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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.

681 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 681
Reviews: 319
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 12
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: 681 | Reviews: 319 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of MaggieReed


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%

a- a golden orange with a nice half-inch head of very frothy beer foam.

s- fruity notes smack you in the face right up front- bready smells from the yeast as well- very nice overall- no discernable maltiness from the smell but...

t- the malts (caramel) come through w. the first sip. Taste is very crisp and light, fruity, sweet, but not overpowereringly so. the 8.5 percent alc. provides this beer with a bit of bite which helps to balance out the flavors, fruit, clove...banana?

m- good, and exactly what I would expect from this type of beer- a little light perhaps, but nice.

d- this is really a very tasty beer that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys the style- had this @ the brewery and really enjoyed it w. pizza!

01-22-2009 15:04:37 | More by MaggieReed
Photo of glid02


3.6/5  rDev -1.6%

Had from a bottle by way of ShrLSU - thanks for sending this along!

Pours a slightly hazy yellow-orange color with a one-finger white head. The head isn't as frothy as most other trippels and fades quicker than most as well. Leaves decent lacing.

Smells of pears and other light fruits covered in Belgian candy sugar. I go back and forth on which is more pronounced, but there's almost no Belgian yeast funk.

Tastes similar to how it smells, maybe a bit sweeter. Sweet Belgian candy sugar the whole way through the sip, with hints of light fruits poking out every now and then.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a lighter-than-normal body for the style with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. This is by no means a bad beer, but it still goes down easily.

Overall this was a solid trippel, but there are better ones out there. That being said, I still appreciate ShrLSU giving me the chance to try this.

01-13-2009 03:56:07 | More by glid02
Photo of PirateUlf73


4.3/5  rDev +17.5%

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Light amber color with a sticky, off-white head. Very cloudy as well.

S: Sweet grainy scents as well as bready yeast. Slight fruitiness that resembles bananas with a touch of sweet spice, nutmeg if pressured for a guess. Quite nice and somewhat assertive.

T: Very sweet and lush. Lots of initial fruitiness. Banana, granny smith apples, watermelon, a little pineapple and even some grape-like notes. Any hop presence is barely noticed, if at all. Some sweet malt comes through during the middle. Just a hint of caramel sweetness. Fruity yeast notes also dominate a substantial aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and lively carbonated. Malt definitely dominates the tongue, but in a good way. Aftertaste is quite pleasant, though the finish is a tad muddy.

D: Very interesting flavors make this an ideal sipping beverage, especially if one were to find it on tap.

I've had my eye on this one for a while, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. My only past experience with a tripel was via the good folks at Chimay, but this one kept me quite intrigued throughout the entire glass. Another solid offering from Dark Horse. Very much worth trying if you can find it in your area.

01-12-2009 08:03:14 | More by PirateUlf73
Photo of gford217


3.6/5  rDev -1.6%

12oz bottle shared by glid02 at the Brick Store.

Pours a cloudy golden orange with a fluffy white head that lingers as a ring for a while and leaves some sporadic lacing.

The aroma is very, very sweet for a tripel with lots of oranges and lemons on top of the Belgian yeast.

The taste follows the aroma with lots of fruity sweetness up front before the malts come out in the middle. There is also some candi sugar thrown in to amp the sweetness up even higher.

This mouthfeel is fairly light with decent carbonation and sticky sweet.

This is a decent tripel though probably a bit too sweet for my liking. Still pretty drinkable.

01-11-2009 04:36:00 | More by gford217
Photo of BretSikkink


3.78/5  rDev +3.3%

Golden amber color, pretty hazy, with a decent white cap on top. It would not be impressive for a Belgian beer, so for an American interpretation of a Belgian style, there's a little work to be done.

The nose is fruity and quite spicy. Pretty good power, and unique for sure. I'm not sure what all those notes are, but there's definitely some phenols along with a modicum of hops and a lot of light-colored tropical fruits.

Pretty sweet flavor, with apple and pear definitely noticeable while the syrupy nature of rum is recalled to my mind. The alcohol is present and a bit over the top, but not too bad.

The mouthfeel could be firmed up a little bit, but it's on the full side of medium. There's a lot of carbonation, but it doesn't take away from the flavors.

This is the worst by far of the Dark Horse beers that I had, but it's not horrible by any means and it might be a good introduction to a new style of ale for novice drinkers.

12-30-2008 01:35:30 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of TheBear11D


2.65/5  rDev -27.6%

A: Nutty red, amber, copper with nearly no head appearing like apple cider.

S: Fruity with an overpowering scent of alcohol and a hint of caramel.

T: Apricot, fruity citrus with a sharp fruity bitter bite.

M: Thicker than expected for the alcohol amount and a large lack of carbonation.

D: Bitter taste that does not go down easily. Not a beer I would seek out again.

12-19-2008 06:28:03 | More by TheBear11D
Photo of BedetheVenerable


3.38/5  rDev -7.7%

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with evil- looking monk holding a mailbox...I'm intrigued...

Appearance: Darker than I'm used to in a triple, this is dark orange/gold with hints of amber; there's lots and lots of super-fine grained sediment as well...the head is off-white and negligible, but it does leave some lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel, candy sugar, a little citrus and banana, and light spice.

