Friday, September 21, 2018

St. Bernardus Tripel (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Best before date: 9/16/19

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 26C Belgian Tripel

AROMA: Strong yeast-driven aromatics of banana esters and clove/peppercorn phenols. Significant orangepeel citrusy presence along with a lightly sweet honey or even butterscotch note. Alcohol is present, albeit clean and a tad spicy to complement the yeast character. Pale malt and wheat bass is evident, but not exactly bready (which is fine). 11/12

APPEARANCE: Honey amber hue (4-7 SRM). Mostly clear body. Large white soapy foam with alcohol legs and lace. 3/3

FLAVOR: For what may be a fairly old bottle, the palette is remarkably robust and complex. Delicious mix of yeast, alcohol and malt character with a continuous spicy, peppercorn-like taste and bitterness throughout. Somewhat perfumey as well. Yeast esters create for an authentic fruity taste of banana, green pear and perhaps some apple. Phenols and alcohol account for clove flavor and a general spicy/dry finish. Malt and yeast provide a lightly bready backbone, though attenuation is very high so as not to be rich or sweet. Faint oxidation, but it works with the nature character of the palette. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; champagne-like effervescence. Though bubbly, it is smooth and rather easy to drink. Strong to be sure at 8% ABV, but not hot nor obtuse. A 750ml bottle is an ideal serving size. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Absolutely a World Class Belgian Tripel in all aspects. This was so close to being a perfect bottle. 10/10


NOTE: See my 2010 original review here:

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