On Tuesday (it’s the new Friday, right?), I joined G-LO and the Wookie in a tasting of the Spéciale Belge. Not one to arrive empty handed (my Mama raised me right!), I brought over a bottle of Schlafly’s Tripel Ale. I had picked up the bottle on a trip to Roger Wilco (formerly the Wine Warehouse), in search of the Duchesse de Bourgogne.
Schlafly is a brewer from St. Louis that runs out a 6 bottle year round series, a 6 bottle core seasonal series, a 5 bottle special release series, a 5 bottle limited edition series, a 2 bottle wood aged series and a 4 bottle run of bottle conditioned beers (of which the Tripel is one).
Here is what Schlafly has to say about its Tripel Ale:
Our Tripel is golden with a relatively light body compared to its alcohol content. Bottle-conditioning creates an effervescent mouth feel, as well as the distinct Belgian lace prized in Belgian beers. The use of European noble hops creates a mild spicy flavor. Fermented with a traditional, Trappist Belgian yeast strain, this beer has subtle fruity and banana flavors.
I found the Tripel to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Slightly cloudy orange with good foam and lacing.
- Aroma: Sweet, citrus (apricots, grapefruits), and a hint of clove.
- Taste: Sweet, like candied fruit, with mild carbonation and a smooth, creamy texture.
- ABV: 10%
This was good but not great as I found it to be a little too sweet. As American Tripels go, I like Captain Lawrence’s Xtra Gold and Aviator’s Devil’s Tramping Ground better. Of the traditional Belgian or Trappist ales, I would go with the Westmalle or the Canadian take on the style, Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde. And as a note of caution: the Tripel is bottle conditioned, so beware of the funk that might be at the bottom of the bottle.