Tripel Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Tripel AleTripel Ale
BA SCORE
4.14/5
Exceptional
2,890 Ratings
Tripel AleTripel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
allagash.com

Style: Belgian Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This strong golden ale is marked by passion fruit and herbal notes in the aroma, with suggestions of banana and honey in the complex palate. The Tripel has a remarkably long and smooth finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-08-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,266
Reviews:
972
Ratings:
2,890
pDev:
10.14%
 
 
Wants:
210
Gots:
676
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,890 |  Reviews: 972
Photo of byrd
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle - Batch #44: My wife was heading out with her girl friends this evening for a martini party, so while I was out with her to pick up martini supplies, I picked up a bottle of Allagash to enjoy for my impending evening alone. It was less then 5 bucks for the 750mL bottle, and I’ve heard it was pretty good, so I figured I’d give it a shot. What a great brew!...

This tripel pours a golden-amber color with a foamy, slightly sticky off white head that slowly recedes to a full lace. There’s a little carbonation seen bubbling up from the bottom of the glass. The aroma is sweet with light honey notes. Some spice, pepper, and citric notes are also on the nose. The start is smooth with slight malt sweetness of candied sugar or honey. There’s a nice carbonation that gives the brew a fluffy mouthfeel, yet it also adds a slight bite that leads into some spicy notes towards mid swallow. Pepper and clove are noticeable. The finish is a bit tart with hops that are a little citric, but lean again toward spicy in the aftertaste. There’s a warming sensation to this brew, but it is still very easy to drink. This brew has a nice mouthfeel that is both delicate and bold at the same time. The color is almost clear upon the first pour, but becomes very cloudy upon the last pour when the yeast is poured from the bottom of the bottle. The flavors seem to become a bit more mellow and smooth as the beer warms a little and the remaining yeast is poured into the glass. Yeast notes, not surprisingly, pick up a bit at this point.

I don’t have a large amount of Belgians under my belt at this point (maybe a dozen or so), but I can easily say that this is one of the best so far. I’ll certainly be looking for this one again. Wonderful brew that is very drinkable. Despite the 9.0% ABV, I had no problem finishing off the 750mL bottle with no additional help.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
2.92/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle. Batch #42
Pours a cloudy golden color with a fine white head, silky lace and nice pearling. The head diminished rather quickly – leaving a fine film. The clouding reduced some, but never completely cleared. Aroma of fruit and very yeasty—not very complex or aromatic, but still pleasant. The taste was tart with some sweetness and a dry biting finish. The mouthfeel was rather flat – not a lot of body and quite one-dimensional.
IMHO: Not a lot of character or body. Numerous qualities that can work in a well balanced beer were either under or over represented. It looks as if there have been other batches of this beer that have been much better.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #43

Pours bright and brassy, sparkling with a big white head. Lots of lace. Nice looking beer. Smells fruity and spicy with caramel aromas.

Smooth and malty up front with caramel undertones. Slight bitter alcohol finish, warms on the way down. Very smooth for such a strong beer and very well balanced. Nice fullbodied feel.

Not an everyday beer but hey, it's not trying to be. Good brew to stick in the cellar to let it mellow. A nice source of warmth for winter.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

And here's the kicker of the Z-test adventure, part #3. Batch #41 (750 mL corked and caged bottle)

This Tripel is a translucent, golden color with a small, white head, with bubbles coming few and far between. This brutal brew smells soft and innocent, but it's far from it. One sip and I can tell this is going to kick my ass. It has a strong alcohol finish, which is nice and warm, but the overall flavor is dominated (a bit too much) by the alcohol. There's an undeterminable sweetness--perhaps honey and a bit of generic fruit? I've had better tripels, but not since I got back from Belgium.

Now, if only I could buy this regularly here in NC...

Part #3 of the Z-Test Adventure.

(Original Ratings: 3.8 overall: A 4.0, S 3.5, T 4.0, M 3.5, D 3.5)

---

Edit: 1/25/2008

It's been more than four years since I originally reviewed this beer, and to say my palate has developed significantly is an understatement, especially when it comes to handling high ABV beers. I'm not going to look at my original review until after I finish this one.

