Beer To Drink Music To is a Belgian style Tripel from our good friends at Dogfish Head in Delaware. Dogfish Head is known for their off-centered ales, but there really isn’t a lot weird about this beer…It’s a fairly straight-forward, really nice Belgian Tripel. The nose is yeasty and fruity, with banana and fig notes, the middle is fruity and spicy with some pepper and apricot, and there’s vanilla in the finish. This all makes for a really nice, solid example of the style. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is a stout 9% ABV.
I’ve done several Allagash reviews lately, and there are more to come, but tonight’s brew is their Tripel ale. It’s a beautiful bottle-conditional standard Belgian Tripel, with yeast, honey, and fruit in the nose. The middle is fruity with pear and grape notes dominating. The finish is sweet and silky, with just a hint of pepper at the end. It’s an outstanding example, perfectly executed, one of the best of the style. The body is medium to heavy, and alcohol is stout at 9.0% ABV.
On the bottle, Le Freak is described as a “Belgian Imperial IPA.” The Green Flash website expands a bit, explaining that it’s a hybrid of a Belgian Tripel and an American Imperial IPA. Interesting. The head is beautiful. Big and velvety, and it lasts for minutes. The nose is distinctively Belgian, with loads of fruit. The hybrid nature comes through in the middle with something I might describe as a battle between the sweet and complex Belgian, which is definitely here in full force, and the strong bitter west-coast style IPA that Green Flash is known for, which is just as present. There are spices, cherry, plum, pine, orange and grapefruit all mingling and alternately coming to the fore. The finish has some bitter citrus rind from the IPA, but is more Belgian in character with marmalade and a bit of licorice. The body is quite full and heavy, and the alcohol is 9.2% ABV, about what you’d expect for this style of ale. It’s probably not the next big thing, but it’s a fun mix, certainly enjoyable if you like the component styles, and well executed.
To start a short series on Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection, tonight we have New World, a barrel aged, bottle conditioned golden Belgian Tripel. To give it additional earthiness, some Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk is blended in during finishing. This is not a Belgian beer in name only, or some far out interpretation of the style. Belgian yeast and traditional Belgian barrel aging processes have been used to turn out an authentic and well executed beer. The nose is yeasty with sweet and sour fruit. The middle is packed with apricot, mango, pineapple with a spicy backdrop. It fades to a rich buttery finish, with some of the vanilla from the oak starting to come forward. The promised sourness never really takes the stage. It isn’t entirely absent, but the sweetness and spice definitely dominate this ale. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is a robust 10% ABV, which is to be expected from an aged ale. I love the Belgian styles and while this isn’t one of my all time favorites, it’s a very nice beer.
Heavenly Feijoa is a delicious Belgian Tripel from New Belgium Brewing’s extra special Lips of Faith series, and it’s brewed with feijoa and hibiscus for a unique flavor. The nose is yeasty and distinctively Belgian. The middle is super tart and fruity, with notes of pineapple, cranberry, and peaches. The finish is still tart, but a strong herbal note comes forward as well. The body is quite heavy, and the alcohol is very subdued, though it’s quite a big beer at 9.4% ABV. It’s definitely strongly fruity, but I like it a lot.