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Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,249 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,249
Hads: 3,763
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 17.92%
Wants: 273
Gots: 709 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-27-2001

3 grains - barley, wheat, oat. Styrian hops.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,249 | Hads: 3,763
Reviews by goatgoat:
Photo of goatgoat
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear gold with a torrent of bubbles rising long after the pour. Beautiful huge mounding eggshell falls rather quickly to a thick cap. Lacing is sparse with only a few strans and pieces, which keeps this from looking absolutely spectacular.

Aroma is prominent, even when holding my glass to the light to admire the appearance. Light fruits, a little grainy, with moderate musty and spicy characters. Peppery, a bit tart. No noticeable alcohol.

Flavor is much more tart than the aroma, though I quickly become accustomed to it. The majority of the taste is gently sweet and very light. Much more complexity in the finish, where the tartness receded first, leaving lingering must notes blending with a nice spiciness. I'd would like those to come in a bit more in the main body. Alcohol is well hidden.

Light body with very high carbonation. Finish is crisp and dry. But there's an alcoholic astringency I just can't get over.

Pretty good brew. Damn excellent for the price (I tried, half heartedly to correct the clerk, but she insisted $1.79!). I won't be getting that deal again but I'll certainly consider picking another one up. If I don't find an American brew to fill the niche.

 1,203 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tripel Karmeliet looks magnificent in the glass. The explosive, toweringly majestic crown of richly creamy, cream colored foam sitting atop the sparkling amber liquid is a sight to behold. It's been a while since I've laid eyes on a better looking beer. Elegant, arching fingers of lace point to the glass contents as if to say 'now here's a fine looking ale'.

The nose is intensely spicy and abounds with cardamon, white pepper and clove. Drunken golden fruits (apples, pears, peaches) are present as well, but take a backseat to the spices. This is another one of those Belgian tripels, or BSPAs, or BSDAs, that has a spicy alcohol presence in the nose that is so well-integrated as to be an essential, welcome part of the whole.

Wow! Just Wow! Tripel Karmeliet may not have the no-holds-barred, hold-onto-your-hat gusto of a De Dolle Dulle Teve, but it is one amazingly delicious beer. Think of it as the Mad Bitch's more attractive, nicer sister. Sweet, tangy, bitter, fruity, spicy, warming, soothing... where do I begin?

The most impressive thing about this Brouwerij Bosteels offering is... well, two things. One is the vividness of the various flavors. I taste brandy-macerated, spice-sprinkled orchard fruits with such intensity, it's as if I'm eating them rather than drinking beer. Two is the pitch perfect melding of the various flavor notes in the mouth. While they're easily appreciated on an individual basis, I prefer to let the beer wash over my tongue and to allow the whole damn shootin' match to work its magic.

I'm looking for flaws, but I'm convinced they don't exist. Any change would be for the worse. More or less of anything would be too much or not enough with regard to the tripel perfection that sits before me... not for very much longer, I might add. The finish is an extension of what came before in terms of flavor, with the potentially drying aspect of the alcohol offset by a mellow sweetness.

The mouthfeel is easily the equal of any Belgian tripel that I've ever had. It's actually on the full side of medium, but is rendered light and silky by a perfect amount of soft carbonation. It's yet more evidence that the brewery has paid attention to every aspect of this beer and has fine-tuned it until it hums with the precision of a Swiss watch.

While my experience with Belgian tripels is still somewhat limited, I've found a 'tripel triple' that I really like: De Dolle Dulle Teve (Mad Bitch), Westmalle Tripel, and now Tripel Karmeliet. Each has its charms, but at the moment, this beer is my clear favorite. From where I sit, Tripel Karmeliet is the quintessential Belgian tripel and is the unqualified best.

 2,666 characters

Photo of Nightwing
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

From bottle. Aromas of vanilla and citrus. Pours a hazy pale with white head. The first taste was was quite sweet, but after a few sips it seemed more of a medium sweet. Medium body, somewhat creamy texture, quite lively carbonation, a dry finish. Overall a nice beer, but could the carbonation could be toned down somewhat.

I'll have to revisit this one in the future.

 370 characters

Photo of kelkauz
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Delish so good

14 characters

Photo of breezyday
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a 750 ml ... 75 CL label bottle ... to me an American bomber, the beer poured with a nice foamy white head and recedes to a thin line of lace. The bouquet smell is slightly sweet with a fragrance of clover, orange and pear. There is a slight alcoholic sniff in the fragrance, but you sense a balance and wonder about the use of the grains (oats, barley and wheat described in the label) and desire to taste and savor what comes. The color is straw yellow with a slight murkiness. The taste is similar to Duvel, but it is lighter and slightly sweeter with less 'hoppy' bite when enjoying Duvel. After enjoying this bottle, I will have to revisit Duvel. It will be a pleasure to check the difference between the two.
Truly, an excellent Belgium Tripel and all Americans need to explore the great qualities of the Belgian and German yeasty beers.

 855 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

You can always count on a Tripel to provide an abundance of rocky white head. Tripel Karmeliet delivers immediately and throws in a team of untiring acrobatic bubbles to boot. This fairly pale yet golden beer beams with brightness even despite its slight haziness. Between the sturdy crown and powerful resplendence there's few things that look more appropriate in a chalice.

The bouquet packs such a rush of bright citrus flavour you'd swear it was brewed with orange or lemon zest. Alas, such is just the wonder of Belgian yeast. Still, this aroma is good as sunlight itself and, combined with the scents of grass and feed stable grains, it practically screams of summer months in the countryside. There's a lot of tropical banana flavour in there too!

