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Solstice | Pisgah Brewing Co.

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very good
66 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by oberon on 03-12-2006

For Trade:
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 89
Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pears, bananas, and Belgian candi sugar. As it warms light spice aromas come out but the sweetness is first and foremost throughout.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sugar-coated pear flavors up front carry through all the way to the sweet and crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the light side with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this is a solid trippel but I would prefer a bit more spice and a bit less sweetness. Still, it's worth a shot.

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Photo of joe1510
3.14/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


This bottle came a lil' while back from my man jraycee, thanks Justin! Solstice happens to be one of the clearest beers I have ever seen. A sunrise golden body graces my glass with carbonation rushing up from every surface of the glass, its craziness. Streams of carbonation engulf the entire body. The first pour fills half my glass with meringue-like sticky head. The head does fall to a finger thick cap but not before leaving chunky, Belgian-esqe lacing down the glass.

Interesting nose for a tripel. It has the usual suspects but there's something a bit off. Mushy, overripe green apple with a solid layer of dust greet me upfront. An odd touch of cinnamon that actually picks up the overripe apples comes next but a medicinal quality I'm not so fond of jumps in and takes hold. A little peach here and pear there try to make up for the medicinal notes but fall short. Some dusty yeasty esters float around in the background with a mild graham cracker maltiness taking hold.

The flavor has many of the same problems the nose brought to the table. Musty, overripe apples and semi-tart peach flash upfront and last throughout but become somewhat watery, somewhat fast. An odd fruity sweetness hits mid-palate and detracts from the flavor. Sugar cookie sweetness, a flash of booze, and big green apples come along on the swallow. Dusty yeastiness plays its role with a sprinkling across the entire spectrum.

The body is airy upfront but as it works over the tongue becomes a little heftier with a touch of stick on the swallow. The carbonation is lively but dies down after being in the glass for a few minutes. It's strange with the airiness, almost wateriness, upfront and the stick on the back.

One glass Solstice is enough for me this evening. I was hoping for a better domestic tripel but what I found was a bit of a letdown.

I like the growlered beers I've had from Pisgah a great deal but most of the bottled versions are on the weak side, most of which being overcarbonated. Solstice's problem is much too much muddled flavoring. I appreciate the bottle Justin, thanks man!

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.26/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks, Mike! Unfortunately, I did not care for this beer at all. Bottled Jan 09

A: Mildly hazy orange with a thin, white head with OK retention. Mild carbonation.

S: Floral and sweet with citrus and honey. Mildly spicy with white pepper. Very fruity with a combination of light fruits (peaches, apples, banana) and bubblegum

T: I'm not kidding, my first description of this beer was "gag reflex". Opening up with a mild citrus and apple juice sweetness before a massive, cloying sweetness washes over the palate, with floral, honey and sugar syrup. Mid palate brings out the banana and bubble gum character, before a sweet finish

M: Way too big and sweet both in body and finish. The carbonation is way too low as well.

D: I drank about 2 oz of this before I had to dump it.

Notes: Is there a good American-brewed tripel? Apart from the Brewer's Art stuff, I've been mostly horrified at the American interpretations of the style. Dry out your beer, folks. In fact, go have a St. Bernardus Tripel before you brew your next batch.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Bruisin' Ales...abv listed at 9.5%abv. January 2009.

Caged and corked 750ml, it pours, after a huge pop, a hazy orange yellow with about a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is very fruity with scents of orange and light lemon, maybe apricot, and a musty nose that is kind of Brett-like. In a Tripel, I could do without the mustiness as it hurts the overall smell, imho.

The taste is fruity sweet and fruity tart at the same time with more sweetness from candy sugar and tart notes of oranges and apricots. A little bit of pepper shows up as does light notes of clove that get stronger the more I drink. Still, this Tripel impresses me with how fruity it really is. The alcohol brings some warming after the swallow but I can't say I detect any in the taste. Yhis is a nice tasting brew that overall leans toward the sweet side but not by much. The tart factor never does let go....

