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Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style TripleFish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple

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70 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 15.09%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: zacharius on 01-17-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 55
Photo of GClarkage
4.44/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/22/05- Purcahsed at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 750ml bottle which is capped rather than caged and corked. 2003 Edition poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Off golden color, maybe headed towards a light brown. Huge and I mean huge chunks of yeast plop into my glass. Look like gray slate roof tiles dropped into my glass. Stirred it up, but that just made it worse. About a 1/2 inch head and light patchy lacing.

Smell- Apparently this one morphed into some other scents and tastes due to aging. Rather than the tropical fruits I read from other reviews, I got a very vinous smell with some super dark fruits. Dates and prunes to be precise. There was some bubble gum as well as a bit of oak as well.

Taste- Very dark and very malty with a very nice sweetness. Dark plums, prunes and dates explode with a sugary backlash. One of the sweetest tripels I've had. Hints of oak in the flavor round this one out.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, ultra sweet and creamy. Mouth coating with a mid to low carbonation level.

Drinkability- Super smooth drinker that apparently had aged fantastic besides the huge yeasties. Damn tasty and wish I snagged another.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chocolate chip-flecked, dark orange. Unfortunately, I let too much beer escape into the glass. Now there's a large number of small, dark floaters and large, dark chunks swimming around, refusing to settle. The head is orangish cream in color and is densely compact. If it wasn't for the still suspended nasty junk, this would be a fine looking tripel. At least it isn't as hideously ugly as a real monkfish. Have you ever seen one of those things? Yeesh!

I wish I knew what causes this smell that I always attribute to organic beer. I was surprised to find it here until I glanced at the label and was reminded that Monkfish is a product of the Fish Brewing Company. Maybe it's just a house aroma (or, rather a house odor) and is due to the yeast that these guys use. Otherwise: pale malty, orange fruity, mildly ethanolic.

Monkfish is still brashly boozy despite its 1+ years of rest. I get the feeling that it would have deteriorated rather than improved with a few more years under its belt, even if that would have broken the 'bucking bronco' nature of the alcohol. There's plenty of sweet malt on hand, as well as an orange-sections-soaked-in-vodka fruitiness and a surprising hoppy bitterness.

The problem is, the various flavors come together like cars at a busy intersection with no stop signs: near misses, side-swipes and full-on, bone-jarring crashes abound. The whole, loud, chaotic, hurly-burly is, unfortunately, steeped in a tongue numbing, grain alcohol stew that doesn't allow it to be appreciated, even if it deserves to be.

As I get into the bottom half of the glass (the bottom inch of the bottle will stay right where it is), I'm feeling a bit better about things, but only slightly. There's a medicinal, almost phenolic aspect to the flavor that is a poor substitute for the wonderful, spicy yeastiness of a true Belgian tripel. I like the mouthfeel. It's closer to medium than to full and is, by far, the most accomplished part of this ale.

Anyone on the lookout for a good American version of the tripel style should look elsewhere because I found nothing of the sort in this bottle. Fish BC got the ABV and the mouthfeel right, but failed in all other areas. Although it isn't as butt ugly as a real monkfish, Monkfish Belgian Style Triple Ale 2004 is no beauty queen, that's for damn sure. Miss Congeniality? Not a chance.

Photo of weeare138
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for this...
This is the '03 oak aged.
Appears a hazy amber with a 1 finger white head and spotty lacing.
Smell is of a heavy dosage of tripel yeast, bready, oak barrels, vanilla, and caramel.
Taste is of caramel, vanilla, with a subtle tropical fruit salad taste.
Mouthfeel is smooth with the vanilla and fruitiness coming through and resounding along the palate.
Drinkability...Had this next to the '04 standard and this was darker, richer, and more complex with the Belgian yeast coming through much better with the oak aging.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy a orange-amber with a wispy tan colored head. The aroma is spicy and lightly sharp, notes of alcohol, hints of vanilla, orange, cream soda, and a bit of dusty toasted malt in the finish. The palate is fairly full, yet dry up front, but the finish is quite sweet. The beer has a fairly good spiciness to it with notes of orange peel, earthy coriander, clove, and a bit of a cola-like cardamom, perhaps some ginger and a definite spicy pepper note in the finish. I would like this beer to be a tad drier, but it is still pretty good.

