April 17, 2014

Tripel

The name "Tripel" actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist "Simple." Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, which is a shade or two darker than the average Pilsener. Head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish. Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well.

Tripels are actually notoriously alcoholic, yet the best crafted ones hide this character quite evil-like and deceivingly, making them sipping beers.

Westmalle Tripel

A / 4.5
Westmalle Tripel

Westmalle Tripel is a clear, golden yellow Trappist beer that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle (9,5% alcohol). It is a complex beer with a fruity aroma and a nice nuanced hop scent. It is soft and creamy in the mouth, with a bitter touch carried by the fruity aroma. An exceptional beer, with a great deal of finesse and elegance. And with a splendid long aftertaste.

The Westmalle Tripel is indeed called the “mother of all tripels”. This type of beer was first brewed in Westmalle abbey in 1934 when the new brewing hall came into use. The current formula has stayed practically unchanged since 1956, thus more than 50 years.

This beer is generally served in 33 cl bottles, precisely the volume of the accompanying glass goblet. The bottles are sold individually, in handy packs of six or in crates of 24 bottles. And of course this beer is served in the better horeca outlets.

Tripel is also available in 75 cl bottles. It is remarkable that the beer matures differently in these larger bottles. The fruity aroma is somewhat softer and riper, and the beer gets a light touch of vanilla.

Tripel Karmeliet

A- / 4.0
Tripel Karmeliet

Tripel Karmeliet is still brewed to an authentic beer recipe from 1679 originating in the former Carmelite monastery in Dendermonde. Written over 300 years ago, this recipe describes the use of three kinds of grain: wheat, oats, and barley.