Medium bodied with carbonation that approaches but doesn't reach high, it finishes with some nice malty tones and another touch of tartness. The second pour shows me a cloudy brew..no surprise for this bottle condition brew and head retention is superb and it has nice lacing.

Drinkability? I like what's going on here as the flavours are anything but dull and the abv doesn't come in to play much. It's any easy drinking and smooth brew. I made an excellent choice with this one.

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Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of turtlemoye, thanks again!

Pours a dark gold color, a little hazy, with a nice white head.

Beer has a nice spicy and bready aroma.

Taste is very spicy, kind of sweet, with a prickly feel to it. Overall a creamy malt flavor with hard candies. Finish is crisp, with some cloves, and other general spice notes.

Mouthfeel is good, a little prickly from the carbonation, but it blends nicely with the general sweetness of this beer.

Drinkability is very nice. This is a nice Tripel, it's not top notch, but still very solid, tasty, easy to sip, and quite refreshing.

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Photo of number1bum
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one awhile back from BeerTruth. Thanks Adam. Bottled 12/19/07.

This one gushed just a bit on the pour, but eventually I got a somewhat pale golden color, pretty clear with a billowing two inches of off-white head. Head is a bit on the fizzy side but keeps a very nice, full lace and leaves a ton of stick on the sides. Just completely coats the sides of the glass in stick and never lets go of the lace on top. Very impressive.

Smell is floral and fruity with soft spicy notes, some earthy yeast, sugar and sweet malt. Lots of apple and pear in this nose, along with maybe a bit of citrus and muscat grapes. The sugary aromas go very nicely with the fruit, combining for a very pleasant and inviting nose. It's complex but also soft and floral.

Taste is not quite as complex as the nose, and it's a bit heavier on the sugar and also the alcohol. Pepper is more pronounced, with a bold spicy flavor along with some earthy yeast. Lots of sugars and sweet malt along with some zesty citrus, as well. The soft floral and fruit characters that were in the nose don't fully materialize on the palate. Instead it's a bit sweeter and boozier, heavier and spicier. Still quite good, but also a bit of a contrast from the smell.

The mouthfeel on this one is full and quite creamy, although the bold peppery spice is a touch rough and detracts from the smoothness and also contributes to a bit of a lingering burn along with some alcohol. Slightly dry in the finish, as well, with above average carbonation.

I found this to be a bit of a paradox. The nose was so light and floral, while the taste was sweeter, spicier and heavier. The immense black pepper flavor started to wear on me as I progressed through the bottle, making me long for some of the light fruitiness that was in the smell. All in all this is a very good tripel, especially if you prefer those on the spicier end of things. I would certainly have this again although next time i would share the bottle with a friend.

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Photo of atsprings
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and cages bottle into 2 Brooklyn tulips shared with rtratzlaff. Pours a nice hazy dark yellow with a nice frothy off-white head. Aroma is a abundance of sweet malts and spice, pepper and orange peel. Taste is a wonderful blend of sweet malts, sweet fruits, lemon, spices and a hint of citrus hops. The beer is medium bodied, but the dry smooth carbonation hides the alcohol well. One of the brewers at Pisgah told me how they won a taste test in New York that included some Trapist tripels, I must admit, this is likely the best American brewed tripel I've have yet.

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Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A lovely American take tripel, from Bruisin' Ales. Fresh yeast, very smooth mouthfeel,with an underlying orange cream taste. Very drinkable.Cloudy with a great white bubbly head.Refreshing yeasty inhale.Not with the best Belgian versions,but still quite good. On the sweeter side.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle dated march 2008 poured in to a st bernardus goblet.

Pours a clear golden with a big fluffy white head.

Smell is big for a tripel. Sort of spicy, light malt. Some sour fruit and sweet banana.

Taste is spicy peppery, dry fruit.

Huge carbonation mouthfeel and extremely easy drinking beer.


