Mandolin - Blue Mountain Brewery

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very good

123 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 6
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CrellMoset on 04-06-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by MetalHopHead6:
Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of zaphodchak
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Clear amber with a nice white head. Clings to the glass with a swirl.

Smell - Bready and sweet smelling. Caramel. Belgian yeasty aromas. Fruity esters. A touch of acidity.

Taste - Very sweet and yeasty. Fruity and floral. Bready. Strange, really. Some are tough to describe. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Sweet with medium carbonation. Lingering bitterness.

Overall - It's got some strange flavors, not all of which are bad. They're not exactly good, either.

Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
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

Photo of Proteus93
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been meaning to try this one for a little while, and just finally picked up a bottle today

A: The bottle for this is a beauty. It's come up in discussion at least 3 or 4 times now, and adds to the initial 'outward appearance' before even seeing the brew. Three Floyds bottles are fun that way, too. The beer itself is something of a golden clay colour, with a reasonably nice looking head of average retention.

S: The scent of this is quite nice and promising... a clean fruity yeast aroma, a note of spiciness, and almost a honey-like sweetness. A little bit of a banana and clove like quality floating around in there. A nice little medley of aromas, and one of the better that comes to recent memory.

T: Big, without being huge, the flavours swirl around quite harmoniously with a nice complexity. Many of the same flavours as noted in the aroma... a honey and spice over a banana/fruit flavour. It doesn't go overboard on being sweet at all, and a little bit of alcohol warmth follows up to finish.

M: Another positive... a rich, sparkling mouthful with the flavours spreading over the tongue and slipping away gradually, leaving a pleasant, savouring post-finish.

D: The alcohol kick is here, as with any other Tripel, so that can't really take away from it a great deal. I am very pleased with the flavours and overall experience with this bottle. I'd put it up there with Unibroue in terms of North American quality with the style, and being a young brewery, it's a very promising hint of what may come. It might be a LITTLE hot, but this is also quite fresh, so a little time aside should smooth that out nicely for those who are feeling a little wary. Excellent ale, a keeper of a bottle, and definitely recommended.

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of obywan59
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of chrisjduncan
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged for six months in my refrigerator before I finally decided to break it out to celebrate my (non-beer drinking) wifes birthday. Nice orange colour and good head with a sweet aroma that took me aback a bit. Very smooth and for a 9.5 abv felt light. A little on the sweet side but I paired with dark bitter chocolates which seemed to bring out the cherry notes. Once it warmed up enough it actually was a fairly complex beer that I greatly enjoyed.

Photo of drtth
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. Received as a gift from someone visiting us from Cville.

Appearance: The beer pours out of the 750 ml bottle a clear copper/orange color with a ½" white head that recedes to form a ring around the glass and leaves a patch of foam on the surface. Throughout most of the beer sipping leaves a sheet of finely bubbled foam on one side of the glass and some rings and speckles of leggy lacing.

Smell: The aroma soft and fruity with Belgian style yeast clearly present. No real hops here but the green fruity (apple/pear) and light citrus character come through clearly.

Taste: The flavor is clean, fresh, and has some interesting complexity. There is light citric bitterness (orange zest?) integrated with some the sweet yet tart green apple character. While there is sweetness it is well controlled and does not cloy.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth with fine prickly and persistent carbonation. Finish is medium long, begins with the fruity character and ends with a dry, slightly spicy and lightly bitter finish.

Drinkability: This is definitely a drinkable beer which I'd be happy to try again. While not the best or most complex Tripel I've tried, I definitely like it and would like to try it fresh at the brewery.

Photo of dball
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I purchased a take-out 25.4oz corked bottle from the brewery. As a tripel should be this a strong beer and I like that. I was surprised by the citrus smell and a sour bite in the after-taste. The citrus surprise and powerful spices are more than I desire. However for folks that like that spicy sour bite I think this beer would be a treat. The appearance and smell are lovely and it is definitely a well crafted brew. It is full of complex spices and brewed for the beer drinker seeking something in excess of the norm. The head is light and fluffy upon the pour. I also have to make mention of the bottle. Props to the artist. Despite my displeasure with the citrus bite and big spices I did enjoy the voluminous bottle of strong beer. For those concerned with price, it runs $14 for this size.

Photo of hmph
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of Oakenator
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

I would love to know the story behind this beer's name, but I have yet to get the chance to ask down at the brewery. It pours a somewhat hazy golden straw topped by a rather short-lived half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises that lovely combination of banana, clove, and Belgian yeasty spice, along with an extra shake of black pepper. There may or may not be some ruby red grapefruit in there as may just be my crazed imagination... That Belgian yeasty spice takes the point on the tongue, deftly but sternly leading the pepper, banana, and clove on a midnight raid to kill a bland banana republic dictator. They may not be the most surreptitious troops ever, but, hey, even the Dirty Dozen's louder, more blunt approach worked for the most part, right? Some bitter hoppy reinforcements do help make the mission go more easily, but also jumble the plans a bit. The body is fairly light, with a moderately active carbonation and a relatively dry finish. A pretty strong and solid tripel, though the bitterness doesn't work too much in its favor. Seek and ye may like.

Photo of JayQue
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of AlexFields
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
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.


Photo of brentk56
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
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

Photo of JK4Stout
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of BamaViper1
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of gford217
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL cork and caged bottle courtesy of CrellMoset.

The cork slid out very easily with nary a sound and poured completely still into the glass. There was maybe a stray bubble along the top but almost no carbonation evident at all.

The aroma smell like red apple rinds with some fruity esters evident as well. There are hints of spiciness as well.

The taste follows the aroma and has an apple juice character. There is definitely a spicy yeast presence in the taste, and there is a faint hop bitterness that comes though a bit.

The mouthfeel is the real problem with this one and I fear I just got a bad bottle. It was completely flat with no hint of carbonation.

The aroma and flavors in this beer seem to suggest a very solid Belgian tripel, but the mouthfeel really holds the whole thing back and makes it tough for me to judge.

Photo of RandomExile
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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

Photo of mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Mandolin from Blue Mountain Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.