If I’m brutally honest, not a beer for the purist.
To be fair, the label does describe it as a ‘Hoppy Tripel’. Again if I’m honest, this isn’t a great start for me. I’m a big Tripel fan, but mostly for the reason that they offer a sweetness that is not related to hoppy beers, so this angle isn’t necessarily where I would start or what I would look for. Having said all of that, De La Senne has sufficient equity with me that I’m very happy to press on.
A cloudy orange body with some tremendous fluffy head that is beautifully retained and gives tremendous lace.
Nose is quite bready and sweet, and doesn’t give up much in the way of hop character – perhaps surprising.
At first the beer drinks and feels like a Belgian IPA, the hop presence is that strong. After a while, and crucially as it warms, it develops into what I can best describe as a Pere Noël clone – high praise indeed. It actually gets to be quite sweet in the finish. It’s incredibly smooth, with a creamy carbonation and a much gentler hop note that I was first expecting from the first few sips and the nose. Quite fluffy and large in the mouth that isn’t really my thing.
Intriguing if nothing else, but it’s also a bit of a hybrid beer. It drinks beautifully, but I’d prefer something a little more sharply and specifically defined in terms of stylistic boundaries., That said, its pretty darn delicious. Interesting indeed.