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Mandolin - Blue Mountain Brewery


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

89 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.47%

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CrellMoset on 04-06-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RandomExile


4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pure translucent amber; scant surface film; little lacing (notably, this differs from many other reviewers, so I'm thinking it might be unique to this establishment)
S: yeasty, orange and floral, spiced, slightly earthy
T: Belgian, to me -- mainly that orange/coriander note, combined with the mouthfeel. Ever so slightly apple aftertaste, barely savory but clean. A sour/bitter tinge with some of the high abv peeking through.
M:Medium-bodied, coating, dry.
O: Strong Belgian-style Tripel. Maybe not showy on presentation (although other reviews differ: might be the venue and glassware), but As a note, Blue Mountain was present this evening and I got to spend some time talking to Ryan. The Belgian style is no accident, as they have a great deal of respect for the abbey brews, and brewed Mandolin using only barley, hops, and Belgian yeast, which is what conveys the sense of cloves and coriander, and their water is snow run-off from the Blue Ridge Mountains near Afton, Virginia, which gives their beers the crisp, clean, slightly mineral strength.

20oz / Pint Glass / VGP, MD

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2014 23:55:07 | More by RandomExile
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle.

Appearance - Golden amber brown/tan with a nice 2 inch creamy, foamy head and tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Sweet yeasts, grapes, lemon, pineapples, oranges, loads of spices, a funky sour note. A little malt backbone at the finish.

Taste - Very sour bite of apples, pears and grapes mix with a yeasty and malty backbone. Sugars add a little sweetness to tone down the sour fruits. Malts have a caramel flavor but are a little mute. Spices add a peppery feel and flavor. Finish has a lemon and apple tart bite.

Mouthfeel - Sour notes coat the tongue along with some sweet yeasts. Palate gets more fruits, malts and spices. The aftertaste is bitter, sour fruity and a little dry.

Overall - Interesting, the fruits are feature are sour and bitter, which makes this beer a little bit to get used to. Not a very balanced beer, the sour fruit flavor overpowers everything, masked the sugars and malts btu you can still get some of the flavor. Its still a nice beer, just a little different. Would like to see some more sweeter fruits come out but its still solid.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 20:08:49 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of Oakenator


4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an amber brown color with a full, creamy head. Head has good retention and leaves chunky lacing behind.

S: Yeast, malts, hops - not much else to say but very nice.

T: Clove, funky, mild for a triple - more like a strong dubbel but really good flavor and balance. Slight sour taste throughout.

M: Heavy, but not too much so. Creamy on the tongue.

O: Alcohol disguised well and a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 01:17:25 | More by Oakenator
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big peach, pear, apple, apricot, orange, floral, grass, pepper, clove, honey, candi sugar, and earthy yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with a moderate malt balance; and good strength. Taste of peach, pear, apple, apricot, orange, floral, grass, pepper, clove, candi sugar, light caramel, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish. Lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, floral, grass, pepper, clove, candi sugar, light caramel, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with a moderate malt balance; with a nice sweetness/spiciness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Tripel style. All around nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with candi sugar malts; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 03:56:18 | More by superspak
Photo of uturn


3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

How served: 750ml corked and caged poured into my Piraat snifter.

Notes: Best by March 2013 stamped on the cork

A: There was a muted hiss as the cork was pulled out of the bottle. The poured a mostly clear golden-amber with a 1 ½ off white head which left almost no lacing on my glass.

N: The nose had hints of yeast, pepper, apples, sweet malts and earthy tones.

T: The taste started off a bit earthy, spicy and peppery. Midway thought I picked up some light apple and citrus notes as well as some sweetness. The finish was clean and dry with no evidence of the 9% abv.

M: The body was medium and slightly tacky as the carbonation level was lower than anticipate.

