Devil's Backbone | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Devil's BackboneDevil's Backbone

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Pegasus on 05-18-2005

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Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 772
Photo of Premo88
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(drank it on 4/3/13; best if consumed by 8/10/13)

L: pale yellow-orange, slightly opaque with pure white head about 1-inch thick with big bubbles on top; the head is different with the soapy-like bubbles; decent lacing off the head .

S: bananas, sweet/sour wine, sour grapes, fruity sweetness

T: sour/sweet wine-like taste, bananas ... very hefeweizen-like in a way, but the ABV kicks in on the finish and you can taste some of that alcohol; very balanced over all of its different taste notes

F: solid but not as much carbonation as most Belgians

O: great change-of-pace brew with all of the major key notes of a tripel. wine-drinkers would love this brew.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tripel wise I don't think it was real outstanding in appearance, hazy tan with a 1 finger head that quickly settled to a white sheen, but the lacing was pretty good.

Taste and aroma had plenty of tripel qualities, Belgian yeast, cloves, banana, spices. A slight crispness enhances the flavors, it's a bit more drinkable than a typical tripel. Alcohol is only noticeable on the way down as it warms slightly. Body is medium to working on being full, carbonation is fairly low for a tripel, but by no means is it flat.

It's tasty. I don't personally think it's RABC's best, but then they have made quite a few beers that I really enjoy, so it's a bit hard to choose. OK it's still a tie between four squared and altbier, if you force me to tell. But the Devil's backbone is pretty good too.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thin carbonated head. Head retention and lacing are minimal. Belgian yeast aroma with slight stale aroma. Taste of malty Belgian yeast, slight coriander and tropical fruit. There is a little spiciness at the end. Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Good taste, but the aroma isn't very appealing.

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Photo of BSDA
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Being a huge fan of Belgian Ales, from this golden style to a deep, dark divinity like Chimay Grande Reserve, this one is right up my alley. The hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste is not strong like an IPA, somwhere around 35 IBUs? Poured from a bottle into a 16oz, short bell-shaped glass with handle. Color is a beautiful goldenrod, and smell is fruity, like subdued bananas and sweet malts. Feeling on the tongue and palate is thicker than wheat beer, but nowhere near amber or dark Belgian ale. Head dissipates very quickly in such a wide-mouth glass, and barely lasts 3min in a thin, fluted glass. No matter, because if you like a little bitter with your golden cream, then this is a beer for your roster. I give it a 4/5 because it lacks a little in complexity, though there are spices noted throughout the tasting experience. I will definitely buy again, as it delivers a simple Tripel experience without the Belgian Tripel price. A very Americanized version of a classic, this one is good for advocates to become acquainted with the heavier Belgian styles. Excellent for a sweet tooth, and quite refreshing!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real Ale Devil’s Backbone ale has a very thin, fizzy, off-white head, a hazy, brilliant, golden-orange appearance, some streaming bubbles, little floating brown particles, a descending gray-brown cloud, and decent lacing film left behind. The aroma is of sweet hard candy, grain husk, sweet corn, and yeast zest. Flavor is of peppery, yeasty, sweet, sugary malt, candy, grits, and a mellow hop bitterness to close out the sip. Mouthfeel is rather watery, and Devil’s Backbone finishes semi-dry, crisp, not alcohilic, and decently drinkable.


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Photo of ajisai
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Where/When: Austin, TX May 12th with best before date of October 22.

Serving: Bottle.

Scent: Really reminds me of Live Oak Hefeweizen. Sugary... Sort of banana-ish. A tad nutty.

Taste: The flavors are very light--the carbonation is constantly fighting with them. I feel a bit of vanilla and banana. Aftertaste is almost the same as initial taste; doesn't really change from sip to gulp. Lemon, banana, and vanilla is what I'd say overall.

Overall: Very nice drink. It's almost *too* deceiving because three of these will get me woozy. I would never think that this was 8% from how smooth it goes down. One of the more tasty beers from Real Ale.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Grendle for this one.

Quite the tang on this one. Somehow it works well enough, but it's not really bringing balance or a level of complexity that keeps it interesting. I think I can sum if up by saying that it's pretty one dimensional. And frankly, this is what Belgian styles of yesteryear tasted like when coming out of the U.S.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drank 4 months before it's best by date.

Poured slowly down the middle of a chalice reveals a finger of white head that eventually falls apart to almost nothing and a clear golden colored body.

Smells of sweet bubblegum, apple cider, floral, with some spice.

