Brew Review

Beer Review – Schlafly Tripel Ale


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.

8 replies »

  1. Hang on there…. I’m hitting George Clinton on his Parlament Funk-O-Phone. He might want to take the issues with your warning.

    Don’t stray to far from your monitor………….

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  2. I totally agree. This was a respectable Belgian Style Tripel, but I too found it to be a tad too sweet. I believe Orange Marmalade was discussed during our “research”. Nice review Sir Limpd!

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  3. Good? Respectable? Were you guys drinking the same stuff I was drinking? This stuff was dreadful. I am upset that you even mention the Devil’s Tramping Ground in this review for fear that it may be associated with this swill.

    This stuff was way to sweet. It fell into the same “it’s sweet, let’s see if the wives like it” category that things like the Knot and the Root fall into.

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    • Come on now. Pretty bottle; overly sweet, fruity taste. This should have been a wheelhouse beer for me. I just thought it was a one note Tripel. And, I mention the Devil’s Tramping Ground (and the Captain Lawrence Xtra) as better examples of American Tripels not as a rivals to the Schlafly.

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