Bourbon Tripel | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Very Good
18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Traditional Belgian-style golden ale with complex aromas and flavors of plums, spice and bananas. Aged for one month in a Four Roses Distillery bourbon barrel.

35 IBU

Added by Kegatron on 07-26-2008

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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 9
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Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed during the first "Meet the Brewers Night" held at the Iron Hill Lancaster location on 7/25/08. A Belgian style Tripel that was aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels for a few months, this was offered exclusively to Mug Club members during the event. Served in a oversized ceramic Mug Club Member mug.

Pours a slightly hazy pale gold with a good finger of creamy cotton ball colored white head. The retention is very good, with a solid thin layer of retention sticking around for a good bit that leaves a very nice looking latticework of lace down the sides of the mug. The aroma is whooowheee! Huge notes of Bourbon in the nose that absolutely dominate the aroma. I've got to dig deep but I eventually find some sense of the Tripel in there, with an underpinning of yeasty malt sweetness and a touch of sour apple fruit tones.

The taste mixes things up and throws the Tripel at you first, with yeasty notes and candied sugars being well balanced by a big tang of fruit character (with mostly sour apple being the dominant culprit). I was also pleased to sense a bit of spice, floral hoppiness and a bloom of bready, yeasty notes coming out in the backend of the Tripel portion as it warmed. Of course, all of that has to give way to that Bourbon aging character, that makes itself known in the backend, finishing things with a sweet and extremely dry feel on the palette that left me begging for a glass of water. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an lively effervescent and poppy carbonation and an overall feel of lingering dryness. For the most part, I felt the alcohol was fairly well hidden with any kind of heat sensations coming straight from the Bourbon character.

This was quite the unique and complex brew for head brewer Paul Rutherford to pull out for his local Muggers and I for one was very pleased with it. I thought that both the Tripel and Boubon characteristics were well represented and flowed well with each other. Beyond the assertive Bourbon notes, I thought that this hid it's alcohol fairly well but at least for me, one mug was more than enough. Good stuff and I hope to see another batch of this sometime in the future.

 2,156 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at the Lancaster brewpub.

A: The ale is the hazy golden-straw color of a tripel, darkened up a tad but the barrel aging. Little head to speak off.

S: The nose is raw bourbon, a first-use (post bourbon, of course) barrel. Nothing tripel-wise comes through.

T: Intensely sweet, the bourbon has become the ale. Vanilla and booze dominate, rarely allowing the tripel's spice profile to emerge. Another overdone bourbon beer (see the bourbon braveheart).

M: Sweet and boozy, this beer could pass for a shot of wild turkey nine times out of ten. If bourbon isn't your thing, stay clear.

D: It's not, unfortunately. Too sweet, like a shot was added to my pint.

 672 characters

Photo of ububru
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white cap that quickly fades into a mild cap. Scattered streaks of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of bourbon soaked oak, sandalwood, black pepper, grains of paradise, nectarine, and apricot.
Taste is of the same aromas with more vanilla sweet stonefruit coming through along with spicy sandalwood. The oaky tannins seem to cling a bit to the strong sweetness that remind me of poached pear, and vanilla beans.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, spritzy, spicy, oaky, chewy, with plenty of oaky vanillins running along the palate with moderate carbonation. A light booziness sets in and the beautiful bourbon becomes more evident. This is really addictive but it will sneak up on a panther in the night. Watch out!

 769 characters

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

Transcribed from undated notes.

This arrived with a finger's worth of foamy, bone-white head with low retention. Color was a cloudy honey-yellow. Nose was filled with bourbon underlain by a tropical fruitiness. Mouthfeel was medium with a solid Belgian-yeast fruitiness on the tongue, banana and tangerine, especially. Finish had a slight alcohol burn accompanied by bourbon and banana flavors. It was interesting, but not compelling.

 435 characters

Photo of phantomwyse
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Light honey body with a thinnish white head.

S: Lots of bourbon with a slight undercurrent of typical tripel aromas, slightly fruity and citric, peppery, with a touch of oak.

