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Tripel Threat - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tripel ThreatTripel Threat

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

299 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 22
Gots: 40 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-20-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 99
Reviews by jneiswender:
Photo of jneiswender
2.92/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. Served cool.

Pours a slightly hazy burnt gold body with a very faint white ring head.

Smells VERY vinous. Slight grain and fruit smells as well.

Sweet front. Yeasty middle. Slightly fruity. Alcohol hits you on the way down (throat not mouth).

Thick. Low carbonation for the style.

Not a bad tasting beer. Carbonation for the style was a bit low. Smells and tastes weren't as varied as other representations of the style but this is a good beer nonetheless.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a light, hazy orange in color with a decent head. It sure looks the part.

Smell – The big Belgian bouquet was right on style here. The yeast was huge, the orange moderate, and the light spicing (mostly coriander) a terrific compliment.

Taste – The yeast lightened up a bit at the taste, as it usually does, and the orange stayed true to form (I hate it when you smell fresh oranges but taste orange soda pop). The spices were powdery in the mouth, rounding out this lovely flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied Tripel will fill every crevice of your mouth with sticky orange sweetness. It’s nice and light on the tongue and fluffy in the cheeks.

Drinkability – This is a terrific effort by Cambridge on this very difficult style. Well done.

Comments – This was one of the better ales I had at the 2004 Belgian Beer Fest. I’m glad I stayed away from the larger, more well-known breweries and spent some time over at this booth.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #65 (June 2012):

LOOK: Rich, golden, slight haze, creamy white lacing

SMELL: Faintly phenolic, gum, orange, toasted grains

TASTE: Very smooth and creamy, honey, toasty, cereal grains, caramel, candy, warming alcohol, pepper, spice, phenols, ripe citrus undertones

According to many, and the label, this is the first-ever Belgian-style beer commercially produced in the US, originally brewed in 1990 by former CBC headbrewer Darryl Goss (RIP). According to us, it’s one of the best. Everything you’d expect from the style. This is Belgium in a glass.

Photo of Billolick
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, bottled in 5-13

Pours clouded apricot, minor head, that goes to a thin collar and leaves just some smaller bits of lacing.

Over ripe fruits, some yeastyness and light spice on the nose.

Crisp and flavorful tripel, with bracing notes of lime and juniper and a nice Belgian yeast snap. Moderate hops in the finish. Getting notes of more ripe fruits, with a slight alcohol burn.

Tasty and enjoyable. Glad to see these CBC beers being distributed to nearby Conn. and this is another one that I would seek out again

Photo of tigg924
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice

Appearance: minimal head, orange-gold in color, cloudy, moderate carbonation

Smell: Belgian spices, clove, coriander, cardamom, orange, banana, and alcohol

Taste: Belgian spices, clove, coriander, cardamom, orange, banana, and alcohol--exactly like the nose

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, medium-light bodied, sweet with a touch of bitterness

Overall: I have been having a lot of tripels lately and I have to say this one falls pretty much in the middle. It tastes like an imperial witbier. Not bad, but there are several in the style I would get first.

Photo of jondeelee
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tripel Threat opens to a full-bodied banana and clove nose, ripe with spices and fruits. Pear, apple, berry, orange, white grape, and apricot mix with pepper, and a spritzy pink grapefruit and grapefruit rind layer from the hops adds a nice touch to the mix, made more bitter by shades of pine resin. The beer is quite sugary and sweet, with loads of brown sugar, and even a touch of super-sweet confectioner’s sugar adding to the fruity base. The sweetness is held back a little by the aforementioned spicy notes, as well as a light toast crust and Grape Nuts cereal base. At the edges is even a slightly funky, sour note, adding depth and complexity. As a whole, the nose is very nice, being balanced and offering a wide variety of aromas. A bit more punch would have been nice, especially as the fruity notes tend to lose their potency somewhat quickly, but as a whole the first impressions are good.

On the tongue, the beer begins very sweet, with berry, blood orange, peach, maraschino cherry, and apple mixing with brown and confectioner’s sugar, the initial blast shockingly sugary. The bananas and cloves, as well as white pepper, do come in after a second, bringing relieving spices, but the sweetness is still near cloying at times. Not even the tart pink grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and pine resin fully take away from the sugary rush. This sensation does not appreciably abate in subsequent sips, the sweetness reaching aspartame or stevia extract levels, and while the spices, hops, and touches of toast crust and wet wheat from the grains try to keep up, they simply can’t. There’s also a fairly heavy vodka vapor that fills the nasal cavities and lingers into the aftertaste, which is otherwise a continuation of the super-sweet aspartame fruit esters. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, adding to the burning mouthfeel.

Overall, while the nose had decent promise, there’s simply too much unchecked sweetness in this beer, which swings wildly into cloying and chemically aspartame notes, made more bitter by heavy alcohol vapors, and the beer in many ways resembles an alcoholic martini made with fruity vodka, sipped while eating wheat crackers.

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear orange color with a one finger white head on top. Not much retention, leaving just a ring of foam around the top. Thin, sporadic lacing.

