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Devil's Backbone - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Devil's Backbone
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BA SCORE
87
very good

486 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 486
Reviews: 133
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 16
Gots: 70 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Pegasus on 05-18-2005)
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Ratings: 486 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

12-17-2012 01:04:55 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a golden color with a nice white head and a bit of lacing as it goes down. The nose brings some slight spice and Belgian yeast as well as a bit of citrus and some light fruits. Taste is a bit of pale spice and light fruit. A good dose of alcohol in there as well. Feel is slightly spicy and boozy with a good body. Drinks fairly well and is better than the blonde I had from them, but perhaps needs a bit of time to mellow.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2010 15:58:24 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fairly hazy honey color with a fluffy head that drizzles lace down the side of the tulip

Smell: Light fruit (pear and banana) drizzled with honey, candi sugar and grassy character

Taste: Pean and banana fruit, up front, with a candi sugar sweetness that is joined by grassy hops by mid-palate; after the swallow, the peppery hop element grows to dominate the flavor profile, though the sweeter elements linger underneath; the fusel alcohol adds a bit of a harsh character to the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderately high carbonation; warmth in the gullet from the alcohol

Drinkability: While not in the top echelon of the style, this is a surprisingly good example of a tripel brewed by a non-Belgian specialist craft brewery

Thanks, FreeVerse, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 01:41:36 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a nice light golden amber with a small head of white on top. A decent amount of side glass lace and a touch of carbonation floating up toward the top.

The smell was a nice smattering of earthy fields of yeast and a touch of light floral hops. Nice cereal grains in the back as well. The flavor was decent, a little soft for a triple though. A ton of hops for the style with a light earthy feel to it. The overall feel of it was nice thlugh with more then adequate carbonation and a tight little profile. For 9% it was extremely drinkable and really the alcohol was completly undetectable.

Overall it was not bad, alothough I have had much better.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 01:18:42 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a cloudy, pale golden color with a very small white head.

S: Starts off somewhat sweet and malty, but quickly shifts into a more cidery aroma. Somewhat dry with a bit of apple and pear, maybe just a very subtle banana. There is a touch of yeast and a mild spice character.

T: Sweet and somewhat boozy. Apples, pears, and light notes of banana along with a touch of lemon zest. Somewhat bitter for a Belgian beer. Not much going on, actually.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

O: Could have used a lot more carbonation and significantly more flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 05:28:07 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +3.9%

12-04-2011 23:07:41 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

05-02-2012 10:09:50 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4/5  rDev +3.9%

10-16-2013 03:01:38 | More by jaydoc
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.9%

03-11-2013 04:42:04 | More by spycow
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

Thanks to JJFoodie for this bottle!

Devil's Backbone, eh? Sounds sinister. It pours a clear golden straw topped by a half-finger of white micro-foam. The nose banana, clove, pepper, rye bread, lemon zest, and a touch of citrus hops. The taste is similar, though with a heavier tilt toward those hops. As such, the citrus-y bitterness, not unlike an orange rind, is quite pronounced, driving the yeast-y and spicy notes underground, popping up only when able (or when crime is afoot...Turtle Power!). The body is fairly light, with an active carbonation and a somewhat dry finish. Overall, a solid tripel, a bit heavy on the bitters for me, but not enough to ruin things. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 17:32:03 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Chris for this one!
Bottle dated "best by 12.14.12".

Hazy glowing saturated orange, thin cap of creamy finely-textured foam. A thin ring around the edge, otherwise not much retention. Ever present rising trails of carbonation.

Pepper, dried apricot, phenolic Belgian yeast.

Smooth and creamy, somewhat bitter and peppery. Lingering dry aftertaste. Vague fruitiness thats hard to pin down, though orange and apricot come to mind. PLenty yeasty and phenolic in the taste, following the aroma. Seems pretty solid, a textbook tripel.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 01:06:26 | More by emerge077
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap during the recent craft brewers conference in Austin at a party thrown by the guys from Real Ale. Nice guys, but they didn't tell me how strong this was!

