Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple - Arbor Brewing Company

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Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian TripleArbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple

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78 Ratings
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Ratings: 78
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by nomad:
Photo of nomad
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy but translucent light gold, this beer holds its soft, razor-thin head well despite little carbonation. No legs or else to please.

Smells of pale malt with a sweet grainy texture, light indistiguishable phenols, and a touch of high alcohol. Balanced and noticeably trippel-like though pedestrian.

On the tongue it begins with pale malty sweetness and a tied combo of warming alcohol and esters repressed by cold conditioning. Strong grainy complexity to the malt and quite herbal hoppy before and through out the finish. Settles into demure golden brew with phenolic fuzz and hop balance. Mouthfeel is rounded, slick, yet lacking in carbonation.

Hits all the typical notes but forms neither a new nor interesting chord. That said, its mildness and orthodox stylings makes it an easy drinker.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
2.64/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy yellowish brown with lots of sediment. The head is small and white (even after a vigorous pour) and quickly diminishes to a thin collar.

The aroma is very subdued - bready grains and some bananas and cloves.

The flavor is sweet malts, a little banana and clove, and a pretty harsh alcoholic bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full and slightly syrupy with almost no carbonation.

Overall, not that great of a tripel - it's under-carbonated and pretty subdued other than the alcohol.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap whose handle is a picture of Fat Albert in monastic garb with chalice in hand. Pure genius!

Arrived with a thin creamy white head resting over a hazy golden-copper body. The head receded rapidly, but left a nice lace in its wake. Sweet malt and Belgian candi aroma combines with a light citrus fruit and clove spice. Similar in taste, but the orange fruit is a bit more pronounced and there is an underlying hop bitterness. Slightly crisp upfront in the mouth, but finishes smooth and clean.

Another American-Belgian that has a bit more hop character than traditionally found in the style, but it does not seem terribly out of balance. The alcohol is well-hidden, and the sweetness is perfect-- full and present, but not cloying.

Photo of degerbah
2.94/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a thick looking cloudy yelow. Almost no head at all even though I didn't pour it gently at all.Smells sweet and very fruity. Tastes yeasty with a harsh alcohol flavor at the end. Almost like a hint of malt liquor or vodka added into the mix before bottling. I tried a gulp and almost gagged. Lots of harsh alcohol taste. Way to boozy. Almost painful to finish.

Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale yellow and though sweet and sour, tasted aged and was sensational on palate. Fermented like carbonation. Too bad I could not walk away with a bottle. The Belgians was the surprise hit here, and this was the clear winner when I left. Enjoy and do not drive.

Photo of flyphisherman
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At first glance, some Belgian ales are hardly recognizable as beers, although they are the product of one of the oldest brewing traditions known to man. Belgium is a place where religion and culture currently coexist in a seemingly frictionless environment (since WWII), producing a plethora of world-class beers -- including the widely-available Chimay and Orval -- with uncanny methods and ingredients.

But to understand their beer, you first have to understand the hierarchy.

The beer basically falls into two categories: Trappist Ales and Abbey Ales. The term Trappist is used only when the ale is brewed in a Monastery of the Trappists (one of the severe Benedictine orders of Belgian Monks). The European Union has actually reserved the term Trappist explicitly for the labeling of these beers. (Only seven Trappist Monasteries, six in Belgium, exist today.) Abbey refers to ostensibly similar beers that are not brewed in Monasteries (a.k.a. commercial secular breweries).

Somewhat recently a third category has apparently emerged: "Trappist-Style Ales." Notice the hyphen. Very important. Viewed by purists as outright sacrilegious, these beers are a product of the emergent American Craft brewers, with their infinite willingness to tap a virgin segment of the market. The Belgian Tripel (triple) is pale golden in color, fruity-yeasty and higher in alcohol content than "Belgian Simple Ale" brewed by the monks for everyday use. Made in Ann Arbor by Arbor Brewing Company, Phat Abbot is one of the few Michigan breweries to attempt this style. Dark Horse Sapient, microbrewed by Dark Horse Brewing Co. in Marshall, Michigan, is another popular choice.

Trappists are the real deal. Their religious way of life includes brewing, which is not a hobby for them. That's why the Monks claim there is no such thing as "Trappist-Style" Ale. Conversely, America has obviously always been a melting pot of ideas and people, therefore making the inception of this incarnation inevitable. Just so long as that hyphen is preceded by the word "style."

