Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple | Arbor Brewing Company

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Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian TripleArbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2002

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 91
Photo of puck1225
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had it on tap at the brew pub in Ann Arbor, nice golden orange color, meger head but good lacing. Spicy sweet smell and taste, candied oranges. Maybe a bit thin for a tripel but pretty good overall.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer is rather sweet but balances the body well and I was kind of shocked to see it clocked at 10% would have guessed somewhere between 8 and 9%.

Still its very forgettable and not something I can regularly find in PA (Got it in Ohio) so I will probably not have another.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed fro the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This interesting triple pours a cloudy dishwater amber; deep and murky, with a subtle head of white foam that subsides quickly to a thin ring, thin pool, and subtle lacing. Nose is clove, bananas, heavy sweet malts, and moderate booze. Flavors follow the nose but exceed in proportions. Banana bread and spice hit on the front and middle with brown sugars storming into the middle to back with strong booze on all sides. Nice mouth feel, syrupy and full with light carbonation and an herbal sweet finish. Decent, but lacking in an overall nice profile for a good example of an American Triple. It's not bad, but outside of the boundaries. That said it is a malt lovers dream come true.


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Photo of GOBLIN
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Syrupy, boozy and not tasty at all. I'm sorry . . . I hate to sound to harsh but this beer doesn't evn come close to resembling a tripel . . . not even an American example. The appearance is average and that's the best feature here.

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Photo of Raime
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Arbor Fat Abbot.

A Tripel from Arbor eh? Glad to see these guys putting out more beers since I remember during my last review of one of their brews I complained about the lack. A ten percent Tripel. Cannot beat that at $3 for the twelve ounce bottle. Also,anybody know of any good stores in SE Michigan? Getting ready to quit buying at the two here due to them ignoring certain laws. Anyway, let's drink this.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a pint glass. This brew comes out of its womb looking like it was fresh squeezed from some kind of dark fruit I can't even imagine. Heavily murky, amber appearance with a head of off white that struggles to amount to even a small layer amongst the top, dying quicker than a poor Bastard with a sliced jugular into nothing more than a thin ring amongst the edges. Carbonation appears to be about moderate. No lacing or stick amongst a finished glass.

Smell - Phenols are everywhere you can possibly imagine in this nose. Quite a bit of hair burning alcohol as well. The usual suspects, clove and banana but nothing new on this table aside from an upped alcohol presence. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

Taste - This brew is again, very heavy on the phenol and clove. To be completely honest, it tastes more like a genetically engineered clove of sorts that wasn't really cleaned properly. A lot of alcohol but not too much to handle as long as you pace your sips properly and don't drink a mouthful at a time. Bits of banana smoothie as the beer warms. Really isn't nearly as bad as the more recent reviews would have you believe.

Feel - The body is lighter than you would anticipate given the coloration and the style. Flavors come through as mineral water, phenol and alcohol and the brew Swallows with some warming in the throat but the alcohol is nowhere near offensive. Carbonation is extremely low.

Overall - This one is a rollercoaster ride. It is with our a doubt the easiest drinking ten percent beer I have ever consumed, so long as you take your time with it and treat it as such. BUT, stylistically, it doesn't hols a candle anywhere near La Fin Du Monde or La Fringante. If it had more balance, and a better feel, this beer would be absolutely KILLER and score MUCH higher. For an easy drinking, high ABV brew, It receives top marks. But for a tripel as a whole, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. Scores will reflect both aspects.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. Hey hey hey, it's Phat Abbot. Or is it, "Hey Abbot!" Whatever the reference, it rocks.

It's a huge brew. The color is deep golden yellowish with barely any fizz. The aroma is dark, hoppy and yeasty, of course. Nasty.

The taste is huge. Extremely bitter, covering tons of boozy, yeasty malts. It is a beer equivalent of sipping whiskey. Big stuff. The aftertaste is a lingering yeasty bitter. It's almost and American Tripel.

This is the first of three brews from this new-to-me brewer for me to check out this weekend. I went for the big, nasty styles. So far it looks like a fortunate choice.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle to tulip. Golden yellow in color, with lots of light fluffy head that settles to a thin cap and a ridiculous amount of lacing. This tripel is sweet and boozy. The aroma gives no hint to it, mostly I get the smell of apples, pears, and white grapes. Nothing like any tripel I've had (that I remember). No spice, bananas, cloves, bubblegum. Just Welch's. Taste is malt fruit, and booze. Some spice on the backend along with the booze.

