poured an 11.2oz bottle into an official Chouffe tulip glass. It had a
best before date of 3/2015 and cost $5.79 ($0.52 per ounce).
Appearance: Bright gold hue, mostly clear with some haze. Spastic
carbonation continually visible. Forms a large, bright white, fluffy
head which retains and laces excellently.
Smell: Significant lemon fruit and peel, plus black pepper and traditional Belgian yeast esters.
Taste: From what I can gather, Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel is
intended to be a hybrid a traditional Belgian tripel and an American
IPA. However, I think the final product is not much of either. Not that
it’s a bad beer, since it does drink like a strong Belgian pale ale with
the usual features.
The bottle indicates the beer is brewed with Tomahawk, Amarillo and Saaz
hops - which are a strange combination. Tomahawk imparts intense
bitterness and the Saaz gives it a spicy, almost pilsner-like pepper
character. However, the citrus usually associated with Amarillo hops is
surprisingly absent. The beer does get the bitterness down, though. From
beginning to end there’s bitterness to this palate. Much like the
aroma, there’s a distinct lemony flavor as well. I wouldn’t describe
this as a sweet beer per se, as the hops are quite overshadowing. I find
the lack of spice flavors usually found in Abbey tripels to be a bit
disappointing, though I had to say the palette as a whole is enjoyable.
Drinkability: Since Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel is
bottle-conditioned and a rather big beer, it’s no surprise the mouthfeel
is rather intense all around. Plenty of zesty, drying, palate-scrubbing
carbonation from the first to last sip (expect plenty of burping with
this one). I was pleasantly surprised to see the 9% ABV weight was well
utilized as there is no boozy quality to the beer. Though the hops do a
good job of drying me out after each swig.