Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,625 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,625
Reviews: 1,257
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 253
Gots: 619 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-27-2001

3 grains - barley, wheat, oat. Styrian hops.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,625 | Reviews: 1,257
Photo of snu164
2.05/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

750ml bottle.

A. Nice golden clear pour. Perfect carbonation.

S. Grains of paradise. Nothing other than grains of paradise. The scent is so strong, I question whether the other reviewers actually smelled or drank this beer. It only smells like grains of paradise. Heavily so.

T. Black pepper. That is all I can taste. Black pepper.

M. Medium? Hard to tell with the overwhelming flavor of black pepper.

I hope I got a bad bottle. This is one of the worst Belgian Beers I have tasted. As a brewer, the obvious flaw is too much grains of paradise. Way too much black pepper.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.06/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I got this on tap, i actually came to this specific pub because they have this beer on tap and i live in the cornfields. I don't have it easy.
So the pour is a really clear pale golden straw color, the color is a bit lackluster though. The head is decent with average retention.
The aroma and flavors seemed muted from what i expected, there wasn't a strong yeasty character which is not surprising from the clear body, but i also got very little spices or white pepper notes that i generally look for in this style. What was there was just slight banana and clove and some wheat notes, not much else adding character to this one.
I have had triples from alot of others i liked alot more honestly.
The mouthfeel was a bit low carbed, maybe that kept the flavors from popping? I hope that was the problem, hopefully it was a bad pour or something, but i wasn't impressed.

Photo of jgasparine
2.15/5  rDev -49.8%
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

Photo of TPSReports
2.36/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I pickeup up four of these 11.2oz bottles on my last trip to West Palm Beach. Fortunately, I've given away two to ddarden and only have one the remains. Maybe it will improve with age.

Everything is great with this beer for a while: the bottle looks nice. I like the label. It pours and looks like a tripel. That is where the fun ends.

The aroma is difficult to place, and not the pleasing -- very sugary.

The best way to describe the taste is candy corn soaked in alcohol. Not good, IMHO.

This is my least favority tripel to date. I would MUCH prefer an ice cold Miller High Life.

Bummer.

Photo of claspada
2.47/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy golden honey color with an average size off white aromatic head and minimal lacing.

The aroma is definitely the highlight of this beer for me. Wheat, yeast, tons of fresh lemon, some caramel sweetness, and some spiciness from either the hops (unliklely) or the yeast (my guess).

Unfortunately the tastes don't match the aromas on this beer for me. I am not digging the yeast flavors to be completely honest. This beer has a pretty powerful taste: quite astringent (almost acidic), lemon, wheat, bitter hops, light spices as well, too much going on here for me. A sugary sweetness is out of balance for me as well, I am not into it.

I think the mouthfeel is off as well for me on this; it is thick and extremely carbonated which I am just not enjoying.

I'm not too sure what I think of this beer, I feel like I'd may need to get La Fin de Monde from Unibroue and compare side to side to see if I just don't like tripels in general, because I remember liking that beer, but I was not a fan of this one.

Photo of aquatonex
2.53/5  rDev -40.9%
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.

Photo of crashlimo
2.6/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a 750 at costco, poured into a pint glass

A: Golden yellow color. Extensive head despite very careful pouring. Looks surprisingly carbonated.

S: Smells overwhelmingly skunky. Any more pleasant tones are drown out.

T: Sweet fruity notes of bannana and cloves are buried under the skunky aroma and initial flavor. Tastes as if a heineken has been mixed with a subtle triple, and the heiny won.

M: Light annd crisp. Heavy carbonation, but refreshing nonetheless.

D: Drinks well for the ABV, as long as you don't mind the unappealing flavor (perhaps the bottle saw a bit too much light in its day).

This is the first of the style that I have roundly NOT enjoyed. Overall quite disappointing

Photo of JDV
2.64/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rich orangish honey colored beer with very little head on it. Mildly malty, wheaty nose to it. Light but noticeable belgian yeast in the smell as well. Flavor is malty, caramelly and of light alcohol. Somewhat creamy and tastes of smooth maltiness and belgian yeast. Decent, but not for me.

