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Tripel Karmeliet | Brouwerij Bosteels

1,281 Reviews
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Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels
Belgium | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
3 grains - barley, wheat, oat. Styrian hops.

Added by kbub6f on 04-27-2001

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Reviews: 1,281 | Ratings: 3,918
Photo of phisig137
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gentle pour reveals a hazy 24 karat gold color with a massive head. Fantastic retention finally falls to reveal nice lacing.

Aroma is full of spicy yeast. a touch of wheat also seems to be present.

Flavor is very spicy. There are also background flavors of bubblegum and black pepper. Slight alcohol burn on the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, backed by huge agressive carbonation. Drinkability is decent.

Nice tripel that is nicely balanced between sweet and spicy, and smooth and carbonated. Very nice overall.

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Photo of Cresant
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 11.2 oz. bottle dated 20/1/07, into a brand new Triple Karmeliet glass (beautiful glass!). Body was a semi-opaque golden yellow with two fingers of head. The etching at the bottom of the glass was an engine for carbonation. A creamy island of foam chugged away for awhile, eventually leaving only a ring.

Smell was yeast, citrus, and grain. Alcohol was present but never overpowering.

Taste was sweet. Mild alcohol, but not distracting. Crisply refreshing aspects (from the wheat?). Very slight hop presence followed the initial sweetness. Belgian yeast complexity filled out the flavors. Faint sweet aftertaste. Rich malts held back the hops. This beer stars three malts, the hops are supporting actors.

Mouthfeel was zesty with a smooth finish (oats?). Medium/full body.

Very drinkable despite the 8% ABV. The alcohol refrained from ever overpowering the aroma or flavor.

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Photo of hanco005
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, dated 29/11/07 and 29KE 11:08, poured into my St. Bernardus glass

A—golden honey, clear, with a 1 inch really fizzy off white head that fades down to about ¼ inch and stays there for the life of the beer, laces like Swiss cheese

S—strong citrus, peppery and spicy, some clove and just a touch of banana, alcohol is slightly present as well

T—spicy and citrusy, pepper and alcohol blend in as well, finishes dry, very good

M—fizzy, medium/ light bodied, heavy on the carbonation

D—a sipper for me and a good one at that. I’d have it again for sure.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice pour...creates a slow rising roamy head, that remains on the top on the surface as you drink.
There is a slightly cloudy golden color...look closely, you can see the mild carbonation as the tiny bubbles rise.

The yeasty like, honey-ish flavor is a real treat for those of you who enjoy Belgian beers. Mildly spicy throughout.

A very nice ale, a wonderful sipping beer. Drink it only slighlty chilled to truly enhance the flavors.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head is big and white and fluffy, the color is golden and clear. The lacing isn't so sticky. The head is still very dense and has good retention. There's some copper in there too. The smell is wheaty, malty, and fruity. The fruit is sweet apple. The taste is good. The taste of the head is where the copper come from. I first noticed the copper when I opened it but thought it had gone away. Taste also has sweet green apple and a little clove. The mouthfeel is smooth and inviting. Overall I like it except for a few different things. I will have another one in a while.

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Photo of Derek
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This corked 750ml is Best Before 08/09/07:

A: Clear golden liquid topped with a white head. Good retention, great lace.

S: Fruity esters (apple, pear, pineapple, banana), slight earthy spicyness, a little toffe & bread.

T: Light caramel/toffee, tropical fruit, honey, slight earthy spicyness. Alcohol warmth is very light; hint of acidity; just enough bitterness for balance. Very slight hint of solventy character. There's plenty of pleasant fruity esters, yet the fusil alcohol, phenol & cloves are really well-restrained (extensive cold lagering?). I think that the yeast gets a little out of control (too many by-products) with some tripels. Some might think this is boarding on a Belgian strong pale ale... but I'm loving it!

M: Moderate body is well attenuated, silky & finishes dry; fairly highly carbonated.

D: Exceptional (but it's fairly light on the alcohol for a tripel).

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Photo of dherling
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden cloudy body with a huge head and incredible lacing. The nose has lemon, ahy, lime, and some yeast. My first taste gives me yeast,champgne, and sherry. It finishes with some strawberry and prune. The beer itself is wonderful, andh ighly drinkable, but it was far too carbonated, and I was often sloshing th beer arund in my mouth trying to get the sip to a point where I wasn't swallowing all foam. It was otherwise superb.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Pours a pale straw color with a towering four finger head, even with a very gentle pour. I'm not sure the head is ever going to fade away. The lacing that is left behind is thick and chunky.

