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Devil's Backbone - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Devil's BackboneDevil's Backbone

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

157 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 157
Hads: 705
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 28.95%
Wants: 38
Gots: 250 | 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:
Beer added by: Pegasus on 05-18-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 157 | Hads: 705
Photo of OgreSanchez
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got from Total Wine in Dallas. I was pleasantly surprised with this beer; it's by far the best I've had from Real Ale. A sweet start is topped off my a nice spicy, semi-smokey finish that perfectly masks the ~8% ABV. It is classified as a abbey style tripel, however it's not really like any style beer I've ever had before.

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Photo of bboven
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Nice bright orange color, great haze, but very small head and no lacing.

S: A bit one dimenensional but all the right notes are there, Sweet, yeasty, bready, and just a little boozy.

T: A bit too much oxidation (yes, it's fresh according to the date on the bottle) but nicely sweet and a little boozy.

M: Spot on. Thick, creamy, low carbonation but not sticky. Best part of this beer.

O: Wouldn't be my first choice for this style but it definitely gets the job done.

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Photo of Ford
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this one straight from the bottle at Rudy's BBQ and Country Store in Clear Lake, Texas.

To tell the truth I haven't really liked this style much in the past. This is the first one I think I would grab and drink again.

You can certainly taste and feel the alcohol up front. There is some citrus fruit taste to me, but not overpowering. A bit of bitterness at the finish. I'm really starting to like Real Ale Brewing Company.

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Photo of emerge077
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of ronzorelli
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had high hopes for this one. I'm slightly underwhelmed based on the other reviews. I wonder if I got a bad bottle of it.

Zero head. No lacing. Nothing but slick surface in the chalice. Even when I stirred it a little with my finger to release some of the carbonation, what very little rose to the surface, dissipated very quickly. No retention at all.

In the nose, I get a little caramel and a little citrus, but not much of either.

On the palate, it's slightly weak and a little bland. Not completely void of flavor, but just not a whole heck of a lot of anything. I do pick up faint hints of caramel. Some fruit, in the sharp apple range, and a little orange zest.

Is it a decent beer? Compared to big brew, yeah. Compared to other lines from Real Ale, it's average.

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Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of lnashsig
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#BOTG 72. This is a local brew that I shamefully haven't ever tried before. Thanks to my boy Brandon for sharing this with me. Poured from bottle into DFH snifter. fluffy, white head doesn't recede much, and billowing amounts of carbonation flow off the bottom of this crystal clear burnt orange colored beer after I get it in the glass. Really nice looking. Smell- honey, burnt caramel, candied sugar, spices on the end. Nice. Taste- hmm. I got a mouth full of spices- maybe nutmeg, cinnamon in there. Some sweetness behind it, but what I didn't get that I was really expecting was that honey/burnt caramel flavor that I got on the aroma. This actually has a fair amount of bitterness on it, and doesn't have that big backbone that you would expect to get from a tripel. Regardless, this is a solid brew, one that I would have again. One of the great things about the #rootrootdrink challenge is being forced to try new beers, and this is a nice outcome- finding a local beer that you've passed over before that is really pretty good.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear golden straw colour. The sudsy white head dissipates quickly, but does not lace the glass.

The nose is driven by the banana/orange fruit and the spices continue the Belgian theme. There's an underlying bready maltiness as well.

The Taste pretty much follows the nose. The banana/citrus combo teams up with a clove-y spice and... almost like a coriander? This is a predominantly sweet beer, with a definitively Belgian theme to it. There's a little bit of mildly spicy hops on the finish/aftertaste, but make no mistake, this beer is driven by it's fruits and spices.

Good carbonation, and quite drinkable. Check it out if you like tripels and belgians, but if you tend to shy away from them, this may not be for you.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received from mhenson42 in a trade- thanks!

The appearance is clear gold with white head. Head disappears quickly and leaves minimal lacing. The nose is full of ripe banana and mild waves of clove. There is also a bit of honey and lemon present. The taste is sweet up front with grape, banana and lemon. Spicy cloves balance out the sweetness nicely. The body is some what big and the carbonation is low. Overall, this is a great American tripel with lots of delicate banana flavor.

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Photo of obrike
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer at Round Rock Specs for 8 bucks and change.

Poured a fairly dull light yellow into my Sam Adams pint glass. A decent head that faded quikly, leaving traces of lace. Not bad, but certainly not striking.

Dug the smell. The typical yeast/banana ester scent for the style. Very fresh...a bit spicey. Nice.

