Monday, August 29, 2011

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

This is the last of the beers sent to me in a trade with Dan Harper aka Thanks again Dan for the beer. It took me close to 2 months just to review them all. We'll definitely have to trade again. As for this beer - it's an American tripel, a style I'm not usually a fan of (I prefer Belgian tripels). According to their website this is actually made WITH Trappist yeast! That should make for a very interesting review, eh?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - AUG 28, 2011
I received a 12oz bottle in a trade with "The Endosymbiosis." I poured it into a Trappist chalice. The label didn’t say whether to leave the yeast out or pour it in so I poured it in.

Appearance: Opaque hue of light orange/apricot skin tone with visible sediment. Forms a foamy layer of yellowish suds. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Banana, clove, vanilla, neat rum and flowers. No spice nor alcohol. Despite the complex bouquet, it’s actually not that intense in the nose.

Taste: There’s a definite distinction between American and Belgian tripels, even if an American brewery uses a Belgian yeast strain. The palate to Sapient Trip Ale is essentially the same as the aroma, and much like the aroma it’s prominent, but not extremely robust. The flavor starts out with light candy sweetness of vanilla, diluted rum and kind of a candy flavoring. There’s slight bitterness through the middle, but no peppery spice. The finish ends with a bang with all the flavors of the beginning but amplified and with the addition of orange fruit and pith. There’s even a noticeable vanilla candy-like flavoring, almost bordering on artificial like something you’d taste in a sucker candy or the goo inside a Bavarian cream doughnut.

Mouthfeel: Thick, but tepid. Seems to thin out as it goes on. Slightly creamy texture.

Drinkability: While Sapient Trip Ale is lacking the peppery spice typical of Belgian tripels, it makes amends by being so drinkable. The body is thick and soft and slides across the tongue and down the throat more smoothly than any other beer of the style I’ve ever encountered. The 8.5% ABV is invisible in the aroma and palate and constitution. I probably wouldn’t drink more than one of these at a time for good measure, though.

Overall, Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale is one of the best American takes on the wholly Belgian style. While not a world class beer, it certainly is in a class of its own.

Grade: 8/10

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