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Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,699 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2699
Reviews: 1157
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.33%


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)
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Ratings: 2,699 | Reviews: 1,157 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of EPseja
EPseja

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

NOTE [04-22-2005]: Review edited based on my latest tasting. Appearance from 4.0 to 5.0. Smell from 4.5 to 5.0. Taste from 4.5 to 5.0.

Additional tasting notes:

A: Large, rocky, river foamy, micro-bubble head with a bright "what's in the Pulp Fiction briefcase?" golden color. Fantastic.

S: Everything a Tripel is supposed to smell like is embodied in this beer, however no one particular scent ever dominates the others. A masterful blend.

T: I attempted to find any detriment in the taste be it departure from style, off flavors, or anything but could not. This is the perfect Tripel.
___
Original 01-06-2005 review below:

Shared this Magnum bottle with two beer-tasting friends of mine, on the recommendation of Mr. Richard Tingle, the beer manager at Oak Tree Discount Wines & Spirits in South Plainfield, NJ.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, golden honey color. Tiny micro-bubbles forming a thin self-repleneshing head.

Smell: Sweet grains, mild honey, and bubble gum coupled with rosy floral notes from the hops. Clean Belgian Tripel esthers. Very appealing.

Taste: Super well rounded. Excellent balance of sweetness and bitterness. For and 8% beer, alcohol is virtually non-present in the taste, but leaves a warming feeling in the finish along with a dash of hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation. Infinitesimally small bubbles that make for a creamy and velvety but crisp and clean mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easy to drink. Superb mouthfeel and wonderful taste make this one an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2005 19:47:49 | More by EPseja
Photo of KoG
KoG

Nevada

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heaven in a bottle.

Golden color with a fuffy white head that slowly fades as you drink leaving a good amount of chunky lacing.

Smell is very pleasant. Spicy with a slight fruityness and a hint of grain and sweet malts. Corriander and possibly clove make a good showing.

Taste is superb. No trace of alcohol, starting slightly fruity with a slight sweetness. Fades off into a good spicy hop finish that doesn't dry out the mouth. No off flavors at all, just strictly solid flavors.

Best beer I've ever had. At 8% ABV it might not be a sessionable beer, but that won't stop me from having a few, now to find it in a closer location than Oregon.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 02:00:37 | More by KoG
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge

Illinois

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This tripel produces massive amounts of yellowish white head, and has champagne like carbonation to it. The body is slightly hazy and dark gold in color.

The aromas are fruity. I detect hints of apple and pear.

The taste is very inviting. It is very apple like, with hints of white grape. The taste also reminds me a bit of ginger ale.

This brew is very refreshing and altogether well balanced. It's also got the typical warm alcoholic quality to it.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 17:28:33 | More by TheSarge
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle. I love painted bottles and this one had a cool label. The neck had a small paper label with a best by date of May08. It had a slightly hazy golden color with bits of yeast floating especially towards the end of the pour. The bottle gave a loud pop and the cork nearly shot out of my hands. It had a massive 4 finger whitish head that slowly, slowly settled to a constant foam with great lacing. The aroma was incredible. It was fruity with a ton of spice. It really reminded me of the better wit smells. The mouthfeel was creamy and has the perfect amount of carb (which was constantly bubbling from the bottle of the snifter). The taste was also incredible. The problem I have with most tripels is that the great flavors get overpowered by the high ABV. This one is on the lower end of the ABV range and is perfectly balanced. The spiciness just washes over your palette and has you reaching for more. Overall, an incredible beer that I can't recommend enough. I try to rarely give out all 5's but I couldn't find a single area that didn't truly deserve it. (5, RR, T, Y, HOF)

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 02:00:06 | More by TexIndy
Photo of gonzo46and2
gonzo46and2

Florida

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

200th review and this was a great one. I loved this beer and would consider it in the top three beers I've ever had.

Pours a bright copper with orange highights. The head started huge but mostly diminished leaving blobs of lacing behind.

