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Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

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3,158 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,158
Reviews: 1,185
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 183
Gots: 321 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website

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
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Ratings: 3,158 | Reviews: 1,185 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml. bottle into a large wine glass. This tripel pours a clear golden straw in color. An airy inch or two of white foam sits atop the beer, slowly caving in to a steady surface cap thanks to a champagne like emanation of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Some moderate and artsy lacing follows. Oddly clear for the style.

Light summer fruits on the nose, touch of alcohol and rather light yeast characteristics. Nose opens up somewhat with some warming and exposure, remaining fruit oriented with apple and pear. Pleasant and light and without any negative notes, yet not very complex. Light and fruity sums it up, with a touch of spice and some floral hops in balance.

Sweet, fruity and somewhat simple in flavor though surely not cloying in its sweetness. Flavor, like the nose, is simple and straightforward though quite pleasant. Offers a moderate feel and a light sweetness that masks the ABV quite well and, along with the general 'lightness' of the beer, affords an impressive drinkability. Again, improves with exposure. A bit unique but quite nice. I'd warm this beer up to 55 degrees or so prior to opening, and pouring very carefully at that point.

HalfFull, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of dstc
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale gold color with a huge, white head. Head falls to a minimal one, very thin lace.

Sweet aroma. Citrus as well, lemony.

Bitter sweet on the tongue. Has a lemon flavor, tangy. Very mild on the hops. Bit of alcohol present. Clean finish.

medium bodied in the mouth with moderate carbonation.

Nice easy drinking brew, I like it.

dstc, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of t3hcho53non3
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light gold with a slight haze. Small head that dissipates quickly

S: Malts, grains, citrus

T: Peachy, citrusy flavor. Hints of other fruits

M: Medium carbonation with dry finish

D: Very smooth and complex definitely need to taste more than one. You can tell the evolution between the two.

t3hcho53non3, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of ADZA
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow a gentle pour of this beer produces a healthy rising two finger head which is a pale see thru tawny yellow colour with really beautiful carbonation with the head slowly slumping to a big ball of froth in the middle with heaps of lacing,the aromas are really pleasant notes of bananna,yeasty bread,white grapes and some peaches soaked in alcohol,it has a nice weighty mouthfeel with a nice taste of apples first then some yeasty malt notes which finishes with a subtle stonefruity finish and only a touch of alcohol is present on first taste but after that not really noticeable at all quite an easy drinking Tripel that could drink abit of.

ADZA, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of PapaEugene
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After my coleaugue kept pushing me to try this beer I finally gave in when he pushed the bottle in my hand. I'm not fond of tripels at all but I gave it a fair chance.

A: Drak yellow color with a great foamy thick white head that laste almost throughout the drink.

S: Malts, grains, peach/apricot, citrus and some floral hops.

T: Again that peach, caramel sweetness, citrus, apple/pear, cinnamon and a hint of hops.

M: Medium carbonation with a very smooth dry finish.

D: Well, to be honest, I never expected that I would like a tripel this much and I'm even more surprised by my own rating. Should maybe expand my tripel tasting.

PapaEugene, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of emsroth
2.8/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle

App: Straw/Light gold with a slight haze. Frothy white head that quickly dissipates

Smell: I can smell it right from the pour. Sweet and sour fruit. The quintessential aroma of fruit salad covered in lemon juice.

Taste: Greeted by a rush of strong carbonation. Greeted by sweet alcoholic esters. Quickly dries to a malty crisp. Slight sweet flavor throughout. An extremely dry hop flavor with minimal bitterness. A rather subtle flavor, but I prefer a strong one.

Full mouthfeel with a strong carbonation which makes the beer unbalanced.

emsroth, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Light yellow body with slight haze. Thick white head of foam with lots of carbonation.

S - Very complex spicy phenols. Moderate fruity esters including banana, clove, and lemon. Light malt character. No hop presence detected.

T - Spicy, fruity characters at first. Low to moderate phenols, definitely peppery. Some lemon citrus esters present. Ending bitterness is mild, with welcomed presence of yeasty grain character.

M - Medium/light mouthfeel. High levels of co2 create welcomed bubbles across your tongue. Very light warming from ABV, but almost unnoticable.

D - Very smooth, refreshing Tripel. Complex palate of esters will keep interest levels.


Wow! I was not expecting this beer to be this exceptional. I'll definitely be back for more.

WoogityBoogity, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml from Wilbur's, this is the second bottle of this I've had, I can't remember the first. About $9.

A: Pale gold in color with an enormous frothy white head, pretty fair retention and lots of carbonation moving around in it. Nice looking beer.

