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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

343 Reviews
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Dark Horse Sapient Trip AleDark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 845
Photo of nas5755
1.61/5  rDev -56%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A good looking tripel with a golden brown color that is slightly hazy. The nose reminds me of pears, golden dirt and macha root. The taste is very similar with more fruit nuances and bready yeast characteristics added into the heavy macha and earthy flavors. A good smooth clean mouth-feel, slightly chewy and a good medium low carbonation level. Overall, this is an interesting beer that brings some flavors out I just don't want in a beer. Macha is not a flavor I would ever seek out in a beer and dirt flavors are best suited to adventures in funk. Not something I will be seeking out again.

 594 characters

Photo of Jesse13713
1.85/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Hoppin' Frog snifter.

Appearance - Mark darker than expected. A hazy wind of carbonation and wheat brown/yellow hues. Decent lacing without much of a head. Very earthy looking.

Smell - Underwhelming to say the least. Light banana and belgian yeast. No hint of spice, and a total lack of complexity or body.

Taste - A very bland and honestly quite boring tripel. Everything about this beer is tame. Masked bananas, a shave of citrus peel, rotten toffee, and an awkward funky malt make for a less than impressive beer.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Just sort of unpleasant in the mouth. Quite bland and simple. The ABV is completely hidden under the wheat malt. I like Dark Horse as a brewery, but this one just really didn't do anything for me - compared to other dark horse beers as well as tripels.

 816 characters

Photo of phattysbox
2.06/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into Duvel glass. Thick 1in head with aggressive pour that dissipates to nothing in a heart beat. Color of unclarified honey.

Holy banana!! Is this a Hefe-weizen? Smells a bit like bready belgian yeast, but the banana / clove is too overpwoering for a triple style. Alcohol also cuts in slightly in the nose. Tastes like weizen as well - bubblegum flavors abound followed weakly by a dextrin like sweetness. Mouthfeel was a bit wet for a triple. The taste misses the mark by being a bit unbalanced for me.

Drinkability - unfortunately was a drain-pour. Was expecting a triple not a banana sundae.

Haven't had anything else from Dark Horse, hopefully their other brews shine brighter...

 708 characters

Photo of errantnight
2.1/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks raverjames!

Well... my first disappointing Dark Horse beer... and my first BA review of one of theirs... but there's some good ones to come.

This pours with a fizzy head that disappears rapidly... not the luxurious head one would hope for. There's no lacing. No lasting head. The color is right, a pale straw.

Aroma is huge bubble gum and banana with a fusel alcohol background. Spice is barely perceptible.

Flavor is again huge bubble gum, with a juicy fruit middle and ripe fruit. It's reasonably dry, but still leaves some candy sweetness on the tongue, and hot alcohols parenthetical everything.

Mouthfeel is appropriately light, but it settles on the tongue, it doesn't lift. No spritely carbonation.

This is a struggle to get through. My first impression is fermentation problems... too hot too soon.

 820 characters

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
2.15/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark Horse has got a pretty decent rep so far. I really like their Crooked Tree IPA and Black Bier Ale quite a bit. This is their interpretation of a Belgian Triple. Heres the review:

A: Pours a very murky yellow/orange. I can't see through the beer at all. I also do not see any bubbles coming up from the bottom. Head dissipated to a tiny, white film over the beer.

S: I get alot of banana. The typical Belgian yeast smell. Some sweetness in the aroma.

T: Okay, this taste is not sitting well with me at all. I get a strong cabbage flavor right off the bat. It pretty much overpowers anything else. There is also hints of banana, yeast, sweetness, and is somewhat medicinal. Not the flavors I am looking for in a beer.

M: Medium bodied. Somewhat flat carbonation. Flavors do linger on the palate, which isn't a good thing.

D: For me, the drinkability is going to be low. Bad taste and mouthfeel detract from it. I am contemplating pouring the rest down the drain as it is not very good.

This beer is one of the worst I have had in a while. I don't care for Belgian Ales to begin with, but this exibits flavors that are pretty offensive. Not recommended, but give it a try if you are feeling brave.

 1,206 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.19/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Color is a bright honey gold with a mild white head and not much in the way of retention or lacing. Nose is strange with some cardboard and phenols plus a great deal of slice. Taste falls under the same rubric. Body is off with fairly low carbonation. While the off flavors weren't terribly apparent, when combined with a lack of true character, this just wasn't my favorite brew, especially coming from a brewery whose beers I normally enjoy very much.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.21/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy dark gold color. The head is a finger high (white colored) and rather poorly retaining. A tiny ring of lacing is left on the glass. Not particularly attractive.

S: This has a rather heavy note of orange peel, combining with some stewed dark fruits, candied sugar, caramel and a touch of coriander. I hate to blaspheme, but...but...BUT...it smells like a roided-up Blue Moon. In a realm full of La Fin Du Mondes, this isn't a good place to be - however, the aroma isn't awful by any stretch.