The aroma is huge on this one! Buttered biscuits, banana, spices like clove, cinamon, nutmeg, pear, apple, soft alchohol when cold and more pronounced as it warms up, sugar cookies... I could go on and on.

Flavor came in waves and was very full reflecting mostly what was in the nose. Very complex. Very much on the sweet side. Very much like a rich dessert.

Body was medium on the thin side and totally refreshing. Carbonation was soft enough...just right.

Finish seemed balanced and clean with a slight dryness to counter the initial sweetness.

This is what craft beer is about.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 03:04:58 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of rhollman
rhollman

Nebraska

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Slightly hazed, pale golden yellow and towering white head

Smell - Sweet floral aroma

Taste - Wonderful burst of flavor, complex but not overwhelming

Mouth Feel - Starts crisp, ends smooth, finish is slightly sweet

Drinkability - The perfect tripel. Not too much bubbly, malty, slightly sweet with just the right amount of bitter, smooth with several distinctive flavours. A perfect beer for before, during and after meals - Magnificent!

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2009 19:30:53 | More by rhollman
Photo of Thia417
Thia417

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the Tripel Karmeliet on tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver when I flew out for GABF '09. I've had the it bottled before and enjoyed it, but on tap it just blew me away. This is my new favorite beer and I don't usually like Belgians.

I'm no pro at describing beers and why I like them. But here's my attempt:

The head was light and foamy.
The aroma was floral, fruity and slightly spicy.
The taste was so smooth and wonderful. It perfectly melded the malt and citrus taste together. I want to say it had a slight pear taste to it, but I'm horrible at picking out specific flavors. Either way, I greatly enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2010 14:57:11 | More by Thia417
Photo of WhiteOak
WhiteOak

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marked 08/09

A- Bright, comparatively clear medium yellow. Big, foamy, snow white head of coarse bubbles.

S- Perfect.

Seriously.

What a perfume on this beer! It doesn't get much better than this, and if it does, I want to know where. Spices, yeast, sweet malt, tropical flowers/fruits, champagne, bread dough, buttery shortbread, green apple.

T- Tripel Karmeliet drinks as beautifully as it smells. The entire composition of this beer is magnificent. Delicious. The sweet rich malt has grafted together with the spicy phenolic flavors to perfection. Very alluring, it is hard to put this beer down. Decadent satisfaction here.

M, D- Nearly flawless feel -- just as the full-bodied sweet/spice coats the palate, the CO2 washes away just the right portion of it to make you want to hit the repeat button, over, and over, and over....

Superb.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 22:16:37 | More by WhiteOak
Photo of TimHoss
TimHoss

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first triplel and still my favorite. Use the appropriate glassware and you will enjoy every aspect of this beer. The head is thick and has a complexity all it's own. You will pick up on banana and vanilla flavors along with spices that make this drink exceptionall. Great full body with a golden, slightly cloudy appearance. The combination of flavor is outstanding. The finish is spicy and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 00:40:11 | More by TimHoss
Photo of Manoftyr
Manoftyr

New York

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours a picture perfect Tripel clear golden color with a thick crown of solid white head as bubbles cascade up from the bottom of the chalice, feeding it, forming new layers of bubbles from the bottom up. Lacing is abundant and the head is beyond persistent, it simply refuses to go down and remains at a perpetually perfect finger and a half.

Aroma-Extremely spicy and fruity, intense Belgian character; I pick up a ton of cloves and cardamon, even a hint of pepper. Lots of fruit too; pears, apples, apricots, lime zest and more assorted aromas I'm probably missing, but it's there; they're all there. There's a well-integrated aroma of spicy alcohol as well that forms an intrical part of the aroma. This smells amazing.

Taste-I am impressed, amazed even; this beer is incredible. It's such a symphony of orchard fruits and various spices, it's dry, it's sweet, it's spicy all at once! I really can't think of the adjectives to describe it, it's just wonderful.