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Photo of superspak
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy golden amber color with a small fairly dense white head with ok retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big banana, pear, clove, apple, pepper, bubblegum, earth, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good strength, complexity, and balance. Taste of apple, pear, banana, clove, bread, pepper, honey, earth, candi sugar, caramel, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, banana, clove, pepper, bread, earth, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Good flavor balance and complexity; minimal cloying flavors present on the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice Tripel. Good flavor complexity and balance; and quite smooth to sip on. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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Photo of n2185
2.89/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: purs a murky light brown with half a finger of white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: spices up front with some sweet fruit and a lot of yeasty aromas.

T: spices and some sweet fruit, though sweet yeasty characters dominate here as well.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a bit too thick and undercarbonated.

O: not a bad tripel, but undercarbonated and lacking complexity.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours a light hazy yellow hue with a thin whitehead that leaves minimal retention and some lacing.
S. Has a banana, nutmeg, sugary aroma.
T. Starts out with some sweet sugary malts, followed by some fruity tastes with an acidic alcohol taste that blends in with spices that bite the tongue and has a yummy banana taste that finishes the beer nicely.
M. A smooth, sticky, slightly dry mouth feel from a beer that feels like it is medium bodied.
O. A very yummy beer that I would buy again even though it is not quite as good as Victory's Golden Monkey or Dark Horse's Sapient Tripel.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub - Dec 20, 2007. Old lemons and faint spice aroma. Golden glow in clarity topped with white lace. Flavor is pure sugar syrup, oranges and phenols. A bit of mess. Way too much malt presence. Carbonation is weighed down. Alcohol snares the sinuses. Rubbery. Yeast have gotten too bold. Unpleasant.

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Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fragrant big beer with lots of character. Has the Belgian candy flavor. Clear golden in the tulip glass. Distinct fruitiness, like a plum brandy. Alcohol is quite apparent but adds to the effect. Not so rich with malt. Very clean and not much of the murky Belgian yeastiness. Crisp yet sweet, but the sugar is just the highlight while the acidity gives it a nice sharpness. Aftertaste veers off into hard cider with slight bitterness. Really pretty good, and another interesting variation on the Belgo-American theme.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple last week for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. I am in the mood for a good Tripel tonight, so I thought I would give this one a try and see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a goblet.

A- The label is like most from Arbor Brewing and besides a dark image of a fat monk it is pretty plain, I do like the shade of the blue they used and the matching cap. It poured a hazy dark golden color with only a quarter of a fingers worth of white head that quickly faded to a very very thin ring that stayed till the end. The appearance of this beer leaves much to be desired.

S- The aroma is much fruitier then I expected, I like it. The aroma is on the high end of sweetness with the candied sugar really sticking out. There is a pretty large fruit presence in this beer with lots of green apples, pears, and bananas. The yeast adds that signature spice to this beer with nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon sticking out the most. I didn't pick up any hops in the aroma. The aroma is pretty complex and I feel like all the different aromas come together nicely.

T- The taste is pretty similar to the aroma. It starts off with a bunch of sweet malts up front that aren't as sweet as they were in the aroma, and I like that. After that comes the fruit, it seems like the green apples and pears stick out the most with a nice presence of ripe bananas at the end. The yeast imparts some nice spices in the flavor with the cloves and nutmeg sticking out the most. Alcohol is noticeable but for being 10% I think it is pretty well hidden and it doesn't become warming.

M- Smooth and the body was pretty light for a Tripel, I would say medium light. It also had a light amount of carbonation which somehow worked really well with the lighter body, I know Tripel's aren't highly carbonated but this had to be the least carbonated Tripel I have had and somehow it worked.

Overall I thought this was a very good Tripel. Usually when drinking an American Tripel I feel that I have to lower my expectations a little, but with this one I didn't, if you put a glass of this in front of me and I didn't know it was made by Arbor, I am pretty sure I would think this is an authentic Belgian Tripel. I thought this beer had great drinkability, it may be the best that I have found in a Tripel, the alcohol is hidden very well and combined with the great flavor and good mouthfeel it makes for a pretty easy drinking beer that you really don't find in most 10% Tripel's. The thing I like most about this beer was the flavor, it was complex, great tasting, and very well balanced, in my eyes it could do no wrong. The drinkability was also very impressive. The thing I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, instead of being a bright golden color it was darker which made it look somewhat dirty, and the very low amount of carbonation makes for a very poor looking head that all in all made this beer nothing to look at it. I will for sure be buying this again, it's nice to know that Dragonmead isn't the only Michigan Brewing company making a kick ass Tripel. If you like Tripel's then there is a good chance you will like this beer, nothing about it is off for it's style. I am not the biggest fan of Arbor Brewing and find a good amount of there beers to be a miss, but this beer is for sure a hit. I am beginning to think that there are some styles this brewery does very well and just because some of their other beers aren't the greatest doesn't mean I should overlook their offerings or else I would never have got to try this very good Tripel. I will be trying more stuff from these guys to see what other styles they have a knack at. This beer is now my favorite from the brewery and I feel like it is slightly better then my former favorite Michigan Tripel, Final Absolution.

