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Tripel Karmeleit

Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

A quirky take on a classic Belgian style, Tripel Karmeleit uses oats and wheat in addition to malted barley. Aromas of vanilla, Satsuma, and honey abound, all floating over soft, lightly sugary pilsner malt. Lee was surprised to find tart, almost wine-like notes in the nose, but truly enjoyed the “elegant interplay of dried orange peel and clover honey riding below the tart top notes.” While Pete also found honey notes, he likened the initial aromas to “orange blossom honey, laced with lemon zest,” and praised the nose’s gentle subtlety. Pushing down past the citrus fruit, Pete also detected hints of ripe peach and wildflowers. Topped by a mountainous, lingering, snow white head, this slightly hazy, citrine-colored brew is so highly carbonated it fairly leaps from the glass. Flavors of honey and ginger abound, tied together by faint notes of black pepper and vanilla. Tom felt the orange and lemon notes suffered from a bit too much honey on the palate, but noted the high carbonation kept the beer from being overly sweet. Rick, too, noted the dominating sweetness, yet found some “pleasant, spicy alcohol notes” to tame the sweetness a bit. Still, Rick felt the beer should have finished a touch drier. With its creamy finish and pronounced honey presence, this tripel diverges from the “classic” examples. But Tripel Karmaliet is eminently quaffable as many devotees can attest.