Taste: Much bolder than the aromas would suggest. There's caramel, a sweet breadiness, banana, hints of cinnamon and clove, a mild tartness and just a hint of alcoholic burn on the finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy for a tripel, this is quite substantial in the mouth.

Drinkability: Fair, but not nearly as high as La Fin Du Monde or Chimay's White.

Conclusion: Dark Horse has an ok beer here, but nothing special. Their true genius lies in their CT and DCT IPAs. For the price, I'd deft. pick up a 4 pack of La Fin Du Monde instead.

12-15-2008 03:44:34 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of KickInTheChalice


4.43/5  rDev +21%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: This pours a cloudy, dark golden color, with a little bit of an amber tint. There is a very small head, leaving a thin collar. However, it does leave some lacing on the glass. Visibly apparent are the floating yeast particles.

Smell: The aroma is of caramel, apple, and tangerine dominate, with a strong malt presence and some other sweetness in the background. Although visibly present, the yeast is not too strong on the nose.

Taste: Right away I notice similar flavors from the smell: More toffee than caramel malt, but crisp apples and tangerines are present as well. Very sweet. The yeast lightens it up and the taste slowly turns to alcohol, which quickly fades. Although not noticeable at the beginning, the hoppiness is more apparent at the end of the sip; I am left with a hoppy taste. My only lament is that the end of the sip is not entirely held together. The flavors seem to be very well blended until right at the end.

Mouthfeel: The body of this tripel is somewhat lighter than others I have had. The light carbonation, crisp fruit flavors, and noticeable yeast allow it to feel very pleasant on the palate.

Drinkability: Considering the 8.5% ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. The sweetness and yeast help to mask the alcohol content, which can get you in trouble, making you put on a dark cloak and steal mailboxes.

Out of the bottle, I would recommend pouring half, swirling the remaining contents in the bottle, and pouring the rest to get all of the yeast into the glass. I noticed a fair amount of yeast left in the bottle when I did not follow this procedure. Definitely a solid tripel from Dark Horse.

12-13-2008 00:48:24 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of GRPunk


4.08/5  rDev +11.5%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured a slightly hazy, amber-red with a light head that quickly drops to a thin lace that left some good sticky spots.

S- Classic. It was yeasty with a peppery spice and a touch of a brandy-like aroma.

T- As the aroma would suggest, it had some nice spicy characteristics. The strongest flavors were pepper and green apple with a clean, dry finish.

M- It had medium carbonation with a nice, full viscosity. No real bite from the alcohol or hops, which I would consider a plus for the style.

D- The alcohol is well hidden, helping to make this an easy drinker.

12-08-2008 01:00:47 | More by GRPunk
Photo of beckje01


3.68/5  rDev +0.5%

A- Cloudy orange/gold color with a thin white head good lacing.

S- Fruity nose some banana in there too.

T- Fruity hops sweet flavor nice. A touch of banana in the background but it's light.

M- Good thickness and the activity does well.

D- Very drinkable overall good.

11-18-2008 04:05:16 | More by beckje01
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev -21.3%

A - Cloudy orange- brown with a head of white foam.

S - Hmm. Smells like orange juice. a little grapefruit and spiciness sneak in as well.

T - Definitely a heavy orange flavour with spices. Kinda like a wit on steroids I suppose. Sweet with a fairly bitter finish.

M - Moderate body. Slightly chewy with a sharp carbonation/

D- Don't like this one much.

10-29-2008 16:43:53 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of paco1029384756


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours a light orange color with foamy white head.

Scent of sweet malts, candi sugar, and banana.

Sweet taste of malts, yeast, and candi sugar. More sweetness as it warms a bit. This beer has a well rounded balance.

Mouthfeel is clean and smooth.

I am enjoying Dark Horse's offerings more and more, luckily they are not that far away.

10-11-2008 23:03:54 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of pmcadamis


4.78/5  rDev +30.6%

A - Cloudy peach in color, with a flimsy and ridiculously small centimeter thick head. The small amount of foam quickly becomes a thin collar, and ultimately nothing at all. The pretty color of this brew, however, saves it's ass from a low appearance score. The color is at times like carrot juice, multicolored peach skin, and tangerine candy. Despite the lace of head, a good deal of spotty lace is smatered all around the surface of the glass.

S - Caramel, taffy, and fruity candy. My wife recently bought some organic tangerine flavored licorice that came in a brown paper bag, and this smells a lot like those interesting treats. Apple skin. Yeasty and fresh as can be, this smells delightful.

T - Sweet tangerine and mango flavored taffy. I've had confections at an old-fashioned confectioner's shop that taste a lot like this...the sweet gooey stuff that's pulled on a big old fashioned iron taffy puller. This is never overly sweet or cloying, as a really nice hop presence tightens things up. This starts sweet and thick, moves through a hoppy and slightly boozy mid-palate, and ends with a fresh fruit and sea salt neutral finish with a very faint white pepper note. Damn...this is crazy-complex and tasty as hell.

