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 beerthulhu
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dense mucky orange with a high rate of turbidity matter. Milky, creamy beige head is slight, moderately holding leaving a sparse and speckled lacing around the glass. A good amount of yeasty solids settle on the bottom of the vessel.

S: Aroma of pear, green fruit and some hefe-banana.

T: Flavor of fresh green melon, some banana, and some tropical fruit. Creamy oats and grains base, dry citrus, dry wheat, and a dry powdery milkiness. A gentle sourness occurs but he yeast is fairly tame, showing some oranges, apples and a toasty warmth of alcohol.

M: Mouthful is creamy, with some musky fruit, dry grains. Light fresh fruit snap, carbonation was a little loose and light. Rounds out with a warming of fruit alcohol.

O: Overall worthy drinkability, dry grains and fruit touch. Light warming of alcohol but is highly manageable. Wont blow your socks off, but would readily reach for another one. A little loose, could use some tightening up (i.e. sharper, crisper flavor and carbonation).

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a nice orangish yellow. pretty hazy with a white head that sticks around.

Smell: almost non-existant. dry bread and some banana

Taste: a strong dryness, some bananas, clove, belgian yeast. and strong alcohol. a bit too strong on the alcohol and subtle on the rest

Mouthfeel: not very heavy but the alcohol sticks around.

Overall: not a big fan of this one. alcohol should blend better. other flavors should have more kick

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Photo of tectactoe
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

I've had this a at Old Chicago on tap, but never got around to reviewing it. This review will be based on the bottled version. It pours a murky golden-yellow color with a bit of stoplight-amber at the very core. The stark-white head settles nicely at about a quarter-inch and leaves a small amount of lacing, only at the very top of the glass.

Like you'd expect from most tripels, the first things to breach your nostrils are equal amounts of clove and subdued fruit. Hints of over-ripe bananas coated in a light battering of cloves spices, followed by some mild malt sweetness and a touch of Belgian-style yeast. Unfortunately, this aroma isn't as robust or commanding as many tripels out there, and doesn't have much complexity. Even warming up over time doesn't really reveal anything new or exciting.

The flavor follows closely to the nose in both the flavor profile and the somewhat underwhelming nature. A sea of malt upon which a big of bananas and apple skins lie, coated with a bit of brown sugar and followed up by some kitchen spices. Alcohol character starts off low at first, but by the end of the glass, the phenol character is quite high and almost even a little intimidating.

One of the most disappointing factors of this beer is its straightforwardness. Even the Belgian yeast really fails to open up and develop, and rather you're left with a small hint of bubblegum in the finish and some small, bready notes close behind. It tastes like a watered down tripel that's not really watered down, rather it's just somewhat flavorless in comparison to other beers of the same style. Medium bodied, lightly creamy with a high amount of carbonation.

From reading the review above, I'm sure it sounds like I hate this beer. I don't. I guess I was being hard on it because I expected much more. It's definitely "good" in the sense that I'd have it again (and I have), but it just doesn't stand up to some of the big-boy tripels out there. It lacks the robustness, finesse, and complexity that the style commands, although it's still a reasonably tasty and drinkable beer in a more broad sense.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours fairly flat for a Belgian Trippel and has an pretty hazy orange look. The smell hit you with a little spice which is mostly cloves but nothing that seems to impressive. The taste is pretty lacking too. It hits you with some cloves and like the look, it was kind of flat. Keeps reminding me of a watered down version of Weyerbacher Merry Monk. Overall nothing great going on here. I probably will pass on this in the beer isle.

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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 RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty decent tripel. Nice fruity esters with an underlying sweetness that works. It's a bit boozy though, which would probably be a big detractor for me. But it isn't like a lot of the disastrous tripels you see American breweries putting out.