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Photo of jekemp
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this beer out a few years back during a visit to Asheville NC.

After the first sip, I was hooked, Soltice is everything a great belgium style tripel should be and it was incredibly fresh.

Very excited to see that Pisgah is now available in bottles as before it was kegs or growlers. I think I would rather drink a 12 oz bottle in a sitting than a growler since this beer is on the strong side...

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Photo of yeastsipper
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle received in a trade with goRideYourBike. Thanks Mike. After fighting the cork for at least 5 minutes, poured into some oversized wine glasses.

Beer pours a bright gold color with a nice white head. Nose of banana and apples and lemon peel with some pear, honey, yeast and a very slight touch of spiciness. Taste is great. Fruity, yet not overly so. Nice balance with the yeast. All flavors from the nose are there. My only knock would be that it was a touch sweet, but this is a fantastic beer and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. One of the better, more interesting tripels I have had. I will be seeking out more Pisgah in the future....

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pisgah Solstice, on tap at Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria, served in a snifter.

Appearance: Arrives a crystal clear, gorgeous pale gold with tons of crisp-looking, active effervescenc, fast and fine, capped with one-finger of foamy snow white head. Retention isn't amazing but it's solid, and it leaves solid sheets of lace with occasional eruptions of fluff. If the retention were better, it'd be a 5.0 (to give you an idea of how attractive everything else is).

Aroma: Sweet, crisp grainy notes and candi sugar seem to make up most of the malty notes, with flourishes of white pepper and cloves and a handful fruity notes - not-quite-ripe bananas balanced with pears.

Taste: Sweet Belgian candi sugar and light, pils-esque malts bring a good mix of sweet and dry to the party. Lots of light fruity esters - bananas, obviously, with some orange peel, some apple skins, simple pear notes, all light and very balanced. A good dose of spicey notes, too: cloves yes, but also a few others, hints of white pepper and coriander.

Mouthfeel: Amazingly smooth and even, crisp but creamy, with big and bold but fine-bubbled effervescence.

Drinkability: This is organic? And brewed in NC? Very impressive. Not my first Pisgah experience, but if they tend to taste like this, it definitely won't be my last. The 9% on this one is nowhere to be found and is about average for the style, but everything else here makes it more than worthwhile. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Day 2 of epic DrJay visit tasting, DrJay brought this one!

Pours a clear apple juice colour, almost yellow gold, huge and pillowy white head forms, drops some lace chunks, forms a solid layer. Smell is neat, apples, yeast, bread, some caramel, alcohol, pears, very fruity, some sugars, honey, quite nice, has all the elements. Taste is similar, tons of apple and pear, caramel, alcohol, quite spicy in the middle, wheat, light bubblegum, candi sugar, bananas, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, little thick for me than most tripels, with pretty high carbonation, has a bit of a bite to it. Really nice tripel, I like what Pisgah are doing. Thanks Jay!

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Who else but mikesgroove supplied this one to me. Thank you sir!

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a chalice. June 2008 stamped on the label.

Pours a clear golden hue with a frothy two finger cloudy white head that dies down to a thin creamy layer that lasts throught tasting. A good amount of stick on the sides with a shit load of bubbles racing to the top. Sweet smelling candy sugars and caramel with some metallic notes in the nose. Ripe apples and pears with a peppery undertone. Banana and yeast tickle the nostrils as well. Taste begins with sweet Belgian yeasts and pear as well as the previously mentioned metallic flavor. Midway, sweet sugars and carmelized grains emerge. The continued sweetness remains in the aftertaste with hints of lemon, banana, and clove. Light body with a silky smooth feel. Active carbonation, but by no means would I say it's overcarbonated. To me, the mouthfeel really helps with the drinkability, very soft and crisp. The 9.5% is almost non-existant in this beer, I love it. Pisgah continues to amaze me with their organic offerings, hopefully they start bottling more. Thanks again Mike, you da man!!

