Trade Winds Tripel - The Bruery

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Trade Winds TripelTrade Winds Tripel

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very good

332 Reviews
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Reviews: 332
Hads: 1,046
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 46
Gots: 153 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 05-25-2008

Our Summer seasonal, Trade Winds Tripel is a Belgian-style Golden Ale with a Southeast Asian twist. Instead of using candi sugar (typical for such a beer), we use rice in the mash to lighten the body and increase the gravity, and spice with Thai Basil. The result is an aromatic, digestible and complex beer made for a lazy summer evening.

25 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 332 | Hads: 1,046
Photo of timtim
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

what a nice brew. hazy dark golden straw color with a cream color head that fizzes a million bubbles a minute while rising and then settles down to a thin web. nose is minty, earthy, herbal basil as well as green apple bubblegum, orange gatorade, banana and a whole host of spicy scents that are typical of belgian yeast strains and asian cuisine. clove, white pepper, cardamom, corriander, cumin. they say basil and rice are the only ingredients besides the usual suspects, so the yeast strain must be particularly spicy. light medium body with what seems to be relatively low carbonation, but the beer explodes in the mouth, creating a refreshing, spritziness. great effort. outstanding representation of what we can do here in america. i'd like another please. (763 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian style bomber bottle, I like the oversized cap. Pours glowing apricot, with lots of bubbles rising and lifting an initially huge off white head, that sticks around forever and slowly turns to merainge. Then leaves nice strands of lace and a much better then average collar of the thick stuff. It emits a hearty sniff of mint, pepper and Belgian leaning yeast. Quite enjoyable and tasty take on a favorite style. Phenolic and minty, with additional notes of honey, pepper, and even the advertized thai basil lending a complexity enhancing addition to the mix. Drys out nicely in the finish. 8% nowhere to be found.Well done, refreshing and intriguing. I really enjoyed this one. Go get some and enjoy a finely crafted American take on a classic style. (757 characters)

Photo of patmcd
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cliff notes: Classic tripel flavors with a new-school twist, which makes for a crisp, refreshing summer beer.

In depth review:

750ml bottle, poured an opaque golden amber, with a huge cloud-like fluffy head, that left some mild lacing.

Lot's of spice and sweet, bright fruits on the nose--almost iced tea like. However there is a bit of a bite with the basil that gives it some earthy undertones.

Tastes of light fruit, a citrus/mint , pepper, and of course a lint hint of spicy basil. Don't like the thai basil fool you though, there is plenty of light 'sweet' in this beer.

I love the mouthfeel on this, it was very crisp and light, since they did away with all the sugars, so I found it quite refreshing on a hot summer day. (734 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up 750mL bottle of Trade Winds at DeCicco`s.

This is a seasonal offering from The Bruery and the third beer from them, that I have had the opportunity to drink. The appearance is a light golden color with a giant head, that with time turns into a thin lace cover. Smell is boozy, with some spices, however it is difficult to pinpoint individual flavors. Taking a few sips allows for a better understanding of Trade Winds. It is a sugary beer with pear and bananas being present from the citrus aspect and a small amount of hops seems to be here as well. This beer goes well with a laid back evening listening to some music or watching a movie. One bottle shared with a friend or perhaps yourself will be all that you will need. (737 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Ginger Man. Pours orange with a thick white head. Aroma of spices immediately and sweet fruits. Flavor of bready malt, sweet melon, bitter spices. An interesting tripel--the rice worked well with this beer. Light, sweet, and very drinkable. Overall a nice beer. (275 characters)

Photo of jnn4v
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured slowly from the 750ml bottle into a belgian-style glass. Ended up with huge, white, foamy head (slightly more than half the glass). The beer itself is a slightly hazy orange color. No sediment yet, but there's still a little beer in the bottom of the bottle.

S: Interesting and complex. Spices and citrus seem to blend here. There are definitely more things going on, but I can't quite identify them. The bottle says it's ideally served at 45 degrees, but I'm guessing it'd show even more complexity as it warms.

T: Marzipan, cracked pepper, banana, orange all come to mind with just the first two sips. Wow. So very tasty and complex. Possibly my favorite tasting Tripel-style beer to-date.

M: Lots of tiny bubbles remain even after all the head had died down (roughly 3-5 minutes after pouring). Very full mouthfeel and appropriate for its style.

