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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

341 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 341
Hads: 815
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 20.77%
Wants: 19
Gots: 89 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 341 | Hads: 815
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into chalice, bottled on 5/6/2014. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of apricot, orange, golden raisin, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, biscuit, candi sugar, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast ester and bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of apricot, orange, golden raisin, pear, apple, light banana, clove, biscuit, candi sugar, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of apricot, golden raisin, pear, apple, light banana, clove, biscuit, candi sugar, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast and bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth and fairly crisp/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice tripel style. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a goblet
A: Murky light brown with a 1/2-finger head that quickly settles
S: Lots of brown sugar, fig, coriander/clove, a touch floral
T: Matches the nose. Pleasant spice, brown sugar, wheat & florals
M: Medium-bodied, a touch sweet but the alcohol doesn't stand out. Light carbonation
O: Not super complex but straightforward and is a good example of the style

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.21/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy dark gold color. The head is a finger high (white colored) and rather poorly retaining. A tiny ring of lacing is left on the glass. Not particularly attractive.

S: This has a rather heavy note of orange peel, combining with some stewed dark fruits, candied sugar, caramel and a touch of coriander. I hate to blaspheme, but...but...BUT...it smells like a roided-up Blue Moon. In a realm full of La Fin Du Mondes, this isn't a good place to be - however, the aroma isn't awful by any stretch.

T: There's something off about this one. At first, I think it's just a poorly handled orange peel note. Then, as I swirl it in my mouth, it hits me like a sack of dildos: this is tomato-y. After about the third sip, I couldn't wait to pour the dregs in. It seems to have helped a bit: the tomato disappears slightly (not completely) and grows more generically yeasty. This also seems to be acidic to the point of harshness, too. Nope, I'm ultimately wrong - this is still tomato-y as hell.

M: Like many Dark Horse beers, it's crisp and easy to drink for the style. It would be even easier to drink if the flavor profile didn't suck ass, though. Carbonation is slightly prickly but not intensely vibrant.

O: I've had some great 'Murican-made tripels (Allagash Tripel, Boulevard Long Strange Tripel, hell, even Flying Fish's Exit 4 was damn enjoyable). This isn't even close to being one of those - it might even be the worst example of the style I've had yet. The best I can say about this is that I can power through it without dumping it. Even better, Dark Horse makes a bunch of solid beer that I can drink instead of this crap.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.56/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: a dark brown 355mL bottle with a great craft label - a very nice package.

Appearance: pours a burnished hazy orange-copper with a fluffy white head that drops away pretty quickly to a thin cap. Certainly not standard for a tripel.

Aroma: a combination of Belgian yeasts and some orchard fruits - not particularly good to be honest; very awkward.

Taste: and that awkwardness follows through to the palate. I love Tripels - it is one of my favourite styles - but this one is pretty ordinary. No body and little Tripel complexity.

Aftertaste: fades away quicker, again not much happening.

Mouth feel: very flat in feel - hardly any body at all.

Overall: whilst I am a big fan of Tripels, this was a very poor attempt. No complexity and no body, leaving just a half-hearted awkward whack of Belgian-ish flavours. Add a price over AU$150 for a case, and this one doesn't make the cut.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: unfiltered cloudy dense dirty orange, zero head,
little lacing/may be flat

S: big orange peel, floral, belgian yeast, wheat

T: orange, belgian yeast, floral, mild biscuit

M: med body, semi-oily, hint of dry, very little

O: Love this style, but some how just missing
the buzz on DH. Perhaps got a bad bottle or batch.


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Photo of TheBeer
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Good looking Belgian with a thin lasting head. Large amount of yeast present in the bottle.
S- Promising smell that is quite pleasant and typical of Belgian beers.
T- A very awkward bitterness that lingers for the duration of the mouthfeel. Very slight hints of alcohol on the back side.
M- Decent carbonation but way to thin for the style.
O- Not terrible for the price, but not something to be amazed by. Middle of the line beer that is worth trying if you are in desperate need of a new beer, but not something to continue buying. Stick with Belgian produced beers if you want a satisfying Belgian style trippel.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: pouts with a burnt orange color. Very transparent beer, much different then any other tripel I have seen. Light head even on an aggressive pour. No active carbonation in glass.

