Mandolin | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
43 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CrellMoset on 04-06-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 131
Photo of stortore
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Best by 6/16, which I missed by a few weeks.

Pours a medium orange, a little hazy, with a one inch quickly dissipating head, some soapy lacing. Smell is Belgian yeast, light malt, spices- cloves, grapes. The taste is yeast, more malt than the nose, honey, cloves, Candi sugar. some grapes, light caramel. Smooth, solid body, well carbonated, great aftertaste.

The yeast and the malt are well balanced, the spices compliment well. Liked this one the more I drank it. Well worth a purchase.

 532 characters

Photo of skepticnibble
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml to tulip; best by date is 8mos away. L: Golden copper with dense foamy head that survives much of the glass. S: Bready with tart fruit notes. T: Carmel and toffee with apple and cherry undertones, complimented by light bitterness at follow. F: Smooth, almost chalky, with light carbonation and almost no alcohol bite. Overall, another solid beer from BMB. I'm not as familiar with this style but feel like it was represented well enough. I generally don't get excited w/ Belgian's but this is one I'd gladly have again.

 546 characters

Photo of Twal
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Acetaldehyde (green apples) everywhere !
Heavy caramel and toffee w/ green apple flavors dominate this beer.
A bit heated,flat and heavy.
Not a great beer for the style.
Unfortunately the sink drank more than I did,

 217 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours murky, amber, with 1/4 inch head. Taste is complex: stone fruit, Belgian spice, light oaking--possibly cedar, slight caramel, and light lemon. The oaking adds a level of complexity that exceeds my expectations for the style. Different, but a good tripel that I would get again.

 286 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 cork and cage into a tulip, the beer is a slightly hazed, vibrant, copper coloring, with a steady flow of carbonation throughout the body and a fluffy, bubbly, clingy, bright white head. Aromas of berry, grape, date, plum, apple, caramel, toffee, cloves, nutmeg, and a bready backbone. Flavors are rich and sweet forward, heavy on the stone fruits. This hits pretty sweet, with notes of apple, plum, date, fig, booze highlights, berry, and subtle caramel and vanilla. The spices die off a bit compared to the nose, but there is a solid bitter, piney, and floral hops character that steps in to take its place. The body is full and smooth, leading into a richly sweet and hoppy aftertaste. The dry and bitter floral hops notes linger through the smooth, soft, slow finish. Pretty unique take on this particular style.

 834 characters

Photo of tkdchampxi
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%

A more than excellent Belgian pale beer that highlights it's Belgian heritage without being overbearing.

Pours well, but not spectacularly, from the bottle with a soft foamy head.

Belgian yeast notes play a supporting role in the mouth, with a unique fruitiness (cherries and dark fruit) acting front and center. It's on the sweet side but it works.

For a Belgian tripel, this is amazingly well-balanced, with the Belgian yeast character of clove.and banana displaying a more refined character than some more overbearing representatives of the style. No bad alcohol notes or bitterness. This is great.

 611 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Clear amber with a nice white head. Clings to the glass with a swirl.

Smell - Bready and sweet smelling. Caramel. Belgian yeasty aromas. Fruity esters. A touch of acidity.

Taste - Very sweet and yeasty. Fruity and floral. Bready. Strange, really. Some are tough to describe. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Sweet with medium carbonation. Lingering bitterness.

Overall - It's got some strange flavors, not all of which are bad. They're not exactly good, either.

 531 characters

Photo of chrisjduncan
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged for six months in my refrigerator before I finally decided to break it out to celebrate my (non-beer drinking) wifes birthday. Nice orange colour and good head with a sweet aroma that took me aback a bit. Very smooth and for a 9.5 abv felt light. A little on the sweet side but I paired with dark bitter chocolates which seemed to bring out the cherry notes. Once it warmed up enough it actually was a fairly complex beer that I greatly enjoyed.

 450 characters

Photo of RandomExile
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pure translucent amber; scant surface film; little lacing (notably, this differs from many other reviewers, so I'm thinking it might be unique to this establishment)
S: yeasty, orange and floral, spiced, slightly earthy
T: Belgian, to me -- mainly that orange/coriander note, combined with the mouthfeel. Ever so slightly apple aftertaste, barely savory but clean. A sour/bitter tinge with some of the high abv peeking through.
M:Medium-bodied, coating, dry.
O: Strong Belgian-style Tripel. Maybe not showy on presentation (although other reviews differ: might be the venue and glassware), but As a note, Blue Mountain was present this evening and I got to spend some time talking to Ryan. The Belgian style is no accident, as they have a great deal of respect for the abbey brews, and brewed Mandolin using only barley, hops, and Belgian yeast, which is what conveys the sense of cloves and coriander, and their water is snow run-off from the Blue Ridge Mountains near Afton, Virginia, which gives their beers the crisp, clean, slightly mineral strength.

20oz / Pint Glass / VGP, MD

 1,088 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle.

Appearance - Golden amber brown/tan with a nice 2 inch creamy, foamy head and tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Sweet yeasts, grapes, lemon, pineapples, oranges, loads of spices, a funky sour note. A little malt backbone at the finish.

