833: St. Bernardus Tripel

833 - St. Bernardus TripelName: St. Bernardus Tripel
Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus
Country of Origin: Belgium
City & State: Watou, Belgium
Style: Tripel
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8.0%
First Brewed: 1994
Price: $4.49

Tasting Notes
The Tripel is dark gold in color with a flowery, fruity, slightly yeasty taste. It pours with a big white head, and also has a mild sweetness and hint of bitterness on the palate. This well-balanced brew pairs well with lighter meats such as chicken or fish.

Ricky’s Thoughts

Last night we went to a beer class at Total Wine & More in Scottsdale. The class was sold out, and they were pouring Belgian beers. I am talking GOOD Belgian beers. We did a few American beers, but all were Belgian style. We did a dubbel, a tripel, a sour, a wit… we covered it all. We even did a quad. We did the St. Bernardus Abt 12, which is one of the best beers in the world and uses the same recipe as the Westvleteren. I have actually tried the Abt 12 next to the Westvleteren, and the Abt 12 is a better beer. But it was fun drinking all these Belgian beers, and trying some styles that I hadn’t had in a while. My favorite was the bonus beer, an IPA. They always do a prelude to the next beer class, and the next beer class is on styles. We did the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. If you haven’t had this, and like hops, get some. It’s amazing!

Today we are doing another St. Bernardus beer. The tripel has been sitting in the fridge and is just begging to be consumed. I also didn’t want to do a bomber as we are going out tonight to continue celebrating Arizona Beer Week. We are headed to Chandler for some Black Note. The keg that was to be at the Strong Beer Festival is being tapped tonight, and we have to try it again. We had it last year at the Beer Sellar, and I think about it all the time! Sadly, the Beer Sellar has closed. Not sure what happened, but we shared many great pints in that bar.

Let’s pop the bottle on the St. Bernardus Tripel.

In the Glass: Not sure why, but this beer has a MASSIVE head. That’s not a bad thing, because I usually take a few minutes to begin drinking the beer. The beer is also a nice gold color in the glass. It looks clean, healthy, and delicious! I didn’t realize, until last night’s beer class, that a lot of the breweries in Belgium own the rights to yeast strains. So the yeast being used in this beer won’t be found in any other beers.

Nose: At first, I had some citrus flavors but then the yeast really takes over. It smells like straw. Wet straw, really. I haven’t had a lot of tripels, but this one is highly rated on BeerAdvocate. The bros give it a 97… which is pretty high. But this is a brewery that makes good beers on a consistent basis. I am sure the flavor will top the aroma on this one.

Flavor: This is a little too cold, but the beer still produces some very nice flavors. At first, the bubbles attack the palate but they mellow out toward the back of the tongue. Then, as you swallow, sweetness kicks in and the finish is long, satisfying, and drying. I really like how Belgian beers just taste better overall compared to American beers. The mouthfeel is thicker, the flavor is more pronounced, and the aftertaste usually lasts longer and is full of flavor. This is no exception.

Mouthfeel: At first, there are a ton of bubbles on the front of the tongue. Those quickly leave the mouthfeel leaving a very full bodied and balanced finish. The swallow is where the majority of the flavor comes from, and every time I swallow the flavor is as powerful as it was when I first swallowed the beer. (I just burped, but it wasn’t beer… it was lunch. Moving on!) This is a smaller bottle, not quite 12 ounces. I don’t have much left, so I am going to leave what is left and see what the room does to it. I am sure this will open up as it sits there.

Aftertaste: Sweetness creeps in toward the finish, and it hangs on for a few minutes. Then dryness, the more you swallow, really takes over. I like this beer by itself, but I am sure this would pair well with food. Not sure what foods, but this is definitely a food beer. I bet this would taste amazing at the brewery in Belgium. Beers usually taste better served in their glassware in the country it was brewed! Guess we need to go back to Belgium.

This is another great example from St. Bernardus, and beers like this will leave me ordering a tripel the next time we go out. (Speaking of that, I had a dry hopped tripel last night. It was from New Belgium and was served on cask. It was at Flanny’s, a bar that I hate. Last night we had an equally horrible experience as we did the first time we went. Good thing the beer was delicious! I also had a smoked IPA on cask. Yummy!)

St. Bernardus Tripel – The bottle says: “NA”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Today we are drinking a Belgian beer.  This goes perfectly with the beer class that I took at Total Wine last night.  It was all about Belgian beers.  Ricky was pouring for the class, and he did a pretty good job.  The beer we are having today is one from St. Bernardus, a brewery that we had a couple of beers from in the class last night, including the one that ended up being most popular, St. Bernardus 12.  Let’s hope this one is as good as that one was!

This is another beer that kind of reminds me of orange juice.  Not in how it tastes, of course, but just how it looks in the glass.  This one is pretty thick, with some sediment floating around in it.  There was a decent amount of head, but that has now dissipated. It smells very fruity, kind of like oranges, actually.  It’s a very fresh citrusy smell.  Let’s see how it tastes.

Wow, that’s pretty good.  It’s got a strong taste to it, but it’s very tasty.  It does have a citrusy taste to it, with a pretty thick mouthfeel.  There is some carbonation, but it’s not overwhelming.  The first taste to it almost does remind me a bit of orange juice even, but the finish is all beer.  And a very good beer at that.  I’d definitely buy this one again.  St. Bernardus just can’t seem to go wrong!

Rating: 4/5

832 bottles of beer on the wall…

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