Tuesday, October 27, 2009

St. Martin Tripel - Tuesday, October 27 (by 7 minutes)

Last weekend was a hectic one. The parents came up and we had a jolly time doing what we do best: shopping and eating at restaurants. Unfortunately, it left me pretty tuckered out and didn't give me a lot of room to review beverages. So, its a bit late, but this is the last of the press pack sent by Abbey St. Martin. It's a big mamma jamma of a beer:

Pours a hazy, golden orange, like looking through a glass of orange juice on a sunny day. Has two fingers of pearl white head that sticks around for a long time. A nice looking beer, almost like an orange creamsicle in a glass. Nice orange and straw color.

Smells of light malt and citrus. Orange peel. Very low floral hoppiness deep in the background. Almost a white pepper and clove smell as well. Lemon as well. Very nice bouquet.

Taste is sweet and malty, almost like a thick slice of crispy bread slathered in clover honey. Very smooth. The alcohol comes through on this one but not in a bad way. It almost lends authority and cuts through the sweetness nicely. Warming. Citrus abounds as well. Lemon, orange, maybe more tangerine than orange. Very light hops on the finish that give it a light crisp edge. Pretty rockin' beer. Slight banana too, I think. As it warms, the alcohol becomes more pronounced but it really doesn't detract from the beer. It just becomes more apparent a) how strong it is and b) how hard it is to type this review.

This is probably my favorite of the bunch. It has the smoothness, lightness, and easy drinking qualities of the Blonde. It has the sweetness and complexity of the Brune, but its not overbearing and heavy. The clover honey-like quality is great. I'm putting this as a A- in my book. I recommend you go out and get some of this stuff. Go easy, though. It drinks smooth, sweet, and nice but its 9% ABV, so sip carefully. Definitely not a session beer, but a delicious beer none-the-less. Go buy it.

Note: Interesting to note, the notches on the bottle give a date of October 08. I don't know whether this is the "brewed on" date or the "drink by" date. I'm assuming brewed-on date as a Belgian with a ABV like this, in a dark bottle, is probably fine enough for aging so a "drink-by" date would be a pretty moot point. If it -does- have a year of aging on it, I'd be interested to try a fresh batch. I'd imagine it'd be slightly more hoppy due to the lupulin breakdown, but I'm thinking the banana-y ester would be more pronounced as they tend to break down over aging. Who knows.

To summarize, a pretty solid line of Belgians. The Blonde was ok, the Brune was better, and the Tripel was the best. Overall? I'd give them a B+, depending on the price of these beers. While I wasn't blown away by the Blonde (while it was a good beer), the Brune and Tripel make up for it. Would I buy most of this stuff again? Yep, especially that Tripel. I'd love to see this in a small sampler sixer for people to try. For a sixer like that, I'd plop $12-$14 no questions asked, going as much as, say, $18. It's a solid beer line from a likable company, so try getting it in your neighborhood ASAP. Contact your local distributor and try to get them in touch with C2 Imports if you like these reviews. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna drink the rest of this Tripel. Nom.

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