Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Tripel Karmeliet | Brouwerij Bosteels

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet
BA SCORE
4.28/5
Outstanding
4,181 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
Ranking:
#604
Reviews:
1,342
Ratings:
4,181
pDev:
10.05%
Bros Score:
4.22
 
 
Wants:
326
Gots:
999
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,181 |  Reviews: 1,342
Photo of mzwolinski
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice-looking right from the bottle, with a hazy orange/peach color and a medium-thin white head. Good lace. Aroma is largely tropical fruit with a hint of yeast. The flavor is quite full, with a big, well-rounded fruit flavor, and just a hint of vanilla and banana in the end. A very nice tripel, which stood up to the pizza I ate it with and would do quite nicely on its own.

 376 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown glass bottle. Sampled at Rosemary's at the Rio in Las Vegas.

This tripel poured a clear, golden color with towering white foam that was long lasting and clung to the glass. The smell was fruity (orange) with notes of candy sugar and malt, and was very pleasant to sniff. The taste was mildly sweet and fruity with a bit of candy sugar and some alcohol detected. The mouthfeel was smooth and light on the tongue and was a bit warming. The body was medium with low carbonation feel. A very nice and enjoyable tripel.

 523 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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 granger10
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Whoa, this is a nice beer, if it is indeed a beer. Tastes a lot like champagne, but most Tripels do. Lots of complexity and strong alcohol taste but not overpowering by any means. Ripe fruits come and go. Other malts are there with some non-bitter hops. Slightly spicy and refreshing finish. This would be great for celebrating something with or sharing with a girl. Well, not as good as a flavored lambic, but close.

 417 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Quite cloudy medium golden color; exhibits a large and lingering snow-white head and excellent, glass-coating lace. The carbonation is profuse and champagne-like.

Aroma: Strong, seductive aroma of cloves, vanilla, and yeast, with some spicy alcohol for good measure, truly an olfactory feast.

Taste: Begins with an incredibly spicy, slightly sweet melange of flavors: spicy alcohol, sweet fruits, and honey. Grassy notes appear in the middle of the taste. Sweet, spicy, and quite warming alcohol flavors become more pronounced as the taste progresses and utterly dominate near the finish. Hidden beneath the alcohol notes is a hint of restrained hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: Incredibly smooth, full, and creamy mouth feel, simply excellent.

Drinkability/notes: A wonderful beer, perhaps best suited for dessert, its strong, spicy character might prove daunting if consumed as a session beer.

 914 characters

Photo of jcalabre
3.23/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Originally sampled on 4 August 2002. I am writing this review from my notes.
Appearance: This beer has a Huge frothy white head. It is Clear golden colored, like a pilsener.
Aroma: nothing jumps out at me, but then again, I don't have a great sense of smell
Flavor: It has a rich, sweet taste w/ some yeastiness.

 317 characters

Photo of mickeymac
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear yellow, it looks a bit like a US lager with a fat, foamy white head. A strong citrus, somewhere between lemon and orange, is most immediately noticeable in the smell. The taste is strongly citric and a bit astringent. The alcohol is fairly well hidden. The taste is nice but many tripels surpass it.

 305 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-yellow in color with a thick white head. The aroma is herbal and medicinal, fruity with lemony-citrus aromas. It has the fresh hay smell like some lambics. The flavor has a fruity sweetness with the lemon flavors, I also get the medicinal, fresh flavors. It is a medium-full bodied beer, but smooth and easy drinking, with a slight dry bitter finish.

 357 characters

Photo of stcules
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong golden colour, with oranged reflexes, a lot of creamy and white foam. The smell is very fresh, herbaceous and floreal (roses?), with cream, cereals (oats). Fizzy (maybe a little too much), with a round taste, but "simple", without the complexity of the smell. Maybe lightly tannic-wood. The body is medium and round, with a good hop. We found a clear difference between two glasses, one with the bottom (yeast) of the bottle, and the other without it. In the first it was noticeable even some solvent...

 510 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with an enormous white head. It takes a bit to get this into a standard bee glass because is big and bold. Finally it diminishes and leaves light lace from the ring. Nice nose yeast and malt. Lovely flavor that bounces the palate up and down like trampoline. Hints of honey, spicy clove accent, sweetness, some bittering elements, all set against a full body with decent feel and great crispness. Quite a brew, what?

 450 characters

Photo of Darkale
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is yeasty and spicy. Slightly musty. One of the smoothest heads I've ever seen, thick with a sheen across the top as if it were wet icing, and very resilient. Moderate lacing.

Taste is spicy and creamy, with sweetness balancing the dusky spice.

Mouthfeel creamy and then foamy, frothy. Sparkling and refreshing.

This is a wonderful beer. Light, frothy, spicy, sweet.

 381 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber in color with a tall pillowy white head that leaves thick sheets of lace on the walls of the glass as it dissipates. Nose is sweet honey with notes of fresh wheat, vanilla, and lemony citrus. Medium to full in body with a spritzy mouthfeel due to all the active carbonation. Taste is sweet and fruity up front with notes of pineapple, mango, and apricot followed by some peppery papaya. Little hop bitterness is present but there are some drying notes of grains and alcohol towards the finish. A complex and very tasty beer!

