Drinking on a Monday is a short column where I share that one bottle that I open after the most dreadful of all weekdays.
I’m a Bruery Preservation Society member and while I’m torn on the Bruery’s releases (smaller bottles would be nice, or more lower percentage beers), its always great to come to work in the morning and find three new beers waiting for me. I’ve had this Tripel in my fridge for a few months now and finally popped it at work on a day where my boss was gone early and me and my co-worker needed a nice stiff 9.5% Belgian to finish off the day.
As soon as the cap is off this bottle, the aroma screams ‘cider’ to me and I’m almost afraid that it has gone bad while I was cellaring it. A deeper whiff tells me no, this beer is, but there’s a definite sour kick to it which isn’t something you tend to see from this style. I have read a few reviews of this beer on beer advocate prior to opening and many were arguing this was more a saison than a tripel, and after a glass and a half, I’m going to have to disagree. There’s thats definite tartness at the center of it, but its followed by a sharp sweetness thats very telling of a traditional tripel, and there’s a peppery belgian yeast backbone that really holds things in place. The 9.5% is deceiving flavor-wise and pretty drinkable, despite a lack of effervescence (which would have possibly made this beer a homerun)
I’m pretty cautious about high percentage belgians. There’s so much sweetness in them that at times it can be overwhelming, and when you are dealing with 750ml bottles you don’t want to get out of hand. That’s where Tripel Tonnellerie really shines – it has all those classic tripel characteristics (spicy, peppery yeast quality, citrusy esters, apparent booziness) but adds some nice cider funk that smooths that booze out and makes it much easier to drink.