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 kzoobrew
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 01, bottled November 2011.

Liquid honey colored body. Crystal clear and free of sediment. Frothy four finger head settles atop momentarily. The head recedes at an steady pace, the lacing fades soon after the head disappears.

Spicy yeast aroma is dominant up front. Clove and white pepper transition into a brighter fruit aroma. Citrus, light apple and subtle candied pineapple aroma. Doughy malt base is soft, gives a clean base for the more prominent scents to build off of. A touch of booze is noted on the back end.

Sweet doughy malt and honey flavors roll across the palate. Spice and fruit notes build just behind and come to dominate the palate. Clove flavors take the lead as orange, apple and pepper round out a solid supporting cast. The fruit and esters balance remarkably well.

Medium bodied Tripel. Soft and smooth texture. The finish is on the drier side though fruit and ester flavors do linger on momentarily.

As the first commercially brewed American Belgian style ale I enjoy this as much for the historical aspect as I do for the beer itself. Luckily the beer does match the historical interest. Balanced flavor, alcohol well masked and very drinkable. Good representation of the style, Tripel Threat is worth a look.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a slight orange appearance, white fizzy head that fades quickly, no lacing.

Smell has a strong aroma of banana, clove, some light fruit citrus like lemon, not much of a hop aroma but that's expected, some other yeasty spicing kicks around that's typical for a Tripel.

Taste starts out with a lemony citrus presence and balances a sweet malt backing, spicing kicks in, primarily clove, pretty assertive carbonation but fortunately isn't too much of a distraction, there is a bit of alcohol astringency but surprisingly little heat associated with it.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
batch no. 1 / bottled nov 2011

pours a clear burnished gold while yielding a relatively short-lived 3/4" white head that recedes into a collar around the glass. light patches of lacing. nose doesn't leap out and grab me but does offers some nice notes of fruit, yeast, and light spice. good, but as far as tripels go it doesn't compete with the upper echelon.

wow, taste far exceeds the nose. banana, apple, pear, some citrus, spice, a bit of candi sugar... bottom line: delicious. medium bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

overall, a fantastic triple, extremely flavorful and tasty. highly recommended.

(originally reviewed: 12-14-2011)

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Batch No. 1, bottled November 2011.

3.5 A: Mildly hazed medium orange color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is about average and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Smells great. Loads of honey mesh with spicy clove from the yeast. Peach, light apple and citrus fruitiness. Grassy type earthiness with hay and lemongrass. Very pleasant, braggot-esque tripel.

4.0 T: Taste is much like the nose. A lot of honey with clove underneath. Farmy earthiness with hay, grass, wildflowers. Peach fruitiness with hints of citrus and wild apple. Booze is well hidden. Very well integration of flavors with a subtleness resembling the Belgian Belgians.

4.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. Light pleasant creaminess. Super smooth.

4.5 D: A couple scores could have been higher. This is a very tasty tripel and one of the best I've had coming out of the states. This is a must try.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A: Pours a golden color with a slight orange hue and a bone-white head. Chill haze clears up as it warms. Head retention is less than ideal; it settles very quickly. Not what I expect from the style. Lacing is sparse and spotty.

S: A soft floral scent, white pepper and soft spices, chalky yeast, and bready/biscuity malt undertones. Touch of walnut and sweet grain. Bananas and cream. Apple skin and clove. Spike of alcohol brings lemon peel and orange with it. An elegant and refined nose with sufficient complexity.

T: A creamy impression and some sweet malt tastes open. Fleeting clove. Touch of green hop oils. Banana comes through subtly, along with some soft spices. Nutty and yeasty tastes provide a backbone. Almost no alcohol taste, though tropical esters come through nicely with a blast of citrus (mostly mandarin orange). Bready and yeasty tastes in the finish, with hints of hop oils.

M: Full, rich, and creamy in the mouth. Relatively low level of carbonation for the style, but it doesn't hurt the mouthfeel at all, really.

