Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style TripleFish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple

Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zacharius on 01-17-2003

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 74
Photo of dancinwillie
2.31/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a single, purchased at Woodman's West, Madison, Wisconsin.

Poured into a pint glass, looks a lovely dark amber, somewhat darker than I'm used to, for the style. Small head leaves pretty quickly. No lacing.

Not picking up much scent at all. A very tiny hint of citrus, but not much.

Tasted a little yeast, a bit of citrus, and a hint of pepper. Tastes like a tripel, just not much of a taste. Sort of a tripel light I guess. Very weak flavor. Not impressed by this one at all. Mouthfeel was very thin as well, with minimal carbonation.

Overall drinkability for me, would ultimately be low. Not a good representation of the style, in my opinion. I will try this one again, to see if my sample was tainted, and I hope it was, because I did not enjoy this one at all.

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Photo of Crosling
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Orange Leather. Subtle aroma that is ignited by the swirl of the glass. Distinct Fish barrel aging smell. Light oak, winey fruitiness (probably red wine but possibly a chardonnay or sauv blanc), butterscotch, rum, light & dark fruits and a subtle, herbal hop scent. In taste, the oak character is much less pronounced when compared to their other barrel aged beers. Notes of fruits (apricots, peaches), wine, sweet malts and a touch of noble hops. Poorly hidden alcohol and very light on the palate. Overall, just lacking in both aroma and taste. A cohesive brew that definately improved with oak aging but how terrible would this brew have been without it? I get the feeling that this beer was a little slighted because of Old Woody, Poseidon’s, Leviathan and Detonator. They can do much better.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber. Probably the newest batch (2006?); there's no date anywhere. Pours a deeper shade of orange than I was expecting, with admirable head that eventually goes away. Fruity nose with some grapefruit hops and floral aroma. The beer has some trademark Fish Tale buttery malts, with herbal, bitter hops and a relatively mild yeast profile. Not especially Belgian in character. The alcohol is abrasive at this young age; it would benefit from some aging. There is some nice malt sweetness tucked away, and a floral hop crispness, but on the whole, the beer does not compel you to drink more. Mouthfeel feels much like an IPA, medium-to-full bodied, with some hop oiliness. The alcohol flavors need time to recede; best wait with this one.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage 22 ounce bottle. Saw a floor stackout of these at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, and immediately wanted to stock up, having remember the enjoyable oak aged Fish beers I had back in the early 90s. After trying this one, I'm glad I only bought the one.

Pours a nice copper color, with a fairly decent head. I took a sniff, expecting some bourbon, but all I get is white zinfandel, and maybe green apples. On the palate, I get a little oak, a hint of vanilla and a lot more cheap wine. Alcohol is quite present, as this one is pretty hot. Crisp and nicely carbonated, but not all that drinkable after a while. A decent effort, but certainly nothing special.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chocolate chip-flecked, dark orange. Unfortunately, I let too much beer escape into the glass. Now there's a large number of small, dark floaters and large, dark chunks swimming around, refusing to settle. The head is orangish cream in color and is densely compact. If it wasn't for the still suspended nasty junk, this would be a fine looking tripel. At least it isn't as hideously ugly as a real monkfish. Have you ever seen one of those things? Yeesh!

I wish I knew what causes this smell that I always attribute to organic beer. I was surprised to find it here until I glanced at the label and was reminded that Monkfish is a product of the Fish Brewing Company. Maybe it's just a house aroma (or, rather a house odor) and is due to the yeast that these guys use. Otherwise: pale malty, orange fruity, mildly ethanolic.

Monkfish is still brashly boozy despite its 1+ years of rest. I get the feeling that it would have deteriorated rather than improved with a few more years under its belt, even if that would have broken the 'bucking bronco' nature of the alcohol. There's plenty of sweet malt on hand, as well as an orange-sections-soaked-in-vodka fruitiness and a surprising hoppy bitterness.

The problem is, the various flavors come together like cars at a busy intersection with no stop signs: near misses, side-swipes and full-on, bone-jarring crashes abound. The whole, loud, chaotic, hurly-burly is, unfortunately, steeped in a tongue numbing, grain alcohol stew that doesn't allow it to be appreciated, even if it deserves to be.

As I get into the bottom half of the glass (the bottom inch of the bottle will stay right where it is), I'm feeling a bit better about things, but only slightly. There's a medicinal, almost phenolic aspect to the flavor that is a poor substitute for the wonderful, spicy yeastiness of a true Belgian tripel. I like the mouthfeel. It's closer to medium than to full and is, by far, the most accomplished part of this ale.

