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Triple - W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Not Rated.
TripleTriple

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 7
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-29-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biegaman
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is called "Tripel" because it undergoes three stages of fermentation and three stages of hoping - not because it's been inspired by or modeled after the Belgian style of the same name. It's important not to confuse that. Of course, if you had any uncertainties about it, a quick look at the beer should dispel any misconceptions rather quickly...

because this somber, nearly opaque, sienna brown colour looks nothing like the bright, golden brilliance of a Belgian Tripel. Its body, despite being very dark, is a hotbed of colours that unlatch at different angles to the light. Although transparency isn't permitted, its complexion is notably clear. Its head is insistent and the lacing becomes all engrossing.

The bouquet is a fantastic show of scents, all of which prosper with spry effervescence and ooze a prolific sumptuousness. Dried and festered dark fruits, dark toffee, a trickle each of molasses and fig balsamic, sap and flowers, coffee cake and wood spice - it's a distinctive ensemble, one that is more mellow even than it is luscious.

Apparently, triple fermentation + triple hopping = triple flavour. Whatever was smelled in the aroma is tasted just as vividly on the palate (and with the added benefit of a properly suited texture to boot). To compliment this profound maltiness, and all the flavours of dark toffee and dark fruits it delivers, are nuances of cognac and brandy.

The latter arise from the beer's unabashed strength. The alcohol itself (a relatively modest 7%) is never tasted outright but conspires with the malts to create the lavish tastes listed above. A gritty, earthy, quite kinetic cast of hops not only make for a vivacious bitterness but also restrain the beer's profuse sweetness from becoming overwhelming.

I can't see asking anything more from an English Strong Ale. Many British brewers operate on illusions of grandeur but few actually create the succulent, refined ales they boast to. Brakspear Triple, along with Fullers Vintage Ale, 1845 and Greene King Strong Suffolk, are the beers that truly define what it means to drink to the fullest extent.

biegaman, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic glass. A lovely dark copper-ruby hue, transparent. A generous bubbly inch-high head, tons of lacing. Excellent retention, which surprises me for a British ale such as this.

Nose is tea, malts, honey, perhaps a bit of berry.

Nice and malty, with notes of toffee, caramel, herbal hops, tea, dark fruit and honey. Alcohol is certainly present in the finish, it's actually quite noticeable, but it tastes alright. Decent combination of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with light, crisp carbonation. Alcohol is delivered sharply.

Not a bad little strong ale, very drinkable. The alcohol isn't masked perfectly, but the corresponding flavors certainly get the job done. A bit strong for a session, but it works as a good finish to a long day.

JohnnyBarman, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of kwjd
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Saw this at the Liquor Control Board in Ontario and never heard of it, so thought I'd give it a try.

Pours a dark amber, almost brown colour with thick off-white head. Tons of lacing. Has a sweet, roasted fruit smell. Taste has a lot of banana and raisin with some sort of spices. Little bit of hop presence too. Very smooth carbonation level. This is dangerously drinkable for a moderately strong beer. I'm glad I randomly picked this up.

kwjd, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle No. B.486617, tasted in 2010.

Appearance : copper brown colour, with beige foamy head (little bubbles).
Smell : malty with caramel aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : roasted malr flavours, with alcohol presence.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style English strong ale.

thierrynantes, May 27, 2010
Photo of mjgarrett2
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Rich chocolatey brown, mostly translucent but not thick. Light brown head and good lacing.

S- Not giving much away at first take, maybe a hint of bread coming from the yeast. Smells of fruit develop later, maybe banana or apple.

T- Sensual fruit flavors, again maybe banana but predominantly spicier like apples, pears, maybe cranberries. The brightness of the hops does well to mediate any overpowering characteristics, being complex and intriguing to identify some of the flavors.

M- Flavors immediately permeate around the mouth and move to cover the palate and let everything develop. It feels like the sensation of the beer embracing the whole palate rather than targeting any one area.

D- Very sippable and pleasant but perhaps too big and complex to be enjoyed for a lengthy stretch.

mjgarrett2, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep red-orange amber color. Decent sized, bubbly and foamy off-white head. Below average retention with essentially no lacing left over.

S - First whiff produced some bready malt and a bit of floral, herbal and earthy hops. Subsequent smells produce a good amount of fruit with apple and berries being the main ones. Also the alcohol is fairly present in the smell.

T - Apple along with tea, herbal and floral hop flavors. This provides a bit of a sour, tangy and slightly bitter taste. This gives way a bit to a caramel and toffee bready malt taste. This malt taste is in the background for the rest of the sip, and it finishes with a slightly sour tang. Alcohol taste is slight but always present.

M - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth, and a little watery.

D - Decent drinkability. Smooth and easy to drink. Flavors are pretty good for drinkabiity as well.

Notes: Not like a Belgian Tripel, and quite British in flavor. Also vaguely reminds me of a Euro Strong Lager. Lots of apple and some alcohol pretty dominate, resulting in a tangy tasting beer.

FreshHawk, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of rvdoorn
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle directly from the UK. Poured into a de Molen sniffer. The beer pours a very clear copper color, with a almost not existing head, but a nice lacing.

Smell: Sweeet red fruits, caramel, brown sugar and roasted malts.

Taste: Bit sweet malts, bit bitter malts, and some hints of liquorish and red fruits. Bit flat and boring. Light bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium-bodied

Overall: Definitively not a typical (Belgium-style-like) tripel. More a boozy ale. Not bad to try once, but a too flat and too boring.

rvdoorn, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of DerBayer
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It s a dark reddish and brownish amber with little head looks rich but not great

The smell is all fruity esters, many layers but not much else, some alcohol

The taste is of the same but balanced by some bitter hop noteds

Mouthfeel is kind of flat but oK for the style

Drinkability is alright but would not want more than a bottle

DerBayer, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of soulgrowl
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Coffee brown, mahogany along the edges with a yellowed ivory head. Not very good retention for a bottle-conditioned ale. Nose is mostly cola with a good smack of citrus, especially lime and grapefruit, intersected by grape and pear-like fruitiness and unusual notes of dark honey, varnish, and fresh pineapple. Tastes rather sweet and surprisingly bland; bready and yeasty with some quiet fruity and spicy notes. A surge of whiskey-like alcohol fires up the finish, which, along with a consistently hoppy bitter orange flavor and a light, airy, dry body, helps to add balance. Not bad, but not very interesting - way too bland to warrant the strength.

soulgrowl, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of BitterLover
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Number: A313220. I went to the website to look up the bottling date based upon the bottle number, but this series wasn't listed (guess they figured that no one could have possibly held onto a bottle this long long).

Drink By Date: 05/02/09 (Feb 5, '09 in English format)

I bought this bottle at a Sainsbury's in the UK while on a Business trip and stuck it into the back of my fridge when I got home. Poured into a proper English pub glass. There was a little sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

A: A clear, deep amber honey color with moderate carbonation and a one finger off-white head that didn't last very long.

S: I didn't detect a very strong hop presence in the nose, but there was a little bit of toffee and brown sugar. Maybe the age of the bottle has moderated the hop aroma?

T: At first I thought that the alcohol presented too strong a presence (maybe it's more of a green apple pinch?), but after a few mouthfuls I really started to get to the maltiness of this beer. As it warmed up a little the flavors of dark toffee and brown sugar really come to the fore. I didn't feel like it had a very pronounced hoppiness.

M: A velvety, rich, viscous texture in the mouth. This stuff goes down very easily! Very strong and satisfying finish.

D: Even though this is relatively high alcohol beer, it is not overbearing in any way from the alcohol, the hops, or the malt. Everything about this beer is balanced, if slightly pronounced. I could enjoy this all night long. This was a lucky find for me!

BitterLover, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number A265810, best before 14th Jan 2009, drank late Nov 2008.

Poured into a straight pint sleeve, no sediment left the bottle (that I noticed anyway).

Deep amber, mahogany reddy brown, clear and clean looking, off-white head sat on top.

The aroma was of hops, yeast and toffee/sweet molasses.

The taste is a sweetish, rich malty flavour. Real fires without the smoke also comes to mind as you sip this very pleasant beer.

Old leather armchairs, Gentlemens clubs and money, that is what this beer reminds me of. I can imagine warm lounges, smoking jackets and cigars when drinking this. A very good beer, the 7.2% is well hidden and balanced nicely. A beer for people who like the better things in life.

BlackHaddock, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of wl0307
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle No. A576851. According to the beer label, the term "Triple" has a two- (or maybe three-)fold meaning: "triple fermentation" - two in the double-drop system and one in the bottle and "triple hopping" during the brewing process. On top of all these, three kinds of malts are used: crystal, black and Maris Otter pale malts. BB 23/06/09, served cool in Westmalle's broad rimmed goblet.

