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Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

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Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

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3,198 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,198
Reviews: 1,190
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 191
Gots: 338 | 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: 3,198 | Reviews: 1,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TLove
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From Notes)

Had at Brickskeller in DC.

Not particularly notable in appearance, but nice spiciness up front in the smell with some apricot, limoncello, and pepper on the nose. Rounds out in the taste as slightly fruity with some floral character. A bit bready with some red pear and crisp, yet subtly sweet alcohol.

Strong presence of Belgian yeast throughout, but had a really nice, oaky finish that you get from an excellent chardonnay. Finishes like a crisp apple cider doughnut. Excellent and round. Really delicious.

TLove, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of zoso493
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous hazy deep golden color with a full three finger head, that sticks around forever. Already, you can see a high amount of carbonation. Looks very inviting.

Smell: Smells of clove, yeast, lemon, sugar, orange banana and spices. Lots going on in the nose. Very crisp and bright smelling beer, if such a thing is possible. As typical of Belgians, the funk starts to come out as it warms, due to the yeast.

Taste: A very crisp taste of Belgian yeast, spices, grains and even some lemon zest. Very refreshing. Towards the end, there's a slight warming sensation from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Decidedly medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Very dry and crisp, though, which to me is quite desirable for the style.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable for an 8.4% brew, but the alcohol is definitely present. Just this one will suffice for me tonight, though.

Overall, this is a very tasty tripel. Perhaps not my favorite tripel, but it's a very refreshing example of the style. Good, complex brew that I would highly recommend.

zoso493, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Sunday night we did a blind tasting of four tripels at Shawn's place. Facing off against each other were Allagash Tripel and Urthel Hibernus Quentum, and La Fin du Monde and Tripel Karmeleit. Allagash won its battle and Tripel Karmeliet took the prize in its contest. It would be difficult for me to pick an overall winner, as they seemed to be at opposite ends of the style spectrum, and showed that there is variation within the tripel category.

In general, I noticed some consistency between samples when it came to appearance and mouthfeel. On pouring all the samples displayed a brilliant light gold, with a tight white head that produced some spots and streaks of lace. Some of the samples were cloudier than others, but I'd put this down to disturbed sediment (I'd just brought a couple and they may have been a bit shaken up). Only in taste and aroma did they seem to differ - falling into either a dry graininess, or a sweeter honey-like profile. The bodies were invariably medium-light with a high, pillowy carbonation.

Tripel Karmeliet won a very close contest with Fin du Monde, and I wavered back and forth on which was my favourite. The Unibroue seemed sweeter (just as the Allagash did), but the Karmeliet seemed to have fractionally more complexity. It was certainly drier, and its yeast character was more peppery than phenolic, although there was a light malty fruitiness. A very strong and clean grain body lasted throughout the beer, and a pleasant floral aspect overlaid this. I felt that it took the best elements out of each of the beers we had and melded it into a cohesive whole. On personal taste I'd probably pick the Allagash as my favourite beer of the contest, but the Bosteels was probably the superior example of the style.

Thanks to zorprime for this world-class bottle.

bobsy, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of AleWatcher
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brilliantly clear golden yellow with a bright white head. This is liquid sunshine. Very inviting.

S: Very nice floral aroma. Smells clean and "spring-like" some hints of banana and possibly other fruit?

T: Excellent flavor. Nice flowery spice with a refreshing slight sourness. Heavy Belgian yeast.

M: perfect. Not watery. Not thick. A good amount of carbonation leads to a smooth velvety feel.

D: a tad too strong and flowery to drink all night but a great beer to introduce some one to the style.

AleWatcher, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of jnezda
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this beer from bottle into a chilled pint glass, poor presentation from a fine Steak house, but I did mention this to the bar maid who offered to correct it. Smell was not much to consider but there was a swirling of other smells in the restaurant, what I could make out of the smells were full of nice mellow fruits, apricots raisins. Color was dark golden with a wheat cloudiness to it that was inviting. Full fine head that was a slight eggshell off white but it faded right away and the lacing was ruined by the chilled glass. Beer was very drinkable with good carbonation and sweetness on the front of the tongue that was very pleasing. Beer was representative of the style and full of flavor.

jnezda, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of Intelligentsia
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle.

