Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

343 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Dark Horse Sapient Trip AleDark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by putnam on 04-20-2004

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 841
Photo of Beginner2
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is a good example of "stick to your knitting."
Dark Horse is known for its stouts and does well in the British tradition.
So, why does Dark Horse think that it can do as well in the Belgian tradition?
It has brewed this triple for a dozen years and its does not rank in the top 100.
That tells me something.
If I were a brewer (and I much prefer being a consumer), I would not try to do both traditions because the work would be too much and the experiments would cut into the profits made in the British tradition.

As for making suggestions to improve Sapient Trip Ale, I might start another tirade... so Keep It Sweet and Simple: stick to your knitting.

 661 characters

Photo of BeernOnThe4thOfJuly
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, nearly opaque copper color. Fruity, banana-ish nose with a definite Belgian quality. Flavor has a slight tang with a juicy fruitiness. Very mild for a tripel. Well-balanced. High ABV is well-hidden.

 206 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance : Pours a beautiful tropical orange glow, about 90% opaque with just enough light penetrating to see a faint shadow of my hand on the other side.The head is not being measured as it's in a small tulip glass, but it did pour pretty nice and currently has a ring sitting on top.

Smell : Some tropical notes - pineapple and papaya, along with some plum and fig. A light breadiness also accompanies the aroma. For the most part it is weak though, and hard to nose. Out of the bottle it smells mostly of tropical guava, blood orange, and pomegranate.

Taste : Hmmm. An interesting and complex flavor profile is presented here, beginning with a hoppy citrus backbone, complicated by yeast and cracker malts. Dark fruits and plum skin, blood orange, and slight honey butter follow shortly after. It waves goodbye on a dark fruit skin note, with more juiced citrus. It's not your typical Trippel, but it's got enough yeast presence to tell you it's Belgian-inspired.

Feel : Medium bodied mouth feel, somewhat watery but a small zap of carbonation underneath. It ends semi-dry.

Overall : This is really not a bad ale, I'd have it again...it's just very strange.

 1,170 characters

Photo of Lynn
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a very light-bodied tripel. It drinks more like a session IPA than a 9.5 percent Belgian Tripel. It may not be true to style in my opinion, but I'd still drink it again.

 179 characters

Photo of TooGood
2.64/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy murky lighting brown with floaties and sediment all over, looks like swamp water in a glass. Smell is fitting the style, but taste is very boozy and not too pleasant. I let it sit and warm up for a bit with no improvement so half went down the drain.

 268 characters

Photo of lyman77
2.58/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep, very cloudy, amber. Muddy, almost. One finger of sudsy head.

Nose is typically belgian, pleasant and not overpowering. The taste, like the appearance, is a muddled, almost musty affair. Notes of banana, yeast, and cloves are there but not overpowering. A slight bitter finish lingers. The feel is creamy and smooth. It's quite boozy at over 9%.

Overall I didn't particularly enjoy this one. I opened one and didn't finish it. A rare pour for me.

 461 characters

Photo of MaximalC
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a downright opaque burnt orange color with a modest cap of soapy, off-white suds. Fruity aroma smells of orange, lemon, banana, and clove, with hints of honey and bubblegum.

The first sip reveals significantly more bitterness than would have been suggested by the nose (or the style for that matter). Resinous hops distract from the taste of banana, bubblegum, honey, and citrus. The yeast gives some quintessential Belgian character to what is a less than quintessential tripel. In spite of the thick, cloudy appearance, the mouthfeel comes off as thin up front before stabilizing itself on the back end with the help of the yeast and carbonation.

Overall, this beer was a little disappointing considering the encouraging aroma and appearance. The taste has some good things to offer, but the high bitterness and thin mouthfeel ultimately underwhelm. I think I’ll stick to Dark Horse’s dark beers from here on out.

 933 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Dark Horse into shaker
Aroma spicy and yeasty
Head removed by bartender, white, frothy, diminishing to frothy ring and thin layer
Lacing excellent – curtains of tiny to medium bubbles
Body light yellow, cloudy
Flavor heavy with yeast phenolics and spice; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

 397 characters

Photo of Hopsbythebay
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heady initial spice and clove flavor followed by a smooth banana, light citrus, and phenolic follow through. Solid tripel overall, smooth and complex.

 150 characters

Photo of do_ob
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. A semi-aggressive pour yielded a 2 finger head that was an eggshell color. The beer itself is a cloudy, burnt amber. Banana, clove and spice, yeast, and sweet malt on the nose. Medium weight, and very creamy and smooth on the mouthfeel. Sour fruit, banana, and lots of spice up front on the taste. There's a strong, creeping banana flavor that gradually takes over and resides until the aftertaste. Finishes smooth and sweet.

Overall, pretty good. While tripels aren't my favorite style, I've liked everything I've had from Dark Horse, so I wanted to give this a try. I kinda wish I hadn't bought a 6 pack, but it's not bad. Better than the one I had with the bicycle on the logo.

 711 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottleneck says 3.27.14

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Minimal lacing.

S- Tangy Belgian yeast aroma with some bready malt backing. Notes of overripe banana and spice.

T- Yeasty flavor with some notes of apple and pear. Smooth for the ABV but not a whole lot of complexity.

M- Sharp from the yeast and booze with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Pretty standard tripel but earns points for being so drinkable yet strong. Probably has something to do with the fact that it's over a year old which I didn't realize until just now. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the beer though, so I'm submitting the review.

