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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip AleDark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

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736 Ratings
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Ratings: 736
Reviews: 326
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 18
Gots: 47 | 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: 736 | Reviews: 326
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.

Photo of Mcculler
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A little thin on the head for the style, pours a cloudy golden.

Smells of very overripe bananas, pears, a little apple.

Tastes of bananas, nuts, pears, apples, coriander, and that Dark Horse muskiness - a yeast thing?

A little thin on the mouthfeel, with a strange powdery carbonation.

Not too sweet - very drinkable for the style.

An interesting American Tripel - but a little odd. Not as overly sweet and simple as Victory's, its flavors are perhaps strangely balanced.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-or-so-ounce bottle into a half-liter piece of glassware.

Appearance: Beer is golden-amber in color, with heavy carbonation. Nowhere near transparent, the beer itself looks creamy. Pours with a creamy head which subsides only a little after several minutes, maintaining a decent form.

Smell: Sweet, sandalwood, patchouli, Belgian candy sugar, alcohol in the backdrop. It reminds me of incense, but in a very pleasant way. Very very rich, no holds barred here.

Taste: Sugary up front, followed closely by a very subtle bitterness. Rich in taste with the hop action, then an almost rye- or pumpernickel-type maltiness rounding out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Round? Haha, the carbonation keeps expanding on your tongue, allowing every last drop of beer to work its way across your taste buds and into your stomach. Coats your mouth in creamy bliss, then rinses surprisingly smoothly.

Drinkability: This one could be a staple for the weekends, for sure. A great way to start a night.

MAN. I love tripels, and this one in particular. I tried it back in June but never got around to reviewing it, and then couldn't find it up until now. The mouthfeel really does it for me with this one...I rarely find a beer that I would rate a 5 in anything, but this beer gets a 5 for that. Absolute flavor explosion followed by a smooth, clean rinse.

Photo of jmerloni
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - A gorgeous golden peach color that is hazy and so unfilitered in the middle. Really a tremendous looking beer. Thin white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Musk, peach, apricot, sugar.

T - Peach, apricot, banana, pineapple. Flavors taste kind of burnt for some reason. Brown sugar/molasses.

M - Each sip is tasty but pretty disjointed. Flavors move from one to the other and sometimes back again. Not dry. Heavier than it should be.

D - Not drinkable. Might not be able to reasonably drink more than 1 of these and I don't think I'd want to. Thick, overly sugary, and a maze of flavors which all taste musty and not very fresh.

Photo of jampics2
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my snifter. I love Dark Horse but I'm always leery of "Belgian-style" anything. The Belgians have been making wonderful tripels for hundreds of years, hopefully this beer honors that and brings something American to the fold as well.

Poured an amber gold color with lots of orange and poor head retention. Pretty muddy looking. Not the best start. A Belgian style tripel should have a huge head.

Smell is OK. There's some clove and fruit, but it falls short of being complex. There's an appreciable sweetness coming off the malt as well. Just slightly over average here.

The taste is actually decent, but missing the depth a good tripel should have. There's a fruity sweetness that is reminiscent of orange, apricot, and underripe plum. There's a nice bitter peak and some clove. But this just doesn't have that layered thing the Belgians do right - the yeast, malt, and hops working together. There aren't enough layers, and the ones there are don't work together the way I'd like them to. Still tasty, just not a tasty tripel.

Mouthfeel is ok, there's decent body making this medium and the carb is refreshing and zippy. This one goes in the pile with all the other "something-style" somethings that really mean "a poor substitute for". Just underwhelming.

Photo of Brenden
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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 mltobin
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a single 12 ounce bottle at Yankee Spirits.

The appearance is cloudy golden color with a thin white head that quickly becomes a faint ring. The smell consists of various spices, yeast, and clove seems to specifically stand out. Taking a sip, the Sapient from Dark Horse tastes vaguely appropriate for the style. The overall taste seems too metallic with a drier aftertaste than I would expect, good idea to have water nearby. Drinkability is average, proper ABV for the style, but not as enjoyable as others produced in Belgium and the U.S. Still, a good beer all in all.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a single the other day and decided to break it out on this stormy michigan day. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 5 ounce sampler mug.