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dirty gold colour with no head following an aggressive pour. Not a very inspiring image.

The nose is candi sugar with banana and bubblegum. Smells rich and delightful.

The taste is spot on. Bubblegum and banana and spice flood the palate. Nice sweetness. Very tasty.

The mouthfeel is syrupy medium. Feels sugary dense and works well.

The drikability is good because this has some really nice flavors. Well done. Shame it didn't blow a nice white cap off the pour, because all other aspects are very nice apart from the lackluster appearance.

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Photo of SMason
2.61/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into an Allagash Tulip

A - No head at all. Brown - ice tea color. Very appealing appearance

S - very little, slight yeast and fruit

T - smooth start with hot finish that lingers

M - carbonation true to the style

D - The appearance had my mouth watering but this one had an over powering alcohol finish that washed out the flavor and lingered into the next sip. Flavors did come out slightly more as the beer warmed.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub last December. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly darkened golden color with a nice white head. Aroma is of pear, clove, apple, yeast, and a bit of alcohol. Taste brings a bit more booz along with some moderate spicing and general fruitiness. Feel is medium with good carbonation and some warmth. Drinks fairly well and was a pretty good brew.

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Photo of dfillius
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/4 finger of white foam with poor retention. Hazy dark golden-tan. Better head and lighter SRM please. I suppose I could have decanted it better though.

S: Fruity! apple, pear, clove, nutmeg. Delightful with lots of esters.

T: Tasty. Fruity, with a funky twinge at the end. Sweet, but not cloying. Honey, apple/pear cider.

M: Oily, chewy, pleasant with that funky twinge at the end of sips.

D: Good. I'd buy again, and maybe order another. Fairly solid example of the style, though a tad sweet.

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Photo of BierFan
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: Thin white head on a cloudy peach colored body. Perhaps a little darker in color than most tripels.

Smell: Sweet ripe bananas and a little clove spiciness.

Taste: Much like the smell except the spicy clove flavors come through a little stronger while the banana flavor is relegated to the background.

I think this might be one of the finest offerings from Arbor Brewing Company.

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Photo of teovaldi
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellow with almost no head or lacing, save for a slight ring around the top of the glass.

Smells fruity, spicy and tart.

The taste is sweet malts up front leading into some banana and other fruits. Surprisingly complex.

This is a pretty light bodied beer and from what looked like hardly any carbonation it worked very well for this beer.

Drinkability is quite high. You don't notice the 10% till your half way through your 2nd glass...

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Photo of Imsothirsty
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold, with minimal head. Very light lacing.
Smells like sweet malt and bananas, pretty good but no strong hop smell

Taste is fairly dissapointing, sweetish fruit, and yeasty, with a little alcohol flavor. No complexity no developing flavors, short sweet finish.

Easily drinkable, its like the sweet tea of beers, dissapointing in malt and hop characteristics, I guess the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very cloudy yellow with hints of orange in the body, has a nice rim of bleached head around the glass, good head retention.
Smell has good yeasts and some spiced notes throughout.
Taste hits first with some lemon zesty flavor followed with rind and corriander.
Finish is wet and the taste turns a bit too spiced on the very end, but solid.
Definately a boozy bite here, combined with the spices makes this a little tough to get through, but good.

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Photo of degerbah
2.94/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a thick looking cloudy yelow. Almost no head at all even though I didn't pour it gently at all.Smells sweet and very fruity. Tastes yeasty with a harsh alcohol flavor at the end. Almost like a hint of malt liquor or vodka added into the mix before bottling. I tried a gulp and almost gagged. Lots of harsh alcohol taste. Way to boozy. Almost painful to finish.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.82/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Sampled on 6-9-09

Pours a deep orange brown, cloudy (made more so by me stupidly pouring all the yeast in...fuck) with a few bubbles for a head and lacing that is spots of white carbonation on the sides.

Smell is very enjoyable, lots of thick fruitiness and burnt sugar, with a stab of wine-like alcohol. Unexpectedly complex, with a great grape and olive finish.

Taste is shape olive, a little fermented, a hint of booze, and not much else.

Mouthfeel is absolutely horrible. So thin and watery, it slides down the throat before you can get a taste of it. Carbonation is very low and does nothing to help.

Drinkability suffers greatly from the lack of flavors and disgusting mouthfeel. The alcohol is well-masked though.