750 mL corked & caged bottle marked "Batch #107."

It poured a very attractive cloudy, hazy orange in color with a thin film of creamy bubbles that lace the Chimay goblet persistently. An aroma of fruit esters and slight spice wafts from the glass, accompanied by a light touch of hay and hops.

The first sip is a revelation; I remember my original brew being low compared to the field, but I don't think that will be the case this time around. Apricot, orange, lemon and banana esters are balanced by a nice bite of hops and a dry, wheaty, biscuit-yeast finish with the slightest hint of coriander. I've had deeper tripels, but few that were so well-balanced. The kiss of hops in the finish leaves the palate clean and primed for more. Its drinkability belies its high ABV -- you'd never know it packs such a punch.

An outstanding American version of the Belgian style.

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Photo of beerinator
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark Golden, slightly cloudy. White head with fine retention.

Aroma: The nose is sweet malt, with a hint of spice. Candyish.

Taste: Sweet spicyness upfront on the tongue. The flavor smooths out and leaves a nice aftertaste. The carbonation throughout the tasting lends to a nice mouthfeel. Tingly alcohol shows signs of it's power.

Notes: Very flavorful tripel with a nice body.

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Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice golden color with a slight haze. A decent head slowly disappeared during the sample. The slight yeast, floral, and citrus aroma was very pleasant. The triple was smooth, with a nice balance of malts and hops with a mild yeast overtone. The malt and citrus notes lingered on the tongue. The alcohol was barely noticable, making this very drinkable for the style.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
2.8/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 mL corked and caged bottle of batch #42. Served slightly chilled into a Maudite glass as it resembles the Allagash one. I also hoped to treat my glass to something better than the swill if last contained.

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow topped by a sizable white head. A 3:2 ratio of liquid to foam. Head shrinks to a layer of bubbles on the surface. Nice little globules of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Nicely complex nose. In order of dominance: pepper, lemon, coriander, honey and yeast. Hints of grapefruit and orange.

Taste: Initial sharp mettalic pepper twang followed by some unpleasantly herbaceous medicinal flavor on the finish. Fairly sweet with a hint of lemon. Alcohol not masked all that well.

Mouthfeel: Leaves an unpleasant cottony feeling in the mouth, possibly due to the alcohol warming it.

Drinkability: I had some problems finishing this bottle. I pondered tossing it, but it wasn't that truly horrendous. The drinkability is severely hampered by the off taste and mouthfeel.

Other: I think something might be off with either my bottle or the batch. Was my bottle too young, mayhaps? I'll give this one another shot sometime down the road.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light amber, nice head. Complex aroma with slight alcohol content.

Taste is mild and fruity, very drinkable for a tripel. Reminicient of a Delirium Tremens but just not quite, slightly lighter. Little to no trace of alcohol in the taste, minor complexity, more sweet than dry but not sweet in character.

Easy to drink, not overpowering, a very respectable effort by an American brewery on a Belgian tripel.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #38.