A: dark amber to copper hue, topped with a thin off-white foam retreating to a blanket; carbonation remains moderate throughout the drink.
S: extremely apple-ly and fragrant, featuring lots of Fuggles and some lychee-floral hops, plus dates, sweet prunes, and even berry-fruits... the crystal and black malts result in a deeply caramely and chocolatey aroma (quite like Fuller's 1845) in the background, along with a fruit estery aroma of over-ripe fruits that many English strong ales come with.
T: lychee-shells, flowery and green-apple-ly hops with a tannic tinge of tea-stems and grapes come on top of aromatic black sugar, mildly chocolatey hint, a cheesy note, then taken over by lots and lots of biscuity malts intertwined nicely with estery flavour of overripe apples as well as spicy English hops... In the incredibly long aftertaste, the tremendously aromatic biscuity finish of malts goes hand in hand with a moderately bitter and increasingly dry palate imparted by Brakspear yeast and the double-drop system.
M&D: so much better than my previous encounters with this beer, this bottle shows a brilliant depth of complex hops and superb body of malts. Plus the soothing carbonation and a semi-dry bitter undertone, this ale really has achieved the status of a sensational and complex beer over the years!

* Tasting Date: 28/12/05

This bottle has the same BB date 02/04/06 as the one I had four months ago. Now is the time to see if it benefits a little from further ageing in the bottle.
4 A: copperish hue, creamy off-white froth slowly dissipating...
4 S: not much different from the previous note, except that this time a stronger apple-ish edge is added to the fruity profile, while maltiness is more pronounced, with caramel malts mixed well with strong-scented, rum-soaked black cherries like fruity flavour with additional touch of spice at the back.
3.5 T: smooth flow of juicy malts mixed with toffee and lightly caramelised sugar, underlined by slightly sour-sweet flavour of dark fruits like plums-on-skins plus a residual taste of lychee and preserved berry-fruits, leaving a mildly spicy and tangy fruity edge in the end. On balance the fruitiness imparted by hops is much milder than the previous bottle, and so is the bitterness.
3 M&3 D: even smoother than the last bottle, yet the texture turns a bit thin at the tail of each sip, while the body is not yet three-dimensional. It seems ageing hasn't done a great deal to improve its overall complexity and especially the hop profile~~

wl0307, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of Antilochus
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at a Sainsburys in Clapham, London. 7.20% abv, 500mL.

Even brown copper body, a few bubbles, a hint of a collar and a cloud or two. Not much head, that's for sure.

Huge malt presence in the nose... nice balancing rusty/citrusy hop character as well. Caramel, rust, sweet fruits. Quite good.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the syrupy side for my taste. Palate is hot, stinging, generally fruity and sweet. Finish is even hotter with some yeasty bitterness and lots of alcohol. Not bad but rather 'malt liquorish'.

Antilochus, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of sstackho
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle from LCBO. Consumed Feb 08 with a best before date in April 08. Pours a dark gold with just a couple of floaties from swishing the bottom of the bottle. Solid malty aroma. Solid malty flavour as well, but with a slight bit of tangy fruitiness as well. However, the aftertaste is all malt, which isn't quite my thing. RE-RATE in April 08. Man, it's going down nicely. Still malty, but seemingly richer and satisfying an itch as it goes down the throat. Upped the ratings a bit.

sstackho, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of DaveUK
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown, (poured bright) with a tint of red. A small head of white bubbles formed, despite a fairly aggressive pour. Lacing remained to the end with some swirling.

Aroma - Alcohol, pungent apples and pears, sweet dried fruit, whispers of toffee and caramel. But dominated by ripe apples and pears. A floral to herbal hop aroma becomes apparent as the beer warms up.

Taste - Strong grainy malt, rich roasted notes present. This gives way to subdued but bitter hops displaying more ripe pears and sweet fruit. Warming alcohol and bitterness finish off this layered beer.

Mouthfeel - Heavy, thick and malty is how I would describe this beer. The lazy carbonation does barely enough to keep the liquid alive.

Overall - A rich and complex beer, similar to a barley wine in its presence in the mouth. The aroma was especially intriguing as almost every time it was sniffed, different aromas could be detected.

I would probably want this in a 330ml bottle as well, as after finishing the 500ml, the alcohol was very apparent!

DaveUK, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of bobsy
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle conditioned from the LCBO. Pours a very dark brown, with a rocky off-white head, which diminishes to a fine film. Really fresh aroma...apples, oranges and pine needles. The taste has a nice apple edge to the malt body, but I can also detect the presence of darker fruits, as well as caramel and nut. The finish is refreshingly bitter, with a slight warmth from well-hidden alcohol. Excellent beer, that seems to gain complexity with each sip!

bobsy, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of grub
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, number 659455. sampled jan 8/08.

pours a pretty garnet hue with a small incredibly fine off-white head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is nice. floral hop character that almost comes across perfumey at times. hint of toast. toasted biscuits actually. bit of alcohol. bit of dark fruit hiding in the background.

taste is good. medium-low bitterness level. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. crackers. bit of alcohol. big floral hop presence with just a hint of perfumey character, but not to unpleasant levels. touch of date and nice fruity esters.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. nice medium body.

drinkability is good. excellent balance, almost completely hiding the alcohol. nice malt depth. a fine beer.

grub, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear amber color ale with a medium foamy head with OK retention and small traces of lacing. Aroma of biscuit malt is very enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by nice biscuit malt notes with medium sweetness. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Nicely done but nothing earth shattering in here.

