856: Pike Monk’s Uncle Tripel Ale

Name: Pike Monk’s Uncle Tripel Ale
Brewery: Pike Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Seattle, Washington
Style: Tripel
Alcohol Content (ABV): 9%
First Brewed: 2006
Price: $4.99

Tasting Notes

This Belgian-style ale pours traditional golden straw color of a tripel together with a solid lacy head that remains throughout. There is an overall fruity background flavor to this brew, wit just a hint of honey and a touch of spice.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I am excited to drink this one. We did their IPA a few months ago, and I am excited to try their tripel. Especially after reading those tasting notes! I haven’t been to Seattle, but Sheryl has. She went out there last year (or was it this year) and stayed in Pike Place. That is where they toss the fish and where Starbucks poured their first cup of coffee. We will be going out there in 2013 and plan to stay in Pike Place. This beer actually went from the brewery to Indiana and from Indiana to Arizona. I hope it still tastes good! Regardless, I am on a tear right now with Belgian beers, and am excited to try this Belgian-style tripel from a brewery that knows how to make good beer. Let’s drink, people!

In the Glass: I was worried this wouldn’t be good since it traveled from Indiana. We have lost a few beers in the move. Speaking of the move, it is weird to think we have been here over 6 months now. I still don’t feel like I live in Arizona. At any rate, this beer looks nice and cloudy in the glass. It has a thick head, and a lace that seems to hang on for dear life. If someone handed me this, I would think it was a hefeweizen before a tripel.

Nose: It smells sweet and somewhat yeasty. As with all the beers we drink, this one is right from the fridge. I am sure I am losing some aroma with it being cold. It is funny to see American breweries trying to make Belgian beers. In Belgium, one brewery might use one set of ingredients in their tripel while another brewery uses a totally different number of ingredients. To breweries in Belgium, whatever they want to make their tripel taste like is how they make it… and no two breweries must use the same recipe. Keeps things interesting, I suppose! Let’s see what this brew tastes like.

Flavor: Oh yeah, that’s nice. Smooth and almost super sweet on the palate leading to a wicked aftertaste. That is what a tripel is supposed to taste like! There are a lot of flavors going on here, too. At first it exposed on the tongue and has a somewhat flat flavor to it. Then it slides back, and as you swallow the sweetness really comes to the surface. The aftertaste, which we will get to, lingers on and is getting dry as I sit here. The flavor is well balanced, and has a nice overall consistency. It is a little too thin to be a Belgian tripel from Belgium, but for someone that is new to craft beer, and is new to Belgian beers, he or she would never know the difference.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is really nice. At first, it is smooth, weak, and somewhat flat. Then, as you swallow, the flavors explode on the tongue leading to a polished and consistent aftertaste. You would never know this was 9% ABV, either. Considering they have only been making this since 2006, I am impressed with this attempt to replicate a Belgian beer. Good work, Pike!

Aftertaste: This might be my favorite part of the beer. I like dry flavors, which is why I have been getting into gin lately. This doesn’t taste like gin, but the aftertaste is very dry and reminds me of what I experience when drinking a nice load gin. The dryness doesn’t wear off, either and just sits there for five minutes (or more) as I type. Every swallow the taste changes just a little bit making me excited to see what is next.

Like I said, I haven’t been to Seattle. I am planning on going next year. When I do, I will definitely be checking this brewery out. I wonder what else they have available. They impressed me with their IPA, and they have impressed me with their tripel… I am sure they will continue to impress me with their other offerings. Keep up the good work, Pike! Bottoms up.

Pike Monk’s Uncle Tripel Ale – The bottle says: “NA”

Rating: 4/5 

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I’ve had this beer before, but Ricky hasn’t.  I had it in Seattle at the brewery.  I pretty much liked all of Pike’s beers; they make some good ones.  I can’t wait to go back and visit again, with Ricky this time.  I think he would love Seattle and Pike Brewery.  Anyway, on to the beer!

This came from a bomber, so we both got almost a full pint out of it.  In the glass, it looks kind of a smoky yellow-orange color.  It’s somewhat thick, almost like a wheat beer, but more yellow.  There’s a nice size white head of foam, with good lacing clinging to the side of the glass.  The beer smells lemony, a very citrusy scent to it.  There doesn’t seem to be any carbonation whatsoever.  I have to admit, I already took a drink of it, and I like it!

This is a good, drinkable beer.  There’s a slight taste of bitterness, but not overpowering.  It’s got the citrus taste to it that you can smell.  It’s very full-flavored and balanced well.  After one drink, I just want another one.  It’s also got a bit of a sour flavor to it that only adds to the flavor.  This is definitely a beer I would drink again, and I can’t wait to the next time I’m in Seattle.

Rating: 4/5

855 bottles of beer on the wall…

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