T: There's something off about this one. At first, I think it's just a poorly handled orange peel note. Then, as I swirl it in my mouth, it hits me like a sack of dildos: this is tomato-y. After about the third sip, I couldn't wait to pour the dregs in. It seems to have helped a bit: the tomato disappears slightly (not completely) and grows more generically yeasty. This also seems to be acidic to the point of harshness, too. Nope, I'm ultimately wrong - this is still tomato-y as hell.

M: Like many Dark Horse beers, it's crisp and easy to drink for the style. It would be even easier to drink if the flavor profile didn't suck ass, though. Carbonation is slightly prickly but not intensely vibrant.

O: I've had some great 'Murican-made tripels (Allagash Tripel, Boulevard Long Strange Tripel, hell, even Flying Fish's Exit 4 was damn enjoyable). This isn't even close to being one of those - it might even be the worst example of the style I've had yet. The best I can say about this is that I can power through it without dumping it. Even better, Dark Horse makes a bunch of solid beer that I can drink instead of this crap.

 1,674 characters

Photo of shbobdb
2.28/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours that hazy-American Wheat Beer yellow I've come to associate with Tripels. However, I'm used to there being fairly robust carbonation in tripels, with nice heads. The head on this beer is barely even there during the pour!

The beer both smells and tastes heavily of adjuncts. OK, I accept that Tripels need a fair amount of sugar in them, but, man, this beer tastes like estery, nasty cider was mixed 3/4th to 1/4th with a Czech Pilsner.

No thank you.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.56/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: a dark brown 355mL bottle with a great craft label - a very nice package.

Appearance: pours a burnished hazy orange-copper with a fluffy white head that drops away pretty quickly to a thin cap. Certainly not standard for a tripel.

Aroma: a combination of Belgian yeasts and some orchard fruits - not particularly good to be honest; very awkward.

Taste: and that awkwardness follows through to the palate. I love Tripels - it is one of my favourite styles - but this one is pretty ordinary. No body and little Tripel complexity.

Aftertaste: fades away quicker, again not much happening.

Mouth feel: very flat in feel - hardly any body at all.

Overall: whilst I am a big fan of Tripels, this was a very poor attempt. No complexity and no body, leaving just a half-hearted awkward whack of Belgian-ish flavours. Add a price over AU$150 for a case, and this one doesn't make the cut.

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Photo of hopheadtony1
2.56/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber beer. Nice amber light. this is amedium quality white head for my part. Herbal in the nose, malty smooth in the mouth. European hops background. Maybe more intresting with sa little bit of yeast sleeping in the bottle. Nice belgian tribute.

 260 characters

Photo of lyman77
2.58/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep, very cloudy, amber. Muddy, almost. One finger of sudsy head.

Nose is typically belgian, pleasant and not overpowering. The taste, like the appearance, is a muddled, almost musty affair. Notes of banana, yeast, and cloves are there but not overpowering. A slight bitter finish lingers. The feel is creamy and smooth. It's quite boozy at over 9%.

Overall I didn't particularly enjoy this one. I opened one and didn't finish it. A rare pour for me.

 461 characters

Photo of colefsuwr
2.6/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Without a doubt this is the most clove I have ever tasted in a beer. The smell was great for the style but upon tasting I was overwhelmed and squinted from the cloves. I love most beers that come from dark horse but this is not on my wish list. i should give it another try but i don't know if i can.

 300 characters

Photo of TooGood
2.64/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy murky lighting brown with floaties and sediment all over, looks like swamp water in a glass. Smell is fitting the style, but taste is very boozy and not too pleasant. I let it sit and warm up for a bit with no improvement so half went down the drain.

 268 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Beer looks decent, dark amber with about a one-finger head.
Aroma has a bit of spicy fruit and some nice, funky yeast odors but there's also an underlying plastic harshness.
Taste is not very pleasant. This seems harsh and rather crude for a Tripel. A lingering and unpleasant medicinal bitter finish. Nearly a drain pour.
Mouthfeel seems a bit thin.
I'm a fan of both Dark Horse and tripels but his seems a rather poor effort that lacks refinement.

 450 characters

Photo of lurpy1
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On tap at the Pizza House in Lansing. Thought I'd had this before, maybe not because I wound up disliking this beer as follows:

Attractive pour, orangish/goldenrod, not a lot of head.

Smell is slightly fruity, a little bit of yeast. Not really bad.

Taste really had me wondering if Pizza House slipped me the wrong beer. A fruity flavor permeates, and it's not a flavor I can place, nor a flavor I like at all. Reminiscent of either bananas or aprcots, not a fan of either. Most similar to bananas, but since DFH Aprihop is on tap...Then again I've had tripels with banana undertones, but those were more muted and agreeable.

Good smooth mouthful, did a good job on carbonation. But the flavor of this beer really didn't sit well with me.

