Tripel Karmeliet
Brouwerij Bosteels

Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet
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Ranked #5
Ranked #821
4.3 | pDev: 10%
Brouwerij Bosteels
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet
Notes: Tripel Karmeliet is a labour of love. Of patience. Of passion. For over 7 generations we have worked tirelessly, continuously perfecting our craft to create this singular award winning beer.

Brewed using a 3-grain recipe rediscovered from the 1679 Carmelite monastery, Tripel Karmeliet blends nature’s gifts of barley, oats and wheat to produce a multi-layered tripel, refined yet balanced, with soft fruity notes and a surprisingly delicate taste.

This timeless beer is the embodiment of our relentless pursuit of beauty.

3 grains - barley, wheat, oat. Styrian hops.
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Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml (1 Pt 9.4 fl.oz) green flask like Belgium bottle with a dimpled base. It has a rustic scene painted in pastel yellow, white and brown, on the obverse with a descriptive screen printed text on the reverse. Dark green colored wire cage & cap do their job well, for once twisted; the thumbed cork removed itself with the cage!! Listed as 8.0% ABV on the reverse.

Appearance: Fantasmically gorgeous Tripel presentation that could be a definitive datum for the style. Completely lucid, with only streamers punctuating the sheer silky golden body that hangs underneath a humungous sized white head when slowly poured. Immense over-the-top carbonation but somehow it has excellent conditioning. The sheer size of the head is immense, and explains the impressive size of the Tripel Karmeliet glass, which I would so dearly love to have tonight to contain this effervescent brew and its goliath kopf. Fantastic sheets of creamy sticky lacing adhere to the inside of my Goblet whilst the head remains a smooth creamy covering that lasts for eternity. Simply no argument here, this is a “Perfect-5” Hands Down.

Nose: Tripel-tastic aromas punctuate the nasal passageways. Lots of farmyard wheat rolling around in a very fruity nose that has a fleshy contribution from orange colored fruits; like peaches, apricots and Satsuma’s, whilst it retains a sharpness that comes from a freshly squeezed lemon juice & recently peeled lemon zest. All this is punctuated with spicy hops and a vivacious Schweppes bitter lemon soda.

Taste: As impressive as the nose is, the tastes are even better. A high speed chase through the qualities of the aromas results in a profile that is simple yet incredibly complex. Spicy hops and a lemon-bitter finish really add quality to this one. Very easy to appreciate yet incredibly difficult to dissect and understand. This is by far way in excess of the sum of its components. Astringent ending.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, yet with a revitalizing punctuating vitality from the oats, smooth but rough. Fine carbonation mixes with the oats and yeast to present a very impressive mouthfeel indeed that always remains talcum soft. How do they do that??

Drinkability: Holy Shite!! This is most certainly a Session Tripel, but at 8.00% you better have a place to stay for the night. A powerful, yet easily imbibed, monster. Bloody drinkable.

Overall: Wow, I cannot believe that I passed this one over in the beer store for the last few times I have seen it because I wanted something “new” instead. My Bad!

Awesome Appearance…
Narcotic Nose…
Tantalizing Tastes…
Moreish Mouthfeel…
Deceptively Drinkability…

**Highly Recommended**

By far one of the best Belgium Tripels that I have had to date, I’m so pissed that I do not have the proper Glass for this one, I will surely go to Hell. At $7.99 for 750ml, this is a true Bargain, all the above and you get to keep the cool bottle!

Absolutely Superb, a definitive Belgium Tripel.

Jul 31, 2004
More User Reviews:
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tripel Karmeliet looks magnificent in the glass. The explosive, toweringly majestic crown of richly creamy, cream colored foam sitting atop the sparkling amber liquid is a sight to behold. It's been a while since I've laid eyes on a better looking beer. Elegant, arching fingers of lace point to the glass contents as if to say 'now here's a fine looking ale'.

The nose is intensely spicy and abounds with cardamon, white pepper and clove. Drunken golden fruits (apples, pears, peaches) are present as well, but take a backseat to the spices. This is another one of those Belgian tripels, or BSPAs, or BSDAs, that has a spicy alcohol presence in the nose that is so well-integrated as to be an essential, welcome part of the whole.

Wow! Just Wow! Tripel Karmeliet may not have the no-holds-barred, hold-onto-your-hat gusto of a De Dolle Dulle Teve, but it is one amazingly delicious beer. Think of it as the Mad Bitch's more attractive, nicer sister. Sweet, tangy, bitter, fruity, spicy, warming, soothing... where do I begin?

