Sparkleberry - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by waltonc:
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3.61/5 rDev -1.9%
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.
08-07-2013 11:40:47 | More by tectactoe
3.5/5 rDev -4.9%
Had on-tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe.
From what I've read, this is simply a combination of their Sparkling Ale and Raspberry Ale. Looking at Bell's Draft List cam picture, it looks like this is 7 point something percent ABV. I've never had either of the aforementioned beers, so this whole thing was new to me. I found that cold out of the tap, this didn't have much of a fruity aroma. After it sat for a bit and warmed up, raspberry notes came out and it came apparent that there was a lot of fruit in this beer. There's really not much hop bitterness to speak of, but I wasn't expecting it, given the name. This also has a pretty decently high amount of carbonation, which makes sense, since the name is Sparkleberry. Overall, a pretty tasty beer, but not exactly my thing. Good enough to have again.
07-08-2013 04:31:27 | More by Alextricity
Sparkleberry from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.