Black Tulip Belgian-Style Tripel Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

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Black Tulip Belgian-Style Tripel AleBlack Tulip Belgian-Style Tripel Ale
Very Good
649 Ratings
Black Tulip Belgian-Style Tripel AleBlack Tulip Belgian-Style Tripel Ale

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 649 |  Reviews: 291
Photo of Arbitrator
1.88/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous gift from boatshoes. Thanks!

The side of the bottle had 2008 written in silver marker. I generally don't think tripels age well, so if I find this to be less than stellar, I'll chalk it up to deterioration and will make a mental note to retry a fresh one.

A: A careful, sediment-avoiding pour produces a mostly clear golden-copper body with an inch of poorly retaining off-white head. It leaves a few bubbles on the sides of the glass, and it has a small film on top of the beer.

S: Overripe apples, yeast, candi sugar. It's not an unpleasant aroma, but it's fairly one-dimensional, and I really don't care for the prominence and over-ripeness of the apple note.

T: It's a little more complex than the nose suggests, though I still wouldn't claim the beer is as complex as (say) La Fin du Monde or other greats of the style. Again, overripe apples lead the way, and a surprising amount of candi sugar is present. I would expect the yeast to dry out the beer, especially with age (this is bottle-conditioned, right?) but that hasn't happened here. I enjoy the lighter fruit notes that emerge in the finish: pears, mangos, apricot. It's mildly bitter. I can't determine if that's from hops or if I'm mixing that up with orange rind.

M: On the low-carbed end (again, likely from age). I see some other reviews mentioned that the beer is hot, but with age that has clearly been tempered, as there is no trace of the ABV. Still, the flavors are weak and muddled, and the beer lacks fullness of body or crispness of carbonation.

O: I didn't care for this, but as I mentioned above, that could just be due to the age. I hope to retry a fresh one down the line.

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Photo of rings
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I dug into New Holland's Black Tulip Trippel Ale, not expecting much ... but found it instead to very good.

The estery nose jumps out as it pours a deep golden color. A disappointingly light head led me to believe this effort would again prove lacking. However, the first sip washed away my initial doubt as a nice full body follows up the fruity banana and clove aroma with a malty sweetness and rolling, complex, yeasty finish. It gets even more fun as it opens up throughout my meal, but maintains a consistent and interesting balance of fruit, malt & esters. This balance is particularly rewarding considering the 9.0 ABV and 16.9° Plato heft. It doesn't give you a burn, just a soft warmth, which may play dangerous by the second pint if one is so inclined.

I was delightfully surprised, especially considering this was a New Holland effort ... not that they don't make fabulous beer--because they do--but because this was so much better than many of the so-called "Belgian-style" micros out there.

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Photo of corby112
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at Kraftwerk during their New Holland event on 2/5/11.

Pours a hazy golden orange color with golden yellowish hues when held to a light source a 1.5 finger white cap with very good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Streaks and splotches of lacing left behind.

Slightly spicy aroma with a prominent bread/yeast character as well as hints of light crisp fruit and candy sugar. I'm picking up banana, apple, pear, pepper and coriander.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with lots of bready yeast flavor that adds fullness to the mouthfeel. There's a prominent spice character up front with lots of pepper and coriander dominating the flavor and lingering throughout. Slight hints of esters/light fruit, especially banana, apple and pear. Slightly one dimensional with an overwhelming, abrasive spice flavor and astringent, solvent alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a cloudy straw yellow color. It has a small 1-finger white head. The head left decent lacing on the glass.

S - It smells yeasty and sweet. There are notes of fruit, hops, and clove.

T - The taste is biscuity and fruity. There is some hop presence, but it isn't very strong. I am also getting some notes of yeast spiciness.

M - It has a medium body and medium carbonation. It goes down smooth, and it gives you a tingling sensation in your mouth.

D - Drinkability is good. It goes down pretty easy, and hides its ABV well. I like this beer, and I would definitely buy more.

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Photo of jpro
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Closed for Business...