Presentation: 12-oz. Bottle from a six-pack (available at The Beverage Co. and Jack's). A slight hiss occurs upon opening, which translates into a slightly dismal pour; a miniscule head and low carbonation relinquish a sparse convoy of rising bubbles.
Appearance is a hazy copper/bronze color. Lacing is sparse and patchy. Aside from the lack of effervescence, smell is fruity and spicy with an astringent wave of perfumy toffee and malt in the background. When consumption commences, the abundant use of malt is quickly detected and overwhelms the minimal hop level, which is relatively "undynamic" in contrast to the real-deal Trappists. The Belgians are known for using interesting and unique yeast strains (high in Vitamin B and antioxidants) that unleash a funky-earthy taste that is otherwise indescribable. Phat Abbot doesn't necessarily achieve this element in its taste profile, but does come close with an unknown strain. Lactic sourness is another trademark of the style, which is detected and plays well against the decadent sweetness of the malts. At first, mouth feel is lighter than expected and, unfortunately, hindered by the missing carbonation. Even so, drinkability is paramount and the viscosity does heighten, without being syrupy, after it relaxes a bit.

True, Phat Abbot is no "La fin du Monde" ("end of the world" - one of the best representations of the "Trappist-Style" from Canada), but it is a commendable product, worthy of repeated sessions. ABC recommends pairing it with spicy BBQ wings, ribs and brats. The steep 10% ABV is commonplace for the style and is supremely well hidden. ABC's reputation is upheld by its brewing philosophy: "Our goal is to respect styles and traditions without being a slave to them." ABC definitely deserves an honorable mention here with Phat Abbot, which takes some courage and expertise to create, especially in the face of God.

Photo of Shumista
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Phat Abbot Tripel pours an almost dark yellow orange, with no head. Very little lacing and what appears to be very low carbonation.
S- Definitely smells belgian. The smell is sweet, with dark fruits and yeast.
T- Sweet biscuity malts, dark fruits, noticeable taste of alcohol but not unpleasantly noticeable. Somewhat tart as well. And call me crazy, but the finish reminds me of cooked vegetables. I always thought those guys on Craft Beer Radio were crazy for saying they tasted cooked vegetables in a beer, but now I've tasted them as well.
M- Very, very low carbonation to the point that it makes the beer feel slick. The warmth from the alcohol is nice though.
D- I'm already pretty tired from wrapping gifts and this one will be enough to put me to sleep. Good thing, I wouldn't want to be awake when Santa gets here.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub - Dec 20, 2007. Old lemons and faint spice aroma. Golden glow in clarity topped with white lace. Flavor is pure sugar syrup, oranges and phenols. A bit of mess. Way too much malt presence. Carbonation is weighed down. Alcohol snares the sinuses. Rubbery. Yeast have gotten too bold. Unpleasant.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light yellow pour, extremely heavy carbonation, hard to get it all into the glass. Light yeasty nose, hints of spice, but nothing exceptional.

Beer starts off big on the biscuit, and then segues into nice light fruit flavours, with coriander highlights. Honey. Sugary. Alcohol noticeable later in the flavour. Good.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, but higher ABV beers should be. Some mild hop action and tingles as well, enough to take it to good. Drinkability, a shade above average. Fairly easy to drink given the ABV, but also this is normal for Belgian style beers. Not exceptionally cheap or expensive, so no bonus or ding on the rebuy.

The bottom line: Arbor has a decent little tripel here. I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again, but it's a good version of the style that I wouldn't hesitate to ask for if I saw it on tap.

Photo of BierFan
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: Thin white head on a cloudy peach colored body. Perhaps a little darker in color than most tripels.

Smell: Sweet ripe bananas and a little clove spiciness.

Taste: Much like the smell except the spicy clove flavors come through a little stronger while the banana flavor is relegated to the background.

I think this might be one of the finest offerings from Arbor Brewing Company.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a dark brown/red, almost maroon tints, very fine white bubbles in the head. Sweet malt aroma as you'd expect but had just a touch of something else, maybe almonds or nuts. Very standard style taste. Little bit too powered the sweet malt-flavor and the hops were pretty faint, but thats the style. Alcohol defintely prevalent.

Photo of n2185
2.89/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: purs a murky light brown with half a finger of white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: spices up front with some sweet fruit and a lot of yeasty aromas.

T: spices and some sweet fruit, though sweet yeasty characters dominate here as well.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a bit too thick and undercarbonated.

O: not a bad tripel, but undercarbonated and lacking complexity.

Photo of Imsothirsty
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold, with minimal head. Very light lacing.
Smells like sweet malt and bananas, pretty good but no strong hop smell

Taste is fairly dissapointing, sweetish fruit, and yeasty, with a little alcohol flavor. No complexity no developing flavors, short sweet finish.

Easily drinkable, its like the sweet tea of beers, dissapointing in malt and hop characteristics, I guess the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple last week for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. I am in the mood for a good Tripel tonight, so I thought I would give this one a try and see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a goblet.

