Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Sapient Trip AleDark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

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779 Ratings
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Ratings: 779
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.66%
Wants: 17
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: putnam on 04-20-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 779 | Reviews: 342
Reviews by bobbyr5:
More User Reviews:
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.

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say that is an interesting label on this beer and the beer inside is just as interesting.Pours a deep hazy dark yellow with some orange tint with a big fluffy head that leaves nice lace behind,big yeasty aromas very spicey and clovey with a splash of tropical fruit.Flavors as well in this beer are dominated by big yeasty notes,cloves and apple are very noticable with a touch of alcohol as it warms a little.A good stab at the style maybe could have a little more fruitiness but pretty damn good.

Photo of tectactoe
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

I've had this a at Old Chicago on tap, but never got around to reviewing it. This review will be based on the bottled version. It pours a murky golden-yellow color with a bit of stoplight-amber at the very core. The stark-white head settles nicely at about a quarter-inch and leaves a small amount of lacing, only at the very top of the glass.

Like you'd expect from most tripels, the first things to breach your nostrils are equal amounts of clove and subdued fruit. Hints of over-ripe bananas coated in a light battering of cloves spices, followed by some mild malt sweetness and a touch of Belgian-style yeast. Unfortunately, this aroma isn't as robust or commanding as many tripels out there, and doesn't have much complexity. Even warming up over time doesn't really reveal anything new or exciting.

The flavor follows closely to the nose in both the flavor profile and the somewhat underwhelming nature. A sea of malt upon which a big of bananas and apple skins lie, coated with a bit of brown sugar and followed up by some kitchen spices. Alcohol character starts off low at first, but by the end of the glass, the phenol character is quite high and almost even a little intimidating.

One of the most disappointing factors of this beer is its straightforwardness. Even the Belgian yeast really fails to open up and develop, and rather you're left with a small hint of bubblegum in the finish and some small, bready notes close behind. It tastes like a watered down tripel that's not really watered down, rather it's just somewhat flavorless in comparison to other beers of the same style. Medium bodied, lightly creamy with a high amount of carbonation.

From reading the review above, I'm sure it sounds like I hate this beer. I don't. I guess I was being hard on it because I expected much more. It's definitely "good" in the sense that I'd have it again (and I have), but it just doesn't stand up to some of the big-boy tripels out there. It lacks the robustness, finesse, and complexity that the style commands, although it's still a reasonably tasty and drinkable beer in a more broad sense.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a cloudy dark honey color with big white creamy head. Big, drippy lacing. Smells are hefe-like phenols, alcohol, honey, and a very faint spice. This is a very light and fresh tasting beer. Honey, berry, fig, sugar, peppery spice , grassy flavor and tart alcohol come out more or less in that order. Mouthfeel is mid-bodied with very active but really teeny-tiny carbonation bubbles that give it an over-all fuzziness. May come off a little flimsy compared to its begian couterparts but for the price difference it is well worth considering.

Photo of migwell
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The subtleties elude me, since my sense of smell is poor, but this is a fine brew, quite strong, but full bodied and flavorful enough to disguise its kick.

It's a delightful, cloudy orange brew with a minimal head and no lacing at all. I would advise this brewery to rethink the graphic design of their bottle... death and the mailbox in muddy reds, oranges and greens announces something much more drab and lifeless than this superior brew.

Another note: I drank this with a very spicy meal which featured a habanero pepper chopped into the mix, and it stood up bravely, and in the end won the day!

P.S. Is there a way to dispense with the cheesy, comment-free smart phone 'reviews'? 'I'm just so busy, I cannot be bothered to comment...' Well then, don't bother!

Photo of wrycon
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks golden and slightly murky. Smells sweetly of yeast and apricot. Drinks very cleanly with a rounded fruit flavor to start. The flavor recedes evenly into a sllightly tart, slightly bitter level. Carbonation is there but not overpowering. This drinks really well. Likely grab more when able.

Like it? Yep

Photo of warnerry
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 6/21/10

Poured into Chimay goblet. One finger of quickly dissipating head; cloudy with a few yeast floaters.

Smell is banana, with some bread and cloves.

Similar to smell. Not as overwhelmingly sweet as I remember it being. Some definite clove and slight pleasant bitterness on the finish.

Moderate carbonation, though mouthfeel is a bit sticky. Pretty good drinkability, abv not readily apparent.

Not the best tripel around (still a bit too sweet), but quite good. Would buy again.

Photo of babyhobbes
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Looks like a honey mead and is actually that typical honeybear honey color...not that that fancy light or dark honey. Pours thick with no head.

Smells likes grapes and lemons. Tastes that way, too, but a bit more sweet.

This was okay, but I wouldn't get it again.