A: Poured a bright, slightly hazy gold with a snow white, fluffy head; great retention and sheet lacing.

S: Spicy, some banana, some clove / coriander, and bubble gum; great nose.

T: More of the banana / fruit yeastiness, plus some rum-like flavors; sweet, cotton candy-esque finish.

M: Super creamy and smooth.

D: I really liked this brew. I'd definitely pick it up again.

*from notes

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Photo of amanofbeer
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The head at the pour was not deep or overly fell right into place, like you would expect 5 minutes into the drink. The head is beautifully swirled on the surface, leaving thick syrupy lacing on the sides. Not always what I like in a beer, but for a Trippel it works wonderfully.

The smell was not overpowering in the least...but it gives a nice preface to the distinct malt characteristics this beer has. It reminds me of some wheat characteristics, which I find not to be the case at all. All barley as far as I can tell.

The taste was surprisingly (enjoyable none the less) funky to me. I still may lack a great understanding a the concept of Brett, but this is what I imagined it to be before trying a beer with Brettanomyces. All the same, nice and funky...and fruity! Dark, ripened fruits: pear, apple, as well as bread and honey...generally, just very dark and deep. I'm really wanting to know what they use for yeast...

The feel in the mouth is typical of a Tripel. Nice and thick, but this one only sticks in the back of the mouth, creating what I do truly enjoy in an aftertaste.

I originally ranked at a 4/5, but had to notch it up a half point after I realized how much I had drank without realizing...Amidst the thickness, this beer is very enjoyable, and very drinkable. Thanks Dan for recommending it to me; I have nothing to challenge your tastes of a new favorite beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, without freshness/bottling info. Pours hazy straw in color, the off white head is long lasting and leaves nice looking fine light sheeting and stringy lacing. Spiced up nose, with some pepper, and coriander. Love the style,and this version is full of of more pepper, bubble gum and more coriander. Sweet, flowery and tasty in general. Moderate grainy hops late provide some balance. nice, approachable Tripel from New Holland.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden yellow and near perfect transparency with a crisp pure white head. Smells fruity and promising. Lots of sugary smells. A taste that very closely resembles the Belgian masterpiece it is called, very fruity and sugary with a pep of spice included. Feels nice and well. Cheers!

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date: 06/09/2010
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2006
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a golden straw in color w/ slight ruby highlights, w/ only a skim coat head, that left little to no lacing on the glass. The nose was wonderful! Aromas of candied sugar, bananas, orange peel, and mango. The taste was the same as the nose, but finished w/ a very mild hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was thin, clean, and refreshing. However, I don't fel there was enough carbonation. I think this brew would probably be best if drank fresh. The drinkability was good as I did not detect any booze, and finish a 22oz. bomber very easily.

Overall, nice brew, but nothing mind boggling. Would recommend drinking this one fresh versus aged.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber served into a Chimay chalice. Thanks, FernMaster!

Pours a honeyed shade of yellow. This is transparent yet hazy in a way that lets you see the individual yeast particles floating around. It is more interesting than attractive. One finger of tight, white head laces adequately.

This beer smells like lots of things, with nothing asserting itself as a firm direction that the beer wants to take. There is lavender and candy sugar and brewing spice and rosemary and banana going on. Some light, indistinguishable fruit esters. The alcohol is noticeable but isn't off-putting.

I'm getting the same sorts of flavors on the tongue that I picked up when smelling the beer. Only the flavors are very gentle. Some might say weak. The strongest flavors are candy sugar and leafy hops, with some faint herbed pear. I wish the beer were stronger in flavor.

The beer is medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. It is much less effervescent than the typical Belgian example. Drinkability is fine; the alcohol is well-hidden but the relative weakness of flavor limits one's desire to drink this.

FernMaster tells me that Black Tulip is MUCH better on-tap than this bottle was. But I am reviewing the bottled version and the bottled version is solid in many ways with plenty of missed potential.

