1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,279 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,279
Reviews: 1,196
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 200
Gots: 371 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tripel Karmeliet Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,279 | Reviews: 1,196 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

jwc215, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
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

smcolw, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -6.5%

oriolesfan4, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear, incredibly well carbonated, full gold color with a frothy, rocky, light tan head. The aroma is spicy with notes of sharp ginger, vanilla, clove, tart pear, plus earthy spices like coriander and grains of paradise. The aroma is quite enticing and zippy. The taste is sweet up front and actually get a bit sweeter as the beer moves across my tongue. The high carbonation levels cause it to dance across my tongue and helps to offset the sweetness. The spicy, herbal, astringent character of this beer also helps to offset the sweetness. This beer has notes of orange peel, ginger, pepper, and a bit of cardamom and clove. This beer is quite tasty, but would be that much better if it was not quite so sweet.

Gueuzedude, Sep 06, 2005
Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

kojevergas, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

InspectorBob, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

drewone, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11/05/04- Had on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Appearance- Pours into a tulip glass with a huge white frothy head. Leaves magnificent lacing all over the sides of the glass. Pours a yellowish/amber hued color.

Smell- Doesn't have a lot of smell. A bit of sweetness, maybe lemon. Maybe some spicyness.

Taste- Mmmmm, sweet and fruity. Some nice sweet malty characteristics. Definite fruit tastes. Maybe canned fruit tastes as it is sweet. Lemons, apricots?

Mouthfeel- Nice feel as it slides down your throat. Near perfect carbonation. Very subtle brew.

Drinkability- Can't tell it's got an 8% abv. Hasn't hit me yet and I had two of them. Very tasty and possibly even better in the bottle.

GClarkage, Nov 05, 2004
Photo of Halcyondays
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange, CA,

A: Pours a bright, pale orange colour, with a small, white head, into a Chiamy chalice.

S: Light at first, but as the beer warms up, a nice, phenolic, estery scent comes through.

T: Very complex, one of the best tasting tripels that I have ever had, lots of esters, apple and pear, with a bit of medicinal character.

M: Smooth, very smooth, phenolic, and medicinal, with a bit of alcohol character.

D: Overall, very good, a great tripel, one of the most complex beers you're going to find coming out of Belgium, a must buy.

Halcyondays, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a large Tripel Karmeliet glass that had nice etchings and the logo. It was a beautiful gold color with a thick white head. The aroma was phenominal - floral, malt, spice, and yeast. I found myself just enjoying the aroma several times during the drink since it was so enticing.

The taste was slighlty sweet, spicy and bitter. Well balanced. Slightly dry on the tongue and during the aftertaste. The bitterness also rode the tongue for a bit. The alcohol level was not very noticeable making this an extremely drinkable belgian tripel. I was so pleased I had another...

Gavage, Dec 04, 2003
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 33cl bottle, best before Jan 2009, drank June 2007.

Poured into my magnificent 'Judas' glass (it's huge).

The body is an old gold colour with loads of carbonisation ripping through to replenish the large foaming head. The head began to shrink about half way though the drink, which was a shame because it looked fantastic at the start of the session.

The aroma was of yeast, sour apples and mixed spices, as the beer warmed, they intensified.

The alcohol is there foremost in the taste, but not overpowering enough to put you off, the other flavours of hops, yeast and apple-pie spices see to that.

Spices and a little citrus taste arrives in the mouthfeel, very pleasant.

Overall a very good beer, I have a soft spot for the Belgian Tripples and this is one of the best without a doubt.

BlackHaddock, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -6.5%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -6.5%

yourefragile, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

orangesol, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

duceswild, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of corby112
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy yellowish/orange color with a massive frothy off-white head that settles into a lacing that lingers throughout. . Aroma of crisp light fruit, earthy hops and alcohol. Slightly sweet, with a crisp golden flavor to it. Hints of apple, pear, hops and alcohol. Very tasty!

corby112, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of weeare138
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ortino's Northside...
I've reviewed this in the bottle already but I don't think that I've had a bottle yet that does the beer justice.
Appears a transparent, light gold with a medium sized white cap that slowly fades out. Scattered chunks of lacing are left around the glass. Noticable amounts of CO2 streams rise to the top.
Smell is of honey, tropical fruit, vanilla, peach, and candi-sugar...it definitely lacks the grassy, husky, light struck aromas that I always seem to get in the the bottles.
Taste is nice. Tropical with papaya, mango, peach, mild banana, and sugary cream. Niiiice. High Five! -ala Borat.
Mouthfeel is nicely done with smoothness, excellent carbonation, and full bodied.

weeare138, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

dbrauneis, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It has been many years since I first reviewed this beer, and much as it stands as one of my fondest beer memories, times change, palates change, and I feel now that the scores I originally gave it (close to a perfect 5) will now be tempered by experience and maturity. This was a 330ml bottle purchased from Steve's Cool Booze in Kingsford, probably a similar type of location to where I tried my first bottle.

