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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

3,342 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,342
Reviews: 1,201
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 204
Gots: 398 | 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: 3,342 | Reviews: 1,201 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by weizenbob:
Photo of weizenbob
3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

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.

Photo of kelkauz
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Delish so good

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.

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.

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.

Photo of davemarc87
4.75/5  rDev +11%

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.

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.

Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of MaxT
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of brownbeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Mac19872
5/5  rDev +16.8%

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.

Photo of mveatch
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

Photo of Spaten454
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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.

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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
96 out of 100 based on 3,342 ratings.