Follows the nose with sweetness, apple fruitiness, spice, bready, and a touch bitter.

I drank this fairly warm and picked up slight alcohol vapors and flavor which provided a nice warming sensation. Could use a bit more carbonation. Pretty nice tripel overall.

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Photo of visualweasel
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A cloudy golden yellow with a weak white head, leaving behind minimal lacing. Had to agitate the pour to get a nice collar, which then dissipated rapidly.

S: Fairly typical Belgian tripel aromas: bubblegum, candy sugar, bananas. Quite nice.

T: Follows the nose, with the bubblegum prevailing (in a good way). Very nice indeed for the style, especially from a Texas brewer.

M: Medium-bodied with weak carbonation. Would have liked to see a bit more, but not at all bad.

O: A very nice example of the style. I thoroughly enjoyed this and found it a notch or two better than the Dick's Belgian Tripel (Centralia, WA) which I also had the same night.

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Photo of n2185
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear golden yellow with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin cap with good lacing.

S: Belgian spices witb lots of sweet candy sugar, bubblegum, and bananas. Yeasty aromas on the finish.

T: similar to the aroma, spices, bubblegum, and candy sugar dominate with a slightly bitter and yeasty finish.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a bit sticky and under-attenuated for my tastes.

O: a decent tripel overall. A bit heavy and not as balanced as I'd like, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of shortedaman
4.88/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I prefer this beer from the bottle. I have had 50+ of these. The key to this one is freshness. I too have grown a fondness for real ale brewing. Since im in houston i get it pretty fresh.

I love this beer. I love the alcohol content, i love how its super easy to drink, i love the taste. Its fruity and fairly thick, medium carbonation, nice belgian yeast flavor.

drinking this one from the bottle seems to add to the style. Pouring it into a tulip is all well and good, however theres just something special about drinking straight from the bottle. It tones down the fruitiness and alcohol taste. This beer needs to be reviewed by the bros for sure.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a fluted beer glass.

Pours an orange/yellow blend, with fast acting white foam. Fruity nose, and the candi sugar is in there too. Fruit flavored flavor, light sugary middle, mild hop bite. Medium complexity. Good cafrbonation in the mouthfeel. Little bit of peppery hop at the end.

Good flavor, nice blend.

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Photo of Labeorphile
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay chalice. Extremely clear for a Triple, showing it is filtered and not refermented in the bottle. Almost no head, and what there is quickly disappears.

Pineapple citrus in the nose, maybe some coriander, hints of banana. The taste has the flavor of a Triple, but one that isn't quite right. Tastes like an "Americanized Triple", which I guess is what it is. Overly clean, like they got the flavors right but not the character. Like someone singing Karaoke of your favorite song.

Not bad, especially if you aren't familiar with the true Belgians.

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Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden and sudsy in the glass. A very attractive beer. Pleasantly carbonated and on the creamy side. A very nice nose of yeast and overripe pineapple.

The Belgian flavors are nicely integrated. This is both mellow and malty, and sharp and spicy. The yeasty flavors dry out toward the finish, though the bitterness is not as strong as many others brewed with Belgian yeast. A touch of green apple skins. On the whole it makes for a very drinkable beer. It could use just a little more edge, either with tart or bitter flavors.

Thoroughly pleasant brew that may not be a world class Tripel, but it does credit to the style. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Pinkie's in San Angelo, Texas.

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Photo of pgfault
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: draught into a standard pint.

Pours a cloudy straw color with about 1cm head, which dissipated about half way thru.

Scent is pretty strong Belgian yeast. More than expected for this Texas brew.

Taste is just what you smell, along with banana. Scent seems to go away near the end of the beer.

Overall a very drinkable a pleasant beer, albeit deceivingly high in ABV. Grab one on tap if you can.

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Photo of OgreSanchez
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got from Total Wine in Dallas. I was pleasantly surprised with this beer; it's by far the best I've had from Real Ale. A sweet start is topped off my a nice spicy, semi-smokey finish that perfectly masks the ~8% ABV. It is classified as a abbey style tripel, however it's not really like any style beer I've ever had before.

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Photo of bboven
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Nice bright orange color, great haze, but very small head and no lacing.

S: A bit one dimenensional but all the right notes are there, Sweet, yeasty, bready, and just a little boozy.

T: A bit too much oxidation (yes, it's fresh according to the date on the bottle) but nicely sweet and a little boozy.

M: Spot on. Thick, creamy, low carbonation but not sticky. Best part of this beer.

O: Wouldn't be my first choice for this style but it definitely gets the job done.

