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St. Vrain Tripel - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
St. Vrain TripelSt. Vrain Tripel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

241 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 5
Gots: 23 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cbl2 on 10-15-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 98
Photo of teromous
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy light golden color with a thin white head that fades quickly.
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Aroma: Slight metallic scent, an alcohol aroma, and kind-of a peach aroma.
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Taste: There is a faint caramel sweetness that is a bit watered down. There is a light tang and a bit of banana pudding flavor.
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Mouthfeel: It has a nice thick coating feeling on the palate. Not quite as dry as I normally get out of a tripel, but nice.
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Overall: A decent drink but pulled in too many directions like taffy, and very thin in the flavor department.

Photo of TapDat
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Tripel! Left Hand wins again!

Photo of jzlyo
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is spices, citrus and mild doughy sweetness. The flavor is citrus, spices, malts, a very small hint of heat and a tart finish.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i liked this a lot, and even though its really sweet and almost cloying on the candy sugar, i like the yeast a touch. its pink bubblegum in the good way, and the grain bill seems interesting for a blonde beer, it definitely has some body. the yeast seems really authentic, not one of those thin, ferment it real warm, estery without cause sort of american cheapo strains, its real, and its lovely. it could have used a little longer to work maybe, as this is pretty darn sweet, but its the good kind of sweet that fits the style just fine. i like the wheaty base, all the body, and the explosive effervescing carbonation that lasts the whole drink. i have not known left hand to do much belgian stuff, but this is a great reason for them to explore this direction a little more, its delicious. no booze to show on it either, which means im crushing this and getting drunk maybe faster than i should be...

Photo of bushbeer75
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1pt. 6fl. oz. brown bottle

Left Hand Brewing St. Vrain Triple Ale filled my St. Bernardus goblet with a light gold color forming a white bubbly 1/2 finger head that vanished in no time to a foamy collar. The fine bubbles of carbonation rushed to the top of the goblet. The nose first noticed the sweet smell of candy sugar, followed by fresh green apples. The taste matches the smell with green grapes and a light dose of clove added which helps balance the sweetness. The body is a little lighter/thinner than what was expected. Mouth feel is a little sticky and the carbonation was just right for the style.

This is my first brew from Left Hand Brewing. While this is not my favorite triple I am sure impressed with St. Vrain.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%

Bottle shared by Jeff. Thanks man.

Golden body with an inch of white head. Aromas of yeast, floral hops, bread, alcohol, fruity esters. Cracked pepper and yeast with moderate sweetness. Warming finish. Decent, yet a definite notch below the tripels of Belgium.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Very clear light golden. Nice enough swath of white head on the pour that mostly recedes.
smell: Sweet and sour nose with bready malts and clove.
taste: Very nice melding of all the characteristics in the nose with an amazingly easy drinkability.
overall: Man, this is a pleasant surprise. Ratings are meh....maybe I'm a Philistine and aren't dinging this for being removed from a traditional Tripel but I just think it's a damn fine brew. This drinks like a small session beer, alcohol nearly imperceptible.

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Milky golden straw, wispy lacing, slight foamy head reduces to form circular colonies of froth- reminds me of a petri dish. Colorful bottle artwork, with esoteric symbolism; just looking at it gets me excited.

S: Really fantastic. Tropical fruit, coriander, a touch of yeast and vanilla, maybe some bread in there too.

T: The yeast/hops combination pulls through here, which gives it an overly earthy/metallic note, but the (to my senses) more favorable flavors of fruit and spice are still significant.

M: Light bodied, refreshing. Carbonation is more mild than I would have expected.

O: Pretty darn good, I would prefer a few things to be tweaked, but it's their interpretation, and I can still appreciate the originality. I'll probably return.

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer pours gold in color. No haze. Sticky white head that turns into good lacing around the glass. Small bubbles rise to the surface.

Spice and phenols in the aroma. Not too overpowering.

Sweet with a medicinal and hoppy finish. Nice and crisp at the end.

Medium mouthfeel.

overall a good beer. I really like the hops with the spice in the finish. The only mark against it is that it is somewhat medicinal.

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured in a tulip

A hazy straw yellow with a yeasty texture.
Clove, banana and a hint of pepper. More on the dark fruit and sweeter side of a tripel. lots of lingering raisin flavors and caramelized sugar. A sugary sweetness on the back end.
Easy drinking, puts off no off flavors, and keeps from flavor fatigue.
Overally, its pretty good, just a tad boring.

