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Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,157 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,157
Reviews: 1,185
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 183
Gots: 322 | 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
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Ratings: 3,157 | Reviews: 1,185 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scruffwhor
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter/chalice type glass at Lunar Brewpub in Villa Park.

Appearance- Beautiful two finger head. A slightly dark, hints of cloudiness, golden ray of tripel sunshine.

Smell- Candy sugar, with an earthy fruit bouqet better defining the sweetness of the smell. With hops leveling things off before they get out of hand.

Taste- Malty, sugary start with a slight hoppy middle. Aftertaste is a great mix of light bodied fruits and hops. With a slight alcohol aftertaste that warms the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied palate.

Drinkability- Could have a couple pints over spread out over the course of teh evening. But not a session before.

scruffwhor, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of atigerlife
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle.

Very bubbly, large head sitting on top of a straw colored, hazy beer. Lots of carbonation. Very interesting looking. Not what is expected from a tripel.
Smell is sweet, honey flowers and some grain. Very complex. The taste is also very complex, with some vanilla, pepper, citrus [lemons, orange] and herbs. The beer is very smooth, creamy and crisp. No alcohol kick, which is surprising given the ABV.
Mouthfeel is good. Cleansing.
Overall, this is an amazing beer. Very complex. Not the usual tripel, but highly recommended. I will certainly be trying to get my hands on some more of this [my other bottle broke in transit...a tragedy!].

12/06 I did get my hands on another bottle [750 ml] and this was as good, if not better, than the first one. Just a great beer. Will be looking for more whenever I get the chance.

10/07 Another bottle. Still great, but for some reason it just seemed too sweet this time. Not sure if my palate has changed, the mood, food, or whatever.

atigerlife, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

WVbeergeek, Nov 30, 2005
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this slowly and my glass was half head in no time. There’s a torrent of champagne bubbles roaring up from the bottom now sustaining the foam rubber textured egg shell white head that leaves a thick wall of foam on the side of my glass too thick to be called lacing. Perhaps matting? The color is golden straw. Heavy spicy yeast in the nose with some wheat, some sourness, and a touch of alcohol. There’s also a slight bit of banana and bubble gum. The flavor is very dynamic. Starts out a bland wheat flavor, but an explosion of the carbonation releases the yeasty spices and the latent sweetness. The mouth feel is slightly thick and is about as carbonated as a beer can get with out being annoying. It leaves the palate numb and tingling, awaiting the next sip. This is a very nice beer and an absolute pleasure to sip.

DarkerTheBetter, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of tekk9
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Karmeliet looked very enticing in the glass. Bubbles shot twords the top of the glass in a sappy amber colored liquid with glimmers of yellow. A thick white head stuck around for a while, then rapidly faded.

The aroma of fruit and earthy, grassy smells were strong at first, then fade with hints of oak.

This is a very complex beer. There are many flavours hiding in it, that come forward and quickly fade to another. At first it is sweet honey, then a glimpse of pepper, then summer grass, then quickly hops, with a kind of salty finish. I think I will finish the bottle before I can desribe them all.

A lovely light carbonation, with a bit of thickness, can be sensed on the tongue.

Although the alcohol is a little prominent, I think this beer is very drinkable. Infact I wish I had another.

tekk9, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of twelvsies
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a crystal clear golden color, initially with a big fluffy head, but it died in a few seconds. Smell is sweet, lightly grainy, with a nice grassy hop profile, much like a Belgian pale ale, and a hint of alcohol. Taste is on the sweet side as well, yeasty and grassy, but with a bit more noticable alcohol than is healthy for this style. Not particularly balanced. I really think this fits into the Belgian pale style more than the tripel. It just doesn't have that rich carmelly sweetness or mouthfeel that a top notch tripel does. Nice spicyness however, and a refreshing beer.

twelvsies, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy burnt orange color with a half inch head at first pour that disappeared in less than a minute to be a small ring maintained by a whole bunch of bubbles rising. It could definitely use some more head retention. There is a continual stream of bubbles the entire time I drank this beer, and eventually the beer clarified to be mostly clear.