Smell; very floral with lots of tropical fruits. Some gentle spices come out, along with a bit of citrus and earthy yeastiness.

Taste; this is a very sweet and fruity tripel, with oranges, peaches, apricots and many others that I can't place. The yeasts add a bit of chalkiness, and the spices are a touch peppery, with almost no alcohol noticeable in the profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and drinkability is very good, but with the sweetness and abundance of fruit flavors I would not be able to drink more than one of these.

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Photo of Osiris9588
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I poured this "3 Grain" beer out of a brown, 11.2oz bottle into a snifter. The color was a slighly murky, pale gold. The head was thick, lush, and creamy with amazing retention--it remained strong for nearly the duration of the bottle. After the head solidified, in was capped by a stiff merengue dome, leaving behind an incredibly sticky and fluffy lacing.

The aroma was warm, consisting of considerable citrus and spice, accompanind by sublte floral and yeast characteristics.

The flavor was bursting with citrus, clove, and a touch of cinnamon. A bread dough quality, resulting from the use of wheat and oat, also asserted itself along with cream and a candied sweetness.

The mouthfeel was great: citrus on the tongue, then a spicy middle, and a creamy and candy finish--with an elegent amount of sweetness. The overall mouth was vibrant, complex, and well-rounded.

The drinkability was through the roof. Several bottles served at 50-55 degrees F coud easily be enjoyed without strain. A great beer.

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Photo of egajdzis
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy golden color with a medium sized, fizzy white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Sweet fruity aroma with citrus fruits, and some pepper as well. Similar taste, sweet, citrus, more Belgian spices and an alcohol burn on the way down.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from 11.2 oz. bottle into St. Bernardus chalice.

From one glance I thought the beer seemed light for a tripel. A thinnish lacing remains from a vibrant, creamy head over which I poured the yeast sediment.

I thought the nose was thin for a second but the chalice brought out a more complex bouquet than I originally expected: some acidic phenols, touch of hops, grains, just a hint of sweetness - honey I think. Fruity as well; some vanilla and some citrus.

I enjoyed the taste quite a lot. There are definite traces of the grains used in the brew and the fruity quality of banana or clove in the yeast. It tastes lighter than a lot of tripels, in fact it has the drinkability of a witbier. The alcohol content and phenols become more and more apparent as time passes, takes on a lemony flavor here. There's a little sharpness in the mouth that gives the illusion of thinness that's the cause for the 4 in mouthfeel, but the overall satisfaction of squeezing 8% out of this brew more than makes up for it. Highly recommended. I still like it over Westmalle's Tripel after a couple tastings of each.

Update March 2007: A little bit to add to my previous review. I have upped the appearance to 4.5 after having more experience with the tripel style. The fluffy white head is spot-on perfect, just gorgeous architecture spilling over the top of my gold-rimmed Rochefort chalice. Near perfection. Little bubbles stream from bottom to top for several minutes, this very active head eventually reduces to a frothy top-coat although the lacing is very persistent.This time around I noticed the wheat characteristics more than the oats, barley makes itself known. I didn't mean my references to witbier and hefeweissen characteristics as slanders, this is a much more complex brew than those two style, but the drinkability is where I made the connections. There was very little sediment in this bottle, I don't remember my old review..the light brown bottle was completely clear when I got done pouring this one. I also bumped up mouthfeel and taste for this review, the wheat characteristics make it full yet very smooth, and the taste is among the best I've ever had for the style, absolutely rivaling St. Bernardus and Westmalle for supremacy in the category. I loved it before and I appreciate it even more now. All in all this is one spectacular beer, absolutely stunning with the combination of flavors and big abv. Highly recommended to Belgiophiles as well as someone looking for their first Belgian brew.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved this bottle as a gift. Many thanks my brother.

Poured with an enormous head after a very loud pop from removing the cork. The aroma offers quite a bit of intensity and complexity. Lots of emphasis on malty and sweet fruitiness, some of citrus, other of banana. Phenols appear too with a soft spiciness, and include a peppery tone.
Brilliantly clear of dark gold. Head shows a variety of bubble sizes and leaves lacing even before drinking. Attractive.
Even with the complexity of flavors I'm struck by the dryness that seems more intense in the middle of the drink and actually quite short at the finish. There is a stinging biting quality when first supped, but it softens quickly, yet the carbonation is still somewhat filling. Warmth from alcohol noted on tongue and in stomach. Flavors are similar to the aroma, but less intense. Nice fruitiness (seems lemony) right up front. The fullness from the carbonation seems to inhibit the ability to taste the details. It's very soft, but I wouldn't say effervesent. Phenols softly appear in flavor too.
Very well done. I like the bitey, spicely aspects. Many Belgians seem to fade on me as I drink them, but this one seems to hold together better than most.
Went nicely with some chedder cheese and pepperoni.

