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Beer, Cider, & Sake

Belgian Trippel Blind (or Bland?) Tasting

TombstoneShadow | Nov 1, 201310:43 PM     57

Nov 1, 2013
So I have this Gulden Draak on tap the another night… it’s outasite... Review here
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/921520

I ordered 5 other beers, and one was out (Stone suede?) so the bartender recommended a switch to Gulden Draak. Very glad she did b/c it won hands down. I served it to some friends at a poker game the other night, and even the non-beer drinkers liked it, a hit all -around.So this revives my interest in Belgian Ales.

Belgians for a lot of beer drinkers, myself included are sort of a “last frontier”… we come across them along the way through everything else, find ‘em tasty but a little heavy...

But…. now’s the time to start getting into this.. start figuring out the difference between a dubbel / trippel / quad. / strong ale, etc.

So I’ve got 6 top rated Tripels I’m going to taste blind, two at a time over the next week or so. Tonight it’s Tripel Karmeliet vs. Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel Houblon. Actual tasting notes follow:

Brew 1: Not unpleasant. Sort of a “restrained” flavor and nose. Curiously close to an American pedestrian beer in basic flavor (like a toned-down Budweiser without the fizz and froth but with similarly unremarkable flavor) with a modest bitter-sweet edge. Frankly not that interesting overall…

Brew 2: Disappointment too. Not sure what’s going on, these are from diligent stores with great beer selections.

Final thoughts: This is going to be a short night  Brew 2 has a strange aftertaste that I can’t get past. Brew 1 is the “winner” though both of these are getting booby prizes.

Now to reveal the labels: Brew 1 is….Karmeliet, Brew 2 is Chouffe. Won’t be buying either of these anytime soon. Better luck next time. As I’m drinking these I wonder if it’s “Belgian Strong Ale” that I’m really looking for? ... time will tell.

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