A big, cream-colored, coarse, foamy head collapses noisily. It leaves clumpy lacing as it goes. The color of the beer is hazy gold, a little darkish. Oh, man, what a nice nose: sweet, spicy with bananas and butter. The bananas and spice are joined by some alcohol in the front. The middle turns fruity with some caramely malt. It's a touch buttery. Major alcohol appears in the finish, but there's lots of grains and bread to fill in. There's also some nice hops, and what I can only describe as pineapple. This beer is awesome. Absolutely great.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a clear golden amber, topped with a thin, bone colored head. Great sticky lacing. Very attractive.
Aroma is replete with sweet belgian malts, light candi sugar, and plenty of estery goodness. Hints of apple, pear, raisin, and fig. Very fruity, with a faint whiff of hops beneath the sweetness. A touch of spice. No apparent alcohol.
On the initial sip, the beer is sweet and estery, with a light phenolic taste in your mouth. Full bodied and malty, with a light, tingly carbonation. Hints of fig, spice, clove, apple, raisin and plum. Belgian candi sugar comes through in the middle, mingling with the fruity esters. A peppery spiciness follows, finishing with a very light citric hoppiness and some alcohol. Finish is slightly dry, leaving a light malty sweet aftertaste.
Very nice beer. A bit of an americanized version of a tripel, with a more agressive hopping and less overwhelming sweetness. Tasty, but the alcohol content assures that I can only take a couple pints of this stuff.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.42/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #34.The appearance was a large sized white head that consisted of fine-small sized bubbles.There was was carbonation observed with this beer along with a cloudy body.The hue was yellow and the nose consisted of malt, hops, fruit, and cloves.The flavor was sour, tart, and fruity.It had bubbly and smooth mouthfeel along with a medium body.There was virtually no lacing with this beer.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Uncorked with a mild pop, this beer poured a hazy orange in color, with a thin, though very persistent, off white top. Lots of flavors in this beer – grapefruit, coriander, and some honey-like candi sugar. Alcohol finish is a bit heavy, and sweetness is not quite balanced by the citric hops. Still, perhaps the fault is mine! I couldn’t wait to drink this one, and I imagine it would benefit a good deal from aging.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was 750 mil., batch 42. When poured, it was a hazy golden yellow with very little foam on even less lace. The smell was of a fruity nature with hints of malts. The taste was of fruity sweer/sour maltiness. Lively mouth feel with a finish rminiscent of brut champagne. I would have rated this beer higher, but, it had just a little to much sour in the after taste.

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Photo of Indybeer
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Batch #35. Poured a hazy yellow gold, with a moderate head that didn't last, leaving some lacing on the glass. Aroma is candy sweet, with banana added. Taste starts off sweet, then the spice kicks in, and the alcohol warmth. The finish is clean, and smooth. This is a very good sipping ale.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Spice nose of corriander and pepper. Fluffy white head on the pour. Yellow colored with a touch of gold color and lots of little bubbles in the goblet. Initial sweet malt taste and this is then cut by a sharp white pepper, hop, and corriander tastes. The brew is good, it just is too peppery for me in the finish. Nice smooth mouth.

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Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A high quality example of a style I am really starting to enjoy....

Pours a semi-hazy golden color...with an awesome creamyt, fluffy 1/4 inch head....

A sweet, candy like aroma along with some banana..

Taste is outstanding....starts off sweet and sugary...then the banana fruitiness emerges....finishes peppery and dry...fascinating....

Mouthfeel is about perfect...medium...firm....pretty highly carbonated...

This rates high in drinkability too as I would love to enjoy a bottle of this a week..

Overall....a high quality American made Belgian...

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Photo of Loki
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #35: Purchased April '03 from Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, VA and sampled on June 26th, 2003 with friends and family. This was a great beer to share and to educate with. Most had never had a beer anywhere neer this complex. Favorite comment of the night, "This is much more complex than most wines."

The first hint of complexity was the pour. It Poured a burnished copper color, with a bubbly white head that left some nice lacing. Had small streams of tiny, champagne like bubbles.

The nose was the second clue to the complexity, or should I say dead giveaway? Scents of candy, malt, sweet fruit, ester alcohol, and then hints of grapes and subtle spice and then more candied malt. I have not the proper training, experience, or olfactory senses to properly pickout and describe all the flavors here. Truly enchanting.

The taste is nearly as complex with flavors of malt, fruit, citrus, bananas, some hints of hops and spice and candy. Wonderful sweet candied malt and little hits of refined alcohol. The flavors seem to dance on the tongue and the mouth seems to come alive with the bubbles and flavors.

This tripel was truly exceptional and it allowed me to teach a few coors light drinkers what real beer was without them say how bitter or heavy it was. I even had a wine drinker singing its praises.

Oh if only I didn't have to drive 120+ miles each way to get more. Well this will definitely make it worth the trip. I can't wait to crack open the Allagash Duppel Reserve!

I give this two pints way up!

