Purchased in Columbus, OH at Perfect Pour. 750 mL, corked and caged affair.
Reserved pop on opening, no drama. Pour is a yellowish-golden rather than a distinctly golden-golden. A little chill-haze. Head is bone-white and above average. Decent lace, quite “coating” on the glass, and somewhat in the mouth.
I’ll start by saying that I like this – I like it a lot – but, this is a VERY dry Tripel, if a (typical) Tripel at all. The requisite sweetness is largely absent. The website describes the beer as, “rich & full bodied w/dried fruit & delicate saaz“. There is no mention of the dried fruit on the label, but there is absolutely no doubt that the beer has Saaz! I wouldn’t necessarily call it that delicate, either! In fact, this feels a bit Imperial Pilsner-like as much as it does a Tripel, and finishes in that classic, bitter/dry way. Alcohol is there, but I feel is a little below the advertised 9.0%. Smooooth sure, but biting in the back end also.
This is clearly a very well made beer that is delicious and drinkable with a real presence, and you can tell it’s a serious player. However, it doesn’t feel especially Tripel-like – did I mention that? LOL! Sometimes (usually) this annoys me, i.e., when the beer doesn’t accurately represent the style claimed, but this is so well-brewed I can turn a blind-eye – that is extraordinarily unusual for me, and should be taken as a massive compliment to the beer. If I had to guess in a blind test, I’d likely think this was a German beer, maybe a Munich Helles minus the malt, or maybe a BIG Pils, or perhaps something deliberately over-bittered by a German brewer. Luckily those “styles” are beers that I love too, so it’s all good, but it still has to be said.
So, what do we conclude? In no way a classic Belgian Tripel. Look for much more bitterness, a much drier beer, big Noble hop presence, and a German hybrid. Enjoy it for what it is, and maybe ignore the label. In short, close your eyes and enjoy. I strongly recommend – usually I would not.