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Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel by Brasserie d'Achouffe
Belgian IPA
9.00 % ABV

Review by tavernjef on 09/20/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
98 3 11 20 5 10 2010
Beatifully mild banana yellow color with a soft hazey glow. Monsterously creamy and tall compacted capping of white, decoratively fopped foam. A thick white blanket of lacing drapes itself across the glass with barely any missing stitches to it. All the while the head itself hardly moves as it unfolds into a sculpted heep of marshmellow mush.

Aroma is approachable by arms length at first pour. Big and lofty with a peppery spice of yeast and dry hops backed by green bananas and old pineapple. Mellows out to be alot more rounded and mellow with a bit more of dullishly soft lemon pie.

Soft, delicate, well rounded flavors ensue and fill the palate quickly with a creamy, fluffy textured delight of banana and lemon pie filling. Frothy candyness with very mild, intriguing citrusy flavors take a place well along the palate as it subsides some into a middling finish of slight peppery spice and hoppy dryness. Its savoriness superseeds its simplicity as it builds and builds with intensely mild, yet fronting froth of maltyness and mellowed candyness. It favors a light warmth late as it cinders like a fading fire with some wonderfully replaced citrus candy thats super milding and fluffy. It tends to create a billowing sense of banana, lemon, and pineaplle as it seeps into the mouth leaving nice little spicyness of pepper hops. The Saaz makes for most of its snap and strength; however is seemingly wiped away by its play of candyish pie filling sweetness. Its quite remarkable in balance through and through. The spice is never over powering, as its ABV is barely evident...

...which seems laughable. The 9% displayed on the 'Gnome sniffing hops' label says nothing to its dimeanor... well actually, at least until late after much of the 750ml has been drained. Then watch out it'll make ya go weee....I'm a Gnome, I'm a Gnome...

The feel is amazingly soft and full with an awesomely foregiving, supple body and warmth of dulled citrusy candy-pie filling. Frothy in texture and one of the most unique in stature that I've not encountered before. Its like liquid pastry. I swear. Its that good.

Fine drinkability. Soft, yielding, delightful, and yummyliscious. It makes a slow settled, sinking impression into the mind with wonderment and awe as it makes me ponder how a beer so good could be so dangerous. I mean it made me say something along the lines of 'savoriness'? C'mon, thats worth something, isn't it? Wow! A lovely, lovely beer. A real winner by Chouffe!

Served In: Goblet

Review by Ricarrdo on 03/05/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 2 9 17 4 8 0
Nice Belgian IPA/Belgian style – very light, given the alcohol level. Russian River “Damnation” is a much better representation of a highly hopped “US” style IPA than this Belgian rip-off. Not bad, but not great. Pours a very foamy light golden color with a huge head. Smells of hops and fruit. Some piney resin that doesn’t follow through on the taste. Not worth the price but nice in a pinch if you’re craving a fruity, hoppy style and can’t get something from the West Coast or a Schneider Hopfen…

Price: $9.99 Served In: Tulip

Review by flyingtaco on 02/20/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 2 10 16 4 8 2010
Originally reviewed 2/28/2008...

There's a staunch 2-finger melting toasted marshmallow/bubble bath consistency on the head with decent lacing. A little carbonation with natural honey-colored, moderately colored body. Cloudiness in the bottle dissipates a fair amount when pouring into the chalice of Cooperstown's finest. Looks extremely natural and rustic.

Update: after a couple of pours, the head has reached puffy spotty glacier proportions. This is some crazy $#!+.

Heavy aroma of banana, honey (recurring theme), apple, a little bit of regular white grapes, and a slight menthol burn. Nothing like I've smelled before. Slight skunky floral hoppiness is there too with some weird soapy sweetness (gardenia? Mental note - no recording tasting notes after 11 PM). At this point I'm confused but totally intrigued.

I have to admit - a lot of beers I tend to taste too cold. In a desperate effort to remediate this, I take this from cellar and refrigerate only minimally. HUGE mistake. Anything that tastes as German as this does HAS to go in the fridge longer than you'd expect from a 9.0% ABV Belgian powerhouse. It has a cold taste to it - first thought is German Pilsener and the label mentioning the Saaz hops confirms it after tossing me for a loop. A lot of honey and the Saaz - doesn't necessarily work for me in beautiful chemistry. There's a strong alcohol burn here hanging out on it's own. But it's interesting. WEIRD but interesting. I am glad that the components of heavy honey and menthol don't blend and balance as well as they should, because I can get that combo in the "cough and cold" section at CVS for a buck a bag. Not my thing but $#!+ dog, it's still wicked interesting.