Photo of msquared36
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden hue. Not as cloudy as other triples. Light carbonation with barely-there head. Bread-like smell that comes through in the taste. Refreshing taste with a slightly sweet finish. Very clean and crisp. Not too strong for a triple. Doesn't compare to the Trappist triples but a quality beer that ranks in the top tier of other US and Belgium triples.

Photo of mactrail
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear rich yellow color in the Kasteel chalice. Nicely carbonated with a pure white head and lots of zing in the mouth, but not much lacing in the glass. Fragrant nose of apples and pears. Some cider notes in the flavor as well. This is quite a tart Tripel, with less sugar and mellowness than you often find in this style.

There seems to be a touch of hops though the bitterness at the finish is more yeasty. This doesn't start out very sweet, and it heads toward the dry side as you sip. The Belgian character is restrained, though there is just a whiff of the barnyard to add a little complexity. Light bodied but powerful.

A zingy and very sippable Tripel. It makes me think of a dry Sherry. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bottleworks in Seattle.

Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with colorful vibrant label art and branded white/red pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local HEB Grocery and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery, whose milk stout I quite enjoy. 2013 Vintage. Best by: 05/20/16. 9.3% ABV according to my bottle/ "Enjoy at 45-50 degrees F in a goblet." , Reviewed as a tripel because it clearly identifies as such.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness. Subpar creaminess. Head retention is poor - about 40 seconds, unless you count the floater ring, which lingers maybe a minute longer. No lacing forms naturally, but I can get some to stick to the sides of the glass by tilting it.

Body colour is a transparent translucent yellow of high vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. It's lighter in colour than most beers I've seen in the style, and may be one of the lightest tripels I've ever seen.

Overall, there are no egregious flaws. It's not unique or special. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Hmm - surprisingly appealing, actually. Soft (maybe clove) honey, Belgian pale malts, clean barley, straw, herbal notes I can't quite place (actual herbs, not hop-derived herb notes) - maybe something in the mint family?, floral hops, clove, pear fruit, nectar, assorted vague orchard fruits, and cidery character. Plenty of sweetness here. Some spice.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. I'm surprised; even ~8% ABV (American-brewed) tripels often seem boozy.

Some might criticize it for seeming too cidery - or at least too redolent of apple juice - but I find it appealing, if nontraditional. A pleasant aroma of average strength for the style.

T/Mf: Orchard fruit: luscious orchard green and yellow apples along with accompanying cidery notes and esters. Hints of peach and pear. The body is refreshingly light and crisp on the palate, with clean smacky Belgian pale malts joining with spritzy crystal malts and sweet clove honey for an interesting mix. Has a kiss of white pepper as well as some clove, but I have trouble identifying the other spices here. Honeysuckle. Hints of lemon. Clean barley. A bit more acidic than I expected, but the effect is nice. As it warms, more of the clean high attenuation yeast begins to come through, evoking some banana but little else; I'm not convinced the yeast used was Belgian (or tripel, for that matter). Digging a bit deeper, I begin to trick myself I'm picking up some white grape grapeskin. Plenty of golden malts. It's certainly on the sweeter side; there's no real hop bitterness at all, and what modest hop character there is here is almost entirely floral, with some complementary fruity hops as well.

It has a warmth which is hardly noticeable, and which I'd call pleasant. I don't find any of the mint which I picked up in the aroma, and I think that's a good thing. There are no off-flavours.

In fairness, it's one of the more complex American brewed tripels I can remember having in quite some time. The dryness and refined crispness of a more intricate tripel is missing here, but the smooth wet mouthfeel here is just fine. It does dry towards the climax in a more traditional manner, which really helps the texture. It's highly carbonated; bottle conditioning would really help this. I like the cidery crispness even if it isn't quite up to par for a tripel.

The beer could use more subtlety. It's nicely balanced for how much is happening, but the best tripels definitely have a better balance. It's very cohesive, but not gestalt. An interesting build for a tripel which flirts with cider, Belgian pale ale, and even hefeweizen profiles.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Traditional Belgian & Trappist offerings certainly have more depth, but this is pretty decent for an American tripel.

Good presence on the palate for what it is. Nice body. Kind of refreshing. Texture suits the flavour profile nicely, but is by no means custom-tailored to the taste.

