Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip AleDark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by putnam on 04-20-2004

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Reviews: 348 | Ratings: 860
Photo of paxtonthegreat
4.8/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

All my friends and I are obsessed with this beer come summer. Screw oberon, this tastes better and is a lot stronger for the same price. Very pleasant balance of grainyness, slight citral and clovelike flavors with some banana as well. Hides alcohol very well. A staple to all my summers.

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Photo of theembalmer
4.77/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, it is the first craft brew that I fell head over heels for. It starts a little bitter then turns sweet with a finish that is a nice spice like nutmeg or allspice. The fact that I live 20 miles from the brewery makes life awsome! They have inspired me to get serious about my own beer making. The one draw back is that this beer must be enjoyed draft rather than in the bottle.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.74/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy peach in color, with a flimsy and ridiculously small centimeter thick head. The small amount of foam quickly becomes a thin collar, and ultimately nothing at all. The pretty color of this brew, however, saves it's ass from a low appearance score. The color is at times like carrot juice, multicolored peach skin, and tangerine candy. Despite the lace of head, a good deal of spotty lace is smatered all around the surface of the glass.

S - Caramel, taffy, and fruity candy. My wife recently bought some organic tangerine flavored licorice that came in a brown paper bag, and this smells a lot like those interesting treats. Apple skin. Yeasty and fresh as can be, this smells delightful.

T - Sweet tangerine and mango flavored taffy. I've had confections at an old-fashioned confectioner's shop that taste a lot like this...the sweet gooey stuff that's pulled on a big old fashioned iron taffy puller. This is never overly sweet or cloying, as a really nice hop presence tightens things up. This starts sweet and thick, moves through a hoppy and slightly boozy mid-palate, and ends with a fresh fruit and sea salt neutral finish with a very faint white pepper note. Damn...this is crazy-complex and tasty as hell.

M - This feels lighter on the palate than it really is. Sugars abound at the initial sip and made me think that this would be a really heavy beer, but the really heavy hop flavors and alcohol feel keep this in check. This has a very low level of carbonation, but the bubbles that I can feel are an occasional sharp prick in a sea of smoothness.

D - Killer drinkability! No ABV listed, but I can bet it's pretty high...who cares? I'd still session this one! This is honestly one of the better tripels our there IMO, especially for an American take on the style...I think I'm a sucker for the hops, and the high level of malt sweetness in this one is just the perfect balance for the flavors presented here.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.73/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No info available on this brew.

Pours out to a clear orange-golden with peach accents, forming a rocky peaking head with superior retention and wonderful lacing. A solid ring of lace is deposited with every sip. Carbonation is moderately-strong, forming streamers. Flittering bits of stuff prance about. Aroma is wonderful...lots of cloves, early yellow bananas, spicy phenolics, a touch of dry must...the aroma reminds me instantly of Unibroue's trademark yeast strain. Very classic. Mouthfeel is spritzy with a pleasantly syrupy but deceptingly light body. Taste is out of this world...bananas, cloves, lots of spicy esters, vanilla, floral aromatics and fruity aldehydes...wow. Delicate bitterness perfectly in balance with the residual sweetness. Very cleanly fermented with no perceptable off-flavors. Alcohol is imperceptable in taste, only in mentation.

I am floored. One of the best Trippels I've ever had, let alone the best tripel in Michigan. This reminds me in many ways of Unibroue 10 or 11...it's that good or better. Perfectly drinkable, satisfying, complex, rich...what can I say? Do yourself a favor and try this! Highly recommended.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.62/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a goblet. The color is a dark golden, with a wisp of white head. The smell is sweet and somewhat spicy. The taste is very candi sugar/bubblegum/cotton candy sweet, with esters very present in the flavor, and a bit of coriander, and just a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, this would be one I'd have several of.

Thank you to trbeer for the gift to take home. Well, all I can say is that this is an outstanding tripel!! Maybe those who prefer it on the drier side wouldn't like this one, but since I like that candi sugar sweetness, I'm loving this one. I'm just upset that I heard that Dark Horse was coming to Pittsburgh, but I confirmed with Aaron at the Summer Beer Festival that event was far away (which is a shame, since Dark Horse is an amazing brewery). Still, I'll be enjoying this beer whenever I get the chance.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden-orange hue. Carbonation surfaces at a good clip. Frothy snow white head lasts long and laces nicely. Good aroma of bread and yeast. Warm memories of bread baking in the oven come to mind. Some candy like sweetness too. Impressive flavor. Nice blend of sweetness and yeasty esters and biscuity malt tones. Alcohol presence is perceptible but in no way overbearing. The beer melts away and dissolves softly in the mouth. Light-medium in body. And VERY drinkable. Very enjoyable tripel. One of the better ones I've had in quite some time.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with garthwaite. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" of white head over the cloudy honey amber hued brew. Head is short-lived, but returns upon swirling, and laces well. Aroma is sweet, wheaty, lightly fruity, and alcohol presence is apparent. Taste is everything the nose portends it to be, which is great. Seems more generic bitterness than hops character. Mouthfeel is excellent, and drinkability, well, I'd be looking for another, if I had one. Another Dark Horse to be rooting for...

