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 dwagner003
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

The beer is a very interesting cloudy pinkish orange, with a very mellow, creamy head. It has the aroma of sweet citrus. Taste is very strong. There is a lot of booze in this one, and it's not afraid to show it. It lacks that traditional Tripel sweetness, but it's still a wonderful balance of Belgian yeast, sweet citrus and honey. It finishes sweet, with a slight alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is creamy, but leaves a tingle on the tongue.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the brewpub and served in a tulip, the beer is a hazy gold-orange coloring, with a filmy, quickly disappearing head. Good lacing left behind as you drink. Nose of subtle sweet bubblegum, clove, and fruit cake, with a citrus highlight. Flavors of berry fruit forward, with subtle farmhouse spices in the background. Sweet, but bready, too, keeping a good balance. Smooth bodied, with a berry sweet linger into the aftertaste. Spiced and sweet, with a finish that is smooth and lingering. Good beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Always been interested in another tripel, one of my favorite styles. Let's see how she goes! Bottled May 15th 2013.

Classic together bleach white head, but not much carbonation to only produce about two fingers tall, and settling to a simple half finger collar. Body color is a little orange and dull amber, with opaque character, and some nice lemon yellow orb glowing edges.

Nose is just great. Faint chewy apple and pear, peanut butter ripple, and sweet dough malts of breads. A real nice combination of aromas. Not getting the citrus on the nose the bottle suggests but no worries here. Some also wine like pinot grigio like character and lemon.

The palate delivers nicely. Light bodied with not much boozy quality, even finish has a bit of effervescent crispness and hop floral pleasure. Controlled sweetness letting the fruit qualities come out with light pear juicy aromas and pleasure. Finishes clean, even minty.

Overall a real solid enjoyable tripel made in America. Glad to have tried this one.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #65 (June 2012):

LOOK: Rich, golden, slight haze, creamy white lacing

SMELL: Faintly phenolic, gum, orange, toasted grains

TASTE: Very smooth and creamy, honey, toasty, cereal grains, caramel, candy, warming alcohol, pepper, spice, phenols, ripe citrus undertones

According to many, and the label, this is the first-ever Belgian-style beer commercially produced in the US, originally brewed in 1990 by former CBC headbrewer Darryl Goss (RIP). According to us, it’s one of the best. Everything you’d expect from the style. This is Belgium in a glass.

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Photo of Billolick
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, bottled in 5-13

Pours clouded apricot, minor head, that goes to a thin collar and leaves just some smaller bits of lacing.

Over ripe fruits, some yeastyness and light spice on the nose.

Crisp and flavorful tripel, with bracing notes of lime and juniper and a nice Belgian yeast snap. Moderate hops in the finish. Getting notes of more ripe fruits, with a slight alcohol burn.

Tasty and enjoyable. Glad to see these CBC beers being distributed to nearby Conn. and this is another one that I would seek out again

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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 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 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 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 TheManiacalOne
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch #1 bottled November 2011, poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains apples, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, apples and citrus followed by some breadiness from Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. There’s some esters and alcohol sting in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid Tripel worth drinking for a long time.

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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 jmerloni
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Vibrant, lively hazy orange-yellow with nice frothy white head that is very, very sticky, retains well, and laces on the glass very well.

S - Pear, bubble gum, white grapes, honey, hops, breadiness.

T - Wow. This is excellent. All that is detected on the nose in an expert balance. Hoppy but not too biting following each swallow. This is really excellent.

M - Medium to full bodied. Sticky. Bubbly but not overly carbonated. Very, very, very smooth.

D - I've never even heard of Cambridge Brewing Company and I'm very, very, very impressed with this first offering of their's. Will DEFINITELY be checking out more of their brews. This is an A+ Belgian tripel. I'm very, very impressed.

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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 neophilus
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark golden pour, thin white lacing on top. Very clear beer in the glass.

Aroma is very earthy, catty scents on top of a somewhat dry cracker malt smell. The first sip introduces a dry, crisp ale flavor. More earthiness on the tongue that mellows out into a subtle mix of red berry yeast esters and softly sweet malt backbone. The earthiness of the yesat almost dominates but eventually calms down a bit to let the peppery, spicy and red berry flavors make an appearance. Finishes with a bitter orange peeel flavor, not quite citrusy but the rind of the fruit shines through.

Drinks like a Saison that lost it's way, more dry than sandpaper but will quench your thirst and you'll never detect the ABV in this one. Great precision in beer making even if the flavors aren't my bag.

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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 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 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 Brad007
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a huge white head into my glass. Love the presentation here. Very much like a tripel.

Funky in the nose with alcohol warmth peeking out. A good dose of clove and raisin as well.

Ditto on the flavor. Funky fresh with leather and grapeskin upfront. All that seems to follow is a boozy, raisin-like finish.

It warms up at the back of the throat. Be warned if you tend to take your beer in gulps. It looks like an easy drinker.

An interesting take on the style. Definitely more personality here than in a few other (bland) examples of the style.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber, split, hill farmstead stemware

This one's been around a while - hazy orange body - heavy notes of yeast, citrus, clove, white pepper, belgian spice, banana, candi sugar. Hey - nothing really new here, but this is a solid american tripel. I've always been fond of the style, and this was a nice one to try.

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Photo of u2carew
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber.
A) Pours with a two finger head that settles slightly. Some chill haze in the golden body. Thin, sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Fruity esters. Banana. Apple. Clove. Floral notes. Yeasty.
T) Grainy and fruity. Banana. Spicy. Peppery.
M) Smooth. Medium body. Tannic. Alcohol warmth.
O) A delicious tripel. I'd definitely have another one.

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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 morebeergood
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2 from Jan 2012. Poured from bottle into tulip glasses. Nice clean orange yellow body with a somewhat thin white head. Aroma was bursting with fruity yeast. Flavor was very nice. On the sweet side, with notes of bubble gum and Belgian candy. Mouthfeel was slick. This is a great locally brewed tripel and for $4.99 on sale, it was a relatively good deal for a bomber at that abv.

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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 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 mltobin
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1, notes from a few months ago.

Appearance is a cloudy golden tone with a couple fingers of a brilliant white head. This tripel out of Cambridge has a nose of coriander, citrus fruit, yeast and biscuits. It has a taste that hits with orange, candy, yeast, cloves and banana. Mouthfeel has a full body, with sharp aftertaste, the spices remain for some time. Very happy to see these bottles hit the shelves, although in Mass, a nice beer.

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