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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

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730 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 730
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 18
Gots: 45 | 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: 730 | Reviews: 325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopheadtony1
2.56/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber beer. Nice amber light. this is amedium quality white head for my part. Herbal in the nose, malty smooth in the mouth. European hops background. Maybe more intresting with sa little bit of yeast sleeping in the bottle. Nice belgian tribute.

Photo of matjack85
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfrield, IL for $2.59. No freshness date that I could see.

The beer poured a cloudy golden/honey color with only a ½ finger of white head and only minimal lacing.

The smell was very fruity - mostly apples, apricots, and pears. There is also some sweet malt, cinnamon, and other spices in here. I liked the smell.

The beer has a nice caramely sweetness to it like you would expect from a tripel, but there is lots of fruit flavor to this as well. Apple, orange, and apricot are the main flavors I taste, but there is a tartness in here as well - maybe from the Belgian yeast. Cinnamon, clove, and a touch of alcohol make up the rest of the flavor. I thought it all came together fairly well. A very tasty brew.

Medium to full bodied mouthfeel with a bit more than medium carbonation.

A sipping beer for sure with an 8.5& alcohol level, but the alcohol is not overpowering or dominant here. It's a bit pricey, but definitely worth a try.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

Appearance: A hazed orange, tiny yeast particulates gather and the soapy white head recedes to a ring around the edges.

Smell: Belgian yeast, some hay/wheat like elements, banana.

Taste: Much like the smell, some banana, clove, biscuity malt. Tea like hop bitterness, and overall not unlike many imported tripels. The 8.5 abv is hidden well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonation level could be a little higher, could be a bit drier, but decent feel.

Overall: Dark Horse makes some interesting and fine beers. This one is good. Simple, and could creep up on ya.

Photo of biggred1
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky dark orange with a slight lumpy head. Barley, orange peel and burnt sugar in the nose, not much in the way of "Belgian" spiciness in the aroma. Tangy malt flavors, citrus and a cookie-like sweetness. Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. A tasty beer but not the best from Dark Horse and not really true to the style.

Photo of radioscooter
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber/brown with a slight head and drapey lacing.

Smells as should do - light fruit, Belgian yest and some citrus tones.

Tastes very good but somehow the flavor is extremely subdued. Like someone poured a bit of water into a Gulden Drak.

Flavor is right, just not enough of it.

Finish is sour, dry-ish. Light.

They'll find their groove with this one. It's a strong Belgian contender and better than many US Belgoans, but is just not quite there yet.

Photo of warnerry
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
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 russpowell
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cheers to indiapale for this, thanx russ

Pours a semi-murky amber with cream colored head. Decent head retention & lacing...

S: Faint apricots; some lemon & peach

T: Apricot, pears & oakyness,some persimmons as well. Dryness, pears & apricots as this warms, plus pineapple, plus some oakyness. Finishes with a flourish of orchard fruit, plus some dark fruit as as well, plus a touch of cinnamon

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, slightly grainy

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style. A good example, not as epic as I hoped

Photo of voteforhops
3.19/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured at cellar temp (50+/-) into tulip glass - 1/8" thick yeast sediment remained in bottle (mostly).

a - somewhat hazy, caramelized-orange color with thin, tight head that has some trace yeast.

s - earthy, estery fruit with guava fragrance, slight anise notes.

t - mild and dry, bitter pepper with clove and banana.

m - fairly dry and thin, slight alcohol, somewhat sticky linger.

d - while the nose is sweet and zesty (tropical fruit & exotic spice) the taste is dry, earthy and uninspired. possible overfermentation or overhopping plus too much sediment. reminds me a little of bit 'o honey candy - seems exciting and sweet at first, but ends up flat and almost flavorless halfway through. perhaps this brewery should stick to american ales.

Photo of ralree
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich, deep gold with a nice little head for the style. Very appetizing.

S: Brown sugar and honey make this a very sweet nose. Nice dose of grain and some hops.

T: Great example of a fine Belgian ale. Honey and brown sugar sweetness are tempered by the hops perfectly, and the grain backs it up with a nice strong meaty body. Not cloying, but the sweetness is starting to get close - just right for the style. No metallic flavor or other impurities.

M: Between dry and syrupy, about the right mouthfeel. Non-astringent. Carbonation is perfect.