Aroma: Lots of citrus fruit in the nose at first. Some floral notes from hops are pretty noticeable with this beer. As the beer warms, the aroma s taking a bit of a cherry note. There are also some peaches in the background. This beer really gains character as it warms!

Taste: The flavor is much more delicate than I expected from the nose. It has a soft malt that is a big player in the entire flavor. There is a bit of hops noticeable just at the beginning, but this fades quickly to let the malt chime in. Near the finish you can pick out a pretty obvious addition of candy sugar that leaves the finish pretty dry with an evident alcoholic burn. This makes the body appear light rather than the carbonation that you would normally get in a Tripel. As the beer warms, there is a much more noticeable malty presence, and surprisingly the floral notes fade.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer, but I don’t know where I would classify it. I wouldn’t call it a Tripel per say, nor would I say that it is a Saison. It doesn’t need a slot on the BJCP guidelines to taste good. It is a very clean and well brewed Belgian ale…what else can I say? Try it for yourself.

SkeeterHawk, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark gold in colour with lots of carbonation. Aromas of banana, mild citrus, mild bready malts, and a touch of alcohol. The flavors begin somewhat malty and sweet, but quickly evolve into a pleasing melange of spices and fruit. The finish is rather clean, making it very easy to drink. Very drinkable stuff and extremely well made.

fisherman34, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of Sephiroth
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer looks magnificent! A pillow of white foam caps a cloudy golden beer. A plume of bubbles streams from the bottom of my tulip. The smell is of sweet honey and to a lesser degree, various citrus fruits. Grassy wheat fields as well. And alcohol.

This is the most over the top tripel I've had to date. Sweet and alcoholic up front. Lemon- lime orangy tangerines too. The sweet honey attempts to balance this, to no avail. Grassy hops play a small role. The mouthfeel is not as carbonated as I'd like in a tripel, despite the foam. I wouldn't want more than one of these in a night, unusual for me with tripels. I might like this with a little more age on it.

Sephiroth, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged green 750 that is silk screened, but not dated. Served in a tulip.

The cork let loose with a loud pop and hit the ceiling as quick as the cage was loosened, however, this was not a gusher.

Clear polished brass with good carbonation that supports a tall white head. The head is so strong that it pushes over the rim and continues rising over an inch yet it doesn't spill down the side of the glass. Istead it creates something that resembles Devil's Tower. What's really F'd up is that Close Encounters of the Third Kind is on the TV in front of me. Is this beer trying to tell me something?

Right after pouring, the room takes on the aromas of skunked pilsener hops. That fades away after a minute. The beer smells a little sweet with belgian yeast that is a bit chalky, wheat, citrus, sugars, and spices.

The taste is a nice balance of sweets and citrus. The malted wheat comes through briefly and is followed by the lemony citrus and spice/herbal flavors. Nice chalky to almost bready yeast flavors. The tartness from the lemon stays in focus and is joined by european hops for a mostly dry finish that still has elements of spice and fresh apple juice. Nicely done.

I like what the carbonation does for the mouthfeel: keeps it lively and fresh. Drinkability....hell yes. The abv is well hidden and the best part...the taste is complex and wonderful.

ypsifly, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this beer at Tria in Philadelphia.

Beautiful gold color. Reminds me of honey. Aroma is intense and nice. Hard to describe.

Taste reminds me of honey. Again, like a mead. Like the sweetness was fermented out. Brett mixed in. The two components mesh incredibly well.

Food note: I had some Humboldt Fog cheese with honey with this beer. Quite good together. The honey tastes hook into each other, but the sweetness in the honey provides a contrast in those two "honey" tastes as well.