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Photo of alex_hart
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a great belgian style tripel done by Darkhorse Brewing Company...had a ton of "floaters" in it (which always gets me pumped up), and it had great flavor...i was nervous when i saw the murky opaqueness of it upon the poor, but it did not in any way, shape, or form let me down

had different tropical fruits at the beginning of the sip, and as it moved to the back of the pallet the yeast, and a refreshing hint of bitterness, became present.

great addition to the mix six i picked out

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Photo of tdm168
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - dark, murky, cloudy yellow with a ton of dark sediment floating about; thin, soft cap of white head that fades quickly

S - very faint nose; some fruit, apple, pear, very faint yeast

T - fruit, pear, apple, bitter hops, yeast, vegetal, big booze

M - dry, warm, full bodied

I'm sorry to say that this is quite disappointing. First the appearance is frightening. It's murky and has a ton of stuff floating around. If this came out of a faucet I would have freaked out. The nose is almost nonexistent. The taste is intensely bitter which takes away from everything else. The booze is also intense. The finish is quite dry which seems to leave the intense bitterness on the palate. The esters that come through are nice, but that doesn't make up for the rest of it. I won't be picking this up again.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours medium orange, a bit dull, with a white foam head. Some retention, some decent lace. Whoops, looks like this one is bottle conditioned, as my final pour put a bunch of yeast floaties in the glass.

Digging deep for aroma. Mild, but there. Tropical fruit and some yeasty funk.

Flavor up front is tropical fruit, funk, booze, and bitterness. Then -- gone to rind bitter. Failure of flavor to stay is a minus, and a big one.

Fuller bodied, nice carbonation.

OK attempt. Flawed, but what works...works well. Worth a try.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance- Thin Head, light brown, red tinted, cloudy.

Smell - Pretty great. alcohol, a little grapefruit, is is that nutmeg? and some spice.

Taste - in the front, sweet Nutmeg? followed by alcohol, mild hops, and then strong alcohol on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation, and ...average mouthfeel.

Overall - This was my first Dark Horse beer. I know they are rated highly, but I would say that if you want a triple, get another brand. Nothing special here.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a very murky orange color ... TONS of sediment. No head, pretty much no lacing. About what's expected of a tripel.

Smell: A lot of grapey smells. Secondary aromas consist of alcohol and malts, and maybe a touch of bananas as well.

Taste/feel: Wow. The alcohol's not shy in this beer, as it hits me hard up front and on the finish. Initial taste is sweet with the fruits, and the finish is a bit bitter with some malts and the alcohol I mentioned. The feel is somewhat thin at first, but it thickens up a bit if you leave it on your tongue.

Overall, a very "different" tripel, and I love that. I'm used to the typical banana and clove flavors (to the point where I've often had some trouble deciphering between a Dunkelweizen and a Tripel), so this is a welcome change. The bit of tartness is also nice ... a wonderfully fruity, tasty beer.

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Photo of MickeyBeer
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy golden, orange color with a considerable amount of sediment throughout. About one finger of white head.

S- Smell was sweet and malty. Notes of honey and citrus.

T- Taste was very malty and sweet. Kind of reminds me of a hefeweizen with a wheaty and citrusy taste. At 9.5% abv, alcohol is pretty well covered by the sweet malts, but is still somewhat present in the taste.

M- Mouthfeel is medium with a somewhat dry finish.

O- This is a deliciously malty beer that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am more of an IPA/Imperial Stout guy, but this beer could certainly satiate my occasional thirst for something sweeter and maltier.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having this in my kitchen, served in a snifter.

A: pours a golden honey orange color with not much head but with a bit of off white lacing.

S: smells sweet like honey, with wheat and grains, malt, hops, spices

T: tastes sweet, yeast, honey, sugar, hops, malts, bit of booze taste at the finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, quite smooth for the ABV, could hardly guess it's 10% until it's too late.

O: Overall it quite good, smooth, mellow. Has good texture, not too pricey, local, I'd recommend it.

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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy dark golden yellow in color and has lots of fine yeast particles floating in suspension along with a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with some small patches of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell has aromas of fruity esters (bananas seem to stand out in particular) and Belgian yeast along with some hints of candi sugar.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some initial notes of malty sweetness along with hints of clove towards the finish.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The beer definitely coats your mouth quite well. No dryness is perceptible.
O: The beer definitely tastes strong but for the most part the alcohol is well masked from the taste. It's not very complex but is a pretty good American representation of a Belgian style.

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Photo of Raime
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.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice, color is gold to copper; head is white and frothy upfrongt but dissipates to a ring.

Smell is boozy, light pilsner malt, hint of hop citrus.

Taste is almost sweet, but balanced by the esters, pilsner malt exists but it finishes pretty dry.