Pours a hazed pale golden colour with the trademark expressive and voluminous head of white bubbles that eventually settle out to a half-centimetre of foam across the top. Some streaks of lace as it goes, but not a lot. Body is very fluid and light and holds rather large-bubbled carbonation.

Nose is fresh and bright, but caressed with those Belgian yeast esters that round it out and provide some sweetness and a little earthiness. Some smooth vanilla tones, a little bit of blunted citrus, clove and a slight peppery note. It's still exceptionally fragrant and extremely complex. Lovely stuff.

Taste is also extremely good. Big smooth body allows a creaminess to permeate throughout the palate, while bright, slightly peppery tones provide colour and sparkle. Despite this, it never in the slightest feels astringent, spicy or hot with booze, and there's a restraint permeating everything: it makes it superbly drinkable despite the complexities and the alcohol. On the back there's just a suggestion of acidity to clean out the palate and provide a satisfying conclusion.

Feel is wonderful. Smooth but light, seemingly full and crisp at the same time. What sort of alchemy is this?

Overall: wow. I actually expected my scores to go down a whole lot from my first review, and they haven't really dropped significantly at all. I'll admit it has been some time since I last drank a Karmeliet, and so maybe I'd just forgotten what a truly wonderful beer this is. Truly, truly excellent.

Old review from 2005-02-19:

Cloudy deep orange amber body with a massive head that billows up no matter how carefully you pour it. It's creamy and beautiful.

Just wonderful nose. Penetrating sweet oranges, what malt, that gorgeous Belgian yeast which seems to stand out all the more in tripels.
Rich and beautiful.

The taste is just divine. Sweetness or syrup perfectly balanced with a lemony sourness and hops bitterness. It stays around for ages, exploring your whole mouth with its plethora of subtle flavours. It's almost impossible to put into words. You can only experience this beer, you can't describe it. This is truly, truly wonderful.

Overall, this is a brilliant beer. One of the best I've ever tasted.

Unbelievably good.

A: 5, S: 5, T: 5, MF: 5, D: 4.5

lacqueredmouse, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small Belgian style bottle, classy looking label. A best before date was on the label, but it was too faded/washed away to decipher. Poured into a super nice looking tripel Karmeliet glass, very clear and golden, luxorious and stately looking. White head, nicely developed lacing. Nutty nose, very fruity, lemony,yeasty and spicy stuff. Snappy dry finish, intense flavors, simply lovely stuff. Seek and enjoy.

Billolick, Sep 25, 2004
Photo of tempest
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml green bottle. A little overflow after it was uncorked, this bottle might have been sitting around a while. No matter, its still tasty.

Looks a hazy straw yellow, and smells of apples and green grapes with a touch of spice. The spice expands on taste, as does the fruit here. This is one of those beers that amazes you at what a beer can taste like. Not overly sweet. I'd say its perfectly balanced. Give me more.

tempest, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a good head and decent lacing. Smell is sweet with some herbal and clove aromas. Spicy and sweet flavors up front with clove, black pepper, and coriander. Softens on the finish to a light breadiness. Mouthfeel is quite carbonated, but soft and sweet. Very easy drinking, and would be more so if the carbonation were a tad more restrained.

Georgiabeer, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

superspak, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of wl0307
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Sainsbury's supermarket during its sale on Belgian bottled beers~~ BB 10/1/08, served lightly chilled in a tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: nice orangey-golden colour, coming with a medium-thick white frothy beer head with very good retention; the carbonation condition is just about right for a Belgian bottle-conditioned beer: gentle and constant, never overly fizzy.
S: harmoniously perfumy and fruity... the tropical fruit estery note comes colourful but light-bodied, on top of a constant stream of juicy (cake-ish) malts and grains with but a touch of candy-sugar; lots of fruit elements to discern (for fun): pineapple, green apple peel, banana, apricot, ripe fig, orange/tangerine peel, lemon blossom, Chinese green bean paste...all mixed together, while the lightly spicy yeastiness follows at each step, but plays the second fiddle to the main fruity theme. Everything is so softly threaded together by the perfumy string--just brilliant!!!!
T: creamy maltiness backed by smoothly fruity yeasty backbone lubricates the tip of the tongue, gradually more tartly-sweet fruity elements (mainly lemon-cake, pineapple and sugar-cane juice) expand on the palate, and bringing on board an exotic, Chinese green-bean paste like yeasty+malty+fruit-estery flavour which doesn't go large but lingers quietly and subtly at the back end of the tongue. A slightly herbal-sweet (slightly licorice?) but also dryish aftertaste of hops(?) and yeasts round off the palate in the very finish.
M&D: given the ideal condition of carbonation, the beer's creamy and soft texture is one of the most enjoyable for this style... The medium body and complex flavour against an almost non-existent alcoholic backbone makes this beer utterly easy to drink... If given a richer flavour profile this just might be an all-time winner, IMO!

wl0307, Feb 24, 2006
Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
96 out of 100 based on 3,279 ratings.