Mouthfeel-Perfectly crisp with ample carbonation and a medium-full body, smoothe as silk thanks to the perfect levels of carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall-Yeah, perfect; just perfect, goes down as easy as anything but its complexities demand it be sipped. I cannot get enough of this Tripel.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 01:17:26 | More by Manoftyr
Photo of csrbv
csrbv

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first time tasting this bar--bought as a leftover giftpack with 4 bottles ands a tulip glass.
This is the best tripel I have ever had--which btw is my favorite beer style.
Clear golden color with streaming bubbles; nice white head died down to uneven white cap
Golden aromas of grain and bread/toast
Refreshing; grain bill shows through with light flavors of bread and just a hint of hops
Pretty standard medium carbonation; thin, crisp body overall
Delicious in my book; the lightly toasted bread and grain is a treat.

Just a fantastic brew; my new favorite!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 19:53:04 | More by csrbv
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazingly crystal clear super light blonde color with lots of visible effervescence with a craggy and huge bright white head. Dry biscuit on the nose with dry fruits, melons and apples, touch of bananas with faint herbal spicy hop aroma.

Light bodied with champagne like effervescence. Surprisingly mild in flavor which is awesome, light toasty graininess, dry biscuits, sweet fruitiness along the mid-palate with an extremely dry and clean finish with an earthy herbal hop flavor. Extremely subtle with delicate flavors that layer beautifully. Light refreshingly and full of immense subtle character that is in perfect balance.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 03:02:18 | More by jtierney89
Photo of jackndan
jackndan

Illinois

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Triple Karmeliet: On tap. Fantastic! The triple refers to three grains: barley, oats, and wheat. Highly carbonated, very nice head. Aroma vaguely smells of oranges, and coriander. The taste is sweet/yeast taste, and pressed oranges, with a perfectly balanced Belgian taste. This is a very, very good beer: on tap, it is one of the five best beers I’ve ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2002 12:43:23 | More by jackndan
Photo of dansteino
dansteino

Louisiana

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I fell in love with this beer the first time that I tasted it.

Pours a great glass with a wonderful head.

The citrus element on the nose and in the taste provides a perfect complement to this sweet brew.

Extraordinarily tasty and complex at the same time.

For $6.99 a bottle -- what a bargain!!!

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 08:32:27 | More by dansteino
Photo of orz
orz

Netherlands

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Oh my! The bottle is beautiful! The best brand label I have ever seen. Makes you want to open it as soon as possible. But the beer itself: Cloudy lemon color, wonderful white head, which unfortunately collapses after several minutes.

S: Citrus and yeast. Really pleasant and tempting.

T: Orange, yeast and malts. It tastes like mix of ale and wheat beer. Intriguing connection.

M: Creamy, medium bodied, perfect carbonation. No trace of alcohol.

D: WOW! I guess that's the best (along with St. Bernardus Abt 12) beer I have ever had!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 21:05:41 | More by orz
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow

New Jersey

4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served at cellar temperature, this will be imbibed from arguably the most beautiful Belgian beer glass ever created... the brewery's own oversize goblet.

Appearance- The crystal clear, golden beer pours quietly into the glass... then with fortitude, the crown billows three fingers tall, climbing upwards and settling firmly to a thick, soapy mat. Long, island-like lacing drapes the interior of the vessel.

Smell- The perfume that wafts from this glass is other-worldly. I've enjoyed drinking this beer for many years now, and I will always savor and muse over its stunning display of spices, flowers, and succulent sweetness. The aroma simply cannot be justly described in words, it must be properly absorbed by the senses, experienced for oneself.