It was a hazy orange-copper beneath a full head of off-white froth. The head held well, and it left beautiful creamy walls of lace in its wake. The nose was honeyish and spicy with a bit of alcohol and some phenols that left it perfumey. The mouthfeel was bristling with tiny-bubbled effervescence, and it was medium in body. The flavor followed the lead of the aroma, but added in an orange/citrus side that was unexpeceted. The rye was clear, and it's peppery edge cut through nicely. The bitterness was moderate, as it should have been, with the spiciness of the rye and alcohol keeping it dry. It finished honeyish and dry, with lingering notes of black pepper and phenolics. It's a sipper for sure, and a pint of it during a party was not the way to really enjoy this beer. I'd much rather have had it in a quiet setting as a sipping beer. Still, I enjoyed it nonetheless, but I went back for a pale ale instead. Interesting and enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2007 13:52:29 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Grendle for this one.

Quite the tang on this one. Somehow it works well enough, but it's not really bringing balance or a level of complexity that keeps it interesting. I think I can sum if up by saying that it's pretty one dimensional. And frankly, this is what Belgian styles of yesteryear tasted like when coming out of the U.S.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 04:31:57 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to AgentZero for the share. This was best before July 8th, 2010. Served in a Surly tulip.

A - Pours with a half-finger of foam that settles to a thin ring, leaving a few clusters of bubbles on top and some decent lace. The body is a hazed peach flesh color with some obvious suspended sediment.

S - The first whiff gave me a light acetone note that was vaguely reminiscent of guava - not sure if these are some odd spicy esters or prelude to infection. However, as it warms there is more stone fruit and candi sugar sweetness.

T - Taste is yeasty, with some honey and stone fruits to sweeten things up. Perhaps there's a bit of pear in there as well. Not bad, but not great - thankfully the weird acetone note is gone and the alcohol is well-hidden.

M - Some gritty and slightly harsh carbonation. The body is a grainy, medium-full, with a sticky finish.

D - It took me much longer to work through my 6oz than it did for Mike - I think I ended up pouring out a bit. I wouldn't bother with this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 15:53:57 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear medium yellow color with a white head, which quickly disappears. The aroma is very fruity with lemons, oranges, pears and mangoes with alcohol, coriander and candi-sugar. The flavor is lemon, peach, oranges and pears with yeast, candi-sugar and spices. The spices are pepper and coriander. Medium mouthfeel and a medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 21:11:17 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 6/5/10 notes. Had at SAVOR in DC.

a - Pours a nice golden color with one inch of white head.

s - Smells of yeast, spices, foral hops, banana, and cloves.

t - Taste is again spice and yeast, and faded hops. Also a little bit of booze comes out in the taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent tripel. I thought it smelled very good but wasn't as big a fan of the taste. Would give another shot.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 15:05:53 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden and sudsy in the glass. A very attractive beer. Pleasantly carbonated and on the creamy side. A very nice nose of yeast and overripe pineapple.

The Belgian flavors are nicely integrated. This is both mellow and malty, and sharp and spicy. The yeasty flavors dry out toward the finish, though the bitterness is not as strong as many others brewed with Belgian yeast. A touch of green apple skins. On the whole it makes for a very drinkable beer. It could use just a little more edge, either with tart or bitter flavors.

Thoroughly pleasant brew that may not be a world class Tripel, but it does credit to the style. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Pinkie's in San Angelo, Texas.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 04:29:39 | More by mactrail
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

07-03-2013 09:33:44 | More by beernads
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.55/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clearly identifies as a tripel on the label, so I'm reviewing as such. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with fun label art and a branded silver pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a mixed six-pack at Whole Foods HQ here in Austin and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've yet to be impressed by the brewery, but this seems to be one of their less mainstream offerings so I'm optimistic.

Brewed with Czech Saaz hops, candi sugar, and Belgian yeast. Best before: 01/26/14.