Taste followed. Good. Getting the phenolic, bubblegum, banana combo you expect...and a heavy dose of sweetness. Not much bitterness in this one as the fruit (pear, apple) mixed well with the sugary malt.

Very nice job on a Tripel from a good Texas brewery.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.57/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Something about this latest batch of the Devil’s Backbone that I just found absolutely fantastic.

This pours a clear straw yellow in the glass. It has a light floral, almost pollen-like delicate aroma to it. Smells great!

Tastes light and delicate, with a lot of nuanced estery flavor I pictured lavender fields with a touch of honey at the end. Delicious.

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Photo of DCon
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a 12 FLUID OZ. (355 ML) bottle of this from cfh64. Poured from the White Labeled bottle w/ a Devil & his tail leading up to making a "Left Winding Road" Sign & "Limited Edition, Seasonal Release" into my 16oz iTap Passport Pint Glass. Has BEST IF CONSUMED BY THIS DATE, 11.17.11 on the back. Not worried about this...

Aroma- A very complexed aroma is present! Strong clove-like phenols, citrus, and a nice banana character are all hanging out. Hops are around as well.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that dies quicker than it should. Has a deep golden colored body, almost orange with semi-hazing. Leaves thick rings of lace afterwards.

Flavor- The initial taste brings on a nice amount of spice and fruit. After this, malt and a peppery flavor brings it strong. Medium hops are present at the finish and has a perfect amount of bitterness to add to this well balanced Tripel.

Mouthfeel- Medium+ Bodied, High Carbonation, Effervescent, and a light amount of creaminess. Spice and orange finishes off on the palate.

Overall Impression- For my 1st brew from Real Ale, I may need to go back to TX to live again and see what other brews they offer from all their breweries! This Tripel was great and very complexed! I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting a great example of this style or would like to have a fully complexed beer with tons of malt, sweetness, and spice.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle sent to me by somebody here but I forgot your name, thanks man. Light golden yellow color with a couple wisps of bubbles atop, looks good. Smells bready and estery, a little banana. The taste is good but subtle, some sweetness, some yeast and esters, very little alcohol in the taste. Overall this was pretty decent and I don't usually like American tripels.

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Photo of bmwats
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, into a snifter.

A: Deep, golden hue. Slight bubbly head, which quickly dissapears leaving nothing behind. No lacing to speak of.

S: Some syrupy sweet grain components with a heavy nose of orange peel and a little licorice. A little woody.

T: Italian bread, with a little hop, some honey and orange citrus.

M: Decently heavy alcohol profile, but also decently light. A bittersweet pungency sticks to the palette and lingers throughout.

D: Good sipping brew, but does not put up a lot of resistance either.

Atmosphere is good. Deep golden appearance, but not much head or lacing to speak of. Nose, however, is a good combination of grains and citrus. Flavor is hoppy, grainy, with sweet and fruit tones. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of chocosushi
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4oz->Port Glass
"Serve Cold/Drink Now"
Best by 11/17/11
A ~ Beautiful Golden color with perfect carbonation & a perfect
ring throughout. Tiny bubbles are what I love to see in a Tripel.

S ~ Very phenolic! Crushed clove, Cardamom, with a touch of fennel. Underripe banana & plantain notes with touches of red apple & pepper. There is a very dusty tincture note lingering that sets things off a little strange. Other than that, great nose.
After warming things even out a bit.

T ~ Banana & Apple following through with an undercurrent of Peppery hops. Various herbs (including sage). Pomander & Caramelized sugar mid-palette. Malt is lending notes of crusty baguette & corn-bread. Hint of nutmeg.

M ~ Mouthfeel is very dry & crisp without negating the esters prevalent. ABV is undetectable. Wonderful balance.

D ~ Great American Tripel in 6-pack format? More breweries need to be doing this. Dangerously easy to drink. Would love to have one at the peak of freshness to taste a greater hop profile. Big ups to Brad for this want!

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Photo of Pegasus
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Massive, dense white head atop a hazy dark golden body. Scattered patches of lace adorn the glass walls. The head retention is excellent.

Aroma: Rich clove notes dominate the aroma. Tropical fruits are present as well as notes of rustic bread.

Taste: Opens with mildly sweet malt notes, bitter orange, and pepper. As the taste progresses, there is a wave of sweet alcohol. An understated note of cloves is present as well. Spicy alcohol notes are present throughout. Finishes with a wave of mild, earthy bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A solid example of a classic style, well done.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firstly, big thanks to my man icepigs for this Texas brew.

Secondly. My God.

Poured a hazy pail orange/yellow color with a thin white head; slightly foggy but transparent enough to see through it.

