St. Vrain
Left Hand Brewing Company

St. VrainSt. Vrain
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Belgian Tripel
Ranked #330
Ranked #27,248
3.78 | pDev: 12.17%
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Very Good
St. VrainSt. Vrain
Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 271 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Suds
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer, poured from a thick, Belgian-style bomber, is a yellow-gold color with plenty of floaties. Not a lot of haze, but lots of suspended particles. The head is slim and clingy. The aroma is sweet, with Belgian esters and phenols, and very approachable. The taste is a little sweet for my tastes, but it is backed with some solid bitterness. Full in body, engaging, and drinkable. Approachable.

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Photo of arizcards
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from TW Arrowhead on 1-7-18 for $9.99. Bottled on 1-25-17, best by 1-25-20.

Beer poured golden with an okay white head but is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose has hints of tripel yeast phenols including cloves, nothing special.

Taste follows the nose, peppercorn and coriander. Kind of grainy taste overall.

Feel is light to medium bodied and smooth.

Overall not a bad beer but not a great representation of the style.

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Photo of bnes09
3.17/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks like a typical tripel. Light, pale gold color with good clarity. Smells mostly clean with hints of yeast and clove. Similar notes of yeast, banana and clove on the palate. Distinct menthol cough drop notes are slightly off putting. Medium bodied, well carbonated and slightly sticky from the sugar. It's ok. Won't be buying again.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 22 oz bottle in a snifter via a friend from work---Thanks Kevin!
This decent American tripel pours a nice chill hazed amber tinged straw color
with a decent head of white foam that subsides to a thin ring, thin light wafting
pool, and light spotty lacing. Nose of phenol laden breaded malts with banana
and light coriander notes with subtle booze. Flavors follow the nose but showcase
more deft on flavors with subtle banana and light coriander mingling with subtle herbal
notes with fresh lightly yeasty rolls pale sugar malts with a touch of clove on the rear and a
subtle herbal hop note. Decent mouth feel; medium light body, medium light carbonation,
and a lightly sweet and warming booze touched finish that is lightly dry.

Overall this is a decent tripel made in America that could be award winning
with a few tweaks to the recipe. Still solid and one I have enjoyed over the
years that only suffers from comparison to other brews of the same general
locale IE America which the map seems to be now peppered with in heavy doses.


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Photo of puboflyons
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 650 ml. 2017 vintage bottle, which expires in 2020. Sampled on May 24, 2017.

It pours a slightly cloudy (or is it a chill haze) pale yellow under a small and short-lived white fizzy head.

The aroma does have some character including vague banana, white bread, herbs such as coriander,clove, grass, and a little booze,

About a medium body that is semi-smooth.

The alcohol is a little more evident in the taste but I also get the same herbal, banana, and white bread characters of the aroma. It ends fairly bitter or that might just be an alcohol burn that really lingers on.

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Photo of DBosco
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2017 vintage best by 2020. Pours a mostly clear gold with about a finger of foamy head that settles to a white film. Smells a little boozy and sweet. Tastes a little sweet, with light notes of clove, spice, and pepper. Feel is smooth and creamy, with some alcohol heat and a little carbonation bite. Overall a pretty good tripel, but at this young age it doesn't have a lot of complexity. On the bright side, it doesn't have any major flaws.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: slight haze; pale gold in color; less than a 1 finger white head that receded to a thin collar; no lacing;

S: clove and lemon;

T; balanced between lemon and clove through the middle; clove is predominant on the finish; no bitterness;

M: light to medium bodied; light carbonation;

O: this had been on tap for about 10 days, which may account for any carbonation short comings;

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Photo of akolb
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 vintage, best buy 2020... which seems a little ambitious for a tripel. Pours a brilliantly clear straw-gold. Nice aroma! Soft grains, mild coriander and yeast, pepper. Aroma is subdued but inviting. Taste has crackery malts, banana, coriander, cloves, peppery spice, caramel aftertaste. A bit more earthy and sweet than the typical tripel. Very lively and crisp, dancng on the tongue. The long aftertaste has pepper, alcohol, and malts. Medium bodied. This is an underrated tripel in my opinion. Balanced and very drinkable with enough spicy and malty flavors to keep things interesting.

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Photo of PrimustheOne
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear yellow. Head is thin and dissipates quickly.
Aroma: bready
Taste: banana, bready with light pepper in the finish

This beer isn't bad, but taste like a light weight version of other tripels I've had. If a friend handed me a bottle, I would gladly drink it, but I will not seek it out at a bottle shop again.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy white gold color. Lively stream of bubbles, creating a short, rather thin white crown. A bit of lacing hangs on after foam recedes. Not much left after only a short duration.

