Ding Points: 92.50
Pour: 90, Nose: 80, Palate: 100, Mouth: 90, Global: 90
A beer, which on the one or two other occasions I have drunk it, I enjoyed it so much that I never got around to reviewing. I just didn’t want the experience of drinking it to be interrupted by note taking. Boulevard really has made some excellent beers in the Smokestack series over the years.
This time I planned the review. The bottle was purchased from Binny’s in Clybourn, Chicago, IL along with a few other gems.
Cork is released from the cage and bottle with a healthy ‘pop’ and a good deal of gun-smoke. It always pleases me when a beer of this type is well carbonated and lively – gives me a sense of well-being and that what I am about to enjoy is vibrant and about to deliver a memorable experience.
Pour offers a modest head, some lace but not amazing retention, however both the lively carbonation and the color are both excellent. A deep, deep golden color sits resplendent in the glass, with shining hues that suggest a special treat is in store.
The nose offers a light version of what follows in the taste. Some sweetness, a little spice and some yeasty notes, but it’s all controlled. When it comes to the tastes though, things get unleashed!
The combination of sugary sweetness and white pepper is complimented with healthy orangey, citrus spice notes and plenty of alcohol. The kind of beer that encourages gulping, the refined nature of punch that is being packed is not evident until later in the brew.
The beer feels lively in the mouth as prickly bubbles compete on the palate for your attention amongst the light, burning spices and the candy. Surprisingly for a Tripel, Long Strange never really gets particularly aggressive in terms of the sweetness. Sure it’s a sweet beer, and it treads a fine line between going too far and being restrained, but at the end of the bottle I feel that it held back quite a bit in that department. I also feel a tremendous sense of well-being as I pour the last few dregs of yeasty sediment into my glass.
A very satisfying beer that brings together many of the best elements of the style in one glass. Super beer.
Other: Bottled Conditioned, Batch # T11063, 12-2011. 9.0% ABV.
Another bottle from Chicago — you spending some time in my city Ding?
Came and went, Steve. Had a great time despite not going to The Map Room OR Hopleaf since I had the family with me! Just means I need to come back again. Still did a LOT of beer related stuff. Will be blogging about the trip soon (I hope!).
Can’t wait to read it. Hope you at least got to sit in Goose Island (Clybourn) on a quiet afternoon and enjoy something good from the tap.
Long Strange Triple is one of my favorites from the Smokestack series. This is a terrific beer, and at its price a terrific value too.