St. Vrain Tripel - Left Hand Brewing Company
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
4.38/5 rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Resplendent clover honey with sprinklings of yeast falling slowly in a downward direction and fine bubbles racing rapidly in an upward direction. I keep hoping that some American brewer will figure out how to create a Belgian-style head on their Belgian-style beer. This one comes closer than most. The cap is rich ivory in color and has a surface that looks like torn French bread. Unfortunately, some of that initial magic is lost on subsequent pours.
The nose pretty much nails the style. There's an abundant amount of pear nectar and spicy clove, neither one overpowering the other. Another great feature is that alcohol is virtually absent; quite a feat for such a high-ABV beer. My hopes are rising by the minute.
One of my first thoughts is that Left Hand has done a more than credible job with St. Vrain Tripel. Outside of the mighty Allagash (who I'd put in the same category with Belgium's best), there aren't a lot of outstanding tripels floating around out there in the U.S. of A. I'm not ready to bestow greatness on this one, but at least it tastes authentic.
A prodigious amount of pale malt and a hefty amount of candi sugar give the beer the rock solid backbone that is essential whenever a tripel is being constructed. Given the delicious sun-ripened fruitiness (golden apples, buttery pears, ripe bananas... bubble gum) and the warm spiciness of ground clove, I have to believe the brewery got ahold of a true Belgian yeast strain. I'm not a brewer, but I'm guessing that it's next to impossible to brew a good tripel without kick-ass yeast.
As in the nose, alcohol is superbly masked. So much so that I'm gulping faster than I should be if I intend to make any sense from here on out. The mouthfeel probably won't remind anyone of Tripel Karmeliet, but it's plenty good in its own right. A healthy number of bubbles work behind the scenes (thank goodness) to lighten what might have been an overly sticky beer.
I'm impressed and am becoming more impressed as the ounces pass. I have no idea if Left Hand plans to release any of the 'Big Mo' beers again, but I vote for Smoke Jumper Smoked Imperial Porter and St. Vrain Tripel to be regular releases. Seasonal releases at the very least. Nice job guys. Keep 'em coming.
Serving type: bottle
08-01-2007 22:21:22 | More by BuckeyeNation
More User Reviews:
3.96/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
Serving type: bottle
05-28-2014 05:37:40 | More by 1000lbgrizzly
3.58/5 rDev -4.3%
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.
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.
Serving type: bottle
04-02-2014 19:33:09 | More by LeeryLeprechaun
St. Vrain Tripel from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.