Tripel Threat | Cambridge Brewing Company

very good
101 Reviews
Tripel ThreatTripel Threat

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-20-2002

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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 325
Photo of PEBKAC
2.41/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Batch 2 bottle direct from the CBC fridge. Consumed 6/12.

Dense, flat, plopped down white head. Chill hazed golden amber body.

Nose is full of sweet Euro doughiness, straw, mild banana esters, maybe a touch of spice. Not much else.

Tates of sweet/syrupy malts, plasticy banana, & a mild spice jar bitterness. Tastes like a sticky/flat, old hef.

Okay carbonation, mellow alcohol, but it is still quite thick & rich & lacking. It's not what I want from a tripel.

This honestly sucks in bottle format. Or at least when I got a hold of one. A great draft beer.

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Photo of Philousa
2.41/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Pours a golden metallic color, very clear with a small amount of head that disappears to just a ring around the glass. Toasted wheat bread, cinnamon, clove, sugar, honey, and other dark spices. This is sweet and dark at the same time. The tangy Belgian pilsner malt is very prevalent, as it should be, but it's almost annoying in how tangy and spicy it is. I get clove and other heavy spices, with a heavy dose of candied sugar before the alcohol flavor sets in. Hops are muted, but somewhat bright and floral, not too bitter. This is slick and heavy in the feel, with low carbonation and a sweeter than normal finish, though still dry.

This is just a single dimensional beer that is heavy and not to style at all. I'm OK with not going to style if you offer something unexpectedly good. This just falls flat.

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Photo of gfreed
2.6/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This one lacks everything I normally find attractive in a good tripel: salty hamminess, bitter oranges, flat body, and an ugly, scabby-blobby head. Instead, this is sweet, bubbly and pretty with a foamy white hat that lasts for about three seconds. It's easy to drink and, despite its nearly 10% ABV, goes down without any sting or edge. No fun. It's a training-wheel tripel; in fact, it's more like a weak dubble. Blah.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.92/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. Served cool.

Pours a slightly hazy burnt gold body with a very faint white ring head.

Smells VERY vinous. Slight grain and fruit smells as well.

Sweet front. Yeasty middle. Slightly fruity. Alcohol hits you on the way down (throat not mouth).

Thick. Low carbonation for the style.

Not a bad tasting beer. Carbonation for the style was a bit low. Smells and tastes weren't as varied as other representations of the style but this is a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of rab53
2.96/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked this one up at the local bottle shop along with The Audacity of Hops. I enjoyed The Great Pumpkin, so I'll give Cambridge another go.

Pours a deep golden yellow with small white head that fades quickly. Smells decently tripel-ish, sweet malts and moderate yeastiness. Little bit of spice in the background. Tastes truly average. Nowhere near the complexity of true Belgian tripels, but a step or two above other US imitators. Flavor is one-note sweet. Carbonation level is sub par, given the style's typical effervescence. Almost flat after a few sips. Not a bad buy, but I'm hesitant on future CBC purchases at the $8/bomber price tag.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz into tulip, decanted for 30 min or so to reach cellar temp. (Aw, who am I kidding, my kids were distracting me).

Faint head over standard golden body, virtually no lacing.

Aromas are heavy on the gym shoes and alcohol-soaked banana phenols. A little apple and white wine, too. Somewhat dessert like, somewhat cordial liqueur like.

Mouthfeel is right for the style and ABV... Slightly creamy, but finishing with a little zest to cleanse the palate. Flavor is full of banana flambé and roasted marshmallow sweetness, with not-so-refined white wine (hooch style), some rubber chemical quality in the middle, and closing with a dry, dirty finish.

American brewed triples have certainly come a long way since this pioneer, but this one still does alright.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing this bottle! Poured into a tulip. The color is nice clear golden. There is a small head that doesn't last very long.

The aroma has some nice pepperyness. Some graham crackery malts blend with a touch of grassy hops. The yeast is the prevalent component to this aroma.

The taste is full of crisp honey-sweet malt. There is a slightly peppery yeast finish. Not much hop flavor in the taste, just enough to complement the sweet malt flavor.

This is medium to full bodied. There is some nice crisp carbonation here. Not bad, nothing here stands out; but maybe that's a good thing also.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head that appears to have little retention. The head is pure cotton white while the body is light to medium amber that glows light amber when held up to the light. A spot or two of lacing.

Nose- Fairly typical, a little boring. Citrus (orange and lemon) with spicy yeast. Some hints of clove and banana. Some perfume and floral notes. Some notes of apple. All of this is pretty subdued.

