Devil's Backbone | Real Ale Brewing Company

very good
163 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Devil's BackboneDevil's Backbone

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Pegasus on 05-18-2005

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 163 | Ratings: 750
Photo of bryanlindsey12345
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best tripel I've ever had. Malty, smooth, boozy, and makes you want to go back for more. I can't see how anyone would give this one less than a score of 4.

 155 characters

Photo of whitetale
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic glass. I bought a six pack while in Texas a little over a year ago and saved one dated May 10, 2015. It was worth the wait.
Clear golden color with good white head. Head lingers. Some lacing.
Aroma of biscuit and bread with some clove.
Taste follows the aroma - biscuit, bread and clove flavors. Slightly sweet taste lingers on the tongue. Alcohol is well hidden. Flavor improves as the beer warms.
Feel: moderate carbonation. Good mouthfeel for a stronger beer. Very smooth.
Overall, a really enjoyable beer. A very good sipper for a cold night. Nicely done.

 599 characters

Photo of RavynX
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cold, poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass.

Look: Golden color with an inch white head that settles to the edge of the glass wall.

Smell: Floral and fruity

Taste: Heavy malt and yeast flavor with a nice spice

Feel: More than moderate carbonation that dances on the tongue

Overall: This is an enjoyable tripel.

 319 characters

Photo of ZBowden
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours hazy peachy orange small white head, smells of yeast slight orange peel and spice, tastes of yeasty maltiness slight toasty crackery, medium mouthfeel with bright crisp finish, low carbonation.

 199 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden, somewhat cloudy body (it is unfiltered); thick, dense, white head. Fruit and pine aroma; spicy; cloves. Sweet and pungent flavors; dull, powdery yea; st notes; powdered sugar; fair bitterness with some phenol edginess. Medium bodied; soft and velvety; mildly sweet finish.

A very tasty beer that has striking similarities to classic German hefeweizens especially with the aroma and taste. There is a delicate softness with things yet it still delivers a solid, very satisfying flavor. I could easily compare a lot of the sensations with dehydrated bananas. The alcohol presence is completely hidden within the fruity, sweet character. An amazing beer, overall.

 669 characters

Photo of jtwant
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little cloudy and light in color like a Tripel ought to be. Enjoyable malt-heavy, smooth texture with bold flavor; a little more than other Tripels I've had. Overall, this is a pretty darn good beer. The 8.1 ABV will have you feeling a tad fuzzy after just a single bottle, so be cautious - and enjoy another fine brew from Real Ale!

 341 characters

Photo of DJDGB
4.66/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Warning this beer will kick your ass. The percentage may not be too high but the mix of flavor and aroma definitely had an effect overall. I had 4 of these on tap and had to stop myself because it was so good. Kind of pricey in downtown Dallas Pubs but worth it. Overall this is a solid beverage and it will get you were you want to go if the floor is were you are headed.

 372 characters

Photo of UniversalIPA_69
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finishing a six pack nearly kicked my ass honestly. But pretty good cold, loses its tolerance towards that flavor when getting warm but enjoyable in the end.

 157 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This has to be one of the best beer values out there: a high quality tripel for less than $10 for asixpack of 12 oz bottles! Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Golden yellow color with a nice head and good lacing. Excellent floral sweet smell and taste. Sweet taste with warm spices. A very nice beer!

 303 characters

Photo of maedhros09
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: hazy amber gold with some lacing, sediment at the bottom
Smell: sweet floral and fruity aromas associated with belgian yeast
Taste: Following the aromas, sweet and fruity with a very slight herbal hop note in the finish.
Feel: Medium to full bodied, a thickened and effervescent mouthfeel

Overall: An enjoyable "everyday" tripel, not hugely complex but nice to sip on.

 379 characters

Photo of ritwingr
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice tripel. Pours a pretty opaque straw color. Very modest and thin head that dissipates almost immediately.

I'm not one of these people who can smell candied yams, figs and carnation petals. Thus one does have a nice unique smell that I can only describe as like holiday spices. Very pleasant....and the taste follows precisely. Not much alcohol kick for >8%. I'll definitely have it again. Reasonable price a bonus. Got a six pack for $8.99. Tough to beat!

 469 characters

Photo of SneerBob
4.44/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

As a Belgian goes it's the best. I am almost positive it's been crowned America's best Belgian a few times.

I almost always go for either IPA or stout but if this is an option it always makes its way onto my tab.

 214 characters

Photo of DanielCrow
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Hazy golden orange with a finger of dense head. Moderate lacing. Smells great. I'm not exactly an expert but it smells slightly fruity. Taste is good. I'm comparing it to Slaapmutske triple nightcap here, by saying it's very similar with just a bit more bite and bitterness. The mouth feel is good if not a little sticky and finishing slightly dry.
Overall I'd say for $7.80 for a sixer, it's an economic tripel that gives a lot for its price.

 490 characters

Photo of L0ne
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From backlog. 12oz bottle, January 2015.

Pours a hazy yellow/orange with a small white head. Passable attempt at a Belgian tripel by a small(ish) Texas brewery. Banana/fruity esters, spices(maybe clove?), some booziness, herbal hops. Liked it ok, but probably wouldn't seek it out. Glad I just got a single instead of a sixer.

