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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

676 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 676
Reviews: 319
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 11
Gots: 33 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: putnam on 04-20-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 676 | Reviews: 319 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ryan011235


3.38/5  rDev -7.7%

Poured into a snifter on 9/5/09

A - Very cloudy orange with pale gold highlights. Looks dirty with yeast sediment on the bottom. Ephemeral head with nothing but a patch of bubbles remaining. Streaking & clear lines, but hardly any proper lace.

S - Primarily banana. Notes of other light fruits - pears & grapes. Sweet & sugary nose. At times it seems almost like soap or solvent.

T - Bananas are prominent but taste weird. Fruits come across as over-ripe & too processed. Cloyingly sweet - a tad too much for my liking. Some toasty characteristics, but largely indistinguishable malt.

M - Moderately heavy body. Lacking in carbonation, in my opinion; it seems flat. Slick on the tongue with some numbing due to alcohol. Has a strange medicinal feel about it.

D - I'm iffy on this beer. It's not terribly bad, per se but on the whole it comes off as too murky. It it approachable, just do so with caution.

09-09-2009 04:23:12 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.3/5  rDev -9.8%

12 oz bottle

Hazy, amber gold with a medium size bubbly white head that recedes to a thin film and streaks of wet lacing. Not sure what's going on with the aroma from this bottle, fairly pungent and sour, strong dark fruitiness, mild alcohol burn, not very pleasant all together. Medium creamy body with sharp carbonation and a mild alcohol finish, though the mouthfeel is much softer and less crisp than I would expect for this style. Flavor is of malt and candy sugar, fruity but again some lingering sourness. I'll have to review this beer again when I get another bottle since this doesn't seem to match other reviews well, but nothing seems obviously "wrong".

09-01-2009 01:51:02 | More by yourefragile
Photo of morimech


3.73/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours a murky golden color with a lot of particulate matter involved. The head was small and faded almost immediatly. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of a lot of spice, malt, and brown sugar. Smells more like a Quad. Some alcohol is also detected. Starts of with a sweet taste but it is fleeting. The spice and malt takeover and dominate the flavor. A little warmth is sensed in the finish. This Tripel is missing the vinous and fruit qualities I love in them. Medium body and nice carbonation goes well with the flavors. Not that good of a Tripel but it is a nice Belgian type beer.

08-31-2009 22:36:42 | More by morimech
Photo of alcstradamus


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

Murky golden/brown color with about a finger of quickly receding head. Smell is strong spices, caramel, clove, and super sweet dark fruit. Taste is upfront malt overload before the subtle spices kick in to wash it down. No sting or harshness from the spices which I often find to be the case, but there is a bit of an odd lingering cinnamon/nutmeg on the back of the throat. This is very easy drinking, not bigger than medium bodied but there is a slight sense of creaminess. Overall this is a very solid beer that I probably wouldn't buy again simply because it is not a preferred style, but I definitely would recommend it to others.

08-10-2009 23:43:47 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

08-09-2009 20:53:06 | More by Sammy
Photo of cvaypai


4.43/5  rDev +21%

Poured from bottle to goblet.

Appearance - Golden yellow orange with suspended yeast. Opaque but hard to see through at points. Poured with a half finger of head that stays.

Smell - This ale smells great. Really fruity aroma, with apples, cherries and other dry fruits. Also can smell some of those belgian esters and other bready qualities.

Taste - Very sweet, can taste the candy sugar up front, but very enjoyable. Wheat, bread and other fruits can be tasted, I really like this. Lots of cherry, yum. No detection of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Great mouthfeel, not too carbonated, not too bitter, just right for the style.

Drinkability - I could drink this baby all night, hides the alochol so well. Very good, not too heavy.

Very good offering from Dark Horse, I will pick this up again.

08-08-2009 05:41:08 | More by cvaypai
Photo of movingtrain


3.15/5  rDev -13.9%

12 ounce bottle poured into an Ommegang glass.

Pours an amber-brass color with little to no head...some carbonation in the body, but not much. There are a lot of floaties here...I'm assuming they bottle ferment this? Maybe?

Smells like a Tripel...sweet candy sugar, caramel, toffee, some citrus notes, watermelon. Some bready notes, too...

The flavor is light, crisp, and fairly refreshing. I can feel the alcohol burn going down, but there isn't much alcohol in the mouth. The candy sugar notes are the most prominent, some light hoppage underneath...as it warms up, it's beginning to taste a bit more like cider than anything else. It's a little funky.

As far as the mouthfeel goes, it's pretty hollow in the middle. What I mean is, at first it is potent, with strong sugar and malt notes coming through. On the back of the throat, the alcohol burn helps carry those flavors down, but there is something missing in the middle that keeps those two elements lingering and making me want to drink more.

