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Steenbrugge Tripel - Brouwerij Palm NV

Not Rated.
Steenbrugge TripelSteenbrugge Tripel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

94 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 276
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.35%
Wants: 19
Gots: 34 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Palm NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Absumaster on 07-17-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 94 | Hads: 276
Reviews by Chrysostom:
Photo of Chrysostom
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I just had a $15 of Koningshoeven Quadupel Oak Aged before this - or, more like half of one - which was severely disappointing, bordering on undrinkable, and a Chimay "Special 2012" Blue Label before that. I'm still mostly sober, and this review is live - not from notes of any sort, but puzzled out as I drink the potable in question.

This is my first ever bottle of this beer. It goes without saying my ratings are subject to revision upon additional bottles being consumed. I've been disappointed with new beers recently.

(As with all my reviews, contra some sites and some guidelines, I review according to style, ala BJCP, modified by personal preferences [contra BJCP], not according solely to personal taste.)

Without my normal, customary little introductory anecdote/story, without further ado, a review:

Presentation: 750mL bottle, corked and caged and wrapped in foil like champagne, poured in to a Chimay goblet/chalice. Served chilled, around 40-45ºF, warming as I write the review and sip. Bought around July through August of last year. $8.99 for a 750mL bottle. Thank you to Blacklick Wine and Spirits in Columbus, Ohio.

A: Bright golden colour, very clear for the style with the slightest haze (the yeast has settled nicely in to the bottom after I've aged this for nearly a year), with an absolutely ridiculously massive, fluffy head indicative of extreme carbonation, even on a gentle pour. The slightest bit of vigour on the pour giveth a head which be larger than the liquid beer. It looks like a Champagne the colour of apple juice, and, frankly, delicious. Lacing is non-existent even on a massive, three-finger head. Some white lees present in the transparent beer on the last pour.

S: Some barnyard funk and wet dog right off the bat, strongly reminiscent of Orval, with pretty strong undercurrents of bread and yeast, surprising for such a clear beer. There is absolutely, and I repeat absolutely, no alcohol character whatsoever present in the nose, which is surprising, again, for an 8.7% beer, especially served strongly chilled, bordering on cold. Some earthy hop, but little malt, is present in the nose.

T: This surprises me with how good it is. Light spicy flavours, reminiscent, again, of Orval: veritably savouring of Orval. Strong funk, again, like Orval. The spice is similar to that present in a Rochecfort, although here much attenuated. Huge amounts of bread and toast, yet again surprising me, for the fifth time (?) in this review, due to the clarity of the beer. Has notes of the ill-defined "Saison" style, just as Orval has.

Citrus on the front of the palate, an extremely dry, toasty (as in toasted bread or croutons) back-palate, which is quite refreshing. As is standard with Belgians, neither malt nor hops are the dominant flavour (even if the dominant ingredients), but the malt on this is by far predominant over the hops - although the hops are not meek, and make their presence known. Hoppier than most Tripels.

Mild floral (lilac and lavender) notes throughout. There is no alcohol whatsoever noticeable on the palate. This may be the least alcoholic-tasting high-ABV beer I've ever had. Moderately complex. Not as complex as a St Bernardus, or an Orval, but still pretty complex. I think I've teased out the main threads of taste, but not nearly all of them.

M: High carbonation. Astringent, yet dry and smooth. Clean. Champagne-like. The mouthfeel is the highlight of this surprisingly-good beer. Somewhere between 4.75 and 5 on the mouthfeel. It blends well with everything else.

D: Moderate. Complex, yet refreshing, yet again still high in alcohol. One could drink too many of these without becoming (too) tired of the taste, but it would be inadvisable. Not compulsively drinkable like a Chimay or St Bernardus, but quite above-average drinkability for a brew of comparable complexity and flavour.

O: This is a good, close to great, beer. As you have observed, the words "reminiscent of Orval" and "surprised" run throughout my review. For what it is (and, of course, it is what it is), Orval and surprise are my general take-away from this.

It hits the "Tripel" style on the head, with the addition of funky characteristics such as are present in Orval and some other Trappists. There seems to be a bit of a funky Saison-like character to this beer, as well. It's not as clean as the Tripel offerings from St Bernardus, Chimay, or Westmalle; all of the aforementioned are complex, but none have the Orval-like funk of this beer. It far exceeded my expectations. 90/100 for the style.

One and three-quarters thumbs up (I'm a bit more reserved than Siskel and Ebert), with a definite and enthusiastic "buy" recommendation from me, especially for $8.99/750mL. This beer could be sold for the standard "Trappist price" of $11.99/750mL and gather no untoward gazes. It's worth a try, especially if you like this style, Saison, or Orval.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strongly flavored with pepper and fruit notes, the descript flavors of spiced pears, confectioner's sugar, and lemon zest are just a few flavors yet to explore.

This Tripel Ale pours with a zesty sprite with carbonation that billows into a rocky white topping that promptly adorns the crown of the chalice. With intricate pockets of foam, the beer leaves a pattern of the session behind.

