Tripel and strife by Geoff Griggs

By contrast Monteith’s Tripel weighs in at 8% and pours a bright golden hue with a far thinner, wispier head. Offering a combination of fermentation-derived esters, the aroma and palate have a certain ‘Belgian-ness’ about them, but overall the beer lacks the herb and spice notes, malt intensity and delicate hop character I associate with the style. In short, it tastes like a strong, estery lager!

All of which begs two questions: Why on earth did Monteith’s attempt to recreate such a revered Belgian ale style with a lager yeast? (To me that’s like trying to make a red wine with Riesling grapes!) And secondly, given DB has recognised the potential appeal of the style, why doesn’t it start importing Affligem Tripel, a wonderfully spicy, hoppy and fresh-tasting Belgian Tripel that’s brewed by a subsidiary of its Dutch parent, Heineken?

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5 thoughts on “Tripel and strife by Geoff Griggs”

  1. Spot on. I guess it could be a stepping stone Tripel – from Montieth’s to Leffe to Westmalle. Next thing you’ll find yourself drinking Lambic.

  2. But can there be such a thing as a “stepping stone Tripel”? Isn’t that a bit like having a “stepping stone Penfold’s Grange”?

  3. great article, and it’s good to see someone saying it like it is. too often the marketing hype makes people believe that a mediocre beer is better than it really is.on one hand this beer is an estery strong lager, on the other hand if it helps new drinkers discover a new style of beer, then great

  4. ..that’s right, just as long as people don’t form an opinion on the Tripel style based on just this one beer.(I have heard people expressing an opinion on the IPA style based on their experience of Tui!!!)

  5. And they shouldn’t form an opinion based on Westmalle Tripel either. Karmeliet Tripel is an altogether different beer, much softer in all areas, but still a lovely drop.

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