 543 characters

Photo of nomad
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a light gold color that was clear and resplendent. Without a try the head exploded and very slowly settled, foamy and frothy, and had a champagne amount and pace of carbonation underneath it. Good lace, too.

Nose was like wheat covered lightly by honey, and banana sprinkled with vanilla. With time the malted oats they use really came through. Could smell the alcohol at first but it was pleasant in its warmth and not too distracting. In times the scents combined to an almost light/citrus fruity presence.

Taste was soft and buttery – developed to quite a creamy type of cheese aftertaste (another product of the oats). Very smooth and balanced with a great wheat and hops taste that settled very well - all I could think was, that’s Styrian hops done right. Tasted of the white of a baguette (nice),too. But in general, this beer was propped up by a sweet backbone that was controlled and soothing.

A quiet and subtle finish built strength with time; it had moderate length and was very softly dry. Mouthfeel started with a high-carbonation tingle and rolled on to a slightly viscous water feel.

This beer feels like a nice cotton on your tongue. A little more hearty tasting than other classic Belgian tripels, due to the peculiar use of oats as well as the typical malt and hops. Hate to invoke Mr. Beer Micheal Jackson, but he called it full of “finesse and complexity” – he is dead right on. Easily a leader in its style, I gotta have another to catch it all. Have one if you pick up on subtlety and enjoy it!!

 1,544 characters

Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Musty malt nose. Gold color with lots of little tiny bubbles in the goblet. A nice 1/4 to 1/2 inch white head results from the pour. Musty malty taste with and aftertaste of burnt corriander and apricot. Smooth medium mouth. A solid Tripel and at 8% quite drinkable.

 266 characters

Photo of TXHops
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-ABV: 8%
-Malts: Malted barley, malted wheat, malted oats and unmalted barley, unmalted wheat and unmalted oats.
-Hops: Styrians (and other spices)

Well, like a jackass, here I sit with a bottle of beer full of coriander. When I was in Austin, I was shocked to see Tripel Karmeleit on the store shelves, so I had to buy a 750 (even though the 750 bottle is green…???). Anyway, I found Karmeleit on tap later that trip at the Gingerman, had some, and discovered that it was spiced with my favorite seasoning. Not only did I already spend the 7 or 8 bucks on the bottle, I looked more closely and discovered it was imported by Manneken Brussels, right there in Austin. The next week I saw it in the stores in Dallas, and in smaller bottles to boot. Oh well, here comes some attempt at objectivity.

Karmeleit pours with a really pretty, deepish gold body: darker than many triples. Is the additional color from the use of oats? The snow white head is massive and fluffy and looks like the foam that forms on the top of a boiling pot of potatoes before they’re ready to be mashed, only bigger. Requisiste lace coats the inside of my Duvel glass. The clean, yeasty nose smells quintessentially Belgian. A little warmth reveals a lemony, spicy coriander undertone.

The body is surprisingly yummy: oily and with a slight viscosity to mitigate the airiness. Michael Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium (Running Press 1998) claims that the beer is heavily spiced, but annoyingly fails to elaborate. Still, I can taste the spices, which paradoxically don’t contribute to the spiciness of this brew—the yeast takes care of that. I can also taste the classic Belgian sourness in the back of the mouth. However, through the annoying flavors of coriander, the fluffy body and the sour finish, I can find some really intriguing aspects of this beer. The oats seem to be the biggest difference between this and other Tripels. The slick creaminess that they impart is really unique and quite appealing. They even helped me see past the coriander enough to score this beer highly. Kudos to Bosteels for making Belgian beers that don’t just taste like all the other Belgian beers. While I like Kwak more, Karmeleit is one that I can thoroughly appreciate, even if I wouldn’t drink it again. Still, my irrational hatred of coriander should not dissuade any other BA’s from trying this unique, exceptionally well made beer.

 2,419 characters

Photo of kbub6f
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a few days in my fridge, reviewed 45F-60F.

Got gunsmoke from the small, capped bottle. HUGE, white, noisy head in my round-bottomed glass. The core is dense, but the edges are coarse, leading to a beautiful, uneven slow, ice-cream collapse. Thick, clumpy foam is more an extension of the head than it is lacing. The beer is clear amber gold.

There's a very nice, spicy smell, full of sweet fruit. The front specializes that fruit to apples, I think. Sweet and spicy. Then malt. The finish is just a little syrupy, but still manages to be fresh. Some alcohol is noticeable in the aftertaste. This probably isn't the most interesting tripel, but it sure isn't far off.

 721 characters

Photo of gjh
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this one. Poors a nice deep cloudy golden color. Head has bigger bubbles than I would expect, but settles to a nice tight head although not much of one. The smell and taste are very compatible - both have a nce mixture of fruit and spices. Considering the ABV, there is no alcohol taste - just citrus and spices, with a yeast undertone. This make for an excellent dessert beer or on a hot, mid-summer day. Although, I prefer to drink this one all year round.