Phyl21ca, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed amber, almost golden, decently thick off white head forms, not as voluminous as most triples but still decent, leaves behind a lot of lace, good retention. Smell is very nice, honey, bread, sweet malt, hint of biscuit, strawberries, grass, caramel, bit of yeast, very nice floral aroma. Taste is neat, spiciness up front, very bready, sweet honey and caramel malts, lots of grass and floral, some minerals, strawberries, yeast and honey in the finish, some dry spices as well, just a touch of alcohol but its nicely hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth, nice dry finish, little bit of warmth. Surprisingly great, I wasn’t sure what to expect from an English triple, but it tastes like a tripel with British influence, well done.

Viggo, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of Derek
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle No. 655870 - I presume it was bottled June/July 07.

A: Amber-brown with a light tan head; pours a thick finger of head, not much retention, but it leaves a little lace.

S: Earthy-mineral, floral, dark fruit, alcohol, caramel, brown sugar.

T: Earthy-mineral, orange zest, dark fruit, dark caramel, slight bread & nut; residual sweetness is balanced by the hop bitterness; warming alcohol.

M: Moderate-to-full body has some residual sugar; moderate carbonation.

D: I'm not particularly fond of the earthy-mineral flavour and the alcohol warmth.

Derek, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of CanuckRover
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm wondering whether there was something wrong with my bottle... the pour gives some real lively carbonation, like soft drink style, with an audible fizz, wasn't expecting that. No problem though, taste is fine, colour is nice and although there is no head and very little in the way of lacings, the body is pretty nice.

Sweetness on the nose, berries, maybe a little bit of peach... everytime I put it up to my nose I get something different, but mostly sweet fruit with noticeable alcohol.

First thing I pick up is the malt. The grain really comes through, the strong alcohol giving a whiskey note to it but without much wood. A good amount of red, slightly sour fruit, gives off a nice, but very subtle, tartness. Gentle English hops throughout keeping a nice balance and the sweetness at bay. Finish is a little disapointing. Taste fades quickly, leaving a tonic water type flavour and a slight dryness in the mouth.

Despite the fiziness, the mouthfeel is fine. Thin, but in that loveable English ale sort of way. This i dangerously drinkable for a strong ale. The British ability to completely mask alcohol is unnerving. I'd drink this again.

CanuckRover, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

with a golden hue and a generous white head. Rather cinammony tad roasted barley. A bit sour in the finish and aftertaste.Understated carbonation. Not offensive but nothing extraordinary or too tasty.
Perhaps would be interesting to try when well-aged

Sammy, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear rusty iron color with a patchy foamy head and scads of chunky lacing left behind. Pristine banana esters fill the nose, along with some cherry, apple, citrus notions. A great floral hop character is also in abundance. The taste is quite malty but lightbodied for the gravity. Once again esters dance around a core English hop profile. I taste cherry, field berries and grapefruit. Hop bitterness is sturdy and a tea like tannin feel is evident in the background throughout. The finish is relatively hoppy and medicinal from the strong booze presence. The mouthfeel is medium and very lightly carbonated.

This is a tastey strong ale. Vibrantly hoppy and full of malt and yeast goodness. My only criticism is the alcohol could be more hidden.

CAMRAhardliner, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of pootz
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

Decants a clear, deep chestnut brown ale with ruby high lights...2 finger sticky cap ...moderate retention. Bottle conditioned with very little suspended particulate.

Aroma is pungent, citrus, spice, some sweetness, fruity.

Flavor is malt accented but the fruit esters are complex and range from succulent fruits like plums to dried fruit like dates...some treacle light charred husk, spices, hopping ranges from medicinal to herbal to citrus rind...what complexity...complex hop alpha mix, complex yeast esters and phenols and multi-layered malt mix...one sturdy and satisfying yet complex beer.

Love it!

pootz, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: clear amber color, small head that mostly disappears, some lacing remains
s: balance between sweet malts and citrus crispness
t: sweet malts through most with a subtle bitter finish that turns to a strong hoppy aftertaste along with alcohol
m: medium to creamy body and low carbonation
d: pretty good english ale that had decent balance between hops & malts. worth a try

belgbeerdrinker, Nov 27, 2007
Triple from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
86 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.