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Trade Winds Tripel - The Bruery

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Trade Winds TripelTrade Winds Tripel

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very good

981 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 981
Reviews: 324
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 46
Gots: 124 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 981 | Reviews: 324 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLiterati
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beers from The Bruery tend to be "big" in every sense of the word - from the bottling to the composition and taste, they seem to do nothing "small."

This beer is no exception: pours a deep, cloudy golden amber with a thick, sturdy off-white head. Aroma is subtle, nutty.

Taste and mouthfeel are reminiscent of champagne, minus the sugar. Smooth and lightly effervescent, this beer is bittersweet, foamy and frothy with a undertones of citrus and a mild woodiness.

Still, there is something slightly off-putting about this beer. It's drinkable enough, but I'm not sure I'll make it a "regular."

Photo of augustgarage
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle (aged for maybe 9 months) into my Bruery tulip glass.

This is a gorgeous beer - amber and orange liquid with golden poppy highlights - rendering the glass into a glowing orb backed by faint shadows. A tremendous billowing rocky head continues to grow slowly, until a foaming glacier towers well above the lip of the glass. After several minutes, it finally begins to recede leaving a funnel-web of seashell lacing behind. Energetic carbonation can be seen feeding the head from the bottom of the glass.

Fresh bread dough, sweet and peppery hints of basil, and lots of esters (banana and pear) in the nose. Rice is not usually an ingredient I welcome, but here it seems to add a nutty undertone (did they use basmati?).

White peach, white pepper, and mild honey, on the palate. Alcohol surfaces quietly, reminding me of a good white rum. Crackers, marshmallow, with hints of melon and more spice in the finish. Sweet overall but certainly not cloying. One of the best domestic Tripels I've had the pleasure of imbibing thus far - I was worried by the basil and rice that this would be a gimmick beer, but (maybe due to the age) I didn't find this to be the case at all.

Soft, effervescent, filling body. Slowly warming from the alcohol. Great with a meal, to share, or as a night-cap (maybe even more than Slaapmutske?).

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I like sour, so I liked this, but this beer didn't have typical sour flavors and sure as hell wasn't a typical tripel. I found it to be tasty, but honestly a little difficult to drink.

Appearance was not like a tripel at all - it was dark and cloudy without much head. Aroma had a ton of fruit like sour cherry and cranberry. Despite the absence of candy sugar in the recipe, flavor is of candy sugar, fruit, and SOURNESS! Mouthfeel is dry. This is a pretty challenging beer to drink - tasty, but not all that drinkable.

Quite interesting - I'd be happy to try this again, as it is complex enough I am not sure I really got it all in this tasting. I had this on-tap at Shorty's in mid-town Manhattan.

Photo of Gavage
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear yellowish orange in color with a 2" head that lasts a long time. Spotty lace develops during the session.

Smell: yeast, pepper and some other general spiciness is easy to detect.

Taste: grassy malt base with yeast, coriander, pepper, a nice bitterness, and a light alcohol presence make up a flavorful and well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish.

Drinkability: this beer is bold and flavorful, and despite the high alcohol level it goes down quickly. Worth giving this one a try.

Photo of oceanman
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a: dark hazy orange, bubbly lively head
s: candy, bubble gum, medicinal, fruit: pear, banana
t: more spice on palate. alcohol definitely cuts through. apple juice.
m: huge creamy tingling carbonation on mouth, though relatively light body.
d: interesting tripel, but 750 ml is more than enough. go with la fin du monde every time.

Photo of bulletrain76
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

75cl bottle. Hazy dark gold-orange color with a big lasting white head. The aroma has sweet candy sugariness, spiciness (Thai basil?), and fruity yeast character that is somewhat reminiscent of kumquats and cantaloupe. The flavor is interesting but honestly a bit on the messy side; too much spicing and too candy-sweet in the finish. The basil seems to add a cool quality but might go a bit to far in the balance. Medium bodied, but sticky and watery in texture at the same time. I thought the all-brett version was much better.

Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into glass chalice:

Pours golden with a foamy white head. Trailing lacing sticks.

The smell is spicy - basil/herbal notes with some bread and banana.

The taste is of herbal spicing - basil apparent but not overly done. It has a grainy/slightly grassy backbone, along with mild banana and a sweet touch in the middle. Alcohol doesn't show too much in flavour, but, along with controlled spiciness and vigorous carbonation, lends a refreshing dryness to the finish.