O: Overall the drinkability was good and paired well with my dinner.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 20:34:45 | More by uturn
Photo of metter98

New York

3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is clear amber-orange in color. It poured with a thin white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge; the head eventually completely faded away.
S: Light aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with notes of fruits.
T: The taste is rather similar to the smell and has a strong base of malts and candi sugars along with notes of fruits.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the fruity flavors in this beer as it made the smell and taste a little more interesting. It also hides its alcohol rather well.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2013 12:11:38 | More by metter98
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been holding this for a while after picking it up in NYC. Interesting tone to it. Seems to have a touch of Flemish character going on. Not sure if this is intentional as I have found others from this brewery (and the same format) exhibiting similar character. It works well here though. (In the others, less so.) Overall, a nice and easy drinker. I could go for this again; if it were cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 03:42:59 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of blackie


3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

chalice at the brewpub

a: served in a chalice at the brewpub, mandolin is a honey golden in color, with a bone white head showing light retention

s: pale and caramel malts create a malty sweet aroma, joined by yeast and associated spice, sweet pear and fruity esters, a nice dose of citric hops, candi sugar

m: carbonation rides the line between light and moderate, with a body around medium

t: pale malts and a good deal of caramel sweetness form the foundation, with a big yeasty flavor, some spicy output, sugary pear, candi sugar, grassy hops

o: a nice enough tripel - a touch rough around the edges but carrying some enjoyable aromas and flavors, maybe a little sweet for me, drinks well

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2013 02:42:21 | More by blackie
Photo of Jadjunk


3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

"A deep golden beer- born of a single malt. Balance derived from whole-flower hops. Created from water drawn deep beneath the feet of the world's oldest mountains. Flavor driven by a faithful dedication to excess. All brought to life by yeast from a holy place. Great beer is a riddle that does not need to be solved!" Brewed in the style of a Tripel. Spring 2012 release. Best by March 2013.

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a snifter. Served north of 49º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy creamy head of a copper cream tone that retains quite well over a deep copper body with a medium haze and moderate carbonation. A little darker than the average Tripel, the head quality is nice enough to warrant a pleasing score for this beer. Lacing is medium-thick and sticky, head thickens to a settled creamy froth. Pleasing appearance overall. 4.25

(Smell) Aromas are indicative of a tripel, citrusy and cidery fruit notes, a mild grassy hop character, a light bready yeast character with a moderate acidity. Balance is quite nice and the aroma is very bright and forward- there's plenty of apricot and pear to be found in the aroma and a pinch of complimentary spice, traces of coriander and pepper being the most prominent. 3.75

(Taste) Simple mild malt presence with a tart fruity character but more pepper and spice than fruit character. The beer finishes sweet and musty with a notable orange rind character for a distinct tart vegetal flavor. Much of the impression from the aroma doesn't carry over but it makes original in its own regard in the flavor. It may not be the most accessible take on a tripel that I've had, but it's quite a unique take on the style. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation is very low with a mild thickness to the body and a dry, fuzzy finish. Body is medium+ for the style and medium+ overall. Alcohol presence is medium+, a little drawn out by the peppery spice character blend. I found the carbonation a little too lacking in the mouthfeel. 3.25

(Overall) Mandolin is a unique take on a popular Belgian style. Expect a slightly mustier character with peppery spiced notes amongst more familiar Belgian bread notes. Booze is expected, but a mustier flavor may either make or break how this beer is received. I found it a unique take on the style, but stacked against the remaining beers in the lineup, I don't see going out of my way to return to this beer. 3.75

Blue Mountain Barrel House's
Mandolin: An Artisanal Ale

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 20:40:06 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of AlexFields


3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pretty dark color similar to cherry wood, looks very dark for a tripel.

Nose is dominated by yeast, maybe a touch of funk, a bit of sweetness, don't get much else.

Taste is very different, big apple flavor, pretty malty. Not much like a traditional tripel, but this is pretty tasty.


Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 12:38:48 | More by AlexFields
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"2" on the cork - this beer has been in my cellar for at least three years

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a inch of foam that pancakes, raising large bubbles and leaving a film of lace

Smell: Caramel forward, with stone fruit, banana and honey elements

Taste: Caramel forward, with an herbal character that has fruity elements; in the middle, the honeyed sweetness builds though, after the swallow, there is a woodsy element to the beer with just a hint of mandarin orange in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Age has done this beer well, toning down the rough edges and blending the flavors; overly sweet for my palate, but I often find that to be the case with tripels

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 23:02:21 | More by brentk56
Photo of JayQue


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light copper color with a small, fast-fading bubbly head from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into my Chimay goblet. No lacing to speak of.

