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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.

632 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 632
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 9
Gots: 24 | 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: 632 | Reviews: 316 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dancinwillie


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a hazy orange/brown with a bunch of yeast, and a thin head that drops immediately.

smells of banana, kiwi, and strawberry dominate, with some bread yeast aroma.

tastes a lot like it smelled, banana hits me right away. but I have to say the taste suffers a little, because the alcohol bite is really pronounced, and a bit overwhelming. I think if the heat on this one cooled down a bit, this would be a bit more drinkable. Mouthfeel is good, thin and a little chewy, nice carbonation.

I would probably not drink this in a normal situation, but I may try it again sometime to see if its any better the next time. I won't say this is bad, but the alcohol bite is way too much for me for the style. Toned down, this would be a refreshing beer.

edit: I should have been more patient. as this glass warmed, the alcohol bite disappeared, and the beer became much more balanced. as a result I took my taste rating from 2.5 to 4.0.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2008 18:29:49 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of phattysbox

New York

2.05/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into Duvel glass. Thick 1in head with aggressive pour that dissipates to nothing in a heart beat. Color of unclarified honey.

Holy banana!! Is this a Hefe-weizen? Smells a bit like bready belgian yeast, but the banana / clove is too overpwoering for a triple style. Alcohol also cuts in slightly in the nose. Tastes like weizen as well - bubblegum flavors abound followed weakly by a dextrin like sweetness. Mouthfeel was a bit wet for a triple. The taste misses the mark by being a bit unbalanced for me.

Drinkability - unfortunately was a drain-pour. Was expecting a triple not a banana sundae.

Haven't had anything else from Dark Horse, hopefully their other brews shine brighter...

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 20:19:07 | More by phattysbox
Photo of HopDerek


3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy honey amber color with the thinnest head, no retention and no lacing. Smells of oranges, spices like clove and coriander, bready yeast, banana, and alcohol. Tastes of bubble gum, orange peel, banana, clove, coriander, and bread with a finish of candy, pineapple, alcohol, and a touch of peppery spices. Medium in body with good carbonation despite the lack of head. Smooth and sweet with good bready notes and nice touches of citrus. Very interesting flavors, not my favorite tripel, but not terrible.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 01:14:59 | More by HopDerek
Photo of corey0212


3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one as an extra in a trade from moose3285!

Pours the exact color of honey, head fades really fast leaving some spots of lacing on the glass. Smell is green apples, banana, yeast. Taste follows right along, with a slight burning alcohol taste and a bit of bubblegum. Mouthfeel seems a little thin to me, boozy aftertaste. It's good. I'm not losing my mind over it, but I can see this pairing up nicely with the right meal.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 00:56:19 | More by corey0212
Photo of ryrust5301


3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a trappist westy glass. Label has an evil looking monk holding a mailbox on it, strange?

Appearance - hazy orange gold color. Very murky with not much head to speak of. It came up to a very thin layer before receding and leaving a white halo atop the beer.

Smell - A crisp citrus nose. Has that clove that smells like a unibroue crossed with a banana hefe-weizen smell. A slight sweetness which helps hide a spicy alcohol in the background.

Taste & Mouthfeel - has a very lite crispness but is very smooth on the swallow with a heavy alcohol bite. Loads of banana makes it taste somewhat like a boozy hefe-weizen. Clove and honey sweetness help to round this one out. Burns on the back end from the formidable alcohol that remains in the mouth.

Drinkability - This is a little off the beaten path of the classic tripel example. Can't say I cared for it too much compared to most Dark Horse stuff. Way too boozy for it to be a revisited beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 06:54:18 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of jwinship83


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy dark orange with no head. Very little carbonation. Several white/tan specks.

S- Banana-almost like a wheat. faint smell of alcohol.

T- alcohol, sugar, almost like a wheat on steroids.

M- Smooth, with the right amount of carbonation. some warming from the alcohol as well

D- it would be easy enough to have a couple of these even though its pretty strong. an interesting choice for a summer seasonal brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 19:10:04 | More by jwinship83
Photo of Biggness

New York

4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This certainly was my wife's cousins favorite beer of the night. Certainly a well crafted belgium Ale. It poured a cloudy golden color with a very slight head. It was pretty much exactally how a belian ale should taste imo but they are not my favorite so oh well. The smell was nice and the flavors were very deep, I am not sure what the overlying flavor is but its the same flavor from all the other belgian ales I have drank. It is a nice beer to drink I would suggest it to any belgian ale lovers out there.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2008 23:25:01 | More by Biggness
Photo of errantnight


2.13/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks raverjames!