The nose shows off the Belgian -style yeast qualities most, with a big, sour effect. Sour wheat and grains, tangy fruits with definite banana and clove aroma.

The flavor is of a classic Americanized version of the classic Belgian Tripel style. A viciously crisp and sharp malt bite, slightly honey-sweet hits first. Big sour and tangy fruity flavor's roll around a very spicy, herbal complexity. Subtle grains in the malt, mostly wheat and sweet corn. The malt is much sweeter than the classic style usual offers, with a low complexity yeast. The real charm to these Belgian style's is the unique complexity and wild effect from the yeast. Usually with a sharp bite snd filled with earthy flavor's, this one has sour and tangy fruits mostly. The banana and clove, herbal taste to the yeast is classically American. The malt is very bold and sweet, maybe just a bit too sweet for my palate. At 9.3% abv. There is a nice, long heat tingle going down.

The feel is very jazzy with a monsterous crisp bite. The Natural Colorodo spring water certainly makes for an ultra crisp and clean feel. This one never really becomes dry with a crisp but long malty finish.

My favorite aspects of this beer is the extra heady, honey sweet malt, although beyond the limits of the style, it is still very enjoyable. The feel is very clean, could be better with a dry finish however. Although the yeast taste is not as "wild" or unique as I would like, it too has it's subtle charms.

Overall, not bad for an American brewery, although very much like most versions of this style NOT directly from Belgium.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne with white film. 3.75
Grainy with some lemony yeasty rubber. 3.75
Soft crackery grain, lemon zest, herbal hint, and very gentle clove phenols. 4
Cream cracker end and citrus creme linger.
Halfway to medium, round, smooth. 4

Soft and easy. Very gentle tripel notes, but no off flavors. Missing the spice, and any hops - that’s probably 3 years of age. Nice take. 4

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A just purchased 2013 vintage bottle – best by 5/2016 – poured into a tulip glass.
L: The beer lets off a loud hiss upon popping the cap. It pours hazy straw gold under a 1” white foam cap that takes 3 minuted to reduce to a thick, lacy film.
S: Citrus, fruit, over ripe fruit, light grains.
T: Tropical fruit, some peach, apricot, marmalade like bitter finish with citrus rind, tropical fruit, melon and traces of cantalope.
F: Creamy, some pleasant warming, medium body, medium carbonation.
O: A refreshing, easy to drink tripel.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"The usually peaceful St. Vrain River snakes out of the Rocky Mountains winding mischievously towards our Brewery. Named after Ceran St. Vrain, an 1800's trapper and trader in the valley, St. Vrain is our version of a classic Belgian Tripel. Light in color and lightly hopped using celeia hops, a touch of malt sweetness contrasts the warm spiciness hidden within, what at first appears benevolent can manifest into a mighty serpent in waiting. Things are not always what they seem." Brewed in the style of a Belgian Tripel, released annually as a fall release in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Left Hand Brewing tulip glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam had of a golden white hue over a mildly hazy golden amber body with moderate carbonation. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Cracker and pale malts with a moderate sweetness, some mild graininess, and soft aromas of honey, clove and peppery spice. Potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) Pale and grain malts with a moderate sweetness and viscosity, undertones of malted wheat and fermented honey, fruity and juicy yeast strain that retains much of the sweetness of the body and keeps the finish lightly dry, very low ethanol and shallow phenols altogether for the style, arguably a bit simplistic, but overall very accessible. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly viscous, syrupy and modestly dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style and medium+ overall. Balance is slightly sweet over grainy, hoppy bitter or phenolic. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) An easy-going Tripel by Left Hand, with a malt body that comes close to being syrupy sweet without much balance from the yeast profile to round it out. Alcohol, phenols and esters are all very low in this highly clean-drinking beer, with a touch of graininess being the strongest contender for balance. While it isn't terrible nor even very bad, it doesn't fall comfortably within the guidelines for the style, like a very easy drinking, but heavily bodied Belgian blonde, the subtleties of the yeast profile don't come through strong enough to justify the alcohol content in this beer. 3.5

