Friday, May 9, 2014

New Belgium Trippel (8/10)

New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado, entered the Ohio market on December 16, 2013.  Although they have a very wide product line, only a few of their beers entered the marketplace. 
The brewery’s web site says “Our Trippel Belgian Style Ale (pronounced triple) opens with a bold blast of hops that slowly gives way to the fruity esters implied by our Belgian yeast strain.  In the Belgian tradition of brewing singles, doubles, and triples, Trippel is the strongest with the longest fermentation.  Remarkably smooth and complex, our bottle-conditioned Trippel is spiced with a trace of coriander.

The beer pours a slightly cloudy gold with finger-thick white head that lasts a little while.  Carbonation is almost champagne-like.
The aroma delivers a mild clove element and the usual Belgian spice.  There’s even a hint of banana in it. 

The flavor starts with a  short burst of hops, which quickly gives way to the malty, very slightly sweet, spicy flavor of a traditional Belgian tripel.  At 25 IBUs, this isn’t an overly-hopped beer, but hoppier than is typical for the tripel style.

Personally, I prefer New Belgium Trippel to the flagship Fat Tire beer.  Not too surprisingly, I also prefer it to their IPAs, and the three “Lips of Faith” brews they brought into Ohio this go-round.  I am, however, very much looking forward to their Abbey (double) and Lips of Faith Cascara Quad arriving here in Ohio.  As much as I enjoy New Belgium Trippel, I much prefer their Abbey and Quad.  If you have the opportunity to try those, I heartily recommend it.

Beer Advocate rates New Belgium Trippel a 92 or “outstanding”.  Rate Beer gives it a 94 overall.  I like it well enough to rate it an 8 out of 10.  There are tripels I like better, but those cost far more than the $2.99/bottle this 22 ounce bomber cost me.  For the price, it’s an excellent beer.

Flavor Profile:
Sweet, Malty, Dry, Bitter, or Sour:  Malty
Spice Level:  Medium
Hops Level:  Low to Medium
Dominant Flavors:  Citrus, Malt, Hops, and Spices
ABV: 7.8%
IBU:  25
My Rating:  8/10
Approximate Price:  $2.99 as of this writing

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