Overall, good right up till I tried it, which is all I can recommend.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- A liberal pour left a thin white head that quickly became a thin lace. Some nice sticky spots were left on the glass. The body was a murky, orange-brown with loads of carbonation that settled near the bottom before slowly releasing toward the surface.

S- Classic Belgian traits. It had a nice spiciness together with a pleasantly musty, yeasty aroma. A touch of alcohol is apparent, but pretty well-hidden.

T- Nice yeasty characteristics that I'd expect from the style. A combination of peppery spice and fruity flavors (overly ripe or candied banana perhaps).

M- Very smooth, if not a little flat. The alcohol provides the slightest of bite.

D- Great flavor and a well-hidden alcohol content make for a dangerous combination.

Overall- I tried this at the Grand Rapids Brew Ha-Ha and decided that I needed to get a full bottle to do the review some justice. In between that time, I had some nervous moments. After trying the Dubbel version of this beer, I thought my great impression was misplaced. However, the Trippel blows the Dubbel out of the water. At the price, I'd be tempted to pick this over many of the higher-priced counterparts.

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Photo of flyphisherman
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At first glance, some Belgian ales are hardly recognizable as beers, although they are the product of one of the oldest brewing traditions known to man. Belgium is a place where religion and culture currently coexist in a seemingly frictionless environment (since WWII), producing a plethora of world-class beers -- including the widely-available Chimay and Orval -- with uncanny methods and ingredients.

But to understand their beer, you first have to understand the hierarchy.

The beer basically falls into two categories: Trappist Ales and Abbey Ales. The term Trappist is used only when the ale is brewed in a Monastery of the Trappists (one of the severe Benedictine orders of Belgian Monks). The European Union has actually reserved the term Trappist explicitly for the labeling of these beers. (Only seven Trappist Monasteries, six in Belgium, exist today.) Abbey refers to ostensibly similar beers that are not brewed in Monasteries (a.k.a. commercial secular breweries).

Somewhat recently a third category has apparently emerged: "Trappist-Style Ales." Notice the hyphen. Very important. Viewed by purists as outright sacrilegious, these beers are a product of the emergent American Craft brewers, with their infinite willingness to tap a virgin segment of the market. The Belgian Tripel (triple) is pale golden in color, fruity-yeasty and higher in alcohol content than "Belgian Simple Ale" brewed by the monks for everyday use. Made in Ann Arbor by Arbor Brewing Company, Phat Abbot is one of the few Michigan breweries to attempt this style. Dark Horse Sapient, microbrewed by Dark Horse Brewing Co. in Marshall, Michigan, is another popular choice.

Trappists are the real deal. Their religious way of life includes brewing, which is not a hobby for them. That's why the Monks claim there is no such thing as "Trappist-Style" Ale. Conversely, America has obviously always been a melting pot of ideas and people, therefore making the inception of this incarnation inevitable. Just so long as that hyphen is preceded by the word "style."

Presentation: 12-oz. Bottle from a six-pack (available at The Beverage Co. and Jack's). A slight hiss occurs upon opening, which translates into a slightly dismal pour; a miniscule head and low carbonation relinquish a sparse convoy of rising bubbles.
Appearance is a hazy copper/bronze color. Lacing is sparse and patchy. Aside from the lack of effervescence, smell is fruity and spicy with an astringent wave of perfumy toffee and malt in the background. When consumption commences, the abundant use of malt is quickly detected and overwhelms the minimal hop level, which is relatively "undynamic" in contrast to the real-deal Trappists. The Belgians are known for using interesting and unique yeast strains (high in Vitamin B and antioxidants) that unleash a funky-earthy taste that is otherwise indescribable. Phat Abbot doesn't necessarily achieve this element in its taste profile, but does come close with an unknown strain. Lactic sourness is another trademark of the style, which is detected and plays well against the decadent sweetness of the malts. At first, mouth feel is lighter than expected and, unfortunately, hindered by the missing carbonation. Even so, drinkability is paramount and the viscosity does heighten, without being syrupy, after it relaxes a bit.

True, Phat Abbot is no "La fin du Monde" ("end of the world" - one of the best representations of the "Trappist-Style" from Canada), but it is a commendable product, worthy of repeated sessions. ABC recommends pairing it with spicy BBQ wings, ribs and brats. The steep 10% ABV is commonplace for the style and is supremely well hidden. ABC's reputation is upheld by its brewing philosophy: "Our goal is to respect styles and traditions without being a slave to them." ABC definitely deserves an honorable mention here with Phat Abbot, which takes some courage and expertise to create, especially in the face of God.

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Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Triple from Arbor Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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