Tripel Karmeliet | Brouwerij Bosteels

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
4,138 Ratings
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels
Belgium
bestbelgianspecialbeers.be

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
3 grains - barley, wheat, oat. Styrian hops.

Added by kbub6f on 04-27-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,138
Reviews:
1,334
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
10.14%
 
 
Wants:
319
Gots:
965
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,138 |  Reviews: 1,334
Reviews by flagmantho:
Photo of flagmantho
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: light golden yellow with only a touch of haze; lots of apparent effervescence and a huge white head of large bubbles. Appetizing.

Smell: light and airy but with a very delicious and sweet classic tripel aroma. A little pear, a little cherry, a little chalk; magnifique.

Taste: just spectacular. Light, sweet malt with a certain unctuousness which I just love. Flavor tracks with the aroma: pear, cherry, chalk; even a nice bitterness to round out the aroma. This is one extremely tasty tripel; definitely among my favorites.

Mouthfeel: medium body with plenty of carbonation to create a deliciously appealing creaminess.

Drinkability: this is just one fantastic beer. Tripels are usually good at hiding their nuclear ABV and Tripel Karmeliet is no exception; throw in the amazing flavor and this is an experience I can't wait to repeat.

 892 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

 2,666 characters

Photo of JakeScully
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

 240 characters

Photo of Nightwing
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

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.

 370 characters

Photo of drtth
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 1,526 characters

Photo of kelkauz
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Delish so good

14 characters

Photo of brewerang
5/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

 372 characters

Photo of rand
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 765 characters

Photo of breezyday
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 855 characters

Photo of CanadianBacon
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 1,277 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.45/5  rDev +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.

 1,933 characters

Photo of chicagobeerguy
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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

 275 characters

Photo of laketang
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 330 characters

Photo of kitch
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

 847 characters

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden with a huge blooming head that leaves big globs of lace down the glass,big spicey aroma peppery and yeasty a touch of smoke and orange.Yeasty up front on the palate with a spritzey lemon note with the spiciness more subdued compared to the aroma,pretty refreshing for a beer with such a high alcohol content.A well made Tripel worthy of high marks.

 369 characters

Photo of Popsinc
3.42/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: First of all, one of my favorite glasses around. Just an over-sized glass with great markings. Excellent to look at. A clear golden pour with a very generous head.

Smell: Hints of caramel and summery fruits...apricot etc but nothing overpowering or really in your face.

Taste: The taste is light and malty with a semi sweet fruitiness. Some hints of caramel, wheat and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: A little bit too smooth and dull. Lack of a lively body.

Drinkability: the beer itself is decent....alittle better than average maybe. But it is the glass that makes me want to try another.

 607 characters

Photo of davemarc87
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Yellow color with a quick head that builds fast but easily dissipates.

Smell – Yeasty aroma with a hint of fruit and citrus mixed with some light spices.

Taste – The spiciness really comes through in the taste, but this is no lightweight. The yeast comes up quickly, and it’s a unique flavor that’s sprinkled with more spice and a soft, fluffy feel. Venom’s, “powdered sugar and soft coriander,” analogy fits well here.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is right on. The smoothness is amazing.

Drinkability – This is a well put together brew, but it’s not your average Abbey Trippel. This has more fruity spices than normal so might disappoint the non-adventurous drinker.

Update – This was one of the first reviews that I posted on the site back in August of 2003. Now that it’s been a little over two years I thought I give this a go again.

First off, the head was much better and showed good retention. After tasting and reviewing a boatload of Tripels (OK, 42 to date) I really appreciated the rank odor and sharp flavors of this Bosteel offering. I jacked nearly all of the scores up my 0.5 point and hogged the entire champagne bottle to myself.

 1,189 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite tripel to be sure.

Appearance: Wonderfully clear straw gold with rising streamers of effervescent carbonation. Huge white dollup of whip cream on top. Retention is perfect. Lacing is gorgeous. Carbonation is champagne like.

Nose is complicated with farmyard grains, lemons, poppy seeds, cardamom, peach syrup, apricots, canned mandarin oranges, vanilla, medicinal alcohols, etc…

Tastes takes all the qualities of the nose, adds mango, soda, more spices, pepper, and a mild astringent finale. All are perfectly balanced with one another.

Mouthfeel is smooth yet lively and very full.

Drinkability is out of this world. 8%...no way.

I love it, love it, love it.

 691 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of DanGeo
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of MaxT
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of brownbeer
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,138 ratings.
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