The most impressive thing about this Brouwerij Bosteels offering is... well, two things. One is the vividness of the various flavors. I taste brandy-macerated, spice-sprinkled orchard fruits with such intensity, it's as if I'm eating them rather than drinking beer. Two is the pitch perfect melding of the various flavor notes in the mouth. While they're easily appreciated on an individual basis, I prefer to let the beer wash over my tongue and to allow the whole damn shootin' match to work its magic.

I'm looking for flaws, but I'm convinced they don't exist. Any change would be for the worse. More or less of anything would be too much or not enough with regard to the tripel perfection that sits before me... not for very much longer, I might add. The finish is an extension of what came before in terms of flavor, with the potentially drying aspect of the alcohol offset by a mellow sweetness.

The mouthfeel is easily the equal of any Belgian tripel that I've ever had. It's actually on the full side of medium, but is rendered light and silky by a perfect amount of soft carbonation. It's yet more evidence that the brewery has paid attention to every aspect of this beer and has fine-tuned it until it hums with the precision of a Swiss watch.

While my experience with Belgian tripels is still somewhat limited, I've found a 'tripel triple' that I really like: De Dolle Dulle Teve (Mad Bitch), Westmalle Tripel, and now Tripel Karmeliet. Each has its charms, but at the moment, this beer is my clear favorite. From where I sit, Tripel Karmeliet is the quintessential Belgian tripel and is the unqualified best.

Nov 05, 2005
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Shanex from France

4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Probably the most beautiful Belgian Tripel out there. The beautiful color and smell, a massive white head and subtle, complex and balanced flavors... honey and vanilla that you will probably recognize. The champagne of Tripel ! A must have.

Mar 01, 2016
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brewerang from Florida

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfection in a glass. The appearance is a beautiful, light golden color with a massive, fluffy head and champagne-like bubbles everywhere. Spicy, lemony aroma with classic, funky flavors imparted by the Belgian yeast. Super high carbonation, per the style, and an incredibly crisp, dry finish. If I had to pick one beer to drink for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Sep 18, 2016
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laketang from Arizona

4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into duvel tulip, color of lemon pie filling with super large head from a conservative pour

swcents of lemongrass and banana bread.

I get clove(just right amount) tangy pineapple,banana sweetness.drinking at 55 deg's

not much alcohol presentfruity aftertaste that lingers.

I really liked this beer and will go for more.

Dec 20, 2015
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kitch from Hong Kong

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 12th March 2017. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: A wonderful clear golden colour with a two finger foamy white head that had pretty good retention, nice curtain lacing that eventually settles to a thin foamy cap.

Aroma: Wheaty, banana, clove and peach with light citrus and vanilla.

Taste: Zesty lemon sweetness, sour peach gummy candy, yeast, lightly bready and spicy with a hint of honey, banana and clove.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation with some obvious booziness every now and then.

Overall: Wow, this has to easily be one of my favourite Tripels and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to try it. It would be almost perfect if the booziness was toned down a bit. Having said that, it’s still a great beer and easily a must buy beer for me.

Dec 22, 2016
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BrendanHurley from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Poured from a brown bottle with a bottling date of 6/13/2017. Poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass glowing with a golden transparent haze holding a light fluffy head. As a perfect as it could look for a Belgian tripel.
Smell: Sweet fruits and spices. Scents of banana cloves, bread, and peppers. Everything from the scent gets you excited about taking the first sip.
Taste: Nothing and I mean nothing about this beer's flavor disappoints. A moderate to high carbonation adds nice balance to both the sweet and spicy flavors. Presence of the Belgian candies make this beer a joy to drink.
Feel: Although clear in appearance, this beer maintains a deep and moderate body that gives it both smooth and sticky feel while drinking.
Overall: If you couldn't tell already, this is bar none my favorite beer and Tripel to ever taste. Literally everything about this beer is a treat. Enjoy every sip!

Feb 11, 2018
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

You can always count on a Tripel to provide an abundance of rocky white head. Tripel Karmeliet delivers immediately and throws in a team of untiring acrobatic bubbles to boot. This fairly pale yet golden beer beams with brightness even despite its slight haziness. Between the sturdy crown and powerful resplendence there's few things that look more appropriate in a chalice.

The bouquet packs such a rush of bright citrus flavour you'd swear it was brewed with orange or lemon zest. Alas, such is just the wonder of Belgian yeast. Still, this aroma is good as sunlight itself and, combined with the scents of grass and feed stable grains, it practically screams of summer months in the countryside. There's a lot of tropical banana flavour in there too!

Not every producer that puts so much detail into their label art pays the same attention to the actual contents of the bottle - Tripel Karmeliet, however, absolutely does. This flavour is layered with cereal-, citrus-, and spice-driven flavours. It has a richness and elegance that can confidently be claimed among the style's best and is really rivaled only by a select few other Belgian producers (i.e., Westmalle).