Left Hand Brewing Company's
St. Vrain Tripel Ale

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Photo of teromous
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy light golden color with a thin white head that fades quickly.
Aroma: Slight metallic scent, an alcohol aroma, and kind-of a peach aroma.
Taste: There is a faint caramel sweetness that is a bit watered down. There is a light tang and a bit of banana pudding flavor.
Mouthfeel: It has a nice thick coating feeling on the palate. Not quite as dry as I normally get out of a tripel, but nice.
Overall: A decent drink but pulled in too many directions like taffy, and very thin in the flavor department.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i liked this a lot, and even though its really sweet and almost cloying on the candy sugar, i like the yeast a touch. its pink bubblegum in the good way, and the grain bill seems interesting for a blonde beer, it definitely has some body. the yeast seems really authentic, not one of those thin, ferment it real warm, estery without cause sort of american cheapo strains, its real, and its lovely. it could have used a little longer to work maybe, as this is pretty darn sweet, but its the good kind of sweet that fits the style just fine. i like the wheaty base, all the body, and the explosive effervescing carbonation that lasts the whole drink. i have not known left hand to do much belgian stuff, but this is a great reason for them to explore this direction a little more, its delicious. no booze to show on it either, which means im crushing this and getting drunk maybe faster than i should be...

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1pt. 6fl. oz. brown bottle

Left Hand Brewing St. Vrain Triple Ale filled my St. Bernardus goblet with a light gold color forming a white bubbly 1/2 finger head that vanished in no time to a foamy collar. The fine bubbles of carbonation rushed to the top of the goblet. The nose first noticed the sweet smell of candy sugar, followed by fresh green apples. The taste matches the smell with green grapes and a light dose of clove added which helps balance the sweetness. The body is a little lighter/thinner than what was expected. Mouth feel is a little sticky and the carbonation was just right for the style.

This is my first brew from Left Hand Brewing. While this is not my favorite triple I am sure impressed with St. Vrain.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%

Bottle shared by Jeff. Thanks man.

Golden body with an inch of white head. Aromas of yeast, floral hops, bread, alcohol, fruity esters. Cracked pepper and yeast with moderate sweetness. Warming finish. Decent, yet a definite notch below the tripels of Belgium.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Very clear light golden. Nice enough swath of white head on the pour that mostly recedes.
smell: Sweet and sour nose with bready malts and clove.
taste: Very nice melding of all the characteristics in the nose with an amazingly easy drinkability.
overall: Man, this is a pleasant surprise. Ratings are meh....maybe I'm a Philistine and aren't dinging this for being removed from a traditional Tripel but I just think it's a damn fine brew. This drinks like a small session beer, alcohol nearly imperceptible.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Milky golden straw, wispy lacing, slight foamy head reduces to form circular colonies of froth- reminds me of a petri dish. Colorful bottle artwork, with esoteric symbolism; just looking at it gets me excited.

S: Really fantastic. Tropical fruit, coriander, a touch of yeast and vanilla, maybe some bread in there too.

T: The yeast/hops combination pulls through here, which gives it an overly earthy/metallic note, but the (to my senses) more favorable flavors of fruit and spice are still significant.

M: Light bodied, refreshing. Carbonation is more mild than I would have expected.

O: Pretty darn good, I would prefer a few things to be tweaked, but it's their interpretation, and I can still appreciate the originality. I'll probably return.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer pours gold in color. No haze. Sticky white head that turns into good lacing around the glass. Small bubbles rise to the surface.

Spice and phenols in the aroma. Not too overpowering.

Sweet with a medicinal and hoppy finish. Nice and crisp at the end.

Medium mouthfeel.

overall a good beer. I really like the hops with the spice in the finish. The only mark against it is that it is somewhat medicinal.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured in a tulip

A hazy straw yellow with a yeasty texture.
Clove, banana and a hint of pepper. More on the dark fruit and sweeter side of a tripel. lots of lingering raisin flavors and caramelized sugar. A sugary sweetness on the back end.
Easy drinking, puts off no off flavors, and keeps from flavor fatigue.
Overally, its pretty good, just a tad boring.

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Photo of msquared36
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden hue. Not as cloudy as other triples. Light carbonation with barely-there head. Bread-like smell that comes through in the taste. Refreshing taste with a slightly sweet finish. Very clean and crisp. Not too strong for a triple. Doesn't compare to the Trappist triples but a quality beer that ranks in the top tier of other US and Belgium triples.

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Photo of mactrail
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear rich yellow color in the Kasteel chalice. Nicely carbonated with a pure white head and lots of zing in the mouth, but not much lacing in the glass. Fragrant nose of apples and pears. Some cider notes in the flavor as well. This is quite a tart Tripel, with less sugar and mellowness than you often find in this style.

There seems to be a touch of hops though the bitterness at the finish is more yeasty. This doesn't start out very sweet, and it heads toward the dry side as you sip. The Belgian character is restrained, though there is just a whiff of the barnyard to add a little complexity. Light bodied but powerful.