Taste- Fantastic to the point of worship... this beer has a crisp, firm malt backbone that sets the stage for an Olympic display of fruity spices and hops to dazzle the palate. Phenomenally amazing.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Aside from the initial overly-excited burst of efferevescence, the texture is soft and full with a mouth-filling presence that reaches all areas of the tasting spectrum. An absolute classic in the art of Belgian brewing, this is the one beer I will support and recommend to anyone looking for the best of the best.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 05:22:44 | More by yelterdow
Photo of RichardMNixon
RichardMNixon

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a straw body with a lively head that fades to a persistent fizz. Lacing is short-lived but vibrant.
Wonderful aromas of yeast and a surprising amount of spice. Gets fruitier as it warms.
Carbonation starts high for my taste but gets lower and very smooth given time.
Tripel isn't a style I'm generally fond of, but I'll be getting some more of this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 23:33:07 | More by RichardMNixon
Photo of STEELERFAN2390
STEELERFAN2390

Florida

4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

THIS IS THE BEST TRIPEL MADE.

A-pours a creamy golden yellow ,with crazy bubbles streaming.

S-lemon -pepper , grains, breads,vanilla ,banana,some clove and spices.

T-has a hint of alcohol ,but this is where this beer impresses. at first its lemon zest grainy flavor is robust ,followed by a smooth ,crisp and refreshing dryness to finish like a champagne.
OUTSTANDING! ...very poundable.

M-the carbonation is great ,and really brings out the sweet/bitter dryness that is epic!

O-this is my favorite beer in this style. It is a little on the lighter side as far as look and taste and is very drinkable ..it has a uniqueness that supersedes anything it lacks in tradition.

purchased at total wine in naples,fl for 15.99$ for a 4-pk of 11.2 oz bottles.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 21:17:44 | More by STEELERFAN2390
Photo of KingG
KingG

California

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ML corked and caged.
Served chilled and poured into a Weizen glass.
Heard good things about this beer. Let's give it a whirl.

Appearance is very good. Enormous head off the initial pour that clumps together the longer it sits and forms a marshmallow-thick cap. A lot of carbonation bubbles rising to the head rapidly. Color of the beer is pale yellow.

Smell is exceptional. HUGE smell here. Sweet, nutty malts, earthy grains, Semi-sweet Belgian candy sugar, tingly spices, and unripe fruit. Amazing fragrance.

Taste is exceptional. Candy sugar up front, honeydew and wheat with an earthy oatmeal kick at the finish. Refreshing and very tasty. Quite complex for the style. Impressive.

Mouthfeel is very good. Clean on the palate. Carbonation is perfect for the style; bubbly but overly so.

Drinkability is exceptional. Can a beer be more drinkable than this? I think not. having already finished half the bottle i feel as though i could kill a keg of this wonderful elixir. 8% alc is non-existent (besides the buzz i'm already feeling).

Overall: Possibly my favorite Tripel, taking over St. Bernardus' Tripel. An absolute pleasure to put down and a new regular here at the pad. The perfect summer beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2007 01:38:01 | More by KingG
Photo of animal69
animal69

Louisiana

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a very young sample, BOD 11/07, pours an almost clear golden color w/ 1" of pillowy white foam that never really settles all the way down leaving an almost unbroken lacing in my snifter ; a strong smell, loads of bready pils malts, and a mostly floral hop aroma blended w/ fruits and some hot alcohol make for a sweet "beer perfume" ; a crisp, faintly tart flavor made up of a huge malt front, cereal grain with a hint of nuts(?), greener fruits and a bit of grassy hop bite, some caramel and hints of raison midway, finishes smooth, dry and alcoholic, incredible overall flavor ; extremely dry, actually quite light bodied and ever effervescing, excellent mouthfeel ; not only drinkable, but addictive, i can't say enough, this stuff ROCKS !!!...