Photo of MisterClean
2.68/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

bottle from total wine

A - Light golden in color, bright white head, with good retention, but little legs.

S - Honey, heavy alcohol presence, peach, and overall perfumy.

T - Caramel, cream, slight alcohol, also slight acetaldehyde, and bananas

M - Alc way too high.

D - Good, but alcohol presence really needs to be removed.

Maybe a bad bottle.

Photo of Arno
2.79/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

A: Weak yellow color, clear. Like a regular pilsener. Like pee ;) Not especially inviting.
S: Citrus fruits. Light bittering hop. Slight sour yeast. Fruity sweetness. Inviting ...
T: Not as full flavored the smell might suggest. Actually the first beer i've experienced that's ruined by the mouthfeel, killing any flavor sensation with an overload of carbonation. I do still get the citrus fruits with a good balance of sweet, bitter and sour.
M: Well, too much carbonation. I don't like the feel at all.

O: The mouthfeel just ruins it for me. Maybe it's because of the taste i had on the day, but somehow every sip i took was taken over by a lot of carbonation tingling. Also the flavor is too one dimensional. There's not much more then citrus fruits. The only good part is that you don't get any alcohol at all, which is an achievement considering the ABV.

Photo of canadianbarman
2.85/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

--330 ml small brown bottle, freshness date stamped on back
--kind of a pale amber in color
--nice, frothy head that left very nice lacing in the glass
--a kind of sweet, floral smell from this one.

Please note: This was my first taste of this style so I have nothing to compare it to. I thought this was a good beer but am hoping that their are better out there. I will for sure give this one another try as my palate and abilities become better.
Thx

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.86/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 3/11/2006 (Pint @ Ginger Man, Austin):

Pours a cloudy orange-yellow colored body, with a small head, and is diminishing. Has an aroma of orange, and some spiciness. Has an odd spice taste to it, some orange, and a fizzy mouthfeel. Kind of flat.

Photo of steve8robin
2.87/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I have not found a brew that I have enjoyed in this style as of yet. I was recommended by a beer store employee that if I don't like this particular tripel, then maybe I just don't like the style. So I bought it to give tripels another try. 11.2oz bottle...

A: Super carbonated bubbles forcing their way to the surface consistently. Veyr light golden color with a thick 2 inch white head that doesn't fades very quickly at all. Holds steady for a while. Very good.

S: Has kind of a bud light scent blended with some strong wheat and oat scents. Ok.

T: I think here's the problem with this style for me. This style's flavor tastes, to me, like a higher end bud light. It has some of the same flavors that a Bud light does. This follows that for me. It has some nice tartness, wheat, and oat that shine through which separate it from msomething like a Bud, but the Bud characteristics are still in it. Guess it's just the style I do not like.

M: Very light. Does not leave many flavors on the palate. Ok.

D: Goes down super easy despite the higher ABV. Very good!

All in all, I figure I just do not like the style. Everything I have tried for Tripels has disappointed me. I hated La Fin Du Monde which so many people love and has a high rating on BA. I have not found any Tripel that I actually enjoyed. So, this just not be my style. If you do not like Tripels than avoid. Otherwise, give this brew a chance for you.

Photo of emsroth
2.91/5  rDev -32%
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.

Photo of DJoe
2.91/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A: Clear golden-yellow with a large white head of good retention. A very ample head.

S: Scents of pear and apple are drowned out by a Heineken-like odor. Overall, this is quite off putting.

T: The beer resonates throughout the mouth, with a finish both crisp and peppery. There is also a hint of cloves laced in.

M: HIghly carbonated and dry...

O: A disappointing experience. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle, but this had an unappealing aroma and tastes that tended toward cheap cider.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of paterlodie
2.96/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasting this beer blind in a tripeltasting I was more ore the less disappointed of it. A smell that is only koreander and paradijszaad, and it was tasting like a (cheap) parfum. Hardly any bitterness and nothing that a lover of belgium ( trappist) tripels( like me) would try again... strangely enough this beer came out second in the tasting so there must be a lot of people that like it.... but not me!