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Photo of cvaypai
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to goblet.

Appearance - Golden yellow orange with suspended yeast. Opaque but hard to see through at points. Poured with a half finger of head that stays.

Smell - This ale smells great. Really fruity aroma, with apples, cherries and other dry fruits. Also can smell some of those belgian esters and other bready qualities.

Taste - Very sweet, can taste the candy sugar up front, but very enjoyable. Wheat, bread and other fruits can be tasted, I really like this. Lots of cherry, yum. No detection of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Great mouthfeel, not too carbonated, not too bitter, just right for the style.

Drinkability - I could drink this baby all night, hides the alochol so well. Very good, not too heavy.

Very good offering from Dark Horse, I will pick this up again.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 12oz poured into a tulip.

One finger of white over honey. The head falls in a couple minutes to a thin layer of foam. Webbed rings of lace.

The nose is sweet, sour, and a little funky. Lemon zest, sugars, bitterness and chalk.

The taste starts off as a mouthfull of of sour citrus that is cuickly tempered by the sugars. The yeast has a bit of earth, and there is a good hop profile that in its own way adds good balance. The citrus flavors, mostly lemon, linger through the finish which picks up some pepper from the alcohol that pairs nicely with the hops. Wow!

The mouth is full with the citric notes and carbonation cutting through and washing everything clean. A solid Triple, I could drink a sixer over the course of a night.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-or-so-ounce bottle into a half-liter piece of glassware.

Appearance: Beer is golden-amber in color, with heavy carbonation. Nowhere near transparent, the beer itself looks creamy. Pours with a creamy head which subsides only a little after several minutes, maintaining a decent form.

Smell: Sweet, sandalwood, patchouli, Belgian candy sugar, alcohol in the backdrop. It reminds me of incense, but in a very pleasant way. Very very rich, no holds barred here.

Taste: Sugary up front, followed closely by a very subtle bitterness. Rich in taste with the hop action, then an almost rye- or pumpernickel-type maltiness rounding out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Round? Haha, the carbonation keeps expanding on your tongue, allowing every last drop of beer to work its way across your taste buds and into your stomach. Coats your mouth in creamy bliss, then rinses surprisingly smoothly.

Drinkability: This one could be a staple for the weekends, for sure. A great way to start a night.

MAN. I love tripels, and this one in particular. I tried it back in June but never got around to reviewing it, and then couldn't find it up until now. The mouthfeel really does it for me with this one...I rarely find a beer that I would rate a 5 in anything, but this beer gets a 5 for that. Absolute flavor explosion followed by a smooth, clean rinse.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured out into a pint glass, beer is a hazy peachy gold color with a sparkly white head that quickly settles to a thin rim. Lacing is good, and slides down the glass with the beer. Smell is of spice and cloves. Taste is initially of hops, but is quickly overpowered with a banana-caramel malt taste. Aftertaste is good and lasting, definitely of malt and a slight tinge of alcohol. Mouthfeel is very good, a light bodied beer with excellent carbonation; it dances on the tongue and finishes smooth. This beer is a good tasting beer, but I'm not sure I could drink too many of them in one night. I would recommend this beer as a nightcap.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.41/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: This pours a cloudy, dark golden color, with a little bit of an amber tint. There is a very small head, leaving a thin collar. However, it does leave some lacing on the glass. Visibly apparent are the floating yeast particles.

Smell: The aroma is of caramel, apple, and tangerine dominate, with a strong malt presence and some other sweetness in the background. Although visibly present, the yeast is not too strong on the nose.

Taste: Right away I notice similar flavors from the smell: More toffee than caramel malt, but crisp apples and tangerines are present as well. Very sweet. The yeast lightens it up and the taste slowly turns to alcohol, which quickly fades. Although not noticeable at the beginning, the hoppiness is more apparent at the end of the sip; I am left with a hoppy taste. My only lament is that the end of the sip is not entirely held together. The flavors seem to be very well blended until right at the end.

Mouthfeel: The body of this tripel is somewhat lighter than others I have had. The light carbonation, crisp fruit flavors, and noticeable yeast allow it to feel very pleasant on the palate.

Drinkability: Considering the 8.5% ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. The sweetness and yeast help to mask the alcohol content, which can get you in trouble, making you put on a dark cloak and steal mailboxes.

