Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

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Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,622 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,622
Reviews: 1,257
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 253
Gots: 615 | 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: 3,622 | Reviews: 1,257
Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A bright golden-colored ale with a slight haze. It pours with a thick, cloudy white head that eventually dissipates into a thin but persistent layer of foam.

Smell: Banana, pear and spice - it almost reminds me of a hefe weizen, but with tart, dry undertones reminiscent of a tripel.

Taste/texture: Opens with a pronounced banana flavor, slowly becoming more dry and spiced as it sits on the tongue. A slight warming alcohol presence is felt, but it's not a detraction. A bit syrupy on the palate, making it more of a sipping beer than a session beer. Overall a great tripel.

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 mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

believe it or not i had not had this one before this night. i decided to go out with a bang and ordered up a glass of this one to round out the night. served chilled and poured into a glass on 11/07/2010.

really not the pour i was expecting, for some reason i thought it would be much darker, but the light golden hue of it had a nice cloudiness to it that seemed to come through nicely with a bit of lacing around the sides.

aroma is light bready notes and hints of banana, cloves, pears, light tart apples and a touch of spice on the edges. clean, very clean flavor that it is very hard to find really any fault here in that. super clean with light body and a nice medium palate with hints of grain and light fruits that seem to dance all over the place. light bears and nice touches of fruit and light spice. smooth, clean finish and absent abv lead to just a great mix of flavor and drinkablility.

overall it deserved all that it deserves, really a great and light an highly drinkable beer.

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle at Beer Bistro in downtown Toronto.

Into a huge, solidly-built Karmeliet chalice, this beer pours a hazy pale golden yellow colour, with a teeming amount of bottle-conditioned, egregiously puffy, thinly foamy, and somewhat soapy eggshell white head, which leaves some broad melting iceberg profile lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of fruity Belgian yeast - astringent and sweet at the same time - candi sugar bolstered pale malt, sedate caramel, tropical orchard fruit, clove, coriander, and white pepper spice, straw and hay-like hop notes, and mildly edgy booze. The taste is mirror-world caramel and vanilla, both warming and low-key in their overt sugary character, more fruity yeast - dry banana and lemon, mostly - subtly edgy alcohol, lightly zingy cloves, and some put-upon breakfast cereal graininess.

The carbonation is rather high-palate frothy from the get go, but does eventually settle to a more moderate level, the body on the wan side of medium weight, generally smooth and kind of slick. It finishes reservedly, but still quite sweet, with that warm, reducing caramel essence, countered by the lingering yeast and alcohol dryness.

A pleasant enough Tripel, the high booze quotient at least tempered by the various (ok, '3') malt inputs, as well as the particularly active yeast. Decent, but exhibiting perhaps a bit too much heat to be considered all that drinkable, though it will likely steel me for the stroll back to my hotel on a so-so Toronto mid-late winter evening.

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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 zeff80
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, high carbonated, orange hue. It had a very fizzy, white, foamy, three-finger head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled very fruity!! It really smelled of cherry and apples. Also, some phenolic aromas.

T - It tasted of yeast, clove and grains. The alcohol taste was also present. It had a nice spicy kick.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice tripel. I had been looking for it and finally found one. I really enjoyed it.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Alpharetta, Georgia

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dulled golden body with a very tall, meringue-like, white head.

Smell: Lightly tangy, faintly grainy malts with a coating of ground spices and a spritz of potent spirits trailed by notes of blendered fruits and zestful herbs.

Taste: Starts sweet, quite sweet, actually, with a taste of sugary honey candies. Tangy wheatiness, then a variety of flavors cross the tongue, including: 'nanas, green apples, lemon juice, orange marmalade, chopped coriander, and a light pinch of white pepper. Restrained floral character midway. Slight, subtle bitterness. Some heat from the alcohol as you arrive at the drying, fruit finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation, lively and a bit fizzy at times.

Overall: A very solid, well-made representation of the tripel style.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stella Artois globe at The Office in St. Charles.

It's VDubb's rehearsal dinner, and this beer stood out for me on the menu. It's been too long since my last Karmeliet. This stuff pours a mostly clear gold topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises cracked wheat, light black pepper, clove, restrained citrus (I imagine a small, literally-fruity straightjacket), and Belgian yeast. The taste brings in more of the same, with the yeast and its spices dancing their way into my heart (or, at least more directly, my stomach). The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, as solid a tripel as I remember, this one tends toward the drier, more saison-like end of the spectrum than the sweeter end. It's good times regardless.

Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours with a huge, three finger head of white foam on a slightly hazy, golden body. The head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Earthy, musty hops with some bready, pilsner malt in the background.