An interesting, spicy twist to the style with the addition of basil. A Belgian-style with an Asian flair. Interesting, and a fine pairing with spicier Asian food.

Photo of Sechavar
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay, it's brewed with rice, so I thought it would pair well with the heavy meal of the evening which was a creamy asparagus pasta dish. And I was right. Yay me. The rice gives it a very light texture and color for a tripel. However, you don't get that heavy fruit flavor from a traditional tripel, and I have to admit, I kind of missed it. Don't get me wrong, I found Trade Winds to be pretty tasty, especially when it starts to warm up and you get that basil in your mouth and then you start smacking your lips, trying to suck the delicious from the inside of your cheek. Then you go, "Okay, I see what you did there." I wasn't impressed, but it was tasty. And the rice brew with that fresh herbal nose is certainly a different side of beer. So, I would recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting beer, but I'm not raving about it.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The usual - meringue head, chunky seam, big, big (2x finger), slightly cloudy honey butterscotch. Wow - reviewing beers gets a little boring every once in a while. My bad.

For all its perfume it smells very dry, which is quite enjoyable. MAYBE I can pick out the Thai basil but I get a little more of the rice character here. Slight spicey burn.

THERE's the basil. Hits the dryness at the back of the palate nicely - definitely some Thai curry overtones. Light, dry raw malt, rice and Pilsener along with those piney Balsa-wood hop presence in a soft touch.

Not yo' mama's Tripel; definitely a bit drier and spicier. That's a good thing, though - I can see this cutting the heft of mashed potatoes at the Thanksgiving table - right before I mix part of the bottle with Autumn Maple. Very crisp.

It's light, it's dry...but there is a little latent weight and heft on this from the 8.1% ABV quotient. It's an excellent beer, no doubt. But maybe a 750 is a bicycle built for two.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

- brewed with rice and thai basil.

A: The initial pour yielded a monstrosity of foam occupying the greater majority of the glass that hinted the presence of wild yeast. After receding and continuing with the pour the coloring was a turbid pumpkin pie orange that was capped off by a solid foam head (think cotton candy structure) that was paper white in color and stood the test of time. The head was mostly lasting throughout the course of the drink never giving up more then a modest skim coating while leaving pillar/column streaks for a lacing. A rapid and strongly vibrant carbonation showers upwards composed of tightly knitted micro bubble jet streams.

S: The nose was very light contributing very little to the experience overall. Light hints of uncooked white rice or rice paper is evident at very low levels while there is some hints of fresh lemon juice as well. On the trail there was a closing of dry oranges with hints of fresh basil leaves. Overall the nose was very light and clean, lacking a tartness or frutiness with a limited strength and complexity.

T: The flavor was spicy, and tart with tangerines and hints of lemon juice. A fresh herbal helping of basil leaves also comes through nicely. There was an equally bright and sharp fruitiness that was lacking on the nose composed of canned pears, fresh pineapples and fresh apricots with an juice like nature. The flavor was sweet, juicy and fruity with hints of grains and Belgian candy sweetness. The rice aids in keeping the palate light to bring out the herbal and fruity nature of the drink while the finish was bright and fruity ending with pineapples and oranges.

M: light with a bright carbonation that livens things up a bit. A light fruity alcohol twang teases the tongue upon the swallow with a gentle warming reminder.

D: Very good drinkability as well enjoyment. Goes down nicely as a summer time quencher with a light body and tropical juice like flavor that is sure to hit the spot. Not your typical Belgian style tripel but a smooth and fruity lighter interpretation that is highly drinkable with a manageable 8.1% abv.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just had this a few weeks back at the Gotham Cask Festival. Poured a hazy gold, with less than a finger of bright white head, and poor lacing. The smell yielded banana, lemon, bubble gum, clove, coriander, hay, and yeast. The taste confirmed this, with the fruit flavors hitting big at first, and the spices lingering throughout and into the aftertaste. Fairly well-hidden alcohol. Very thin mouthfeel, and not as spritzy as one would come to expect from a tripel, but the cask likely had a lot to do with this. If not for the alcohol content, this would session well.

