Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Belgium Trippel review

New Belgium TrippelNew Belgium is well known for their classic year round brews and every once in a while it's good to visit the classics and see what types of beer made New Belgium popular in the first place. This review is of New Belgium Trippel - an ale brewed with coriander. Trippel has been around since 1992 and has the Belgian look and taste of a beer from the same region.

Gone are the three robed ladies that used to grace the label. Instead New Belgium went to a rather plain looking brown and grey lettered label with the shadow outline of a coriander plant. It gave this beer a rather generic look, but New Belgium wanted to simplify their look on many of their beers. I suppose since this beer has some history to it, changing up the packaging might just spice things up a bit.

Here are the vital stats for New Belgium Trippel: 7.8% ABV - 25 IBU - a year round beer - Calories 221 - Hops: Saaz. Liberty, & Target - 1/2 lager yeast & 1/2 Belgian yeast - Pale, Munich and Victory malts - and Coriander. With both an ale yeast and a lager yeast in the same batch, one might believe it would ferment from both the top and the bottom of the beer, but at slightly different temperature conditions. OK, so let's pop the top and dive in.

Appearance: New Belgium's Trippel poured out a bright golden color with a generous near white head. This head stuck around for a while and left a sticky lacing along the edge of the glass. This Abbey-style Tripel had excellent clarity and no cloudiness or sediment found in the beer. The beer was decently carbonated and had plenty of bubbles.

Aroma: This beer has a lot of different aromas. The coriander and the hops gave this beer a spicy tone while the yeast gave off scents of clove and banana. There were some other fruity esters and bread-like quality in this brew's vapors as well. As this beer warmed a bit, the fruity esters really started coming out more as did the background herby hops.

Trippel close-upTaste: Trippel was medium bodied and had a spicy clove and hop taste up front. The carbonation in this beer made the beer dance a bit on my tongue. There was a creaminess to the texture of this beer as well. The taste was definitely European in style. The yeast, coriander, hops and malts blended well together to give this a slightly sweet, somewhat herbal, malty and bitter brew with a bit of funk. The alcohol in this beer is noticeable and does affect the taste of this beer a bit.

This type of beer is a slow sipping beer. The alcohol level gives one pause to drink this one slowly. The bitterness sticks with you after the sip is gone. The taste was still rather clean. It's not the type of beer you'd reach for on a hot summer day, rather one for those late night encounters when there's a bit of coolness in the air. Still, it's a year round brew meant to be enjoyed anytime.

Overall: This beer has been one of New Belgium's staples for over 20 years. It was obviously made well and continues to be one of their classic standards that can appeal to many types of beer drinkers. I wouldn't recommend this beer to someone new to craft beer, rather it should be suggested to someone who's tried several different styles, especially someone who enjoys Belgian-style ales.

This is the type of beer that I would enjoy on special occasions, but not a beer that I'd reach for as a go to everyday kind of beer. New Belgium Trippel has a lot of flavor and was well balanced. Try one if you love beers with a bit of spice, yeast and hop. One beer will suit you just fine. Two beers in a row would tend to be all you're going to handle in an entire evening. It'll fill you up with flavor.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer at my local liquor store as part of a build-your-own 6-pack special.

Related articles:
- Avery Nineteen Belgian Style Tripel review.
- Victory Golden Monkey review.
- Westmalle Trappist Ale Tripel review.

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