T - Sweet, bready pilsner malt up front. Some fruity notes of pear peek out in the middle before being swallowed up by phenolic yeast as pepper and clove takes over in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body, very high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Nicely done, the malt is readily apparent, but it takes a back seat to the spicy yeast and musty hops.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 10/9/08 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a large tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of spice, light malts, Belgian yeast, fruit, bubble gum and a little hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with flavors of spices, banana, apples and Belgian yeast up front. There's a mild but complimentary hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down real easy, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent higher-gravity and flavorful Belgian to drink for a long time.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear yellow gold with a thick white white head. (A little too clear and yellow IMO.) Nose is a lot of grains with a defined sweet tone. Flavor brings the sweet as well in a consistent and smooth delivery. Spices are in there as well as a minor amount of dough. Feel has a pretty vibrant carbonation. Liquid is smooth. A new classic and a must try. Could also be a good gateway beer for those about to dip their toe into the Belgians.

Photo of Slatetank
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed this on draft at Sharp Edge Creekhouse in Pittsburgh. Served cool in the Karmeliet tulip.

A - A crystal clear straw w/ white cap that measures an inch and condenses to about 1/8 inch leaving little lace.

S - A honey and sweet lemony spice w/ coriander accented by a tropical fruit note and light oaky scent

M - Sweet, spiced dry w/ a creamy element and moderate carbonation w/ med to full body. An excellent representation of the style -leaves an impression and the feel still goes on after the taste

T - A green melon flavor w/ slight herbal hops in the initial flavors. The spice in the yeast and grain give this a nutty taste w/ a gentle yeasty breadiness w/ tea like refreshing qualities. The crisp herbal flavor is accent w/ nutty dry and subtle malty, grainy flavor w/ a cereal like sweetness and gentle boozy finish.
The hops add to the flavor w/ subtle spice and a sort of mown hay aspect that is very tasty w/ toasty smoothness.

D - An absolute classic yet more of a Saison w/ its spice and earthiness. A very excellent tastte and definitely must be tried on draft. I consider this a unique and fine Tripel that is very accessible and well crafted. World Class, must be experienced.

Photo of Jason
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown slender bottle with a freshness date on the back label.

Appearance: Slightly hazed pale amber with a thinnish white lace.

Smell: Touch of honey like sweetness, soft vanilla and medicinal phenols that are a little herbal. Malt is evident and yeast gives an earthy character to the aroma.

Taste: Prickly carbonation with a warming and spicy alcohol wakes the palate up, medium to full in body donning a syrupy sweet mouth feel. Estery and fruity of mangos and star fruit, mild peppery taste in the middle. Hops are insignificant and are only in play to balance this big brew. Phenols are present and do leave a medicinal herbal flavour but not overdone at all. Some husk from the drying grain is in the finish and the warmth of the alcohol get more and more towards the bottom of the glass.

Notes: Quite the alcoholic brew, big boisterous and complex. Perhaps over the top but still a brew to reckon with. A good cheese pairing would be with a nice creamy Danish Blue and some rye crackers.

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle (love the art work on it) opens with a thunderous pop. Pours deep golden/ bronze, effervescent with 4 fingers+ white meringe (sp?) head. Started getting floaties towards the bottom of the bottle. Good lacing & head retention

S: Big lemony hops & straw perfume

T: Honey malt, citric hops (grapefruit & lemon) & a peppery yeast bite up front. Fruttyness follows (appleskins& apricots). Breadyness & jam flavors follow. Finishses fruitty, with lemony & juicy& peppery flavors

MF: Slick (maybe this what the oats bring to the party?) with low carbonation

This was just so-so in drinkability, trippels aren't my favorite style & this one was just l little to ponderous for my tastes. Tripel fans will like this a lot more than I did

Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at the Belgian Cafe, Philly, PA

An overall great brew, with a variety of flavors that reveal themselves at just the right times.

Poured into a signature stem glass, an amber-honey color, hazy, with a huge puff of foamy white head that almost floats right out of the glass. Retains well and leaves some delicate lacing. Aroma is full of spice and perfume, with essences of fruit. Light and crisp on the tongue with a cavalcade of flavors: herbs and floral perfume give way to peach, pear, melons, orange blossom, and a touch of banana esters, with a ubiquitous peppery sensation. Tasty all over, with hints of its relatively high alcohol content. Medium-bodied, complex, full of flavor, and highly drinkable.

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 kojevergas
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap into 20cl Fest stemware at Beer Passion Weekend 2011, Antwerp. Reviewed from notes.

A: Two finger head of soft delicate cream, good thickness, and great retention. Clear yellow lemon colour.

Sm: Lemon citrus esters. A light strength scent.

T: Lemon citrus ester hops over a weak overburdened barley foundation. Simple but refreshing. Balanced and well built.

Mf: Smooth, wet, but adequate coarseness to bring out the flavours. Complex.

Dr: Nice drinkability, decent quality. Fair price. Give her a spin, lads.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold color, fine white head, and fortunately poured into it's own particularly shaped glass.