Overall, not a bad attempt. It's a good beer, kind of a homebrew tinge to it...but over all decent. I'd like to try this one at the bar.

07-28-2009 21:48:09 | More by movingtrain
Photo of gatornation


4/5  rDev +9.3%

pours a hazy straw color with a 1 " head that leaves a nice fresh ring til the end..the smell is good lots of fruits in this one.. bananas apples pears melons..spices like coriander cumin pepper and cinnamon..the taste is the same as b4 mentioned smell with some sweet malts and belgium yeast tastes that nicely balance the fruit and spice..this is a very good tripel that is well balanced with nothing dominating the palete just a pleasure to drink...i like this one and several other dark horse offerings ..a top notch brewery from michigan..recommended

07-04-2009 02:14:03 | More by gatornation
Photo of neenerzig


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

A 12 oz bottle poured into my goblet. This beer pours a hazy orange/amber color. Not much head here, maybe 1/2 inch when first poured, settling to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass shortly thereafter. The white head is littered with bits of brown and gray yeast chunks as well as chunks of yeast settled at the bottom. They are impossible to miss. never seen a beer with as much yeast in it or with yeast that looked quite like this. Decent lace. There are also lots of little bubbles rapidly rising to the surface. Nice fruity aroma with a bit of funk as well, before giving way to some spice. Flavor wise it has moderately sweet Belgian sugar candy malty sweetness, before giving was to fruits such as banana and apple and also a bit of plum. next comes the spices and the taste is rounded out with a slight touch of bitterness. Good balance of flavors. Has a crisp, smooth, and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Not too bad here at all. Easy to drink in a good way and I would drink this again, but this beer seems to be missing something.


06-29-2009 02:52:02 | More by neenerzig
Photo of BEERchitect


3.93/5  rDev +7.4%

The standard offerings of Dark Horse has shown to be, let's call it inconsistent. The hit home runs with some beers and digress with others and it seems to have no bearing on the style of beer or complexity of ingredients nor processes. Though their tripel is a little short of authentic, it does more than the cleaner and more simplistic Belgian-style ales that most American brewers conjure.

The creamy and heavily embedded carbonation of their Sapient Trip Ale does little to showcase the highly effervescent look of Chimay Cinq Cents or Tripel Karmeliet, but does show a firm cap of foam that soon recedes to a thin sheet across the glass. Shy with retention and lace, the beer's strong amber hue does little to immulate great tipels of Belgium.

Aromas sing a different story as the nose registers a strong pilsner malt aroma along with bready sweetness, dry fruit, and peppery spice. When reaching for true Belgian character- now we're talkin'!

The early palate garners the taste of rich breads and bread crust along with a soft, dry, underlying sweetness of confectioner's sugar and pepper. Dry fruit qualities of apples, pears, peach, apricot, and mango all attribute to the estery mix but without any of their extra-sweet properties. Instead, the strong spicy balance from fresh cracked peppercorn, cumin, fennel, coriander, and dried orange peel contrast the sweetness of malt and fruitiness of yeast extremely well. A firm yet understated hop presence delivers a mild stemmy bitterness that hinges on sassafras.

But to the mouth feel, the beer's carbonation creates a full and creamy impression and not the airy and effervescent dryness that I so appreciate in those classy Belgian brewed versions. The creamy richness happily falls apart and allows the dry fruit, dry spice, and alcohol to steal the show heading into finish. This is where the dryness of the beer is accentuated by alcohol warmth to provide a mostly dry finish with a linger of fruit and spice.

The beer does a lot to immulate what's going on in traditional Belgian tripel ales, but the lack of hop flavor and the richer textures to start are just a few reminders that this is in fact a Belgian-inspired American tripel ale.

06-24-2009 01:43:00 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of sweemzander


4.05/5  rDev +10.7%

12oz. bottle poured into a Duvel glass. No bottled date present. *Dark Horse needs bottled dates! None of them have it!* So this could be aged for all I know considering where I bought it!

(A)- A cloudy orange amber. No head ever formed, just some white bubbles. Some minimal lacing here at there if at all.

(S)- Really closed. Clay, banannas, and a caramel/honey aspect, but I struggled to find them. Really light.

(T)- Really fruity. Bananna, lemon, orange, and melon. Good yeast component. Slightly tangy/bitter kick in the middle. Even has a malty feel on the finish. Great balance.

(M)- Really thick stuff. Its smooth where it should be. Plenty of carbonation; thick & fluffy texture. The abv is hidden very well

(D)- This is a great representation of the triple style. Its got all the right flavors in the right places. But its still a triple, and thus is indeed a sipper, but a good summer sipper at that. The smell department was very disappointing though.