Well... my first disappointing Dark Horse beer... and my first BA review of one of theirs... but there's some good ones to come.

This pours with a fizzy head that disappears rapidly... not the luxurious head one would hope for. There's no lacing. No lasting head. The color is right, a pale straw.

Aroma is huge bubble gum and banana with a fusel alcohol background. Spice is barely perceptible.

Flavor is again huge bubble gum, with a juicy fruit middle and ripe fruit. It's reasonably dry, but still leaves some candy sweetness on the tongue, and hot alcohols parenthetical everything.

Mouthfeel is appropriately light, but it settles on the tongue, it doesn't lift. No spritely carbonation.

This is a struggle to get through. My first impression is fermentation problems... too hot too soon.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2008 06:44:54 | More by errantnight
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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

Thanks to iceicebaby for the opportunity to try this one out. Served in my Delirium Tremens tulip. Poured a hazy burnt orange with very little light penetration. Half-inch off-white head dissipated within seconds into a light oily slick; remnants coalesced around the perimeter into a thin band of foam. Nose consists of candy sugar, light fruit and a trace of the alcohol character is revealed, but not at all boozy. Flavors consistent with nose. Perhaps a hint of peach, as well as a subtle spicy character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied in consistency, gravitating slightly towards syrupy, but not unpleasantly so. Also a light effervescence present across the palate and tongue. Alcohol is well-hidden, but packs a punch. I'm two-thirds through and really starting to feel it. Can't wait to try the rest of the line.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 20:41:30 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Gehrig


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

A patch of white foam meanders atop a cloudy, cider-orange body. Nice looking despite the dearth of head and lacing. fairly good aroma, with apricot, apple, and a hint of grape apparent. The taste is delicious but a bit subtle for a top-notch Tripel--apricot, tart apple, sweet and sour mixing well with some spicy clove. Smooth and with ample carbonation despite the absence of head, this is fairly sturdy. But the alcohol is a bit too front-and-center, imbricating the flavors. It should be the other way around.

Not a bad Tripel, but not my favorite, either. It lacks the complexity that characterizes Belgian Tripels. Not one to reject outright, but there are much better examples of the style around.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 02:38:44 | More by Gehrig
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, bright yellow body topped by a medium-sized, white head.

Smell: Somewhat mild aroma altogether, with notes of toasted wheat, freshly harvested hay, banana, spice, used gum, and a sugar candi.

Taste: Sugary tasting toasted wheat flavor. Handful of crushed crackers. There's a sourish quality to the overall taste of the beer. Pinch of spice, a bit of banana. Mild hint of gum, like a stick that's been chewed nearly to the point of being rendered tasteless. A bit of alcohol showing on the lightly sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Has some potential, sure, but as it stands it's not the tripel for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 17:59:16 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of knight84


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

Poured a very opaque burnt-orange color with a light effervescent white head that dissipated very quickly leaving a slight cap and no lacing. The nose is yeasty bread dough with cloves and bananas up front, toward the back it starts to seem a little floral and the alcohol definitely makes its presence known.

The taste is yeasty and a bit spicy with earthy cloves and alcohol combining to give it a zesty spicy taste. There is a definite hoppy bitterness and some banana and bubblegum in the finish. The strong alcohol gives it a bit of lingering heat in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy but with moderately strong carbonation. Overall this is a pretty drinkable beer but nothing unexpected for an American Belgian-style triple. It's good but just not terribly remarkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 14:38:45 | More by knight84
Photo of drxandy


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into thistle glass from 12oz bottle, pours a golden peach color, head fades

smells of banana, cloves, belgian yeastiness

taste is quite a bite, a nice tripel, very yeasty, bitter, heavy banana flavors, harsh on the palate but very good, more of a sipper

mouthfeel is thick, this is a heavy beer indeed, nice textures and yeast

overall drinkablity is limited due to abv and how much this demands to be drunk slowly and enjoyed

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 04:03:12 | More by drxandy
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy, pale gold, with a quarter-inch head of white. Retention is short and a partial skim coat is left shortly thereafter.
A few dots of lacework, but quite lacking for a Triple.

