Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

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Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,625 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,625
Reviews: 1,257
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 254
Gots: 619 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website
Belgium

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,625 | Reviews: 1,257
Photo of Manoftyr
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Photo of TimHoss
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Photo of Weis_Man
5/5  rDev +16.8%

This is a pricey brew for a reason. I was surprised. Very very good tripel. 3 grain tripel with notes of frui. Perfect carbonation level, and thick head. Smells fruity. Everyone should have this beer. Definitely drink this from a challace.

Photo of jackndan
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of dansteino
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
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!!!

Photo of orz
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
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!

Photo of RichardMNixon
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of yelterdow
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of STEELERFAN2390
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of animal69
4.92/5  rDev +15%
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 !!!...

Photo of KingG
4.92/5  rDev +15%
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.

Photo of stevoj
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle not as satisfying as a tap draw, but the flavor reminds me of the sample I had in Brussels. Thick three finger head fades faster than the tap version, but the flavor is right on. Sharp biscuity snap and strong aroma from the bottle poured into tulip glass. Medium body and lingering tingling on the palate. Flavor is full and satisfying...a real experience.

Photo of interzen
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into a Delerium Tremens tulip glass

Look: Slightly cloudy amber yellow with a fairly 'open' off-white head with good retention and some lacing.

Smell: Smells a bit like your typical witbier, that is to say citrus (mainly orange in this case, some lemony hints), coriander and bit of wheatiness. The grainy smells are fairly well in the background, however.

Flavour: Again, mainly citrus and coriander with the grains playing a supporting role. Definite honey flavours too, which I didn't notice in the smell. Superbly balanced between the fruit and grain flavours.

Feel: Quite a lot of carbonation but otherwise very smooth indeed. Has a bit of a stout like feel (the effect of the oats, perhaps?) without being excessively heavy.

Overall: As tripels go, this one is pretty damned good - manages to pack in 'typical' Belgian witbier flavours (orange peel, coriander etc.) with a good alcohol kick without tasting at all boozy. If you're curious with regard to tripel beers, this is an excellent starting point as well as an excellent beer all round. Heartily recommended.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Ah, perfection. I have had many tripel karmeleits and it is a time for a review. Had at Yard House on tap in Fenway. This has a bland blonde color which masks the taste. Smells of a malty scent. The taste though resonates with a great blend of hops and malt which is hard to match. I like this a lot. Great stand by. My go to fantastic beer. Can't say enough about this perfect beer

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.88/5  rDev +14%
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.

Photo of Bisho
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous Tripel here!

Poured the 330ml bottle it into my Oerbier Glass. Not particularly cloudy with clear golden hues. Approximately a 1 to 2 finger head that disappears quickly leaving a thin white lace. Once settled it looked like molasces in a glass :)

Smell was typically Belgian - Fruity with medicinal phenols but also very herbal, sort of like sweet flowers. It is topped off with vanilla and honey.

Taste was phenomenal! Hints of pepper and spice with orange clove, fruity esters, sweet malt and a hint of vanilla flavour on the back of the palate. The slight sweet caramel aftertaste balanced impeccibly with the alcohol bite on the finish.

As you can tell from my tasting notes, this is a big brew. The mouthfeel just makes it all the more pleasurable too. Silky smooth all the way down even with the noticably high ABV and lively carbonation it presents.

Another BIG tripel with plenty of character that is surprisingly easy to drink! No wonder it's rated by many as one of the best. I have to agree as it is my favourite tripel.

Photo of techdiver
4.88/5  rDev +14%
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.

Photo of Csnowbrown
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap, poured in a 12oz tulip
pours crisp golden with a bit of haze. 1 1/2" rich fluffy head. Aromas of clove spice and fruits, a bit of alcohol.
Taste is very smooth with a full yeast flavor and a long crisp finish. Carbonation is superb!
This is a fantastic beer!

Photo of xmorgan
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a beer worth savoring. Bought a 750ml bottle at Whole Foods. They really upped their beer game. Pours a a cloudy yellowish with full white head. Head retention is next to nil on this beer, and the smell is subtle. However sipping it slowing letting it warm up, one can appreciate the different malts in this beer.

The high alcohol comes across quickly on the palate but then the malts and esters catch up, giving this an almost champagne dryness.

Photo of Braudog
4.88/5  rDev +14%
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)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.88/5  rDev +14%
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 Rastacouere
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice presentation with a big glass with lily flowers drawn on. Hazy olden color with a pretty fine white head, rather large, but it doesnt stay up its throne long. Superb aroma of flowers and fruits. I'm really tempted. Very complex flavor developments in mouth. I can't count all those fruits: orange, banana, apples, lemon. Was that butter? Spicy, yeasty. Refreshing tartness spreading out, more hops than most triples. Comfortable medium mouthfeel that bites the tongue a bit when too fresh, it's so easy to drink it's not even funny. Pleasant aftertaste. Almost ridiculously complex. The perfect type of beer I wish to have more once I'm done with the first bottle. Delicious, the best tripel I've had up to now. Two thumbs up.

Photo of Rapax
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The very first whiff I got of this beer got my synapses activated immidiately. In the blink of an eye I knew I was in for something extraordinary.

The color is that of a mighty lion's fur, best appreciated when in an authentic Tripel Karmeliet glass. When poured correctly this beer creates a snow white foam that seems lighter than air, a beauty too fragile to touch.

Its nose is almost too complex to describe. Spices from all over the globe, it seems, but they are all too elusive to name. Maybe coriander? Sweetness also strikes, perfectly balanced.

Tasting is a continuation of the pleasure I just experienced sniffing it. Sweet, but not overly so. Spices in abundance, like a swirling vortex of colors taken in by my sense of taste rather than by my eyes.

The only thing I could have wished for is a little bit extra mouthfeel. The belgians always seem to like their beers very light, whilst I prefer a little extra body. Well, if there was such a thing as a perfect beer there would be little reason to continue this fantastic hobby, would there?

Photo of ryannosaurus
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 poured to tulip

Appearance is pale gold, hazy. Well over 2 fingers of pure white head which is fairly persistant... amazing head retention for a fairly high abv light body beer.

Aroma is breezy fresh and light: bready wheat, sugar cookie, lemon

Flavor has amazing spice notes... aggressive when cold: basil, cinnamon, coriander, allspice, pepper. Mellows as it warms and the carbonation slackens, rounds out with honey, sugar cookie sweetness and hint of orange.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing, a wonderful lash of C02 masks some big abv

Overall, it is hard to imagine a better Tripel, surprisingly decent value stacked up to some closer to home Tripel's. Some beers chase after style definitions, the rare ones define a style. This would be a case of the latter.

Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 3,625 ratings.