T: Sharp bourbon, oaked vanilla. When this beer wamrs up the alcohol flavor recedes slightly revealing a better interplay of bourbon with the base tripel.

M: Medium bodied, crisp, with a touch of alcohol.

D: Better as it moved away from the pour temperature. But, damn, the bourbon is prevalent. Just a bit overpowering.

 502 characters

Photo of Dbot
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of BARFLYB
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of RedWeizen83
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of Slatetank
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of bonkers
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap served in a tulip, Wilmington,De location. It pours a deep copper, small white head, light lacing. The aroma is heavy on bourbon, some sweetness. The beer is very complex, heavy on bourbon and vanilla, finsihes with a pleasant bourbon kick. The beer is full bodied, thick, resinous mouth feel, alcohol provides a pleasant burn. A great BA tripel, some of the qualities of a tripel are lost, but the complexity of the beer more than makes up for it.

 466 characters

Photo of guzzle211
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to enjoy this on tap Saturday, July 26th. It wasn't 'officially' available, but after asking a few dozen questions about it, a glass finally came my way. It was described to me as a "vanilla bean bourbon barrel Tripel."

I am assuming it was the same brew as reviewed previously. The version I had was very distinctly flavored by the vanilla beans that were placed in the bourbon barrel.

It pours a crystal clear copper with brownish hues, a very full (surprising for the abv) bleached bone white head took its time to disappear. I was surprised by the amount of lacing, considering this is a 10% Tripel. Carbonation bubbles continue strong throughout the entire glass, never allowing the brew to become flat or lose the thin halo of lace the adorns the top.

The aroma at first is 50/50 vanilla and bourbon. Period. The alcohol does mellow as it warms, but at first I almost expected to see vapors. The vanilla maintains its presence in the nose throughout. However, as time goes on, the characteristics of the Tripel slowly emerge, with the emerging spices adding to the continuing complexity of this brew.

The taste is even more complex than the nose. There is just so much going on . . . the base is a very solid Tripel, with enough complexities of its own. On top of that are the vanilla beans. Underlying all of this is the bourbon barrel flavoring, which is a subtle soother in some sips, dominator in other sips. As the beer warms, the changes are quite noticeable. This brew deserves some serious contemplation, my exact words to the bartender were "wow, that's quite a journey."

It is quite drinkable for sure, but considering the ABV and the whirlwind of flavors, this was a one-and-done brew for me. I tried my hardest to make it back the following day to spend some more time getting to know this extrmemely rare one-off, brewed in my own hometown, but unfortunately it did not happen. I am left with only my memories and tasting notes . . .

 1,968 characters

Photo of George2744
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of LehighAce06
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of DIM
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a slightly hazy golden yellow. It was served to me with a little white froth around the edge of the glass.

s: Surprisingly mild but enticing. Sweet candied sugar, vanilla, and a little bourbon were all present. The sweetness of the tripel and the bourbon reminded me a little of brandy at times.

t: Tripel flavors of candied suagr with a little banana balanced out by bourbon, fairly strong vanilla, and some faint oakiness.

m: Gentle, lush carbonation and an average body.

d: I'm glad I had the chance to try this one, but it isn't my favorite from my local Iron Hill.

 585 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

A: Poured a nice cloudy golden color with a finger of head. Really nice tight lacing for the style.

S: Bartender said this was aged for 7 months in bourbon barrels and after smelling it I believed him. Not quite Chaotic chemistry bourbon but very strong. Some sweetness was right behind that with hints of mostly apples. Little hint of the yeast as well which gave it a nice Belgian nose.

T: The bourbon was right up front. Sort of followed the nose. As it warmed the bourbon sort of faded and the sweetness and the fruits became more apparent.

M: Medium body a little on the heavy side. A little bit sticky as well.

D: Some members of our party got a sampler and did not care for us so my cup overfloweth! Really good beer. Bartender said they thought it might be infected due to the apple taste. Maybe it was a little wild but that is ok with me. Definitely worth trying.

 911 characters

Photo of MerkurKing16
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of TheDarkKnight
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Bourbon Tripel from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 18 ratings