GeoffFromSJ, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle corked and caged. Pours out a clear golden orange body with a tall off white foamy head. Good amount of lacing clings to the glass as it is consumed. Aroma is pretty big with a bunch of things going on. Lots of spice and fruity sweet notes seem to dominate. Some toasty malts in there as well. Sweet fruit flavors of pears, apples and other fruits lead off the flavor. Various spices are present as is a bit of a yeasty note. Finishes spicy sweet with a bit of a lingering spiciness. Lively with carbonation and very smooth going down. Ample body. Very drinkable and complex stuff from a style that usually doesn’t impress me.

meathookjones, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of hero27
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pt. 9.4fl oz bottle.

Thin, whispy head holds for the life of the brew.. appearance is hazy gold with a fizzy head & streams of carbonation coming from the bottom of the goblet. Tons of yeast, even after a careful pour and trying to keep the sediment to a minimum. Aroma & flavor is quite complex..banana, cloves, raisins, wheat, oranges, etc, etc.. all present in the taste and taking their turns in the spotlight with every sip. Still, a bit too thick on the spices for my taste. Not offensive, just leaves it a bit unbalanced in my mind. Very smooth for a complex, 8% alcohol offering. I finished off the bottle and wanted more. A well-crafted Belgian brew.

hero27, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of Suds
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Burnt golden color with a beautiful, solid, serious, bulbous head. The aroma is yeasty, and peppery with a backdrop of alcohol. It al blends together in a nice little package…together with a little sugar and fruit smells. The taste has a notable candy flavor, with a graininess and maltiness. Slight bitterness in the end, but framed with pepper and spice. The mouthfeel is a little light, given the nice flavors. I expected something more mouthfilling and creamy. Instead, it’s kind of thin. Still, this is a tasty, enjoyable, very flavorful Belgian.

Suds, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of AltBock
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml green bottle that was corked and caged with an expiration date of 1/1/08. When you pop the cork you get to see all the gases exit the bottle, much like a bottle of wine. I also saw plenty of sediment in the bottle too. A nice treat!

Appearance: Poured a golden orange color with an inch of white foam that left lace around the glass. You also get see all the carbonation bubbles racing to the top of your glass. Another nice treat!

Smell: It had loads of citrus fruits, many different spices, and with just a bit of a floral aroma in the background.

Taste: The taste had lots of sweet fruits, cloves, many different spices, that all ended with a pleasant hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: It was a smooth, medium-bodied beer with plenty of carbonation in it. This is one of those beers that can really hide that 8% alcohol content.

Drinkability: This would make an excellent choice for your first Belgian Triple. If you get this in a 750 ml bottle, this is a must share beer with all your good friends. Also, watch out if you buy this in a green bottle, it might have been exposed to too much light.

AltBock, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this excellent brew several times in the past, but realized that I hadn't reviewed it. I could be drinking a Unibroue and not know it. Very similar taste to the Don de dieu, Blanche de Chambly, and La Fin. Similar yeast, maybe? A bit lighter (but not much) than my favorites of the style (Westmalle, Allagash, St. Bernardus), but very refreshing and satisfying. I was very happy to see this one appear at a local store, and would never be disappointed to choose this when in a tripel mood (like tonight). Buy without hesitancy.

JohnnyDuvel, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderful tripel. Poured out to a dark golden color with high carbonation. Belgian head is present, building up to about 3/4 of an Inch. Minor lacing around the glass. Aromas of citrus (?!), malt, yeast, and some floral notes. Interesting. Taste is dryer than some belgians, but not bad. Flavors of fruit and sweet malt are present, with a alcohol backbone that is not attractive. Aftertaste of again, citrus like notes with a dryer finish than most. Mouthfeel is exciting and very bubbly, with carbonation making it's way into the mix bringing the nuances of this brew to the forefront. High drinkability. A worthy example of a what a good Belgian Tripel should be. Recommended.

Frozensoul327, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into the big Karmeliet glass.

