St. Vrain | Left Hand Brewing Company

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St. VrainSt. Vrain
Very Good
269 Ratings
St. VrainSt. Vrain

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cbl2 on 10-15-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of flagmantho
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. This bottle is dated 2009.

Appearance: clear, light gold body with just a touch of haze. Head is two fingers of creamy, bubbly white foam. Not bad.

Smell: sweet aroma; almost sickly sweet. There's a hint of fruity character here, but it's mostly just sweet, sweet malt. Not really a big fan.

Taste: sweet with a little orchard fruit flavor. Not too bad, but I'd like a little more character and a little less sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with big ol' balefuls of carbonation, yielding a traumatizing creaminess. Dig it.

Drinkability: this beer has its good points, but I'm not super crazy about the flavor. It's just way too sweet for me.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewery in August 2009.

Pours a very hazy golden color with a slight white head and lacing, though nowhere where this should be at with the style. The nose is a bit spicy with some light fruit and alcohol. There's a bit of fruit in the taste as well as yeast and spice, but a bit plain. Quite a bit boozy in the feel. Drinks alright, but I prefer their hoppy stuff.

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Photo of Jacobpaul81
1.09/5  rDev -70.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Right off the top, did not like this one at all. Picked it up on a whim because I really love Left Hand. Drank in October 2010, so it may have not aged well. Not sure. I served to 5 different people, got 5 similar responses.

A - Poured out hazy yellow, white foamy head. Basically looked like an unfiltered wheat. Expected the beer to be a little darker, with less foam and lacing.

S - Excessively yeasty smell. Could not pull anything out beyond the yeast. Expected some cloves and other spices, but these were undetectable.

T - The taste was super grainy/yeasty. Not much in the way of spices and almost zero sweetness. Had a dishwatery flavor to it that was very unappealing.

M - Heavily carbonated that you could feel on your tounge.

D - This was not a very good beer at the time of drinking. Not sure how it was straight from brewery but it did not age well at all.

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a slightly hazy, golden-yellow color with a one finger, white head of foam. It left some sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled spicy and yeasty with a good grain aroma.

T - Nice grain flavor with sweet caramel. It had a good spicy flavor with some clove.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a pretty tasty tripel. Another solid brew from Left Hand.

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Photo of nickfl
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, golden body. The head settles rapidly and leaves little lace.

S - A light aroma a bready malt with some spicy yeast notes of anise, clove, and pepper. Light fruit in the background, pineapple and vanilla.

T - Lightly sweet, biscuit like malt up front with a light note of yeasty pepper. More yeast character comes out in the middle with pineapple, pear, and peach notes. The doughy malt dominates the finish with light bitterness and more of the peach yeast character. Lingering notes of malt and anise.

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

D - This beer has a nice aroma, but it doesn't follow through in the flavor. There is a nice combination of fruit and spice in the nose, but it becomes more one dimensional in the mouth. The beer is lacking seriously in carbonation for the style and finishes a bit sweet which may indicate incomplete bottle conditioning; this bottle was in the store for at least two weeks before I bought it and these is a healthy layer of sediment on the bottom so I doubt it is going to get any more carbonated than it is now. This lack of carbonation, combined with a weak hop bitterness and nearly non-existent hop flavor, leave the beer feeling flabby and dull on the palate when compared to better executed examples of the style. It is really a shame considering how nice it smells, but these relatively minor flaws make this beer much less enjoyable than it could have been.

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Photo of Amalak
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clearish straw yellow in color. Some good bubbly, white head and lacing. Some sediment. Has a sweet grainy scent to it.

Has an alcoholly undertone. Somewhat sweet. Has a bubbly wheat taste to it with some sweet citrusy after taste. Tingly in the back of the mouth. Smoothish and somewhat flat, but it's a nice, mild wheat beer.

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Photo of milkstoutmama
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Keg. First thought, home brew? Benefits: Bright straw color and excellent clarity. Honey-caramel nose, sweet turnip and bitter peony flavors in a light-bodied, crisp style. Deceivingly high ABV, yet so soft! Detriments: Slightly sour, will affect prolonged enjoyment. 1/4" head; dies out after 5-7 minutes.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy sunny yellow with a fairly thick, if not too persistent, white head. Aroma is fairly strong, fruity and yeasty with a malty undertone and a hint of butterscotch. Flavor fills the mouth with mainly fruity and yeasty tones, a firm hint of malt, just a touch of sweetness and a little hop bitterness. Texture is smooth as silk and leaves a nice tingle on the tongue.

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Photo of blackc5
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light yellowish gold with minimal head and lacing.

S - Pleasant aromas of expected yeasty and clove spice, some banana and apple, and a hint of earthy hops.

