Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Blond (Brass Cap)
De Brabandere

Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Blond (Brass Cap)Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Blond (Brass Cap)
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Style:
Belgian Tripel
Ranked #501
ABV:
7.5%
Score:
83
Ranked #38,997
Avg:
3.61 | pDev: 13.3%
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
58
From:
De Brabandere
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  1
Gots
  5
SCORE
83
Good
Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Blond (Brass Cap)Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Blond (Brass Cap)
Notes:
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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 58
Reviews by treque:
Photo of treque
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a hazy, gold in color. with a very rich, creamy, consistent, persistent, white head. Waste is left behind on the glass

S: sweet notes, caramel, malt, some astrigency

T: it has a nice taste, but gets a little shorter compared to some other tripel, is not so weel balanced, sweet and bitter, but the alcohol is so present, even is not so high you can feel it evrywhere

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mickeymac
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BA for setting me straight. At the store, I thought I bought two different styles of Pilaarbijter. By the time I got home five minutes later, they had magically turned into one style: "Tripel ale fermented in the bottle." I turned to BA to solve the mystery, and my brothers came through. Blond and brown.

The blond pours with a heaping mass of thick white foam that looks like a craggy ice formation. Despite its formidable appearance, the head settles down rather quickly. The beer is a lightly hazy gold with lots of bubbles. The smell is decidedly light for a tripel, with some medicinal smells and a fair amount of hops for a Belgian. The taste is also on the light side, with the flavors become more pronounced-and true to the tripel style-after it sits a while. It's a decent beer but a low-key tripel.

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Photo of stcules
2.51/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When we opened the bottle, the foam come out of it in an uncontrollable way... After we poured the beer in the glass, the foam is still a lot, and with very big bubbles... The colour is yellow, with a little of turbidity. Floreal smell, not bad, maybe a little spicy (pepper). At the taste it don't left nothink remarkable, and it don't keep the promises of the smell (not a big promise, but anyway...). The aftertaste is scarce and not persistent, nothing noticeable.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 330ml/11.2 fl.oz tall thin brown glass bottle. The main label (as others have correctly pointed out) is somewhat confusing, as it appears to be the exact same one that is generic to both the Blond and Bruin. Labeled as a “Tripel ale, refermented in the bottle” – both the Pilaarbijter Blond and Bruin have the same description on the label –WTF?! The only difference is that the Blond has a lighter gray/cream background to the picture of a rather inebriated looking dude clinging and actually biting a stone Pillar (a play on words for the beers name “Pillar Biter”). The Blond also has a rather plain standard brass colored crown cap, whereas the Bruin has a Red one.

Appearance: Poured into a large flute, the immense carbonation produced a massive densely packed white head that almost overflowed onto my desk. It soon settled down to a reveal a more manageable 1” thick covering that left some, but not much, lacing. Lots of streamers punctuate the very clear and pale yellow straw colored body. Has the look of a ‘weak’ Pilsner when sat on the desk. I noted a thin but solid coating of yeast on the bottom of the glass; this must have been welded to the base of the bottle because it never affected the lucid appearance.

Nose: Pretty light in strength but a very nice offering. Some hops, light pilsner malts and the merest hint of some soil stained cloth Hop sacks. I wish it had a bit more oomph in the aroma department; the odors are nice but lack strength of character.

Taste: A solid offering, between the clean lines and Drinkability, the tastes are enough to engage the brain, but not too demanding. Light hop profile at first –some pilsner malt grain in the middle, but the Blond really comes alive in the latter third. Lots of crisp acidity, a light tangy hop bitterness and some sharp spicy tingles on the tip of tongue as the beer is swallowed, this sensation extends to the cheeks after the swallow. Long lingering earthy spicy hops in the finish. Super finish that has a light Saison feel. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Bolstered to champagne levels with the extra smooth carbonation which is lively but never prickly, smooth and nearly velvety, the bitterness in the back end adds to the dry feel on the cheeks once the beer is swallowed. Comforting mouthfeel that helps to distribute the spicy earth hop finish around the oral cavity.

Drinkability: Hides the 7.5% quite well, though I note that the Bavik Website lists this as only 7.2%. Either way it drinks extremely well and creates little bow waves, but I suspect that a few of these could soon sneak up on you. Accompanied a 3 year old block of orange Canadian Extra Sharp Cheddar extremely well and with little deterioration.

Overall: Maybe a disappointment if you are expecting a full blown Abbey Tripel, but I care little about style infringements. Marked purely on its appeal, this is a good Abbey Blonde Ale that retains some Tripel character in the back end. Whatever style you want to call it, it is way above average and certainly special enough to repurchase again at only $2.99 for the 33cl bottle (Hi-Times, Costa Mesa). This really does go extremely well with strong Cheddar!!!