D: Excellent flavors make me want to come back, but the ABV and the 750ml size definitely limit me to one bottle, if not half shared with a friend. (1,013 characters)

Photo of Nickls
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

(From notes)

A - Lightly hazy orange-yellow color; with barely a wisp of a head

S - Sour peachy aroma; yeasty; very ripened fruit aromas; touch sweet

T - Boozey apricot and peach flavors; a little too sweet for me, but finishes pretty dry. The flavors are a bit out-of-whack to my palate, or maybe it's just the brew on cask

M - Medium; virtually no carbonation and dryish

D - I could barely make it through a full pint of this on cask; just didn't work out well and the boozey-sweet tendencies really made this too medicinal

Overall, I really need to try this in bottle form as the cask just didn't work out. This was just not great stuff on cask, and it's a shame b/c I'm a huge fan of the Bruery overall. (713 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours neutral colour with some head. Salad dressing aroma,such as oregeno and that's what's delivered. Taste: Sundried tomatoes, olive oil and olives, and some rice, and some other spices. Above average mouthfeel. Its drinkable, but not to much, and would not seek it out again. (278 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a golden light orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger plus foamy white head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a good dose of yeast, some nice bannana, clove notes. The taste is sweet, malty, with a nice yeast note, slightly spicy. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty Tripel, recommended. (386 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Fourth Ave. Pub in Brooklyn; served in a tulip

A rather clear, bright orange/golden body with a fluffy just off-white cap. A small amount of lacing is left on the glass. Pretty active carbonation.

Smell is overly fruity. Pears and bananas with a heavy medicinal/herbal tone, almost solvent-like.

Flavors are very similar to the aroma. Herbal, medicinal solvent-like flavors with pears, bananas, and green apples. I also got some basil, which I thought was weird, until I looked it up and in fact this beer is brewed with Thai basil. Interesting.

Light bodied, a little prickly and dry.

Very drinkable even with the higher abv. A couple of these will really sneak up on you. A great way to unwind after a baseball game on a hot day. (750 characters)

Photo of Buttermaker
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice amber color with a rose hue. Big head with a citrusy nose that's reminiscent of The Bruery's outstanding Orchard White witbier. The initial taste is...unremarkable. In fact, there's a slightly numbing quality to the taste...that must be the Thai Basil. (If you've ever had a dish with Szechuan Peppercorns you'll know the taste/feeling.) Subsequent tastes reveal a little more character and a unique flavor profile. It's a tripel so it's definitely big on malt...but if they're using hops at all I can't tell. The bitterness is provided by the Thai Basil and possibly other Asian spices. It's definitely refreshing despite the high gravity. It makes a nice summer belquim.

They've definitely succeeded in their east meets west endeavor and I have to say I'm impressed with their ambition. However, this one has a hard time standing up to The Bruery's other outstanding offerings. (886 characters)

Photo of damienblack
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely hazy golden, even the gentlest pour yields a great pillowey head reminiscent of Duvel. Great lacing and retention, a treat to behold. Smell is not so hot, kind of a metallic "flavor" on the nose, like a wheaty yeasty harshness. Not sure where it comes from, maybe the house yeast? Don't get it on the tongue, though. A little sweeter and fuller than a typical tripel, not quite as dry. But the rice and basil really impart an interesting flavor, lightening it up, slightly spicing it. Definitely unique, the tastes billow on my palate and linger. Very easy to put a bottle away of this. Taste is prolly somewhere between 4.0 and 4.5. Most excellent. (664 characters)

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Blue Palms in Hollywood, CA.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger, slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light fruits - pears and hints of bananas - and sweet Belgian candi sugar. A small amount of herbal aromas waft out every now and then.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust sugar-coated fruit flavors up front with herbal undertones. The ending is crisp and sweet.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this is a solid tripel but the flavors don't seem to meld as well as they do in the best examples. Still, it's well worth a shot. (759 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy golden color with a quickly settling white head.

S: Very...different. The basil is definitely making its presence known and I don't really think that's such a great thing. Very herbal overall.

T: Not surprisingly, the flavor is quite similar to the scent. So this is quite an herbal tasting beer as well. I don't find it that pleasing.

M: Lighter in body (possibly due to the rice they used to brew this) with good carbonation.

