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Belgian Tripel - The Defiant Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Belgian TripelBelgian Tripel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

120 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 120
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 15.37%
Wants: 13
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Defiant Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 06-01-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 120 | Reviews: 50
Reviews by wizo:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Premo88
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.68 oz. bottle poured into small snifter
courtesy of @TongoRad vis NBS BIF No. 1

L: gorgeous clear light yellow-gold with only a few floaties in it (I tried to leave the yeast in the bottle and almost pulled it off); solid head of white to off-white foam, maybe 1/2-inch tall, not much sticking or lacing but a cool 50/50 skin and good collar ... the color is amazing -- it's very similar to light lager yellow but has just a hint of darkness to it

S: sour grapes, white wine, dry white wine ... it's getting almost past tart into sour range; now some sweetness, sweeter grapes, maybe a hint of banana, clove or all-spice -- but only a hint ... it's seems a bit like a witbier but only seems because a big sugar sweetness comes in like a radio signal going in and out, and that sweet fully masks any spice note ... very interesting

T: witbier-like at first with some definite spice notes thrown into the tart/sour grapes, slight banana sweet flavor ... boy is it good as we go, gets a good bit of that abbey ale-candi sugar flavor, but like the monks do it: not too much, just enough to taste; drinking the final 1/8 from the bottle with all that yummy yeast is a treat, a bit hefeweizen-like with good yeast/wheat-like twang of banana.

F: dangerously drinkable like a good tripel should be ... at times it feels maybe a bit soft, but, man, that could be looney talk because I'm sucking it down like water and the carbonation is very good -- "soft" here might actually be just a bit of weight

O: the best American-made tripel I've tried so far; it's not a super-fruity, over-the-top sweet tripel, which is what the other USA-brewed versions often come off as; the brewer here didn't panic and toss in a bunch of candi sugar at the last second to be safe; Defiant's tripel has a very wide range of smell and taste notes, and the tart white wine/sour grapes playing off a good banana-like sweetness are my favorites.

thanks to @TongoRad for this one -- and I must say, if Defiant can brew a tripel this well, it makes me wonder what other goodies they might be brewing up

Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml brown magnum.

Pours out a pale golden colored brew, virtually crystal clear. Big towering white head leaves rings of lace on the glass. Smells of short bread, apricots, peppercorn, hint of bubble gum, lemon zest and a touch of clove. Very smooth with a deep set carbonation. Flavors comes in smacking of fresh cut granny smith apples, pancake batter, peppercorn, lemons, faint tropical fruit and a little herbal in the back. Alcohol shows its warmth with some estery action. Yeast stay neutral for the most part. Finished dry with a fruity spicy mix that lingers for a while.

Not the cleanest Triple around but probably one of the most complex while still staying it a delicate form. Seriously good beer here.

Photo of Billolick
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a Growler (thanks for the gift Pebcak) Pours cloudy, dull apricot amber, under a minor near white, tiny bubble film/head that leaves just a slight amount of spotty lace. Minor fruity nose, with a hint of light pepper. Seems to be on the low side of the carbonation scale. Not really to style in that regard. Notes of light pepper, Belgiany yeast and ripe fruit. Spiced up hops dry thing out in the finish. Not bad stuff, but nothing truely special going on here, seems more like a saison or wit beer to me. Doesn't really show the sizzle and flavorful snap of a Triple...

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is wheat with some yeast, lemons and salt. The flavor is some fruit (lemons and oranges) as well as some yeast, wheat and alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not too bad.

Photo of r0nyn
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into my Chimay chalice. Shared with a fellow beer lover.

Pours a cloudy yellow gold with seriously sticky lacing. Big off-white head that recedes gradually. Particles of yeast can been seen suspended in the liquid. Smell is mildly sweet with a lot of the advertised brewer's yeast and not very much else. Maybe a little bit of clove and spice at the end. Doesn't have that fruity bouquet I get out of most tripels.

Taste is full of that brewer's yeast and lots of it. Little hint of some funky sourness, but it goes away quickly. Subtle nuances of banana and a very slight bubblegum zing. Tiny bit of fruitiness makes an appearance on the palate after the beer has washed over. Lightly bitter on the back end, with some bready notes. Alcohol is mildly detectable at this point as a fleeting boozy warmth. Mouthfeel is effevescent, with a slick feel. Finish is very drying with a light crispness and medium body.

