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St. Bernardus Tripel
Written by Michael
Its a bachelor weekend for me. Week, actually, as my flip-flop clad wife galavants around California and I sit inside on this sunny, but Chicago-in-January-is-cold-no-matter-how-sunny kind of day. After poking about in the freezer for a minute or two and finding my gourmet lunch of not one, but two Lean Pockets (defeating the purpose of ‘lean,’ I suppose), I went into my ‘cellar’ to choose an accompanying beer. Several of my previous St. Bernardus tastings have happened on Sunday, so I figured his Tripel would be a perfect match for my garlic and chicken pockets of joy.
My initial impression was that the famous St. Bernie’s carbonation was present yet gain. I poured, successfully, a near-perfect pour, which revealed an offwhite head that disappeared as quickly as church-goers on gameday. This left a heavy sheet of lacing, even before I had taken a sip. A bit of an oddity in this brew was the slightly frightening amount of floating bits, dark orange ones, mixed through the apricot colored liquid. They seemed almost like the tannins of a fine wine. The scent was the familiar malts of St. Bernardus. I never thought I’d sample enough beers to know it, but it was there and reminded me of the three previous brews I had enjoyed. Then I sipped. Whoa. This Tripel was light on the sweet and fruity, and heavy on the alcohol. My thought is that its never a good thing when the ABV is the first impression. It forced me to look at the bottle, which revealed a not ridiculous 8%. My second sip was, unfortunately, the same. There were a few other flavors that hid in the shadows, but were so overpowered that I soon forgot their presence. There was a bit of hops in the finish as well. I try to be fair to each beer I try, so I allowed it to warm a bit, munching on my Lean Pocket in the meantime. Boy, was I feeling lean. Although the alcohol seemed to ease off a bit, it still seemed the most prominent feature. It was by no means undrinkable, but compared to the vast world of tripels available, this one would by no means be my first choice.