Photo of dewalt
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You can easily detect the thai basil used in the mash when you first pour a glass. It smells pretty much the way a tripel should, sweet citrus and spice, but there's a heady herbal undercurrent, something that's not supposed to be there, but is not at all unpleasant. It pours a nice golden color, with a decent head, not highly carbonated, but the foam remains as lacing on the glass.

When you first take a sip, Trade Winds is surprisingly bold, sweet and fruity, a little bready, lots of yeast flavor with tones of banana and apricot. There's also a bit of clove spice, particularly on the end. I have to say I was hesitant about a golden ale with basil in it -- for all I knew, this beer was going to taste like pesto. But it's surprisingly pleasant and drinkable.

Photo of jmalex
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hooray for having access to The Bruery's great seasonal stuff! Drinking this today while watching Game 2 of the Phillies/Rockies NLDS.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Hennepin tulip a crystal-clear golden amber. The head is huge and off-white and settles into a solid, rocky cap. Definitely one of the more impressive heads I've seen on a beer.

SMELL: This beer is a force! Big on the breadiness, big on the spiciness, and big on the authentic Belgian yeast notes. Light citrus notes are there for support, but this beer is all about the yeast and the crazy esters it gives.

TASTE: Decently sweet and nowhere near dry enough. But the flavors are fantastic with a much more pronounced fruitiness and the spiciness to match it. The herbal quality of the Thai basil is apparent here (presumably) and it really works well. Again, the yeast esters are as authentic as the real deal from Belgium.

MOUTHFEEL: It has a fuller body than most Tripels but is still on the good side of medium, barely. The carbonation is at a high level which is perfect.

DRINKABILITY: A dryness would improve this area as well, but the beer is so tasty that I'll be happy to drink the whole thing. I might actually be done before the end of the game too!

There are so many great things happening here, but it falls short of perfect. If nothing else, The Bruery's beers never fail to be unique. I can definitely recommend this one.

Photo of dfillius
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Gentle pour yields 2.5 fingers of off-white pillowy head with excellent retention. Chill hazy dark straw gold liquid is pretty. This is the darker side of Tripels I'd say.

S: Banana, clove, Belgian sweet spice. Very Tripel. Some dusty funk, overall very fruity.

T: Nice light Belgian fruitiness followed by some undefined sweetness, maybe caramelly. Goes well with roasted ratatouille dinner. Estery Alcohol makes a showing later on but doesn't overwhelm.

M: A bit too foamy. Gentle and bright. Some heat. Foam is too fluffy in my mouth and is therefore unpleasant.

D: Good. I do want another and would buy again.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first beer from the Bruery, purchased at Whole Foods Market in Tribeca at $10.99 for the 750mL bottle.
The pour- looks like I would expect upon pouring a tripel. Deep amber and quite hazy with a happy amount of white head on the initial pour. Lacing looks like it's going to stick around for awhile.
Scents- I get some soap right off the bat. After a little bit it settles down into fruityness. Flirts with reminding one too much of perfume. The bready and earthyness reigns the perfume character back in.
Flavors- not-quite-yet juicy nectarine. A hint of that kind of bitterness and some of that sweetness.
As far as an American brewed version of a Belgian style goes this is pretty well done. Still, there are better options out there for the same or less money. I would be happy to try other things from this brewery based on this beer.

Photo of fragilemacabre
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOAH THAT'S A LOTTA HEAD! No seriously. Ridonculous amount of foam... which does settle down quickly and prettily leaving a very nice lacing and a dense, cloudy amber coloring.

It smells like a bar should smell, a happy/hoppy scent that is very obviously beer, with a bit of a croissant thrown in (sugary and yeasty smells).

This feels very nice on the tongue, but the immediate taste is a bit sweeter than some other Tripels I've had, though it has a good nectarine tartness as an end note.

I was recommended this beer by a Whole Foods employee/friend of mine who had nothing but rave reviews. Since he likes his women, I'd make this analogy: I wouldn't throw this beer out of bed, but it would be low on the list of my booty calls.

Photo of WesWes
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is outstanding! It has a wonderful citrus and farmhouse funk laid over a grist of pale malts. It's got excellent spice character as well. The taste is awesome as well. It has a smooth pale malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes with a shitload of Belgian yeast esters and a peppery spiciness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with maybe a touch too much CO2. This is a really nice beer with many layers of complexity. Well done!