Anyone on the lookout for a good American version of the tripel style should look elsewhere because I found nothing of the sort in this bottle. Fish BC got the ABV and the mouthfeel right, but failed in all other areas. Although it isn't as butt ugly as a real monkfish, Monkfish Belgian Style Triple Ale 2004 is no beauty queen, that's for damn sure. Miss Congeniality? Not a chance.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice it forms an eggshell white head that leaves behind sporadic sliding lace. Body has a cloudy Orange unfiltered look to it with carbonation clinging to the sides of the glass.

On the hoppy side for a tripel. Leaves a thin coating on the palate. Fruity tones are understated and more of an afterthought. My first impression of this offering is it has some American strong ale characteristics w/ a hop kicker. A bit dirty overall and needs some refinements.

Notes: Another American attempt at a tripel and another one comes up short. Keep trying fellas and I'll keep sampling as they come along.

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Photo of katelovesbeer
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - true deep amber, a tiny bit cloudy, and a mere 1" thin head that dissipated quickly

Smell - Predominantly very sweet malt scent; classic yeasty scents in the background; a tiny bit of fruit in the smell but not as much as expected. In fact, most of the fruit scent is a lingering ester/alcohol scent.

Taste - My first thought was "green apples!". The sweetness from this beer tastes like its all from malts as opposed to fruits and/or spices. Definite sweet fruit profiles as well like the above mentioned green apple, cherries, and maybe a little bit of banana. There is a definite ester-y taste at the back which lingers a tiny bit.

Mouthfeel - smooth and slick with a medium weight, I can almost feel the sugars on my tongue.

Drinkability - Eh, I'm undecided. A tasty and fascinating beer, for sure. Its unlike any other triple I've had. I don't think I'd recommend it to hardcore Belgian beer fans. It's not a bad beer! Just... odd. Sweet :)

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle-conditioned, amber body, off-white film. Very toasty malty aroma. Roasted pears, mango, grilled malty and vinous grapes. Appealing aroma. In mouth, the stale comes out boring and stale. Not much development at all. Wine character doesn’t marry so well at all with such absence of life (carbonation is extremely low while the body is moderately thick). A bit of mango here and there, nutty aspects. Very warming alcohol for 8%, moderately bitter finish, heavily astringent. Sadly disappointing. Thanks TAR for the opportunity.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle split into two giant snifters

Pours a ruby-amber with no head and no visible carbonation, no lacing. Smell is sour and malty.

Taste is sweet and very sour, almost tart (but not a sour ale -- it's a less fruity sour).

Mouthfeel is light and surprisingly not flat (considering the beer looks quite flat). Fairly drinkable -- once you have enough, I'm sure you can have more.

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Photo of Cwrw
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Available here in the 650ml brown bottles. Label is simple but classy, with the fish taking up the front. 9% abv.

The beers pours nice enough, with subtle hazing, a golden sparkle and sizable head that went down quite quickly. Lacing is average. Maybe a little darker than some tripels I've had.

The aroma is first and foremost a big hit of candy sugar, but something doesn't fit the style at all, and I think it's the extreme saccharine sweetness--less like a balanced tripel and more like smelling burnt sugar. It gives a tangy chemical aroma. Otherwise there is nothing much to the aroma...very little malt, although some leafy hops are detectable.

The taste is better than the aroma, with a full mouthfeel. However, the sugar somehow. Also, the hops just don't jell with this beer. Oddly enough, despite the sugary aroma, the hopping is way too high for a tripel. The beer has a great deal of salinity. All in all, it's pretty drinkable. Something just doesn't click, for the style.

It's worth a try, and cheers to Fish Tales for trying the style. It just really falls short of any of the true Belgian tripels.

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Photo of cokes
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004. 12oz.
Sandblasted ocher with a tight beige crowning of foam.
Aromatic of chalkdust, wet basement, and pineapple/vodka mixed drinks.
Begins with a glimpse of crackery pale malt that's immediately unseated by phantoms of fruit. Pineapple, pear, and apple. Turns a bit rugged midway, presenting vodka-like booze traits with their sweet, hot, grain emissions. A mildewed sense develops, along with those same chalky traits from the nose. Ends with a citrus-leaning hop burst of lemon rind and orange pulp and a lessening of the ABV sting.
The mouthfeel is firm and full, but (almost) fully carbonated per the style....a feat few American-made tripels pull off. But this carries a but too much weight and appears as Belgian-influence barleywine...a flaw typical of most US versions.
I really did not like this at first, but it has grown on me a little. It's still too uneven and harsh to consider noteworthy...but time may change that.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 Edition
$3.49 12oz. bottle

Very cool label with, what appears to be, a fossilized monkfish. The initial appearance was nice and hazy golden as it poured, but even after a careful pour, there was a tremendous amount of yeasties floating around. The light head vanished rather quickly, but I have been noticing that with the last few tripels I have tried. The aroma is sweet(candi sugar) but followed with a barnyard smell. I let the pig shit smell clear my mind. The taste is surprisinly nice with a nice crisp dry finish. The alcohol is not hidden very well, but it makes a nice appearance at that throat. Not a bad tripel. It has all the right pieces somewhere, it just needs to put them together.