Yellow-gold pour with a huge foamy head that extends up several inches and into the fluted part of the glass. Holds extremely well and fades gently leaving a big lace. A beautiful beer.

Smell is light and tart, with a citrus scent mixing well with a candy-sugar sweetness and a very light hop spiciness. Lovely.

Flavor is outstanding, fairly sweet but not cloyingly so, yeasty flavors coming through, as are some apple and pear flavors that give it a nice crispness, and a fair amount of lemony flavors as well. Very light hoppiness in the taste, too. Mouthfeel is spritzy on the front of the tongue, but still relatively creamy. Very nice.

Overall: I'm not a huge fan of tripels, but I think I'm in love here. Just all-around solid, easy to drink, and deceptive at 8%.

whartontallboy, Sep 18, 2005
Photo of sopor
3.73/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crisp clear light golden with an active and frothy cap of snow white head that quickly dissipates to a thin white splat and ring. Just a wee bit of fine sediment. Sweet alcohol and yeast in the nose.

Sweet sugary starfruit with strong yeasty wheaty flavor. Tangy alcohol takes up the aftertaste. Light bdy and lively dancing carbonation.

Not something you throw back a few of, but very tasty brew!

sopor, Sep 18, 2005
Photo of TheBungyo
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was a little surprised by how clear and golden this was. Lots of carbonation clinging to the glass for a fleeting moment and then taking off towards the top like a rocket. Nice head, about a fingers width, but not so insane that you're forced to pour it as if your life depended on it. The nose is sharp as a razor, lemony and sweet like canned pear juice. There's also a wildness there as well, as if this drink must be tamed and you're just the man (or woman) for the job!
The first thing I noticed was how sweet and soothing this was. Perhaps inducing a little nostagia, making me think of eating canned pears as a kid with the similar sweetness. This quickly gives way to a sharp sour punch that is just what the doctor ordered to offset the sweetness. Although it has a nice mouthfeel, the drinkability factor is suffers because, as this is really tasty, its so complex, one almost feels as if they need something a bit more simple after this complex monster of a beer.

TheBungyo, Sep 09, 2005
Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Incredible beer. In many ways, it's your typical Belgian Tripel. Yet it seems to be a little more. A little sweeter. A little more interesting. The finish is cleaner and the aftertaste is pleasant. I know "Karmeliet" refers to a Karmelite monastic order or some such, but interesting that i do detect a hint of caramel in there. Or is that pyschosomatic?

I could drink a bunch of these.

Bonhoeffer, Sep 06, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
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 mrasskicktastic
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a Karmeliet tulip glass.

A - A very pretty beer. Pours up a medium frothy head with little lacing. A gorgeous honey gold color. It literally looks like honey through the glass.

S - Slight wheat and oats. Hops make a very subtle presence. Not a potent odor, but quite pleasant.

T - Interesting. A slight honey taste with a malty finish. A bit of flowery character. A mild bitter aftertaste. It is good, not great though. Alcohol is detectable, but not powerful.

M - At first I thought it was too highly carbonated and frothed up in my mouth intensely, acting astringently on my tongue. But after a few minutes, it died down a lot and revealed a smooth thin drink that is very refreshing. Still a bit frothy though.

D - I can't put my finger on it. There is something amazing about this beer. I keep wanting it. Looking at what I said, I agree with all with all of it, and it seems complete. Yet somehow there is something left out. This beer is excellent, and the rating doesn't do it justice. I know this beer it good, but it is also not the best I've had, yet I have a feeling that in the future, I would choose it over many beers I've rated higher.

mrasskicktastic, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of beerluvr
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with an extremely foamy white head settling over very, very light golden/yellow liquid. The nose is gentle malt and fruit. Flavors of soft maltiness with a depth of sweetness and little in the way of hoppiness. Finishes quickly without much fanfare...lighter in body and more restrained in flavor than most other Tripels I've had.

beerluvr, Aug 30, 2005
Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 3,157 ratings.