06-14-2009 23:44:00 | More by sweemzander
Photo of SykDoc


3.93/5  rDev +7.4%

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. It pours a hazy straw color. A 1/2 inch off-white head forms and quickly reduces to a mild lacing around the edges and over the top. Carbonation readily visible.

The aroma up front is strong with grassy notes, particularly when cold. As it warms, a yeastier bread component becomes prominent with some apple and minimal banana.

The taste comes across fairly clean with some yeast and bread notes, as well as some pear and apple tastes.

The mouthfeel seemed just a hair undercarbonated. There is a medium body and a could clean start with a smooth and mildly spicy finish.

Overall, this is a good beer and fairly easy to drink. A bit of alcohol comes across but not enough to make it less drinkable. Overall, a decent tripel.

06-14-2009 19:53:09 | More by SykDoc
Photo of barnzy78


3.65/5  rDev -0.3%

12oz. Poured a rusty color with suspended particulates throughout. Thin off-white head left a nice lacing on the glass. Aromas were of over-ripened fruit - apples and pears; maybe some banana. Also some Belgian yeasts on the nose with a hint of alcohol. Mouth-feel is medium bodied and somewhat syrupy. Tastes are over-ripe fruity esters, especially notes of pear with hints of apple as well. Alcohol is present and warming on the throat. Finishes dry with some white grape flavors and some spiciness, white pepper perhaps. Decent tripel and represents the style finely. I just find it very hard to compete with the authentic Belgians. Still very enjoyable none-the-less.

06-11-2009 04:28:10 | More by barnzy78
Photo of OldSchoolGamer


2.08/5  rDev -43.2%

Dark Horse has got a pretty decent rep so far. I really like their Crooked Tree IPA and Black Bier Ale quite a bit. This is their interpretation of a Belgian Triple. Heres the review:

A: Pours a very murky yellow/orange. I can't see through the beer at all. I also do not see any bubbles coming up from the bottom. Head dissipated to a tiny, white film over the beer.

S: I get alot of banana. The typical Belgian yeast smell. Some sweetness in the aroma.

T: Okay, this taste is not sitting well with me at all. I get a strong cabbage flavor right off the bat. It pretty much overpowers anything else. There is also hints of banana, yeast, sweetness, and is somewhat medicinal. Not the flavors I am looking for in a beer.

M: Medium bodied. Somewhat flat carbonation. Flavors do linger on the palate, which isn't a good thing.

D: For me, the drinkability is going to be low. Bad taste and mouthfeel detract from it. I am contemplating pouring the rest down the drain as it is not very good.

This beer is one of the worst I have had in a while. I don't care for Belgian Ales to begin with, but this exibits flavors that are pretty offensive. Not recommended, but give it a try if you are feeling brave.

06-06-2009 18:49:30 | More by OldSchoolGamer
Photo of mjl21


3.55/5  rDev -3%

Acquired via trade...thanks Josh! 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No abv or botlling info is given.

A-Looks like unfiltered apple juice. Has a one finger off white head that leaves quickly resulting in a bubbly ring encompassing half the glass and the other half has a miniscule ring. Lots of yeast sediment is suspended in the glass. Has just a few dots of lace.

S-Smells of sweet fruit, particularly apples. Caramel malt is there, along with some yeasty bread and candi sugar.

T-Very fruit forward. Get apple and oranges. Sweet caramel malt, yeast, and candi sugar all are picked up in the middle. It finsihes with a peppery bite.

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D-The sweetness limits this to no more than one in a night.

This was a decent beer. If I want a tripel there are far better examples of the style, but if offered this again, I would gladly drink it.

06-05-2009 04:26:49 | More by mjl21
Photo of david131


3.93/5  rDev +7.4%

A- A hazy, luminescent orange beer with a thin splotchy white head. There are quite a few yeasty floaters as well.

S- Sweet fruits, Belgian yeast, bread, some vegetables, and a bit of alcohol when you really get in there.

T- A smooth conglomeration of the aromas picked up. Complex and fruity. Rich and enjoyable.

M- Creamy with a nice carbonation level.

D- A nice take on the style. Goes down smooth. Enjoyable.

06-02-2009 04:26:39 | More by david131
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.48/5  rDev -4.9%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my tulip glass. The ale appears a clouded dark amber color with barely a finger of off white head that faded with in seconds. Smells and tastes of sweet malt, slightly spicy yeast, candi sugar, tart green apples, honeyed bananas, pepper. A notch better than medium bodied and dry with decent carbonation. Overall, a crisp, fruity tripel.

05-27-2009 18:43:08 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of LordAdmNelson


3.6/5  rDev -1.6%

A- Slightly cloudy. Looks like apple cider. Nice color, but the head is thin and rapidly fading for a Belgian-style brew. Little lacing.