A- This one pours a dark hazy orange, had a small layer of head that quickly dissipated.

S- I pick up alot of candied sugar, banana, clove, and a tad bit of smokiness.

T- Banana's, cloves, pears, and some tart apples, pretty fruity with candied sugars in the back with some spicy yeast.

M- A bit thicker then i expected but still stays true to the style and has a nice crisp finish with the right amount of carbonation.

D- This beer is meant to be sipped and savored, i would really only have one since tripels tend to be too much after one, but this doesnt hurt the beer.

Overall this is another great brew by Dark Horse and i am glad i picked this one up. I really dont have too much experience with tripels, but this beer may have sparked an interest to explore this style a little more. Keep up the good work Dark Horse.

Photo of nerdrocker101
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance is a lightly hazy, yellowish orange with half a finger of frothy white foam.

The nose consists of candi sugar, sweet Belgian malts and maybe a bit of pear.

Slightly spicy bite, but not as much as some of the others I've had. Mostly sweet malt and bread.

Medium body and a little more carbonation than necessary.

The nose is pleasant as is the taste up front, but I just find the lingering flavor to be less than desirable.

Photo of schoolboy
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an interesting find. A single for 1.85 almost seemed like a mis-marking. A good value. The taste bears this out. This is a lower density than your usual trippel. More like 2.5 than 3.

The color is a little light and the taste has well hidden booziness. I would like to sit down to a few of these some time and see how they sit. I think they may be much more drinkable than most trippels.

I would definitely buy it again.

Photo of jlindros
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A fizzy 1 finger head rises up and fades slowly over the really hazy orange tan almost wheat colored beer.

N: Definite Belgian tripel aromas, with Belgian malts, some light spices, light wheat, some sweetness with light candi sugar, touch of booze aroma, some light fruit, some rich malts.

T: Starts with a light aura, with lots of malt flavors. More Belgian malts, chewy malts, some light wheat, a little creamy, Belgian candi sugar and sweetness. It has a creamy slight bitter unpleasant slight boozy sweetness. There's a weird flavor I can't really describe that comes in many tripels, that his has tons of. It's a slight creamy, wheaty, malty, bitter boozy weird taste, with some weird off flavors.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation and spicy warming booze.

F: Lots of that weird off flavor, with boozy malty wheat and bad bitter flavor. I wish I knew what it was. It also has a creamy flavor, that bad flavor that is. The bitter root earthy flavor just doesn't go away. Perhaps it's a form of diacetyl, with some almost butter popcorn flavor in that weird creamy bitterness. Not a great finish. Some boozy tingly warming alcohol on the finish as well.

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into my Gulden Draak tulip, it pours reddish brown, with thin white head that shrinks quickly.

S: The smell is purely Belgian in nature: spices, esters, sweet maltiness.

T: Taste follows the smell. Lots of sweet malts and banana esters with spices and cloves, alcohol shows. Absolutely Belgian. Some light bitterness at the end

M: Thick mouthfeel with light carbonation.

D: Drinkability is good for what it is. It's a tripel, so it's heavy and strong, but it'd be hard to drink a bunch of these in quick succession.

Photo of dstc
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange brown with a small white head. Head falls to nil with the thinnest of lace.

Smells of Belgian yeast and spice. Clove and allspice aromas.

Taste is of a typical Belgian Triple but just missing. Does have nice flavor and nice spice but it's just not a Belgian. Bit of alcohol and a weird aftertaste.

Medium bodied with a bite on the tongue.

Not bad. Fairly drinkable.

Photo of amanofbeer
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a large snifter. Looks heavy, and is...consistent and thin ring of head around glass. murky dark amber or copper...pardon my bad lighting.

S: (also in taste) very present scent of apple cider and a distinct yeast.

T: Molasses at the beginning of the drink, but towards the end the flavors blend into a dull sweetness. There is a present hop flavor at the beginning of the drink, but there is much more going on than just hops.

