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: 855
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 Barnoloid
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is a spicy note to this tripel. Clove and banana dominate here, with a yeastiness that comes right through. Has a dustiness to the mouthfeel. Good but muddled in a sense.

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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 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 laituegonflable
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber colour, got a fair bit of sediment in the pour. Head is off-white, sinks quickly to leave a thin rim of nice sticky lace. Lace saves an otherwise unappealing pour.

Smells rich and inviting. Sweet, with lots of complex residual sugars. Caramel toffee, tocay sweetness with raisins, treacle and a touch of nutmeg. Very enjoyable, sweet and complex. Just how a tripel should be.

Taste is a lot more bitter. Belgian phenols all over that, start early with a touch of rubber, bandaid note and gets really very medicinal midway. Plenty of malt, which helps remind one it's beer you're drinking. But yeah, it's a fine Belgian character, I just wish it didn't take such an early stranglehold.

A bit heavy with brandy warming through the mouth. Touch of carbonation.

Nice tripel characters, but just feels lacking in the complex sugars that makes the best Belgian versions sing in such beautiful harmony.

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Photo of barczar
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky golden peach with a modest, frothy cream head that dissipates to almost nothing.

Pear, green apple, menthol, and Belgian yeast funk form the initial aroma. Notes of peach add complexity.

Flavor reveals more apple dominance, accented by pear skin, finishing fairly dry. Hops are slightly earthy and spicy art the finish. The malt backbone is overwhelmed by yeast esters, but provides lightly toasted support. It's a bit heavier than most.

Body is a touch full, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Surely not the most complex yeast ester profile, and the malt is a bit heavy for the style, but a very approachable, inexpensive Belgian style beer. A minerally character emerges that is offputting, and the bitterness is more than I prefer.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sapent Trip pours a nice golden color with a good sized non lacing head. There is a strong ester and yeast like aroma. The flavor has a strong banana taste and is very creamy. There is a good feel and good body to this beer, with strong flavors. Overall its full of creamy banana flavors.

 288 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into chalice, bottled on 5/6/2014. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of apricot, orange, golden raisin, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, biscuit, candi sugar, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast ester and bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of apricot, orange, golden raisin, pear, apple, light banana, clove, biscuit, candi sugar, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of apricot, golden raisin, pear, apple, light banana, clove, biscuit, candi sugar, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast and bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth and fairly crisp/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice tripel style. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,472 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a goblet
A: Murky light brown with a 1/2-finger head that quickly settles
S: Lots of brown sugar, fig, coriander/clove, a touch floral
T: Matches the nose. Pleasant spice, brown sugar, wheat & florals
M: Medium-bodied, a touch sweet but the alcohol doesn't stand out. Light carbonation
O: Not super complex but straightforward and is a good example of the style

 385 characters

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.

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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 BeerLover99
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: unfiltered cloudy dense dirty orange, zero head,
little lacing/may be flat

S: big orange peel, floral, belgian yeast, wheat

T: orange, belgian yeast, floral, mild biscuit

M: med body, semi-oily, hint of dry, very little

O: Love this style, but some how just missing
the buzz on DH. Perhaps got a bad bottle or batch.


 369 characters

Photo of TheBeer
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Good looking Belgian with a thin lasting head. Large amount of yeast present in the bottle.
S- Promising smell that is quite pleasant and typical of Belgian beers.
T- A very awkward bitterness that lingers for the duration of the mouthfeel. Very slight hints of alcohol on the back side.
M- Decent carbonation but way to thin for the style.
O- Not terrible for the price, but not something to be amazed by. Middle of the line beer that is worth trying if you are in desperate need of a new beer, but not something to continue buying. Stick with Belgian produced beers if you want a satisfying Belgian style trippel.

 619 characters

Photo of KFBR392
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: pouts with a burnt orange color. Very transparent beer, much different then any other tripel I have seen. Light head even on an aggressive pour. No active carbonation in glass.

Smell: musty fruit and orange peel hit the nose first. A potent front of sugary yeast and banana peels is also apparent. Medium bodied fruit rides throughout this brew.

Taste: Grainy yeast and bright fruits hit first. Some decent fruit and spices continue to battle the palate. Nothing too complex but does hit some decent tripel checkpoints.

Mouthfeel: light with some chalky tones.

Overall: an okay american tripel. Mild spices and yeast fruity body. Just okay

 655 characters

Photo of bigcat1408
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I will be honest in that I am a bit intimidated with how folks can review beers like they do. I will say I am definitely in for some big time 'beer education'! I really enjoy this beer the more I drink it, which is interesting because at first I truly did not enjoy it. Particularly because it was way to hoppy for me. I have somewhat forced myself to drink more hoppy beers and my palate is being refined! That is all for now.

 427 characters

Photo of BierStein711
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into dimple pint (Yeah, I know not the best glass, but I don't have all my stuff moved yet).

Appearance Cloudy gold body with a quick reducing off white head

Smell: clove, banana, raisin, nuts, and alcohol

Taste: Banana, barley, raisin, and Belgian yeast

Mouthfeel: Thick

Overall, not too bad of a beer, but this isn't a great Tripel.

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Photo of migwell
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The subtleties elude me, since my sense of smell is poor, but this is a fine brew, quite strong, but full bodied and flavorful enough to disguise its kick.