Not oily, creamy, astringent, harsh, boozy, gushed, or rough. Unrefreshing.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the high ABV, which is pretty decently hidden. It's not a world class tripel by any means, but it's pretty nice stuff for an American-brewed offering. I wouldn't get it again, but my meagre expectations were exceeded. I'll have to give Left Hand a bit more attention going forward. Maybe they aren't a one-trick pony. I wouldn't recommend it to friends explicitly, but as I'm from Colorado I'd probably tell local friends it's one of the better tripels in the state.

C+

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle pours a clear, light cold color with an ample cap of white head. Average retention and lace.

Nose is a pretty nice traditional take on a tripel....plenty of phenolic Belgian yeast, light crackery malt and a fair amount of grassy hops. Impressed.

Taste throws down some more yeasty phenols and edges on too much clove. Not enough hop backing here, gets a little sweet and flabby in the middle. Malts are light and well done, they just need a little more grassy bitterness to keep it crisp. Mouthfeel is amply carbonated but the sweetness pulls in the wrong direction. Hmmm, not a bad attempt by any means, and thankfully - no spices added! I just had an excellent domestic (Community) Tripel 2 nights ago and that blows this out of the water. Not bad, but likely wont be a repeat purchase.

Photo of DeFaz
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: This doesn't look much like a tripel. The head is relatively small, and the color is closer to a straw color (say, like a lager or pilsener) than a tripel. There is some lacing.

Smell: Yeast and alcohol. This didn't have that spice that I look for from tripels, and there wasn't complexity in the smell.

Taste: Yeah, there's not much going on here either. Candy sugar, yeast, alcohol, and some malt. The alcohol is not well concealed.

Mouthfeel: Again, the alcohol is not hidden too well. The carbonation is low for the style, and the beer is a tad thin.

Overall: This wasn't bad necessarily, but it was disappointing. I expected more from Left Hand. This just didn't have enough going on.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: light orangish yellow. good clarity and a finger or two of an off white head. looks too light and not quite like a tripel should

Smell: pilsner malts, some fruit and sweetness. not like a tripel at all

Taste: luckily it doesn't follow the nose. candy sugar, some yeastiness, fairly strong fruit. it could use a little more power or a kick of alcohol

Mouthfeel: very light for what it is.

Overall: this beer fails to be a good heavy belgian tripel in all accounts accept one and thankfully it was the taste that was on. not quite the gravity this beer should be. needs more power

Photo of spoony
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 650 ml bottle (best by May 20, 2016) into a wine glass.

A-A normal pour produces about a half-finger of thin, white head with poor retention and no lacing. The brew is light, yellow-ish gold in color and clear. Very little carbonation is visible.

S-The smell is chewy, bready, and doughy with a little bit of grainy, warming alcohol to cut the dough. There is a little bit of white pepper and grass, too. It is not terribly sweet, despite the doughy malt profile and warming booze.

T-The taste is less doughy than the smell with more sharp, peppery, grassy flavors. The added sharpness makes for a pleasing, slightly earthy tripel flavor profile. Alcohol is noticeable, but not too aggressive or hot. Again, the brew is on the drier side of the spectrum.

M-The feel is moderately weighted with average to above-average carbonation for the style.

O-This is one of the better brews I have tried from Left Hand. The smell is a bit rough around the edges with too much bread dough and alcohol, but the flavor is more balanced and interesting with the increase in spice and grassy flavors. This brew may not hang with the best tripels out there, but I would drink it again.

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into chalice, 2013 vintage. Pours fairly crystal clear bright golden amber color with a 1 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big pear, apple, lemon, banana, clove, pepper, honey, candi sugar, bread, floral, herbal, bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Awesome aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with moderate malts; and good strength. Taste of pear, apple, lemon, banana, clove, pepper, honey, bread, candi sugar, bubblegum, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, banana, lemon, clove, pepper, candi sugar, bread, honey, bubblegum, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast flavors with light-moderate malt presence; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Tripel style! All around great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast flavors with moderate malts; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy golden body with a full upright white head leaving fine speckled lacing behind. Aroma is honey biscuit malts with a barrage of earthiness, delicate floral, and spice notes....it's amazing it literally makes women want to stop shaving their armpits. A hippie pleasure in glass form excellent beer if you ask anybody especially women. Flavor consists of bready yeast and abundant spice notes excellent across multiple sources, filled with spicy honey rich biscuit malts sweeter than most but again it's great tasting. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied higher carbonation with flowing sweet barley that raises the brows without difficulty. Overall it's a beer many will enjoy but few find as pleasure full as this beer is. God bless St. Vrain and her story behind her sainthood.