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Photo of mjc410
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Eulogy, poured into a generic heavy goblet. Forms very little head, has a bright golden color like Pilsner Urquelland slow columns of bubbles rising.

Smells grainy, mildly hoppy, perhaps some coriander like a Wit.

Tastes peppery-sweet with coriander. Moves to spicy alcohol, with a noble hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium thin, with light carbonation.

This is somplex, and yet easy drinking.

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Photo of sewald
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An awesome tripel. Got it from a local market and also drink it regularly at a local pub.

This beer is really complex. It portraits a somehow light body, however it feels very tasty and robust. It has fruity aromas of peach and sweet smells of caramel. Although it has a strong smell of alcohol, it doesn't feel like that when drinking (though it has 8% ABV).

Beautiful creamy head. Not as thick and majestic as a Duvel, but it's there. Fills the mouth with some yeast and malt (wheat) taste. Really a great beer, it has so many attributes that it's hard for me to describe them all here... Hmm I guess I have to go there and have another one in order to take some more notes. :-)

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up the gift pack (4 small bottles and a big ol' goblet) at Riley's as a thank you to expatsteve for his clutch ticket to the Great Taste of the Midwest for my girlfriend.

Pour: caramel blonde with hazy clarity, forget fingers - a hand of snow white foam with streams of carbonation leading to fantastic retention and some spotty lacing - a real looker.

Nose: fizzy lemon-lime, grainy and toffee/caramel malts with a bit of yeasty clove in the finish.

Taste: apricot, light citrus, lemon grass booze, toasted grain/nuttiness, tart kiwi fruit on the back of the tongue, light spice and a dry alcohol finish.

Feel: light bodied with tickling carbonation and ephemeral, evaporating booze

Drinkability/Overall: Truly the gold standard of the class, this has mellowed on the shelf at Riley's for some time, and it shows in the understated, ultimately controlled complexity. Just beautiful to watch/smell/taste/feel.

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Photo of expatsteve
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this with Golden2wenty1 - thanks for throwing this one my way, along with the Karmeliet goblet.

Appearance: Nice apricot amber, with a big 1 inch head. Thick sticky lacing, low/medium viscosity. Low visibility.

Aroma: Golden raisins, Meyer lemon oil, and a little pine. Breadiness, peach, golden syrup and some spiciness as it warms.

Taste: Bread, pine, brief apricots and a touch of lemon rind. Not too sweet, with some mild sours on the back palate. Apple skins and caramel developments round out an exceptionally well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Constant light carbonation, with a great raspy dry finish built around refreshing tartness. Perfect balance of understated smoothness and an assertive finish.

Drinkability: Great. Fruity without being too sweet; tart in places without being overwhelming. Not as assertive as Westmalle, but allows for a much deeper range of developments. Perfectly balanced and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Brian700
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice golden color with a big white head that settled down do a mallow-like lid on my beer.

The aroma is of cider and pear and just flat out sweetness.

The flavor is very sweet with some apple notes and a lot of pear flavor. It is real sweet with some alcohol presence but not real warming. This is a pretty tasty brew.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer and I would recommend it.

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Photo of Viggo
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy yellow/gold, huge fluffy white head forms, nice lace, good retention. Smell is sweet, grainy, some orange, spices, wheat, little yeasty. Taste is sweet, orange and spice again, yeast, some alcohol, and a wheat dryness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. A decent tripel, but too sweet for me. I don't think it should be as high as it is, but enjoyable.

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Photo of clickpush
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour: 33ml bottle to tulip glass. Fills half the glass with three fingers of pillowy, long lasting, bubbly white head and half the glass is a light amber bodied beer. Some visible bubble streams.

Nose: Tons of activity going on here. Notes of lemon, ginger, cloves - smells very similar to a hefe weizen. Can pick up some black pepper hints in the yeast and some candy smells (candi malts?) characteristic of the tripel style.