Taste- Spicy yeast is definitely the most noticeable aspect of the flavor profile, followed by cloves. The is a very phenolic beer. I may have let it open up a little too much as the spice is a little overwhelming. Some cinnamon as well. Citrus and apple sit underneath all the spice with some banana. The yeast is a little too much for me and this is not what I would call a clean tripel. Some bandaid and medicinal aspects as well. No real heat though which is a surprise for a 10% beer. Does mellow out quite a bit after a few minutes.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied to the point of being thin. Probably could use a little more carbonation as well. A little sticky as well.

Drinkability- Probably a little too warm at the moment but the yeast makes this beer kind of a chore. The spice is a little overdone but this is beginning to mellow a little. 9 bucks for a bomber isn't a bad price but I would definitely go for other tripels.

Overall- I guess Belgian style beers in America had to start somewhere and keeping in mind its claim of being the first, I think this is not a bad start. It's above average but not what I really look for in a tripel. I would give it a try if you see a small pour on draft but I don't know if I would suggest paying 9 bucks for an entire bottle. 4 ounces is plenty.

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Photo of Phelps
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1, bottled November 2011. According to the label, this was initially brewed in 1990 by CBC head brewer Darryl Goss, and at the time was the first Belgian style brew EVER commercially produced in the U.S. Goss has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and a portion of the sales go to ALS research. Poured into a tulip.

Bright and clear as a gold brick, capped with an inch-thick, merengue-like layer of white foam. The bubbles descend rapidly and don’t leave behind much in the way of lacing.

A big, musty grain character is matched with smashed pears, apple and some flowers. A small metallic note is I there as well.

The musty, lagery grain dips off in the flavor, replaced with bigger Belgian yeast notes. Sticky-sweet pear syrup, alcohol, candy sugar, apple juice, maybe even some white pepper. Pretty sweet throughout, and not as complex as I’d like.

Mild, massaging carbonation breaks the syrupy, medium-bodied brew into the tiniest amount of fizz. Alcohol is in there, but isn’t big, numbing the tongue a little.

As the first example of an American-made Belgian, Tripel Threat isn’t bad. Perhaps a little too sweet, but the big ABV is hidden well and the flavors are nice. Plus, the money for the bottle goes to a good cause.

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Photo of jsanford
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Globe Glass. Batch 01, bottled 11/11

A - Pours a glowing amber-gold with a creamy white head that settles to a nice ring and pillowy haze.
S - Very sweet, buttery aromas of toasted grain, honey, banana, and candied orange peel with some Belgian-style yeast esters.
T - Again, fairly buttery, with notes of honey, banana, ripe pear, white pepper, bread dough, and yeast. Not bad, but not as clean as I like my Tripels to be, and a bit too sweet for my taste.
M - Smooth and slightly syrupy, with a medium-thin mouthfeel and spritzy carbonation.
O - Decent enough, but nowhere near the complex and delicious examples from Belgium (or Canada if we're talkin' Unibroue).

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cambridge Brewing has demonstrated a breadth of success with an array of styles. Belgian are tricky. How did they do?...

Bright gold as it decants, the ale casts a light haze through straw highlights. Partly frothy and mid-statured, its stark-white head is pulled apart by more spritzy carbonation. Its appearance is of both sparkling wine and beer. Its short retention and lace is a little un-Belgian-like.

Big sweet aromas are floral- chocked full of honey, orange blossoms, marmalade, apricots, apples, berries, and perfume. With freshly grated cloves in the background, the ale takes on the aromas of honey suckle with a twinge of vinous white wine.

Candied-sweet early, late, and in between- the initial sweetness is straight up of honey and powdered sugar. Those confectioner's taste coat the ester character of apple peels, apricots, lemons. and white grapes. Again, with a cast of white wine that presides over the ale- a spicy finish of white pepper, earthy straw-like hops, and a medley of under ripened berries signal the beer's closure.

Medium bodied throughout, the light sticky malt character clings to the mouth and extends its turn to finish. Semi-dry, warm, and spicy- the beer lingers long with its sweet-spicy interplay.

Although this Tripel is sweet balanced, it portrays all the tastes of Belgian ales but does so in a more simplified taste than indigenous examples from Belgium. Where it is as deep in taste or as rustic or as hoppy- the ale is heavily inspired from those strong Abbey ales. It pairs well with fresh fruits of white grapes, blackberries, and fresh strawberries.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a nice bright golden color with some orange/amber hues. Almost not head pops up except for a very thin ring around the glass.