Even before the pour though, I was salivating from the smell of it. The yeast gives a light fresh-banana odor. It is sweet with aromatic floral hops, the combination of scents makes this a beatiful blend. I almost want to snort it.

After tasting it, I am glad I didn't snort it. Not only might I have drowned but I wouldn't have been able to taste the complexities of the beer. This 8.1% alcohol content has covered its tracks nicely. I knew it was a tripel so I figured it would have a high alcohol percent but after sipping it I had to verify the number. You don't really get the alcohol burn until half way through the beer, and even then it is not unpleasant.

I really wish this beer was available where I live. Devil's Backbone is a full bodied beer. Honestly, this is one of the best examples of the style I've ever tasted.

The bottle claims this as a seasonal, the back of the bottle says "Keep Cold" and "Drink Soon" at the bottom. Thought that was funny.

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Photo of MarkIntihar
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Bell's snifter. Big thanks to Mike for this one!

A - Pours yellow Orange with half a fingers worth of white head. Very nice retention with some lacing around the glass.

S - Banana and bubble gum. Maybe a slight hint of honey, but wow, SUPER banana!

T - Follows nearly perfectly from the nose, with perhaps a touch more honey to smooth it out. Hides the 8% very well, with almost no alcohol coming through in the taste.

M - Very smooth, carbonated perfectly. No burn whatsoever.

O - Very impressed. One of the best pure tripels I've had.

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Photo of maximum12
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jtrockchalk for this extra in a long-gone trade, as I continue to work through the red-headed stepchildren forgotten in the nether regions of my fridge. Bottle has a best-by date of 9-17-10. Hmmm.

Pours a light golden, sunshiney, halo of a beer with revving carbonation. Magnifyingly clear, I can see my ham-fingers on the other side of the glass. Smell is lovely, a horn full of light fruitiness, apple, honey. If this is past its prime, I'd like to have had it two years ago.

Devil's Backbone has aged just fine: this the nicest beer I've had from Real Ale to date. Same fruity bouquet as in the smell greets the palate with more apple, honeysuckle, pear, a light spice kick in the back. There is an earthiness to it that ticks this down a notch, a mustiness that I don't dig & detracts from the overall airiness of this tripel. Appropriately light for a tripel, but the tilled dirt brings drinkability downwards, too.

Pretty good beer. Without that earth-tinge, this would be a very good tripel, but that muddiness really does the taste no favors.

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Photo of Treebs
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in a trade, Thanks Brad! Man I've written that a lot in my reviews, stand up BA right there.

A: Pours a deep golden straw, very hazy, with a one finger fluffy white that subsides into nice white ring.

S: The funkiest of yeast is prominent in the bad boy. Slight fruity esters with a bubblegum back. Some orange spice and some apples with a slight banana.

T: Same funky yeast with a some actual spice in there, I like it. There is a fruity tartness that peaks its head through, and it slowly subsides into mild sweetness. The finish is a temperate bitterness which really brings it home.

M: Medium bodied with a mile carbonation. Slightly coating on the palate with a nice sugar sweetness.

O: I loved this beer. It was very balanced and there was just enough funk and tartness in the taste to keep my interested and coming back for more. I recommend.

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Photo of bayougutter
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip, yellow-gold color. Almost clear but a little haze. Small head that quickly left the scene leaving a little ring around the glass. Not a lot of lacing

Smell really well with a lot of spiciness, banana, cloves, belgium yeast. Robust aroma.

Taste is belgium yeast and bananas through out and the spices coming more at the end. A little candied sugar in the mix as well. The different taste melded together nicely.

Mouthfeel right on for a Belgium tripel

Overall I really enjoyed this one with the aroma and tastes just so harmonisously balanced. As a side note I bought a sixer in Houston at Spec's for 8.50. Above average Trippel and worthy of a visit.

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Photo of daveytheformer
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes

Thanks to exiled for this extra.

Pours a pretty clear golden color that's just slightly hazy. Thin white head that leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smells like spices and a little funk. Really has a strong oatmeal aroma. Strange but very compelling.

Tastes are lots of clove, candied sugar, bubblegum, bananas, and a very nice crisp, clean malt flavor. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Overall is a god beer. I really liked this.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a clear gold with a white head that lasts throughout the beer and laces nicely. Aroma has a strong sweet fruit and floral note with some candied sugar and sweet grains. Flavor is a bit more mellow with a semi sweet grain start that becomes sweeter with candied sugar and light fruits. Drinks lightly which is nice and refreshing. Medium bodied mouthability.

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Devil's Backbone from Real Ale Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.