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Review by SAP on 08/02/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
76 3 9 14 4 8 2008
2008 Release; Sampled July 2008
A reasonably soft pour produces a thick, three-finger thick, light tan colored head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip. The beer is a murky amber hue that shows a hazed, orange-tinged, copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is expressively hoppy up front with a backdrop of cracker-like malt and spicy fermentation notes. Aromas of orange zest, citron, spicy / herbal notes and a touch of a floral aspect seems to define the hop contributions. This has a nicely noticeable malt aroma to it that smells of crushed pale malt, biscuit notes and most noticeably of lightly toasty saltine crackers. The fermentation character is definitely the most muted part of the aroma, this has more to do with the hop focus than any lack of fermentation character; earthy spice notes, some phenolics that lean toward clove and a touch of woody black pepper seem the most noticeable of these aromatics.

Lightly sweet but quickly balance by an ample hoppiness that is both bitter and herbal. A malt fullness picks up in the middle and contributes both to a creamy texture and an accenting influence to the citrus hop notes. The finish though dries out significantly with a sharp, though quite smooth, lingeringly herbal hop bitterness. The finish also is dried out by a background, spicy note of higher alcohols that seem to boost the green notes of the hops. The hop notes are definitely dominant here, almost even more so than in the aroma. There is a nice backdrop of grassy grain, light biscuit notes, some sweet pale malt flavors and an up front cracker character. As the beer warms up a bit it almost seems to pickup a cinnamon type note to it; the spiciness gets pretty interesting here over time.

I think I might like this a bit better on draught than I do out of the bottle and this years batch seems to be a bit better than last years. I like the spiciness that the mix of hops and fermentation character create in the aroma here. The flavor doesn't quite live up to the ultimate promise of the aroma, but it is still quite tasty. This is quite an enjoyable brew.

Served In: Tulip