Not only are there lemon drops as far as the eye can see, but orchard fruits like pear and apple also factor in by the bushel full. White pepper and lemongrass ensure a mix of both spicy and savory components, both of which work well with the dry and earthy tastes of farm-fresh hay, oats, and wholesome, bready malted barley. There's definitely no shortage of graininess!

For as long as I've been reviewing beer (over a decade now) I've always considered Karmeliet my absolute favourite Tripel. While the recipe seems to have changed a little in recent times (much lighter, more citrus-forward) it's still undoubtedly among the best regularly available tripel and probably THE one I'd point to for those aiming to learn about or emulate this great style.

May 13, 2015
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chicagobeerguy from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Cloudy blonde, honey

S: Lemony, piney, tart, sour, funky, yeasty, hay, grass, hints of banana/bubblegum

T: Bubblegum, wet grass, lemon rind, wild yeast

F: Soft, chalky, starts off crisp with a bite of carbonation but ends smooth and fresh

O: Solid, funky, and awesome

Dec 07, 2015
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CanadianBacon from Canada (QC)

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - This beer pours a beautiful hazy golden color with a huge white foamy head reminiscent of duvel. The carbonation seems lively as even after the head fades your lrft staying at 3mm if foamy lace over the top of this Gorgeous looking beer.

Aroma - The smell is fairly complex here, As I took a deeper smell the first thing that came to my nose was honey and vanilla, followed by corriander light pepper, earthyness and fresh cut white bread.

Taste -The spice from the pepper is definitely at the forfront of this brew, followed by some vanilla corriander, light fruits like apple and pear, and a medicinal quality. The back end has an alcohol bitterness, all of this comes together very nicely.

Feel - This is a medium bodied brew with prickly carbonation on the tongue, as it goes down your throat you get a slight alcohol warming feeling,

Overall - While this beer is unlike other tripels I have tried, It definitely embodies enough of the style for you to know right away this is a tripel, Usually I judge these types of beers on how well they hide the alcohol they contain and you can definitely taste it in this but it warms you. It feels good and the flavors mesh so well I dont see the need to. If you see this one pick it up, you wont be disappointed.

Nov 26, 2015
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rand from California

4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked bottle to glass chalice

Bellwether example of the style, the Tripel Karmaliet has a light, yellow-orange color, while a gentle pour renders a huge fluffy head that quickly recedes. Sweetbread malts and Belgian yeasts anchor the nose, with notes of banana-cherry esters, lemon zest, oak.

Malt-forward on the palate, as sweet, bready aspects showcase yeasty esters. Distinct bananas. Notes of white pepper and cherry phenols add depth, along with a touch of citrus zest. Tones of oak and bittering hops dry the sip toward the close, with a touch of booze adding warmth (although as with any good Tripel, alcohol is masked for the ABV). Medium-light body with a oily-slick complexion, the beer finishes short with little lingering residuals.

Sep 13, 2016
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kelkauz from Iowa

5/5  rDev +16.3%

Delish so good

Dec 10, 2014
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Using a gentle pour, the beer pours out into a Duvel glass a lightly hazed golden yellow with a 2" dense, fluffy white head that begins to slowly recede, leaving behind large legs and arches of lacing. The beer shows lots of active, finely bubbled carbonation and the head eventually becomes a layer of foam on the surface of the beer. Sipping leaves scattered small patches of lacing after cleaning the side of the glass.

The aromas include some bready malt, some citrus and some light traces of green orchard fruit (pears and/or green apples).

The flavors are floral and lightly spicy with some clove and some pepper mingled in with green orchard fruit. There's both some floral sweetness and some light but noticeable bitterness in the background.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and almost creamy smooth with the very light, persistent carbonation. The medium length finish begins as the floral, the spice and the fruit begin to fade, to followed by the sweetness which is replaced by some light bitterness. At the end, as the bitterness fades away, the very faint green orchard fruits and a touch of pepper re-emerge to slowly disappear yet again.

Definitely a drinkable Tripel with lots of interesting complexity in both the flavors and how they change over time. Next time I see this one I'll probably buy a few more to have on hand for when the mood strikes. I'd also like to try both this and my current favorite Tripel, the Westmalle, side-by-side to see which I wind up liking better.