A zingy and very sippable Tripel. It makes me think of a dry Sherry. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with colorful vibrant label art and branded white/red pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local HEB Grocery and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery, whose milk stout I quite enjoy. 2013 Vintage. Best by: 05/20/16. 9.3% ABV according to my bottle/ "Enjoy at 45-50 degrees F in a goblet." , Reviewed as a tripel because it clearly identifies as such.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness. Subpar creaminess. Head retention is poor - about 40 seconds, unless you count the floater ring, which lingers maybe a minute longer. No lacing forms naturally, but I can get some to stick to the sides of the glass by tilting it.

Body colour is a transparent translucent yellow of high vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. It's lighter in colour than most beers I've seen in the style, and may be one of the lightest tripels I've ever seen.

Overall, there are no egregious flaws. It's not unique or special. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Hmm - surprisingly appealing, actually. Soft (maybe clove) honey, Belgian pale malts, clean barley, straw, herbal notes I can't quite place (actual herbs, not hop-derived herb notes) - maybe something in the mint family?, floral hops, clove, pear fruit, nectar, assorted vague orchard fruits, and cidery character. Plenty of sweetness here. Some spice.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. I'm surprised; even ~8% ABV (American-brewed) tripels often seem boozy.

Some might criticize it for seeming too cidery - or at least too redolent of apple juice - but I find it appealing, if nontraditional. A pleasant aroma of average strength for the style.

T/Mf: Orchard fruit: luscious orchard green and yellow apples along with accompanying cidery notes and esters. Hints of peach and pear. The body is refreshingly light and crisp on the palate, with clean smacky Belgian pale malts joining with spritzy crystal malts and sweet clove honey for an interesting mix. Has a kiss of white pepper as well as some clove, but I have trouble identifying the other spices here. Honeysuckle. Hints of lemon. Clean barley. A bit more acidic than I expected, but the effect is nice. As it warms, more of the clean high attenuation yeast begins to come through, evoking some banana but little else; I'm not convinced the yeast used was Belgian (or tripel, for that matter). Digging a bit deeper, I begin to trick myself I'm picking up some white grape grapeskin. Plenty of golden malts. It's certainly on the sweeter side; there's no real hop bitterness at all, and what modest hop character there is here is almost entirely floral, with some complementary fruity hops as well.

It has a warmth which is hardly noticeable, and which I'd call pleasant. I don't find any of the mint which I picked up in the aroma, and I think that's a good thing. There are no off-flavours.

In fairness, it's one of the more complex American brewed tripels I can remember having in quite some time. The dryness and refined crispness of a more intricate tripel is missing here, but the smooth wet mouthfeel here is just fine. It does dry towards the climax in a more traditional manner, which really helps the texture. It's highly carbonated; bottle conditioning would really help this. I like the cidery crispness even if it isn't quite up to par for a tripel.

The beer could use more subtlety. It's nicely balanced for how much is happening, but the best tripels definitely have a better balance. It's very cohesive, but not gestalt. An interesting build for a tripel which flirts with cider, Belgian pale ale, and even hefeweizen profiles.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Traditional Belgian & Trappist offerings certainly have more depth, but this is pretty decent for an American tripel.

Good presence on the palate for what it is. Nice body. Kind of refreshing. Texture suits the flavour profile nicely, but is by no means custom-tailored to the taste.

Not oily, creamy, astringent, harsh, boozy, gushed, or rough. Unrefreshing.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the high ABV, which is pretty decently hidden. It's not a world class tripel by any means, but it's pretty nice stuff for an American-brewed offering. I wouldn't get it again, but my meagre expectations were exceeded. I'll have to give Left Hand a bit more attention going forward. Maybe they aren't a one-trick pony. I wouldn't recommend it to friends explicitly, but as I'm from Colorado I'd probably tell local friends it's one of the better tripels in the state.


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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle pours a clear, light cold color with an ample cap of white head. Average retention and lace.

Nose is a pretty nice traditional take on a tripel....plenty of phenolic Belgian yeast, light crackery malt and a fair amount of grassy hops. Impressed.

Taste throws down some more yeasty phenols and edges on too much clove. Not enough hop backing here, gets a little sweet and flabby in the middle. Malts are light and well done, they just need a little more grassy bitterness to keep it crisp. Mouthfeel is amply carbonated but the sweetness pulls in the wrong direction. Hmmm, not a bad attempt by any means, and thankfully - no spices added! I just had an excellent domestic (Community) Tripel 2 nights ago and that blows this out of the water. Not bad, but likely wont be a repeat purchase.

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St. Vrain from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 271 ratings