 327 characters

Photo of Myotus
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle (best by date 15Dec15) into a snifter.
LOOK: Pours with a line of white foam that just sits there. Gold in color with an extreme amount of cloudiness. No rising bubbles can be seen. Lacing is subtle and thin.
SMELL: A bunch of mild aromas: candied sugar, bananas, cloves, pears, and white grapes. Subtle aromas of spicy hops with hints of pale malts and earthy yeast can also be detected.
TASTE: Intial taste is composed of strong clove flavors that mix with mild banana flavors. Mild pear, white grape, and candied sugar flavors enter next along with subtle pale malt flavors. Finally, a hint of earthy yeast finishes off this brew as all previous flavors persist. Whatever hop flavors that were smelled cannot be tasted.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and highly carbonated (makes me wonder why there weren't any bubbles). Goes down smooth, regardless of the carbonation amounts. Finishes with the most subtle of drynesses.

 941 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Becher glass. Best before 28 December 2015.
Clear gold. No head.
Apples and alcohol. Real sweet. Uh oh.
Hmmm. It's okay! Lots of booziness, but not cloyingly sweet. Some Belgian spice, some apple-y sweetness. Hint of clove.
Not a lot to talk about here.
I enjoyed it, but I probably wouldn't have another.

 367 characters

Photo of Slamms
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Legitimately a tripel; Not a waste of money. Not sure much more I can say than that. Best attribute is aroma, which immediately smells like a legitimate tripel in the bottle. Taste is spicy; fruity notes later. Big let down is lack of head. Someone below said medium carbonation, and another said heavy. Definitely light carbonation in my case. Expiration date 11/15, so 5 months short of that, fwiw. Tasted fresh, so not getting the small carbonation. Better experience straight out of the bottle. Not bad. Edit Actually the head is OK once it warms up. I think I prefer this over Golden Monkey, if that says anything. Comparable to GM as a passable American attempt at a Tripel.
Edit: I was out of my mind to say this was better than Golden Monkey. GM is much better. But this beer is still basically OK, I guess.

 832 characters

Photo of OKbrew89
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Hazy golden color with one finger head that leaves decent lacing. Certainly smells like a tripel with the candied citrus, yeast, and coriander. Taste was yeast and spice with floral hops on the end. The sweetness was subtle and slightly overpowered by the spices. Medium carbonation and medium body with a little kick of alcohol in the aftertaste.
I'd call it a good starter tripel. It didn't have the sweetness and kick I expected.

 434 characters

Photo of Caj1
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I like the Real Ale brewery from the tiny town of Blanco, Texas. They are obviously dedicated to their craft and get some pretty decent results. Devil's Backbone is a good introduction to the style; it manages to be unique enough to get your attention, but not so out in left field that it's offputting. It's definitely ale and seems like it's for real.

Appearance is a nice, mellow pale golden color. Murky since it's unfiltered, but seems to have fairly good carbonation. Good 2 finger head that doesn't stick around extremely long. Has moderate lacing. Reminds me of a hefeweizen or witbier.

Smell is fruity with a good split of hop floral notes and esters like banana and nice resinous wood.

Taste is first a good wallop of spice and herbal notes like pepper and cloves and an undertone of citrusy hops. Mixed with light alcohol astringency and it makes a solid bite. Then the fruity flavors come through with another bite of spice, followed by sweetness and malty grain.

Mouthfeel is warm and a little sticky, but also very smooth and crisp.

I am not a huge fan of these sweet, malty beers because of their tendency to be a little cloying and this is no exception. However, this beer manages to strike a nice balance of fruit, spice and a touch of bitterness while still being refreshing and warming. Nice job overall. Just be careful of the buzz afterward.

 1,371 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Murky apricot color, bright white foam and lots of carbonation. Spicy nose. Very clovey with a spicy middle; there is a malt foundation, but the clove is cloying. Medium lite mouthfeel. Just ok.

 194 characters

Photo of Kennymack
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has to be my favorite beer ever. It starts out tart and finishes creamy smooth. The coriander flavor comes through nicely. This is a perfect all year drink.

 161 characters

Photo of angelmonster
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy orange color, head is 1/4 inch and white.Tiny bubbles rushed upwards for quite some time.

Smell is of coriander seed, clove, hay, Belgian yeast and allspice. Smell of alcohol is light and hops aren't present.

Taste is big on Belgian/German yeast strains. Getting lots of clover, banana/witch hazel esters. Sweet honey and orange mix with clove and some licorice. Alcohol sticks to the finish, a bit abrasive for 8%.

Mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated. Head dissipated quickly offering not much texture.Beer ends dry and astringent.

Overall it was a good Texas attempt at a classic Belgian style. Very rough around the edges though, wouldn't buy again when you can get Delirium or Triple Karmelit.

 719 characters

Photo of ed_loves_ipa
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Great buzz, soft hop profile, more like an ale, but too pungent and sweet. Not my cup of tea. I'm more of a bitter IPA, RIPS fan. Took about 3 to 4 bottles to get used to it. No great, but not horrible. Eh....

 214 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle received as an extra in a recent trade.

Pours a golden, hazy, opaque orange, with a creamy looking 2 inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells quite estery, sugary, and a bit boozy, with some pear, citrus, and banana.

I don't usually love tripels, but this one's honestly pretty good. There's some candy sugar, Belgian yeast esters, creamy banana, citrus, apple, pear, and sweet grain. I don't really pick up any hop flavors, as some of the reviewers mentioned.

This has a pretty creamy mouthfeel for a tripel, full bodied and rich, with a moderate level of carbonation.

This is one of the better tripels that I've had.

 635 characters

Photo of BirFan
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Nice combination of fruit and alcohol, with a decidedly sweet finish. It's definitely a Tripel, though not as rich and full as some of my other favorites, especially among the Belgians. Good enough, however, that I buy it when I can, and look forward to it year round. Great color and taste, but not quite as much head as I might like. Love to drink it on tap sometime: only had it from the bottle so far.

 405 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Devil's Backbone from Real Ale Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.