D: Goes down better than most Belgians I've tried. Well-done ale. This is one of the only Tripels I've liked - ever.

Photo of garbercury
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, had a few times, first review...

A--Good golden reddish hue, lacing is subtle.

S--Lemony pepper finish on the nose. Classic and on par for the style.

T--Lemon zest, pepper, and just a bit of funk. Not too bad, very solid.

M--Fine, nothing stands out with the feel.

D--I remember liking this one a bit more in previous visits. Certainly a very solid Tripel but not a standout...I recommend the brew for people who enjoy the style and Dark Horse is great brewery.

Photo of Internatbrewlove
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the few triple ales I have tasted from Michigan. Sapient has a nice complexity to its flavor with overtones of banana, pear, and clove. The hops is moderate, and the high alcohol content is not readily detectable. This Belgian style ale is translucent (unfiltered appearing) and dark amber in color. The head is moderate and off white in color. There is a mild yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle much like a Hefe Weizen.

This is another winner for Dark Horse. The Sapient Triple Ale has most of the attributes of its Belgian fore-bearers but, doesn't have to cross national borders and comes at a much more reasonable price. Despite its high alcohol content this triple is very drinkable...one's good, two is better.

Photo of jbone78
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer in my fridge for a while. Time to drink it.

Pours hazy golden with yeasty chunks floating around in it. Smells caramelized, if that's possible, but you can smell the sugar in it. Taste is very balanced to me. Taditional sweet Tripel character with the yeasty backbone. I relly like it, but I usually like sweet beers. Finishes a tad syrupy, but an easy drinker for 8.5%.

If I lived up north, I would buy more of these.


Photo of AScribjr
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to get this beer home...I love the beers Dark Horse produces,But this is not my favorite beer from their but it is my top three. The beer pours as a trip ale would, with foam not hanging around long, The flavor is nice.This beer would be refreshing on a spring day ...thanks Dark Hourse

Photo of PDXHops
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this 12 ounce bottle, which unfortunately releases a load of floaties into my Duvel tulip (what is it with this brewery and all the floaties?). Minimal white head. Lacing is teased at times but slides back in.

Doesn't look like much, but smells pretty good. Cloves, tangy yeast and banana aromas are quite clear; more mysterious is some vague canned cocktail fruitiness. Smells much sweeter as it warms.

Oddly, it doesn't taste as yeasty as it smells. Plenty of fruity sweetness- bananas, apricots, apples. Plenty of malty and simple syrup type sweetness as well. Booziness is decently hidden; it seems to come and go. Decent complexity, although the yeast and cloves could stand to be dialed up a notch. They're more apparent in the dryish finish than at any point before. Medium bodied with a lowish carbonation that does little to liven things up.

Overall impression: Not exactly memorable, but worth a shot.

Photo of nas5755
1.61/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A good looking tripel with a golden brown color that is slightly hazy. The nose reminds me of pears, golden dirt and macha root. The taste is very similar with more fruit nuances and bready yeast characteristics added into the heavy macha and earthy flavors. A good smooth clean mouth-feel, slightly chewy and a good medium low carbonation level. Overall, this is an interesting beer that brings some flavors out I just don't want in a beer. Macha is not a flavor I would ever seek out in a beer and dirt flavors are best suited to adventures in funk. Not something I will be seeking out again.

Photo of BigMike
3.01/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a very hazy and pale orange. A creamy 1 finger off white tops it off. A very traditional looking triple.

S: lots of spices. Some ripened Bartlett pear and sour apple. Lots of Clove.

T: taste is pretty much identical to the nose. A big alcohol presence.

M: light bodied with lots of carbonation.

Overall: Not an overly impressive triple and probably not one I would seek out again.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of G311, thanks Vince! Pours a pretty clear (without last few inches), dark gold color - almost orange. Vigorous pour yields a small off-white foam with little excitement in the retention and lacing department.

Nose is almost identical to those peanut butter candies with the generic orange wrapper (do they still make those?). Some mango fruit and alcohol also creep into the aroma as well as a hint of banana yeast ester.