Smell: musty fruit and orange peel hit the nose first. A potent front of sugary yeast and banana peels is also apparent. Medium bodied fruit rides throughout this brew.

Taste: Grainy yeast and bright fruits hit first. Some decent fruit and spices continue to battle the palate. Nothing too complex but does hit some decent tripel checkpoints.

Mouthfeel: light with some chalky tones.

Overall: an okay american tripel. Mild spices and yeast fruity body. Just okay

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Photo of bigcat1408
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I will be honest in that I am a bit intimidated with how folks can review beers like they do. I will say I am definitely in for some big time 'beer education'! I really enjoy this beer the more I drink it, which is interesting because at first I truly did not enjoy it. Particularly because it was way to hoppy for me. I have somewhat forced myself to drink more hoppy beers and my palate is being refined! That is all for now.

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Photo of BierStein711
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into dimple pint (Yeah, I know not the best glass, but I don't have all my stuff moved yet).

Appearance Cloudy gold body with a quick reducing off white head

Smell: clove, banana, raisin, nuts, and alcohol

Taste: Banana, barley, raisin, and Belgian yeast

Mouthfeel: Thick

Overall, not too bad of a beer, but this isn't a great Tripel.

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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!

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Photo of Brandegee
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: A rich orange-brown, promising a strong taste.

Smell: The yeast smell dominates, but peppers and clove follow close behind. I'm not getting much fruit from this, but there is a hint of banana. Definitely some maltiness as well, but not assertive.

Taste: Not a lot of flavor upfront. It introduces itself slowly, generating an almost burnt orange flavor along with a healthy amount of dryness. Honey is there as well, but not as strong. Some bitterness complements the orange flavor. An extremely easy flavor that permits full sips.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is leavened very well, as is the alcohol. A very nice balance on the tongue.

Overall: Tripels kind of have to work hard to set themselves apart, and this one is not the best I've ever had. But I really like the honey-orange angle on this one, and I would definitely spring for it again.

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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.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I like the color of this Tripel as its radiant and quite iridescent in the Orange or apricot hue. The body of this ale is virtually dead as the carbonation bubbles to the top but never built a head. It now sits completely still.

The scent is all Tripel with clove, banana, slight bubblegum, sweet breads, and a little yeast.

The taste is is more bubblegum, slight cloves and then a banana finish. Tinges of malt and doughy grain are scattered through out.

The feel is nice, low carbonation, and smooth but not particularly full. The 9.5 ABV is completely hidden as I was a touch surprised to read that figure on the bottle.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +9.3%

This is a spicy Belgian tripel ale. It pours a particulated orangish color with thin white head that is not lacing. The scent is typical of most Tripels. So is the taste but it carries a nice spice and clove. The mouthfeel is fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a good one for those that enjoy Belgian tripels.

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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.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Red Rock in Ypsilanti, MI. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: The beer poured a cloudy golden. There was a ring of foam when the beer arrived at the table.

Aroma: Spice was present in the aroma but no "Belgian funk". Neither hops nor malt were readily apparent. There was a slightly sour aroma component.

Taste: There is definite spice and Belgian funkiness overlaid on a sweet malty backbone. Sour lingers with some bitterness. I would call this a classic Belgian trippel.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a medium-full body with light carbonation.

Overall: I rank this right up there with my other favorite Belgian trippels and would get it again.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet. Color was a medium amber, with next to no head. A few small streams of bubbles rose from the bottom. Aroma had a bit of alcohol, but shifted to a primarily fruity sweet, hints of prune. Reminded me a milder barleywine. Flavor was sweet, more on the sugary side, but not excessively so. Despite the sweetness, came across a little thin and watery. Overall it was pretty good, but not great.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dense mucky orange with a high rate of turbidity matter. Milky, creamy beige head is slight, moderately holding leaving a sparse and speckled lacing around the glass. A good amount of yeasty solids settle on the bottom of the vessel.

