Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vicardin Tripel-Gueuze

Hybrid beer styles are inherently cool and interesting (IMHO), but it seems to be mostly American breweries that are making them - what about the Belgians? Well, "Vicardin" is a hybrid of two very traditional Belgian styles of tripel and gueuze. This should be really interesting to say the least.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - AUG 30, 2011
I received a 33cl bottle in a trade with a friend from Belgium (thanks, Bart!). I poured it into an oversize wine glass.

Appearance: Opaque pumpkin-skin orange hue. Forms a large, white, fluffy head of suds which retain and lace very well.

Smell: Slight farmhouse funk, light floral fragrance and prominent green fruits - although not that very pungent overall.

Taste: This beer seems to be a hybrid of the classic Belgian styles of tripel and gueuze. It seems to lean more towards its sour side throughout most of the palate. It’s sweet and fruity at first - imparting green apple, pear and white grape flavors. The middle is classic wild ale sourness, quickly followed with a rich, maple syrup-like sweetness and aftertaste. The sourness is merely a component of the palate, rather than the driving force as would be the case with a gueuze proper.

It leaves a pleasant aftertaste of apple and white grape juice in the mouth. The classic tripel components are subdued here with only minor clove spice, which is actually overshadowed by other spices of cardamom, allspice, and nutmeg. This is a tasty palate to be sure, but nothing mind-blowing.

Mouthfeel: Thick, soft, delicate with minor carbonation fizz. Pleasant, slightly dry aftertaste.

Drinkability: Since this is a Belgian tripel and a bottle-conditioned beer, it’s no surprise Vicardin is highly effervescent with carbonation that gets stuck in the throat. The comforting mouthfeel and drinker-friendly palate does make it quite drinkable overall, though. The 7% ABV is invisible in the aroma, taste, and constitution. A good beer to drink as a liquid candy dessert or maybe with apple pie.

Overall, Vicardin is a fine beer and an interesting hybrid of styles to be sure. I liked it.

Grade: 7/10

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