Drinkability is pretty good. Defiant really has crafted a quality brew here right in my back yard. I think I've definitely been spoiled with regards to tripels, because their take on the style isn't as good as some of the others I've sampled, but this is by no means a knock on this beer. It's a solid, drinkable Belgian style ale that I wouldn't mind having again.

Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Mondial 2008. Yeasty aroma, its like a geuze in appearance and carbonation with cloudy yellow and small white head. Above average mouthfeel, some lemon taste.All of this imparts a light bitterness, some candy sugar and otherwise good malting. Lovely on a Summer day.A natural; carbonation. Unknown ABV but seems to be in 8-9% range.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a bright slightly hazy yellow color ale with a rather large white foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of fruity ester with sweet candy notes is quite nice. Taste is a good mix between some fruity ester with candy-like residual sugar with medium Belgian style malt backbone. Body is about average with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. More fruity then I was expecting but very well enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of Tadweezy
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best Belgium triple ale i ever had

Photo of fragilemacabre
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been trying to review this for a good twenty minutes, but I keep drinking the beer instead of analyzing it. Never fear, this is a good thing. A very, very good thing, especially considering the DIY-ish label scared me off from this beer for a good long while.

I wasn't sure what to expect when its thin gold color graced my pint glass, but it smells like happy Belgian times, tastes like happy Belgian times, and is eminently drinkable.

I can't stress enough how amazingly easy to imbibe this is. I want it around as my standby beer the way other people want PBR.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged bottle into a wine glass.

A- pours a very cloudy orangeish yellow with a one finger white head. The lacing is fantastic

S- the nose is a lot of Belgian yeast, and I'm getting a little bit of banana in there as well

T- oh my. Really flavorful, with lots of Belgian yeast, orange peel, banana coming to the forefront.

M- it's pretty thick

D- very rich beer, and a little boozy...a good example of a tripel

Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I served this at the 2014 Asbury Park Beerfest. As such I sampled it prior to serving so I could get an idea of what to tell folks. Sample size was "2 ounces" with super heavy air quotes.

WHOAAAA!!! I thought my local NJ brewery River Horse made a nice tripel (they do). This thing is out of the park. I'm not gonna waste your time with notes and flavors and noses, just find this and drink it with friends and family.

Photo of womencantsail
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Tim.

A: The pour is a clear golden color with a short-lived white head.

S: A very fruity aroma. Lots of pears, apples, bananas, and even some lemon zest. A nice sweet malt and sugar character and there is just a hint of tartness to it.

T: Sweet for the most part, but there is a hint of tart fruit. Apple, banana, pear, orange peel, and lemon are again present and there is a light floral note to the beer.

M: Somewhat light in body for such a big beer, but I'm not complaining. Medium in carbonation.

O: Despite being a 9% beer, this was really easy to drink and fairly light.

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: slightly hazy golden yellow color with a short one finger head that breaks apart immediately.

Smell: fruits, yeast, and some earthiness rise from the glass and into the nose.

Taste: nice malt profile here. Golden apples, pears, honey, lemon zest, pepper, and a it of yeast flavor come through the most. The bitterness is nicely balancing and not overpowering. Alcohol is warming but well hidden.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is long as the fruitiness and spicy yeast linger on the tongue for a while.

Overall: this beer does a nice job reflecting the style. Very pleasant and enjoyable, but it is a slow sipping beer that can creep up on you as the alcohol is barely noticeable.

Photo of brandnew711
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is exceptional. Being from the town this beer is brewed in, I can tell you it is well received in the area. Several restaurants in the area feature it on their menu. For such a strong beer it is relatively drinkable. It goes great with dinner. Overall a solid beer and the staple of Defiant's brewery.

Photo of njbcmatt
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - A little lighter than I expected, nice clear pale yellow though. Nice white foamy head that laced down the glass.

S - Delicious bready, malty aromas. Less alcohol presence than I'd expect from a 9%.

T - Where did that malt go? Ok, it opened up as it warmed slightly, but the tastes a bit more watery than I expected, a little unpleasant bitterness lingers behind.

M - Quick, clean, crisp. Sticks around a little more as it warms, improving the mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable for a big, strong beer. True to style, but missing a little something I can't quite place.