Aroma is uplifting, arousing, sensual, jumping with fruitiness, peaches, tangerines, apricots, citrus, lemon, alive with bright, sunny flavors, and a joyful honey/candy sweetness.

Absolute happiness results from a mere sip of this glorious brew, growing with each new drip down the lips!
Yeast, also, does some work towards delivering the drinker to Beer Nirvana, creating a warm, bready feeling. Body is somewhat light and buoyant, palate is delicate and delicious. Soft, sweet malt, long and lingering, rewarding finish, always accompanied by a tidy, tasteful dance of hops upon the tongue. Ahhh!

Unfortunately, this happy ride was all-too brief, for the otherwise unredoubtable pub poured a meager 8 ounces. Geez, guys, I'd pay an extra $.50 for another 2 ounces, and willingly, too!

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75 cl bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a hazy golden color with three fingers of fluffy white head that has great retention and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, yeast, bananas, cloves, lemons, citrus, and floral notes. Smells great. I saw in someones review that they described it as having a gin and tonic smell and I can definitely catch some of that every now and then.

t - Tastes of bananas, cloves, Belgian yeast, bready malts, spices, lemon, citrus, sweet fruit, and floral hops. Again, very nice. The taste is a lot sweeter than the nose and what I was expecting.

m - Light body and moderate to high carbonation. A bit creamy, very nice mouthfeel.

d - A very nice Belgian tripel. I thought this one smelled great and was very drinkable. Would love to have again sometime.

Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Explosive head--with a gentle pour, the head still takes up more than half of the glass. The beer is straw gold in color and quite clear.

Large alcohol and grasslike malt aromas

The smell comes through in the flavor...very much as expected. The alcohol is very warming after the swallow. Very light hop.

Classic barley wine flavors

Photo of drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served in a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Beer is dark yellow and hazy. Forms a big white head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Beer is heavily carbonated.

Aroma is strong and sweet with minimal spice and some breadiness from the yeast.

Beer is medium body with some forward and midpalate sweetness. Very nice overall. Finishes a little dry but not bad. Some sweet malt in the midpalate with some fruit esters. A very nice beer overall. A good tripel and I've had it a lot.

Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy gold with a thick white foamy head that descends to a covering. Some lacing is left.

It has a perfumy aroma. Sugar-coated fruits stand out.

The taste is of soft, sweet fruits - slices of apple, banana and orange peel. Some alcohol notes are evident and stick around without much interference. Bready yeast is easily detectable. Some perfumy spices are in the mix. It's sweet, but not cloying. Just enough subtle hops put the breaks on the sweetness so that it does not become overwhelming.

It's creamy and very smooth. The flavors hang on, along with an alcohol bite.

A nice sipping brew. A delicate, floral fruitiness is the main characteristic. On the sweet side, even for style, but not cloying. A nice "ocassional" treat.

Photo of superspak
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, best by 3/29/2011. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger dense off white head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts the entire glass. Decent lacing on the glass; with extremely ample carbonation streaming up and keeping a dense head going. Aromas of big pepper, clove, lemon zest, grass, coriander, biscuit, orange peel, herbs, and yeast spices. Fantastic and well balanced aromas. Taste of big pepper, herbal, lemon zest, clove, biscuit, coriander, orange peel, grass, and yeast spices. Fairly dry finish; but some lingering notes of herbal, citrus peel, biscuit, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Medium high carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Fair amount of prickly carbonation initially that dies down in the glass. Very smooth and drinkable for 8.4%; with only a slight alcohol warming on the finish. Overall this is an incredible Tripel, as I was expecting it to be. Fantastic and unique flavors; with great balance, complexity, and smoothness. It has taken me far too long to finally try this one.

Photo of chinchill
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass from a tap at Barley's in Greenville SC

A: Pours a bright, pale honey/golden color, with a small-to-moderate size, exceptionally creamy head. Head has good retention, at least as a ring.

S&T: Light and fruity, although no specific fruit comes to the fore. Clove and banana elements, but less pronounced than in some tripels. Honey too. The aroma is a bit boozy, but in a positive way ... think fine brandy or liquer.

M: Very smooth, with a bit of alcohol warming. Nice, light carbonation.

Overall: One of the best tasting tripels I have ever had. Complex and flavorful, but not challenging. Very refined. Makes an excellent sipper, and I took a good long time to finish my serving, enjoying every sip.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with some moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall fizzy (like ginger ale) white head that reduces to thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of light fruit (pear), Belgian yeast, banana, clove, lemon zest, and some floral notes.

T: Very similar to the smell, the taste of this beer starts out with the flavors of light fruits (pear and apple), Belgian yeast with some spiciness, banana, and clove.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp and pretty dry, especially in the finish.

O: This beer is enjoyable and relatively refreshing even though there is a fairly high ABV in which the alcohol is detectable. This is much more of a sipping beer but is very good. Very good example of the style.

Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 3,622 ratings.