Poured a very large and fluffy off-white head that lasted for a while. Yelllow in color, its nose consisted of pears, alcohol, cloves, grapes.

Complex taste that got considerably moreso when warm. Pears, noticeable alcohol, cloves, spice. Nothing overwhelming, balanced well by some very mild hops.

Very low carbonation and a weight in line with the 8.4%.

Definitely enjoyed this one, although there are better represenations of the style. Don't hesitate to buy it if you see one well preserved. Perhaps this one could use a bit more aging?

Intelligentsia, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Anthony1, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden color with slight haze, producing a white head that fades to a light ring after a short while and leaves a lot of sticky lacing. Lots of active carbonation.

Aroma is lightly sweet and fruity. Lots of pear upfront with some evident spices as well.

Taste starts out with notes of pear and pepper. Towards the middle, some bread and honey become evident and the finish once again brings out floral and spicy notes. The flavors mask the alcohol content quite well.

Medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. The initial appearance is beautiful but the carbonation seemed overdone at first glance...however the mouthfeel is not fizzy or in any way bothersome so turns out this wasn't an issue at all. Overall a great reprsentation of the style.

Vengeance526, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of taigor
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden colored, with a thick creamy head. The head dies down very quickly.

S - Full grainy smell. For some reason I smelled some grass and fruits.

T - Honest flavours, reminding of grains with hints of sweet citrusy malt.

M - Great mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable and enjoyable. Could definitely drink more.

taigor, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of rhollman
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Slightly hazed, pale golden yellow and towering white head

Smell - Sweet floral aroma

Taste - Wonderful burst of flavor, complex but not overwhelming

Mouth Feel - Starts crisp, ends smooth, finish is slightly sweet

Drinkability - The perfect tripel. Not too much bubbly, malty, slightly sweet with just the right amount of bitter, smooth with several distinctive flavours. A perfect beer for before, during and after meals - Magnificent!

rhollman, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of RobeyStreet
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was pretty good. It reminded me very much of Leffe Blonde. It had a pretty good head and was light gold in color. It was a bit honey-sweet with hints of citrus at times. I would definitely try this again. I didn't drink it with food, so I'm curious to see how it would pair with a meal. Although something tells me it makes a better after-meal drink.

RobeyStreet, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Lldeegan
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So now, this week, a new Belgian has arrived in my glass. Tripel Karlmeliet a very old and very well liked Belgian Tripel. Its reputation precedes it. I am very excited to finally try it. I must say, as the anchor on Anchor's Old Foghorn won my Rhode Island heart before I cracked the bottle, the fleur-de-lis on this bottle won my New Orleans soul. Here are my thoughts:

Pours a pale golden color with numerous streams of bubbles rising to the foam. The head itself is stark white with fine to medium size bubbles. Pours a very nice head, which keeps its retention. This is a very inviting beer to any thirsty onlooker. Its enticingly light appearance and effervescence must be hypnotizing to any parched bystander

It has a very sweet floral aroma a bit of green apple, honeysuckle comes to mind. A nice sweet light malt lingers in the nose, with some yeast undertone.

This beer has an incredible harmony of tastes. It wanders around your palate with tastes of sweet honey, fruity, floral and a nice buttery toast quality to it. The wheat is evident but mainly in the finish, with a hint of herbs. A little oaky and vinous. Not sure I notice the citrus others have picked up on. Very crisp and delightful.

This beer has a very nice light body.

A great year rounder, although definitely ideal for outdoor or light summertime meals. It is a very great beer and it won't be hard to reach for the second...or third.

This beer was great! The more styles I drink, the more beers I find that make me wonder how I ever lived without them. I will categorize this beer under "Special Session." It is definitely a sessionable beer (be easy though, it's 8.4ABV), but I think I'll save it up for those nice summer lobster dinners. This has the great taste and character of a wheat beer as it leaves the palate but it is not as heavy on the palate or too much of a bully in the taste department. I could really drink this year round because of it's subtle but fantastic taste. It has a very short, light and crisp finish, which I think, can allow it to be paired pretty well with light summer meals, as it is a very refreshing beer. This is white wines summer replacement!

Lldeegan, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of endovelico
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Taken from notes. Poured into tulip. Reviewed on 4-10-2009. Reviewed under medium low artificial light. Served cold.