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 22:22:01 | More by animal69
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.9/5  rDev +15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2005 16:33:48 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Served up in official glassware at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse, has a golden slightly orange hazed hue with a frothy egg shell white colored head measures four fingers deep this in the very artistic tulip shaped glass, forms fine intricate Belgian style lacing as it dwindles slowly. Aroma: Spicy black pepper note teamed with a slightly grassy hop character matched with tropical fruit notes of melon and fresh pineapple, what a nice blend of everything some mild acohol is present but very nice. Taste: Somewhat bitter for a Belgian Triple the bitey hop profile pairs nicely with the mango and melon honey tinged malt tones with a slightly alcoholic edge some funky yeast notes finishes dry excellent triple. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent carbonation slightly syrupy in nature but glides across the palate very silky. Drinkability is amazingly effortless this is one of the greats from Belgium, solid complex layered flavors blend so nicely this brew comes together.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2005 00:47:41 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Braudog
Braudog

Virginia

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the 75cl champagne bottle. I chuckled to myself as I recalled the old Miller "champagne of beers" campaign as I popped the cork out of this legitimate claimant of that title. This looked and poured like a barley champagne ... pale yellow with a gigantic poofy, airy, bright white carbonic head that actually squeezes atop my tulip glass and stands on it’s own with a 1/4-inch protruding well beyond the lip before it subsides, slowly and elegantly. The aroma is airy and extremely fruity, not unlike a carbonated lemonade! This drinks like a dream ... light and airy, with light and fruity flavors, yet with a big robust character. Sweet lemon, light yeast. I believe I’ve discovered a prototype for all the good beers of the world. There are fewer and fewer bad beers in the world, but there are also few exceptional beers. This is one of them.(#2725, 2/23/2007)

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 02:07:36 | More by Braudog
Photo of techdiver
techdiver

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy pale amber with a massive white head that dissipates slowly leaving a solid quarter inch cap.

Nose is of honey and malt with some herbal notes.

Taste is spectacular, this has to be the best Tripel I've tried yet. A complex brew that borders on sweet, but not in any derogatory way. Hops affect in a minimal way. Alcohol is perceptible in the finish.

Medium bodied, displays great carbonation.

The most enjoyable Tripel yet. Extremely drinkable, this stuff is awesome. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2007 03:37:39 | More by techdiver
Photo of PatrickJR
PatrickJR

North Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into red wine glass.

My initial thoughts after a couple of glasses so far: absoWOWlutely freaking delicious.

A - A shade darker than gold with a very slight haze (chill haze?). Huge 3 fingers of head form with fairly short retention. No lacing.

S - SPICE. The only word I can use to describe what immediately jumps out at me. Pepper, onion, coriander, and traces of mint and tea. It's difficult to describe the combination, but it's mainly of savory spices with an herbal accent. In the background there's a suggestion of fermented fruit (apples and pears) and a touch of raw dough.

T - Can it get any better? Hell yes, because it does. Early onset of sweetness, reminds me of a malt liquor (which isn't a bad thing at all in my book) with notes of overripe pears and sour apples. A general spiciness including garlic, cut grass, alcohol, and coriander rides atop a backbone of fermenting dough. Sweetness and fruitiness dissipates mid to late palate allowing the oniony/garlic flavor to pull through fully with a marvelous accent from the otherwise unnoticable alcohol. Shortly thereafter, a small bitterness pulls through with mild phenolic characteristics. Some slight iodine, medicinal, and salty flavors mingle with the alcohol for a semi-dry and mildly bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied with just a hair or two towards light. Carbonation seems somewhat variable to me; some sips it's a bit prickly and others it's just enough to accentuate the balancing sour and bitter flavors in the brew. I give it a moderate/high vote, though it manages a wonderful sweet and sour character despite this.

D - I hate that most Belgian beers are packaged in 750ml bottles because I often don't want to drink that much of such intensely flavored beers. Karmeliet however is outstanding, and I will gladly finish the last 1/3 of this bottle. Phenomenal stuff. The alcohol is detectable in flavor only rather than a burn on the throat. Carbonation is near perfect allowing for a sense of quaffability. Damn. I really don't know what else to say about this beer except that, after nearly 600 brews, this is one of the best things I have ever tasted.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2009 07:58:56 | More by PatrickJR
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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 2,699 ratings.