Tripel Karmeliet is a Belgian Tripel by Brouwerij Bosteels whose palate strikes a wonderful balance between fruity esters and spicy phenols.

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Tripel Karmeliet is a Belgian Tripel that’s brewed by Brouwerij Bosteels, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a 330 ml bottle.

Packaging art for the Tripel Karmeliet by Brouwerij Bosteels

Packaging art for the Tripel Karmeliet by Brouwerij Bosteels

What You Need to Know

The Tripel Karmeliet is an award-winning Belgian beer whose recipe dates back to the late 17th century (more on that below). Three grains and a Belgian yeast strain contribute to a wonderful mouthfeel along with a delightfully complex aroma and palate. So how was it? Let’s get to the review.

Appearance

The Tripel pours a relatively clear deep golden hue and is topped by a thick cap of dense, puffy off-white foam that shows fine retention. The head’s reduction leaves behind a thin layer of mottled bubbles. Tiny bubbles continuously rise and gather at the bottom of the head.

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Aroma

The aroma is spicy with a scent of clove, musty grain, bubblegum, and fruity esters.

Flavor

The palate begins with bready malt that transitions through sweet flavors of apple, pear, and banana. Spicy phenols of clove and pepper lend balance. And a dollop of honey rounds out the tasting.

Label art for the Tripel Karmeliet by Brouwerij Bosteels

Label art for the Tripel Karmeliet by Brouwerij Bosteels

Mouthfeel

Its feel is smooth with a medium body and nearly high carbonation. The sweetness lightly coats the mouth and it finishes dryly. The high alcohol content lends a modest warming sensation.

The Historic Recipe Behind the Beer

The Tripel Karmeliet is still brewed using an authentic beer recipe that originated in the former Carmelite monastery in Dendermonde dating back to 1679. That recipe, written over 300 years ago, describes the use of three kinds of grain: wheat, oats and barley. Thus, the name Tripel karmeliet refers both to its origin and its in-bottle refermentation. From many trial brews of multigrain tripels carried out at our brewery during the 1990s, this historic combination of the three kinds of grain still remains the ideal blend.

Overall

The Tripel Karmeliet doesn’t leave much of the trademark Belgian lace on the glass. The aroma is complex and pleasant. Perhaps the feel could use a tad more carbonation but is otherwise fine. And its high ABV isn’t noticed at all. The palate is superb with a lovely balance struck between esters and phenols. The Tripel Karmeliet is an all-around superb Tripel, and considering its low price point, is one of the best bargains to be had from across the pond.

Recipes

Want do some cooking with the Tripel Karmeliet? Take a look at these recipes put together by Brouwerij Bosteels.

Have You Tried the Tripel Karmeliet?

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