Friday, May 30, 2014

Unibroue Eau Benite Tripel (7/10)

During a visit to Savor Growl a little while back, the cashier noticed I had picked up a couple of Unibroue products and asked if I’d noticed Eau Benite on the shelf.  I hadn’t, so I went back and grabbed the last bottle.  Tonight, I opened it up.
Unibroue’s corking process is pretty impressive.  It always seems to take a lot of extra effort to uncork one of their brews, though the end result is generally well worth it.  Eau Benite was no exception.

The beer pours a cloudy yellow gold with 2-3 finger thick coarse white head that sticks around for a minute or two before dissipating to almost nothing.  The head leaves behind thick rings of lacing that quickly reincorporate into the beer, leaving behind a clean glass.

The aroma is primarily yeasty, with the usual Belgian fruit and spice notes taking a back seat.
The flavor is unusually dry for a tripel.  There is virtually none of the usual sweetness.  I get yeast, malt, and something bitter (maybe hops, but not a strong hops).  Hiding well beneath that you’ll find Belgian spice and fruit notes.  The finish is relatively clean with minimal aftertaste.  As it warms up, the fruit flavor picks up, but so does the bitterness.

Carbonation is fairly intense in this one, much like a champagne.

Beer Advocate rates this a 90 or 97, which classes it in the “outstanding” and “world-class” range.  Rate Beer gives it a 91 out of 100.  I don’t like it as well as a number of other tripels, such as New Belgium’s, Victory Golden Monkey, or Karmeleit.  I’m giving it a 7 out of 10.  It’s not bad beer at all, just not something that particularly appeals to me.  For the price, I’d much rather have two or three New Belgium Trippels.

As mentioned earlier, I purchased this bottle at Savor Growl.  I’ve not seen it at other retailers in town, but Unibroue’s products are pretty commonplace in Columbus.  It’s likely you’ll find a bottle elsewhere if you look carefully.  This bottle was priced at $10.99 and is the standard “bomber” size.

Flavor Profile:
Sweet, Malty, Dry, Bitter, or Sour:
Spice Level:  Low
Hops Level:  Low
Dominant Flavors: Malt and possibly hops
ABV: 7.7%
IBU:  Unknown, but would estimate at around 15-20
My Rating:  7/10

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