 1,150 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 2. Got this one in a trade with mikesgroove, so thanks!
Yellow/amber and slightly hazed with a super fluffy eggshell head composed of big bubbles that was quick to settle. Lots of clumpy lacing. Fruity aroma, lots of apple and pear, bread, light yeastiness, faint spice and alcohol. Very much in line with what I expect from a tripel. Mild bitterness and alcohol, bready and fruity with mild spice and alcohol in the finish. Very clean profile. Unfortunately, it was overcarbonated, which was the only problem with this beer. Body was medium with some alcohol warmth, plus the texture was good once the carbonation settled down. Very nice other than this one issue.

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Photo of grub
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 2: Stouts and Belgians. DrJay contributed this one, so thanks jay!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled nov 28/08.

pours crystal clear golden yellow with an incredibly fluffy white head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. apple juice. cracker and white bread. touch of caramel. nice light belgian spice. light alcohol.

taste is good. once you get past the insane carbonation level there's a great tripel in there. cracker and white bread. light belgian spice. light alcohol. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. initially the carbonation was very high and carrying a decent sting with it, but after a little swirling it drops to a much more pleasant level. nice light body with a good dry finish.

drinkability is good. the carbonation takes away initially, but by mid glass this one starts going down very easily. good stuff.

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Photo of gford217
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bruisin' Ales poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear golden color with a creamy white head that stays as a cap for the duration with massive amounts of bubbles straming up from the bottom. Lacing is plentiful

The aroma is seriously sweet with candi sugar, fruity esters and tons of light fruit - pears, apples and apricots. There is also a bready malt aroma as well.

The taste is even sweeter than the aroma suggests. The sweet fruits and candi sugar are dominant throughout with bananas, apricots and pears on top of a light citrus and bready malt base. Good, but a tad sweeter than I prefer.

The mouthfeel is massively carbonated and fruity sweetness lingering on the palate.

This is a very good Belgian style beer from Pisgah though the sweetness was a tad overpowering for me in the flavor and limits the drinkability a tad. Still nice.

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Photo of corey0212
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another gem I got from mikesgroove!

Getting the cork out of this bottle was at times a harrowing experience. I was once taught to open a bottle of champagne as quietly as possible, a practice that has carried over into the realm of corked beers....but alas, the 'pop' on this bottle was epic. Pours a hazy golden color with an absolute beast of an off-white head....rocky, dense, and long-lasting, foamy lacing clings to the glass. Some pineapple on the nose, slight banana and apple, clove & peppery spice. Flavors follow right along, but I also get a slight nutmeg taste, some lemon zest, and a bite of alcohol on the finish. Extremely lively carbonation, and refreshing as hell. An extremely tasty Tripel....both beers I've had from this brewery have done nothing but impress me.

Now, excuse me while I go add the whole Pisgah lineup to my "wants" list.

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Photo of cbros
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type- Bottle poured into chalice.

A- Pours a golden yellow with a nice white lace that lasts till the finish.

S- Hints of alcohol and fruit-bannanna and spice tones.

T- Nice smooth fruity start to the beer that finishes with an strong alcohol end. Hints of pepper and pineapple move across the tongue on the way down.

M- Good mouthfeel and high drinkability. Picked this up a few months ago in Asheville and this is my first chance to try a Pisgah offering. Good strong Tripel that drinks well and is very enjoyable. I hope to have this again someday and also to try other Pisgah beers in the near future.

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Photo of craytonic
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville, NC

Pours a dull-murky-golden-pale-straw, with a serious head and nice lacing. Had a bottle as well and it damn near exploded, soaked the floor and the counter. I lost nearly half the bottle, it had a bit of a leak problem before that. Oh well, at least the rest was tasty!

Taste & Smell - dominated by over-ripe pineapple, some banana & yeast, a little pear and a touch of peach. Some spice and nutmeg as well. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - nice & full. Very light for a tripel, which really helps the drinkability.