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Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer sets in the glass a translucent gold color, the head considerable in size, creamy white and the lace a velum like curtain to drape the glass. Sweet fruit like aroma dominates the crisp fresh nose, also some yeast tones noted, with the start sweet and nicely malted, top is light to medium in feel. Finish is stinging in its acidity, the hops cheery in their spicy bite, very dry almost Lambic like aftertaste, much better than the red.

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Photo of JorisP
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If info received is correct, this beer is brewed for the Brugge diocese - rather remarkable as "Pilaarbijter" is a sarcastic term for an overly-pious person (in public, that is).
Colour: beer gushes! to thick white, collapsing head. Very pale triple.
Nose: pale malts, grist, some butterscotch, candy sugar.
taste: quite bitter, with artificially tasting underlying sweetness (liquorice, and yet something else, too). Definitely some diacetyl, sample seems to have some light-induced autolysis. Alcohol is prominent in mouthfeel, strange swetness takes some time to dissipate, then remains of the bitterness turns into dry.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: light gold color, slightly hazy, big pillow of spongey off-white foam with a great head retention, lacey

Aroma: typical "blonde" scent, floral hops, sweet maltiness, spicy phenolics, yeast, alcohol

Flavor: similar in flavor to a Duvel (though a bit unrefined), slight tang, a bit dusty, mild herbal hop flavor, grainy, mild bitterness, finishes dry with a soapy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, club soda carbonation, a bit astringent

Overall Impression: A good beer, but nothing special. Pretty standard Belgian blonde.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A massive white head erupts off the pour of this hazy straw colored brew, body bubbling like a madman. Loads o' lacing. Some light fruit tones on the scent of this one, nothing dazeling though. The taste is light and refreshing, bits of fruit and spice intermingle with light hop and malt tones. Fairly lively on the tounge. This one wont punch you in the eye, but it is nice and refreshing.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 33cl brown bottle from my gift pack and poured into my nice new pilaarbijter glass.

Beer pours into the glass fruity blonde with a tall incredibly fluffy white head that quickly collapses under the weight of the mustache. Fine crisp bubbles continue to rise.

Aroma is lightly caramelized pineapple with a bit of banana. No strong hop notes detected in this glass.

Flavor starts with the sweetness of the fruit hinted at in the nose, before a sweep of strong Styrian Golding type hop flavor come to sweep (with the CO2) every thing off the palate.

Certainly not the most refined "Triple" style of beer out there, but really not a bad tipple for a friday evening. Its all good.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up at the Bier Temple in Brussels, the brown 33cl bottle with a long tapered neck features a gold and brown label featuring a painting of a man taking a bite out of a wooden pillar. ("Pillar biter" in Flemish is slang for hypocrite.) An effective marketing tool, as it made me choose this one over the hundreds of other bottles of Belgian beer in the store. No ingredient information. Best before 2/16/09, I opened it on 12/8/06.

Pours a very cloudy banana yellow under a 1.5 finger white head that fades quite quickly and leaves no lace. Disappointing. The nose is better, full of clove, banana and yeast all enticingly blended. The mouth is well-carbonated and slightly sticky. This is a rather unspectacular version of the style. Slightly sour, slightly sweet with lots of spice and fruit. A very minor amount of hops adds a bitter note, which grows a bit in the finish but never overcomes the sour. Pretty unsatisfactory, really.

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Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy pale yellow color with a thick 2" fluffy white head. Light lace develops. The aroma is of spice, grapefruit, and earthiness. The flavor is slightly musky with a sour / tart finish. Grapefruit, lemon, mild bitterness, and yeast are easily detectable.

The mouthfeel is crisp at the start and finish.Carbonation level is slightly high. The sour tone lingers softly into the finish. Slighty different from some other Belgian Tripels, but enjoyable overall.

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Photo of clvand0
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a tall head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of maltiness and some hints of fruit going on with a lot of yeast-spiciness. The flavor has a solid malt character with a hint of sourness and some dark fruits. Plenty of spice from the yeast. The body is moderate and the drinkability is good. Very flavorfull and enjoyable.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: a euro size bottle with an image on the label of medieval looking dude gnawing on a pillar. Must be hungry an/or a little disoriented.
Pours a straw color with a slight haze, strong carbonation and a full white and whoppin? head (good retention). Aroma has some tartness with fruity esters and some hop background. Flavor tart and mildly sweet with a dry hop bite. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lingering dry finish. This beer leans more toward the Westmalle school of tripel, than the Karmeliet camp. An interesting, but a somewhat crude interoperation.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: slightly hazed-up goldenrod color with a durable white head that left decent webby lace behind.
Nose: sweet, fruity aroma. Had some yeasty malt notes and flowery hops to really push this brew to an almost disagreeably perfumey realm.
Taste: by God, at first I thought I was getting a dose of perfume. Fortunately, a lightly yeasty, dusty malt flavor came along to save the day. The finish had a nice spiciness and acerbic bite from the vigorous carbonation.
Feel: light and creamy thanks to all that carbonation.
Overall impression: I didn't really care for this beer all that much. The floral, perfume-like character outstripped the rest of the flavors and detracted from it's overall appeal. Seeing that this is styled as an abbey triple, I can think of a few others I'd rather sit down with before this one.