T - Starts off with the yeast and clove, some very mild banana that lingers, and then a bit of the alcohol. Just a bit of grass as well. Sweetens as it warms - fruit also becomes more noticeable.

M - Fairly light and thin for a tripel. Carbonation is low to moderate. Warming finish.

D - Not the best tripel Ive had but a reasonable effort and generally pleasant. If you lean towards fruitiness it will likely please, especially as it warms.

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Photo of wmaldridge
2.79/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For the most part I really like the offerings from Left Hand. I really wasn't impressed with this one. St. Vrain was poured into a New Belgium Globe and the appearance was very thin looking and had very little head to speak of. The beer had almost a musty smell to it with hints of banana and coriander. The taste was very weak in flavor and had an alcohol aftertaste. This beer was very thin and wasn't the best that I have had, but I made it through the bottle and probably won't purchase this one again.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/12/09. Bottle. Pours a cloudy golden year with a small white head. Aroma of sweet fruits, yeast, melon rind. Flavor is mostly yeasty with lots of bready malt and a touch of light apple, pear, peach. A decent tripel and thankfully not too sweet like so many American tripels. Overall, quite a nice tripel.

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Photo of THORN
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber 2009 bottle conditioned. Poured into Westmalle goblet. Bottom of bottle has visible thick sediment. Served 40-45 F.
A: Honey colored, No lace, and no CO2 bubbles.
S: Sweet honey, spice, and bananas.
T: Initially very sweet intense malt, banana and apples weep, finishes with a lingering chalky spice.
M: Somewhat lifting, Somewhat carbonated, and the alcohol sweeps across mouth pleasantly.
D: I appreciate the flavor, it could cover the alcohol better, but it is enjoyable.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer a lot. My only strike against it is that it's a little strong tasting. However, this is one of the better American-made tripels I've had. Still not up there with the best Belgian versions of this style but a great one to get...especialy on tap. Darker than typical Tripels, but great aroma.

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Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: bright yellow in color, cloudy, minimal head, moderate carbonation

Smell: alcohol, banana, and Belgian spices

Taste: alcohol, banana, grass, apple, Belgian spices, and a sweet honey end

Mouthfeel: sweet, smooth, minimal carbonation, sticky

Drinkability: A nice and malty tripel. The spices are not as in your face as the sugar. I would buy this again as a treat.

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Photo of Rayek
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chalice.

A: Cloudy straw, with a soapy head that doesn't retain well. Leaves no lace. The weakest part of the beer.

S: Very sweet in the nose. Apples, green grapes and pears interplay nicely. A light dose of clove balances the sweetness.

T: The fruit notes from the nose find their way seemlessly into the flavor. As the beer warms, a biting, yet moderate clove bitterness comes on. An alcohol warmth joins in. The beer finishes tart, dry and slightly sour.

M: The body is fairly light. The carbonation feels way too low for this style.

D: This is an OK tripel, is not a great one. Appearance and mouthfeel are what let this one down in the end. But the overall aroma and flavor is nice.

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Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice yellow color, kinda like pear. Some white bubbles on top, but no real head to speak of.

S:Citrus and strawberries. A hint of grass in there as well, I presume from hops.

T: Came out sour.. but as I get more into it, that fades a bit. Slightly sharp, but with a nice fruity mellow flavor. I am picking up some apple and mellon hints.

M: Slightly thick and syrupy, but only slightly. Not a whole lot of carbonation.

D: Good, but there are a lot of other belgian styles out there, and this one isn't so far above the others that it would merit buying it on a more consistent basis.

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Photo of supercolter
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fairly decent Tripel- but I don't think the Belgians are really the specialty of this brewery. Nice color with good tight lacing and carbonation. Great mix of citrus and dark fruits with some very slights and alcohol on the backend. Not real complex, but it gets the job done. Quite Drinkable, especially given the alcohol content.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a Piraat glass.

Pours a light, relatively clear straw color with some decent carbonation throughout. The head has quickly dissipated and is now loosely clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smells of candy sugar, bread/biscuits, malts, straw, green peppercorns, sage, alcohol. There is some sweetness in the nose here, with some underlying bitterness...perhaps slightly hoppy. The alcohol and sweet sugar aroma come through the strongest here.

Tastes of caramel, sugar, spice (cinnamon?), banana on the edges of the tongue...the banana actually lingers for quite a while. Peppery spice, and an earthy flavor here, as well. The alcohol is hidden well behind a decent bouquet of flavor.

Mouthfeel is light...lighter than expected. That is not to say it is not complex...because it a degree. The beer starts off quite bright, with that Belgian-esque funk, then finishes quietly. I can't get over how much the banana flavor is lingering...I was not expecting that.

