ONE OF THE MIDWEST’S BETTER Belgian efforts, if perhaps a little too tweaked to use as a good starting point in the style. Bright golden color with a strong but not quite regal enough head expansion, the banana esters, bits of clove spice, and bready malt aromas leap out ahead of a sturdy but not too distinguished yeast thickness. Quite well attenuated from 19.1 Plato down to 2.6, the body is balanced just right between light clarity, sweetness, a hint of hop bitterness (American in placement, though Hallertau and Styrian Golding are true to Germanic tradition), and the yeast’s gentle tang. Merits another try for the fairest assessment, but seems to lack the spice and purity of water that make the best true Tripels complex and radiant. Would have skipped the flaked oats in the malt bill, though, which smooths out a bit overmuch the apricot, peach, and vanilla tones that poke up throughout the rest of the brew.
Served: 12 oz bottle