Steenbrugge Tripel - Brouwerij Palm NV
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Ratings: 222 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Chrysostom:
4.24/5 rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
I just had a $15 of Koningshoeven Quadupel Oak Aged before this - or, more like half of one - which was severely disappointing, bordering on undrinkable, and a Chimay "Special 2012" Blue Label before that. I'm still mostly sober, and this review is live - not from notes of any sort, but puzzled out as I drink the potable in question.
This is my first ever bottle of this beer. It goes without saying my ratings are subject to revision upon additional bottles being consumed. I've been disappointed with new beers recently.
(As with all my reviews, contra some sites and some guidelines, I review according to style, ala BJCP, modified by personal preferences [contra BJCP], not according solely to personal taste.)
Without my normal, customary little introductory anecdote/story, without further ado, a review:
Presentation: 750mL bottle, corked and caged and wrapped in foil like champagne, poured in to a Chimay goblet/chalice. Served chilled, around 40-45ºF, warming as I write the review and sip. Bought around July through August of last year. $8.99 for a 750mL bottle. Thank you to Blacklick Wine and Spirits in Columbus, Ohio.
A: Bright golden colour, very clear for the style with the slightest haze (the yeast has settled nicely in to the bottom after I've aged this for nearly a year), with an absolutely ridiculously massive, fluffy head indicative of extreme carbonation, even on a gentle pour. The slightest bit of vigour on the pour giveth a head which be larger than the liquid beer. It looks like a Champagne the colour of apple juice, and, frankly, delicious. Lacing is non-existent even on a massive, three-finger head. Some white lees present in the transparent beer on the last pour.
S: Some barnyard funk and wet dog right off the bat, strongly reminiscent of Orval, with pretty strong undercurrents of bread and yeast, surprising for such a clear beer. There is absolutely, and I repeat absolutely, no alcohol character whatsoever present in the nose, which is surprising, again, for an 8.7% beer, especially served strongly chilled, bordering on cold. Some earthy hop, but little malt, is present in the nose.
T: This surprises me with how good it is. Light spicy flavours, reminiscent, again, of Orval: veritably savouring of Orval. Strong funk, again, like Orval. The spice is similar to that present in a Rochecfort, although here much attenuated. Huge amounts of bread and toast, yet again surprising me, for the fifth time (?) in this review, due to the clarity of the beer. Has notes of the ill-defined "Saison" style, just as Orval has.
Citrus on the front of the palate, an extremely dry, toasty (as in toasted bread or croutons) back-palate, which is quite refreshing. As is standard with Belgians, neither malt nor hops are the dominant flavour (even if the dominant ingredients), but the malt on this is by far predominant over the hops - although the hops are not meek, and make their presence known. Hoppier than most Tripels.
Mild floral (lilac and lavender) notes throughout. There is no alcohol whatsoever noticeable on the palate. This may be the least alcoholic-tasting high-ABV beer I've ever had. Moderately complex. Not as complex as a St Bernardus, or an Orval, but still pretty complex. I think I've teased out the main threads of taste, but not nearly all of them.
M: High carbonation. Astringent, yet dry and smooth. Clean. Champagne-like. The mouthfeel is the highlight of this surprisingly-good beer. Somewhere between 4.75 and 5 on the mouthfeel. It blends well with everything else.
D: Moderate. Complex, yet refreshing, yet again still high in alcohol. One could drink too many of these without becoming (too) tired of the taste, but it would be inadvisable. Not compulsively drinkable like a Chimay or St Bernardus, but quite above-average drinkability for a brew of comparable complexity and flavour.
O: This is a good, close to great, beer. As you have observed, the words "reminiscent of Orval" and "surprised" run throughout my review. For what it is (and, of course, it is what it is), Orval and surprise are my general take-away from this.
It hits the "Tripel" style on the head, with the addition of funky characteristics such as are present in Orval and some other Trappists. There seems to be a bit of a funky Saison-like character to this beer, as well. It's not as clean as the Tripel offerings from St Bernardus, Chimay, or Westmalle; all of the aforementioned are complex, but none have the Orval-like funk of this beer. It far exceeded my expectations. 90/100 for the style.