Photo of Mercarood
3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Good triple. Not exceptional no frontrunner, but a triple for once in a while.

Photo of HaVoKnYnJ
3.04/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

OK, I can only assume this big green bottle of golden goodness (seriously, aren't green bottles taboo in beer circles?) was mishandled, as there was a TON of crap floating around in this beer. However, I poured as carefully as possible, and ran the last 2-3 inches of the bottle (not the final cm or 2) through a coffee filter, for the final pour.

This was a bottle I got for Christmas 05, and has been stored in a cool dark place since then. I split the bottle with my brother, a budding beer snob. A quick whif of the bottle after removing the cork smelled like skunked heineken. Fighting my urge to pour the bottle into the sink, i poured a little bit into a chalice-y type glass (no glass 'flute' to hold...more of a red wine kind of thing), which produced a thick white head. A sip revealed the beer was still good, just a bit off in odor.

Taste was thick, with lots of citrus and yeasty tones. I wouldn't say I could taste more of one citrus over any other, though there were no sharp tastes (a la grapefruit in an ipa), but they were well balanced by the yeasty flavors, as well.

Basically, I want to try this beer again, as I think it was pretty good. Especially with the suspicion that the bottle may have been around too long, or mishandled at some point, I think it says a lot that it was still a solid experience.

(edit: I just saw the picture...my bottle looked NOTHING like that...green glass with graphics applied directly on a translucent label.... did I have a really OLD bottle, or did I have a NEWly redesigned bottle? Anyone know?)

Photo of mgdeth
3.04/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - 750 ml green bottle. Pours a clear golden color, with a white head. Highly carbonated.

Smell - The aroma is almost honey-sweet. No hop nose on this beer. Something about the aroma reminds me of cheap American lagers. This is not a good thing. There is also a slightly skunky aroma - blame that on the green bottle.

Taste - I appear to have gotten an old bottle. The taste is more or less true tripel - sort of a light, caramely sweet taste, but it is not fresh. Alcohol flavor creeps in as the beer warms. I also detect a grassy flavor.

Mouthfeel - Thick, yet smooth. Appropriate for the style.

Drinkability - Due to the flawed aroma and flavor, this beer is not as drinkable as I would have liked.

Comments - For $7 a bottle, I wish that the brewers would have had the sense to put this beer in a brown bottle. The label says that it wona Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup. I'm guessing that if you can get this fresh, it could be much better.

Photo of weizenbob
3.07/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This 750 ml corked and caged green glass bottle was purchased in April at Pere Marquette Expeditions in Ludington, MI, supposedly on the same day that it came in. However, if I'm reading the "best before" date correctly as December 21, 2010 then this is quite an old bottle. Shame on you, local distributor. This bottle is being served at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and is being poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

The cork comes off easily and a lively stream of champagne-like bubbles rushes to the surface, aggravating the layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, effectively distributing it back into the beer. A moderate pour into the glass yields an explosive two-finger head. An effervescent stream of bubbles aggressively ascends from the nucleation point of the glass, the likes of which I have not seen in this particular vessel. As a result, head retention is very good. Patchy lacing sticks to the wall of the glass. The beer is light-golden in hue, and apart from the chunky sediment now reintroduced into the beer, it looks very clear. The sediment is an unfortunate detriment to an otherwise fine looking brew.

The aroma is giving off mostly lactic sour notes, though a tempered wheaty snap waits subversively in the wings. It is a little peppery and closer examination reveals faint remnant of the classic banana and clove combo. The scent of solvent-like alcohol eventually surfaces. Mostly however, it smells like lambic or perhaps saison. This is my first experience with Tripel Karmeliet, and I was not expecting a sour by any description on the label. Could it be a pleasant surprise, or perhaps an unfortunate infection?

Though the taste is not overtly sour, there seems to be something amiss with this bottle. Again, this is my first experience with this beer so I won't know for sure until the next one. On the front end, sweet tropical fruitiness dominates. There are hints of pineapple, but those hints are quickly overtaken by a banana flavor so intense and artificial, you'd swear that you were drinking Laffy Taffy. It blends into a solvent-like alcohol flavor that has obviously mellowed with age, but is still potent enough to be off-putting. As expected, there is no apparent hop bitterness; but this beer is in desperate need of something to balance, or at least challenge, the onslaught of banana. Now I'm kind of wishing that it was a sour.