This beer is decent, but not one I would return to time and time again. A good shot at a very exquisite style.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Draft Sample @ 1702, Tucson AZ; August 2009
This beer arrives from the tap with a n apparent brisk carbonation yet no head to speak of. The beer is a light gold color and is stunningly brilliantly clear; the lack of carbonation and the color make it look like cider. The beer somehow smells dry with some light fruitiness up front, an earthy / spicy note (coriander'ish) and some dry pear aromas. AS it warms up some tart green apple notes, a touch of pickled ginger, ample clove notes and estery higher alcohols become more noticeable.

The beer tastes sweeter than the aroma suggested, though it is certainly not overly sweet; the sweetness is certainly accentuated by notes of higher alcohols and a clove like spiciness in the finish. There is lots of earthy spiciness to this brew that makes me think it was fermented with a Chimay derived strain of yeast; this always reminds me of dirty coriander and not in a good way. The beer is actually quite dry (the sweetness is more of an accent of the esters than of actual malt sweetness, but there are still some apparent fruit notes to this beer; lightly tart, floral pear notes and some green apple towards the finish are noticeable. A light, but prickly carbonation accentuates the spicy notes found in this beer; peppery notes mix with the phenolics and the turpene like notes really linger on the tongue, even numbing it a bit. Maybe a hint of orange zest becomes noticeable as this beer warms up. This has very little malt character to it, even for a Tripel; it is so clean it almost seems more like a Duvel inspired beer (though the dirty Chimay yeast makes this a definite deviation). This is light bodied and highly quaffable, which I do usually prefer in my Belgian inspired beers.

This beer is not bad, but it is fairly forgettable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Joplin in early spring, 2009 batch (Capped bomber)

Pours an effervescent & chill-hazed honey color with a finger of pearl white head. Stays hazy, above average head retention & good lacing

S: Mown grass & faint green apple

T: Golden delicious apples, grassyness, lemons & juicyfruit up front. More of the same as this warms, with some booze lurking in the background, along with some grapefruit, but a bit too much juicyfruit for me, plus a bit of tartness & peach. Finishes semi-dry & sweet, with bits of lemon, banana, candi sugar, pink grapefruit, peach, & tartness

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit of irritating chalkiness too

Drinks alright, but not a shining example of the style IMO. At least the ABV is well hidden, this just lacks depth & complexity

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Photo of snaotheus
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into two giant snifters

Pours a clear brilliant golden yellow, slightly heady but no lacing. Smells of clove and banana. Sweet and bright.

Taste is surprisingly sour, not overwhelmingly sweet like some tripels, very clovey with a little banana and citrus flavor. Alcohol is noticeable in the taste.

Mouthfeel is light and almost thin. Pretty drinkable beer.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very appealing straw yellow mostly transparent appearance with much fizzing and a fast fleeting head of bubbles leaving absolutely no lace.

Smells like a well brewed Belgian style Triple Ale. Malty and sweet.

A very sweet taste to this Triple. Malty and enjoyable with a small over presence of sugars.

It feels lighter than other Triples yet holds its own.

A well deserved beer to be named Triple.


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Photo of Gmann
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear toasted straw color with a very small head that quickly disipated into the lightest of rings. Very thin looking for a tripel. Nice yeasty aromas, some banana and bubble gum scents. The banana and bubble gum yeast flavors are there but seem to be derailed by the sugar presence. The flavor is quite sweet and has a berry like fruitiness with the slightest touch of hops in the end. The feel is abnormally light and watery for the style and has fairly soft carbonation. The ABV pops its head in every so often. A very disappointing tripel, the body and feel seem way off. The flavors aren't bad but lack the depth of a good tripel. A rare miss for Left Hand.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a hazy, straw-hued body with a thinnish, white head. Very thin streaks of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Sweetish, pilsner malt-laden nose with plenty of fruity notes to be had and as well as a flash of alcohol and crisp graininess.

Taste: Pale and pilsener malts with a fair amount of candy-like, honeyish sweetness and a faint background graininess. Enter in a rich, full mix of fruit flavors: peaches, apples, pears, and, upon warming, a touch of tart lemon. Spicy, lightly earthy hop character with a mild bitterness. Slight yeastiness. Traces of warming peppery alcohol throughout. Semi-dry, warming finish with a lingering taste of spiced apple juice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, fairly enjoyable tripel and a nice beer overall. While I would say there are better tripels to be had, I will also say this one is still worth taking a look at.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: On tap, poured into a snifter

Appearance: Bright, shockingly clear dark gold beer with a thin stark white cap which soon fades to a big thick white ring

Taste: Lots of sweet and sharp peach and citrus flavors...alcohol actually comes through pretty strongly around the middle, there is also a bit of light spice on the end

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied and crisp

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: Nice spicy, fruity tripel...even if there's nothing crazy complex going on here, this is quite solid

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St. Vrain from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 269 ratings