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Photo of katan
3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml (11.2 oz bottle), no date

A - Pours a dark and hazy golden to almost golden brown color. head formation is quite vigorous, bilding up a pearly white film of about 2mm. Breaks down to a light film with little lacing.

S - A spicy and sour bite dominates the smell - almost buttery which could be oxidation. Perhaps a hair of clove and allspice hanging around in there as well.

T - Starts off with a fairly straightforward bitter bite. Mid-stream some of the yeast spice begins to build. No hop edge whatsoever. No phenolic notes to speak of. Finishes with that buttery sour taste of either well done yeast work or badly done oxygen. Aftertaste is muted.

M - Thick and biting on the tongue - beer itself is probably moderate body, but the carbonation is stinging. Leaves a hair of a sugary sweet aftertaste.

D - A moderate to low drinkable tripel. I like the abv for the style without sacrificing taste and body, but the carbonation is quite a gut bomb to me.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a light and hazy gold in color with a big, frothing head that showed great retention.

Smell – The spices in this ale jump right out of the glass. They are very sharp. I can’t really define what they are, but they are very strong. The nice Belgian yeast comes through the foamy head.

Taste – The spices pounce on the tongue with the first sip. The hops are leafy and quite bitter. The yeast steps back from the smell but is still there.

Mouthfeel – This Tripel is between medium to full-bodied and exceptionally carbonated with a stiff leafy bitterness at the finish.

Drinkability – I really enjoyed this Bavik offering. After 15 reviews it still isn’t averaging 3.5, which seems low to me. Well, to each his own. I like it!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.76/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

What exactly is the significance of someone who bites pillars? Anyway, the beer pours with a hazy, orangish straw color. It is well carbonated and topped by an initially three-finger thick, pale almost white colored head. The aroma is quite funky and spicy; it smells a bit of moldy, funky cheese and also of earthy spices, damp earth, and perhaps a hint of phenolic plastic. Lots of different phenolic aromatics are here though.

Well carbonated, the beer foams up as it first hits my tongue. It is fairly dry as well and finishes with a light tartness. Despite this, it has a medium fullness to the palate. As the beer loses carbonation it picks up a hint of sweetness, but it remains quite an austere beer overall. The beer has a spicy character that is a mix of white pepper, ginger, lemon peel, and an earthy note sort of like coriander, but much more geared towards damp earth. That funky cheese note is here in the flavor as well, it is not quite that prominent, but is certainly quite noticeable. There is some lightly noticeable fruit notes here as well, with notes of pear and apple being most noticeable. This beer is just not that great, the cheesy note certainly does not help, but even without that there is not enough here to really hold my interest.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear pale golden straw with a white fluffy, yet large bubbled head which overflowed the glass and lasted well to coat it.

The aroma was nicely spiced with Belgian ale character. The hop aroma was earthy and present. Some yeast character was also present also some citrus aromas were notable.

The flavor was earthy and nicely bittered with hop flavors leading the charge. The flavor also contained a low level of Belgian yeast spice, but was more earthy than anything else. The flavor was also very crisp in the final incantation with only low levels of nondescript frutiness.

The finish was dry with lasting earthiness and a slight citrus note into the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium light and with the higher carbonation led to an good drinkability. No appreciable alcohol was noted anywhere in the beer, not the aroma, the flavor, nor in the finish or warming. Nicely done as a Belgian Pale Ale.

11.2 ounce bottle. Purchased at Green's in Atlanta for $3.50. This may be called a Triple but was more of a Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Fairly typical tripel. Somewhat cloudy pale gold. Initially large fizzy, pure white head. Gets rocky as it dissolves. Leaves nice lacing.

Smell: A bit weak, although all of the components are there: citrus, yeast clove, a bit of saison-like funk.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Both are quite good. The mouthfeel is fullish and smooth, but the carbonation keeps it moving. The flavor is balanced and controlled. Tart lemon juice and orange rind, cake, spice cookie malt. Honey. Finishes with an unusually pronounced hop bite.