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 2013 bomber picked up at greens's on Buford Hwy

A - Crystal clear yellow brew, with not much head and zero lace. Looks like a flat light beer

S - Sweet belgian candy. Trippel, obviously.

T - Candy sweet, belgian yeast, nice combo.

M - Light bodied, heavy carbonation

O - Very good Trippel. True to the style. Enjoyable.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

To commemorate the early trade route along the Rocky Mountain waterways, Left Hand chooses a charming and sweetish Belgian-style Tripel that hides its strength deceptively well.

With a creamy pour, the ale settles into a hazy gold hue. Strong carbonation fuels a creamy white head to sit atop the beer's body. Solid lace and retention sing the praises of its Belgian roots, but I expected more of a champagne-type exuberance and rocky foam stance that's, instead, simple mild in character.

Sweet bready malts provide a scent of crackers and honey before floral hops and fruit esters give impressions of honeysuckle, lemon, apple and banana. A balance of citrus and clove give a soft peppery character to round out the beer's aroma.

To taste, its the honey and dough flavors that greet the early palate while the fruit and spice interplay carries the balance throughout the taste. Expecting more of a wine-like acidity and rustic Belgian earthiness, this more timid example prefers a simplified palate instead of the more complex tones of those from Belgium. Finishing malty-dry and with a linger of banana and clove, I begin to taste a lot of German Hefeweizen influence in this glass.

Medium bodied, the carbonation keeps the beer creamy and feeling a bit fuller than the expressive Trappist versions. Its effervescent tone slowly fades as the full taste of residual sweetness lingers delightfully on the tongue. The beer closes warm and lightly spicy but nowhere near the alcohol level mentioned.

As the last few sips are taken, it's clear that this Tripel shares the same fate as many Belgian-inspired, American-attempted example of the style. It lacks the depth and complexity, or the champagne carbonation and the dryness of authentic Belgian versions. It's kind of a Tripel on training wheels.

Photo of IrishJames
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Straw color with slight haze. Thin head scatters quickly. No lace.

Smell: Not much to speak of. Slight malt aroma. No discernible hops. Trace of sweet candy.

Taste: As tripels go, sweetness is present here but the malts are allowed to carry their own weight. Not expected, but works fine. Alcohol is prominent.

Mouthfeel: Thin with mild carbonation.

Overall: Drinkable and good for summertime on the deck at sunset. Will not seek out this brew in the future, but not bad by any means.

Photo of Dmart1223
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nothing like some warm, summer funk.

St. Vrain Tripel reminds me of the season because of:

A. its crystal clear golden color,

B. Its floral, quasi-tropical smell (it smells a little like mangoes, I think),

C. And its crisp, refreshing finish paired with a hint of dandelion bitterness.

I think it's a more than decent beer, with an excellent, mouth-filling mouthfeel and a sharp, spicy bite that kicks you when you forget to look for it. It reminds me a little of New Belgium's Peach Porch Lounger without the fruit.

Ultimately, though, it tastes like a base. Some bolder, possibly fruitier flavor (not peaches) blended with this would have made it my favorite beer this summer. It's still worth a try, though.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 8/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium golden amber with a modest, long lasting head that has light lacing. Spicy tripel aroma. Pleasant spicy, wheat and light citrus. Sweet caramel, a little malt in the middle and a spicy finish. A quite respectable tripel. Somewhat lighter in taste than most Belgian versions.

Photo of katan
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a light golden color, to just a little bit above a straw. Lots of pearly white head. Very clear, bright.

S - A combination of pilsner malts, sweet and slightly grainy, along with a decent amount of spicy coriander and even a little bit of fresh cut flowers.

T - Starts off nicely malty, pilsner malts, sweetness, more of the coriander and flower petals. Mid-stream gets some alcohol warmth. Hopping is about zero. Finishes clean, a little bit of sweetness and some alcohol warmth.

M - Full bodied, light carbonation. Alcohol warmth as noted in the flavor. Pretty clingy - must be a significant amount of sugars behind this baby.

O/D - A very good triplel - it doesn't overwhelm you in any characteristic, however just subtly brings through the complexity of the style. ABV is up there, as expected, but well hidden. Not at all filling. A great beer.

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St. Vrain Tripel from Left Hand Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.