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Photo of Beejay
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear pale amber. Not a very thick head, mostly consisting of white bubbles. May be due to the growler, rather than the beer..

S: Yeasty, orange and dried fruits. Strawberry and peach. Nice though very subtle.

T: Yum. Nice and subtle flavor. Biscuit and fruit flavors, hints of yeast and berries. A little bit of alcohol, but not a lot. Overall fairly mild in flavor, but very well put together.

M: Nice and clean. Medium to low thickness with moderate carbonation.

D: Damn tasty. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, and the flavors come together very well, into a beer that I fear could be very dangerous.

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Photo of beer2day
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw gold in color with decent 1-finger head. Cloudy, without being overly so. Weak retention and some faint lines of lace.

Clove comes out strong in the nose, with standard Belgian malt and yeast aromas. Not disappointing, but not ambitious either.

Warm fruit is the main flavor. Nice understated ripe cherries with grapes and apricots. Decent sour finish that erases the fruit.

Feel is a little on the slick side, with syrup and a pretty strong malt backbone.

Pretty good sipper.

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Photo of Sweetmambyjamby
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


A- It's a darker yellow color, 2 finger head and great lacing.

S- I smell malts hops and a floral aroma from this one

T- It tastes complex I do taste mallts and hops. I get a floral taste and it's smooth. I do get some alcohol but it's not too bad.

M- A thicker side and that makes my score lower.

D- Can't drink it alot, high abv makes a bomber buzz me. Would be better off as a nightcap during the summer.

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Photo of techfed87
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer glass from a bomber. Color is a mellow yellow, semi cloudy, with a mass of bubbles emerging from the bottom.

Scent is almost like a sweet tea, with a rich, malty smell to it.

First sip is quite complex, with a definite hop presence, while at the same time having a huge malt presence. It's sweet, fruity, bitter, and very excellent. Mouthfeel is bubbly and very satisfying.

An excellent beer!

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Photo of dfillius
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Moderate pour yields 1/4 finger of white head, which quickly subsides to a ring. Decent but not great. Hazy light gold liquid

S: Pineapple, tropical fruit, applesauce, cinnamon, pear, phenolic alcohol. Delightfully complex. This is the highlight of the beer for me.

T: Sweet with a noble hop check to balance it out. Grassy/green/tannic quality is a negative.

M: Tiny bit astringent and thin at the opening. Tannic bitterness loses it points. An expectorant, which I always enjoy in a beer.

D: Good, but not great. I remember this being better a couple years ago when I tried it. Maybe my tastes have changed. I'd order at a bar, but not a second. I don't think I'll buy a bottle again.

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Photo of jmich24
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. Bomber

A: Nice light orange in color, decent quarter inch head dissipates very fast. Some lacing. Nice inviting carbonation.

S: Banana, clove, boozy

T: Similar to smell, sweet and sugary, alcohol is not well hidden

M: Nice creaminess

D: While it is fairly easy to drink the high alcohol seems unnecessary. The sweetness is a too much.

I just didnt love it, may be the style. Average beer overall. I will not purchase again.

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Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at Gomer's in KC, decanted into my Boulevard chalice...

Pours an effervescent pear color with a pinky of cream colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Apple peels & pears, fades out as this warms

T: Follows the nose, plus white grape juice & honey up front. Honey & candi sugar come to the front as this warms; along with more apple peels & a bit of green banana. Finishes semi-dry with green bananas, hay, some what boozey pineapple & lemony hops, plus more candi sugar

MF: Creamy, smooth, & sticky, almost honey like once warm

Through the roof drinkability, this is 9.0% ABV? Good take on the style, man I wish we got more New Holland down in Joplin, MO!

