Review #3: Tripel Threat

On the docket:  750ml cork & cage Ommegang’s 2015 Belgian Independence Day Ale (Belgian Tripel)

Poured with vigor, but not so much as to upset the yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

Aroma:  An immediate waft of clove-y, spice and fruity esters drifts off the head.  There’s a bit of brightness, orange peel, grains of paradise, perhaps even star anise- all telltale signs of a Belgian style Ommegang beer.  It also boasts some slightly sweet notes- the Mandarina hops.  Mandarina’s signature is “tangerine” and I do get a bit of it here.

Sight:  Cloudy gold like that of yellow car lights, a big puffy, airy stark white head, microscopic but busy bubbles rise to the top.  The head recedes to a small cap.

Taste:   The foundation of Belgian beer spices show up immediately.  Also present is a bready malt, with a touch of sweetness.  However, this is a dry, crisp beer.  It’s got a medium bitterness, and at 9.2%, a kiss of booze.  It’s not glaring and heavy-handed, but enough to remind you’re drinking a high-gravity beer.

Feel:  Dry, but fairly full bodied for a beer this alcoholic. It’s just a little creamy, but not sugary, syrupy or cloying.  Excellent carbonation, the bubbles scrub your tongue, making it ready for the next sip.  Long finish.

Overall:  I appreciate a modern twist on a traditional style, so the dry-hopping with the Mandarina hops are a welcome tradition.  Other than this addition, it tastes pretty true to style.  Very drinkable, the alcohol sneaks up on you.  This is an excellent offering by Ommegang.

Suggested food pairings:  Sweet red pepper hummus and pita chips, summer salads, sharp cheddar cheese, lightly seasoned pork

S:  4.0  A:  4.0  T:  4.5  F:  4.0  O:  4.0