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Photo of LarryKemp
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was highly disappointed by this tripel. Maybe because it was in the top 50 beers, I expected more. This Belgian style ale came from batch #38. It poured a very cloudy brown with a fair head, for the style. The aroma was not very complex and only a slight malt smell. No esters or cloves and no hops. The fruitiness and cloves were absent in the taste as well. THe malty sweetness was there and might have been offset by some hoppiness, but not really sure. It did leave a sweet after taste.The mouthfeel was medium light with a fair amount of carbonation. I had to keep swirling it in my Duval glass to maintain head so not to impressed. The price was good - under $6.00 for a 750 ml bottle but Chimay is a better value in my book.

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Photo of elmocoso
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, I would like to thank the BA who suprisingly parted with this gem in a trade. It is from Batch # 4.

This beer poured a cloudy orange, quite a nice hue, but with little show of head and lacing. It had very active carbination with a slight champagne smell, taste and feel. Very enjoyable!

The overall smell was light but there were difinant aromas.There was an orange crispness accompanied by a subtle maltyness with spice.

The taste was true to the smell. It warmed the mouth and lingered well into reflection.

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Photo of avylover
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orangish yellow with a small but persistent white head. Carbonation kicking nicely. I smell buttery toffee and a mild alcohol scent. This is a pretty good tasting beer. It's got a nice ripe fruit taste up front. What keeps it from being great is the fact that the taste seems to dissappear halfway through my sip, leaving just carbonation, alcohol and a slightly buttery aftertaste. The mouthfeel is helped out by the carbonation, although it's slightly syrupy. There is something lacking with this beer. Too much fruit and not enough backbone .(Although the price is fair)

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Photo of Wildman
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a slightly hazy yellow gold color and formed a huge foamy white head that left laticed lace as it slowly supsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present and maybe a few particles of sediment. An aroma of hops, malt, coriander and other spices with a touch of yeast. A taste of malt, coriander and grain/yeast. It has a medium body to it with a touch of the alcohol present.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 32 750ml bottle - Nice pale gold yellow color, got a tall white head of fluffy smooth stryrofoam that falls apart in sections leaving huge clumbs and ledges of foamy stringy lace. Smell is lots of bright citrus, orange, lemon, and lime, dulled a bit with some nice yeast and spicyness. Taste is subtle and complex in layers with a nice flow of citrusy lemon, orange, a bit of banana, nice leveled yeast, some grainyness squeezed in as well and lightly dancing spicyness of citrus rinds and black pepper with a good sweet malt balance the whole way through. Finishes with a light hop hold and alcohol warming. Full body, pretty rich, bold, creamy even, and a nice hold of bittering fruitness and spice. Nice complexity to this triple and is quite a nice offering in the style.

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Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A medium bodied Abbey Tripel. Slightly yeasty, and somewhat tart. Touch of fruit, lemon and oranges, bananas and peaches. Smooth taste. Slight sweetness. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly tart.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent triple. This beer poured a dark yellow colour with a huge, creamy, white head. The aromas were of belgian candy sugar, yeast, various spices, malts, and slightly bitter and medicinal hops. The aromas were very prevalent in the taste of this beer. A very sweet and spicy triple, with a bit of a hoppy, metallic, bitter-edge to it. This almost reminds me of a more toned down version of Victorys golden monkey. The mouthfeel was very creamy and smooth and the drinkability was excellent.

Cheers!
-F

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Photo of kindestcut
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seeing the Allagash Tripel here in Dallas was a rather odd experience, but a good one.

The Allagash Tripel poured a bright, glistening yellow-gold. The white head is quite substantial. I see a wrestling match between that head and my nose in the very near future.

The aroma is very tripelesque...spice, banana and a hint of alcohol. the aroma is very inviting...time to tackle that head. At first taste, I am impressed. The classic sweetness/faint bitterness is here along with a fruitiness and healthy carbonation.

As with most tripels, the drinkability is great. However, combined with the 9% ABV, it's a very dangerous trait!

I am a big fan of the Tripel style, and this is a great one. If I had to offer a single criticism, and I have to because I haven't found the perfect beer yet, I would say it's not as intensely flavorful as...say, La Fin Du Monde. Otherwise, this is an excellent beer.

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Tripel Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 2,890 ratings