Mouth: Strong carbonation upon the entrance, immediate anise flavors mixed with a sweet touch of a citric taste. The mouthfeel is stupendous, transforming from a strong bubbly entrance to a creamy finish with spicy, herbal yeast notes and a touch of alcoholic warmth. Unfortunately, the swallow is also a bit metallic and astringent, making the after taste less than desirable.

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Photo of Drew966
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a review of a 750ml corked and caged green bottle of Tripel Karmeliet. It opened with a nice pop, always a good start. It pours a light orange color with a huge white head into my Tripel Karmeliet glass (a very cool glass at that). It has a citrusy/lemon dominated aroma, with a little bit of the alcohol noticeable. The flavor is light, even delicate. No off flavors at all. Citrus is noticeable in the flavor, the hops and malt are hiding in the background. This is a magnificently well balanced beer. Nothing about the flavor hits you over the head (unlike most American big beers), but it's darn good. The alcohol is barely noticeable, other than some warming. Very drinkable, highly recommended.

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Photo of Daredevil
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I do love Belgian beers for being different from the usual "beer taste" ... however this one was (for me) slightly disappointing in taste ...

it pours nicely with a firm head, the colour looks elegant, not as muddy as most unfiltered brews ... the smell is appetizing too although not very strong ...
the taste is dominated by walnuts and sandalwood with a light almondy finish, which in itself would be great, however paired with some citric acidity which does not seem to match (at least doesn't for me) .... some might like the refreshingness, for me it lacks the sublime harmony you would find in the great trappist brews ....

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd have to pretend that I was from Missouri and say "show me" if anyone said they had a beer that held its head longer than this Tripel Karmeliet. Okay, that was a cheesy intro, but the fact remains that this beer has one tenacious head. So much so that I got tired of waiting for it to settle and just dove in. It's not one of those Overly Carbonated, Big Bubbled heads, either. It's one of those thick, malty sticky heads. Nice. This wonderful head sits upon a body of a hazy straw-like colour. If The body was more appetizing looking, the appearance would be a 5. But regardless, a 4.5 is pretty darn impressive.
Smell is Banana, sweet, clove or corriander, and clean and appetizing. 4.0
Well it's really good. But really, really sweet. This would be a fantastic dessert beer. But as far as a drinking beer, it's awful lop-sided in the sweetness rather than letting the hops balance out the brew. 4.0
Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. A bit overly carbonated maybe. Okay, perhaps too much carbonation. But they're little bubbles and not those big champagne-like bubbles. You knwo what I mean? 4.0
Drinkability, given all my praise, is a 4. I couldn't puch it any higher. The taste is too sweet, but I guess that sweetness comes from the wheat which helps this fantastic head.

try it.

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Photo of JohnY
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great belgian blonde. Poured into a large wine glass. Formed a nice white head that went straight to the top of the glass. Champagne like in mouth feel. Coriander and spice on the nose, great yeasty smell as well. Pale yellow in color. Well balanced with a slightly spicy kick. Not overly alcoholic tasting for it's high abv. Another great Belgian beer.

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Photo of jmz62565
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a yellow straw with with a giant white foamy head. And like other Belgiums, this has a ton of carbonation. The smell is full of candy sugar,coriander, and bakers yeast. The taste is very sweet with candy sugar along with lemon zest, and some honey. The beer is so sweet that the sugar overpowers almost all the other flavors. The m/f is light and almost champagne like. The flavors mix well making this a very drinkable beer. For a high alcohol beer,this is very mellow and easy to drink. Another excellant Belgian.

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Photo of ccrida
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft in the official, over-sized Karmeliet snifter, which is incidentally my favorite beer glass of all-time, Belgian or otherwise. Pours a beautiful golden straw color, with moderate haze and an unusually large, milky head, for which the snifter was artfully designed, making for a stunning presentation. The head is very slow to subside, leaving behind a thick, luscious lace. Candi-sugar really dominates flavor the flavor of this one, in both aroma and taste, with some citrus and sour apple esters. There are no noticeable hops, although the Wheat and Oats on the grain bill are clearly evident in the body. Personally, I'd have preferred more grain over the candi-sugar, which I feel makes the Karmeliet a bit too sweet on the finish. Still, the body is typically digestible for a strong Belgian, making for a smooth, easy-drinking, and deceptively dangerous beer. Overall, the Karmeliet is a great beer that is very enjoyable, so long as you don't overdo it!

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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
94 out of 100 based on 1,281 ratings.