Aroma: How perfumy this brew is... Very intense aroma with notes of grains, roses, lime and intense bubblegum aroma on the front. On the back theres some faint coriander seeds, oats and banana. Definitely one of the most enjoyable beer aromas i've experienced. Just insanely complex.

Appearance: Pours a golden / orangy brew with two thinger frothy white head. Medium perceived effervescence. The foam eventually collapses into thick cap. Mild lacing.

Taste: Very complex and layered. Intensely flavored. Taste of spices, banana, oats, bubblegum and citrus. Some butter and clove aswell on the back. Delightful.

Palate: Low bitterness. Medium full body. Medium low carbonation. Starts crips and ends smoothly. Finishes sweet leaving a lingering bubblegum flavor. Excellent structure overall.

Drinkability: Balanced, alcohol barely noticeable. Any price is a good price for this gem. But most important of all this a beer that is not only true to style but also transcends it. Unique.

endovelico, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of erz316
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

07 HJ on the back, 330ml brown bottle into maudite snifter.

A - this brew looks magnificent. the body is a bright, clear, bubbly apple juice colour, martinelli's to be specific. the head is big, fluffy, and bright white. the body is a great colour, and the turbidity is good too; it is very transparent, but one cannot see through the body itself, only light is seen, no images. the head falls at a reasonable rate, and leaves some lacing, and a full layer of foam over the top.

S - this is one of the best smelling and strongest smelling tripels I have ever had. wow, where to start. the top notes are of golden malts and some crisp apples and ripe pears; the fruitiness is exceptional, as is the character of the malts. there is a very light underlying spiciness that is blended in perfectly with the malts, which tend to dominate over it. the spiciness is most identifiable as a light pepper. there is also a medium sized character of citrus and honey, though the pear/apple-malt combination tends to overwhelm it. the mid ground is characterized by this honey like sweetness. perhaps some of the alcohol can be smelled one the brew begins to warm.

T - the initial taste is malty, slightly sweet, a bit bitter, and onehundred percent delicious. this barley wheat oat combination is superb, the malts taste so incredibly smooth and consistent. all of the flavours are distinct and very up front with their flavour. first the apple pear combinaiton comes out, using the pears sweetness and the tartness of granny smith apples, this bitter sweetness stays as the hops introduce a more herbal type of bitterness. the finish is sweet, carbonated, and dry. the alcohol comes out most clearly in the finish, it affords a spicy and almost grainy flavour. the aftertaste is more subdued, but then at times it is quite reminding. the aftertaste is primarily malty, with a bit of the bittersweet combination of the pears and apples. the only reason this doesnt get top marks is probably because it was missing some of that certain flavour which is indicative of the style. maybe it comes from the yeast, i dont know, but it just didnt have that concentrated tripel flavour during the finish.

MF&D - the feel is perfect, what can I say. great amounts of small scale carbonation with a medium body. smooth, creamy, mouthcoating: this beer is the perfect embodiment of these characteristics. the carbonation goes down so well for its abundance, it is quite hard to believe.

erz316, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of peterjk
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 750 in a Duvel glass (sorry no TK glasses to be found a the drinking location). The beer is slightly cloudy with streams of tiny carbonation bubble all over the glass. The color is dark yellow or pale gold. The head is off white 1/2" thick in the tapered duvel glass.

S: Great bouquet, slightly sweet of front with lighter fruit notes (tart apple). You can smell the yeast very doughy but also spicy notes. Nose dances around and evolves.

T: Like any good Belgian ale the taste evolves over time. Cold the beer is crisp and juicy (apple, light pear) with herbal notes and i hint of bitterness on the finish. As it warm up I get more a spiced cider flavor, even some nutmeg and a yeasty fresh bread flavor. Stay sweet all the way through but the finish is balanced juicy sweet with herbal dryness.

M: Smooth with consistent small bubble carbonation, lingering finish.

D: For 8+% ABV this beer is wonderfully easy to drink. Generally prefer doubles over triples so TK extra sweetness is a bonus to me, help cut through the dry herbal notes that dominate other triples.

peterjk, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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 -7%
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 -6.5%
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 -5.8%
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%
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 -34.6%
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%
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 +1.2%
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 +1.6%
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 +2.3%
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
Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 3,198 ratings.