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Photo of divineaudio
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

pours a very attractive hazy gold color with a foamy, white, one finger head. head retention is good; calms slowly to a thin film with chunky lacing.

smell is spicy with notes of clove and banana. pale malts come through with a grassy character.

taste follows nose but gives you much more. apple and banana notes hit first followed by hop bitterness and finish off with a honey like malt sweetness that lingers. alcohol content is noticeable in the finish but doesn't overpower other flavors.

mouthfeel is pretty good. carbonation makes this one feel light and creamy and also gives the flavors a little kick.

drinkability is really the only part that suffers here. black tulip is delicious no doubt, but it's definitely a sipping beer. i think you'd be hard pressed to have more than one or two of these, especially so if you have a bomber.

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Photo of Jayli
2.86/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

PIcked this up a Plaza Liquors in O'Fallon IL

A: This beer pours a hazy light burnt orange color with a one finger of sudsy head. Head recedes immediately with no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is rather boozy, very sugary, decent presence of malt, and hint of spicing.

T: Taste starts with a rich malt sweetness, very sugary. Yeast/bready presence really comes through mingle with an odd spice funkiness. Far less boozy in the taste that it was in the nose, with a hint of apple in the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, rich and creamy on the tongue.

D: Ok flavoring, goes down ok, ok representation of style. I would definitely reach for others though.

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Photo of nickfl
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of white head on top of a slightly hazy, golden colored body. The foam settles slowly and leaves nice, thick lace.

S - An aroma of thick, sweet pilsner malt with musty, european hops. Some fruity yeast notes of red apple and pineapple with pepper and clove.

T - A lot of thick, sweet malt up font with some apple yeast notes. Moderate, spicy hop flavor comes out in the middle with some moderate bitterness. Finishes malty with some clove spice and moderate hop character. Lingering malt and hop flavor.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Well, this isn't a bad beer, but it isn't quite what I was hoping for either. The malt is way too sweet and thick. This hurts the drinkability and also holds down the other flavors of the beer. The yeast and hops are appropriate, but the combination of cloying malt and insufficient carbonation make them seem flat and muddy. A drinkable beer, but any store that carries this almost certainly also carries another, better trippel.

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Photo of adamette
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the 1 pint, 6 fl. oz bottle that I bought for $8.00 from the brewery in Holland in mid October during my trip there. Poured into my silver rimmed Westvleteren goblet. I just have not used it in a while. No observed "best by" date. 9.0% ABV. 19.6 Plato mentioned on the label. Part of the "High Gravity Series." I recall being very impressed by this beer when I had it on tap at the Beer Engine in Lakewood a while back.

A Minimal sediment floating in the bottom of the bottle did not make it into the first goblet after pouring. What did is a light yellow translucent bodied beer with a brief, one cm head that dissipated all too quickly to a ring around the top. Fair lacing on the inside of the glass after repeated sips. 3.5

S Distinctive Belgian barley and yeast smells with a slight malt sweetness as well. It reminds me of the smell of Brugse Zot with its prominent barley, grain smell. The sweetness is not primary as I thought that I recalled but in the background. There is a somewhat floral aspect to the smell as well. 3.5

T Some malt, a lick of alcohol but prominent is the barley, grain taste along with the Belgian yeast. The floral smell carries over into the taste as well and this beer is seeming to me to be quite different from my memory of the on tap version. I don't think the beer is different. I do think that my tastes have changed that much though and I am approaching this from a very different angle. This is a good tasting beer and not like many of the triples that I have had. It really is a bit more of a Belgian IPA. 4.0

M A bit lighter than most tripels, a bit more sharp (non sweet) than other tripels as well. 2.5

D Fair to good as the barley, yeast and floral predominate tastes along with the 9% ABV drive down the drinkability of this ultimately very interesting tripel, my favorite style. 3.5

Notes: Maybe the most unique tripel that I can recall drinking, people who enjoy a nice Belgian barley, yeast and floral taste will enjoy. It is not very sweet as is the case for most tripels.