On the mouth this is a star system beer - there are a lot of tastes and sensations with huge egos and presences working by themseleves trying to muscle each other out. A whole lot of the coating sweetness with the weird soapy bitterness of the Germanic hops along with the heavy alcohol. Doesn't taste like a dubbel, a tripel or an IPA; this $#!+ is funky.

Must try this again at the cold end of the range (45) vs. the warm end (55). I appreciate the quality of the individual components of this deal but feel like the guy in that bad SNL "Appalachian Emergency Room" skit with the railroad spike through his head - "My head ain't hurt 'dis bad since I did one of 'dem Su-do-ku puzzles..." I really want to have this without the Saaz and replacing them with something like, dunno...Columbus? This is very well made but stands the palate on its @$$ end something fierce. Impressive.

Price: $10.00 Served In: Snifter

Review by joe1510 on 11/03/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 10 17 4 8 0
Binny's Orland Park

Dobbelen IPA Tripel pours a slightly hazy straw golden with streams upon streams of tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. The head on this beer is as white as white can get and dense. Leaves that sticky Belgian lacing that's so pleasing to the eye. Really a fantastic looking brew.

Not really a whole lot of hops in the nose, like I expected, but the aroma is mouthwatering. Pale malts and candi sugar are the first two things that come to mind. There's a great yeast presence, a little dusty and green. Mild alcohol fumes. Like I said, "mouthwatering".

The hops are in the flavor. Very nice to see. Biscuity malts start things off. The middle is somewhat fruity and sweet. A quick hit of banana bread, so fast it's hard to tell it's even there. The candi sugar comes along with the banana. Spicy hops bitterness on the finish, nothing overpowering. Compliments the usual tripel flavors very nicely.

The mouthfeel of this beer is absolutely perfect. Light body from the sugar that turns airy and creamy when it hits the tongue. Lively carbonation really opens up all the flavors. Finishes dry with a mild lingering bitterness.

An enjoyable easy drinker. It's actually going down way too fast. The body is so light and refreshing it's hard to stop drinking.

This is one expertly crafted beer. One that I will enjoy over and over again. I'm not sure of the age on this bottle but I'd love to get a fresh one. I've been wanting to try this beer for awhile, finally getting around to it it's even better than expected. Exceptional!

Price: $9.49 Served In: Tulip

Review by Oxymoron on 09/10/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
74 3 8 16 3 7 2009
Maybe a staple in the Belgian IPA categories, but I think that the US breweries are starting to come out with better products. The pour is a hazy straw to golden color. A rocky white head the had to ease back with the pour. Great head retention and lacing through the whole tasting.

The nose has a good Belgian aroma with some subtle hop aromas. The malt is grainy with some minor sugar notes. Hints of spicy notes that reminds me of wheat. Some pepper and a touch of bubblegum. Some nice fruity esters. The hops are there but limited. Some earthy and piney notes.

The taste is similar but the hops come out more. The malt to start, has a more muddled flavor. Some grainy and wheat notes. A hint of biscuit and pilsner notes as well. There is a slight flour like flavor in the finish. The bitterness comes out strong with a strong bite. This continues into the finish and has overpowers the finishing hops. Some citrus and pine. The pepper notes are noticeable in the finish as well, and emphasizes the bitterness. A light yeast finish but limited esters and Belgian notes overall.

The body is moderate with a somewhat sweet finish. A bit hard to pick out with the bitterness. Some soap finish notes but ok. Overall, the hop notes are a little off specifically bittering hops. Would like a drier finish overall and some cleaner malt flavors. But still easy to drink and enjoyable.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by tjthresh on 07/28/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 10 20 5 9 2008
Pours hazy bright golden yellow with a billowing snow white head. Lots of Belgian lace. Wonderfully spiced aroma with plenty citrus hop aroma. Sweet candy sugar as well. The tripel character comes through perfect, and the Amarican hop bitterness is very evident. The palate is great. Full, but refreshingly carbonated. Get ya some.

Served In: Pint Glass

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