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Photo of Floydster
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased from Red Carpet Wine in Glendale for about four dollars a few years back, 2004 vintage, wanted to try this version before opening my barrel aged version, drank a few nights ago, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, color is closest to a golden amber, there is quite a bit of orange in it too though, 3/4 inch clumpy white head that left some minor lacing, decent retention too, smell was pretty sweet overall and full of malts, there was caramel, toffee, plums, berries, and a very limited amount of spices, taste was sweet up front with both toffee and caramel, also some brown sugar, finish has strange with a bit of a musty presence, later on as it warmed there was lots of alcohol and yeasty flavors, a little too sweet but enjoyable at times, sweet, fruity, and yeasty mouthfeel, medium bodied, decent level of carbonation, could not drink much more than this little bottle, heavy from the sweet presence, not smooth and needs some dryness to balance the fruit and malt, not a bad tripel, aged well with sweetness and malt complexity, other than that it is just a little above average, hope its oaked counterpart outshines this one, would drink again regardless, recommended

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Photo of drewbage
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled in a 14oz Belgian Tulip at the Stumbling Monk (Seattle WA)

Appearance: A hazy cherry orange in the glass.

Aroma: Soapy cinnamon sweet with a candied orange peel aroma. A sticky white head that clings in patches to the glass.

Flavor: A sweet ripe strawberry wine with a light ginger and bublegum sweetness and a full intense alcohol warmth.

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Photo of sponberg
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 edition, proclaimed in big font on the label. Pours a medium gold-copper with a tight white head that just does not EVER leave completely. Plenty o' chunks floating around in the brew settle quickly to the bottom of the glass. Aroma of tropical fruit (mangoes and pineapples primarily), esters, and fusel alcohol.

This beer defines warming surge of alcohol. Tastes like some Dogfish Head products - that same hot alcohol flavor that permeates Immort Ale when fresh is here in spades. Behind it hides an interesting brew - tropical fruit esters combine with yeastiness, hints of cinnamon and some green apple dipped in tupelo honey to create an intriguing flavor combination. The heat dies down a bit as it warms, allowing the background flavors to bloom a bit - definitely try this brew at cellar, not fridge, temperature for best effect. Sticky and round mouthfeel, bigger and chewier than many tripels. I enjoy this beer, and wonder how good it could be, and how addictive, if the alcohol were just toned down a bit. Lay this one down vertically for a season or two and, if the heat dies down, be prepared to have your taste buds dance.

Many thanks to Marc R. in Syracuse for the bottle!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one a fair amount over the years, but never reviewed it before... 22 picked up today at the Boise COOP. Poured into my little Cigar City snifter... short lasting white head... okay lacing... the brew is clear golden.

Nose is fruity and boozy... apricot and mild orange... hints of spicy phenols...

Flavor has an odd astringent bite up front that lingers almost all the way through the sip.... just enough sweetness begins mid palate to pull out some fruity esters... again mild phenols on the finish... good body and carbonation... but overall it seems pretty pedestrian.... I remember liking this one a lot more.

all 3.5's

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Photo of ccrida
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was an older 22 oz bottle, I picked it up at least 8+ months ago, and found it all alone in the back of the store cooler, where it looked like it had been for a while, labeled 8.5% ABV. Poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Monkfish is a clear dark bronze with a small off white head that quickly settles to a tight collar and lotus root slice shaped skim, leaving light, scattered lace. Nice steady crackle on the ear, which I can thank Fred for recently pointing out the virtues of observing. I don't really care for amber trippels, the paler the better in my book. Furthermore, I look for a large, rocky, long lasting head and Brussels lace. 0 for 3.

Smell is very sweet, lots of sugar and esters, strikingly similar to banana taffy. I really like it, but I have a sweet tooth with beer, and recognize some would find this to be too much.

Taste is spicy, fruity, sweet and smooth, with a nice light wisp of alcohol. It seems a bit to malty though, maybe it's just the color that has me thinking they used too much specialty malt. The color and smell had me fear this would miss the mark, but I think it has the appropriate amount of spiciness, even if it is a bit on the sugary side. Pretty clean, with light phenols and slight tininess.

Mouthfeel is a bit too thick, again a victim of what I reckon to be a heavy handed malt bill, leaving a sugary coating on the teeth and gums.

Drinkability is pretty good, and while the taste is within the parameters for the style, it lacks the Belgian digestibility, and would undoubtedly be identified as an American version in blind tasting. I'm glad I aged this a bit, and assume more time would help it lighten up some, but overall, it was a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a slightly hazed bright golden hue, thin creamy white head.

