Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels
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Ratings: 3,059 | Reviews: 1,179 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by weizenbob:
3/5 rDev -29.7%
This 750 ml corked and caged green glass bottle was purchased in April at Pere Marquette Expeditions in Ludington, MI, supposedly on the same day that it came in. However, if I'm reading the "best before" date correctly as December 21, 2010 then this is quite an old bottle. Shame on you, local distributor. This bottle is being served at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and is being poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
The cork comes off easily and a lively stream of champagne-like bubbles rushes to the surface, aggravating the layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, effectively distributing it back into the beer. A moderate pour into the glass yields an explosive two-finger head. An effervescent stream of bubbles aggressively ascends from the nucleation point of the glass, the likes of which I have not seen in this particular vessel. As a result, head retention is very good. Patchy lacing sticks to the wall of the glass. The beer is light-golden in hue, and apart from the chunky sediment now reintroduced into the beer, it looks very clear. The sediment is an unfortunate detriment to an otherwise fine looking brew.
The aroma is giving off mostly lactic sour notes, though a tempered wheaty snap waits subversively in the wings. It is a little peppery and closer examination reveals faint remnant of the classic banana and clove combo. The scent of solvent-like alcohol eventually surfaces. Mostly however, it smells like lambic or perhaps saison. This is my first experience with Tripel Karmeliet, and I was not expecting a sour by any description on the label. Could it be a pleasant surprise, or perhaps an unfortunate infection?
Though the taste is not overtly sour, there seems to be something amiss with this bottle. Again, this is my first experience with this beer so I won't know for sure until the next one. On the front end, sweet tropical fruitiness dominates. There are hints of pineapple, but those hints are quickly overtaken by a banana flavor so intense and artificial, you'd swear that you were drinking Laffy Taffy. It blends into a solvent-like alcohol flavor that has obviously mellowed with age, but is still potent enough to be off-putting. As expected, there is no apparent hop bitterness; but this beer is in desperate need of something to balance, or at least challenge, the onslaught of banana. Now I'm kind of wishing that it was a sour.
As a bright point, I must say that this beer feels really good in the mouth. The velvety feel of alcohol gives this a nice weight that isn't too heavy. The violent carbonation had spent itself within minutes. Thus, the stinging carbonic bite I was expecting simply did not manifest. It warms the throat, perhaps a touch more than I would care for. However, it's not a deal-breaker.
This is one odd tripel. If you had given this to me blindly and told me that it was malt liquor, I would say "Bravo! This is fantastic." However as an authentic Belgian tripel it is an unbalanced mess and a disappointment to boot. On top of that, it had me all fooled into thinking I was going to be treated to a nice gueuze, which I am now craving. At $11 a bottle, there are much better triples to be had, but I am also inclined to give this one a second chance. After all, if I am reading the date correctly, this beer is a year and a half beyond peak freshness.
07-17-2012 01:00:55 | More by weizenbob
More User Reviews:
4.25/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
10-26-2004 00:32:35 | More by oberon
3.43/5 rDev -19.7%
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.
11-06-2003 05:48:55 | More by Popsinc
4.47/5 rDev +4.7%
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 its a unique flavor thats sprinkled with more spice and a soft, fluffy feel. Venoms, 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 its 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 its 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.
08-08-2003 02:06:33 | More by RoyalT
4.68/5 rDev +9.6%
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.
03-27-2006 21:09:49 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.25/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
03-11-2006 03:32:18 | More by kaimcm
4.3/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
11-18-2007 07:22:37 | More by hopsleeroy
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
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.
04-02-2008 01:30:31 | More by SIRIUS2
4.4/5 rDev +3%
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.
06-01-2012 00:41:04 | More by steelerguy
4.33/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
12-03-2009 02:51:04 | More by blackearth
4.15/5 rDev -2.8%
A: a semi-translucent pour with a thin white cloudy head that leaves spotty lacing.
S: very faint hints of yeast, wheat, and malts. nothing overpowering.
T: some initial smoothness of a fruit medley that digresses to a sweet belgian finish, a tapestry of wheats and grains.
MF/D: smooth throughout, a sessionable tripel, pleasing from the initial taste to the exhale.
09-15-2010 00:39:56 | More by newk340
4.4/5 rDev +3%
750. Pours into a Duvel tulip a hazy golden color. Smell is fairly muted, with some lemon and a bit of wheat (overall, a typical tripel aroma). The taste is spicy, with a medicinal quality (although not at all bad, as the Unibroue 2004 was), and a wheaty tang. Alcohol is quite present, and the taste is rather funky. I like it. Mouthfeel is nice and full, if slightly syrupy. Despite the alcohol, the taste is very drinkable.
Overall, this is a great tripel, and at 7 bucks for this 750, it's an amazing value. Tasty, soothing, warming, refreshing: This is a perfect beer for an almost-spring night. (If I find more, I'm definitely stocking up.)
03-13-2005 04:40:18 | More by skybluewater
4.35/5 rDev +1.9%
On tap 4/23/05 at Lunar Brewing during the BA Gathering. Poured into an awesome large Tripel Karmeliet glass...a bright golden color with a huge three finger creamy white head that is in for the long haul. Awesome! Aromas are grand with a lovely spiciness with cloves and coriander. A myriad of fruit tones waft up into my nose...tropical and sweet. Great to just sit and smell.
First sip is a rush of sweet light malty goodness. There's a divine balance between the sweet fruity flavors (tropical fruits, bananas, citrus) and the spiciness that has some coriander, clove and cracked black pepper to it. A nice hint of Belgian yeastiness on the way down brings it all together nicely. Sublime stuff.
Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and rather light on the palate. A refreshing, satisfying brew. I could easily drink loads of this if given the chance...especially off tap in the proper glassware. A treat of a tripel and highly recommended.
05-08-2005 03:33:13 | More by orbitalr0x
Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 3,059 ratings.