M: to me this is the most important aspect of this beer: It has the same color, smells and most importantly, feel as a cider. It blends what I consider to be gravity qualities of a quad with the yeast flavors and aromas of a tripel. Though it is thick and rather syrupy, it feels right, for a heavy beer. Many residual sugars.

Drinkability: It may go down smoothly, but I couldn't incorporate this beer into a feasible diet. It is not for the meek or casual beer drinker, but one who desires strong and unique flavors, and does not mind syrupy-ness.

Photo of rawthar
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy honey gold with the active carbonation of serious bottle conditioning and a soft gray-white swiftly fading head.

S- A serious bready front of yeast with a fruity tart cherry, fermenting apple sweetness on the other side, followed by a surprisingly dry finish. Interesting.

T- Dark fruits on the tongue, a dry but not sour tartness on the back of the palette with lots of thick crusty bread in between. Leaves a lingering aftertaste of hints of tart apple, Christmas, and cranberry.

M- Nice carb bite on the tip of the tongue, coats the rest of the mouth.

D- A slow drinker with lots of complexities to savor.

Photo of thetomG
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice deep murky amber color with just a little head. Virtually no lacing. Aroma is what you would expect from the style - slightly funky with some dark fruits notes. Flavor is the same but more full bodied and intense with just a slight warmth from the alcohol. Nice and thick but not tooo syrupy.

Good beer and something I would drink again.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my new Piraat tulip glass.

A- Pretty deep colored for a Tripel. Its a burnt orange. Very hazy. The head is pure white, fairly large and lasts a while. It will eventually fade down to just a collar. Moderate lacing.

S- Lots of dusty, dry smelling yeasts like a Tripel should be. Banana, strawberry, coriander, and some orange/citrusy hops.

T- Pears, bananas, sweet apple skins. Loads of that chalky yeast. The finish has a short flash of spice and hops just before lots more spicy yeast. Alcohol and lots of spice linger.

M- Very dry, thick side of medium body.

Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours a beautiful hazy burnt orange.. this is a VERY good looking beer, reguardless of lack of head and lacing.. it just glows! One of the darker Tripels I've come across, but beautiful. Sediment is visible. Smells like yeast and cherries, very nice aroma. Taste is a sweet and the cherries are flowin, finishes dry. Pretty carbonated w/ a slight creaminess. Drinkability is good, I was craving another.

This was my first beer from Dark Horse, I look forward to trying more. This beer started a little slow for me, but by the time I finished I was in love. Great American Tripel, recommended.

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

Dark orange colored pour with a distinctive Belgium yeast aroma in the nose.
Somewhat dry, this is certainly not out of place amongst the many new world takes on Belgian-style ales. In this case a trippel (fermented), quite smooth and freshly botanical in character.
Although actual strength is not listed on the bottle, rest assure there is plenty of hidden power here.
Very pleasant. Highly recommended for those wishing to visit Brussels or Ghent, without leaving the comfort of their living room chair.

Photo of bamadog
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap recently at the Dark Horse brewpub on a beer tour of Michigan. Poured from the tap the a pint glass and the review is from notes taken on 6/18/2010.

Appearance: Pours an orange coppery color and starts with a short 1/2 finger white head that fades to a full, yet thin, cap; body is very cloudy and murky and I really can't tell what the carbonation situation is; only a couple of spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: A nice sweet bready and yeasty presence with a peppery and spicy Belgian note to the nose; a slight presence of a tropical banana presence as well; smell is quite robust and pleasing on a warm night.

Taste: Much like the nose, the sweet, lightly fruity (smooth and tropical, like banana) yeasty presence dominates; there is indeed a peppery and spicy aspect (hints of coriander and faint hints of cloves) follows; a definite hoppy and bitter presence is in there as well in the end, adding a bit of an American flare to it all.

Mouthfeel: Body is light to moderate in weight; carbonation is present, but very smooth and the body is especially creamy; the cheeks and gums are left a little tingly; a firm and sticky coating is left all over the palate.

Drinkability: Pretty solid overall; I've had better versions of tripels (La Fin Du Monde comes to mind), but it does the trick. Dark Horse is kind of a hit or miss brewery with me, but this would be on the hit list and I would mind getting some more of this later on and try it from the bottle.

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.