 465 characters

Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Pours deep hazy bright golden orange in color, has a huge white frothy lasting head. Fruity and spicy wet cardboard aromas. Fruity buttery and spicy yeasty flavors. Somewhat sticky but crisp finish. Full bodied with lively carbonation full but crisp mouthfeel, alcohol is hardly noticed, a great tripple.

 336 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold color, fine white head, and fortunately poured into it's own particularly shaped glass.

Aroma is uplifting, arousing, sensual, jumping with fruitiness, peaches, tangerines, apricots, citrus, lemon, alive with bright, sunny flavors, and a joyful honey/candy sweetness.

Absolute happiness results from a mere sip of this glorious brew, growing with each new drip down the lips!
Yeast, also, does some work towards delivering the drinker to Beer Nirvana, creating a warm, bready feeling. Body is somewhat light and buoyant, palate is delicate and delicious. Soft, sweet malt, long and lingering, rewarding finish, always accompanied by a tidy, tasteful dance of hops upon the tongue. Ahhh!

Unfortunately, this happy ride was all-too brief, for the otherwise unredoubtable pub poured a meager 8 ounces. Geez, guys, I'd pay an extra $.50 for another 2 ounces, and willingly, too!

 896 characters

Photo of HopheadEd
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow with an enormous head, so big I had to let it settle a little while. The head lasts through the glass, and ample lacing as well. First aroma caught me by surprise, fruit, but not sweet. Grapefruit and sour aromas. The taste was acidic, with alcohol up front and a slight dried fruit mouthfeel. Clean dry finish though, with hints of spices coming out. Didn't see this one coming, a fine ale, I just wasn't crazy about it.

 441 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a deep golden amber color, with a magisterial head, the texture creamy and the lace formed is a thick sticky sheet to smother the glass. Ripe fruit like pineapple comes to mind, malt, fresh and clean to the nose, and the start quite sweet with a medium in feel top. Vinous and astringent finish with the hops sparse, but still noticeable the aftertaste quite dry and long lasting. All things considered a decent drinking beer and well worth the price of a sample.

 472 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden copper color. Big and bubbly white head that has good retention. Appearance indicates a high level of carbonation. Really nice doughy, yeasty aroma. And smoke. I get a definitive smoke aroma which surprises me a little bit. Some banana like esters make their presence known right off the bat. A little bubblegum as well. A very light phenolic presence. Finishes on the sweet side. Medium bodied. Enjoyable and drinkable.

 427 characters

Photo of Wildman
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden color and formed a nice bubbly white head that left some circular lace as it slowly subsided. Some carbonation is present. An aroma of citrus and grain. A flavor of citrus and grain with a hint of clove present. A bit of tanginess to the body no doubt brought on by the carbonation. A good beer.

 326 characters

Photo of Viking
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, pale gold with just a hint of an amber tint. Huge amounts of carbonation apparent in the body that feeds the thick, creamy head. Long lasting head, that leaves quite a bit of lace clinging to the glass. Aroma of tart citrus blends with a spicy, but not quite peppery, smell. Very grainy taste, with plenty of fruit and spice flavors adding complexity. The blend of grains is very apparent - the oats and wheat seem to stand out above the barley. Finish is rather grassy and a bit bitter, with accompanying hints of berry-like fruit. Aftertaste has a nice lingering dose of alcohol, along with a dry, tart fruitiness. Carbonation gives this beer a fairly rough feel. Very drinkable brew. I'll have to experiment with food pairings...

 764 characters

Photo of marc77
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The tremendous, forceful pop upon releasing the cork starts off another Belgian Tripel experience. After a gentle pour, a dense, very thick, soft peak beaten egg white head sits atop a clear golden hued brew, if decanted off the sediment. Beautiful heterogenous melange of sheets of bubbles interconnected by lace down the glass. Tart citrus fruitiness comprised of lemon and unripe orange hit the nose at first, then are ensued by rounder and sweeter tropical notes akin to ripe pineapple. When combined with the sweet fruit notes, the mild green apple acetaldehyde and alcohol take on a ripe jackfruit like character. Subdued clove adds an herbal accompanient to the overall fruity aroma. Honey like sweetness hits the palate initially, then is ensued by a light wheat tartness and soft white bread graininess. Sweetness then mirrors the aroma mid palate, and becomes fruity and kiwi like in nature. Persistent, mellow clove maintains an herbal undertone to this brew. Hop bitterness is indirectly perceived by its well calculated contrast to malt sweetness. Moderately bodied and fairly well attenuated, but with a full dextrinous mouthfeel derived from the oats in the grist. Finishes dry, with trace phenol and residual sweetness briefly lingering. Karmeliet is an assertively fruity tripel and is certainly unique and absolutely delicious. Robust, yet refined and soft on the palate... drink up!

 1,414 characters

Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 4,181 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.