St. Vrain Tripel - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
St. Vrain TripelSt. Vrain Tripel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

242 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 242
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 7
Gots: 24 | 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: 242 | Reviews: 98
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, $10.99 @ DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. No feshness info offered. Pours lighter golden wheat, slightly hazed, a large yeast deposit is on the bottom of the bottle and the second pour adds this further cloudy inducing substance to the mix. Moderate, fine near white head. Leaves fine patterns of light lacing. Lacks the long lasting voluminous head thats so common amoung the all stars of the style. Tropical fruits, light bubble gum and slight pepper in the nose. Yummy brew, more light pepper, ripe fruit, bubble gum, gin and lime flavor notes picked up. 9% no where in sight. Fine tripel. Delicate and well crafted. Belgian lovers go get some and enjoy.

Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: bright yellow in color, cloudy, minimal head, moderate carbonation

Smell: alcohol, banana, and Belgian spices

Taste: alcohol, banana, grass, apple, Belgian spices, and a sweet honey end

Mouthfeel: sweet, smooth, minimal carbonation, sticky

Drinkability: A nice and malty tripel. The spices are not as in your face as the sugar. I would buy this again as a treat.

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'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 Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A way too sweet Belgian, thanks Jon for bringing. Sweetish smell, tons of malts. Triple gone too sweet. Sweet tupello honey, abve average mouthfeel. Not very complex. A little too sweet for palate and drinkbility.There is a drop of hops there, its Styrian Golding, but you need to get past this mounatin of cloying sweetness.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Left Hand's St. Vrain Tripel pours a clear, golden-brass colored body beneath a short but creamy head of bright white foam. The retention is very good, bolstered by steadily teeming bubbles from beneath, and the lacing is quite nice with mostly solid walls of creamy white lace.

In the nose it's malty with a fruity side that gathers together soft summer berries and freshly sliced apples (hmmm,... La Chouffe yeast?). There's a light maltiness to it, and it's softly sweet with a mild edge of fruit and vanilla.

In the mouth it's lightly tingly and then moderately creamy-smooth with a medium body and gently effervescent carbonation.

The flavor expresses delicate fruit upfront, surrounded by soft malt with a vanilla-cream side. As it warms the malt becomes more prominent, but some spicy alcohol also steps in. It doesn't linger, but it immediately scrubs away the malty/fruity sweetness into a dry and (alcohol) spicy finish. Suddenly refreshed, the palate is again ready for another sip!

Overall, it's very nice, refreshing, and, to at least some extent interesting. But it lacks depth of flavor and complexity in comparison with the best from Belgium and America. Certainly worthy of trying, and very enjoyable, but not stunning.

Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. A wine glass was $6. It appeared a surprisingly brilliant, clear amber with a short white head. I'd call this a classic example of an American tripel. It's on the spicy end of the Belgian style spectrum like a tripel should be, but overall the flavor is far too clean. Sure, it's dry and drinkable as all hell, but it lacks the delicate complexity of a great Belgian tripel. The flavors were limited here to white pepper, a hint of clove, and hot (alcoholic) bready malts. It reminded me of Tripel Crown made by Middle Ages in upstate NY.

Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Joplin in early spring, 2009 batch (Capped bomber)

Pours an effervescent & chill-hazed honey color with a finger of pearl white head. Stays hazy, above average head retention & good lacing

S: Mown grass & faint green apple

T: Golden delicious apples, grassyness, lemons & juicyfruit up front. More of the same as this warms, with some booze lurking in the background, along with some grapefruit, but a bit too much juicyfruit for me, plus a bit of tartness & peach. Finishes semi-dry & sweet, with bits of lemon, banana, candi sugar, pink grapefruit, peach, & tartness

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit of irritating chalkiness too

Drinks alright, but not a shining example of the style IMO. At least the ABV is well hidden, this just lacks depth & complexity

Photo of Gmann
3.39/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear toasted straw color with a very small head that quickly disipated into the lightest of rings. Very thin looking for a tripel. Nice yeasty aromas, some banana and bubble gum scents. The banana and bubble gum yeast flavors are there but seem to be derailed by the sugar presence. The flavor is quite sweet and has a berry like fruitiness with the slightest touch of hops in the end. The feel is abnormally light and watery for the style and has fairly soft carbonation. The ABV pops its head in every so often. A very disappointing tripel, the body and feel seem way off. The flavors aren't bad but lack the depth of a good tripel. A rare miss for Left Hand.

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a vibrant golden-amber with a moderate bright white head. There was about a half inch of sediment lying on bottom of bottle. Peppery colored floaties swirled and danced in the glass.

S: a spicy fruitiness (pineapple, candi sugar, apples and and a lemony hopping.

T: The flavor was yeasty and true to style with pears, apples and some citrusy tones. The overall beer had a sweet spicy and sour character bursting with typical triple fruitiness and finishing with a peppery spicing.

M: There was a noticeable alcohol tinger and warming in the mouthful which was medium bodied, with a lively carbonation factor with warm fruit.

D: Overall a spicy/sour Belgian that drank fairly well with only a slight awarness of the 9.0%abv.

Photo of DBoone
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottled in 2009, poured into Duvel tulip.
A Hazy straw color, poured straight, fluffy, slightly off white head, 1/2 in faded quickly to thin layer.
S Candy sugar, banana, biscuity
T Banana, candy sugar, & some other light colored fruit, .
M Very light on tongue and cheeks, and smooth.
O Solid triple you should try if you have the opportunity, I would buy again.