Photo of almychristopher
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a golden color with just a hint of amber the slightly off white head builds up to a towering rocky pinth. the aroma immediatley shows off the yeasts belgian pedigree, with the requisite banana clove esters and spice. the taste follows with the an array of lemon and spice... the thai basil brings a lot of spice to the dry finish. the medium body and high carbonation make the mouthfeel really nice on an all around good beer.

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Farmhouse. Served in a basic red wine glass, the beer is a lightly hazy amber with a short white head. As I drank it down, the head left lacing rings around the top.

The main ingredient I'm pulling from this beer is the Thai basil, which is actually nicely balanced against the other spice flavors. There really aren't other flavor, just a typical light bready malt followed by a punch of crushed black pepper, lemongrass, and mild cinnamon with the basil. If you like your tripels spicy, check this beer out.

Photo of weeare138
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, dark gold with a fluffy, off-white head that slowly fades away into a mild floating cap. Bits of spoty lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of fresh, sweet grain, melted sugar, caramel, and some cracked black pepper.
Taste is of the aromas with a bit of a bready, mildly spiced, sugary apricot coming through.
Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, medium bodied, and warming.

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. Pours a golden honey color with dense off white head that dissipated into a puffy cap. The aroma is sweet and zesty. Aromas of apples, banana and lemon are mixed with some spicy yeast scents. Some barnhouse funk give this brew a musty earthy smell. The taste is of apple skins and lemon. There is some banana, clover, pepper, light coriander and horse blanket from the yeast. There is a tin like grain flavor as well, perhaps from the rice that is added. The feel is very fizzy, the carbonation burns a bit. Nice balance of sweet and spicy. A well made tripel, nice flavor.

Photo of EPICAC
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on tap at Christopher's in Cambridge, MA in early July.

Trade Winds Tripel pours a cloudy golden color, and is topped by a bright white head that fades to a film. The head leaves sheets of lace as it fades. The aroma is classic Belgian. The spicy notes of pepper are the strongest. Secondary are the fruity aromas of bananas and apples. Swirling the beer brings out grainy and yeasty notes and a bit more spiciness.

The prickliness of the carbonation gives an initial impression of spiciness. As the carbonation mellows a grainy, malt backbone makes a brief appearance. Fruitiness in the center quickly takes hold with notes of banana, apples and citrus. The finish has an intense peppery spice. This Tripel is on the light side of medium-bodied. The spiciness of the initial carbonation provides a nice bookend to the peppery finish.

I thought this was a good Tripel. The spiciness was strong, but I thought it was a net positive.

Photo of PBoegel
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 capped bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip, roughly 40 degrees.

Poured with a very effervescent cream white head that sticks. Body is gold to orange but hazy.

Aroma is lemon pepper, licorice and hints of orange/grapefruit. No perceptible hopping. Some fresh cut pineapple notes as it warms (not like you find from hops, but literally fresh cut pineapple slices).

Flavor is dry malt upfront upfront, licorice and dried oranges and apricot. Also dried pineapple, not quite like the pineapple notes in the aroma, more sugary sweet.

Mouthfeel is dry in the finish, near chalkly (I absolutely love tripels this way) very effervescent cleansing the palate. This beer would go fantastic with a well brined Turkey, Duck or Glazed ham.

Extremely drinkable.

Overall, style wise this beer reminds me very much of many Saisons I have had, especially Saisons that have spice additions for flavoring. Hard to tell if the yeast played a huge role in the flavor profile or worked in conjunction with the Thai Basil addition. Either way it is a really delicious and worth seeking out beer. I might hesitate to call it a Tripel, and in BJCP land might argue it is out of style, but as a beer of Belgian style it is completely fantastic.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A capped 750ml bottle purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for around $10. Opened and poured into my oerbier tulip-like glass. The tripel appears a cloudy golden apricot color with a healthy looking two fingers of pillowy bone white foam. The aromas and flavors are dominated by notes of quite spicy yeast, black pepper, mint, lime, licorice. Rather crisp and bone dry with a bit too much carbonation. Getting a bit of alcohol as it warms. Very bubbly, and that distracts from the drink-ability of an otherwise well done tripel with a unique twist.

Photo of timtim
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Trade Winds Tripel from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 981 ratings.