Photo of Billolick
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, comes with no freshness or bottling info. Pours clouded orange hued amber, under a fairly skimpy light tan head, that leaves scattered lace after a moderate swirl. Fruity nose, then a booze, hot first sip. Yikes, this one is a mess, on the unpleasant side. Unfortunately it lacks the characteristics of a well crafted tripel. Pass this one by, so many other more enjoyable Belgians out there...

Photo of fdrich29
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice little extra in a trade with Hopdog.

Pours a vibrant golden orange. Whispy head with thick sheets of lacing.
Smells bready with banana, cloves and a sweet floral touch. Tastes bready and of bananas. Nice kick to this Belgian Style Trippel.
I truly enjoy a nice trippel and this one is just that, a nice representative of its class. Very tasty and satisfying.

Thanks to Hopdog for a great trading experience.

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, orange/brown in color

Smell: apples and Belgian spices

Taste: apples, pears, Belgian spices like coriander and clove, some alcohol

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, medium carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: A slightly above average tripel. The spicing is good and hits the mark. However, nothing really jumped out to me about this one.

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.

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.

Photo of MattyG85
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles and some noticeable floating sediment. Very small off white head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A yeasty and fruity Belgian style tripel aroma with malt. Belgian yeast upfront with hints of funk and spice hints of clove and peppers. Dried fruit hints of bananas and pear along with a slight hint of citrus orange and pineapple. Sweet hints of candied sugar and honey. Sweet bready malt presence with hints of wheat, biscuit, grain, and yeast. A decent yeast driven tripel scent.

Taste: Like it smells, a very yeasty and spicy Belgian style taste with fruity esters. Belgian yeast and some funk upfront with spice notes of pepper and cloves. Dried fruit esters of banana and pear and a slight note of citrus orange and pineapple. A little bubblegum taste as well. Sweet notes of candied sugar and some honey. Big bready malt presence with notes of biscuit, wheat, grain, yeast, and a little caramel. A little more malt than typical of the style, but the taste is good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly drying and smooth. Some alcohol heat is felt but not a lot.

Overall: A decent Belgian inspired brew. Not up there with the best Belgian tripels but ok. Ha s some nice dried fruit notes.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Quite the murky trip ale with a deep bronze/golden body and a bright white head, pretty clouded. Lacing is fine and even carbonation was effervescent and smooth versus most of the recent Dark Horse brews I've had with supper fizzy carbonation. Blasts of sugar and booze, tropical fruit including mango and pineapple. For sure there's a bit of nutty yeast like notes and mild spices. Flavor brings out more tropical fruit content with excellent spicing balance, a bit of alcohol in the finish enough to make it a rough experience slightly fusel. The yeast dough/nut combo is almost like one of those Italian nougat desserts. Not much in the way of an evident hop profile here. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly cloying with residual sugars this one has a ton of malt in it, carbonation is better than most of their other offerings still not world class but acceptable. Drinkability is solid an Americanized version of the style one of the better ones in that regards but compared to a Belgian tripel it's hard to compare the two.

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

12 oz bottle with cryptic stamp on neck served in a Paulaner Weissbier glass.

Pours slightly hazy amber with a large frothy white head. Good retention and lacing effects.

Aroma: sweet and spicy with hints of banana and other tropical fruits; yeasty with some wheat. Complex but not what I'd expect for style.

Taste: sweet (overly at first) with a pronounced, but not overpowering fruitiness that mainly consists of banana. Bready malts with a clear contribution from wheat. Alcohol esters reveal the high ABV.

Feel: soft, medium-light body.

O: strange tripel that tastes more like an eisbock or hefe-weizen than a Belgian Tripel.

Photo of Tilly
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Orange golden color, hazy. Thin white head. Malts and orange aroma. Flavour is not far off of the aroma! Good beer!!!

Photo of jeonseh
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle and poured into my Bell's tulip

A - a nice hazy golden color with hues of orange and bronze strung throughout. The beer is rather opaque as barely any light manages to penetrate the brew. Head formation was non existent as only a small number of white bubbles formed on the side of the beer, bordering the glass. Overall, the color of this one was attractive but wish it had some sort of head.

S - The odor was a mix of a light bready and yeast smell that intermingled with a hint of lemon and orange zest.

T - Initially sweet and reminded of honey. The beer is also rather fruity as I noted hints of black cherry, orange, and lemon. After the beer went down the gullet, the aftertaste was yeasty and malty. Additionally, the flavors lingered on as they took root on my tongue.

MF - As the beer first enters the mouth, it has a good bit of carbonation which is prickly on the tongue, yet never harsh. Good medium body as well and after the carbonation subdues, the mouthfeel becomes rather creamy. There was a slight astringent tingle that remained on the tongue as the flavors lingered.