Photo of circuitmonkey
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium white head. Dark orange in color, very cloudy unfiltered appearence with alot of yeast floating around. Has an initial sweet taste and a slightly dry finish. The alcohol certainly isnt hiding... but I would still give this beer a thumbs up.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle.
Deep orange coloration, high carbonation, thick, fluffy white, long–lasting head.
Aroma: dry, yet fruity, lightly spicy, pungent citrus, orange and lemon and tangerine....peach, too, warm and lovely...a touch of Belgian-style sour, as well...
Taste: nice, smooth, with a kick, though...thick citric flavor, huge hops, abundant fruit on the palate. Delicious, tangy, tasty... matches many a tripel as I've ever encountered.Excellent grit on the tongue, great play in the mouth, ...A bit middling, and nothing amazing, but, does it have to be? This is all the things you want in a tripel, more or less...I propose it may fill in for the confessional as a way to purge one of sins...check your egregriousness at the door....reign it in, fellows...
Delicious flavor, long, citic-fruity finish, very admirable...quite good.
Hooray for my ichthiological namesake!!!

Photo of ElGordo
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 Vintage

A caveat here: I found this in my cellar (er, closet) and realized that I may have laid it down for a little too long. We'll see.

Poured from the 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. Color is a murky deep brownish orange with bright apricot highlights. Head is substantial, off-white and bubbly with good retention. Nose is heavy on alcohol, with rich notes of Belgian ale yeast, dark fruit, sweet roasted malt, and treacle. Palate is rich up front, with sweet malt and some fruit, mellowing into a sweet, brown sugary finish with a warming alcohol kick at the end. Mouthfeel is substantial and slightly syrupy, but lacks the ongoing carbonation I like in tripels. With the amount of alcohol in this, it's difficult to drink a lot, but I finished off the bottle more or less by myself over the course of the evening. It's probably a little better when it's fresher, but still pretty good after almost two years.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 Edition
$3.49 12oz. bottle

Very cool label with, what appears to be, a fossilized monkfish. The initial appearance was nice and hazy golden as it poured, but even after a careful pour, there was a tremendous amount of yeasties floating around. The light head vanished rather quickly, but I have been noticing that with the last few tripels I have tried. The aroma is sweet(candi sugar) but followed with a barnyard smell. I let the pig shit smell clear my mind. The taste is surprisinly nice with a nice crisp dry finish. The alcohol is not hidden very well, but it makes a nice appearance at that throat. Not a bad tripel. It has all the right pieces somewhere, it just needs to put them together.

Photo of sponberg
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 edition, proclaimed in big font on the label. Pours a medium gold-copper with a tight white head that just does not EVER leave completely. Plenty o' chunks floating around in the brew settle quickly to the bottom of the glass. Aroma of tropical fruit (mangoes and pineapples primarily), esters, and fusel alcohol.

This beer defines warming surge of alcohol. Tastes like some Dogfish Head products - that same hot alcohol flavor that permeates Immort Ale when fresh is here in spades. Behind it hides an interesting brew - tropical fruit esters combine with yeastiness, hints of cinnamon and some green apple dipped in tupelo honey to create an intriguing flavor combination. The heat dies down a bit as it warms, allowing the background flavors to bloom a bit - definitely try this brew at cellar, not fridge, temperature for best effect. Sticky and round mouthfeel, bigger and chewier than many tripels. I enjoy this beer, and wonder how good it could be, and how addictive, if the alcohol were just toned down a bit. Lay this one down vertically for a season or two and, if the heat dies down, be prepared to have your taste buds dance.

Many thanks to Marc R. in Syracuse for the bottle!

