St. Vrain Tripel - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
St. Vrain TripelSt. Vrain Tripel

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BA SCORE
85
very good

242 Ratings
THE BROS
85
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
Photo of Jacobpaul81
1.09/5  rDev -71%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Right off the top, did not like this one at all. Picked it up on a whim because I really love Left Hand. Drank in October 2010, so it may have not aged well. Not sure. I served to 5 different people, got 5 similar responses.

A - Poured out hazy yellow, white foamy head. Basically looked like an unfiltered wheat. Expected the beer to be a little darker, with less foam and lacing.

S - Excessively yeasty smell. Could not pull anything out beyond the yeast. Expected some cloves and other spices, but these were undetectable.

T - The taste was super grainy/yeasty. Not much in the way of spices and almost zero sweetness. Had a dishwatery flavor to it that was very unappealing.

M - Heavily carbonated that you could feel on your tounge.

D - This was not a very good beer at the time of drinking. Not sure how it was straight from brewery but it did not age well at all.

Photo of briman
2.58/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a light-to-medium golden amber color. Crystal clear. Over a two inch fluffy white head, exellent retention, settling into decent lacing.

Aroma is sweet, some fruits, bready, and definately a candy like character, though, I can't decide if it's cotton candy or more like a really sweet toffee. Some vanilla in there as well.

With all the aromas, I was expecting something different. All I get is a soured fruit dominance, flowing all the way through to a almost sour & puckering bitter aftertaste. That couples with an obvious alcohol contribution.

Medium body, high carbonation...fizzy going in the glass. Tough to get a feel for the balance, and even harder to separate out the flavors. What I get in the aroma is nothing like what I get in the taste. Honestly, this one just doesn't work for me...the flavor and alcohol just don't mesh well in what I consider and enjoyable way. It's disagreeable enough that I can't even appreciate it for it's complexity. Not Lefthand's best effort.

Photo of Derek
2.62/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2006 vintage.

A: Hazy yellow, floaties, no head.

S: Pineapple, alcohol, spice, wheat.

T: Alcohol up front, light spicing, tropical fruit, slightly herbal/minty.

M: Some residual sweetness, dry alcohol finish.

D: It's drinkable, but it's below average for a tripel.

Photo of wmaldridge
2.79/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For the most part I really like the offerings from Left Hand. I really wasn't impressed with this one. St. Vrain was poured into a New Belgium Globe and the appearance was very thin looking and had very little head to speak of. The beer had almost a musty smell to it with hints of banana and coriander. The taste was very weak in flavor and had an alcohol aftertaste. This beer was very thin and wasn't the best that I have had, but I made it through the bottle and probably won't purchase this one again.

Photo of scruffwhor
2.82/5  rDev -25%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a more clear than hazey or cloudy, muted sunshine. Not a lot of bubbles or head for a tripel. A little lacing slinks off the glass slowly. The light aroma of honey and fruits and very subtle. Had to strain to get any definite aromas. The taste was also on the bland side, but did have some more of that standard tripel tastes that I enjoy. Light sugary fruit, hints of honey and some watery caramel. With the lack of carbonation, the palate lacked that pop I expect from a tripel.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.98/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewery in August 2009.

Pours a very hazy golden color with a slight white head and lacing, though nowhere where this should be at with the style. The nose is a bit spicy with some light fruit and alcohol. There's a bit of fruit in the taste as well as yeast and spice, but a bit plain. Quite a bit boozy in the feel. Drinks alright, but I prefer their hoppy stuff.

Photo of benito
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Leadville Liquors has been dutifully stocking this on the top shelf for the last few months. I promised myself that I wouldn't break down and buy it (at $10.99), but that I'd wait to make a trip to Longmont to try it at the brewery. But, time and a need for a good beer pairing undid my will power.

A: Cloudy and champagne-like. It looks like a wit.

S: Lots of bubblegum and candy sugar. Not much else to speak of.

T: Very sweet upfront with the drying finish that I'd expect. The flavors are straightforward--again, candy sugar into light pepper--and somewhat pedestrian.

M and D: Medium-bodied with no sign of the ABV poking through. It's quenching and easy to drink.

Overall, this is a passable, though unexceptional and very straightforward interpretation of a trippel. I wouldn't object to having this again, but I would never buy it--especially at the exorbitant price Left Hand is charging. There is at least one exceptional tripel (New Belgium's) that I can get more of for less money all over Colorado. Try it, if someone else is buying it. Otherwise, take a pass.

Like the Twin Sisters DIPA, this is an underwhelming beer to market as part of the "Big Mo" series. Hopefully the smoked porter will be better.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at FR, clear golden color that could be mistaken for a Budweiser, the head was sparse and white. The smell was a very light spiciness. The taste was bland at first and then a little alcohol and some spice. This was the blandest Belgian beer I have ever had. This one was a letdown but I was glad I had it on tap instead of forking over the 11$ for a 750ml.