Aromatics are yeasty, zesty, and phenolic. Plenty of earthy clove, bannana, bubblegum, and honey. Alcohol is evident.

Thin to medium mouthfeel, soft and creamy. An interesting texture for a triple, lacking some of the classic crispness.

Doughy, yeasty, and earthy on the pallet. Loads of bannana, cloves, and yeast-dusted apples. Bitterness is low, as is all other hopping. Plenty of alcoholic bite. Definately out of the standard 8-9% range for Triples. This one drinks a bit boozy, but no heat.

Finishes with lingering bubblegum, bannana, alcohol, and yeasty honey.

An interesting take on a the style, and definately stronger than most.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 00:33:02 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of jeonseh


3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 14:37:31 | More by jeonseh
Photo of mdm46410


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle and served in a tulip. This beer poured a bright orange with a slight haze and a thin head of off-white foam. Not much lace. The aroma of the beer was made up of oranges, spicy yeast, and some bread. The flavor was much the same with a more pronounced hoppy citrus note. The mouthfeel was medium to full-bodied with mild carbonation. A pretty decent tripel.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2008 22:59:12 | More by mdm46410
Photo of Slynger


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sapient appears in my glass as a hazy, peachy, lemon color with a slim lid of white fuzz.

The smell is honey sweet with sour peaches and pears. Lots of spice, clove for one, with some light yeastiness.

The medium body is soft and quite smooth but feels slightly limp, and dark horse would not offend me if they upped the carbonation by a fair amount. The taste is mostly sweet and spicy. Honey sweetness is back and malty, with clove and black peppery spiciness. Fruitiness is light but present.

Sapient Trip Ale is a fine beer overall, but simply nothing great. It's good, but could use some more depth, complexity, and carbonation to up it's status on my Tripel list.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 02:54:23 | More by Slynger
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer appears an apricot color with a touch of amber. It's a bit foggy, but still manages to be bright. The head is a creamy dull white film that left a little lace.

Smells of homemade root beer with tons of fruits such as peach, strawberry and pineapple. This is balanced out with some powdery biscuits.

Tastes milky with some creamy wheat backed with a peppery but creamy white flour.

Feels dense, clean and tingly with an easy carbonation.

A gentle beer and tasty too.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2008 15:55:04 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of emerge077


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

Poured this into a fluted tulip glass. It was a hazy opaque orange, similar to pulpy orange juice. Initial short cap of foam, that faded to a ring soon after.

Clovey, yeasty aroma, with some breadiness. Later on it has a slightly funky, doughy twang. Vague dried citrus rind.

Spicy clove in the flavor, with a big wheaty, yeast-enhanced mouthfeel. Bitter lemon peel. Sweetness is there, but in check. Some phenols tingle the palate. It feels a little heavier than the first time I tried this on tap. Easy to have a couple bottles or drafts.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2008 00:00:50 | More by emerge077
Photo of Blakaeris


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

Pours hazy golden-orange. Modest white head quickly dissipates to a thin ring with little to no lacing.

Aroma is bready caramel malt, light fruit - especially banana, along with clove, vanilla, and earthy hop.

Taste is similar to the nose. However, light fruit has much more character including pineapple and apricot (perhaps even mango). sweet and fruity with pleasant warming alcohol. Finish is dry with yeasty spices and earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Quite sticky.

Very drinkable with a sweet and fruity flavor profile. No off flavors here. High ABV is concealed. I could go for more complexity in a true Belgian tripel, but this really isn't bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 23:24:04 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of Yetiman420


4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served out out of 12 oz bottle into a standard Chimay goblet.

I poured the entire beer and did not pay attention to yeast sediment. The beer seemed to go from very clear to a goldern slight cloudy haze indicating the presence of a small amount of sediment (= good in my book).

1.5 finger initial head that subsided but remained in thin capacity throughout consumption. Consistent lacing on glass. Not a major factor in my book as this is attributed to grains serving the function of head.

Aroma was clean and fruity with Belgian spice - what one would expect although a bit tempered.

