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Long Strange Tripel

Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Kansas City doesn’t usually evoke thoughts of world class Belgian-style beers, yet that is exactly what Boulevard Brewing has been producing for the last 25 years. Long Strange Tripel falls in the classic Belgian Tripel style, evincing notes of pear, peach, and warm bread throughout the nose. Tom appreciated the “soft Belgian yeast spiciness, with a hint of white pepper” woven through the faintly sugary maltiness. Yet he felt the nose lacked the expected fruity esters. Pete, however, found tantalizing traces of peach, berry, and lavender lying beneath the sweet malt and prominent spiciness, praising the brewer’s skill in melding such complexity and subtlety in the nose. This a hugely effervescent brew, shimmering yellow-gold in the light, and capped by a mountain of creamy white foam, exactly what one would expect in a classic Tripel. Sweet malt dominates the flavor, interspersed with hints of fresh-baked biscuits, spicy pears, and as expected, alcohol. Tom likened the malt to “a fresh back of sweet roll dough, bready and warmly spicy.” He attributed a certain spiciness to hops rather than Belgian yeast. The alcohol struck Lee as a bit subdued, yet he praised the beer’s overall balance, calling it “mellow and smooth, with alcohol lurking behind a wall of ripe pears and honey.” Available year-round, Long Strange Tripel should grace the shelves of any self-respecting beer lover’s cellar.