D: Personally, I did not find this beer all that enjoyable. However, if you are into the flavors that are present in this beer, I'm sure that you would find it very nice. (612 characters)

Photo of Onibubba
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice pour into the Tulip, dark honeyed gold with a nice off white malted milk head. Great retention, wonderful lacing, easily coaxed back up with a gentle swirl. Sweet, yeasty aromas, slightly medicinally herbed with the basil. This intensifies as the beer warms. Sweet, but never cloying, and the basil adds an unexpected and playful kick. Alcohol is well masked. Mouthfeel is very smooth, coating and lingering on the tongue. Drinkablity slides downward as the beer warms. Everything about the taste and smell intensifies. One bottle goes down without a catch, but finishing a second might be a chore. Another home run from the excellent Bruery. (652 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into 25oz snifter.

Cloudy burnt orange hue, with a huge three finger off-white head that slowly settles to a thick cap.

Hints of dark fruit and a bit of apple, along with some light spices like allspice.

Sweet and thick fruit flavors, a little bit of plum and strawberry. Spicy phenols in the background. Full bodied, high carbonation. Sticky sugar and a bit of caramel in the background.

A unique Triple, tastes an looks somewhat like a Double, but maybe a little lighter and sweeter. Probably resides between the two, maybe a One and a Halfer? Recommended. (577 characters)

Photo of charlzm
2.52/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Consumed 06/26/09 at Blue Palms, Hollywood.

An exceptionally clear pale yellow beer with plenty of active bubbles streaming upwards to replenish a white, one-finger head.

Aroma is not making my nostrils happy - solvent, rubber. A fleeting hint of basil (I think). Maybe coriander?

Flavor is unfortunately similar to aroma - chemical-y. Some sweetness in there as well with a slight bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel is at least agreeable; this is a dry beer on the palate - tingly but not parching.

Think I'm going to have to pass on this one the next time I see it. (570 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian-style Tripel brewed with Thai Basil and rice.

The body is golden in color with a fluffy white head. Herbal and tea-like qualities permeate the aroma. Some notes of lemon too. Flavor is lemon, honey, and fresh herbs. As in the aroma, there are tea notes here too along with some peppery spice qualities. I didn't really get basil or rice, but I did enjoy it. Spice flavors would go great with food. (406 characters)

Photo of johnnieoz
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, definitely 2009 bottling though not sure what date. Would be good to know since the brewers recommend drinking it fresh due to the presence of fresh Thai Basil.

A: Looking hazy golden with a little lace on the glass. A bit of a gusher.

S: Sweet aromas, more rice than Thai basil. But there is a hint of herbal wonder.

T: This is a different kind of tripel. The spiciness is clearly characterized by the Thai Basil, a stroke of genius.

M: Carbonation is very Brueryesque - a little too harsh at first. Once it settles all is good. There is a nice numbing sensation as Trade Winds whirls around the palate...

D: I am about to pair this with Ta Hoo Bad Kaprao (Tofu with Thai Basil). It should be ideal in assuaging the chilies and complementing the original herb in the brew. Like a good tripel it is most quaffable. Glad the Rue Crew made this their summer seasonal.

Update: Trade Winds was more than a match for a savory, spicy and aromatic dish. Great pairing! (1,032 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Really nice looking hazy golden color with a half finger of white head. Some lacing.

S: Light on the spice but big on the sweetness. Some hints of light fruit as well. Very nice. Really dense nose but it is hard to pick everything out.

T: Again the taste was quite complex. Lighter taste than most other tripels. It lacks that big sweetness that you associate with the style. The focus is more on the yeast and all the esters that it brings.

M: Very light for the style. Crisp and refreshing.

D: One of the most drinkable examples of the style that I have ever had. Went down very nicely and paired well with a variety of food. (634 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

--Mark Twain

Sun-soaked apricots with multiple streams of rapidly rising bubbles. The ecru colored cap filled at least 90% of the glass after a gentle pour. It's pillowy soft, whipped frothy and gently rocky, with enough stickiness to lay down a respectable amount of delicate sea foam lace. Subsequent pours look spectacular.

The aroma is exactly as expected given the ingredients. Trade Winds Tripel smells like a classic Belgian tripel (golden fruit and spice), with an herbal undercurrent that just has to be Thai basil. Let's hope that twist works out as well on the palate as it does in the nose.