D - Overall, this was one rather tasty tripel that exceeded my expectations. It had a ton of flavor and was easy to drink as well. My one criticism was that the nose did not come close to mirroring the other factors of this beer.

Photo of glid02
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had from a bottle by way of ShrLSU - thanks for sending this along!

Pours a slightly hazy yellow-orange color with a one-finger white head. The head isn't as frothy as most other trippels and fades quicker than most as well. Leaves decent lacing.

Smells of pears and other light fruits covered in Belgian candy sugar. I go back and forth on which is more pronounced, but there's almost no Belgian yeast funk.

Tastes similar to how it smells, maybe a bit sweeter. Sweet Belgian candy sugar the whole way through the sip, with hints of light fruits poking out every now and then.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a lighter-than-normal body for the style with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. This is by no means a bad beer, but it still goes down easily.

Overall this was a solid trippel, but there are better ones out there. That being said, I still appreciate ShrLSU giving me the chance to try this.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a glowing orange body with a creamy white film that sticks to the glass with each sip. There was a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- This beer has a big smell of apple juice and note soft white sugar smell that blends to a fresh milk aroma that lingers.

T- The light taste of cream and soft honey hint that finishes with a nice bitterness of greenness that is not distinctively hops. As the beer warms there is some light fruit notes and an apple note that comes through when it warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a pretty clean finish.

D- This beer had some nice flavor but not very complex especially for this style. It didn’t really have any sweetness and the bitterness was much stronger than most beers in this style.

Photo of pwoods
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into a flute. Notes.

A: Pours a blushing orange with little chunkies even from a careful pour. very short head with little retention and lacing.

S: Very sweet with plenty of fruitiness. Sweet malts.

T/M: Big fruity sweetness. A bit of bitterness but nothing too huge. Malts add more sweetness and becomes just too much. Thick syrupy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D: Not the best Belgian but not terrible for an American attempt at the style. Not Dark Horse's best brew by a long shot.

Photo of Brenden
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes are from 2 nights ago.

This beer is a deep amber verging on burnished copper. There's a lot of haze to this one and lots of sediment floating around when it settles. A white head forms a bit lower than one finger tall and fades after a bit, leaving a little (but not much) lacing behind.
The nose is mild. It's also interesting given the inherent sweetness I've smelled in most Tripels, which isn't in this one. There is the traditional belgian yeast evident with some wheat underneath maybe a toasted malt and with notes of grass, some peppery spice, and bubblegum. Alcohol is also evident.
The Belgian yeast is obvious in the flavor, and perhaps the most prominent flavor beside is pepper. I might have had a funny bottle, but I get very little if any candied sugar or dark fruit flavor in this. Really, besides that, it's mostly a shot of alcohol. It's not unlike a dry spirit (think Jameson's).
Teh body's pretty full and adequate carbonation gives this brew some life.
This one's pretty good, though I'd prefer more balance, heavier malts presence, and a more effectively masked alcohol presence. That said, I won't shy way from having this again.

Photo of Magpie14
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: a nice soft, golden color with moderate cloudiness. A rich foamy head formed, followed by a nice lacing

Smell: smells of caramel, fruit, and spices

Taste: a very unique taste! Slight hop taste and strong caramel and fruit flavor. The fruit reminds me of a mild banana flavor with a touch of orange...has wonderful aftertaste. (could be very sweet to some)

Mouthfeel: very smooth and rewarding. Has nice carbonation and is a smooth, drinkable beer.

This is the first of any of the Dark Horse brews that I have had. To say the least I am impressed! This is a very interesting Belgian Trippel that I would buy again!

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A blurred toasted gold body resides below a vanishing cream head.
The nose is generally muted, but exudes a predominant breadiness, along with wafts of bruised bananas, and humid basements.
It begins with a crispy pils malt base that suggests saltines and hay bales. The confectionary deluge begins; candy sugar, and candied oranges, and candied pineapples, and raw honey, and caramelized apples, and rum-soaked bananas. Just as this teeters oversweet, yeast-derived nuances scratch out a dry spot filled with menthol, thyme, rosemary, and limestone. Hopping is a role-player, and contributes like-mindedly arid notions of dry lemongrass and tea leaves.
This could easily be an obese gooey blob of a tripel, but the persistent, tiny carbonation slakes the mouth, and forms scaffolding that brace the sweetness to give it support and functionality, and create a numbingly drinkable nectar...in the literal sense, as this often seems pollinated rather than brewed.

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

Another Dark Horse drinkable treat, this one at Ashley's on-tap. Hazy light golden with Caesar head. Decent yeast aroma. Above average mouthfeel, good fresh yeastiness, and it is fruity,bannana and apricot, with some bitter hop in the finish. A sipper.

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.