 862 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap in snifter glass. Looks like a tripel, smells like a tripel, tastes like a tripel. Hits all the notes without being exceptional. Decent, you could do worse, but there's a lot better tripels to reach for when the mood strikes.

 236 characters

Photo of ovaltine
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: aggressive pour into a Schell's snifter yields one finger of tan head. Body is cloudy golden beautifulness.

Smell: estery goodness - HUUUUUUUUUGE estery goodness.

Taste: the esters come flying through - this is more like a witbier with extra boozy goodness.

Feel: tangy, well carbed.

Overall: I like these guys, and this is a nice tripel, if maybe a bit too estery (is that a word?).

 394 characters

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy yellow. smells like a tripel. tastes like a tripel. there's a little bitterness at the end. overall, it's okay. i can't say i'd get it again when i'm in the mood for a tripel.

 193 characters

Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even with a careful pour, its a murky orange with a thin creamy white head. A smudge of lacing hangs on. The aroma is lightly fruity and strongly cloves. There's also a hint of yeast. The taste follows in line with the aroma, with the cloves dominating. It gets old quickly. The body is a little thick but there is a nice little bit of carbonation. As tripels go, this one isn't terrible but it's certainly not a beer to go out of the way to find.

 447 characters

Photo of KevChiTown
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice take on a Tripel. I have never had a hop kick to go with the light fruity, bubble gum flavors before. Good beer, but this one has a bit to much sediment for my liking.

 172 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a murky amber with a one-finger sturdy white head. Lots of sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is yeasty with some floral hops.

T - The flavor is a mix of Belgian yeast, clove, and pear with a bitter hop bite in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Dry finish.

O - This was an interesting take on a Tripel. The hops tend to overshadow the subtleties of the Tripel.

 421 characters

Photo of pat61
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: hazy orange, 1” head with very fine bubbles, rings of lace
S: malt and yeast aromas with some large pitted fruit and hints of citrus.
T: Peach, plum, slightly over ripe fruit, biscuit, medium hop bitter accent on the finish. M: very creamy, medium body, medium high carbonation.
O: You do not notice the alcohol while drinking this beer.

 345 characters

Photo of Hophead777
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My perfect look to a fresh poured beer out of a tap. I drank it out of a 13.5 Belgian Snifter. This allowed the trip!! I loved this beer after a long day of work. The smell was hoppy and citrusy but not overwhelming in either area. This was an easy drinking hop in the back of the tongue beer. I loved the alcohol content while being so easy to drink. Which can be risky business!

 380 characters

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in February 2015.

Appearance: Deep amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a pretty long time, and left a little coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong influence of both a hops bitterness and a citrus sweetness in the aroma. There is some malty aroma, but the aroma is dominated by the hops and citrus aromas.

Taste: A nice balance of hops, herbs, and citrus flavors, that make for an interesting Belgian trippel, but with a strong bitterness from the hops. There is a nice after-taste with a hint of bitterness from the hops, which lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex Belgian trippel.

 771 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Beer looks decent, dark amber with about a one-finger head.
Aroma has a bit of spicy fruit and some nice, funky yeast odors but there's also an underlying plastic harshness.
Taste is not very pleasant. This seems harsh and rather crude for a Tripel. A lingering and unpleasant medicinal bitter finish. Nearly a drain pour.
Mouthfeel seems a bit thin.
I'm a fan of both Dark Horse and tripels but his seems a rather poor effort that lacks refinement.

 450 characters

Photo of Barnoloid
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is a spicy note to this tripel. Clove and banana dominate here, with a yeastiness that comes right through. Has a dustiness to the mouthfeel. Good but muddled in a sense.

 176 characters

Photo of Yellolab2010
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Wow! Wouldn't even let me rate with out a review because I gave a low rating? I'll start by saying I love dark horse but am not a fan of Belgian tripels. I do continue to try them but just don't care for them! That being said this was not a low ball at dark horse by any means just me being fair in my ratings.
If you are a tripel fan you may really enjoy.

 356 characters

Photo of LloydDobler
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Got me going! Pours a thick foggy amber with a ring of foam around the outside of the glass. Almost no initial appeal to this. In fact, there was a ton of sediment that I didn't care for at all. Looked like rocks in the bottom of my glass! Once I dove in it was a game changer. Great smokey, banana, clove nose despite the lack of head. "Once it hits your lips, it's so good!" Ready for whatever was to come, I was pleased. Slightly warming with the all the Belgian yeasty goodness. A beautifully crafted beer.

 510 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber colour, got a fair bit of sediment in the pour. Head is off-white, sinks quickly to leave a thin rim of nice sticky lace. Lace saves an otherwise unappealing pour.

Smells rich and inviting. Sweet, with lots of complex residual sugars. Caramel toffee, tocay sweetness with raisins, treacle and a touch of nutmeg. Very enjoyable, sweet and complex. Just how a tripel should be.

Taste is a lot more bitter. Belgian phenols all over that, start early with a touch of rubber, bandaid note and gets really very medicinal midway. Plenty of malt, which helps remind one it's beer you're drinking. But yeah, it's a fine Belgian character, I just wish it didn't take such an early stranglehold.

A bit heavy with brandy warming through the mouth. Touch of carbonation.

Nice tripel characters, but just feels lacking in the complex sugars that makes the best Belgian versions sing in such beautiful harmony.

 922 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.