Photo of cokes
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004. 12oz.
Sandblasted ocher with a tight beige crowning of foam.
Aromatic of chalkdust, wet basement, and pineapple/vodka mixed drinks.
Begins with a glimpse of crackery pale malt dryness...one that's immediately unseated by phantoms of fruit. Pineapple, pear, and apple. Turns a bit rugged midway, presenting vodka-like booze traits with their sweet, hot, grain emissions. A mildewed sense develops, along with those same chalky traits from the nose. Ends with a citrus-leaning hop burst of lemon rind and orange pulp and a lessening of the ABV sting.
The mouthfeel is firm and full, but (almost) fully carbonated per the style....a feat few American-made tripels pull off. But this carries a but too much weight and appears as Belgian-influence barleywine...a flaw typical of most US versions.
I really did not like this at first, but it has grown on me a little. It's still too uneven and harsh to consider noteworthy...but time may change that.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2003 vintage Monkfish pours a hazy, amber body beneath a creamy head of ivory foam that holds very well. It eventually drops to a thin surface covering and wide, fluffy collar (which ain't so bad!), and initially leaves creamy rings of lace about the glass. A bready malt that's seemingly drizzled with melted sugar and honey dominates the aroma, while some fruity notes (grape, apple, pear) help to lift it away from becoming too heavy. In the mouth it's creamy and smooth. It's full maltiness is quite dextrinous, and its very fine-bubbled natural carbonation only lightly caresses the tongue. It's certainly not to be argued against, but I wonder if a bit more zest might change the overall character of the beer for the better. The flavor is very much as the aroma indicates, but there are also some darker fruits at work here (raisins, prunes, figs); some peppery spiciness; and a touch of some woody & vanilla-ish notes due to the aging in oak. It's interestingly malty, but as an example I think I'd find it more akin to the Chimay Grand Reserve that I would the Chimay Cinq Cents. It finishes with a flourish of spice (alcohol?, anise?) that helps to dry out the lingering, sticky maltiness. Eventually it does dry and some harsh, wood-like notes evolve; but by that time you're ready for another sip. Hmmm.... an interesting beer that's darker and more malty than most tripels, but also offers a touch more complexity. It's alcohol is noticeably present, but well heeled for a beer of 8%; and it's creamy mouthfeel is welcoming but a tad unexpected. Unburdened by any stylistic constraints, this is a lovely, strong ale that makes for a great apertif or after-dinner drink.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle-conditioned, amber body, off-white film. Very toasty malty aroma. Roasted pears, mango, grilled malty and vinous grapes. Appealing aroma. In mouth, the stale comes out boring and stale. Not much development at all. Wine character doesn’t marry so well at all with such absence of life (carbonation is extremely low while the body is moderately thick). A bit of mango here and there, nutty aspects. Very warming alcohol for 8%, moderately bitter finish, heavily astringent. Sadly disappointing. Thanks TAR for the opportunity.

Photo of Bighuge
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky looking brownish orange. Thin and somewhat fizzy eggshell colored head. Retention is good and lacing is better than average. The aroma is quite fruity and alcoholic. Pears, grapes and mango all doused with a good dose of ethanol. A little winey as well. The taste is quite smooth and enjoyable. Fruitiness really comes out nicely on the palate. Grape skin and green apples...pears...a little pineapple. The alcohol is present, but held in check by the other pleasurable tastes. Bubblegum esters enter the picture. Mouthfeel is nicely fizzy and body is close to medium. This is quite enjoyable and drinkable.

Photo of francisweizen
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 Vintage: 750ml bottle which is crowned. This triple was aged for two months in oak wine casks....cool. OK, so this one pours out a clear golden colour with a nice big white head that lasts forever, and leaves very intricate lacing patterns on my glass. The smell is sharp and vinous, with some oak notes in there as well. The aromas are very yeasty, with hints of sweet, honey-like malts, weak hops, candy sugar, and more. The taste is sharp up front with a nice acidic smack of hops. The middle is matly, sweet and bready with some oak flavor notes, and some honey notes as well. This is quite a vinous beer, but not nearly as vinous as the De Dolle Oerbier Reserva. The mouthfeel was very full, rich, and creamy, but the drinkability suffered, as this beer is just too damn complex for its own good!

Awesome stuff though...and i'll try it again if the oppurtunity arises!

Photo of marc77
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazed titian hue. Topped by a creamy, dense, dogged ivory white head that yields steadfast, coating lace. Darker than most tripels. The aroma is comprised of soft, bready, lightly musty yeast along with hints of ripe pear and minty ethanol. Candyish, honey like wafts arise as the brew breathes. Rather tame, but welcoming aromawise. Incipient in flavor is a combination of sweet, slightly buttery, fig laced dough. Tartens mid palate, with hints of underripe plum and green apple offering contrast to the initial sweetness. Understated, but perceptibly zesty alcohol derived black pepper and warm licorice notes dart in after a deilberation. Comparatively full bodied and underattenuated for style, with a hefty, dextrinous and nearly creamy mouthfeel that lends agreeable richness. Finishes with a firm, but not overbearing, simple, fading sucrose like sweetness accompanied by a brusque, ghostly breeze of hop bitterness. A unique tripel that's soft in overall character and a pleasure to sip. Residual sweetness eventually weighs heavily on the palate, hindering the drinkability a touch. A rich, clean, and enjoyable brew. Vintage 2003, 750 ml.

