect not unlike the aftertaste/feel of a (good) Swiss cheese.
Overall: Nice job on this one; pleasantly spicy and funky and a good sipping beer.