As a bright point, I must say that this beer feels really good in the mouth. The velvety feel of alcohol gives this a nice weight that isn't too heavy. The violent carbonation had spent itself within minutes. Thus, the stinging carbonic bite I was expecting simply did not manifest. It warms the throat, perhaps a touch more than I would care for. However, it's not a deal-breaker.

This is one odd tripel. If you had given this to me blindly and told me that it was malt liquor, I would say "Bravo! This is fantastic." However as an authentic Belgian tripel it is an unbalanced mess and a disappointment to boot. On top of that, it had me all fooled into thinking I was going to be treated to a nice gueuze, which I am now craving. At $11 a bottle, there are much better triples to be had, but I am also inclined to give this one a second chance. After all, if I am reading the date correctly, this beer is a year and a half beyond peak freshness.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.09/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Weird like 333 ml bottle, 11oz or something. Murky yellow orange haze. Banana aroma. Some other weird clove and spice combination. Very tiny bubbles.

Taste was dry and sweet, filled mouth up with bubbles, this was too carbonated. Too much stuff a standard American hophead won't really appreciate. Just a weird pharmacuetical grade astringency was what I took away from this.

Photo of jpittman80
3.13/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Brilliantly clear golden straw. White head that lasts and leaves the Belgian lace. Beautiful beer, but it did explode and ran over after popping the cork, and almost seems too clear to be a tripel...

S - Nice pepper aroma mostly, with light, sweet citrus and pears.

T - Oh. It seems like almost too much going on here. All of the aroma notes are present. Especially the pepper. Sour, sweet. It really doesn't seem to taste like any "standard" tripel. Good thing or poor categorization? I'm also not convinced that I didn't get a skunked bottle. Stupid green bottles.

M - I want to believe this is medium bodied, but it is so carbonated that it turns to foam in my mouth. This makes way too thin bodied.

D - The whole carbonation issue is a problem for me, as well as the clean-but-somehow-muddled flavor.

This isn't a bad beer, but I really didn't enjoy the experience. I would rather call this a Strong Golden or Belgian Specialty. I'll stick with the classic tripels.

Photo of Dithyramben
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing special, also too much alcohol.

Photo of TastyTaste
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark to medium gold color, with a huge head on the pour with excellent retention. This is going to take a while. (My girlfriend says it is the color of the amber that they extract the dinosaur DNA from in Jurassic Park). The smell is very piney, not in a hoppy way, but somewhat juniper berries. Taste is very sweet, probably overly. Very tart, and somewhat one dimensional. Complexity and shifting flavors are really missing from this beer. Too metallic, and the sweetness is still getting to me. Mouthfeel is fine, but this is somewhat of a dissapointment.

Photo of Patrick999
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the 750ml bottle - the cork was a bitch to extract. Into the Duvel tulip it goes. Innocuous gold, a ton of bubbles rising up. Requisite large foamy head.

Aroma was yeasty as soon as I popped the cork, similar to many other Belgian golden ales. Some peppery character, some melon rind. Nice, but nothing too out of the ordinary if you're used to blonde Belgians. This could be any number of Belgian Strong Pales.

While this is tasty in a very general way, I'm left kinda flat. Not quite sweet, not quite dry. Not too complex, not too phenolic...you know, just not very tripel-like. Interesting that there are oats in here as well as wheat and barley, and indeed, there's certainly a grainy malt bill. Maybe a little cinnamon, if I stretch, but to me this tastes like a generic Belgian Strong Pale.

Feel is a little raspy, nothing unexpected. I was hoping the oats would yield a smoother feel, akin to an oatmeal stout, but no dice.

Drinkability is only average. I was expecting more from the brewers of DeuS. To me, this tastes like a beginner Belgian strong ale, though I do see many reviewers who would disagree with me.

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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
95 out of 100 based on 3,625 ratings.