Photo of woemad
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle bought at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $10.95. I think this is the most I've ever paid for one bottle of beer (albeit a huge one). I've been saving this one since September. I figured this would make a nice New Year's eve beer to drink at midnight.

This poured cloudy, with a color somewhere between orange and brown. The head was big, white and fluffy. A very nice sight in my Chimay goblet.

The smell was of sweet malts, fruit and cinammon. The most dominant fruit flavor was peach, although there was a bit of orange in there as well.

The taste of this is dominated by sweet malts and fruit flavors. Peach and orange flavors dominate, along with a nice dollop of cinnamon. There is very little hoppiness to be discerned, just a little twinge at the swallow. There is a warming alcohol sensation just as the swallow shoots down the throat.

This is not too heavily carbonated, and has a rather full mouthfeel.

This is very drinkable, probably too drinkable when you consider the abv. It goes down smoothly, and is sweet enough that a drinker might be tempted to drink a lot of it in the course of an evening.

I haven't had enough Tripels to consider myself an expert, but I think this is a pretty damn good one. I very much enjoyed drinking this while watching the firework display in Riverfront Park from the parking lot of my apartment building. The 9%abv kept me warm in the 20 degree midnight air.

Photo of beerguy101
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber gold color, slightly cloudy. Medium white frothy head. Aroma is malt, toast, fruit and slightly sweet. A medium bodied Belgian Triple. Malts are fruity, bready and slightly sweet. Touches of pineapple, orange, peaches and apricots mix with some nice bready toasted malts. Nicely spicy and yeasty. A little touch of oak with some mustiness. Full complex flavor. Very smooth. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

Photo of RoyalT
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Beautiful orangish-brown body with a good head. This one looked awesome in my Chimay glass.

Smell – The orange and cherry juice aroma lead this one off followed by some very light spicing. I can pick up a faint scent of cinnamon. There’s also some bready yeast undertones, but this one is all about oranges and cherries.

Taste – The cherry and orange flavors come out big at the taste as well. The wheat body shows up subdued, and the finish again displays the spicing. There’s actually more spicing at the tongue. I’m starting to pick up something dark and powdery, like maybe allspice. The fruity flavors also include some peach. The orange is coming out more like a tangerine and now some apple is showing up.

The alcohol kicks it up a notch as well. It almost tastes like applejack. I took this out of the fridge and let it warm up before pouring, but even so, each sip introduces different flavoring. There’s some light sugars coming out as well as some sort of berry flavor, although not like any that I have tried.

Mouthfeel – This is lightly carbonated and borders on full in the body.

Drinkability – This made for a terrific experience. It’s tasty, it feels good, and it is very interesting to drink.

Comments – I sampled the Vintage 2003 and I think it may be a good candidate for cellaring. I’ll pick up another bottle and re-review in six months.

This ale is extremely complex. This is the 61st Belgian offering that I have sampled and rated on this site, and it is by far the most complex. I learned a lot from this Fish Tale offering, and appreciate the experience.

Photo of drewbage
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled in a 14oz Belgian Tulip at the Stumbling Monk (Seattle WA)

Appearance: A hazy cherry orange in the glass.

Aroma: Soapy cinnamon sweet with a candied orange peel aroma. A sticky white head that clings in patches to the glass.

Flavor: A sweet ripe strawberry wine with a light ginger and bublegum sweetness and a full intense alcohol warmth.

Photo of zacharius
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a light Belgian lace head that lasts throughout the drink. On first sip a warm blast of alcohol slaps you in the face followed by the flavor of hops, bitter orange and spice. The alcohol flavor is strong like a coctktail. Flavor changes over the course of several seconds and is an enjoyable an intresting experience. This beer lacks the strong fruity esters that some tripels exibit. Drinkability is much better than most beers of this style but you still don't want to drink more than a pint or two in a sitting.

Note that in the name of this beer "triple" is what their menu said, this is not a typo.

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Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.