Steenbrugge Tripel - Brouwerij Palm NV
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 86 | Show All Ratings:
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:
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
3.91/5 rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
DATE TASTED: November 23, 2013... GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... OCCASION: a Game of Thrones reading evening... APPEARANCE: pours a slightly copper, malty golden body; lively effervescence; thick,, foamy two-finger white head that keeps its resilience; lacing is formidable... AROMA: bouquet is light, hoppy, floral with light citrus--mostly peach--and apple as well--quite an air to it!... PALATE: full-bodied; immediately warming at the throat; active and anxious in the teeth--clearly not disguising its intentions...TASTE: grape accents early grant a surprising start; smooth, mellow hops make for a surprisingly casual finish; coriander and some nameless funk round out the flavor...OVERALL: a bright, uplifting strength to this beer lends spirit to the religious overtones of the label; situated among the other beers of this mix pack, the "Best of Belgium" proclamation holds some substance--not the best tripel I've tasted, but more than holds its own...
Serving type: bottle
11-28-2013 05:02:07 | More by dacrza1
4.49/5 rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
appearance: Wow just beautiful it is like a perfect combo of everything yes I said perfect. Beautiful hints of amber.
smell: It just hits you perfectly. I would have to say something obscene to fully describe it but wonderful you fall into it. A little bit fruity and aromatic. It is worth it just for the smell
taste: Bold, it hits you with the aroma and bam there you are. A bit fruity like bananas. Has a bit of a bight surprisingly but not to shabby.
mouthfeel: Stays with you in fact the bitters take over for a potent bitter taste long after the sip is gone.
overall: Not bad, I am certainly not disappointed and if this is your type of beer you will be jumping over angry wives to get one. It make me want to try more Belgians if nothing else
Serving type: bottle
11-05-2013 18:30:50 | More by JCBears
Steenbrugge Tripel from Brouwerij Palm NV
87 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.