This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Boulevard Brewery's Long Strange Tripel.
I served this on Friday Night to some friends who had come to learn after dinner. Neither of them were familiar with the Tripel style of beer so I had to explain the principle behind it. Since it has been a while since I reviewed a Tripel (there aren't very many currently under kosher supervision) I have reproduced below the definition by the experts at BA:
The name "Tripel" actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist "Simple." Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, which is a shade or two darker than the average Pilsener. Head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish. Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well.
Tripels are actually notoriously alcoholic, yet the best crafted ones hide this character quite evil-like and deceivingly, making them sipping beers.
The Long Strange Tripel had the enhanced alcohol content (9.2% abv). Our friend Shlomo P thought that the brew was excessively bitter and he lamented the lack of citrus, but I did not completely agree. The beer did not have pronounced hops, but it was hardly bitter. I found the beer to be quite fruity with strong flavors emanating from the yeast and malt.
I would not recommend this beer as an accompaniment to a meal as this brew is more of a sipping beer to be enjoyed after a meal.
Boulevard Long Strange Tripel is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Kansas City, but the bottle I purchased did not have the certification mark on the label. If you would like the LOC from the Va'ad, please let me know and I will email it to you.
To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link -http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/423/39754.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).
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