Out of the bottle, I would recommend pouring half, swirling the remaining contents in the bottle, and pouring the rest to get all of the yeast into the glass. I noticed a fair amount of yeast left in the bottle when I did not follow this procedure. Definitely a solid tripel from Dark Horse.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.4/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first time I ever tasted a tripel, and so this is my thoughts on this beer.
A. Pours out a dark orange with excellent retention and really good lacing with moderate carbonation.
S. A very wonderful aroma of bananas, cloves, spices, vanilla, and some orange. As soon as I could smell this wonderful aroma I started thinking how good this beer will taste.
T. Starts out with bananas and spice followed by some cloves and spices. There is also some fruit, vanilla, and orange in the back and finishes off with more bananas and vanilla. It has a really nice balance between sweet and bitterness in the taste.
M. A nice smooth creamy easy drinking light body feel. This beer also leaves the mouth with a dry feel.
O. This is a great tasting beer that hides its 8.5% ABV very well and if most tripels taste this good than this could easily become one of my favorite styles. If anyone has any suggestions on what other tripels to try than let me know.

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Photo of ralree
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich, deep gold with a nice little head for the style. Very appetizing.

S: Brown sugar and honey make this a very sweet nose. Nice dose of grain and some hops.

T: Great example of a fine Belgian ale. Honey and brown sugar sweetness are tempered by the hops perfectly, and the grain backs it up with a nice strong meaty body. Not cloying, but the sweetness is starting to get close - just right for the style. No metallic flavor or other impurities.

M: Between dry and syrupy, about the right mouthfeel. Non-astringent. Carbonation is perfect.

D: Goes down better than most Belgians I've tried. Well-done ale. This is one of the only Tripels I've liked - ever.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- yellow-orange with little yeast floaties. They seem so content, totally relaxed just chilling in the middle of my beer glass. I feel like we're friends already. It's a shame I will soon consume them all.

S - Farmhousey. Bready. Wild yeast. Are those even words? Spell check only recognizes 'wild' and 'yeast' so maybe not. If they were, they'd are called synonyms. Sort of. In a way at least. Accurate is a word that could be used to describe the first four words that were used to describe the scent of Sapient Trip Ale.

T- Oh man. My tastebuds feel like they are awake for the first time. This really opened my eyes. It's a delicious Belgian, grain and spice lacing the tongue and leaving it tingling after.

M- A nice full bodied Tripel, the hug that this beer gives to the inside of your mouth seems to linger.

O- Just great. I'll be repurchasing the shit out of this.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice hazy golden color. Somewhat phenolic aroma-spicy and malty as well. Theres obviously something to this beer. Big, bold spicy flavor upfront. A tad bready. Malty with a lingering sweetness. The spiciness is great here. Cloves and coriander. Mouthfeel is very appropriate-not overly syrupy or sweet as some US examples are. A definate asset to the US triples out there. This has to be the best US interpretation I have had so far. Well worth seeking out. Thanks again to eyedrinkale. Killer trade...

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Photo of mynie
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent Duvel glass pour. Giant head alternating champagne and soap bubbles rocky sticky goodness sticking rocky to the sides of my glass sip by sip. All honey orange gold.

Smells lightly of Belgian yeast and alcohol along with some typical triple fruit. Run of the mill for a nice style.

Holds in the mouth fuzzy, very bubbly, dry caramel fruits coming through eventually, almost nutty, moving into a more sour red apple and then ending on a very light twinge of alcohol and sugar. Very nice.

This bottle had to have been aged over two years. It was old when I got it and I've had it forever. Aside from that, I can't wonder where all the MOR reviews are coming from. This is an exceptional American-Belgian!

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Photo of jbone78
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer in my fridge for a while. Time to drink it.

Pours hazy golden with yeasty chunks floating around in it. Smells caramelized, if that's possible, but you can smell the sugar in it. Taste is very balanced to me. Taditional sweet Tripel character with the yeasty backbone. I relly like it, but I usually like sweet beers. Finishes a tad syrupy, but an easy drinker for 8.5%.

If I lived up north, I would buy more of these.


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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Hazy golden orange with thin, but sticky, white blanket of lace. No sediment and little carbonation. You can almost see the richness in it.

S-Candy and fruit all over the place. Sweet bubblegum and fruity esters are not shy. I assume this was fermented at quite high temps with a nice full Belgian yeast.

T-Rich, caramel, body is a pleasure to the senses. This beer is so full of flavor, but not cloying and syrupy. A semi-dry banana-like taste finishes with a mango appearance.

M-Super sweet and full. Some may wish for a little higher attenuation to thin the body, but I like what they have done. The taste left in your mouth is very candy-like but appropriate with this beer.

