Overview for the Tripel

The Belgian Tripel originated at the Trappist monastery Westmalle. The beer was first brewed in 1931 and was first sold in 1934. Its recipe has not changed since 1956. The name Tripel likely followed the protocol established from the Single and Dubbel beer styles. However, it also happened to Westmalle’s third beer. Its color ranges from deep gold to copper with good clarity and effervescence. Its feel should be around medium with high carbonation and high attenuation for a seemingly dry finish. Though high in alcohol, the booze should be masked well. Its palate and aroma are spicy, fruity, with a well-rounded malt character and moderate bitterness. Comparatively, the Tripel is darker and fuller than the Belgian Strong Pale Ale with more pronounced phenols than esters. And it’s not as strong or full as the Belgian Strong Dark Ale or Quadrupel.

Style Expectations

A pale, somewhat spicy, dry, strong Trappist ale with a pleasant rounded malt flavor and firm bitterness. Quite aromatic, with spicy, fruity, and light alcohol notes combining with the supportive clean malt character to produce a surprisingly drinkable beverage considering the high alcohol level.

Appearance

Deep yellow to deep gold in color. Good clarity. Effervescent. Long-lasting, creamy, rocky, white head resulting in characteristic Belgian lace on the glass as it fades.

Aroma

Complex bouquet with moderate to significant spiciness, moderate fruity esters and low alcohol and hop aromas. Generous spicy, peppery, sometimes clove-like phenols. Esters are often reminiscent of citrus fruits such as oranges, but may sometimes have a slight banana character. A low yet distinctive spicy, floral, sometimes perfumy hop character is usually found. Alcohols are soft, spicy and low in intensity. The malt character is light, with a soft, slightly grainy-sweet or slightly honey-like impression. The best examples have a seamless, harmonious interplay between the yeast character, hops, malt, and alcohol.

Flavor

Marriage of spicy, fruity and alcohol flavors supported by a soft, rounded grainy-sweet malt impression, occasionally with a very light honey note. Low to moderate phenols are peppery in character. Esters are reminiscent of citrus fruit such as orange or sometimes lemon, and are low to moderate. A low to moderate spicy hop character is usually found. Alcohols are soft, spicy, and low in intensity. Bitterness is typically medium to high from a combination of hop bitterness and yeast-produced phenolics. Substantial carbonation and bitterness lends a dry finish with a moderately bitter aftertaste with substantial spicy-fruity yeast character. The grainy-sweet malt flavor does not imply any residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel

Medium-light to medium body, although lighter than the substantial gravity would suggest. Highly carbonated. The alcohol content is deceptive, and has little to no obvious warming sensation. Always effervescent.

Reviews

Peter Rabbit

Tripel  •  Barrel of Monks BrewingFort Lapin Brouwerij

Peter Rabbit is a Belgian Tripel by Barrel of Monks Brewing and Fort Lapin Brouwerij that blends hibiscus and coriander with sweet honey orange, apple, and pear. Read More

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Westmalle Tripel

Tripel  •  Westmalle Brewery

With the Westmalle Tripel, the Westmalle Brewery originated the Belgian Tripel beer style. The brew features an herbal warmth, complex palate, boozy warmth. Read More

Honey Orange Tripel

Tripel  •  New Belgium Brewing Company

Honey Orange Tripel is a Belgian-style Tripel by New Belgium Brewing Company that blends sweet candied orange and honey with a light citrus and spices. Read More

Trippel Belgian Style Ale

Tripel  •  New Belgium Brewing Company

Trippel Belgian Style Ale is a Belgian-style Tripel by New Belgium Brewing Company that’s sweet and spicy with floral hops, orange citrus, coriander, and fruity esters. Read More

Sour Monkey

Tripel  •  Victory Brewing Company

Sour Monkey, a Belgian-style Tripel by Victory Brewing Company features Brettanomyces that lend sour apple and lemon to a wheat base. Read More

Paix Dieu Triple

Tripel  •  Brasserie Caulier

Paix Dieu Triple is a Belgian Tripel by Brasserie Caulier that blends fruits, spices, sugar, and grain in what’s a really good value-priced Belgian. Read More

Straffe Hendrik Wild

Tripel  •  Brouwerij De Halve Maan

Straffe Hendrik Wild is a Belgian Tripel by Brouwerij De Halve Maan that brilliantly blends funky Brett with spices and fruity esters. Read More

Three Little Pigs

Tripel  •  Rockingham Brewing Company

Three Little Pigs is a Belgian-style Tripel by Rockingham Brewing Company that blends cracker malt, sour fruits and sweet honey. Read More

Golden Monkey

Tripel  •  Victory Brewing Company

Golden Monkey is a Belgian-style Tripel by Victory Brewing Company that blends musty bread, yeast, floral hops, and booze. Read More

Tripel 7

Tripel  •  Scuttlebutt Brewing Co.

Tripel 7 is a Belgian-style Tripel by Scuttlebutt Brewing Co. that blends orange, clove, candied sugar, and wheat. Read More

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