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Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
86 86 86 1 2 0

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Review by SAP on 10/19/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 11 16 5 8 2008
A careful pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip still produces a fluffy, five-finger thick, pale tan colored head that slowly rises an additional two, wait make that three fingers in height above the rim of my glass without any overflow. As the head slowly recedes it leaves lots of lacing on the sides of my glass and forms odd, variegated mesas and quite the rocky surface. The beer itself starts out with a fare amount of haze and an orange tinged, light amber color. The aroma is quite expressive with a nice mix of ripe fruit, light spice and a soft, underlying funkiness. Aromas of ripe pear, aromatic-varietal apples, sour plums, light fruit vinegar notes, musty blankets, ginger, white pepper, yeasty-dough like malt, crushed cracker grain, freshly crushed pale malt, grains of paradise notes, lemon zest, orange zest and a light herbal note. What a fantastically complex nose, I really like what the light tartness and soft funkiness brings to this beer, even without these notes though it is still quite complex and interesting.

Dry tasting and lightly tart; it almost has a vinegar like edge to it, though it is quite soft. The tartness up front slowly melds and is almost subsumed by a herbal, sharp hop bitterness in the finish that at times can seem at odds with the tartness. The light tartness, is substantial enough to tingle my dry lips a bit, and it also boosts a nice fruitiness that can almost have a bit of sweetness to it at times (though I think this is purely a phantom perception on my part). Citrusy hop notes of bergamot, Meyer lemon, grapefruit and some lychee are all accentuated by the sour notes. Spicy, fermentation character provides a subtle note compared to the hops, but certainly contributes here; woody black pepper, young ginger and a spicy yeast note are noticeable. As the beer warms a bit fruit flavors of pear, tart-ripe plum, green apple and, as it warms a apple pie like note that almost has a cinnamon-like accent to it. Wow, as this warms up it can really start to get herbal and quite bitter in the finish, I think the up front tartness can overly accentuate the harsher side of the hop character in the finish at times. I really like how light and quaffable this is, but it certainly is not watery textured, there is just enough heft to move things along.

As it really warms up it actually starts to pick up a touch of soft, malty sweetness to it. The second pour of this beer also adds a hint more raw dough (mix of grain and yeast flavors) character to the flavor. The herbal / astringent / bitter hop character in the finish almost reminds me of a peppery / green arugula like note. In some ways the herbal hop notes in the finish start to mimic the spicy, astringent character that can be picked up from an oak barrel. This is probably the most hoppy & sour beer that I have had. It serves as an example that proves the old brewing rule that sourness and hops should not be mixed, but it does it quite well and ultimately is quite tasty and drinkable.

Served In: Tulip

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