Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

May 6, 2010

I may get some arguments on this, but if you are a beer drinker, there is no better place to be than the United States of America.  Right now, this country is producing more great beers and, just as importantly, more interesting beers than any other country, and is doing so in as many different styles as can be imagined.  I am not saying that we have the brewing tradition of England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium or Germany, though our brewing tradition is underrated as it was largely dormant in the decades after prohibition.  The difference is that German brewers stick to making German styles, the English brew ales, porters, and stouts, and so on.  We in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave can get great Belgian style beers that are brewed right here, and there are fantastic English style beers that are American made, and the list goes on.  Our brewers have also crossed styles, making IPAs with Belgian yeasts, for example.  As American brewers do not have to adhere to any particular brewing tradition, nor do we have to follow the Reinheitsgebot, we have also created new styles, like Imperial IPAs, seemingly out of whole cloth.

After years of being dismissed by European brewers as second rate, and rightly so I might add, American brewers are now influencing their Continental counterparts, and the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel is an example of that influence.  A double IPA brewed in Europe?  Not until we showed the Europeans the way.

More Tripel than Double IPA, this pours a pale and cloudy yellow with a meringue pie head that is retained to the bottom and which leaves sticky traces on the inside of the glass.  The aroma is lemony and herbal, with some hops aroma.  The flavor is more lemongrass than lemon, with some peppery notes, and the hops jump up a bit.  There seems to be some apple and pear in the aftertaste.  This is a refreshing beer, and would probably pair up with well Asian food.  7.5/10.


Boulevard Brewing Long Strange Tripel

March 7, 2010

Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company’ beers usually get great reviews, and they are not widely available in the Northeast, so when I saw some of their beers when I was visiting my sister and her family in Texas, I jumped on the opportunity to try as many as I could.  The Long Strange Tripel is part of their SmokeHouse Series of limited edition beers.  It is a dead certainty that one of the brewers is a Deadhead, and as you have probably guessed, this beer is a Belgian Tripel.  Not being well versed in Belgian beers, I do not know if it is a faithful representation of the style.  I do know that it was pale gold and cloudy, with a gorgeous foamy head that lasted to the bottom of the glass.  The beer had a sweet and fruity aroma, mostly banana and apple.  It had a pleasant malt and yeast flavor, with almost no hops bitterness.  I generally like my beers hoppy, but this was an exception to that rule.  The Long Strange Tripel grades out at a 7/10, and I have some other Boulevard beers coming up to be graded.


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