S- Belgian spices, apple, sweet malt. Slightly vinous. Smells tasty.

T- Spicy, slightly metallic, apples, some sweet malt in there. Some lemon and alcohol in there too. Decent, but not tremendous for a Tripel. Would reach for a La Fin Du Monde or St. Bernardus before this one.

M- Light and carbonated. Goes down kind of like a soda. Ok for style, but not great. Dry finish. Slightly astringent.

D- Goes down pretty well, but the metallic taste puts this one off vs. other tripels. Further, the mouthfeel isn't quite right. Not a bad brew, but nothing special.

05-15-2009 23:10:43 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of UA8


3.4/5  rDev -7.1%

A- Pours a hazy amber color with a one inch white head.

S- Banana and clove action, with notes of pear and yeast sourness.

T- Leads with sweet (esters?) chemically taste followed by some dark dried fruit and finishes kinda bitter sweet.

M- A tad on the light side for a triple. Medium carbonation.

D- With the off flavors and just general mediocrity I'm not sure that I would care to have a second.

05-12-2009 23:14:22 | More by UA8
Photo of WakeandBake


4.08/5  rDev +11.5%

A burnt orange color pour with a thin off-white head that dissipated quickly, light carbonation,spotty lacing. Aroma seemed to be a light citrus zest with banana and some clove spiciness. Flavor is more malty than expected,bready, a little yeasty,some fruit, some grain and cloves, just the right amount of alcohol flavor,dry finish,medium body,medium mouthfeel. Very good brew.

04-23-2009 23:54:17 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of Taffle


3.63/5  rDev -0.8%

The Trip Ale has a bright orange haze appearance, with savory creamy top. Thick and delicious. Smells deep wheat sweet. Right of the bat, the texture is robust, yet smooth and flavors subtle. The taste transitions slowly into a slightly sour graininess, with some sweetness. Overall it's a really smooth, drinkable brew. Not too intense on the palate, but a very respectable Tripel.

04-20-2009 22:19:10 | More by Taffle
Photo of BierFan


3.63/5  rDev -0.8%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Small light tan head and little carbonation. Hazy dull dark orange body. Lots of honey like sweetness and yeast in the aroma. The taste is much more herbal than the smell would have you believe. Honey flavor begins to show as the beer has a chance to warm.

Overall, decent but unspectacular.

04-19-2009 20:01:36 | More by BierFan
Photo of Beejay


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%

Light golden amber in color.. Like honey..

The smell is Sweet, a tinge of alcohol, fruity with some yeast..

Tastes Tart and sweet, very mellow. Nice amount of spice, but it is fairly subdued. Yeasty.. tasty! That is some good stuff..

Over all a fairly mellow brew, but tasty. I could easily kick back quite a few of these..

02-07-2009 00:47:13 | More by Beejay
Photo of deereless


3.7/5  rDev +1.1%

A: The color and consistency of peach nectar, a minor head on the pour - 3.50, S: Very spicy and floral, some sweet earthiness and clove, a touch on the side of mild but still quite pleasing - 3.75, T: The booze is upfront and a touch aggressive - reminds me ever so slightly like a grain alcohol, a bit on the dry side like, there are also some dried fruit flavor - maybe apricots - 3.50, M: The faintest hint of grittiness that is probably the result of the dryness of the beer - 3.50, D: I do enjoy this beer but I don't think it is one of Dark Horse's better showings when placed side by side to their IPA or Blueberry Stout - 4.00

01-25-2009 02:00:08 | More by deereless
Photo of number1bum


3.38/5  rDev -7.7%

Got this one from none other than the beerqueer himself, BeerTruth!

Pours an extremely murky golden amber color with only about one finger of off-white head even with a vigorous pour. Not much lace, rimjob primarily, and a bit of stick here and there.

Smell is quite sweet, with sweet malt, maybe some honey and candi sugar. There's some decent yeast quality here, with an earthiness and also some fruit. Some spicing too - black pepper and a bit of clove.

Taste isn't quite as sweet as the nose, and is more bready overall. Still a light sweetness and some earthy and fruity yeast flavor. It's quite earthy in fact. There is also more clove on the tongue than there was in the nose. Black pepper is here, as well. Some alcohol is noticeable but not overbearing. I'm actually struck by how subdued the sweetness is, both as compared to the smell and just in general for a tripel. The earthiness and spice could use a bolder partner.

Mouthfeel is a medium to full body, adequate carbonation and pretty dry in the finish.

This is merely ok. I don't find the yeast strain all that interesting and as previously mentioned I think it needs to be a tad sweeter. Worth a try, but not something I'd be likely to come back to.

01-23-2009 05:01:28 | More by number1bum
Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.