S: Sweet maltiness, both barley and a tangy wheat presence, big time orange peel smell also, wow, that's a huge smell there, and also some hints of vanilla, smells delicious. Slightly skunky hop profile, but really have to dig for that.

T: Big time malt profile, oats a rich flavor, wheat is tangy and slightly spicy, and the barley has an excellent presence in there, all blending together to make an excellent vanilla like sweetness, orange peel from the nose mixes in excellently with this flavor to make an almost candy like beer. Really impressive, and makes an excellent dessert choice.

M: Medium thickness, dry, excellent carbonation, and velvety smooth. This is pretty darn nice.

D: A little sweet to drink a lot of, and a little strong, but still a very tasty beer, if this were available in a party setting, I could probably drink this all night, which would be a waste of a very fine beer. Highly recommended.

pokesbeerdude, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer several times. The first time I had it was on tap and had just arrived at Quenchers in Chicago.

Wow was it good. It tasted like alcoholic candy in a large tulip (Karmeliet) glass. It's lighter than most tripel's in color and mouthfeel, and perhaps more on the floral-vanilla spice side than on the fuity side of flavors some tripels can have. Really a well rounded brew. One of the best!

I have to say I just had a bottle of it and it wasn't nearly as good. It has a bit of a metallic taste to it. I haven't yet figured out the reason for this "off" taste in beer, but it's annoying to get a beer that I know is really good, with "off" tastes...

OttoPeeWee, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of theboozecruise
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet. Cloudy golden color with a small head... creamy foam on the surface of the beer.

A good bit of fruit on the aroma... pretty sweet but definitely the spices you expect from a Belgian ale are there. Inviting.

Very carbonated on first taste, with a beautiful blend of flavors. The herbal fragrances come out even more on the palate, and there is a touch of honey. I like it a lot.

I don't think this is my new favorite Tripel, but it's very good.

theboozecruise, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Joe Canal's in NJ on clearance for 8 bucks.

A: Golden blonde, extremely clear and crisp color. Nicely carbonated...tiny bubbles cascade upwards and form a thin film of bubbles that lead to slight lacing. Otherwise, there is very little head to speak of.

S: Fruity notes and a robust smell of yeast. I imagine the former is a result of the latter. There are light spicy notes, nothing too overpowering, that are nicely balanced in the overall character of the beer. Also, there is that dry malty smell that I enjoy so much in a tripel.

T: Belgian yeasts stream to the front of the flavor. The fruity notes that these contribute blend seamlessly into a sea of spices that compliments them beautifully. There is a nice malty dry finish as well, not disappointing after such a great nose.

M/D: Slightly syrupy but still light, wispy but abundant carbonation. This beer slips its way over your pallet effortlessly. This is one of my favorite tripels, and I could definitely have a few.

NittanyBeerFan, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of cptierney
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing one of my favorite beers. Had on tap at the soft opening of the new beer bar in town, TAPS Petaluma!!!

Nice straw color to the pour. Delivered in the gorgeous Karmeliet tulip. I was not too pleased about the head on the brew as I've always drank this beer with a solid three to four fingers of fluffy white head, but this one has zero head. Probably just a newbie pouring- I can move past this

Lovely aroma on this one. That great Belgian funk just wafts out of the tulip anchoring a melee of brewing spices. Coriander perhaps? Certainly hints of citrus come to the fore along with some notes of clove.

Solid mouthfeel- a little lacking in the carbonation department, though I imagine this is due to the pour. Does have that nice , surprising triple thickness that is reserved for the style.

The taste of this brew is so nice and crisp. Love the sweetness of the beer coupled with the lemony zest of the citrus notes, there just has to be some orange peel in this guy. Mmmmm, good.

Great drinkability. A real asskicker in that you can down gallons of this stuff and not realize it packs an 8.4% wallop. One of my perennial favorites. Cheers to Belgian Triples and Cheers to TAPS.

cptierney, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of generallee
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a chalice. The back label has a best before date of 03JJ and it was sampled on 6-23-09.

Appearance: The body has a golden color with a cloudy haze. Inside there are little bits of tasty yeast floaters. The head on top is tall, long lasting and bright whit in color. As I drink it leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Right from the pop of the cap the aroma creeps out of the bottle. It has a bright nose with hints of lemon zest, fruity and funky Belgian yeast.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor has sweetness up front with complex grainy malt flavor and a hint of clover honey. The middle sees fruity and funky yeast and mellow warming alcohol taking over and drying out the overall character. It then finishes bone dry with only a hint of herbal hops. The palate is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Notes: This is an outstanding example of the style and a very satisfying beer.

generallee, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of Damian
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Armsby Abbey, Worcester, MA
Served in a Tripel Karmeliet tulip

The beer poured a slightly hazed, golden-amber color with a tight, frothy, three-finger, bright white head that slowly faded to a substantial cap of froth. Large chunks of lacing stuck all down the glass and lasted long after the beer was finished.