O: A pleasure to drink. Not all of the complexity found in the nose translates to the taste, but it makes up for it in drinkability. A warming sensation in the pit of your stomach is the only clue that suggests you just quaffed a 10% beer. Well, that and the cool buzz.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head, fades at a med pace with no real lacing, but decent bubbles rising up, clear with a slight chill haze.

Nose is a typical Belgian trippel, Belgian golden malts, light sweet candi like sugar, with a hint of booze, some decent esters, fruity yeast, hint of citrus.

Taste starts with plenty more Belgian trippel flavors, starting with the malts, golden malts, juicy malts. Then booze, a pretty big boozy kick, with plenty of sweetness, and some esters, fruity ester flavors from the yeast as well as hints of spices and citrus. Finish is kinda dry but sticky and syrupy, lingering citrus and fruity esters, light booze and golden malts, and an orange zest candi sugar taste.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent carb, quite hot and boozy.

Overall not bad, typical Belgian tripel, decent malts, nice sugars and yeast flavors, esters, although the finish was a bit too sticky, and it was way too boozy.

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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 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 puboflyons
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle marked Batch no. 2 - Bottled January 2012. Sampled on March 10, 2012. The appearance is a beautifully heady hazy pale yellow. The head sticks around. The aroma is an array of sensations including grainy malts, bread and biscuit, yeast, orange, pear, and spices. The body is quite bold for the style. The taste is mellow considering this comes in at 10% ABV with a warming feel inside. It ends bitter and sharp in a way that you will not forget. Really nice brew.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours clear gold with an inch of dense white. Some fat ropes of lacing and a solid skim coat for the duration of the glass. Modest for a tripel.

Aromatics lead off with husky, biscuity malt, powdered sugar, cloves, bubblegum and a hint of burnt wires. Honey, apples, and corn syrup follow through.

Light bodied with a crisp, tacky mouthfeel.

Sweet malt with candi sugar and clovey phenols start the palate. Hints of citrus spice, barley husks, and honey follow through.

Finishes with a lingering sweetness, spice, and warming on the throat.

This is tasty enough, but after having Tripel Threat so many times on draught at the source as well as the Darryl Goss' reincarnation years ago at the Skyview, the bottled version is a bit lackluster. Bottle conditioning at the proper carbontion level would be a good start.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Almost clear pale amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Belgian yeast and fruit nose, flavor is sweet spicy fruit and light Belgian yeast, the high ABV is hidden. Decent Belgian triple. Batch #2, bottled Jan 2012, $10.99 for a 22oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, batch two (bottled January 2012), poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Tripel Threat pours a nearly opaque orange, with a few tangerine highlights appearing with proper backlighting.There's only about two fingers of foam crowning the beer, and while head retention is pretty solid, lacing is barely there. The nose is solid, but a little too heavy on the phenols. There's some pear fruitiness, but it's almost drowned out by a heavy clove note, backed up by some light pepper. The flavor profile is a little bit better balanced, as there's some candied sugar sweetness to join the fruity esters up front. Overall there's still too much of an emphasis on the spicy/herbal flavors thrown of by the yeast though. The body is nicely dried out, and the carbonation, while active, has a creamy edge to it. There's no bite from excessive alcohol either, which is always nice once a beer is approaching double digits in the ABV department. Tripel Threat is a pretty good beer, and much respect to the original American brewed Belgian style beer, but it's not quite up there with the best.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear orange color with a one finger white head on top. Not much retention, leaving just a ring of foam around the top. Thin, sporadic lacing.

S: Banana, honey, some sugary sweetness, very light spices. There is some light Belgian yeast in the middle. A little bit of an acetyl/buttery aroma.

T: Light Belgian yeast and spice upfront, some pepper and cloves. Banana and doughy malt dominate the middle and finish.

M: Medium bodied, slightly tingle to the carbonation, but seems about right.

O: Pretty cool, as this was the first American made Belgian beer. First time I have had a CBC beer in a bottle, glad I picked this one up.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours out a perfectly clear bright copper. I mean, we’re talking newly minted penny, here. Head builds to about a finger, mostly of larger milk-like bubbles that fades quickly.