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 one finger wide head of grey-white colour. Somewhat thin. Not much creaminess or frothiness. No real lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is a clear yellow-copper of average vibrance. Good clarity. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Honey, nectary hop character, Belgian pale malts, Belgian candi sugar, grains & cereals, floral hop character, crystal malts, Saaz, banana fruit esters, and an apple cider touch. The herbal Saaz bitterness clashes with the malty sweetness. I'm not getting much in terms of yeast. There does seem to be an alcohol presence here, albeit a slight one. Not a great aroma for a tripel, but I'm optimistic. An inoffensive aroma of average to mild strength.

T: Malty sweetness in the first act and beginning of the first half; it clashes with the herbal Saaz and crystal malts in the late second half. Bursts of banana fruit esters up front alongside some clove. Candi sugar throughout doesn't fully conceal the hop bitterness - which shouldn't even be present to begin with; this is definitely overhopped. I do get some spiciness from the yeast; it's very cleanly fermented, and the yeast is probably the best aspect of the beer. Pilsner malts and a good deal of Belgian pale/blonde malts fill out the body. Honey. I do find some alcohol presence, unfortunately. A bit cidery, with touches of pear and apple.

Overall, the build is mediocre for a tripel, and the balance is problematic. Not gestalt. Qutie boring for a tripel. A bit bland as well. Depth of flavour is rather shallow for the style. Average flavour duration and intensity.

There are no off-flavours, unless you count the presence of alcohol - which isn't egregious.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Unrefreshing. Lacks a full firm body. Too thick at some points and too thin at others. Weak, with "empty" points throughout the flavour profile. Overcarbonated. Inappropriate for the style. It doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Subpar execution.

Dr: Real Ale disappoints again, this time with a tripel. I wouldn't buy it again, and Real Ale's other beers are racing to the bottom of my "to-try" list. I definitely wouldn't want another one, and it's not the most drinkable beer either, what with its obvious alcohol presence. If you want a good tripel, look elsewhere. This one doesn't deliver.

Low C-

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 22:03:01 | More by kojevergas
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to JosephLondon for the opportunity try this fine beer.

The beer pours a solid gold color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, showing honey, clove, a hint of vanilla and banana, and a touch of ginger. Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet beer, though I appreciate the subtle hoppy bitterness in the finish, which helps to counter and balance the honey sweetness and spice. There's even something of a buttery component to this beer, which works well with the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, spice filled finish. Drinkability is good, with the alcohol pretty well integrated into the flavor profile. You can tell the abv. is up there a bit, but it's not obtrusive or distracting.

Very nice beer from the folks at Real Ale...

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 00:06:22 | More by John_M
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

03-15-2014 01:43:30 | More by drewone
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear golden colored beer beneath a small white head.

Cloves, sour grains, citrus, light spices and probably some other things coming through in a well balanced complex aroma.

Citrus and cloves seems to outweigh light hops, and light grains taste. Kind of different and also kind of good, although I don't know if I could drink a bunch of these, probably get tired of the clove to spice taste pretty quick.

A light dry aftertaste with some lingering spices attached.

This medium bodied beer seems to be a downplayed fall/winter
spiced seasonal and having said that I think I like this better.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 22:19:14 | More by LXIXME
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Central Market in San Antonio, TX.

Pours a clear yellow-orange color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with a lot of residual sugar sweetness. Also present are good amounts of pears with lighter amounts of apricots. Very, very light spiciness is also noticeable as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors that are bordering on syrupy kick things off. Joining in shortly are good amounts of booze-soaked pear flavors with hints of lighter tropical fruits. The ending is on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a nice tripel but would have liked more complexity. Still, it's worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 23:49:30 | More by glid02
Photo of dmorgan310
dmorgan310

Panama

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

04-12-2013 03:21:37 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of hops, alcohol, slight yeast, sweet malt, hint of citrus, and subtle spice. Fits the style of a Tripel. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol foremost, citrus, sweet malt, slight yeast, spice, and a hint of hops. Overall, good body, blend, and aroma.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 12:52:08 | More by Tone
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Devil's Backbone from Real Ale Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 486 ratings.