I've liked all the DarkHorse brews I've sampled, but this one, I do not like it Sam I Am. Next time I'm in I'll ask for a sample of Sapient, make sure I got the right stuff.

 918 characters

Photo of thecarster1
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a- bottle poured into a chalice, full finger, hazy honey wheat color, some floaties.

s- lots of belgian yeast, banana, clove, some pepper, lemon, and a slight candy sweetness.

t- lighter than the nose, peppery, banana, clove, some candy sugar, slight alcohol, a bit of medicinal taste - almost metallic, a bit unappealing.

m- medium to thin body, slick, prickly.

d- not great drinkability, i wouldn't pick this up again, the metallic tinge was off putting.

 460 characters

Photo of TheBear11D
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Nutty red, amber, copper with nearly no head appearing like apple cider.

S: Fruity with an overpowering scent of alcohol and a hint of caramel.

T: Apricot, fruity citrus with a sharp fruity bitter bite.

M: Thicker than expected for the alcohol amount and a large lack of carbonation.

D: Bitter taste that does not go down easily. Not a beer I would seek out again.

 371 characters

Photo of BlackAngus
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - A bright copper/goldish color, white head that faded a little too quick.

S - Bready, yeasty, fruity.

T - WAY too sweet...extremely sweet up front, hiding the alcohol flavor. Caramely, hint of orange. But the sweetness is intense and it dominates.

M - Light body, nice carb. Cloying aftertaste.

D - I won't get it again. It's far too sweet for the style, imo.

 374 characters

Photo of Yellolab2010
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Wow! Wouldn't even let me rate with out a review because I gave a low rating? I'll start by saying I love dark horse but am not a fan of Belgian tripels. I do continue to try them but just don't care for them! That being said this was not a low ball at dark horse by any means just me being fair in my ratings.
If you are a tripel fan you may really enjoy.

 356 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a bright lemony orange, slightly cloudy, with a big thick off white head, decent lacing with moderate retention.

Smell was full of yeast and citrus notes, with hints of apricots and bananas.

Taste is mildy sweet with a bit of sharp metallic tinge to it. Has some nice fruit flavors, but the coppery flavor seems to overpower it.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and a bit oily with a touch of warmth.

Overall, it seemed very flawed to me, while still drinkable, not worth drinking again.

 493 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried on tap at Twisted Spoke, 17 Jul 2011. Served in a ~300 mL tulip.

Small creamy beige head. Minimal carbonation. Hazy golden color. Aroma seems relatively light for the style, sweet and yeasty, just a bit of alcohol. Yeasty, a touch spicy. Moderately sweet. Medium creamy body. Alcohol is a little warming. Lightly spicy sweet finish and aftertaste.

Overall a little washed out.

 384 characters

Photo of smakawhat
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A muddy dark brown orange body, lots of yeast chunks, some fast rising thin carbonation of white bubbles. No head produced on this barely at all, thin tan collar. For a tripel pretty unimpressive.

Nose is rather interesting. Lots of sweet candy, and a big yeasty thick punch. Hints of mint and lemon grass, and melon sort of mango fruit. Some really nice qualities here. Smells inviting.

Taste though is incredibly, "flat". Palate has a very weak feel, not carrying any big malt or sweetness forward. Wet. Finish is incredibly tasteless and watery. Mild bitterness akin to a dead pale ale.

Overall this tripel is not delivering, there's no body, no malt sweetness, no candy tasting goodness, even the wonderful bouquet on this is not coming out in the palate. Too bad because it smells really good.

 845 characters

Photo of Brunite
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - A hazy, orange color with thin, tight head

s - Is earthy, estery, spicey

t - Is spicey....dry...some clove...mostly white pepper

m - Is fairly dry and thin

d - One and done. Not liking this at all. Love the Black Ale....this...nope. Just too messy. Spicey....dry...no malt...no hops...no real fruit notes. Not a huge Tripel fan but I've had better.

 357 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
2.87/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours amber with a very slight orange tint. Finger and a half worth of long lasting head. Leaves decent lacing.

S - Adjunct, medium standard malt. Uhhhh....What?

T - Very slight standard adjunct up front, followed by a decent amount of malt, minimal pine, slight bubblegum.

M - Low carbonation with a medium body

O - Overall, At 9.5% this beer is an easy drinking killer, Although it tastes nothing as I had expected. Not a great craft brew honestly, But I'd have it again.

 481 characters

Photo of pwoods
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into a flute. Notes.

A: Pours a blushing orange with little chunkies even from a careful pour. very short head with little retention and lacing.

S: Very sweet with plenty of fruitiness. Sweet malts.

T/M: Big fruity sweetness. A bit of bitterness but nothing too huge. Malts add more sweetness and becomes just too much. Thick syrupy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D: Not the best Belgian but not terrible for an American attempt at the style. Not Dark Horse's best brew by a long shot.

 516 characters

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.
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