Drinkability: Weak scent aside, very well done. Enjoyed it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne bubbles in a bright gold body. I learned my lesson with the red-capped version and poured this one slooowly. Even so, I'm left looking at more bright white foam than beer. The cap resembles softly beaten egg whites and deposits a respectable amount of smeary lace as it deflates. The thick band that forms at midglass is pretty impressive as well. This is one attractive tripel.

The nose is a good one. Golden fruit is the name of the game, less so spice and even less so alcohol. Sweet slices of pear and peach with a smattering of clove. It isn't the least bit white peppery to my nose. All in all, this seems like one of the more basic, tame tripels. Of course, I haven't tasted it yet.

It isn't as tame as predicted, but it's no raging beast either. The flavor profile is also golden fruity and is much more bitter than sweet. Pilaarbijter isn't a member of the full-bodied, lushly sweet, piquantly spicy tripel clan (my favorites), but is a lighter-bodied, austerely bitter, mildly spiced version. I like the second type too, I just don't like them as much.

The fruitiness is overshadowed to some extent by hops that are almost certainly of the noble variety, since they're intensely floral and even somewhat grassy. There's more clove spice than suggested by the nose, but it's still on the understated side. This beer wears its ABV proudly, not wanting to (or needing to) camouflage any portion of the 7.5%.

Even though the mouthfeel is lighter and slightly more fizzy than I usually like, the combination works well within the context of the flavor profile and the beer's overall personality. As I enter the final third of the bottle the carbonation is beginning to settle down.

I like this brass-capped version of Pilaarbijter (tripel) better than the red-capped one (Flanders Oud Bruin) and I don't believe that it has anything to do with the fact that I like the former style better than the latter one. Okay, maybe it does. In any case, this is a very good beer for those looking for a slightly different take on what I've now decided is my favorite Belgian style.

From the back label: 'He's a pilaarbijter (pillar biter)' means that 'he's a hypocritical man', according to a Netherlandish proverb penned by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yellow with a great head and lace. Yeasty and on the sweet side,full fruity in the yeast. this is not too complex but works for what it is. Light mouthfeel, almost lagerish. Tad of ginger, some coriander,bitterness in the end and it all works.Another tripel I like.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light megabrew yellow color (that's a new term that I am using to describe a color everyone recognizes) that has a huge fluffy head that collapses unevenly. Nice lace left on the glass. Aroma is slightly sweet, crisp and clean with hops as the secondary character. Flavor is sharp, somewhat hoppy, clean with lemon notes. Slight sourness at the end. This is a nice, easy drinking brew with nothing against it, but nothing that grabs and requires attention either. I could drink this and be happy, but there are so many others to try!!!!

I tasted this at the same time as the Brown Pilaarbijter, and I preferred the brown. Personal preference, I guess, as I have seen other reviewers going the other way. They both are decent brews, you can't go wrong, but there are better.

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Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden brew.

Smell is dry and a bit fruity, mild coriander scent to this.

Taste is sweet and full of herbs and earthy flavors. Mildly tasty with a honey taste.

Mouthfeel is good, has a pale Belgian champagne like character.

Drinkable brew, similar to other Belgian brews.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.73/5  rDev +31%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/17/05- Purchased at Plumpjack Wines in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz undated bottle. Poured into my Stone Levitation tulip. Perhaps one of the coolest labels on a beer I have ever seen. That dude scares me....him and his beady black hollow eyes.

Appearance- Golden peach hued pour. Champagne bubbles from the start. Huge, gigantic, humongous head. It won't stop growing. Literally had to wait 15 minutes to be able to pour the whole beer into the glass. And I poured it slowww.
One of the best lacings I have ever seen from a beer. Chunks everywhere.

Smell- Very nice sweet malty tripel smell. Reminecent of the better tripels out there.

Taste- Starts off with just a touch of a sour note and finishes with a great sweet malty flavor. Just the tinyest bit of watery feeling towards the swallow. This was the perfect beer at the given time.

Mouthfeel- Very carbonated, yet at the same time, silky smooth and sweet. Went down super easy. Maybe a touch cloying.

Drinkability- This is right up there with St. Bernardus and Abbaye de Rocs tripel. At least my taste buds say it is. Awesome tripel you should give a try. Shoot, just buy it for the label alone! $3.50 was a bargain IMO.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BB 04-03-07. Good presentation with lasting white head and pale golden beercolor. Nose is citrussy, wheaty, litle sourness and some horsesweat and good brettarome. Taste is also quiet good giving dry but tasty notes of brett, light(collored)maltyness, ltle grassy taste. Quiet alcoholic but overall interesting taste. As is mouthfeel thats fine and fresh having good carbonisation and a balanced taste. Easy drinkable and enjoyable brew.

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Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Blond (Brass Cap) from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 58 ratings