Taste - Very sour bite of apples, pears and grapes mix with a yeasty and malty backbone. Sugars add a little sweetness to tone down the sour fruits. Malts have a caramel flavor but are a little mute. Spices add a peppery feel and flavor. Finish has a lemon and apple tart bite.

Mouthfeel - Sour notes coat the tongue along with some sweet yeasts. Palate gets more fruits, malts and spices. The aftertaste is bitter, sour fruity and a little dry.

Overall - Interesting, the fruits are feature are sour and bitter, which makes this beer a little bit to get used to. Not a very balanced beer, the sour fruit flavor overpowers everything, masked the sugars and malts btu you can still get some of the flavor. Its still a nice beer, just a little different. Would like to see some more sweeter fruits come out but its still solid.

 1,108 characters

Photo of Oakenator
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an amber brown color with a full, creamy head. Head has good retention and leaves chunky lacing behind.

S: Yeast, malts, hops - not much else to say but very nice.

T: Clove, funky, mild for a triple - more like a strong dubbel but really good flavor and balance. Slight sour taste throughout.

M: Heavy, but not too much so. Creamy on the tongue.

O: Alcohol disguised well and a very nice beer.

 406 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big peach, pear, apple, apricot, orange, floral, grass, pepper, clove, honey, candi sugar, and earthy yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with a moderate malt balance; and good strength. Taste of peach, pear, apple, apricot, orange, floral, grass, pepper, clove, candi sugar, light caramel, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish. Lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, floral, grass, pepper, clove, candi sugar, light caramel, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with a moderate malt balance; with a nice sweetness/spiciness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Tripel style. All around nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with candi sugar malts; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

 1,374 characters

Photo of uturn
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

How served: 750ml corked and caged poured into my Piraat snifter.

Notes: Best by March 2013 stamped on the cork

A: There was a muted hiss as the cork was pulled out of the bottle. The poured a mostly clear golden-amber with a 1 ½ off white head which left almost no lacing on my glass.

N: The nose had hints of yeast, pepper, apples, sweet malts and earthy tones.

T: The taste started off a bit earthy, spicy and peppery. Midway thought I picked up some light apple and citrus notes as well as some sweetness. The finish was clean and dry with no evidence of the 9% abv.

M: The body was medium and slightly tacky as the carbonation level was lower than anticipate.

O: Overall the drinkability was good and paired well with my dinner.

 746 characters

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is clear amber-orange in color. It poured with a thin white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge; the head eventually completely faded away.
S: Light aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with notes of fruits.
T: The taste is rather similar to the smell and has a strong base of malts and candi sugars along with notes of fruits.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the fruity flavors in this beer as it made the smell and taste a little more interesting. It also hides its alcohol rather well.

 709 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been holding this for a while after picking it up in NYC. Interesting tone to it. Seems to have a touch of Flemish character going on. Not sure if this is intentional as I have found others from this brewery (and the same format) exhibiting similar character. It works well here though. (In the others, less so.) Overall, a nice and easy drinker. I could go for this again; if it were cheaper.

 393 characters

Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

chalice at the brewpub

a: served in a chalice at the brewpub, mandolin is a honey golden in color, with a bone white head showing light retention

s: pale and caramel malts create a malty sweet aroma, joined by yeast and associated spice, sweet pear and fruity esters, a nice dose of citric hops, candi sugar

m: carbonation rides the line between light and moderate, with a body around medium

t: pale malts and a good deal of caramel sweetness form the foundation, with a big yeasty flavor, some spicy output, sugary pear, candi sugar, grassy hops

o: a nice enough tripel - a touch rough around the edges but carrying some enjoyable aromas and flavors, maybe a little sweet for me, drinks well

 697 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

"A deep golden beer- born of a single malt. Balance derived from whole-flower hops. Created from water drawn deep beneath the feet of the world's oldest mountains. Flavor driven by a faithful dedication to excess. All brought to life by yeast from a holy place. Great beer is a riddle that does not need to be solved!" Brewed in the style of a Tripel. Spring 2012 release. Best by March 2013.

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a snifter. Served north of 49º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy creamy head of a copper cream tone that retains quite well over a deep copper body with a medium haze and moderate carbonation. A little darker than the average Tripel, the head quality is nice enough to warrant a pleasing score for this beer. Lacing is medium-thick and sticky, head thickens to a settled creamy froth. Pleasing appearance overall. 4.25

(Smell) Aromas are indicative of a tripel, citrusy and cidery fruit notes, a mild grassy hop character, a light bready yeast character with a moderate acidity. Balance is quite nice and the aroma is very bright and forward- there's plenty of apricot and pear to be found in the aroma and a pinch of complimentary spice, traces of coriander and pepper being the most prominent. 3.75

