Sparkleberry - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by waltonc:
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3.61/5 rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
On tap, Michigan Summer Beerfest 2013. Kind of ruddy and rusty looking, drawing tones from both ruby red and dingy copper; hazy from top to bottom, pretty much expected for a tripel. The head isn't as voluptuous as I'd expect from the style, rather it's just a meek little white film that skims the top of the muddled brew. Not much to look at, really.
The aromas from Bell's Sparkling Ale are still present, though perhaps in lesser quantities - clove, mint, white pepper, some light fruit skins and esters. The Belgian yeast is still obvious and apparent, which is important in any tripel. I'm a bit disappointed by the raspberry addition, however, as it smells kins of medicinal and chalky; contrived and forced, rather than pure and honest. It imparts a nice sweetness and almost-tartness, but overall, the introduction was poor.
Raspberries becomes a little more believable on the palate, starting off with lightly tart raspberry juice and a touch of berry jam, while being backed up with all of those typical Belgian yeast flavors, like fruity esters, clove, pepper, and a noticeable amount of phenol. Unfortunately, that undesirable chalkiness is back on the palate, though it is a bit toned down from the aroma. It's most noticeable around mid-palate and it's just not meshing too well with me right now.
The finish is a mix of spice and dying berry sweetness as the beer wisps away from your palate instantly. Tripels are typically carbonated to hell, and this one is right up there with the rest of them (kind of shocking that the head was so lackluster from the pour). A bubbly, lively, and very active mouth feel that seems to help the beer float away with each and every sip. Medium bodied; it would probably have a creamy feel if the carbonation was toned down just a touch.
I love raspberries and I love raspberry addition into beer, when done properly. I can't help but think this beer could have been done a little better, but maybe there's a conflict between the inherent sweetness and tartness of the raspberries with the spicy nature of Belgian yeast. Whatever the case, I didn't enjoy this beer as much as I wanted to, but it's still pretty far from being undrinkable or even unenjoyable... just more of a let down than anything.
Serving type: on-tap
08-07-2013 11:40:47 | More by tectactoe
Sparkleberry from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.