Clean grains, some sharp spicy yeast, papaya and dried apricots, plus some dry leafy hops on the nose.

Dry biscuity grains, dry yeasty spice, orchard fruit, some citrus peel in the flavour. Leafy hops on the finish, with a fairly clean aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, with a dry texture and brisk carbonation.

This may sound a bit off but I find this a nice easy-drinking Tripel--while it's not very complex for the style, it's not watered down or one-dimensional either. An enjoyable sipper that quenches, while it hides its alcohol content very well.

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Photo of zacharius
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a light Belgian lace head that lasts throughout the drink. On first sip a warm blast of alcohol slaps you in the face followed by the flavor of hops, bitter orange and spice. The alcohol flavor is strong like a coctktail. Flavor changes over the course of several seconds and is an enjoyable an intresting experience. This beer lacks the strong fruity esters that some tripels exibit. Drinkability is much better than most beers of this style but you still don't want to drink more than a pint or two in a sitting.

Note that in the name of this beer "triple" is what their menu said, this is not a typo.

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Photo of froghop
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear orange-ruby with a thin off-white head, and some lacing.

smell of dark fruit, some caramel, and sour malt.

taste is a little tart, prunes, grapes, some bread yeast, and some sour malt, ends on the dry side and just a little bitter.

overall a nice tripel.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale muted orange with a smallish light capping of slightly stained white foam. The foam slips awya quickly to leave some bubbles and thin collaring. Some looped strings of lace stick about the glass.

Aroma is dullish caramel and orange candy mixed into a blend of malty richness. some peach, pear, and fig notes appear as it warms as does a bit of heat.

Taste is about the same, persay; mostly malty, darkly sweet and deep orange tinted flavors of candy, pith, and peels mix with a bit of caramel. A smidgeon dry off the back end and has a fairly open finish without much happening.

Feel is soft, smooth, and creamy with about a mediumish body, has a bit of an emptyness about its character overall both in taste and body thats not quite fulfilling my expections for a "Triple".

Nothing really bad or wrong with this, it just comes up short I'm afraid. Good drinker though. No problems there. A good example of the style that could be used as an intro to said style.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Semi cloudy copper color with a sticky lacing and a very little head that is gone quick.

S - Smells of Sour Cherries, Strawberries, Mangos, Alcohol, and Rose wine.

T - Tastes of Sour Cherries, Tangerines, Peach, sweet malts and Acidic like a Rose wine.

M - Medium carbonation with a syrupy feel.

D - Drinkability is nice but I couldn't drink more than 1 unless there was food available but with the sweetness and the alcohol it is even less so.

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Photo of dnichols
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22 oz bottle served in a large mug.

Appearance – Beautiful peachish-brown body with a slight head.

Smell – Fresh smell of fruits including a lingering hint of citrus aroma. The odor of alcohol overwhelms the other aromas.

Taste – An orange flavor dominated the initial sips but as I got further into the glass I was somewhat disappointed. The aftertaste of the alcohol and hoppy bitterness lingered creating a sourness that diminished the taste of subsequent draws from the mug.

Mouthfeel – A tad thin leaving me wanting something more to fill the space in my mouth I expect a triple to fill.

Drinkability – This is a tasty beer that falls short of the mark. It is a near miss; but a valiant effort. It's still too uneven and harsh to consider for a second and third round.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’m not sure if Fish still bottles Monkfish. I haven’t seen those big green magnums in awhile, not even at the pub. But it was good to get a schooner on draught and remind myself that northwest brewers can at times brew a credible Belgian replica.

Monkfish (which, by the way, is one of my favorite seafoods) is warm bronze or apricot color. Fish serves it only in tall 10-oz pilsner glasses that accent its unclouded body. Its clarity is somewhat surprising given that the bottled version is rife with gobs of floating yeasties. My glass arrived with a soft soapy head, tossing a gentle air of Belgian spice. The taste was a focused array of cinnamon, peppercorn, and candi sugar with showings of heather and green apple. Of these, the candi-sugar element was most prominent though not too harsh for casual appreciation.

It’s rare to find a northwest Belgian-style ale that really works magic and Monkfish isn’t magical. But it is very nice and finishes with a slight puckering close. Recommended.

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Photo of Jredner
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz from World of Beer in Clearwater.

Has a cloudy orange/yellow appearance that reminds me of peach juice. The white head is about a thumb thick and fades slowly leaving a clingy lace. Aroma is lightly sweet with some vague fruit notes and a mild breadiness. Flavor is fairly narrow with a mix of ripe and unripe apples and other fruit notes...maybe pear or peach. Light yeast notes. Finish is lightly bitter then sweet and fruity. It’s not an easy beer to define as far as picking out distinct mostly hints. Not sure I like that. It’s faily still on the tongue as far as mouthfeel goes.

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Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
3.72 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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