Aromas of softly kilned pilsner malt, powdered sugar, and a sugar cookie scent kicks off the aromas. But the elegant estery, peppery profile come together in a way that reminds me of spiced pears, apple pie, and brandy.

Flavors follow up with a honey suckle-like thin floral taste, with also a soft candied lemon favor that seems to overtake the bready complexion of flavor. The balance holds true even with the lemony, peppery note deep within the session. Hop bitterness strikes late with an earthy, peppery bite that helps to crispen the beer and offer a dry citrus flavor that's so appreciated in aftertaste.

Medium-full at first because of the expansive carbonation. But after the creamy and spritzy carbonation subsides, the peppery bite and supple sweetness begins to coat the palate and mid portion of the tongue with a dryish feel and developing cotton candy fleeting sweetness that proves satisfying and rich. But the finish of lemony bite, peppery heat, and alcholic warmth all offer an element of elegance with 9% power. Both masculine and finess at the same time... so we all win!

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Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Someguy1989
2.88/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter from a 750 Bottle.

A- Poured a light copper with a large amount of frothy white head.

S- Banana notes, some apple, and a bit of spice. A tad bit of grassy notes.

T- Starts with toned down fruits, pears, apple. Not a lot of flavor in the malt sweetness, and it turns into a spice that leaves a cloyingly bitter astringent aftertaste on the tongue. Not very pleasant

M/D- Mouth feel is thick and syrupy but with the aftertaste, the beer is not very pleasant to drink. That said the alcohol is well masked.

 529 characters

Photo of -DF-
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #39 (Apr 2010):

Brimming with a white head, a mountain that rises above the rim of the glass. Very active carbonation puts on a show within the rich, golden-colored brew. Big aroma of cherries, mangoes and red delicious apples meets spicy alcohol and nutty yeast. The body acts bigger than it actually is, as it is lifted by the creamy smoothness. Light, raw honey, malt flavor; grass with a slight biscuit tone in the back. Modest hopping leaves some bitterness and herbal flavors to play with. Alcohol waltzes in with a mild warmth, fruitiness of papaya and a faint spice. The phenols rest on the finish, which helps to balance any sweetness that tries to get out of line.

An old friend revisited, it brings back very fond memories of long afternoon sessions in cafés eating pots of mussels and drinking Tripels. On target to style, a real joy to sip.

 897 characters

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a very pale yellow. Two-and-a-half finger head of loose, fluffy eggshell white foam sets up like meringue and then slowly falls, leaving generous lace rings around the glass. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a light goldenrod in color and moderately opaque, with lots of effervescence rising from the bottom throughout the glass. Half way through the glass and there's still a fine covering of very tight bubbles solidly across the surface.

S - Honey, pears, bubblegum, lemongrass. A touch of white pepper sneaks into the nose. Light and pleasant, but easy to acquire. After warming, malts move forward along with a touch of light caramel.

T - A bit darker than the nose, but consistent with it. Apples, white raisins, and apricots with a dash of lemon. Light malts and yeast. In the middle, hints of banana and clove appear, reminiscent of solid German hefeweizen. Black pepper and a touch of cinnamon along with herbs that suggest thyme, caraway, and oregano mix together in the back end to provide a bitter balance to the fruits. ABV is very well-integrated and hidden, almost dangerously so.

M - Rather fizzy but easy to drink. Nice body - somewhat on the light side, almost delicate, but not at all watery thin. Components are well-integrated. Finish is fairly dry, rather short, and clean. Over the length of the glass, the spices, especially the pepper, start to accumulate and linger, and this becomes unpleasant.

O - I like the nose more than the taste, as I found the spices and herbs in the back end to be somewhat distracting from what I most enjoy about Tripels: their malts and fruits. If the taste would have been truer to its nose, this would be a winner. Towards the end of the glass, the pepper and cinnamon started to echo in the finish, like a ringing in the ears after a very loud concert. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, by all means, try this, because it's made from quality ingredients and quite tasty. Personally, however, I need to follow this with something that will turn off the spices that have accumulated and aren't going away on their own.

 2,151 characters

Photo of petewheeler
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of MrMichael
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color was really nice. A rich honey-gold topped with a bit of pale-straw head

A good amount of hops that smelled nice, but there wasn't a whole lot else going on in the nose.

A good crisp, clean flavor. Like the smell, it was good but I didn't get much complexity. There was a lingering alcohol in the aftertaste

A very fine carbonation. Very effervescent. I liked it.