Aroma starts off juicy sweet. Notes of honey and some boozyness in the nose. Slight phenols get overwhelmed by some sweet apple juice notes.

Flavor is similar to the nose. Starts off pretty sweet. Definitely some boozy notes and sweetness is present. There is some nice fruit juice sweetness to the brew. Notes of apple and some sweet pear. This is definitely a boozy tripel. The finish is sweet and has some slight burn to it. Mouthfeel is nice and medium. Pretty rich and oily with a good medium to low carbonation.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange/gold color with a short solid-white head. Semi-complex arrangement of orange peel, banana, pale malts and coriander in the aroma. Sour apple and fermented fruit kick on the first sip. Body consists of dry yeast, belgian spices, orange peel, roasted nuts, wheat grass and and light tones of bitter hops. Sour, syrupy mouthfeel with a dry, fruity finish.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at room temp into a snifter. The beer pours a slight ochre color with minimal bleached white head after a standard pour.
Fruity white grapes and scone dough yeast aroma are apparent on the pour and throughout the sampling.
First sip reveals an average body and sticky texture with very mild carbonation.
Flavor is fruity sweet with white grape and peaches and a mix of bready yeast and just a brief hit of booze at the finish.
Hops arent present and the sweetness doesnt go all the way to rock candy just very fruity.
I enjoy the beer and it has no flaws, just not wowed by it.

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Photo of crusian
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from awesome girlfriend from the brewery.
Pours a very light mustard yellow with a finger of head.
Nose has some lemon, wheat, coriander, and Belgian yeast notes.
Taste is a nice front lemon smooth across the middle and the lemon fades finishing with a sweetness and a hint of figs. Interesting. Based on the nose, I didn't think I was going to like this, but much better than it smells.
Body is medium to thick... especially for a tripel. Nice.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured a hazy golden color with a well formed, thick head. Laced well, too. Aroma is right on the Tripel path. Very yeasty. Pale fruits and some bread. A bit of heat. Flavor is again, very yeasty, almost chalky. Biscuity with pale fruit reminiscent of a mixture of pear and apple. Good dose of alcohol. Finishes with a honeyed sweetness. Fuller bodied but remains lighter than I was expecting. I do not love the style but this one was a decent interpretation. Nothing too crazy but if you like Tripels, this one will work just fine.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Gandhi-Bot tulip. Thanks to whoever opened this on NEBCO this past Saturday.

A: Hazy medium amber body with a thin off-white head that leaves spotty lace. Average.

S: Moderate breadiness, light bubblegum, and some fruity esters. Apricot and apple. Solid.

T: More malt-dominant than the nose. The fruitiness is relegated to the finish, where strawberry and apple both lend sweetness to highlight a touch of booze. Tasty enough, but neither terribly complex nor memorable.

M: Smooth, soft, lightly carbonated. Delicate.

O: Enjoyable enough, but not even in the same ballpark as the best of the Belgians.


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Photo of busterthecat
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from Batch 1, Nov 2011. served at cellar temp into an Allagash chalice.

A- Pours a bright golden hue from bottle. Sits just a shade darker in glass. It's transparent and has light carbonation. Not much of a head forms, and just a gentle ring of foam lingers.

S- Sweet pears, light hay, lemon zest, cloves & yeast. Secondary notes of banana and bubblegum. A mellow aroma overall and on the sweet side.

T- Follows the aroma pretty closely. The sweet notes are kinda dominant, making it rather simple in the layers of flavors, but reduces in strength as it warms.

M- Medium bodied, perhaps on the heavier side for a Tripel. The sweetness lingers and is a tad heavy on the palate. There is some light heat from the Alc present in the finish. Swet and sticky.

O- A decent Tripel. Very drinkable, but nothing special or great. Too sweet for my personal likings, but a good bottle to split.

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Photo of mactrail
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a lovely golden amber in the Ommegang chalice. Really a nicer than average head and loads of lacing. Champagne bubbles in the not quite clear brew. Some candy sweetness along with pear fruitiness and apple brandy.

The drier style of Tripel. Flavors much like a Saison but hot with alcohol. The Belgian flavors emerge through a variety of flavors in each sip. Eventually, however, the dry yeasty taste dominates and powers into a bitter ending. The yeasty bitterness doesn't linger as much as a big load of hops, but it accomplishes the same balance against the sweet malt and booziness.

An intriguing, complex, and powerfully flavored strong brew for your sipping delight. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in San Diego.