A- The label is like most from Arbor Brewing and besides a dark image of a fat monk it is pretty plain, I do like the shade of the blue they used and the matching cap. It poured a hazy dark golden color with only a quarter of a fingers worth of white head that quickly faded to a very very thin ring that stayed till the end. The appearance of this beer leaves much to be desired.

S- The aroma is much fruitier then I expected, I like it. The aroma is on the high end of sweetness with the candied sugar really sticking out. There is a pretty large fruit presence in this beer with lots of green apples, pears, and bananas. The yeast adds that signature spice to this beer with nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon sticking out the most. I didn't pick up any hops in the aroma. The aroma is pretty complex and I feel like all the different aromas come together nicely.

T- The taste is pretty similar to the aroma. It starts off with a bunch of sweet malts up front that aren't as sweet as they were in the aroma, and I like that. After that comes the fruit, it seems like the green apples and pears stick out the most with a nice presence of ripe bananas at the end. The yeast imparts some nice spices in the flavor with the cloves and nutmeg sticking out the most. Alcohol is noticeable but for being 10% I think it is pretty well hidden and it doesn't become warming.

M- Smooth and the body was pretty light for a Tripel, I would say medium light. It also had a light amount of carbonation which somehow worked really well with the lighter body, I know Tripel's aren't highly carbonated but this had to be the least carbonated Tripel I have had and somehow it worked.

Overall I thought this was a very good Tripel. Usually when drinking an American Tripel I feel that I have to lower my expectations a little, but with this one I didn't, if you put a glass of this in front of me and I didn't know it was made by Arbor, I am pretty sure I would think this is an authentic Belgian Tripel. I thought this beer had great drinkability, it may be the best that I have found in a Tripel, the alcohol is hidden very well and combined with the great flavor and good mouthfeel it makes for a pretty easy drinking beer that you really don't find in most 10% Tripel's. The thing I like most about this beer was the flavor, it was complex, great tasting, and very well balanced, in my eyes it could do no wrong. The drinkability was also very impressive. The thing I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, instead of being a bright golden color it was darker which made it look somewhat dirty, and the very low amount of carbonation makes for a very poor looking head that all in all made this beer nothing to look at it. I will for sure be buying this again, it's nice to know that Dragonmead isn't the only Michigan Brewing company making a kick ass Tripel. If you like Tripel's then there is a good chance you will like this beer, nothing about it is off for it's style. I am not the biggest fan of Arbor Brewing and find a good amount of there beers to be a miss, but this beer is for sure a hit. I am beginning to think that there are some styles this brewery does very well and just because some of their other beers aren't the greatest doesn't mean I should overlook their offerings or else I would never have got to try this very good Tripel. I will be trying more stuff from these guys to see what other styles they have a knack at. This beer is now my favorite from the brewery and I feel like it is slightly better then my former favorite Michigan Tripel, Final Absolution.

Photo of bushbeer75
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle poured into a chalice - 10.5 ABV per 6-pack carrier

Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple pours a fuzzy peach pale yellow/gold color with a one finger white head. Aroma is of spicy fruits. Medium bodied with a fizzy carbonation. Taste is a little peppery with tropical fruits, banana, and sweet candied malt character that lingers on a long slightly spicy finish.

Of the two Michigan triples I have tasted Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale, and Phat Abbot Triple, Phat Abbot has a stronger flavor, and aroma, and gets the "nod" from me. Arbor Brewing makes a good American Triple.

Photo of GbVDave
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into two white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy, golden-straw color with a creamy two-finger head of pure meringue. Chunks of lace.

S: Fruity, tart citrus and belgian yeast with coriander, clove, and spicy hops. Smells just like a Tripel should.

T: Earthy, tart, and tangy cirtus with belgian yeast, spices, hops, green apple, and orange/lemon.

M: Creamy peppery and spicy. Fresh and cleansing to the palate. Very nice!

D: A complex and rewarding treat. I found this to be very drinkable considering the abv. Much better than I expected!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub last December. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly darkened golden color with a nice white head. Aroma is of pear, clove, apple, yeast, and a bit of alcohol. Taste brings a bit more booz along with some moderate spicing and general fruitiness. Feel is medium with good carbonation and some warmth. Drinks fairly well and was a pretty good brew.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy grayish-yellow color with two fingers of off-white head.

Aroma of Belgian yeast, bananas, cloves, and biscuit.

Sour notes abound in the taste along with yeast, white pepper, tropical fruits, and biscuit.

Medium bodied, dry and sticky, and lightly carbonated.

Overall, not a real memorable Tripel from from the folks at Arbor. Good - but not great.