(Taste) Simple mild malt presence with a tart fruity character but more pepper and spice than fruit character. The beer finishes sweet and musty with a notable orange rind character for a distinct tart vegetal flavor. Much of the impression from the aroma doesn't carry over but it makes original in its own regard in the flavor. It may not be the most accessible take on a tripel that I've had, but it's quite a unique take on the style. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation is very low with a mild thickness to the body and a dry, fuzzy finish. Body is medium+ for the style and medium+ overall. Alcohol presence is medium+, a little drawn out by the peppery spice character blend. I found the carbonation a little too lacking in the mouthfeel. 3.25

(Overall) Mandolin is a unique take on a popular Belgian style. Expect a slightly mustier character with peppery spiced notes amongst more familiar Belgian bread notes. Booze is expected, but a mustier flavor may either make or break how this beer is received. I found it a unique take on the style, but stacked against the remaining beers in the lineup, I don't see going out of my way to return to this beer. 3.75

Blue Mountain Barrel House's
Mandolin: An Artisanal Ale

 2,464 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pretty dark color similar to cherry wood, looks very dark for a tripel.

Nose is dominated by yeast, maybe a touch of funk, a bit of sweetness, don't get much else.

Taste is very different, big apple flavor, pretty malty. Not much like a traditional tripel, but this is pretty tasty.


 300 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"2" on the cork - this beer has been in my cellar for at least three years

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a inch of foam that pancakes, raising large bubbles and leaving a film of lace

Smell: Caramel forward, with stone fruit, banana and honey elements

Taste: Caramel forward, with an herbal character that has fruity elements; in the middle, the honeyed sweetness builds though, after the swallow, there is a woodsy element to the beer with just a hint of mandarin orange in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Age has done this beer well, toning down the rough edges and blending the flavors; overly sweet for my palate, but I often find that to be the case with tripels

 730 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light copper color with a small, fast-fading bubbly head from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into my Chimay goblet. No lacing to speak of.

Mild smell of light fruit (apples and pears), a little hoppines but primarily Belgian yeast "funk"

The primary flavor is the yeasty funk with some pepper and possibly coriander as spices. There is a little sweet fruit here as well. This is a pretty tasty beer....don't really remind me of a Tripel. Some reviewers were calling it a Saison, which seems to be closer, especially because of the funky, earthy taste and aroma.

Mouthfeel is rich. The hoppiness and pepper andd a nice touch to the tongue. There is a little alcohol bite as well but it is well mannered. This is a fine light sipping beer.

I like this beer. Well crafted, if not a standard Tripel. More like an "American Saison" to me. Definitely worth a try.

 878 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent orange to pale amber with a 2 finger tannish head that recedes quickly.

Sweet and fruity with subswtantial spiciness. Very nice.

Not as well rounded as the aroma, but pleasant. Light sweet malt with a bit of spice and some laid back alcohol and moderate bitterness.

Moderately light bodied. Not really sticky, but it clings nicely to the tongue. Some light carbonation is noticable, and there's a definite
warmth from the alcohol.

My experience is nowhere near comprehensive, but this is the best Virginia beer I've tried yet. It's attractive, smooth, and easy drinking.

 594 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewery. Review is from notes.

A: thin head on a clear bright but deep gold body. nice lacing

S: aroma is light with non-descript with fruits, yeast and pale malts.

T: malt forward tripel with candied orange, banana and spicey with sharp finish. grainy mustiness as well.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not quite "Belgian" enough for me for a good tripel.

 396 characters

Photo of argock
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml brown slender bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by March 2013 on the cork. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.29.

A: A somewhat hazy dark amber with 1/2 finger of off-white head with decent retention and spotty lace.

S: A lot of light fruit like pear and apple with a semi-strong phenolic yeast presence with some wildness and funk to it, but nothing strong. There are also some caramel malty aromas but they are trumped by grapefruit and orange citrus.

T: A delicious beer that grows on you with a lot of sweet light fruity flavors up front but quickly replaced with earthy yeastiness and finished with floral and citrus hoppiness.

M: The feel is very smooth with medium body and creaminess imparted by the even carbonation. The finish is reasonably dry.

O: Not my favorite tripel but an interesting version with some earthy yeast character and sweetish light fruitiness finished with citrus hops. A great American tripel.

 972 characters

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

On tap at Fireworks Pizza, Leesburg, VA.
Pours a golden straw with a thick head. Smells of fruity sweet belgian yeasts. Taste is dominating fruity, almost apple or pear and banana, belgian yeasts and malts.
Really smooth, full of flavor but somewhat overly sweet for my palate. Overall, nice brew.

 299 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32 ounce swingtop growler into BrewDog glass. Filled 7 July 2011 at Whole Foods. Listed as a Saison/Bière de Garde. From notes. Reviewed 8 July 2011.

A: Nice white head. The beer is pale yellow and hazy, but translucent. Pretty!

S: Belgian yeast. Clearly a saison. A bit sweet, with some coriander.

T/M: Very smooth-sweet; round and frun. It's a good beer that is typical of a softer saison. The yeast is clean, not funky. Easily enjoyable. Not great, but very drinkable.

O: Appealing, if not excellent. Would drink again. Recommended.

 554 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Mandolin from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.81 out of 5 based on 131 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.