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Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold American Tripel
Written by Tom
Well, this is the first Captain Lawrence brew I’ve ever had and let me tell you I was pretty stoked. After hearing about the quality of this brewery I was eager to give them a try. I’m going to let you read up on the history of the brewery and dive right into this beer.
This is a seasonal brew that pays tribute to two styles: the Belgian Tripels and American IPAs. Brewer Scott Vaccaro uses a bunch of American grown hops such as Simcoe, Cascade, and Amarillo along with Belgian Pilsner malt in order to achieve what I would say is the smoothest and lightest bodied Tripel I’ve had yet.
They note, “we have taken the best qualities from both styles and allowed them to shine through. The fruity and spicy notes from the imported Belgian yeast strain & the pungent flavors and aromas of the American grown Amarillo hops flow seamlessly together to create this flavorful ale.”
I agree with this statement on one exception. The hops or hopping used for this beer do not really equate to an overall pungency. While Simcoe is a high AA% hop I feel their use with Cascade and Amarillo provided a much lighter aroma and taste. The aroma was glorious. It had a big nose that was definitely fruity. Apple was the prevailing fruit, yet it was supported by lemon grass, hibiscus notes, light honey, an abv kick that heightened the sweetness, white wine & grapes, pineapple, orange, and clementines. The malt was like letting the Belgian yeast strain add that peppery, spicy note common to that style.
The consistent flavor throughout the brew was that of green Granny Smith apples. It was mildly sour and the yeast did pair well with the hops to give an onslaught of fruity flavors. The IBUs come in at only 33 so this was not a hoppy blast on the taste buds. However, the 10% abv did own me as I had this right before lunch after skipped breakfast on a Saturday morning (note: share with friends). There is a great amount of spicy yeast flavors that gain depth as this beer warms. I’ve had Belgian/IPA brews before like Green Flash ‘Le Freak’ but those are not Tripels. It seems the higher abv mellows out this brew. While having a big blend of hops and yeast it was surprisingly smooth and creamy. In addition to the dominate apple flavor there was also pear and lemon.
The mouthfeel was medium-heavy due to the yeast presence. This was noted by a slightly hazy, but very yellow-gold color. For being a Tripel is was closer to a Farmhouse/Saison in terms of flavors. The finish was crisp and had a hard boiled egg, citrus hop, spicy yeast aftertaste. Overall, it was a great beer and good into the Capt Lawrence lineup.
Grade: A-Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold American Tripel,