Mouthfeel is a little dry but not cloying or sharp.

Overall, a tasty triple, a touch less boozy smell and taste could help it quite a bit

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Apricot haze body with a one-finger head

S: some pale fruit and malt; slight yeat aromas

T: not quite what I expect in a triple, but delicious nonetheless: orchard fruits and apricots, chewy caramel malt

M: extremely smooth and silky - I drank it at slightly below room temp, and it was slick, easy-drinking nectar

O: I really liked this beer, but it had as much in common with some strong ales I've had as it did a tripel - fruity orchard flavors, but also savory, earthy, and musky - had a chewy consistency, whereas I think of tripels being a little more soft and fuzzy. Again, this was a great beer. I suspect it may be better than the reviews its getting simply because it is a little "off" as a tripel.

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Photo of Imperial_Sapient_Groat
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light orange with very little white head that dissipates quickly with a thin lacing on the glass.

S - Belgian tripel of a lot of bready yeast over everything else, very distinct banana in the background

T- Big Belgian yeast flavor that covers up the alcohol pretty damn well, a little bit of sweetness, some fruit and clove in the background

M- Pretty full bodied for a tripel, medium to low carbonation, but enough to get by

O- Overall, im from Marhsall, Home of the Dark Horse, and this is one of my my favorite regular beers, it is no Westmalle, but is a fantastic american version of a tripel, and a Dark Horse staple that means spring has arrived and Scotty must leave

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter. The pour is dark orange and slightly hazy. Nice 2 fingers of head with decent retention and nice lacing, but relatively low carbonation and very little, if any, effervescence. Nose is faint but has some nice fruity esters (bananas and apricots) and a little bit if spiciness.

Full body and nice creamy feel. Lots of nice, sweet, fruity flavors reminiscent of pears and oranges. The sweetness is complemented by mild hoppy bitterness. I don't think the sweet and bitter flavors in this beer are as well married as they are in finer tripels, and the result is a bit medicinal. The finish is fairly dry with a warming bit of alcohol, but for the most part the alcohol is well-hidden. I don't get enough fruitiness or spiciness to suit my palate and the finish is a bit disappointing.

I am not a huge fan of tripels, but overall I think this is a nice example of the style and a fine part of Dark Horse's stable. For big fans of the style or fans of this brewery only. There are far better tripels out there if you're just starting to explore.

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Photo of n2185
2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy orange-gold with a finger of white head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Candy sugar on the nose with some Belgian spice notes and a dry, yeasty finish.

T: Spices and candy sugar hit up front followed by some slight fruitiness and a chalky yeast finish. Light alcohol presence as well.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer isn't cloyingly sweet, but is still a bit thick and under-carbonated for the style.

O: Not a terrible tripel, but not very good, either. It lacks complexity and attenuation and is a bit too boozy as well.

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Photo of beer2day
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy lemon gold pour, just enough yellow in it to be appropriate. Dense 1 finger cap of white foam. Decent retention and laces nicely.

Nose is just what you would expect. Cloves, lemon, yeast, bread malt. Pleasant and no surprises.

Flavor is a good combination of clove, banana, and lemon zest. Fairly substantial tart sourness in the finish - lip puckeringly sour.

Feel is about right for the style. Gets a bit cloying with the sour flavor, but not annoyingly so.

A decent sipper.

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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.

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Photo of Duff27
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Half inch pillowy white head on a dull dark golden colored body. Yeast sediment aplenty. above average head retention with good lacing.

S- Belgian yeast esters, cloves...nothing that screams "delicious!" though.

T- Kind of a confused, muddled taste. Tries to have that crisp Belgian yeast snap at the tail end of each sip but comes across 'off'...leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Drinks at it's stated ABV.

M- Heavier mouthfeel for the style. Low, smooth carbonation.

D/O- Nothing jumped out at me. I had thoughts of drainpouring but I finished it. Pass on this one, there are better Tripels out there.

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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.

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Photo of deedric
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Came from a tap, head was fine and lingered - nice lacing. Golden color, slightly cloudy. Smells of apricots, malt, some spice. Tastes of biscuit, banana. Not a bad mouthfee - crisp came to mind. Overall a nice beverage, not really what I have learned to expect from a triple - but quite drinkable.

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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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