Tripel Karmeliet | Brouwerij Bosteels

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
4,101 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:
4,101
Reviews:
1,323
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
10.14%
 
 
Wants:
312
Gots:
945
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,101 |  Reviews: 1,323
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 russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle (love the art work on it) opens with a thunderous pop. Pours deep golden/ bronze, effervescent with 4 fingers+ white meringe (sp?) head. Started getting floaties towards the bottom of the bottle. Good lacing & head retention

S: Big lemony hops & straw perfume

T: Honey malt, citric hops (grapefruit & lemon) & a peppery yeast bite up front. Fruttyness follows (appleskins& apricots). Breadyness & jam flavors follow. Finishses fruitty, with lemony & juicy& peppery flavors

MF: Slick (maybe this what the oats bring to the party?) with low carbonation

This was just so-so in drinkability, trippels aren't my favorite style & this one was just l little to ponderous for my tastes. Tripel fans will like this a lot more than I did

 753 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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

Another beer I had been looking to try for quite a while.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a massive 2-3 finger white head with decent retention. Not much lacing though.

S: The aroma consists of some Belgian yeast, light fruits - mostly banana and some lemon, a little bit of bubble gum, and faint floral hops.

T: Lightly spiced with some cloves, nice combination of fruit with banana, apple, and a hint of lemon. The Belgian yeast shows itself yet again along with some light hops.

M: Medium bodied, but seems a bit heavy for a tripel, but I like it. Sometimes I think that tripels are bit a too light. Nice carbonation with a nice overall crispness.

O: Very tasty with a great mouthfeel, extremely easy drinking and overall a very nice example of style.

 766 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Explosive head--with a gentle pour, the head still takes up more than half of the glass. The beer is straw gold in color and quite clear.

Large alcohol and grasslike malt aromas

The smell comes through in the flavor...very much as expected. The alcohol is very warming after the swallow. Very light hop.

Classic barley wine flavors

 340 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

believe it or not i had not had this one before this night. i decided to go out with a bang and ordered up a glass of this one to round out the night. served chilled and poured into a glass on 11/07/2010.

really not the pour i was expecting, for some reason i thought it would be much darker, but the light golden hue of it had a nice cloudiness to it that seemed to come through nicely with a bit of lacing around the sides.

aroma is light bready notes and hints of banana, cloves, pears, light tart apples and a touch of spice on the edges. clean, very clean flavor that it is very hard to find really any fault here in that. super clean with light body and a nice medium palate with hints of grain and light fruits that seem to dance all over the place. light bears and nice touches of fruit and light spice. smooth, clean finish and absent abv lead to just a great mix of flavor and drinkablility.

overall it deserved all that it deserves, really a great and light an highly drinkable beer.

 997 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Slatetank
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed this on draft at Sharp Edge Creekhouse in Pittsburgh. Served cool in the Karmeliet tulip.

A - A crystal clear straw w/ white cap that measures an inch and condenses to about 1/8 inch leaving little lace.

S - A honey and sweet lemony spice w/ coriander accented by a tropical fruit note and light oaky scent

M - Sweet, spiced dry w/ a creamy element and moderate carbonation w/ med to full body. An excellent representation of the style -leaves an impression and the feel still goes on after the taste

T - A green melon flavor w/ slight herbal hops in the initial flavors. The spice in the yeast and grain give this a nutty taste w/ a gentle yeasty breadiness w/ tea like refreshing qualities. The crisp herbal flavor is accent w/ nutty dry and subtle malty, grainy flavor w/ a cereal like sweetness and gentle boozy finish.
The hops add to the flavor w/ subtle spice and a sort of mown hay aspect that is very tasty w/ toasty smoothness.

D - An absolute classic yet more of a Saison w/ its spice and earthiness. A very excellent tastte and definitely must be tried on draft. I consider this a unique and fine Tripel that is very accessible and well crafted. World Class, must be experienced.

 1,206 characters

Photo of Jason
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown slender bottle with a freshness date on the back label.