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Photo of scifan
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 into a chimay chalice. It's a lovely pale golden color that is very very clear. Had a nice head at first but leaves as soon as it came, leaving little lacing along the glass.
The nose is a little subdued on this one. There some peppery spiciness to it, along with sweet bready yeast aromas as well. Picking up a little light pear and apple aromas and I think some clove and banana.
Light sweetness at first, sweet bready flavors, along with some clove to add some spice. Nice yeasty flavors. Alcohol is a little noticeable as it warms a bit. Finishes nice and clean. Not to complex, but not a bad representation of the style.
Mouthfeel is nice with lots of bubblely carbonation. Overall a very solid beer. Glad I bought a few of em to enjoy later.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle, split, and poured into a tulip glass. "DO69" printed on the side of the bottle, but otherwise no bottled date present.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color. Good white head formation but quickly dissipated to a layer of bubbles.

(S)- Crisp, with light clove, bananna, and lemon. Ample clay and yeasty funk with a rather sweetened sugary finish. Touch of honey. Some apple in the mix too. Becomes rather potent minerally later on. The beet sugar really makes its presence known.

(T)- Sugary sweet lemon, apple, and yeast. Slight spice of something; has a hay/wheat-type neutrality. Gets rather spicy as it goes on.

(M)- Great carbonation level with sweet, yet barnyard funkiness to it. Slightly turns bland the more I drink it though flavor-wise.

(D)- Pretty good at first, but the sugary sweetness and funky spice overwhelms the nice fruits this beer has to offer. Decent though.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split. Poured into a Unibroue Tulip. 19.6 degrees plato, 9% ABV, no date. Thanks to Sweemzander for bringing this!

A - Crisp, clear medium pale yellow with a huge two-finger head that slowly disappointing while I took in the good aroma. Lots of lacing left on the glass too.

S - Light and crisp malts in the background with a pronounced yeasty aroma with bread and clay and light banana. A crisp hop presence is noticeable on the finish but very light. Lots of earth tones. Sweet too, residual sugars and a hefty helping of spiciness.

T - Crisp with a sharp citrus zest instantly that leaves traces of sweet malts across the palate. Strong notes of earthy clay and spicy yeast. Very spicy finish with light fruit notes. A bit of white grape skin astringency to the finish. Very light alcohol solvent-like flavor to the finish.

M - Smooth to start with a sharp carbonation bite to the finish. A residual sweetness is overtaken by the spiciness. Medium in body with a light warming.

D - The spiciness is a tad cloying in combination with the sweetness and overpowers most everything else. The more I drink it the less I want to be drinking it. A moderately good triple in the world of triples.

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Photo of steveshields
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is called Black Tulip, and when I picked it out of the fridge at Danny's, I almost put it back because I could see straight through the dark bottle. I then saw a puff of yeast clouding up at the bottom of the bottle, and decided, "WTF"? I'm looking to try new Belgian-style beers, why not?

This beer is changing my notions of what a tripel is, or should be? Either that, or I'm very dissappointed.

This beer poured a standard Belgian gold/straw, not unlike La Fin Du Monde or Oh Brother. Similarities end with appearance.

This beer WREAKS of strong citrus- it's also a bit soapy smelling. Very sterile and not my favorite for sure, unfortunately. (New Holland's Dragon's Milk is AMAZING, and I will probably go get one of those next and review that, because it is DELICIOUS.)

Tastes VERY hoppy compared to what I am used to from this "style." Strongly pronounced Honey, like I get from Hop Juice almost. Not QUITE as hoppy as an IPA, but I am missing the usual maltiness of a Tripel. I go for Belgian styles to avoid hoppy, so again I must express some disappointment. Bottle claims a dry finish but I don't get that at all. I get sweetness, and with the claim of using sugar beets, I find that a bit misleading.

Mouthfeel is good, normal, but again, the bitter after taste is putting me off.

Drink this is you're an IPA fan or a hophead and are in the mood for something a little sweeter. If you're looking for something outstanding from New Holland, grab a Dragon's Milk. I'll pass on picking this up again, but I know many of you will love this beer, so don't let my review put you off.

ps- I HATE when they call a beer "high gravity" right on the bottle. It reminds me of beer ignorance.

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Black Tulip Belgian-Style Tripel Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 649 ratings