The Session #24: Tripel for Two

The SessionA "Tripel for Two." Such is the theme for today’s Session, presented to us by David from Musings Over a Pint:

Beer is best when it’s shared, and a strong beer is just right for sharing. Belgian Tripels are big beers with a flavor profile that is enjoyed by both experienced and new beer fans. Be it an intimate evening, or watching a ball game on TV, a Tripel is made for sipping and sharing. For Session #24 the theme is "A Tripel for Two." What Tripel would you pick to share with that good friend, family member, or lover?

This is a topic that is (obviously) motivated by Valentine’s Day, which is just around the corner, but alas, I cannot quite play along in that spirit.

  • My wife doesn’t like beer (except for Lindemans Framboise Lambic), so I can’t share a Tripel with her.
  • Today and this week have been busy busy busy, so I’ve barely had time to drink much beer in general, much less enjoying a beer with a good friend or family member.
  • My kids are quite obviously too young to share beer with.

That leaves one possibility: the internet. Or rather, you, the reader, following along with today’s Session.

I’ve picked a fairly accessible example of the style to drink and review tonight: New Belgium’s Trippel. I’ve tried a few Tripels over the years, but this was my first from New Belgium. Despite the inordinate number of New Belgium haters out there, I really rather like the beers they produce and find them to be a top-notch brewer.

Their Trippel is, by alcohol strength (7.8% by volume), a bit on the lower end of the spectrum for the style. I’m not complaining, just noting; 7.8% is still plenty strong.

New Belgium TrippelIf you’re reading this and want to follow along, go find some of their Trippel—the other benefit of picking New Belgium is they’re fairly widespread, as well. Go ahead. The blog ain’t going anywhere. (That way I can at least pretend this is a Tripel for Two.)

Appearance: Very clear, the color of golden honey, with a minimal light tan head. Some yeast residue at the bottom of the bottle indicate bottle conditioning.

Smell: Belgian candi sugar and an earthy-fruity character like a peach or something similar. Also a spicy note, faint but there.

Taste: Surprising coriander note up front that’s quite pleasant. Sweet candi sugar presence without being cloying, and followed up by a dry(ish) spicy hop character. A vegetable note—beets, say, or earthy greens of some kind.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and playful and lighter-bodied than it’s strength would indicate.

Overall: Enjoyable, nice presence on the tongue, tasty. Not as big as some of the Tripels out there, but no slouch either—but to its credit you wouldn’t know it. Lively.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of B+. On RateBeer, it scores 3.64 out of 5 and is in their 91st percentile.

The best part is, I’ve got five more Trippels left to enjoy. For $7.49 for the six-pack, that’s a value that’s hard to beat. Maybe I’ll find someone to share with…


New Belgium Trippel

2 comments

  1. I was in Colorado Springs in December and discovered New Belgium. I liked the beers I tried from there. I didn’t have the Trippel but did have the Fat Tire on tap, 2 Below from the bottle and their wheat beer on tap.
    Brought some 2 Below back to Toronto with me and was rather sad when it was gone.

  2. It is more refreshing than you’d typically expect a tripel to be. I find myself wishing they toss some more yeast in and give a little more time for the secondary fermentation, but then I guess it would lose that marked clarity and lightness.

    Thanks for the good review.

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