Photo of thedoubler55
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A dark hazy orange almost dark brown, leaves about two fingers of head that leaves some nice lacing around the glass as you sip away.

S- Citrus and lemon, a bit of honey, and spice, wild Tripel

T- Alcohol is hidden on this one, a bit of bitterness up front, slight taste of sweet fruits and honey.

M- Good amount of carbonation, medium bodied.

Drinkability - Not a bad beer, had this one on poker night was not dissappointed. Would definitely have it again. Perfect balance for a Tripel.

Photo of Suds
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a surprise gift from my wife. From a corked bottle, it pours a light, mostly clear, golden color with a tall white head. The retention could be a little better, and there's just a slight haze. Still, very attractive. The aroma is estery...bubblegum, a little spice, alcohol, sugar, and pale malt. The taste is fairly dry, with a decent warmth and belgian peppery phenols. Spicy, dry, and enjoyable. A decent beer.

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big peach, pineapple, pear, apple, lemon, apricot, light banana, clove, pepper, wheat, honey, candi sugar, herbal, floral, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, peach, pear, apple, apricot, pineapple, light banana, wheat, honey, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, candi sugar, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, lemon, peach, pineapple, wheat, honey, candi sugar, clove, herbal, floral, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast esters and malt flavors; with a near perfect malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible tripel style! All around fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the high ABV. A top notch offering for the style, especially for being an American representation.

Photo of Naugros
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really pale and cloudy. I'd describe as maize if I had a box of Crayola crayons. The best part about this beer's appearance is the amazing head it raises and maintains for a lifetime (or at least until you drink it). It starts off thick and falls back into itself in the middle while the edges stick to the glass. Many heads have been described as meringue-like but this is so much like a true meringue in texture and movement. Even the lace left behind looks like the meringue stuck to the plate after having a slice of key lime pie.

The smell is a bit funky, so you know they used Belgian yeast. The lemon, banana and cloves also give that away. There's even a bit of acidic bite in your nose, so I'm expecting a bit of sour tang in the taste. Did they infect this beer? I'll need to look it up after I finish reviewing it.

Yep, it's got some sour to it...lemony sour to be exact. My wife was completely taken by surprise by that (if only she had been reading my review as I wrote it). She doesn't like sour. There's also a metallic bite that I think comes from the alcohol. This takes away from the sour, but that flaw gets washed out by gritty malts and some floral hops in the back and the finish. Still, the flavors don't mesh well and it's a bit of a mess. The mouthfeel keeps changing from sour to biting to gritty. It's an adventure and one that will leave you with a headache for sure. Yet, I still like this beer and I am certainly willing to try more that this brewery has to offer.

Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: beautiful light-gold hue with a nice haze that gives the body a matte finish. There's a strong effervescence and three fingers of creamy white foam atop. Lovely.

Smell: sweet aroma of light malt and hints of orchard fruit. Basic, but appealing.

Taste: sweet malt with a mild fruity character which accents the malt. There's also a floral character to this beer which is interesting. Alcohol is a bit on the hot side, but it's not harsh or anything. Bitterness is perhaps high for a tripel, but it's smooth and welcome here. Pretty tasty, if a bit hot on the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a huge carbonation. Creaminess is massive and mouth-filling. I like it a great deal.

Overall: this is a very good and satisfying tripel, although a little more fruitiness and a little less alcohol in the flavor would be awesome.

Photo of OliverTweek
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden Brown, a little lighter than most amber Belgium beers. When held up to the light, it turns a nice orange/red color. The bits of yeast floating in the beer isn't nearly as appetizing as the label makes it seem, but they are barely noticeable when drinking.

Smell: A rich, summery smell, with hints of flowers. Very sweet, and to those that don't like this style of ale, might be too much. I for one however, found it quite pleasant. Finds the perfect balance between fragrant and overpowering. Almost bread like, but not the stale-bread smell many lower classed beers occasionally have.

Taste: Has many of the same characteristics that the smell displays. Has a surpassingly earthy taste, that almost seems to vary from sip to sip. The flower qualities of the smell are still there, but not as much as the odor would suggest. The sweetness is almost desert like, if I didn't know better I'd say is white-chocolate like, not to mention fruitish hints such as orange or banana. The alcohol is more present than one would think from a beer like this.