Mild smell of light fruit (apples and pears), a little hoppines but primarily Belgian yeast "funk"

The primary flavor is the yeasty funk with some pepper and possibly coriander as spices. There is a little sweet fruit here as well. This is a pretty tasty beer....don't really remind me of a Tripel. Some reviewers were calling it a Saison, which seems to be closer, especially because of the funky, earthy taste and aroma.

Mouthfeel is rich. The hoppiness and pepper andd a nice touch to the tongue. There is a little alcohol bite as well but it is well mannered. This is a fine light sipping beer.

I like this beer. Well crafted, if not a standard Tripel. More like an "American Saison" to me. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 00:42:09 | More by JayQue
Photo of obywan59


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent orange to pale amber with a 2 finger tannish head that recedes quickly.

Sweet and fruity with subswtantial spiciness. Very nice.

Not as well rounded as the aroma, but pleasant. Light sweet malt with a bit of spice and some laid back alcohol and moderate bitterness.

Moderately light bodied. Not really sticky, but it clings nicely to the tongue. Some light carbonation is noticable, and there's a definite
warmth from the alcohol.

My experience is nowhere near comprehensive, but this is the best Virginia beer I've tried yet. It's attractive, smooth, and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 01:52:32 | More by obywan59
Photo of kylehay2004


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewery. Review is from notes.

A: thin head on a clear bright but deep gold body. nice lacing

S: aroma is light with non-descript with fruits, yeast and pale malts.

T: malt forward tripel with candied orange, banana and spicey with sharp finish. grainy mustiness as well.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not quite "Belgian" enough for me for a good tripel.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2012 01:07:01 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of argock


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml brown slender bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by March 2013 on the cork. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.29.

A: A somewhat hazy dark amber with 1/2 finger of off-white head with decent retention and spotty lace.

S: A lot of light fruit like pear and apple with a semi-strong phenolic yeast presence with some wildness and funk to it, but nothing strong. There are also some caramel malty aromas but they are trumped by grapefruit and orange citrus.

T: A delicious beer that grows on you with a lot of sweet light fruity flavors up front but quickly replaced with earthy yeastiness and finished with floral and citrus hoppiness.

M: The feel is very smooth with medium body and creaminess imparted by the even carbonation. The finish is reasonably dry.

O: Not my favorite tripel but an interesting version with some earthy yeast character and sweetish light fruitiness finished with citrus hops. A great American tripel.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 03:33:44 | More by argock
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Fireworks Pizza, Leesburg, VA.
Pours a golden straw with a thick head. Smells of fruity sweet belgian yeasts. Taste is dominating fruity, almost apple or pear and banana, belgian yeasts and malts.
Really smooth, full of flavor but somewhat overly sweet for my palate. Overall, nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2012 00:13:54 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of AgentMunky


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32 ounce swingtop growler into BrewDog glass. Filled 7 July 2011 at Whole Foods. Listed as a Saison/Bière de Garde. From notes. Reviewed 8 July 2011.

A: Nice white head. The beer is pale yellow and hazy, but translucent. Pretty!

S: Belgian yeast. Clearly a saison. A bit sweet, with some coriander.

T/M: Very smooth-sweet; round and frun. It's a good beer that is typical of a softer saison. The yeast is clean, not funky. Easily enjoyable. Not great, but very drinkable.

O: Appealing, if not excellent. Would drink again. Recommended.

Serving type: growler

02-06-2012 22:02:08 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Tucquan


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2011-08-20 in Columbia, PA

A - Amber-brown with a 2-finger light-tan head and good lacing.

S - Pungent belgian yeast and mild pear.

T - Lots of belgian yeast, bread, significant sweet caramel malt, apple and pear. More hop bitterness than most tripels. Didn't find this to be well-balanced as the strong yeast and caramel seemed to vie for attention.

M - Medium body with light-medium carbonation. A little sticky.

O - Interesting but not great. There are other beers from this brewery that I like much more.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 11:03:11 | More by Tucquan
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a hockey game on 05AUG11 in the Maine Old Boars Tourney, Artied2, Al and I toured Portland a bit. Back at our lodging, we popped this sucka for a nightcap.