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Photo of tigg924
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice

Appearance: minimal head, orange-gold in color, cloudy, moderate carbonation

Smell: Belgian spices, clove, coriander, cardamom, orange, banana, and alcohol

Taste: Belgian spices, clove, coriander, cardamom, orange, banana, and alcohol--exactly like the nose

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, medium-light bodied, sweet with a touch of bitterness

Overall: I have been having a lot of tripels lately and I have to say this one falls pretty much in the middle. It tastes like an imperial witbier. Not bad, but there are several in the style I would get first.

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Photo of Damian
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap at Deep Ellum, Allston, MA
Served in a chalice

Slightly hazed, honey yellow in appearance. The liquid was capped by a dense, frothy, bright white, long-lasting head. Large blocks of lacing stuck all down the glass.

The aroma was quite musty initially. Tangy and tart with strong lemon notes. As the beer warmed, the Belgian yeastiness came forth. Slightly powdery and sweet. Belgian candi sugar was detectable. Orange essence was apparent as well.

The flavor was quite unique. Creamy, pale malts appeared up front. Fruity and sweet in the center with lemon and orange notes dominating. Somewhat wheaty and tart. Spicy. Coriander and ginger notes came through strong. The finish was slightly boozy. Crisp and semi-dry with an earthy hoppiness not commonly found in the style.

Belgian tripels are often know for being highly (often over) carbonated, but this example was quite the opposite. The liquid was smooth, creamy and slightly syrupy but the carbonation was practically nonexistent.

At 9.6% ABV, this beer hid its alcohol prowess fairly well. The lack of carbonation however made this tripel sticky and dense on the palate.

Cambridge Brewing Company put an interesting spin on this Belgian-style brew. A decent effort but I think this could use some re-working.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tripel Threat opens to a full-bodied banana and clove nose, ripe with spices and fruits. Pear, apple, berry, orange, white grape, and apricot mix with pepper, and a spritzy pink grapefruit and grapefruit rind layer from the hops adds a nice touch to the mix, made more bitter by shades of pine resin. The beer is quite sugary and sweet, with loads of brown sugar, and even a touch of super-sweet confectioner’s sugar adding to the fruity base. The sweetness is held back a little by the aforementioned spicy notes, as well as a light toast crust and Grape Nuts cereal base. At the edges is even a slightly funky, sour note, adding depth and complexity. As a whole, the nose is very nice, being balanced and offering a wide variety of aromas. A bit more punch would have been nice, especially as the fruity notes tend to lose their potency somewhat quickly, but as a whole the first impressions are good.

On the tongue, the beer begins very sweet, with berry, blood orange, peach, maraschino cherry, and apple mixing with brown and confectioner’s sugar, the initial blast shockingly sugary. The bananas and cloves, as well as white pepper, do come in after a second, bringing relieving spices, but the sweetness is still near cloying at times. Not even the tart pink grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and pine resin fully take away from the sugary rush. This sensation does not appreciably abate in subsequent sips, the sweetness reaching aspartame or stevia extract levels, and while the spices, hops, and touches of toast crust and wet wheat from the grains try to keep up, they simply can’t. There’s also a fairly heavy vodka vapor that fills the nasal cavities and lingers into the aftertaste, which is otherwise a continuation of the super-sweet aspartame fruit esters. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, adding to the burning mouthfeel.

Overall, while the nose had decent promise, there’s simply too much unchecked sweetness in this beer, which swings wildly into cloying and chemically aspartame notes, made more bitter by heavy alcohol vapors, and the beer in many ways resembles an alcoholic martini made with fruity vodka, sipped while eating wheat crackers.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 10/20/13.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Small particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of apple cider, must, earth, spice, and slight cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with apple cider, apple skin, floral, earth, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is definitely showing some age at a year and a half old, but it's still tasty with only a bit of oxidation in the aroma.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Boto
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber from Whole Foods: This one pours a cloudy golden color. There was really no head on it, nor any lacing. The nose is nice. Some spices upfront, yeasty, bready and a hint of orange. The taste is good, despite the body being a hair thin. Wheat, yeast, spices, orange, bready. A fairly decent Tripel.

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: Deep gold with a slight hue of orange. Excellent clarity. Small amount of bright white head, fizzy lacing.

S: definite Belgian spice up front. I get a bit of pepper, yeasty hay, and estery aromas.

T: zesty Belgian taste up front, a fair amount of alcohol in there as well. Not quite as complex as I've come to expect and enjoy in Belgian tripels.

M: crisp and dry with good carbonation. Light bodied.

O: a good Belgian-style tripel though I prefer Allagash's triples. Would recommend.

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Tripel Threat from Cambridge Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 325 ratings.
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