Mouthfeel: As said before, the alcohol is slightly overpowering. The carbonation is milder than other beers, but fits the light style Defiant is going for.

Other/Overall: A good beer. I think the yeast floating in it is a turn off, but doesn't affect the taste enough to comment on. These are my favorite types of beers, but this one is sort of run of the mill. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as memorable as I would have liked.

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a massive head; the head retains well and leaves sheets of lace

Smell: Pale malt with a floral, grassy hop character; hints of bubblegum and thyme

Taste: Fruity elements lead off the flavor parade, with banana, apple, pear and lemongrass tones; bu mid-palate, grassy hops and herbal spices (white pepper, thyme and coriander) add balance; after the swallow, hints of bubblegum and candi sugar add some sweetness and a slight hint of alcohol appears in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Criticism by other reviewers that this is not to style are not unreasonable; call is a Saison or a BSPA if you prefer, but I really like the complexity and subtle flavor elements that this beer displays

Photo of goatgoat
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to PEBKAC for the opportunity.

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Pours a hazy slightly honeyed yellow. A finger's worth of creamy white head sticks around forever. Plenty of carbonation continues to rise. Large sheets of lace. Nice looking brew.

In the aroma, there's the classic tripel notes: banana, fruit, bread and spice. But they're muddled and not really fully formed...

Taste is more engaging than the aroma. Flavors characteristics separate out, becoming more complimentary and enjoyable.

Nice creamy light feel.

Not necessarily a brew I'd go out of my way to seek out again... but it's a solid, respectable effort.

Photo of Jwale73
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle picked up in March during the 2011 East Coast Instructor's Seminar. Served in a white wine glass. Pours a hazy, golden orange with a loose, bright white half inch head that quickly dissipates into a broken skim. Nose expresses light, fruity esters (apricots, citrus, tropical fruit), a hint of funk and trace of rind. Taste consistent with nose; however, the impression is that this beer is a bit more delicate than your average tripel (which is not a bad thing). There is also a slight citric acid presence throughout that adds a pleasant balance and brightness to the flavors. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light), with an even, mild carbonation and a trace of acidity. All and all, this is a solid and quite drinkable tripel. Much more delicate, although no less complex, than most examples of the style I have tried, with an exceptionally well-hidden abv and less of the sweet and cloying character you tend to encounter. Well worth your time if you have the opportunity to sample this one.

Photo of biegaman
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The brewery may be situated in New York state, but Defiant has earned the right to call this a 'Belgian' Tripel. The colour is a toasty golden, its light pressed haze lending it an organic and unrefined complexion. Its head is huge, spongy and patterned like honeycomb, it leaves a shroud of lacing so dense you can't see your finger on the other side.

Furthermore, the aroma is ripe with fragrant 'Belgian-esque' scents: yeasty spices resembling a mixture of thyme, coriander and white pepper as well as an ambrosial incense of orchard fruit (pears, apples, peaches). The grainy smell of wheat and a toasty note of baked breads are also noted, creating a perfect backdrop for all the spice and savoriness.

And it tastes like a spring garden! Lovely. We are consuming the Eden's Garden with every sip. Once again, directly on the palate this time, we note spices (clove, coriander, thyme grains of paradise and varieties of edible flowers I don't know the names of) as well as pear, apple and peach spread out over biscuity, honey-coated malts. It can't be rushed.

The U.S. really ought to have their own distinction in the guidelines when it comes to brewing Belgian styles, Tripels especially. Most end up tasting (for whatever reason) entirely different and nowhere near so mellow or complex as the authentic stuff. This, however, is an exception and it is likely the best American rendition of the style I've tried.

With this beer, Defiant Brewing definitely succeeds in their mission to 'challenge the conventions of mass advertised and mass-produced beers'; this isn't anything that will appeal to ignorant masses beckoning conformity and the ideals of lifestyle imaging nor to those who resort to inexpensive, meaningless respite from the world and its cares.

This is a beer for artisans, intellectuals, gourmands, those who understand, appreciate and support the importance of craftsmanship and diversity, those with a heightened attentiveness to the world, who acknowledge human effort and ingenuity, who recognize that beer is an expression of so many natural, cultural, and personal particulars.

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Belgian Tripel from The Defiant Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.