I'm fairly new to Belgians and Tripels, and I liked this one. It's not going to be my new favorite, but I would gladly drink it again

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Photo of KirkFrancis
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of LaurensDeJong
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of JMS1512
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of alcohline_trip
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dacrza1
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: November 23, 2013... GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... OCCASION: a Game of Thrones reading evening... APPEARANCE: pours a slightly copper, malty golden body; lively effervescence; thick,, foamy two-finger white head that keeps its resilience; lacing is formidable... AROMA: bouquet is light, hoppy, floral with light citrus--mostly peach--and apple as well--quite an air to it!... PALATE: full-bodied; immediately warming at the throat; active and anxious in the teeth--clearly not disguising its intentions...TASTE: grape accents early grant a surprising start; smooth, mellow hops make for a surprisingly casual finish; coriander and some nameless funk round out the flavor...OVERALL: a bright, uplifting strength to this beer lends spirit to the religious overtones of the label; situated among the other beers of this mix pack, the "Best of Belgium" proclamation holds some substance--not the best tripel I've tasted, but more than holds its own...

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Tripel is unique due to the fact it's brewed with Gruut or Gruit...an herbal mixture that was the beers hops before brewers started using hops in beer.

Rushing gold color, highly active flow, crytal-white bubbly head and a crazy gyser-like center.

the aroma has rich, hearty, earthy and herbal notes all over the place. Spicey lager-yeast aroma, sour-earthy, corn, wild fruits and pepper. Very complex aroma that really is very nice.

The flavor has sour-earthy yeast that is very complex with multiple layers. Subtle dried fruits and a hint of pepper. The gruut adds futhur herbal depth to an already deep earthy punch. The malt is light and crisp with dry bready notes that falls into perfect balance for this style.

The feel is usually one of the best aspects of Belgian-brewed "bottle fermented" style beers, lush, snappy, zippy bite that is dry but goes down very smooth.

Overall, a classic and really unique.

 928 characters

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Mar02x
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer with thanks to by brother in law Maarten. He is becoming a new BA soon I guess.

A - A nice inviting golden color with a fluffy head. Some carbonation bubbles are trying to get to the top.

S - Pine, citrus, yeast a very inviting smell.

T - A good decent triple, malts, floral hops mixed with spices make a real good body with is in its turn full of flavor. The body is not to thin and not to thick.

M - A good medium carbonation, up front even a bit high. The fluid is slightly sticky and the alcohol in the finish is warming and pleasant.

O - A nice triple, worth buying, fresh in taste and very drinkable with a decent body.

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Photo of mattfancett
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of emsroth
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Good until 4/2014, so this is a young bier!

App: Beautiful, clear, light gold. Darker than a pilsener: blond ale color. Head that stays and stays with great lace.

Smell: Definitely smoky, as they say on their website. Apparently from the yeast strain. VERY cool! Besides that there is a retrained grape skin aroma. A touch of rosemary and lemon.

Taste: What can only be described as a lemon-custard sweetness and creaminess. The hops hit hard and fast with dry herbal notes, but they never go overboard with bitterness. (I do, perhaps, wish for a touch more bitterness).

Full mouthfeel with a prominent, but balanced hop character. But the dryness almost finishes too thin. The mouthfeel starts thick and ends thin, which is weird.

Reminiscent of Westmalle's tripel, but a bit more reserved all around. Perhaps the age of the bier is related. I will have to have it more aged.

A very odd scent. Definitely smokier than some smoked biers. Not what I look for in a tripel but still nice and worth seeking out.

 1,027 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Beer review # 1000... whoo hoo!)

A - Clear bright orange-honey with a three finger white head that's not as tight as it could be, but is very pretty despite it's loose bubbles. Big sheets of lace wash down the side of the big globe snifter after a swirl, and head retention is pretty good.

S - Green apple skin, sliced mangos and peaches, honeycomb breakfast cereal, and dry champagne. White grape juice (like that non-alcoholic champagne or "sparkling grape juice" you can buy for kids to toast with on New Years Eve). Green and leafy with a big time green grape character, some more complex herbal and perfumed notes come out with additional sniffing. Awesome complexity. This is very lively and refreshing to my nose.

T - Sweeter and darker than the lively and "spritzy" nose would suggest, this has an almond, honey, molasses, and sweet butter base with overlying hints of exotic flowers (Hawaiian Islands come to mind), bitter herbs and greens, and something in the background that almost reminds me of Capri Sun in the little foil pouch. This one has more than a hint of FUNK to it... might there be a little brettanomyces in the mix? The lingering aftertaste is super-stinky-cheese-funky and keeps me coming back for another sip.

M - Medium bodied ad firm. This is a wiry and taught brew that isn't so much muscular as it is ripped (less Arnold Schwarzeneger and more Bruce Lee). Finishes with an astringent "bitter greens" note that is very much like bitter arugula in a nice salad.

D - This is a very, very unique and interesting brew and I'm glad that I saved something odd and special for my 1000th review, but I can't help feel that this one would have been damn near perfect if they used hops instead of the ancient Gruut / herbal stuff they used in this one. I like the historical and educational "taste back in time" but as far as beer goes, there is a reason that hops have replaced other herbs as a preservative/bittering agent... they just plain taste better. All in all, this one is definitely something worth seeking out for the experience, but I've had more drinkable and more well-rounded tripels.

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Photo of McMatt7
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Steenbrugge Tripel from Brouwerij Palm NV
86 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.