I had this back towards the end of 2008 and it is much improved now. Much sweeter and very smooth, it is distinctly southern and tasty.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to mikesgroove for the chance to try this southern gem!

A - cork had a bit of beer crusted on the edge, loud pop and a glass full of white foam ensue. It settles out and the first glass is a crisp straw yellow with a heavy bubble stream to the top. Subsequent pours show an increasing cloudyness as the sediment is increasingly disturbed.

S - wonderful belgian yeast notes with a nice light grains and a hint of lemon.

T - wonderful belgian yeasts dominate with a clean crisp light grain note and spices.

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated, crips and zesty. could be less carbonated but oddly the over carbonation of this brew does not detract from the drinking experience.

D - it takes a while for the foam to settle. It's worth the wait. this drinks nicely and crisply.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jraycee for sending this my way! A caged corked 750 mL.

Pours a very slightly hazy golden straw color with some decent depth. A nice soft creamy off-white head forms and stays at a thick little cap. Sheets of lace hang down the sides of the goblet.

Smells of dry grains and nice yeasty bread dough. Light notes of hay, lemon-grass, and vinegar.

More doughy goodness in the taste, with some faint lemon zest, wheat, and hay. Sweetness comes in and out, with an almost tangible independent identity, as if it's swirled in as a separate ingredient. Some soft ripe melony fruit blends into the middle. A little grainy, then kind of watery leading into the finish. Ends with some soft, mildly bitter, mildly sweet breadiness. A decent balance of dynamic, but lacks much standout character.

Feel is nice. Spicy carbonation up front mellowing into a smooth medium body, cleaning up at the finish, but leaving a film of sweetened aftertaste.

Overall a very nice beer that's growing on me considerably as I drink it. It's tasty, but tame. Nothing stands out in spice or taste that really gives it something unique other than the fact that it's a nicely drinkable tasty tripel.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really admire Pisgah brewing and their brews. There's nothing like visiting their brewery on Thursdays when it's open to the public. You can taste several of their offerings and purchase anything they've got bottled. Local folks fills the place and give it a real community atmosphere. On my last visit I picked up bottles of Solstice, Cosmos, Hellbender, and a growler of their Pale Ale. The Solstice is the first of this set I've sampled.

It pours a dark amber with lots of bubbles and a light, frothy, white head that sticks around a long time and clings to the side of the glass while the level of beer drops. Aromas of bubble gum, lemon, and a spicy floral essence waft up from the brew with a good sniff. This aroma certainly invites tasting! Floral and sweet malts are prominent on the front, while the finish is mostly bitter with a bright citrus character and a nice lingering aftertaste of bread.

If you're into Belgian styles, particularly Triples, I highly recommend this brew. Heck, I recommend everything Pisgah does!

 1,035 characters

Photo of rkuhnel
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shaun and Angie for bringing this all the way from North Carolina. This corked and caged 750 mil bottle opened with a satisfying pop, and poured a cloudy deep and rich golden to orange hue and raised a huge off-white head that looked like whipped cream in the Duvel glass and simply did not want to go away. I let is sit so it could warm a little more, and if finally settled down after about 5 minutes and left big chunks of lacing. This may be one the the thickest and longest lasting heads I have ever seen. The nose was complex consisting of aromas of ripe fruit,, citrus, and some yeast. Mouthfeel is a bit lively and carbonated which may explain the huge head. Flavor are again of fruits, and there are touches of apricot, orange, grapefruit, and coriander. Finish is slightly sweet and it is good to the last drop. A very nice tripel.

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Photo of Enola
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a cloudy orange with a good sized head and the beer is very carbonated. The smell is citrus and the Belgian nature shows strongly. The Belgian yeast is very prominant in the taste as well as wheat. The mouthfeel is very carbonated and the abv certainly shows. Overall this is probably a decent beer of the style.

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Solstice from Pisgah Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 89 ratings.
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