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Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,298 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,298
Reviews: 1,197
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 200
Gots: 380 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
3 grains - barley, wheat, oat. Styrian hops.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-27-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,298 | Reviews: 1,197 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by monorailred:
Photo of monorailred
4.75/5  rDev +11%

monorailred, Sep 02, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Nightwing
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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.

Nightwing, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

oberon, Oct 26, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Popsinc, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of davemarc87
4.75/5  rDev +11%

davemarc87, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

RoyalT, Aug 08, 2003
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

beerhunter13, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

t2grogan, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

jono0101, May 14, 2014
Photo of MaxT
4/5  rDev -6.5%

MaxT, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of brownbeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

brownbeer, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Mac19872
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Mac19872, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of kaimcm
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

kaimcm, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of mveatch
4.75/5  rDev +11%

mveatch, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Tiernan, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of hopsleeroy
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

hopsleeroy, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of Spaten454
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Spaten454, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

tbryan5, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

SkiBum22, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml into a chalice style glass.

A: A careful pour produced a crystal clear honey colored brew with a bit of an orange hue. Fantastic frothy white foam head at least a 1/2" thick that reduces to a tight lumpy foam that hangs in there for the whole glass. I can't imagine a more picture perfect look for a triple!

S: Pungent citrus & spice smells are foremost, with a light maltiness that lies in subtlety just beneath.

T: Nice complexity of fruit, herbs & spices, malts, and something like brown sugar taste - without the sticky sweetness. The fruits were sort of a citrus-meets-fig flavor that melds fantastically well with light caramel toasted malts and some very pleasant spices. Coriander seemed likely but not alone as there are indications of other flavors as well.

M&D: Despite the complexity, the overall flavor profile is relatively light to medium in body. The carbonation is rather lively, albeit in streams of fine bubbles, and adds to the levity of the mouthfeel. Everything comes together wonderfully to produce a highly drinkable and very enjoyable brew. One of the best triples I've had.

SIRIUS2, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

BubalooBrewMaster, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of steelerguy
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear straw yellow, high carbonation, huge frothy head that doesn't want to go away.

S - Crisp and tart apple, some sweetness like a pear, with some light spice and a touch of yeast.

T - Very clean, tastes how it smells but even better. There is a bit of green apple, sweet pear, spice almost like a bit of white pepper. Ends with a touch of yeast and hint of alcohol.

M - Light body, finishes clean, the carbonation tingles and the alcohol warms.

O - What a great surprise. Doesn't have as many dimensions as many Belgian tripels but when you make something simple this good, don't mess around with a bunch of tricks. Great beer.

steelerguy, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of blackearth
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 750 ml bottle at Flannery's II in Oconomowoc, WI. Poured into my new Tripel Karmeliet goblet, this beer shows a golden straw body with an enormous, puffy white head. Aroma is of yeasty lemon peel and sparkling wine. Mouthfeel is effervescent and very carbonated. Spicy yeast esters are the initial flavors. Even with all the bubbles, the wheat and oats give it a smooth finish with a bit of alcohol warmth. This is good out of the bottle, but I think it's better on tap.

blackearth, Dec 03, 2009
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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
96 out of 100 based on 3,298 ratings.