S: Smiles of fruits up front, apple skins, pears, lemon zest, white grapes juice. Hiding behind the fruit is a mild hay like yeastiness. Matzoh.

T: Sweet with understated fruits. Honey mixing with green apple, white grapes, touch of citrus. There is a moderate malt profile in the middle, bland crackers, Triscuits, matzoh. Again, there is a bit of a yeast presence in the form of some mild earthiness like wet grass.

M: Medium moving to light bodied, crisp, with a dry finish.

O: As the label states, this beer was first brewed in 1990 and was the first American tripel-style beer (so CBC claims, and who am I to argue?). While it’s certainly a good example of an American take on a Belgian style, it could use some updating. The fruit profile is great, however I would look for some more malt character. Not a lot, just a little bit to make it a more round flavor. Much in the same category as another Boston Beer -- Harpoon IPA, awesome in 1986 I'm sure (I was one), but in the middle of the pack these days.

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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 DrJay
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich gold, almost orange in colour with a lingering collar of whitish foam, some lacing. Aromas of bread crust and bananas, slightly phenolic, faint alcohol and oranges. Moderate bitterness that was sort of hidden behind sugary sweetness. Mild alcohol, bananas and pears, slight orange zest character, bread and malt. Decent texture, mild warmth with modest carbonation. The body was a little heavier than I expected, but still not out of character. Quite enjoyable.

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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 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 BeTheBall
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy amber color with some nice foam. The smell was yeasty to some degree with a fruity over-tone. The taste was similar, less sweet than LFdM, not as dry as Westmalle. The flavor is tasty, dry, a touch tart, a touch of fruit, and just easy to drink. Mouthfeel is nice all the way down. Overall, this is one of my favorite American tripels.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It sure looks like a real tripel. Half inch velvet foamed white head. Hazy golden yellow body with lots of effervescence. The smell is divine with fruits and spice and honey, and a little malt. The taste reflects the smell but is a little milder than it hinted. Despite the higher alcohol I'd say it's well hidden. The body is medium-light weight which would make this one of the lighter tripels I've had. Although not a Belgian champion it's still a fine tripel.

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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 BeerResearcher
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brown bottle. Batch #1 bottled November 2011.
Served in a Chimay goblet. At first I smelled and tasted it cold. Then let it warm for 15 minutes.
Pours a hazy honey gold with a somewhat fast-fading snow-white head along with a moderate amount of patchy and trailing lacing.
Smells of green cut wood and grain barn blend with caramel malt, lemons, banana, spices, wild flowers and resinous hops. A distant whiff of white rum lingers in the distance.
The flavors are complex. Honey, wheat bread dough, Myers lemons, clove, banana, orange zest, white rum and a blend of mild herbs weave around and blend nicely together as it warms.
This is a well-rounded and fluid brew with a slow and gradual warming effect.
Could go very well with a variety of cheeses, creamy and rich poultry dishes, or desserts like bread pudding, creme brulee, or rich vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of Dope
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A cloudy golden pour with a nice fluffy white head. Good lacing and retention.

S: Strong belgian yeast, lots of pear, apple, lemons and some black pepper.

T: Again, tons of belgian yeast. Very yeasty and estery providing a big zest. The citrus and a little pear are nice and crisp as well.

M: Medium body, a little drying.

O: Very interesting tripel. Very strong yeast and fruit esters make for a mouth warping experience. Fruity and tasty in general.

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Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a large, but controlled, head (about three fingers wide). Dark gold color with a light hue of orange. Hazy. Light spotty (and streaky) lace.

Clean, almost lemony pale malt aroma. Very mild spiciness in the background. I detect dark cherries and raspberries as well.

Starts with a pale malt where the alcohol warmth is pronounced. Lots of orange and clove (particularly strong in the aftertaste, which reminds me of the aftertaste from Grand Marnier). Plums and apricots complete the flavor profile. The low carbonation balances the lighter-than-expected body. Very easy to drink.

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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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