I had about 12oz, in a shaker pint glass. It was auburn colored, with a touch of haze. A healthy, off-white head floated on top, lasting well and leaving good stick. Aroma was malty, with some toffee and caramel coming forth. Body was medium, with a smooth, even feel over the tongue.

Flavor had some nice, toasty caramel, with more toffee and a smidge of butterscotch. Some bitterness was present, though well-restrained. Very nice, overall.

Note: once having entered my review above, I read others, plus noting that this is a Tripel. Never would have guessed that; nope nope nope. Tasted more like an old ale to me, but anyhow.... I still liked it! Prosit!!

4 rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 20:06:19 | More by Bierman9
Photo of hmph


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had both on tap at the brewery and also in growler at home not many days after. This review is based on the growler consumption but is petty spot on for the tap as well.

A - interesting color but mostly amber, minimal head with enough lacing to take notice.

S - fruity, sugary, a citrus bite and some belgian yeast is evident

T - it develops much like the smell, a bit fruity, apples, pear. It's clean and crisp. No alcohol taste whatsoever, easy drinking and could put a few glasses away quickly

O - really enjoyed this Tripel, it was a much more hoppy take on a tripel but it was done very well. I was told at the brewery this batch was slightly sweeter than most of the previous batches. I really enjoyed it on tap and opted to take home a growler instead of a previous batch that had been bottled.

Serving type: growler

07-30-2011 22:08:19 | More by hmph
Photo of MetalHopHead6


4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blue Mountain Mandolin is slick, fruity, syrupy, and sticky.

It poured dark amber with no head and only a slight trace of lace. It smelled like canned pears and had a sweet sugary fruit flavor like canned pears in heavy syrup. Pear is the dominant flavor; however, near the end it had the look and flavor of apple cider. The feel was smooth and slippery, sliding off the tongue leaving nothing more than a trace of stickiness.

Mandolin is a perfect after dinner summer ale. It's delicious and sweet, and leaves behind a sweet summery flavor with a very nice warm feeling.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 01:45:45 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of zaphodchak


4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tall pour for a thin head, white, which dissipates into fine surface character. Color shifts impressively from red-amber to golden in the light. Laces finely.

Smell is Belgian yeast and coriander.

Taste is quite pleasant, a good saison and not too bitter nor too spicy, but the pepper is there. Quite sweet, faintly lemony, lingering light malt. Faint, faint vegetal notes.

Mouthfeel is nice, faintly prickly.

Overall, Blue Mountain does it again, spot-on for the style and a good Belgo-Flemish-Saison mix. Tastes like all of these, but it's a good fusion and not a clash. Well-recommended.

Serving type: growler

07-09-2011 02:47:09 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 04/30/11 notes.

a - Pours a murky golden color with an inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of light pears, spices, yeast, citrus hops, and mint.

t - Tastes of apples, pears, light fruity malts, spices, yeast, mint, and light citrus hops.

m - Light to medium body and light carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty average tripel from Blue Mountain. Some nice light fruit to it, but nothing too special. Glad to try it but wouldn't seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 02:30:46 | More by mdfb79
Photo of BamaViper1


4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

This beer pours golden amber into the glass with just a bit of white head with tiny whisps of lacing.

This beer has aromas primarily of granny smith apples which fades into hints of pear.

The Mandolin tastes a little like champagne. Green apple and pear make up the center of the taste profile. There is the mild presence of bitter hops with a citrus finish.

Nice carbonation and light-medium body make up the mouthfeel.

This beer is incredibly easy to drink. Incredibly easy. I like this beer a lot and the alcohol has presence but is in now way overwhelming. First from this brewery, and one of the few tripels that I actually dig.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 05:07:55 | More by BamaViper1
Photo of JK4Stout


4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one fine brew. I stumbled across it quiet by accident on a road trip one day, and it quickly became the highlight of the trip. There are faint notes of belgian and abby-ish flavors. The color coincides with this as well. The homegrown cascade hops give it a unique flavor as well. The price of this brew is compatible with the delight you can take from it. I would fully recommend it to any who go out to the brewery. Splitting a bottle over dinner adds a little refinement to the evening.

Also, I am told that the recipe is one that will change minutely over time, and will grow in flavor with each new batch. Kind of a work in progress. That is a very cool idea to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 16:42:48 | More by JK4Stout
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Mandolin from Blue Mountain Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.