Feb 20, 2017
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breezyday from Texas

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a 750 ml ... 75 CL label bottle ... to me an American bomber, the beer poured with a nice foamy white head and recedes to a thin line of lace. The bouquet smell is slightly sweet with a fragrance of clover, orange and pear. There is a slight alcoholic sniff in the fragrance, but you sense a balance and wonder about the use of the grains (oats, barley and wheat described in the label) and desire to taste and savor what comes. The color is straw yellow with a slight murkiness. The taste is similar to Duvel, but it is lighter and slightly sweeter with less 'hoppy' bite when enjoying Duvel. After enjoying this bottle, I will have to revisit Duvel. It will be a pleasure to check the difference between the two.
Truly, an excellent Belgium Tripel and all Americans need to explore the great qualities of the Belgian and German yeasty beers.

Aug 14, 2015
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Nightwing from Canada (NS)

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

From bottle. Aromas of vanilla and citrus. Pours a hazy pale with white head. The first taste was was quite sweet, but after a few sips it seemed more of a medium sweet. Medium body, somewhat creamy texture, quite lively carbonation, a dry finish. Overall a nice beer, but could the carbonation could be toned down somewhat.

I'll have to revisit this one in the future.

Aug 31, 2014
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whynot44 from Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Medium bodied, hazy gold color with soft orange tint and a substantial and longlasting off-white head that eventually susides leaving very nice lacing.

The aroma is subtle and complex, spicy, fruity, citrusy, wheat, yeasty and floral.

The taste is parallell with a peppery, spicy fruitiness, definite but pleasant alcohol presence, smooth, slightly buttery and very easy to drink.

Outstanding! If you have not experienced Belgian ales before, this is an excellent way to start.

Apr 18, 2005
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SFLpunk from Vermont

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz brown glass pry-top bottle.

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow straw with some creamy white head that fades rather quickly.

Nose is a veritable fruit-basket of aromas. Orange and lime essence plus some coriander and earthen-ware spiciness. Something there reminds me of terracotta clay.

Palate is crisp and clean with some spiciness and a lot of earthy grain notes. Super dry and clean on the yeast. Some juicy orange too.

Notes: An unbelievably tasty beer. Seriously epic and decently priced.

Jan 07, 2011
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MiguelMandingo from Texas

4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic tripel. It tastes different from any other tripel while still being a good representation of the style. It is the best deviation from the standard laid out by St. Bernardus and Westmalle, IMHO.

Poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass.

Appearance - A translucent honey blonde color with a two finger head that left lots of lacing on the side of the glass. Bubbles never stop rising from the bottom of the glass.

Smell - Fantastic smell. Malty, grainy, fruity, citrusy, yeasty, and hoppy.

Taste - This is where this beer excells. It tastes way different from any other tripel I have sampled. Sweet, but not overly so...The three grains that the beer is brewed with have a major positive impact on the flavor. This is a seriously complex brew.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, effervescent, and warming from the alcohol.

Drinkability - Great. Give me a couple more. I could drink tripels all day long.

If I could drink this all day, I would be a lucky guy. This is a mainstay of my beer rotation. Perfect for drinking outside on a spring day. If you love tripels and haven't tried it yet, stop whatever you are doing right now to go find some.

May 16, 2007
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KeefD from Minnesota

4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a difference a serving type makes! Had this one out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle.

The first time I tried this beer, it was on tap. I gave it lower scores because the carbonation was lacking for a Tripel and took away from the overall mouthfeel and flavor. This was not the case out of the bottle.

Poured into a snifter, a lovely golden yellow with a huge rocky head that left mass amount of lacing down the glass.

Smell was sweet, and spicy with a hint of alcohol in the back of the nose.

Taste is out of this world! Sweet, bready malts, nice hop character, spiciness, and slight alcohol warming on the finish.

The high carbonation of bottle fermentation made this one zing and really brought out the flavors. Good mouthfeel, delicate, but became slightly syrupy and overly sweet towards the end as it warmed to room temperature.

This thing packs a punch with it's 8% ABV, but wow, what a flavor! I could sip on this all night long. Fantastic brew and everything that a good Belgian should be.

A+ indeed.

May 18, 2008
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 8/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a light orange amber. Nice large white head that lasts a long time with nice lacing. Aroma subdued wheat. Flavor is wheat developing into sweet malt and light fruit. Sweet malt and spicy middle and finish with a touch of hops. Very well integrated. An excellent tripel and worth a revisit.

Aug 02, 2012
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Auror from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Jan 09, 2013
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entheos from California

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Belgian beer with a cork. It tastes like a champagne more than a beer, but it’s smoother than others I have tasted. It’s expensive, but a much better alternative to champagne on New Year’s Eve!

Nov 17, 2019
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crob3888 from California

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Sep 20, 2013
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DrBier from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -7%

Jul 24, 2014
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McBraniel from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

May 26, 2013
Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 4414 ratings