Appearance: Slightly hazed pale amber with a thinnish white lace.

Smell: Touch of honey like sweetness, soft vanilla and medicinal phenols that are a little herbal. Malt is evident and yeast gives an earthy character to the aroma.

Taste: Prickly carbonation with a warming and spicy alcohol wakes the palate up, medium to full in body donning a syrupy sweet mouth feel. Estery and fruity of mangos and star fruit, mild peppery taste in the middle. Hops are insignificant and are only in play to balance this big brew. Phenols are present and do leave a medicinal herbal flavour but not overdone at all. Some husk from the drying grain is in the finish and the warmth of the alcohol get more and more towards the bottom of the glass.

Notes: Quite the alcoholic brew, big boisterous and complex. Perhaps over the top but still a brew to reckon with. A good cheese pairing would be with a nice creamy Danish Blue and some rye crackers.

 1,028 characters

Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75 cl bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a hazy golden color with three fingers of fluffy white head that has great retention and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, yeast, bananas, cloves, lemons, citrus, and floral notes. Smells great. I saw in someones review that they described it as having a gin and tonic smell and I can definitely catch some of that every now and then.

t - Tastes of bananas, cloves, Belgian yeast, bready malts, spices, lemon, citrus, sweet fruit, and floral hops. Again, very nice. The taste is a lot sweeter than the nose and what I was expecting.

m - Light body and moderate to high carbonation. A bit creamy, very nice mouthfeel.

d - A very nice Belgian tripel. I thought this one smelled great and was very drinkable. Would love to have again sometime.

 812 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of vfgccp
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stella Artois globe at The Office in St. Charles.

It's VDubb's rehearsal dinner, and this beer stood out for me on the menu. It's been too long since my last Karmeliet. This stuff pours a mostly clear gold topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises cracked wheat, light black pepper, clove, restrained citrus (I imagine a small, literally-fruity straightjacket), and Belgian yeast. The taste brings in more of the same, with the yeast and its spices dancing their way into my heart (or, at least more directly, my stomach). The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, as solid a tripel as I remember, this one tends toward the drier, more saison-like end of the spectrum than the sweeter end. It's good times regardless.

 799 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer appears a light yellow hue, with a towering ivory head that elegantly embraces the upper half of the tulip glass, leaving a fine sheet of lacing as it recedes. The liquid is clear and effervescent, teeming with bubbles.

S: The aroma is grand, with scents of lemons, oranges, grass, alcohol, and spices. Tripel Karmeliet emits a fabulous floral aroma that adds to an already full bouquet. The beer smells very bold and enticing.

T: A fine brew and a great example of a Belgian tripel. The flavor is strong, forward, and aggressive, yet balanced by a delicate sweetness that creates a delightful juxtaposition. Citrus flavors are quite prominent, followed by spiced apples soaked in alcohol.

M: Alcohol presence is there. The feel is medium in body, with a healthy dose of zesty carbonation.

D: This is a beer to sniff, sip, and savor. One in any given session is plenty for me.

 893 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Served up in official glassware at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse, has a golden slightly orange hazed hue with a frothy egg shell white colored head measures four fingers deep this in the very artistic tulip shaped glass, forms fine intricate Belgian style lacing as it dwindles slowly. Aroma: Spicy black pepper note teamed with a slightly grassy hop character matched with tropical fruit notes of melon and fresh pineapple, what a nice blend of everything some mild acohol is present but very nice. Taste: Somewhat bitter for a Belgian Triple the bitey hop profile pairs nicely with the mango and melon honey tinged malt tones with a slightly alcoholic edge some funky yeast notes finishes dry excellent triple. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent carbonation slightly syrupy in nature but glides across the palate very silky. Drinkability is amazingly effortless this is one of the greats from Belgium, solid complex layered flavors blend so nicely this brew comes together.

 986 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap tonight at the distributor showdown at Cask and Vine.
Dark golden color big white head. Rich bready fruity maltiness with some peppery clove phenols to balance. Nice tripel.

 180 characters

Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,101 ratings.
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