Name: Tripel Karmeliet
Brewery: Brouwerij Bosteels
Country of Origin: Belgium
City & State: Not Applicable
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8%
First Brewed: 1996
A clear yellow-golden beer beneath a fluffy white head. Nose of grain, a wheat, a little smoked, and becoming roasted-spicy. Sweet, malty taste, but with a sharp, nearly astringent mouthfeel, like partly roasted malt. Perhaps it’s the oats that lend it a spicy, roasted streak throughout.
So tonight at the Beer Sellar was the New Holland beer tapping party. They now have four New Holland beers on tap including the Imperial Hatter, the Mad Hatter India Pale Ale, the Dragon’s Milk and the Beerhive Tripel. We are not drinking anything from New Holland, but we are drinking a Tripel. We are sipping on the Tripel Karmeliet. According to my good friend Jake Long, this beer is very popular over seas. Let’s see what she smells like. (That sounded horrible!)
This beer smells awesome. I don’t want to say it smells like soda… but it smells like soda. Perhaps a Mountain Dew or Mellow Yellow, if you are familiar with those drinks. It has a very heavy citrus nose… one that keeps me sticking my face back into the glass for one more sniffy sniff. (Thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk for that one. He is famous for saying, “sniffy sniff”.) Sometimes beers that smell amazing are in fact not… so let’s see what she tastes like. (Man, I am on a roll here.)
The beer starts very smooth and crisp on the front of the tongue. Then it settles down a bit, and begins to provide an almost velvet mouthfeel… something that is truly hard to explain. The aftertaste is weak too. But the thing that impresses me most about this beer is that it smells totally different than it tastes; and that’s a good thing. The beer, for having such a high ABV, is quite drinkable.
I am not familiar with the brewery, or the beer for that matter. But I like it. This is one good brew. Again, just because it smells good and tastes good… but provides my palate with two totally different experiences. Bottoms up people!
We are back at the Beer Sellar in Indy again tonight. More of you should come join us on Monday nights! We get here at 9 pm and just hang out and have a beer. All of their draft beers are on special for $3 on Mondays. It’s a really great deal.
As usual, I don’t know very much about tonight’s beer going in. In the glass (and we are drinking out of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale glasses… ironic considering that 1) I just drank a Kentucky Bourbon Ale out of a pint glass and 2) we were just at the home of Kentucky Bourbon Ale this weekend) it looks kind of an orangey-yellow color, with not a lot of head. The smell is kind of fruity – in fact, the first thing it made me think of was fruitcake. Weird, I know… but it’s a good smell.
First taste… kind of carbonated. Actually, very carbonated. But the taste itself is very good. It is citrusy, with a bit of a honey taste. I love the aftertaste. This is my kind of “light” beer. It tastes nothing like a domestic… just slightly carbonated, with a flavorful taste. This is something I would love to drink in place of a domestic. Definitely something I’d buy again if the price is right.
948 bottles of beer on the wall…
Tonight we had a very special guest… tonight we were joined by Jake Long. This kid… this kid knows his beer. Here is what Jake had to say about the Tripel Karmeliet. (We hope to have Jake join us in the future and will always welcome a guest review from him.)
Ok, so first of all, mad props (mad props?) to Ricky and Sheryl for inviting me along to this shindig (shindig? I should stop.) I feel like I should preface this by saying that I’m a self-proclaimed beer geek; actually, scratch that. I’m a beer fanatic, so hopefully I don’t go over too many heads or end up in my own little Beer La-La Land. I’ve actually had the Tripel Karmeliet before, so take that for what it’s worth.
Anyway…let me get started.
The Karmeliet is a bright golden color, slightly hazy, with a small eggshell-white head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving little lacing on the glass. Looks like a Tripel!
On the nose this is classic Tripel to a “T”. Biscuit malts, that Belgian bubble-gumminess, and a nice, light floral and citrus hop character. It’s very restrained and obviously well-crafted. Smells scrumptious.
On the first sip, the smooth maltiness lends a very refined impression to the palate while rich malt flavors intermingle with that floral and citrus hop character I described before, and is followed up by a fruity/estery Double-Bubble-esque bubblegum flavor which can really only be understood when you’ve experienced it, which comes from the Belgian yeast. The mouthfeel is quite full and coats your mouth quite well, with a medium carbonation level to keep it refreshing. The finish is buttery, lightly floral, and a teensy bit bitter.
Tripel Karmeliet is the de facto standard for the Tripel style, and it doesn’t disappoint.