D-The high abv does a wonderful job of hiding and comes out when you least expect it. This is easily a beer that could be on my list for a few rounds. Probably not an all-nighter just because of the sweetness and lack of hops (sort of a hophead).

This is the second beer that I have had from Dark Horse and I really think these guys are the real deal! Seek them out if available in your area. As a homebrewer, this is definately a brewery that I would model myself after with pride.

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Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I brought a bottle of Sapient Trip Ale back from our tour of Michigan to and from Dark Lord day. I am finally getting to this bottle. Holy shiznit this is tasty. Had I known it was this good it wouldn't have sat in the back of my fridge for so long.

Appearance: pours a glistening gold with an orange tint and an off white head. The head fades to a off-white collar in my snifter glass with few spots of lace.

Smell: It has a big sweet fruity nose with topical fruit salad flavors and exotic smoothies come to mind. Apples Papaya mango apricot peach and ripe banana with a rum alcohol playing a part as well.

Taste: Sweet and friendly with honey and bread with butter and an assortment of fruits and sugar sweets with a sprinkling of spices; nutmeg and clove come to mind followed by a nip of bitterness. The finish leaves a warm alcohol burn that is light and pleasant; not too intense and balanced with all the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: It has a lively medium/full mouthfeel that is well carbonated.

Drinkability: The alcohol and the bitterness were more pronounced when the beer reached room temperature. It is best warmed just a bit. The alcohol catches up to you but the sweet easy flavors slide down fast enough that drinking it before room temp should be a problem.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of logansboat15
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse's Belgian style Tripel is excellent. Pours a cloudy orange with a nice white head with moderate lace. Smell is fresh fruit with a hint of banana beneath. The taste is satisfying, sweet and complex. Nice smooth yet heavy mouthfeel invites you to ask for a second anda third pour. Highly drinkable with alcohol subtly distinctive in the finish. Pairs well with sausage, burgers and fruit pies. Kudos to a small establishment for creating such a big beer. A real winner from a Michigan stand-out brewery!

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Photo of PirateUlf73
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Light amber color with a sticky, off-white head. Very cloudy as well.

S: Sweet grainy scents as well as bready yeast. Slight fruitiness that resembles bananas with a touch of sweet spice, nutmeg if pressured for a guess. Quite nice and somewhat assertive.

T: Very sweet and lush. Lots of initial fruitiness. Banana, granny smith apples, watermelon, a little pineapple and even some grape-like notes. Any hop presence is barely noticed, if at all. Some sweet malt comes through during the middle. Just a hint of caramel sweetness. Fruity yeast notes also dominate a substantial aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and lively carbonated. Malt definitely dominates the tongue, but in a good way. Aftertaste is quite pleasant, though the finish is a tad muddy.

D: Very interesting flavors make this an ideal sipping beverage, especially if one were to find it on tap.

I've had my eye on this one for a while, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. My only past experience with a tripel was via the good folks at Chimay, but this one kept me quite intrigued throughout the entire glass. Another solid offering from Dark Horse. Very much worth trying if you can find it in your area.

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper colored, murky body with a thin white film of head. Sweet bublegum and spice aroma. Flavor is sweet and fruity. Just a touch of bitterness and sour in the finish. Theres a tanginess and brisk carbonation that keeps the mouthfeel light. There were a couple very slight off flavors, but nothing to keep it from being a good beer. I'll definatly try it again.

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Got me going! Pours a thick foggy amber with a ring of foam around the outside of the glass. Almost no initial appeal to this. In fact, there was a ton of sediment that I didn't care for at all. Looked like rocks in the bottom of my glass! Once I dove in it was a game changer. Great smokey, banana, clove nose despite the lack of head. "Once it hits your lips, it's so good!" Ready for whatever was to come, I was pleased. Slightly warming with the all the Belgian yeasty goodness. A beautifully crafted beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(edit 2011-Getting a tuity fruity gum like aroma..a lot of banana evident..taste is a little thinner than I expected but i'll stand by the original review for the most part)

Original 6-6-2007
8.5% ABV according to their website.

A-hazy bright orange/yellow....

S-Overripe mashed banana's...sweet juicy fruits (peaches, papaya, mandarin oranges)..also some B.O. like funky yeastiness...

T-Same as the nose but stronger on the juciy sweet fruits....add in a little pineapple and mango to the fruit cocktail mix...has a little bubble gum in it as well....light clovyness on the finish really completes the deal nicely. Hell of a nice flavor to this.

M-Medium to full bodied...medium to highly carbonated....feels right

D-What a nice surprise....great tasting triple with a lot of sweet fruity flavors....just enough clove on the finish to add some complexity...definitely worth buying....only thing I don't care for is the slight B.O. yeastiness aroma...

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 860 ratings.
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