The aroma was an interesting mix of sweet and dry. A crisp, powdery, Belgian yeast note was instantly recognizable. Ripe fruits and indications of Belgian candi sugar were also noticeable and they became more prominent as the beer warmed. Smooth, grassy, saaz hops came through as well.

The taste was similar to the aroma except that, in this case, the sweet fruitiness triumphed over the snappy dryness. Crisp, dry and spicy up front with some lemony tartness. Light malts and some Belgian candi sugar helped balance things out. Citrusy (orange peel was most apparent) and semi-sweet in the center. The finish was bone dry and snappy with a clean, grassy hop edge.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Creamy and smooth with a fine, moderate effervescence.

Drinkability was terrific. This beer would makes for an ideal aperatif or one could pair it with salads, cheeses, chicken or other lighter fare. Dangerously quaffable at 8.5% ABV.

Overall, one of the better tripels I have yet to sample.

Damian, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of aquatonex
2.48/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Based on the other reviews, maybe I had a bad batch of this...

Pours straw yellow with a thick foamy head that dissipates pretty quickly. Well carbonated. Nose is quite strong, lots of alcohols and sweetness going on. Taste is pretty funky, like a mix of whiskey and beer. Minimal body but alcohols dominate with a sickly sweetness. Not anywhere near my favorite Tripel, but I'd try it again elsewhere to confirm.

aquatonex, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a mostly clear yellow gold w/rich frothy white head, decent retention, some lacing, and visible carbonation beads rising throughout.

S-Coriander and herbs, light orange and apricot, spice, sweet fresh pale malt, yeast and traces of gunpowder-like sulfur.

T-Spice and herbs ride the pale malt, and possibly a bit of wheat, and there is a nice light fruit presence featuring mandarin orange along w/a complex array of subtle phenols. The hops emerge nicely in the finish and leave a clean palate w/remnants of sulfur and apricot.

M-Light-to-medium bodied w/good carbonation, excellent balance, and a crisp firm mouthfeel.

D-Very enjoyable, would buy this again.This is a complex tripel with a lot going on that I would very much like to re-evaluate in the future.

BoitSansSoif, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow pour, could easily have been confused for a BMC beer. White white head with a decent amount of carbonation. head started about one finger, now is town, which is fast. Absolutely no head retention. Also pretty hazy. I'm not impressed with how this beer looks.

S: Sweet and grainy, no hops. A little Belgian Funk, a little wheat. But it's weak, very weak. Six inches away and I can't smell anything. It really reminds me of that wet dog BMC smell, but a lot sweeter, which is what I want from a tripel. We'll see.

T: Maybe, it's sweeter and has the appropriate taste, but is it strong enough? It covers the ABV well, but still....I guess it is a nice balanced Tripel, both sweet and a little sour. I can't get behind this beer too much, but there's nothing to keep me away. I don't know, it just seems too much like a BMC...bland. But good at the same time. Scary.

M: Light, slightly over carbed in my opinion.

D: Plenty drinkable. Would be a great intro beer for BMC to imports/craft.

mdwalsh, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of SteveS1
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I first had this in a restaurant , but only after a bottle of Chimay blue and a rich meal. To set the record straight
I had to grab another bottle and see if it could live up to the memory.

From the bottle to a glass-

Look: Pours golden orange, slightly cloudy, tall bubbly pale head that quickly dissipates

Smell: Sweet, citrus fruits

Taste: Sweet, heavy orange and wheat flavors, finishes with an alcoholic bite. Hops are barely noticeable in the aftertaste.

Feel: Very bubbly, full but crisp

Drink: Good for sipping, in so many words. This is a very enjoyable, flavorful brew. As with other tripels, it is a bit sneaky
when it comes to the alcohol. Nice with a meal or as a treat alone.

SteveS1, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of hike20
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with quite possibly the biggest head I've seen. Very bubbly. Strong aroma of yeast, malts, citrus. Flavor of orange peel, malt, and spice. Nicely balanced and a good mouth feel. Finish remains balanced between sweet and bitter. Very nice beer overall. I;m far from experienced in Belgian tripels but this gives reason to try a few more.

hike20, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a local bar, surprised to see it in this form actually. I've never had this in all my years drinking good beer.