S: Banana, honey, some sugary sweetness, very light spices. There is some light Belgian yeast in the middle. A little bit of an acetyl/buttery aroma.

T: Light Belgian yeast and spice upfront, some pepper and cloves. Banana and doughy malt dominate the middle and finish.

M: Medium bodied, slightly tingle to the carbonation, but seems about right.

O: Pretty cool, as this was the first American made Belgian beer. First time I have had a CBC beer in a bottle, glad I picked this one up.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap on 2/21/08 served in a 14 oz. tulip

This one is honey-orange, fine white lacy head and sticky, totally clear. Nice!

The nose is a very aromatic sweet honey malt, corriander, spicey and sour yeast, mild tingly heat.

This is easily one of the best Tripels I've had, very complex flavor that includes a big, sweet malt, caramel-style, deep, dark fruity and mildly sour yeast upfront, mandarin orange citrus, spicey hops, not the leafy-dry hops that some Tripels have. Great balance.

Medium to full mouth feel, very crisp and clean.

Will knows his Belgians!! He makes some of the best belgian-style brews in the country. Love it.

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev +2.6%

I keep saying I don't like Belgian-styles but beers like this make me realize I just need to explore them more.

Photo of hreb
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tapered glass. I've long enjoyed this on tap at the CBC but this may be my first experience with this beer from their (relatively) recent bottling efforts. Beer pours deceptively golden yellow in color. Could pass for a lager or even an especially pale IPA. Great clarity with lots of apparent carbonation. Aroma is fresh, yeasty, and sweet, showcasing CBC's house Belgian strain.

Flavor is complex and strong. Several different sweet malt flavors combine to form a classic Belgian Tripel taste profile, and are then joined with a respectable dose of hops to dry it out. Quite dry, actually, in terms of how little residual sugar there is here. There's a little bit of alcohol burn -- it is 10% after all -- but the finish is clean. There's a reason CBC serves these by the tulip only.

One of the best American Tripels available by the bottle and nearly as good as its draught counterpart.

Photo of dirtylou
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber, split, hill farmstead stemware

This one's been around a while - hazy orange body - heavy notes of yeast, citrus, clove, white pepper, belgian spice, banana, candi sugar. Hey - nothing really new here, but this is a solid american tripel. I've always been fond of the style, and this was a nice one to try.

Photo of jmerloni
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Vibrant, lively hazy orange-yellow with nice frothy white head that is very, very sticky, retains well, and laces on the glass very well.

S - Pear, bubble gum, white grapes, honey, hops, breadiness.

T - Wow. This is excellent. All that is detected on the nose in an expert balance. Hoppy but not too biting following each swallow. This is really excellent.

M - Medium to full bodied. Sticky. Bubbly but not overly carbonated. Very, very, very smooth.

D - I've never even heard of Cambridge Brewing Company and I'm very, very, very impressed with this first offering of their's. Will DEFINITELY be checking out more of their brews. This is an A+ Belgian tripel. I'm very, very impressed.

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a RR goblet a light honey color with a few fingers of fizzy had that fall to a thin film.

Nose is light bubble gum fruits and a touch of Belgian yeast, alcohol and sourness.

Nice crisp carbonation and smooth body - caramel malts, bright fruit, and a hint of Belgian yeast spice.

Overall really nicely executed tripel.

Photo of puboflyons
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle marked Batch no. 2 - Bottled January 2012. Sampled on March 10, 2012. The appearance is a beautifully heady hazy pale yellow. The head sticks around. The aroma is an array of sensations including grainy malts, bread and biscuit, yeast, orange, pear, and spices. The body is quite bold for the style. The taste is mellow considering this comes in at 10% ABV with a warming feel inside. It ends bitter and sharp in a way that you will not forget. Really nice brew.

Photo of DrinkNewport
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It's got a nice golden pour with a reasonable white head that settles quickly.

It's got that rich aroma that just shouts Belgian tripel!

Unfortunately, I find the taste to be a bit lacking. The flavor isn't that strong and what is there doesn't have the sweetness that the smell and name would indicate.

This isn't a bad beer, it's just not a great tripel, which is a bad spot to be in when there are so many good ones on the market.

Photo of u2carew
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber.
A) Pours with a two finger head that settles slightly. Some chill haze in the golden body. Thin, sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Fruity esters. Banana. Apple. Clove. Floral notes. Yeasty.
T) Grainy and fruity. Banana. Spicy. Peppery.
M) Smooth. Medium body. Tannic. Alcohol warmth.
O) A delicious tripel. I'd definitely have another one.

Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Always been interested in another tripel, one of my favorite styles. Let's see how she goes! Bottled May 15th 2013.

Classic together bleach white head, but not much carbonation to only produce about two fingers tall, and settling to a simple half finger collar. Body color is a little orange and dull amber, with opaque character, and some nice lemon yellow orb glowing edges.

Nose is just great. Faint chewy apple and pear, peanut butter ripple, and sweet dough malts of breads. A real nice combination of aromas. Not getting the citrus on the nose the bottle suggests but no worries here. Some also wine like pinot grigio like character and lemon.

