New Belgium Trippel

trippel_lBrewer: New Belgium Brewery, CO
Style: Trippel
Alc/Vol: 7.8%

Description: Brewed in the Belgian style of extra strong ales, this Trippel is bottle conditioned and fermented for an extended period of time and spiced with coriander. The end result is a yeasty pale ale that contains notes of pear, apple, and ginger spice alongside a subtle hint of spice.

Tasting Notes: I will admit that I was expecting a bit more in the way of malt and oaky flavor. By comparison, this beer was lighter and more subtle, but no less pleasing or appealing. The notes of apple, pear and ginger were a nice surprise, and played quite well to the smooth malty flavor and mild spice notes. Yet another winner from this venerable brewery!

Appearance: Deep golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, yeast, hint of oak, notes of coriander and ginger
Taste: Smooth malt, mild tang, yeast, pear and apple esters, hint of coriander spice
Aftertaste: Lingering malt bitterness, spice, yeast
Overall: 9/10

La Chouffe Blonde D’Ardenne

lachouffe_largeBrewer: Brasserie d’Achouffe, Achouffe, Belgium
Style: Blonde Ale
Alc/Vol: 8%

Description: The flagship beer of the Achouffe brewery, this blonde ale is unfiltered and re-fermented in the bottle after the initial fermentation takes place in the keg. Consistent with a Belgian-style blonde, it is malt-forward and spiced with coriander.

Tasting Notes: This beer was quite the surprise for me. Ordinarily, I expect Belgian-style blondes of this strength to be rather coarse or saccharine. However, this one was quite balanced, with relatively smooth malts, gentle traces of coriander spice and hops, and some serious notes of honey. It was more like drinking mead than ale, and definitely a good way to round out my sampling Achouffe’s regular lineup – at least those that are available here in Canada.

Appearance: Amber/orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malts, notes of apricots, honey, citrus and spice
Taste: Smooth malts, slight coarseness, mild tang, honey and coriander spice
Aftertaste: Lingering coarse malts, honey and spice
Overall: 8.5/10

Lighthouse 3 Weeds Belgian Wit

lighthouse_maibock_3weedsHello folks. Today, I come to you with a review of a beer that I’ve been neglected for a few weeks now. While this beer has been available, at least in my area, since May, I’ve been hesitant due to the sheer number of Belgian Wits and other assorted wheat beers that have been making the rounds lately. But of course, I am a fan of the variety and I really can’t stand letting a limited release pass me by, so I decided to get on it!

It’s known as the 3 Weeds Belgian Wit, and much like their recent Mountain Goat Maibock (which I have tried a few times but have yet to review), was released in May in honor of spring. Brewed in the traditional Belgian wheat style, it combines pilsner and wheat malts with rolled oats, hops and a dose of coriander spice and ginger. This makes for a brew that can rival the better wits I’ve tried, boasting a gentle malt profile, a yeasty backing, and a some spicy notes that are varied and complimentary.

Appearance: Golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Spicy nose, yeast, discernible coriander
Taste: Immediate burst of yeast and mild fruit, pineapple, citrus, spiciness
Aftertaste: Lingering spice and yeast flavor, ginger tang
Overall: 8.5/10

Overall, I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. And I was especially intrigued by the addition of ginger, which manages to compliment the coriander quite nicely. Whereas most Wits rely on orange rind or some other citrusy addition to do this, here you get a more layered spicy flavor in the end. It’s especially good as a warm weather beer, but was well-paired with the spicy food that I ate alongside it. I’m actually sorry I resisted it for as long as I did. This and the Maibock would have made a great two-fer review!