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 StargherKing
3.14/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

After reading the reviews on this one I wasn't sure, but I REALLY wanted that bottle, so I went ahead and gave it a shot. Pours a very hazy gold (almost orange) with large flakes of yeast floating throughout. A friend trying it with me actually described it as looking like "Cinnamon Toast Beer". That being said, it IS a belgian tripel, so I wasn't too surprised. There was a little fluffy head, not too much, that settled down and stuck around in a thin disc throughout. The smell was sweet, maybe just a little hint of a sour aroma, with pear and grape, some apple, and a bit of spice (just a bit). The taste followed very closely, with pear and apple coming through, a bit more of a sour note, and an almost cloying sweetness, with the spice kicking in at the end. Honestly after reading the reviews I wasn't expecting it to be nearly as rich as it was. Mouthfeel was good, crisp and smooth at the same time, not thin but not oily at all. Drinkability was pretty low for me. Between the richness and high ABV I was barely able to finish my glass. Luckily, my fiance seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. I wouldn't recommend against this one, but for me I think I'll stick with DT and Fin until I find something else.

Photo of Gavage
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: fairly clear yellowish orange in color sporting a spotty surface foam, even with a vigorous pour.

Smell: yeast, candy sweetness, and hints of pepper.

Taste: yeast is quite noticeable here. Pears, green grapes, hints of tart citrus, sweet sugar, mild bitterness, pepper, and touch of alcohol make up an average tatsting belgian styled tripel. Very dry overall. The flavor components just aren't tied together here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp and dry at the start, smoooth and dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long on the candy sweetness and yeast tones.

Drinkability: so-so beer and a bit of a disappointment. You can pass on this one and not miss anything.

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 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 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 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 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 Gueuzedude
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Draft Sample @ 1702, Tucson AZ; August 2009
This beer arrives from the tap with a n apparent brisk carbonation yet no head to speak of. The beer is a light gold color and is stunningly brilliantly clear; the lack of carbonation and the color make it look like cider. The beer somehow smells dry with some light fruitiness up front, an earthy / spicy note (coriander'ish) and some dry pear aromas. AS it warms up some tart green apple notes, a touch of pickled ginger, ample clove notes and estery higher alcohols become more noticeable.

The beer tastes sweeter than the aroma suggested, though it is certainly not overly sweet; the sweetness is certainly accentuated by notes of higher alcohols and a clove like spiciness in the finish. There is lots of earthy spiciness to this brew that makes me think it was fermented with a Chimay derived strain of yeast; this always reminds me of dirty coriander and not in a good way. The beer is actually quite dry (the sweetness is more of an accent of the esters than of actual malt sweetness, but there are still some apparent fruit notes to this beer; lightly tart, floral pear notes and some green apple towards the finish are noticeable. A light, but prickly carbonation accentuates the spicy notes found in this beer; peppery notes mix with the phenolics and the turpene like notes really linger on the tongue, even numbing it a bit. Maybe a hint of orange zest becomes noticeable as this beer warms up. This has very little malt character to it, even for a Tripel; it is so clean it almost seems more like a Duvel inspired beer (though the dirty Chimay yeast makes this a definite deviation). This is light bodied and highly quaffable, which I do usually prefer in my Belgian inspired beers.

This beer is not bad, but it is fairly forgettable.

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 flagmantho
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. This bottle is dated 2009.

Appearance: clear, light gold body with just a touch of haze. Head is two fingers of creamy, bubbly white foam. Not bad.

Smell: sweet aroma; almost sickly sweet. There's a hint of fruity character here, but it's mostly just sweet, sweet malt. Not really a big fan.

Taste: sweet with a little orchard fruit flavor. Not too bad, but I'd like a little more character and a little less sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with big ol' balefuls of carbonation, yielding a traumatizing creaminess. Dig it.

Drinkability: this beer has its good points, but I'm not super crazy about the flavor. It's just way too sweet for me.

Photo of elginirishpunk
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light golden yellow cloudy with a light citric and sweet yeasty aroma. A little less dark then i am used to in a normal triple. This is definitly one of the more light or easy going triples. Smooth and crisp finish. has almost a wheaty sugar taste more similar to a white or a blonde then a triple.

Photo of ybnorml
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A golden yellow beer with a slight haze. Has a small bright white head with some lace. The aroma is at first sweet with hints of orange peel and citrus coming in behind. As it warms a peppery hop note is evident. The sweetness and the alcohol don't allow the citrus or hop notes to make their presence felt in the taste. A bit of a disappointment.

Photo of froghop
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-hazy yellow with a thin white head, and some lacing.

smell of pear, some peach, white grape, a touch of malt, and a little spice.

taste is thick, sweet, pear, grape, some spice, and a little bread yeast, ends on the oily side.

overall an above average tripel.

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 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 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.

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