Photo of SupaCelt
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dirty gold colour with no head following an aggressive pour. Not a very inspiring image.

The nose is candi sugar with banana and bubblegum. Smells rich and delightful.

The taste is spot on. Bubblegum and banana and spice flood the palate. Nice sweetness. Very tasty.

The mouthfeel is syrupy medium. Feels sugary dense and works well.

The drikability is good because this has some really nice flavors. Well done. Shame it didn't blow a nice white cap off the pour, because all other aspects are very nice apart from the lackluster appearance.

Photo of BMoney575
2.82/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Sampled on 6-9-09

Pours a deep orange brown, cloudy (made more so by me stupidly pouring all the yeast in...fuck) with a few bubbles for a head and lacing that is spots of white carbonation on the sides.

Smell is very enjoyable, lots of thick fruitiness and burnt sugar, with a stab of wine-like alcohol. Unexpectedly complex, with a great grape and olive finish.

Taste is shape olive, a little fermented, a hint of booze, and not much else.

Mouthfeel is absolutely horrible. So thin and watery, it slides down the throat before you can get a taste of it. Carbonation is very low and does nothing to help.

Drinkability suffers greatly from the lack of flavors and disgusting mouthfeel. The alcohol is well-masked though.

Overall, good right up till I tried it, which is all I can recommend.

Photo of kohoutek
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opalescent, hazy gold. Faint lace, but clinging dearly on the glass.
Bottle conditioning with a bumped level of carbonation would, of course, enhance all of these nice qualities.

Aromas of yeasty bagettes, characteristic musty, earthy Belgian otherworldliness, coriander, orange, deep perfume - a clean, integrated symbiosis.

A nice acidity blends all of the aformentioned olfactory sensations together into a clean malty, barley flavor. A huge estery "sweetness" envelopes the tongue sans sugar.

Crisp carbonation, prickly bubbles and a nice dry acidity push through the rich esters and alcohols. Very drinkable and refreshing.

Note: I think with a few more months of age, this beer's smoothness factor will be revealed. A nice recipe.

Photo of dfillius
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/4 finger of white foam with poor retention. Hazy dark golden-tan. Better head and lighter SRM please. I suppose I could have decanted it better though.

S: Fruity! apple, pear, clove, nutmeg. Delightful with lots of esters.

T: Tasty. Fruity, with a funky twinge at the end. Sweet, but not cloying. Honey, apple/pear cider.

M: Oily, chewy, pleasant with that funky twinge at the end of sips.

D: Good. I'd buy again, and maybe order another. Fairly solid example of the style, though a tad sweet.

Photo of GRPunk
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- A liberal pour left a thin white head that quickly became a thin lace. Some nice sticky spots were left on the glass. The body was a murky, orange-brown with loads of carbonation that settled near the bottom before slowly releasing toward the surface.

S- Classic Belgian traits. It had a nice spiciness together with a pleasantly musty, yeasty aroma. A touch of alcohol is apparent, but pretty well-hidden.

T- Nice yeasty characteristics that I'd expect from the style. A combination of peppery spice and fruity flavors (overly ripe or candied banana perhaps).

M- Very smooth, if not a little flat. The alcohol provides the slightest of bite.

D- Great flavor and a well-hidden alcohol content make for a dangerous combination.

Overall- I tried this at the Grand Rapids Brew Ha-Ha and decided that I needed to get a full bottle to do the review some justice. In between that time, I had some nervous moments. After trying the Dubbel version of this beer, I thought my great impression was misplaced. However, the Trippel blows the Dubbel out of the water. At the price, I'd be tempted to pick this over many of the higher-priced counterparts.

Photo of superspak
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy golden amber color with a small fairly dense white head with ok retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big banana, pear, clove, apple, pepper, bubblegum, earth, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good strength, complexity, and balance. Taste of apple, pear, banana, clove, bread, pepper, honey, earth, candi sugar, caramel, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, banana, clove, pepper, bread, earth, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Good flavor balance and complexity; minimal cloying flavors present on the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice Tripel. Good flavor complexity and balance; and quite smooth to sip on. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Photo of david131
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- The light- golden color of this clear liquid completely filled the tulip glass. There was almost no head whatsoever except for a little ring around the top right at the edge.

S- The beer was fruity smelling with that very distinct Belgian yeast in the background. A little musty smell- but the sweetness was definitely more prevalent.

T- Very sweet up front, with a little bit of carbonation and alcohol burn on the front of the tongue. Surprisingly complex. A lot of different fruit, most notably apple shows up.

M- Pretty light on the palate, and pretty refreshing as well. For what looked like little or no carbonation, it works great in the mouth.

D- Could be dangerous. As this beer warmed, it became easier to take down. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

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Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple from Arbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.