Not every producer that puts so much detail into their label art pays the same attention to the actual contents of the bottle - Tripel Karmeliet, however, absolutely does. This flavour is layered with cereal-, citrus-, and spice-driven flavours. It has a richness and elegance that can confidently be claimed among the style's best and is really rivaled only by a select few other Belgian producers (i.e., Westmalle).

Not only are there lemon drops as far as the eye can see, but orchard fruits like pear and apple also factor in by the bushel full. White pepper and lemongrass ensure a mix of both spicy and savory components, both of which work well with the dry and earthy tastes of farm-fresh hay, oats, and wholesome, bready malted barley. There's definitely no shortage of graininess!

For as long as I've been reviewing beer (over a decade now) I've always considered Karmeliet my absolute favourite Tripel. While the recipe seems to have changed a little in recent times (much lighter, more citrus-forward) it's still undoubtedly among the best regularly available tripel and probably THE one I'd point to for those aiming to learn about or emulate this great style.

 1,933 characters

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden with a huge blooming head that leaves big globs of lace down the glass,big spicey aroma peppery and yeasty a touch of smoke and orange.Yeasty up front on the palate with a spritzey lemon note with the spiciness more subdued compared to the aroma,pretty refreshing for a beer with such a high alcohol content.A well made Tripel worthy of high marks.

 369 characters

Photo of Popsinc
3.42/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: First of all, one of my favorite glasses around. Just an over-sized glass with great markings. Excellent to look at. A clear golden pour with a very generous head.

Smell: Hints of caramel and summery fruits...apricot etc but nothing overpowering or really in your face.

Taste: The taste is light and malty with a semi sweet fruitiness. Some hints of caramel, wheat and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: A little bit too smooth and dull. Lack of a lively body.

Drinkability: the beer itself is decent....alittle better than average maybe. But it is the glass that makes me want to try another.

 607 characters

Photo of davemarc87
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Yellow color with a quick head that builds fast but easily dissipates.

Smell – Yeasty aroma with a hint of fruit and citrus mixed with some light spices.

Taste – The spiciness really comes through in the taste, but this is no lightweight. The yeast comes up quickly, and it’s a unique flavor that’s sprinkled with more spice and a soft, fluffy feel. Venom’s, “powdered sugar and soft coriander,” analogy fits well here.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is right on. The smoothness is amazing.

Drinkability – This is a well put together brew, but it’s not your average Abbey Trippel. This has more fruity spices than normal so might disappoint the non-adventurous drinker.

Update – This was one of the first reviews that I posted on the site back in August of 2003. Now that it’s been a little over two years I thought I give this a go again.

First off, the head was much better and showed good retention. After tasting and reviewing a boatload of Tripels (OK, 42 to date) I really appreciated the rank odor and sharp flavors of this Bosteel offering. I jacked nearly all of the scores up my 0.5 point and hogged the entire champagne bottle to myself.

 1,189 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite tripel to be sure.

Appearance: Wonderfully clear straw gold with rising streamers of effervescent carbonation. Huge white dollup of whip cream on top. Retention is perfect. Lacing is gorgeous. Carbonation is champagne like.

Nose is complicated with farmyard grains, lemons, poppy seeds, cardamom, peach syrup, apricots, canned mandarin oranges, vanilla, medicinal alcohols, etc…

Tastes takes all the qualities of the nose, adds mango, soda, more spices, pepper, and a mild astringent finale. All are perfectly balanced with one another.

Mouthfeel is smooth yet lively and very full.

Drinkability is out of this world. 8%...no way.

I love it, love it, love it.

 691 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of MaxT
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of brownbeer
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Mac19872
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of kaimcm
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into branded and outrageous Karmeliet goblet.

A: Deep honey color with a light wash of reddish orange. Huge snow white head that looks exactly like meringue. Outstanding. Glass has a germination point in the center of the bowl that produces a constant and beautiful stream of rushing bubbles to the surface. In this Karmeliet glass this beer looks perfect.

S: yeast, clove, grains of paradise-plywood type aromas, sublte pear and more evident apple

T/M: Very effervescent, champagne like carbonation. Lively, prickly in the mouth. Smooth and sweet malt up front followed closely by some alcohol and yeast spice thats refreshing. Body is well balanced but not overly full. Green apples, some green grape vinous qualities as well. Finish just keeps on drying and evolving, so much so that its a little odd for the style. I would expect a little more sugar at the end, this is almost remiscent of a Strong Pale. Plenty of yeast spice though, very well done for the style. Clove from the nose, a little pepper, more dry wood notes. Overall a little dry for a triple but extremely well done. Delicate and complex.

D: The abbey styles are all meant to be digestive and highly drinkable and this one is spot on. An excellent beer that I am thoroughly enjoying and will make a point of revisiting.

I love glassware of all kinds and have tons, but I have never had a beer in its respective glass look better and be better presented than this. Funny thing is that the glass alone is almost silly looking.

 1,532 characters

Photo of mveatch
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz that was shared with a buddy. On the brighter golden side with a 3 inch head that took a while to come done. Plenty of lacing-looks delicious! Smell of phenols-cloves and banana but not like a hefe-more subdued. Taste was top notch. The "3 grains" produce a very smooth beer. Alot of tripels are too sweet and have too stong an alcohol flavor for me. This hides the alcohol so well that I would never have guessed it was 8% and although it tasted sweet-the wheat character was evident which helped balance. Hops are low but present and feels very smooth in the mouth. Give this one a shot.

 612 characters

Photo of Spaten454
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of -DF-
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
94 out of 100 based on 1,249 ratings.