Karmeliet came to me in a tulip glass with not much in terms of head. A small white cap barely covered the surface. Small streaks of lace. The liquid is light brown/bronze in color. The smell is that of a refined triple, alot of fruits and dark sugars. Candi with bubblegum as well. Sweet but not a sweet mess. The taste is of the same ilk with dark fruits guided by a backdrop of candi sweetness, residual sugars. Getting some banana plus spices as well. Hops don't even try to make a dent. The high ABV also does not come into play. The feel was great with a above medium smoothness with perfect carbonation, not rough at all, goes down with ease. I could have drank another. I will be visiting this in the future again.

BARFLYB, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a rochefort chalice.

It pours a very bright gold that is clear with a nice white head, minimal lacing.

It smells very sweet and hoppy, notes of citrus.

The tatse is surpisingly sweet with notes of fruit and hops.

jrallen34, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of jamie2dope
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A classic among Tripels, this will be my first time trying this beer out of the bottle. Poured rigorously, with some of the sediment added for extra flavor. Appearance was a murky orange, with not as much heading as when served on tap. Big nose of peppery alcohol, peaches, pears, bread and more fruit. Some musty medicinal flavors come through, with some hop and grain bite, still with plenty of fruit to go around. Prickly carbonation makes it rather refreshing for a beer of this weight. Drinking this one is easy. This is one of the best Tripels out there IMO...possibly my favorite example of the style. I suggest putting this up against some kind of creamy cheese. Humboldt Fog, as usual did not fail to make a lovely accompaniment. Cheers

jamie2dope, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of hardy008
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy gold color with a foamy 2 finger head with poor retention. The aroma is not very strong, smell is assorted fruit and cloves. The taste is sweet with phenols present. This beer is highly carbonated and medium bodied. A nicely drinkable beer. The flavor is better than expected given that the aroma was not very strong. The alcohol is also well hidden. I would not have guessed that the alcohol was as high as 8.4 %.

hardy008, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of jgasparine
2/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

A- Poured from the tap into a nice tulip glass with one finger of white head, which quickly gave way to some nice lacing. The body was a hazy straw color with some visible carbonation.

S- Lots of Belgian Yeast on this nose, along with corriander, lemongrass and pale malt. There are more subtle aromas of straw and stale hops kicking-around the nose as well.

T- The first impressions of the taste are a replicate of the nose. Upon further examination, the beer appears to take on a more cracker-like flavor... but then... as the beer warms, this nasty soap-like fatty acid flavor emerges. Soon enough, I am so focused on how this tastes like hand soap, I cannot appreciate any of the other flavor attributes.

M- High carbonation is the most noteworthy component to the mouthfeel, which I generally don't mind in a highly-attenuated tripel. I would say this is a light to medium body. Nothing particularly bad here in the mouthfeel department, but nothing outstanding either...

D- I could not finish this glass, it was disgusting. This was the first time I have had the Tripel Karmeliet, and I considered it being a bad keg, but it wasn't oxidized, and didn't show typical signs of infection. All the glasses were clean, and all other beers poured from the establishment taste nice and fresh... but the SOAP flavor just made this unbearable.

I resolve that this particular batch of beer was left in the fermenter too long... and I intend to re-review at some point, given the high ratings from other BAs

jgasparine, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of Buschyfor3
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pint night special at Flanagan's Ale House in Louisville, KY. Even got to keep the authentic tulip glass... sweet.

A: Crisp golden colored body nestled beneath a rocky, off-white head about 1.5 fingers thick off the tap - big bubbles in this head. Some lacing rings cling to the walls of the tulip as this beer quickly disappears. Head retention is decent and is easily maintaned as a layer of foam 1-2cm in depth with a simple swirl of the glass. Looks killer when served in it's authentic "1679" tulip.

S: Pretty sweet on the nose: pears, apples, even some tropical fruitiness (pineapple) and honey. Also picking up the cloves and some other spices - maybe cinnamon or some pepper.

T: Probably one of the sweeter tripels I have ever tried. Juicy fruits up front that hold on long through each sip - apple, pear and pineapple come to mind as the most prominent flavors. Then there is a touch of zest from the cloves that balances well against the fruit flavors and the subtle grain flavors. Finish is predominantly a yeasty, fresh baked bread flavor with some fruit esters popping through.

M: Pretty crisp carbonation lends itself to a fluffy, powdery mouthfeel.

D: Listed at 8.4% ABV but the alcohol is expertly masked. I can see how some people would consider Tripel Karmeliet a session beer even though it is well above the 5% ABV threshold - its just too damn easy to drink and it disappears from the tulip in a blink.

Another sublime Tripel, right up there with St. Bernardus Tripel and La Fin du Monde in my book.

Buschyfor3, Aug 12, 2009
Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 3,158 ratings.