Friday, April 1, 2016

Belgian Tripel Tasting Notes

Finally sitting down, nearly three months after first brewing this Belgian Tripel, to capture my impressions. On the whole, I like this beer. It is quaffable, verging on refreshing. While the tartness from the acidulated malt is too prominent for a traditional tripel, it's light fruity character is spot on.

If I brew this recipe again, I'd cut the acid malt by half and consider using a different strain of yeast. Perhaps the more traditional Wyeast 3787 or subtle White Labs 510 Bastogne Belgian Ale.

Appearance: Nice frothy white foam head, pale straw color, slightly opaque, good thick lacing, beautiful carbonation bubbles give it the appearance of champagne.

Aroma: Tart with a slight fruitiness but not much, perhaps granny smith apple. Reminds me of the aromas of some pinot grigio, a subtle grapefruit or tangerine. A bit of bready graininess sneaks through after repeated inhalation.

Taste: Bready that quickly turns lightly fruity and then to a dry tartness. Finishes fairly clean with a lingering tartness on the tongue. Very quaffable. The gentle carbonation really lends itself nicely to picking up the tart fruitiness. Some white wine characteristics reminiscent of a sauvignon blanc.

Final thoughts: I like this beer, but it's very unlike what I planned. Not nearly enough of the soft fruity or floral character of a traditional tripel. Cut back on the acidulated malt and use a different Belgian or Trappist strain of yeast to brew something more traditional. Try the White Labs 510 next time.