M - This feels lighter on the palate than it really is. Sugars abound at the initial sip and made me think that this would be a really heavy beer, but the really heavy hop flavors and alcohol feel keep this in check. This has a very low level of carbonation, but the bubbles that I can feel are an occasional sharp prick in a sea of smoothness.

D - Killer drinkability! No ABV listed, but I can bet it's pretty high...who cares? I'd still session this one! This is honestly one of the better tripels our there IMO, especially for an American take on the style...I think I'm a sucker for the hops, and the high level of malt sweetness in this one is just the perfect balance for the flavors presented here.

09-29-2008 15:38:35 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of FtownThrowDown


2.93/5  rDev -19.9%

Pours a dark cloudy gold in color with a slight ring of froth sitting on top. There are a bunch of floating yeasties in the glass. Smell and taste is very yeasty and musty. Taste there is some Pear flavors as well as slight bubblegum. Decent mouthfeel. A little cloying and tiring. I love Dark Horse brewing, but this was a miss for me.

09-28-2008 15:02:03 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of dwilkins


3.35/5  rDev -8.5%

A - light orange-brown color, slightly darker than many famous tripels, but in keeping with style. Hazy - certainly some large proteins in there - doesn't bother me at all - makes me think craft brew rather than mass produced. Wispy bits of foam, but otherwise very little head. The wispy bits do persist however.

S - Nice. Sugary sweet smell, but also some refined maltiness. Neither one dominates. Doesn't have the musty, old yeast smell that some of the classic tripels do.

T - On the sweet side. Nicely balanced with hops. Less hops and it would be cloying. Somewhat narrow in the flavor profile. Sweet and bitter balanced, but no real phenols or esters. It's like they used a California ale yeast and not an abbey style.

M - Initially felt a little heavy, almost as syrupy as a dubbel, finsihed lighter though.

D - Certainly drinkable, just a little odd for the style

Overall, I think of this as a near miss on the style, but not a bad beer at all. I'm betting (from my armchair) that a different yeast, and a little wheat could make this good beer into a great beer.

09-27-2008 18:42:44 | More by dwilkins
Photo of KeefD


3.98/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured into my Westmalle chalice, a hazy orange color with yellow around the edges, no foam and very little lacing. Has a powdery cotton-candy aroma with hints of grassiness and light citrus zip. A sweet malty nose to say the least. Plenty of tropical fruit flavors, certainly sweet, notes of licorice, pineapple, pear and light citrus. Some bready malts make their way to the front mid-sip and turns somewhat dry and yeasty on the finish. Not sure what the ABV is, but it's well-hidden as there is not much of a warming effect. Full bodied, almost creamy, not a lot of carbonation going on. Drinkability is on the lower side, as I usually prefer Tripels as a sipper. As I get further into the glass, the alcohol lets itself be known. A nice version of the style.

09-22-2008 04:06:45 | More by KeefD
Photo of bahumutx


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet..

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange with hardly any head.

Smell: Malt, sweetness, fruit and a slight clove to finish.

Taste: Starts with a somewhat yeasty and sour flavor. There is a slight clove and bread flavor in the middle. Ends with a nice malt sweetness that lingers on the tongue. Can definitely feel the alcohol warming but it is not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel and the right amount of carbonation for this style.

Drinkability: This is a tasty tripel but with the higher ABV I would only have one or two of these in a sitting.

Another good beer from Dark Horse Brewing. Keep up the good work.

09-21-2008 23:47:03 | More by bahumutx
Photo of bunnyhustle


3.68/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours hazy orange with thick, fluffy, white head. Good retention and lacing. Smell is of a typical Belgian. Some alochol, fruit, and a sweet malt. Taste is good but a bit much on the candi sugar side. Some sweet fruit, malt, and a light grassy and alcohol bite to it. Mouthfeel was nice and a bit on the light side. Overall not a bad beer but not amazing. Something about this was just a little lacking for me. Perhaps it was just a little too much like many others of this style and it didnt stand out.

09-06-2008 01:53:15 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of Ben4881


3.88/5  rDev +6%

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale
Dark Horse Brewing Company

Thanks to drxandy, this one kicked my ass!

This thick and heavy looking brew pours out an opaque caramel brown color that has hints of color that fade from orange at the base to yellow at the top. A small white head emerges with zero retention that disappears into thin air. I won't lie, from the looks, this beer is quite intimidating.

Heavy malt and yeast aromas hit the nose first, and then a sweet caramel and toasty malt odors take over and dominate the bouquet.

A funky flavor combination of sweet malt and sour yeast hit the palette up front, which smoothes out to a typical Belgian flavor that is characterized by sweetness and alcohol flavor. A very warm and wet finish is followed by a malty alcohol aftertaste.

A medium to heavy body contains a surprising zing of carbonation that keeps the beer from becoming overly heavy.

I'm not sure what the ABV of this brew is, but watch out. For me, this one was certainly enough. The heavy nature and the strong alcohol content make it deliciously dangerous. This would make a great capper or even an event in itself. The artwork on the bottle is dead-on appropriate.

08-24-2008 00:17:26 | More by Ben4881
Photo of dancinwillie


3.83/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

08-11-2008 18:29:49 | More by dancinwillie
Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.