It's a delightful, cloudy orange brew with a minimal head and no lacing at all. I would advise this brewery to rethink the graphic design of their bottle... death and the mailbox in muddy reds, oranges and greens announces something much more drab and lifeless than this superior brew.

Another note: I drank this with a very spicy meal which featured a habanero pepper chopped into the mix, and it stood up bravely, and in the end won the day!

P.S. Is there a way to dispense with the cheesy, comment-free smart phone 'reviews'? 'I'm just so busy, I cannot be bothered to comment...' Well then, don't bother!

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Photo of Brandegee
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: A rich orange-brown, promising a strong taste.

Smell: The yeast smell dominates, but peppers and clove follow close behind. I'm not getting much fruit from this, but there is a hint of banana. Definitely some maltiness as well, but not assertive.

Taste: Not a lot of flavor upfront. It introduces itself slowly, generating an almost burnt orange flavor along with a healthy amount of dryness. Honey is there as well, but not as strong. Some bitterness complements the orange flavor. An extremely easy flavor that permits full sips.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is leavened very well, as is the alcohol. A very nice balance on the tongue.

Overall: Tripels kind of have to work hard to set themselves apart, and this one is not the best I've ever had. But I really like the honey-orange angle on this one, and I would definitely spring for it again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle with cryptic stamp on neck served in a Paulaner Weissbier glass.

Pours slightly hazy amber with a large frothy white head. Good retention and lacing effects.

Aroma: sweet and spicy with hints of banana and other tropical fruits; yeasty with some wheat. Complex but not what I'd expect for style.

Taste: sweet (overly at first) with a pronounced, but not overpowering fruitiness that mainly consists of banana. Bready malts with a clear contribution from wheat. Alcohol esters reveal the high ABV.

Feel: soft, medium-light body.

O: strange tripel that tastes more like an eisbock or hefe-weizen than a Belgian Tripel.

 638 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I like the color of this Tripel as its radiant and quite iridescent in the Orange or apricot hue. The body of this ale is virtually dead as the carbonation bubbles to the top but never built a head. It now sits completely still.

The scent is all Tripel with clove, banana, slight bubblegum, sweet breads, and a little yeast.

The taste is is more bubblegum, slight cloves and then a banana finish. Tinges of malt and doughy grain are scattered through out.

The feel is nice, low carbonation, and smooth but not particularly full. The 9.5 ABV is completely hidden as I was a touch surprised to read that figure on the bottle.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +9.3%

This is a spicy Belgian tripel ale. It pours a particulated orangish color with thin white head that is not lacing. The scent is typical of most Tripels. So is the taste but it carries a nice spice and clove. The mouthfeel is fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a good one for those that enjoy Belgian tripels.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy orange body, fine swarms of bubbles, soapy white head. Smell is sourdough bread, faint tropical fruits, mild spice, yeast. Under a shadow of bready malt the flavor ups the tropical fruits like apricot, mango, and melon, but retains a good amount of spice. Bubblegum and chalky yeast and alcohol wind things up, bleh. Delicate medium body with fine carbonation.
The finish was sloppy, but the rest of the flavor and overall experience was pretty true to tripel standards. I'd like to see more body.

 511 characters

Photo of MattyG85
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles and some noticeable floating sediment. Very small off white head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A yeasty and fruity Belgian style tripel aroma with malt. Belgian yeast upfront with hints of funk and spice hints of clove and peppers. Dried fruit hints of bananas and pear along with a slight hint of citrus orange and pineapple. Sweet hints of candied sugar and honey. Sweet bready malt presence with hints of wheat, biscuit, grain, and yeast. A decent yeast driven tripel scent.

Taste: Like it smells, a very yeasty and spicy Belgian style taste with fruity esters. Belgian yeast and some funk upfront with spice notes of pepper and cloves. Dried fruit esters of banana and pear and a slight note of citrus orange and pineapple. A little bubblegum taste as well. Sweet notes of candied sugar and some honey. Big bready malt presence with notes of biscuit, wheat, grain, yeast, and a little caramel. A little more malt than typical of the style, but the taste is good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly drying and smooth. Some alcohol heat is felt but not a lot.

Overall: A decent Belgian inspired brew. Not up there with the best Belgian tripels but ok. Ha s some nice dried fruit notes.

 1,423 characters

Photo of breakingbland
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Red Rock in Ypsilanti, MI. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: The beer poured a cloudy golden. There was a ring of foam when the beer arrived at the table.

Aroma: Spice was present in the aroma but no "Belgian funk". Neither hops nor malt were readily apparent. There was a slightly sour aroma component.

Taste: There is definite spice and Belgian funkiness overlaid on a sweet malty backbone. Sour lingers with some bitterness. I would call this a classic Belgian trippel.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a medium-full body with light carbonation.

Overall: I rank this right up there with my other favorite Belgian trippels and would get it again.

 653 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet. Color was a medium amber, with next to no head. A few small streams of bubbles rose from the bottom. Aroma had a bit of alcohol, but shifted to a primarily fruity sweet, hints of prune. Reminded me a milder barleywine. Flavor was sweet, more on the sugary side, but not excessively so. Despite the sweetness, came across a little thin and watery. Overall it was pretty good, but not great.

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 855 ratings.
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