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What a weekend, what a weekend for beer drinking. I flew into Seattle Friday night to surprise my uncle and aunt at their baby shower, but that was going on Saturday afternoon - so of course I went out for some drinks. My college roommate and fellow Gentlemen - Stohn, met me at my hotel and we ventured to downtown Bellevue. Now, I’d like to say that Stohn and I have never truly gone bar hopping together, because he turned 21 days before he got married and after we both graduated from the University of Oregon. So, I was kind of excited to hit the bars up with this guy, but I let him call the shots regarding where we were going to go. We first hit up Rock Bottom Brewery, which I think would have been better if our waitress wasn’t completely awful. I would like to say to Rock Bottom in Bellevue - make sure your wait staff is friendly or at the least not bitchy to the customers. After leaving Rock Bottom we headed next door to the Tap House (link here), which had an amazing 160 taps! Stohn and I spent a good amount of time here, because the beer was flowing in great variety, and the wait staff was friendly and knowledgeable even though it was incredibly busy. Stohn had his first taste of Monk’s Blood by 21st Amendment, and I started with Avery’s Dugana Ipa, of which we both found fantastic! Next, we both had a try of Russian River’s Damnation, and we both thought it was a decent ale, but nothing that really blew us away. I can’t speak for Stohn, but after my IPA the sweetness of the Damnation was just not sitting well on my palate. The last ale that I tried was a collaboration of Elysian and New Belgium called Trip VIII, which is one I’ve known about, and have wanted to try. This beer was fantastic, if you see this on tap get it, and you will not be disappointed. We went to another place before calling it a night, but it was nothing special. The next day I went to a great place in Redmond called Malt and Vine to pick up some beer as a gift for my uncle (Dogfish Head World Wide Stout and Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti). The selection was great and the service was friendly. So, enough of me talking about my fun weekend, we’ve got a beer to review, and this week we’re going to the Netherlands. We’ll be taking a look at La Trappe’s Tripel, which is one of my favorite Belgium styles as well as one of G’s favorites who just happened to come over to help me review it.
You can go to the La Trappe website here:
A special and powerful Trappist. Including the use of coriander owes it its spicy character. Golden in color with a fruity, bittersweet taste.
La Trappe’s Tripel comes in at an 8% ABV, and poured an off-white creamy head that coated the glass perfectly - G described it as “perfect”. The Tripel was cloudy and a dark amber color with lighter hues when placed in the light, in other words this ale looked fantastic/near perfect. Head - 10, Look - 14. The smell was incredibly complex, but the main aroma was sweet - a fruity sweet. G picked out an aroma of golden raisins, and I found a presence of sweet ripe apple (maybe Fuji). There were citrus hop notes that finished off the sweetness, as well as some sweet malt characteristic paired with the Belgium yeast. This ale had a tartness to its smell that made we worried about how sweet this Tripel might be. Smell - 22.5
This beer hit the palate like butta’. This beer hits and expands with a creamy texture of a fruit tartness and usual sweet bready Belgium yeast characteristics. After the first sip, G and I were happy there was more. The aftertaste was somewhat bitter with a sourness/tartness that balanced well, but wasn’t very dry. G found it to be very clean, and he continued to repeat that word regarding the aftertaste - clean. Palate - 9, Aftertaste - 8. This beer is very well balanced, the sweetness isn’t overwhelming and the alcohol provides a pleasant warmth and presence to the overall sweetness. The complexity of this beer is great, as you continue to drink the malt characteristics come out more and more, and the hops in the finish are very tasty. Well worth the $11.99 price tag. Flavor - 28.5.
Aright, so let’s get a recap of this weekend. If you’re in Bellevue and Redmond you must visit the Tap House and Malt and Vine. I did not have the food at either of these places so I’m only recommending their craft beer. If you have a chance to try La Trappe’s Tripel, I recommend you do that, as well as Avery’s Dugana and Elysian/New Belgium’s Trip VIII. With all that said and done now, with an Overall Flavor of 45.5/50 the Beer Fusion gives La Trappe’s Tripel....