Taste is delightfully smooth and the alcohol is well hidden under a nice amount of yeasty fruit and liquid bread flavors. Grainy malts and some darker fruits show up a bit as it warms, which is surprising - almost raisiny. Mouthfeel is decently full, but the carbonation is low, which is odd for a tripel. All in all, this is a unique tripel and is pretty good, but lacks in a few areas that is pretty crucial for the style. Easy to finish, but not necessarily craving another one.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.19/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Color is a bright honey gold with a mild white head and not much in the way of retention or lacing. Nose is strange with some cardboard and phenols plus a great deal of slice. Taste falls under the same rubric. Body is off with fairly low carbonation. While the off flavors weren't terribly apparent, when combined with a lack of true character, this just wasn't my favorite brew, especially coming from a brewery whose beers I normally enjoy very much.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.07/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, fruit hints and an underlying of candy sugar. In the taste, dry fruit hints and a dry bubblegum like taste. A smooth and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a dry bubblegum aftertaste. I kind of feel like I ate a piece of Bazooka Joe, not bad but bubblegum like.

Photo of thecarster1
2.68/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a- bottle poured into a chalice, full finger, hazy honey wheat color, some floaties.

s- lots of belgian yeast, banana, clove, some pepper, lemon, and a slight candy sweetness.

t- lighter than the nose, peppery, banana, clove, some candy sugar, slight alcohol, a bit of medicinal taste - almost metallic, a bit unappealing.

m- medium to thin body, slick, prickly.

d- not great drinkability, i wouldn't pick this up again, the metallic tinge was off putting.

Photo of icemonkey908
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice triple ale. Hazy orange appearance. Complex yeasty flavor expected from a triple. The beer was deceptively smooth for 8.5% and it wasn't until a few of these were consumed that this became apparent. Overall it was very good, would definitely have again.

Photo of Spider889
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Bodega. They actually accidentally poured me this when I had requested DH Perkulator Dopplebock, so I got this pint free! :-)

Fairly dark, a cloudy murky haze of orange and burgundy.. No head, not much lace.

Smelled sweet, banana and clove notes, caramel maltiness, orange peel, and yeasty bread.

The taste is also bready, clove, lots of muted cinnamon, mild nutmeg.

Light-medium bodied. Not what I originally asked for, but I had no problem finishing it.

Photo of Billolick
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
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 smcolw
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starts by pouring a neutral amber, then toward the end of the glass, it comes out brown. Upon closer inspection, there was a lot of yeast in this bottle--it actually changes the color of the beer. Modest head but leaves ample, webby lace.

Earthy but with fully fermented candy sugars. Belgian yeast in the nose.

Sweet and yeasty flavor. Lots of up front alcohol. The yeast is subtler on the tongue. My first thought was barley wine at a far higher abv. The carbonation is quite high--too much for the body. Overall, it's probably easier to grab a true Belgian Tripel, even though this is a decent American version.

Photo of prototypic
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sapient Trip Ale pours a copper/amber color. It's hazy, but penetrating light gives it distinct orange highlights. A modest white head stands about a finger tall before falling quickly. Lacing was very, very light. Eh. Not bad. Not great.

The nose is a little weak. It needs more strength. It does feature some nice clove and pepper spicy notes. There are some light fruity notes. Apple and pear mostly. A little caramel sweetness is noted. Alcohol is definitely in the mix. Unfortunately, I'm not getting any Belgian yeast. Not a great thing at all. Hopefully it shows up in flavor.

The flavor is alright, but keeps the pace...above average. It kicks off with a light caramel/toffee flavor. It's not overly sweet. Pepper and clove spices follow. They add little pizzazz to the mix. A little apple and pear creep in and add a little depth. I'm still not getting any Belgian yeast. That needs to be addressed. That's a necessity to achieve success with a Belgian-style ale. Alcohol is noted, and is perhaps a little more strong than it should be.

Sapient Trip Ale has a medium body that grows even more substantial with warming. Carbonation feels light and does much to give it a smooth feel. This might be its best asset. Drinkability is rather average. It's alright, but it isn't a great Tripel. I'll finish this 12 oz. bottle, but I'm not pining for another.

I really like Dark Horse Brewing Company. They make great beer. Unfortunately, Sapient Trip Ale is one of their weaker releases. Perhaps Belgian beer isn't their thing. Frankly, it needs much more of a Belgian yeast presence to succeed. It just doesn't have it. It's not terrible. If you see a single bottle, it's worth a try. But, I wouldn't pick up a six pack.

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.