Photo of milkstoutmama
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Keg. First thought, home brew? Benefits: Bright straw color and excellent clarity. Honey-caramel nose, sweet turnip and bitter peony flavors in a light-bodied, crisp style. Deceivingly high ABV, yet so soft! Detriments: Slightly sour, will affect prolonged enjoyment. 1/4" head; dies out after 5-7 minutes.

Photo of Tolnik
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This yellowish golden beer pours with a fair amount of foam. The foam reduces down to a light lacing a top the beer. The beer has the aroma of coriander, wheat, fruit tones and slight malts. The taste of the beer follows suit with slight differences stronger coriander and banana tones. Overall a great beer to enjoy during summer.

Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice yellow color, kinda like pear. Some white bubbles on top, but no real head to speak of.

S:Citrus and strawberries. A hint of grass in there as well, I presume from hops.

T: Came out sour.. but as I get more into it, that fades a bit. Slightly sharp, but with a nice fruity mellow flavor. I am picking up some apple and mellon hints.

M: Slightly thick and syrupy, but only slightly. Not a whole lot of carbonation.

D: Good, but there are a lot of other belgian styles out there, and this one isn't so far above the others that it would merit buying it on a more consistent basis.

Photo of cheers2beers
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: From a 750ml bottle this beer poured a very murky apple juice shade with a bright white head that stacked up roughly about two fingers high. Many columns of bead can be found within my glass floating vigorously to the top.

Smell: The aromas are filled with lots of aromatic fruits and a fresh baked bread. Lemons play a great role in the aroma as well. This beer produces a typical Belgian yeasty aroma that I tend to find in Tripels and Quads.

Taste: A sweetness at first, from the nonagressive fruits and a slight alcohol sting settles you in for a delightfull bready middle and finish. The alcohol almost seems masked but then again you know it is there. This brew in my opinion is quite quaffable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high amounts of carbonation. Smooth bubblely feel throughout. Leaves a small film on the back of the tongue, not a bad thing perhaps something to say " forget me not".

Drinkability: I think in my opinion it is a little too sweet to be hardcore quaffable, but I could put down a few of them. what do you think? Go get one to try i'm sure you will like it.


Photo of cabsandking
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an attractive golden, a hair shy of crystal clarity, and a white champagne head that reduces far too quickly. Good fruity aroma of pear, lemon, apple, and other notes of rock candy and alcohol esters. The taste is pretty typical of a tripel with a yeasty sourness, apple and lemon pucker, and towards the end some hops and spice complexities. Sugar sweetness is not overpowering and with a relatively low alcohol burn allows it to be very drinkable. Dry and bitter towards the end. Full body, slick mouthfeel, and high carbonation that’s on the low end for a tripel. An delicious spiciness lingers into the finish with some leftover fruity pucker.

Photo of TexIndy
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Chimay snifter. The front label (painted) had a cool design and the back label (also painted) had a story on who St. Vrain was and what went into the beer. Label also noted that was 2006 Bottle Conditioned. The color was a light golden/brass. The head was a foamy 1/4 inch that turned into a consistent thin top that remained throughout and was feed by a constant stream of bubbles from the bottom. The aroma was nice and malty with a spicy sweetness in there as well. It's listed at 9% ABV but it does not taste alcoholish unlike some Tripels that I've had recently - pretty well balanced. The taste is very good but not overpoweringly awesome like Allagash which is still my favorite and top rated Tripel. With that said, this is still top 3 for Tripels. As it warms the flavors develop even more and go nicely with the warming from the alcohol. Good creamy, bubbly mouthfeel as well. Highly recommend especially if you like the style. Another excellent offering from a great brewery. Will cellar a couple and try again as they age. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

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 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 Amalak
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clearish straw yellow in color. Some good bubbly, white head and lacing. Some sediment. Has a sweet grainy scent to it.

Has an alcoholly undertone. Somewhat sweet. Has a bubbly wheat taste to it with some sweet citrusy after taste. Tingly in the back of the mouth. Smoothish and somewhat flat, but it's a nice, mild wheat beer.

Photo of mwilbur
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"2006 bottle conditioned"--poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Nice pale golden color. Slight cloud. 1/2 bubbly white head with good retention.
S: Typical belgian fruit and spice. Strong citrus hop note.
T: Belgian candi is a little strong. It overpowers the fruit and spice...not terribly, but enough to be distracting.
M: Soft and mellow on the tongue. Coats and matures nicely.
D: I'll put this in the category of a decently complex quencher. Easy to drink, but better with food than on its own. And don't wait for this to warm...better when cool to cold. Not quite up to most tripel's standards, but still a decent brew. A good effort by quality brewers.

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 supercolter
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fairly decent Tripel- but I don't think the Belgians are really the specialty of this brewery. Nice color with good tight lacing and carbonation. Great mix of citrus and dark fruits with some very slights and alcohol on the backend. Not real complex, but it gets the job done. Quite Drinkable, especially given the alcohol content.

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white cap that slowly fades out. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of pear, peach, pineapple, light melon, dough, and orange.
Taste is of the tropical mix mentioned in the aromas with a touch of vanilla and spice coming through with the yeast to make for some interesting flavors.
Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, sweet up front, yeasty with tropical flavors and pear hanging on to the semi-dry finish.

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer a lot. My only strike against it is that it's a little strong tasting. However, this is one of the better American-made tripels I've had. Still not up there with the best Belgian versions of this style but a great one to get...especialy on tap. Darker than typical Tripels, but great aroma.

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St. Vrain Tripel from Left Hand Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.