The Bruery's goal was to brew a lighter than usual, easy drinking, summertime 'Belgian-style golden ale' by jettisoning the candi sugar and by using rice. Mission accomplished. The inspired use of Thai basil gives the beer an offbeat, interesting quality that causes it to stand out from the crowd. Not that Southern California is crawling with Belgian goldens.

In spite of the lightness, the flavors are still bold... and beautiful. Sweet-tart pears are accompanied by lime zest, ground clove, white pepper and... uh... Thai basil. Apparently, that herb tastes like licorice (which I can appreciate) and mint (which I can't). The finish is semi-crisp and ultimately drying. This is one complex summer seasonal that is disappearing like nobody's business.

They haven't gotten it exactly right yet, but this is the most properly carbonated beer that I've had from these guys yet (Black Orchard and Orchard White were grossly overbubbled and Autumn Maple was essentially flat). This one was too jumpy initially and is too laid back now that I'm at the halfway point of the bottle. Oh well, at least it passed through the perfect zone for a few mouthfuls. And truthfully, it isn't too bad now.

I like the fact that The Bruery brews outside the box and usually pulls it off. If they ever figure out how to carbonate, look out! Trade Winds Tripel is a damn good beer that isn't too far removed from greatness. Especially when compared to most American versions of my favorite Belgian style. (2,333 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz counter-pressure filled growler from Bierkraft.

Pours straw with a bit of orange peeking through, lightly hazy, fluffy one-fingered head that settles into a thin cap. Nice stickage.

Nose is lots of clove, yeast and pale malts combine for a bit of breadiness, golden fruits are subtle but there. Yeast is the biggest part of this one, but nicely done.

Notes of clove, bready pale malt with notes of honey, pears, hint of light citrus peel. Spicy yeast carries the finish, with more notes of pear and apricot coming out. Off-dry but full. Basil comes out in the finish, but is very subtle - I don't know that I would have put my finger on it if I didn't already know it was there. The substitution of rice for sugar makes a difference, this is lighter and a bit crisper than I expected for it's style and ABV. I really like the taste with this one. Lighter than expected, but in a good way - still full and delicious, but easily drinkable on a hot day. Very nicely done.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit fluffy on feel, medium-full body. Beautifully fits the flavor.

Drinkability is exemplary for the style. Lighter than expected, very flavorful, crisp and perfect for summer. (1,182 characters)

Photo of Tdizzle
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle purchased on 5/31/09 from The Bruery. A Belgian-style ale brewed with rice and thai basil.

A- Trade Winds Tripel pours a clear gold color with a fluffy white head that settles to a thin layer. A few shreds of lacing cling to the glass.

S- Spicy Belgian yeast, bready malts, and spicy notes of a more exotic variety thanks to the thai basil. The rice adds an element of sweetness to the smell. Some alcohol heat emerges as the beer hits room temperature.

T- The taste is rich with Belgian spiciness, ripe fruits, and malted grains along with a deliciously light sweetness that drives this beer's drinkability. The 8.1% ABV is slightly evident on the finish.

M- A full-bodied mouthfeel with big, aggressive carbonation bubbles that are typical of The Bruery's beers.

D- Highly drinkable for a beer with so much flavor and a fairly high alcohol content. (870 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy orange-gold with a huge rocky white head that stuck around. Good lacing. Tropical fruit aroma with cider, some banana, and basil. Very carbonated, lighter mouthfeel. Big, bold fruity taste. Lots of apricots, peaches, strawberry, mango, passionfruit, and a melange of tropical fruit. Herbal background which is very sweet, presumably from the rice. Slightly sour bite in the finish, more tart fruit. The flavor was so big, it made the beer less drinkable, though. Its not necessarily a bad thing, but when it comes to trippels, I didn't expect such a big beer. Definitely find a friend to share the bottle with. (626 characters)

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an opaque yellowish orange. Nice white head. Solid retention level. Excellent lacing.

S: wonderful aromas. Sweet honey notes, light fruit notes, very mellow due to the rice. Big spices in the nose.

T: wonderful tripel flavors. Honey, sweet fruity malts, spices. Light hints of the thai basil.

M: medium bodied. Big carbonation level. Crisp and smooth for the style. (377 characters)

Trade Winds Tripel from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 332 ratings.