I still don't know the alcohol content and the first sip was very smooth. No indication of a high alcohol drink.

I probably served a bit too cold in the high 30's. Initially it was dry with quick hit of candiness and very slight sour/funk on the finish. As it warmed, it mellowed but retained the sweetness.

Overall a very good American Belgian tripel (which seems to becoming the norm these days) from a brewery I'm very proud to have in the midwest.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 04:11:04 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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

Honey amber with lemon peel trim. The ivory colored crown is small, but looks pretty good all the same. I much prefer the vigorously bubbled Belgian tripels with their hugely rocky heads. A short collar of lace is the extent of the glass coverage.

The nose is somewhat tripel-like (fruity and minimally clove spicy), but it's overly subdued and overly simple. The really good versions of the style have absolutely nothing to worry about. Initial high hopes are beginning to fade.

Sapient Trip Ale makes a bit of a comeback on the taste buds. It probably isn't enough, however, to earn the higher score. It's better than many American brewer's attempts at the style, but it isn't in the same league as some of my domestic favorites. Allagash Tripel Reserve, for instance, is in a different universe.

Leading the flavor parade are apricots and apples in sugar syrup, honey and white rum. While it isn't bad given the 8.5% ABV, the alcohol needs to be buried a little deeper. The lack of finesse and lack of appreciable Trappist yeastiness is disappointing. Clove esters are a mere afterthought.

The body/mouthfeel is probably the highlight of this whole experience. Having said that, don't expect the usual Belgian ale magic. It's more along the lines of a big American ale: medium-full with just enough carbonation to keep things moving smartly along.

Sapient (adj): having or showing great wisdom or sound judgment. Anyone who is a huge fan of Belgian tripels would show great wisdom and impeccable judgment in choosing Tripel Karmeliet, Gouden Carolus Tripel, St. Bernardus Tripel, De Dolle Dulle Teve (Mad Bitch), or any number of others, before Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale. Passable at best.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 16:36:57 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of dnichols


3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I scored this ale due to a bonus beer provided by great trader....iconoklaztor...thanks for the brew bud. I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a chalice.

A: It poured a cloudy orange body that when backlit turns a beautiful gold. It had a very modest off-white head that did not support lacing.

S: It smelled of lightly toasted sweet malts and grains, mashed baby food bananas, white bread yeast, and some light white spices. No one aroma defined this beer making it less than distinguished.

T: It hit my tongue with a burst of modestly sweet malts and a smooth, creamy blend of fruits including bananas, pears, mango, and tangerines. As it rolled to the back of my mouth I was hit with a citrusy tangy sensation with a touch of cloves and allspice.

M: It was a strong medium bodied brew with medium carbonation, and a smooth creamy mouth profile. It finished clean and dry.

D: Nice balance of malts, yeast and hops. Pleasant mouth feel and modest ABV. It is an interesting enough Tripel to hold my interest....if only I had a second, third and fourth bottle. I obviously need to get back to the Midwest soon.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 05:37:49 | More by dnichols


3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a hazy , murky straw colored body with tiny bits of sedimet floating around the glass. Head is an almost white inch and a half of fuzzy foam that leaves lots of consistant lace on the glass. Nose is full of sweet floral notes ans spicey vanilla, banana and yeast. As you take first sip you get a syruty battle of thick sweetness and a slight tangy sour spiceyness. There is a smooth creamy feel to the mouth all over created by the yeasty sweetness. Jlavors of mellon, honey, vanilla and softly rich spice makes up a solid palate. This is nicely drinkable but very sweet. Slightly unbalanced feel keeps it from being rated a bit higher.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 01:57:55 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of baos


3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

12 oz into favorite Trappist glass.

A: Looks like honey with some honeycomb wax bits here and there. Not much head that turns into a ring around the edges. Laces pretty nicely.

S: Smell like a orange-blossom-honey liqueur would smell.

T: Honey and sugar cane maybe even a slight pink bubble gum stick flavor. Starts sweet then turns a bit tart with a dry ending.

M: Nice body on this little lady.

D: Kind of a yeasty aftertaste that leaves your mouth a bit sour and pasty, but this beer is good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 00:12:59 | More by baos
Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 632 ratings.