The palate delivers nicely. Light bodied with not much boozy quality, even finish has a bit of effervescent crispness and hop floral pleasure. Controlled sweetness letting the fruit qualities come out with light pear juicy aromas and pleasure. Finishes clean, even minty.

Overall a real solid enjoyable tripel made in America. Glad to have tried this one.

Photo of jsanford
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Globe Glass. Batch 01, bottled 11/11

A - Pours a glowing amber-gold with a creamy white head that settles to a nice ring and pillowy haze.
S - Very sweet, buttery aromas of toasted grain, honey, banana, and candied orange peel with some Belgian-style yeast esters.
T - Again, fairly buttery, with notes of honey, banana, ripe pear, white pepper, bread dough, and yeast. Not bad, but not as clean as I like my Tripels to be, and a bit too sweet for my taste.
M - Smooth and slightly syrupy, with a medium-thin mouthfeel and spritzy carbonation.
O - Decent enough, but nowhere near the complex and delicious examples from Belgium (or Canada if we're talkin' Unibroue).

Photo of PEBKAC
2.41/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Batch 2 bottle direct from the CBC fridge. Consumed 6/12.

Dense, flat, plopped down white head. Chill hazed golden amber body.

Nose is full of sweet Euro doughiness, straw, mild banana esters, maybe a touch of spice. Not much else.

Tates of sweet/syrupy malts, plasticy banana, & a mild spice jar bitterness. Tastes like a sticky/flat, old hef.

Okay carbonation, mellow alcohol, but it is still quite thick & rich & lacking. It's not what I want from a tripel.

This honestly sucks in bottle format. Or at least when I got a hold of one. A great draft beer.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. One year old, properly cellared bottle. Pours a slightly hazy, medium coppery amber with a half finger white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of light stone fruit, apple juice, light citrus and clove, classic tripel. Flavor follows, with apricot, peach, pear, apple and hints of citrus with a light buttery background, starting semi-sweet and finishing a bit drier with nice clove flavor and bitterness. Medium bodied with light creaminess and good carbonation. A very nicely done domestic tripel that I would not have been able to tell from an European one. No fooling around with domesticizing Belgian beers here, this is true to style and flavorful. Enjoyable. My first introduction to this brewery and not my last if they come my way (had to travel to California to find this one).

Photo of BeTheBall
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy amber color with some nice foam. The smell was yeasty to some degree with a fruity over-tone. The taste was similar, less sweet than LFdM, not as dry as Westmalle. The flavor is tasty, dry, a touch tart, a touch of fruit, and just easy to drink. Mouthfeel is nice all the way down. Overall, this is one of my favorite American tripels.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a slight orange appearance, white fizzy head that fades quickly, no lacing.

Smell has a strong aroma of banana, clove, some light fruit citrus like lemon, not much of a hop aroma but that's expected, some other yeasty spicing kicks around that's typical for a Tripel.

Taste starts out with a lemony citrus presence and balances a sweet malt backing, spicing kicks in, primarily clove, pretty assertive carbonation but fortunately isn't too much of a distraction, there is a bit of alcohol astringency but surprisingly little heat associated with it.

Photo of Etan
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz into a large snifter.

A: Pours a murky dark orange with a small white head.

S: Aroma brings yeasty spice, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, lavender, cakey pale malt.

T: Taste brings white cake, nectarine, sweet grain, cloves, small medicinal note, candi sugar.

M: Medium-bodied with medium carbonation, creamy feel.

O: This is pretty nice. A bit too sweet, but not cloying.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Batch No. 1, bottled November 2011.

3.5 A: Mildly hazed medium orange color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is about average and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Smells great. Loads of honey mesh with spicy clove from the yeast. Peach, light apple and citrus fruitiness. Grassy type earthiness with hay and lemongrass. Very pleasant, braggot-esque tripel.

4.0 T: Taste is much like the nose. A lot of honey with clove underneath. Farmy earthiness with hay, grass, wildflowers. Peach fruitiness with hints of citrus and wild apple. Booze is well hidden. Very well integration of flavors with a subtleness resembling the Belgian Belgians.

4.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. Light pleasant creaminess. Super smooth.

4.5 D: A couple scores could have been higher. This is a very tasty tripel and one of the best I've had coming out of the states. This is a must try.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the source...into a Tulip...

Excellent honey color - slightly viscous...full finger head and then some with great lacing and OK staying power.

Creamy silky esters of sweet light malt, wheat and candi sugar. Very light spice and some mild yet well-represented almost floral hops. A bit of good ginger too.

Oh yeah - I luvs some hoppy Tripel, me. Huge Candi sugar sweetness, solid raw quality of wheat and malt, but the hoppy backbone makes this deal. I know the alcohol is there in spades but it manifests itself only in the residual sweetness.

Feel is a little more tight than the overall package but that's not a huge detriment. Finish sticks the landing.

Yup - drinks way too easily. I've been savoring this for a few minutes and it's almost gone. Awesome.

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Tripel Threat from Cambridge Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.