S: Aroma of pear, green fruit and some hefe-banana.

T: Flavor of fresh green melon, some banana, and some tropical fruit. Creamy oats and grains base, dry citrus, dry wheat, and a dry powdery milkiness. A gentle sourness occurs but he yeast is fairly tame, showing some oranges, apples and a toasty warmth of alcohol.

M: Mouthful is creamy, with some musky fruit, dry grains. Light fresh fruit snap, carbonation was a little loose and light. Rounds out with a warming of fruit alcohol.

O: Overall worthy drinkability, dry grains and fruit touch. Light warming of alcohol but is highly manageable. Wont blow your socks off, but would readily reach for another one. A little loose, could use some tightening up (i.e. sharper, crisper flavor and carbonation).

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a nice orangish yellow. pretty hazy with a white head that sticks around.

Smell: almost non-existant. dry bread and some banana

Taste: a strong dryness, some bananas, clove, belgian yeast. and strong alcohol. a bit too strong on the alcohol and subtle on the rest

Mouthfeel: not very heavy but the alcohol sticks around.

Overall: not a big fan of this one. alcohol should blend better. other flavors should have more kick

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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.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours fairly flat for a Belgian Trippel and has an pretty hazy orange look. The smell hit you with a little spice which is mostly cloves but nothing that seems to impressive. The taste is pretty lacking too. It hits you with some cloves and like the look, it was kind of flat. Keeps reminding me of a watered down version of Weyerbacher Merry Monk. Overall nothing great going on here. I probably will pass on this in the beer isle.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- yellow-orange with little yeast floaties. They seem so content, totally relaxed just chilling in the middle of my beer glass. I feel like we're friends already. It's a shame I will soon consume them all.

S - Farmhousey. Bready. Wild yeast. Are those even words? Spell check only recognizes 'wild' and 'yeast' so maybe not. If they were, they'd are called synonyms. Sort of. In a way at least. Accurate is a word that could be used to describe the first four words that were used to describe the scent of Sapient Trip Ale.

T- Oh man. My tastebuds feel like they are awake for the first time. This really opened my eyes. It's a delicious Belgian, grain and spice lacing the tongue and leaving it tingling after.

M- A nice full bodied Tripel, the hug that this beer gives to the inside of your mouth seems to linger.

O- Just great. I'll be repurchasing the shit out of this.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty decent tripel. Nice fruity esters with an underlying sweetness that works. It's a bit boozy though, which would probably be a big detractor for me. But it isn't like a lot of the disastrous tripels you see American breweries putting out.

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Photo of alex_hart
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a great belgian style tripel done by Darkhorse Brewing Company...had a ton of "floaters" in it (which always gets me pumped up), and it had great flavor...i was nervous when i saw the murky opaqueness of it upon the poor, but it did not in any way, shape, or form let me down

had different tropical fruits at the beginning of the sip, and as it moved to the back of the pallet the yeast, and a refreshing hint of bitterness, became present.

great addition to the mix six i picked out

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Photo of tdm168
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - dark, murky, cloudy yellow with a ton of dark sediment floating about; thin, soft cap of white head that fades quickly

S - very faint nose; some fruit, apple, pear, very faint yeast

T - fruit, pear, apple, bitter hops, yeast, vegetal, big booze

M - dry, warm, full bodied

I'm sorry to say that this is quite disappointing. First the appearance is frightening. It's murky and has a ton of stuff floating around. If this came out of a faucet I would have freaked out. The nose is almost nonexistent. The taste is intensely bitter which takes away from everything else. The booze is also intense. The finish is quite dry which seems to leave the intense bitterness on the palate. The esters that come through are nice, but that doesn't make up for the rest of it. I won't be picking this up again.

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 341 ratings.