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Photo of Ford
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this one straight from the bottle at Rudy's BBQ and Country Store in Clear Lake, Texas.

To tell the truth I haven't really liked this style much in the past. This is the first one I think I would grab and drink again.

You can certainly taste and feel the alcohol up front. There is some citrus fruit taste to me, but not overpowering. A bit of bitterness at the finish. I'm really starting to like Real Ale Brewing Company.

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Photo of emerge077
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Chris for this one!
Bottle dated "best by 12.14.12".

Hazy glowing saturated orange, thin cap of creamy finely-textured foam. A thin ring around the edge, otherwise not much retention. Ever present rising trails of carbonation.

Pepper, dried apricot, phenolic Belgian yeast.

Smooth and creamy, somewhat bitter and peppery. Lingering dry aftertaste. Vague fruitiness thats hard to pin down, though orange and apricot come to mind. PLenty yeasty and phenolic in the taste, following the aroma. Seems pretty solid, a textbook tripel.

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Photo of ronzorelli
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had high hopes for this one. I'm slightly underwhelmed based on the other reviews. I wonder if I got a bad bottle of it.

Zero head. No lacing. Nothing but slick surface in the chalice. Even when I stirred it a little with my finger to release some of the carbonation, what very little rose to the surface, dissipated very quickly. No retention at all.

In the nose, I get a little caramel and a little citrus, but not much of either.

On the palate, it's slightly weak and a little bland. Not completely void of flavor, but just not a whole heck of a lot of anything. I do pick up faint hints of caramel. Some fruit, in the sharp apple range, and a little orange zest.

Is it a decent beer? Compared to big brew, yeah. Compared to other lines from Real Ale, it's average.

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Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of hops, alcohol, slight yeast, sweet malt, hint of citrus, and subtle spice. Fits the style of a Tripel. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol foremost, citrus, sweet malt, slight yeast, spice, and a hint of hops. Overall, good body, blend, and aroma.

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Photo of lnashsig
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#BOTG 72. This is a local brew that I shamefully haven't ever tried before. Thanks to my boy Brandon for sharing this with me. Poured from bottle into DFH snifter. fluffy, white head doesn't recede much, and billowing amounts of carbonation flow off the bottom of this crystal clear burnt orange colored beer after I get it in the glass. Really nice looking. Smell- honey, burnt caramel, candied sugar, spices on the end. Nice. Taste- hmm. I got a mouth full of spices- maybe nutmeg, cinnamon in there. Some sweetness behind it, but what I didn't get that I was really expecting was that honey/burnt caramel flavor that I got on the aroma. This actually has a fair amount of bitterness on it, and doesn't have that big backbone that you would expect to get from a tripel. Regardless, this is a solid brew, one that I would have again. One of the great things about the #rootrootdrink challenge is being forced to try new beers, and this is a nice outcome- finding a local beer that you've passed over before that is really pretty good.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear golden straw colour. The sudsy white head dissipates quickly, but does not lace the glass.

The nose is driven by the banana/orange fruit and the spices continue the Belgian theme. There's an underlying bready maltiness as well.

The Taste pretty much follows the nose. The banana/citrus combo teams up with a clove-y spice and... almost like a coriander? This is a predominantly sweet beer, with a definitively Belgian theme to it. There's a little bit of mildly spicy hops on the finish/aftertaste, but make no mistake, this beer is driven by it's fruits and spices.

Good carbonation, and quite drinkable. Check it out if you like tripels and belgians, but if you tend to shy away from them, this may not be for you.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear golden colored beer beneath a small white head.

Cloves, sour grains, citrus, light spices and probably some other things coming through in a well balanced complex aroma.

Citrus and cloves seems to outweigh light hops, and light grains taste. Kind of different and also kind of good, although I don't know if I could drink a bunch of these, probably get tired of the clove to spice taste pretty quick.

A light dry aftertaste with some lingering spices attached.

This medium bodied beer seems to be a downplayed fall/winter
spiced seasonal and having said that I think I like this better.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received from mhenson42 in a trade- thanks!

The appearance is clear gold with white head. Head disappears quickly and leaves minimal lacing. The nose is full of ripe banana and mild waves of clove. There is also a bit of honey and lemon present. The taste is sweet up front with grape, banana and lemon. Spicy cloves balance out the sweetness nicely. The body is some what big and the carbonation is low. Overall, this is a great American tripel with lots of delicate banana flavor.

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Devil's Backbone from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 772 ratings.
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