One and three-quarters thumbs up (I'm a bit more reserved than Siskel and Ebert), with a definite and enthusiastic "buy" recommendation from me, especially for $8.99/750mL. This beer could be sold for the standard "Trappist price" of $11.99/750mL and gather no untoward gazes. It's worth a try, especially if you like this style, Saison, or Orval.
Serving type: bottle
03-17-2013 11:19:14 | More by Chrysostom
More User Reviews:
3.91/5 rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.
Appearance: medium golden hue with a moderate haze and a relatively strong effervescence. Head is two fingers of frothy ivory foam. It's an attractive tripel.
Smell: sweet with a clean malt aroma and a nice fruitiness with a hint of pear, my favorite aroma in a tripel. There's also a soapy, floral aroma that I like; perhaps this is due to the spicing of the beer (the label says "ale with spices"), but I can't call out a particular spice by name.
Taste: light malt with a lighter fruitiness than the aroma and a distinct chalkiness, which I like; but, there's a little bit of alcoholic heat, which works at cross-purposes for me. Good, but could be a little smoother, I think.
Mouthfeel: medium body with a huge carbonation and bodacious creaminess. Gotta love this in a tripel!
Overall: I like this beer quite a bit. I feel like there's something in the flavor, whether it's a bitterness from the spicing or an alcoholic heat, which negatively impacts its smoothness. Still, it's a drinkable tripel I'd be happy to have again.
Serving type: bottle
06-14-2014 02:39:39 | More by flagmantho
4.2/5 rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Visual: Wheat straw with a slight haze, almost a dark gold. Nice thick head.
Aroma: Hints of fruity citrus, preferably grape, coupled with a coppery essence. Very flowery bouquet with spices
Taste: More sweet than bitter but definitely a presence of bitterness, also with peppery sweet and spicy flavor.
Mouth-feel: Light to medium body with a clean aftertaste at the back of the palate. Light, refreshing carbonation with a creamy sensation.
Overall: Excellent Belgian beer that captures many of the style's best qualities of a sweet and spicy touch.
I love this beer!
Serving type: bottle
06-04-2014 04:24:55 | More by MRO70
4.05/5 rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: Clear golden extremely carbonated body with an off-white head. Excellent head retention and lacing.
S: Clove, spicy and yeast aromas. A hint of bubblegum as it warms. T: Bready malt flavors lead to spicy middle & a clean, dry finish. Spiced presence is notable and distinct.
M: Smooth, clean and dry.
O: Excellent Belgian Tripel.
Serving type: bottle
05-31-2014 21:55:41 | More by Paincane
4.45/5 rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle with no freshness date (yet has been cellared in proper conditions for over a year) into a 16oz St. Bernardus branded chalice.
A- Initial (and conservative) pour reveals a beautiful orange/apricot hued beer with minimal haze and a 1/2 finger white, head with sea foam-like consistency. Nearly perfect for the Tripel style. 4.75
S- An absolutely inviting aroma for a Tripel! A wonderful fruity bouquet comprising of pear, apricot green grape, apple skins, honeydew along with a orange/lemon zest...some pineapple comes though as the beer warms. 4.75
T- Equal parts sweet and tart. The tartness is that of a 'green grape' quality, reminiscent of a white wine. The sweetness is only perceived for a moment before the spicy and dry finish takes over, much like an oak barrel aged Chardonnay wine. Despite the (as far as Tripels go) a relatively modest 8.7% ABV, you do feel a warming sensation as it goes down. 4.25
M- Highly carbonated with a medium body. The spicy and "tannic" finish makes this beer quite refreshing and devastatingly drinkable. 4.5
O- Although Tripels rank in my top three beer styles, I did not have much expectation being that this is brewed with gruut/gruit as opposed to hops. However, this beer was an absolute joy to consume (the bottle was a relatively quick study as a result of the time it took to consume)...so color me absolutely impressed by the Steenbrugge Tripel. There is no question that I will purchase this again, but next time I will be certain to find a bottle reflecting a 'Best Before' date...but being that my review is of an older bottle, I can say with confidence that this beer ages very well. 4.5
Serving type: bottle
01-24-2014 19:25:56 | More by threeviews
Steenbrugge Tripel from Brouwerij Palm NV
87 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.