Quick Take: Simple flavors and heavy yeast emphasis gives this a different body and complexion. This is a Tripel brimming with Belgian yeast that drinks like a boozy summer beer and avoids the traditional sweet, bubble gum or banana qualities. For me, I’d have this as a change of pace Tripel, but it’s not my first choice.
Brew Facts: Originally brewed in 1990, Tripel Threat was recognized by Michael Jackson (the beer guy) as the first commercially brewed Belgian Beer in the US. This beer went on to win a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1991. Now, Tripel Threat is contract brewed by Mercury Brewing Company.
Appearance: Pours gold with the slightest haze, like a glowing bulb of liquid wheat. This is what the look of a golden Tripel is all about with just a few tiny bubbles rushing to the surface. A small, thin white film rotates lazily around the middle like a spinning island in a pool of melted butter. I’d love to vacation there.
Aroma: The aroma is peppery with sweet citrus tang and the distinct smell of Belgian yeast. An undertone of pear clings to the dominant sweet bread. There is a slight, toasty grain. Not a particularly complex or surprising aroma, but a damn fine one.
Taste/Mouth Feel: A sip reveals Tripel Threat to be the anti-gassy. Near flat with the only element of carbonation happening not in the mouth, but as the beer cascades down the throat. It does have some body thanks to an abundance of yeast. The front seems like it will swell to the usual Tripel bready sweet with a citrus bite, but the sugar never comes. This is biscuity to the point of wanting to pull out a bread knife and slice off another glass. A citrus and alcohol tang comes along for the ride, slicking its way past the bread. After the initial liquid clears the mouth, it leaves a buttery slick in the mouth along with a dollop of dough to slide around on your taste buds. The slightest spice surfaces around the time you feel the warming spread through your chest.
Final Thoughts: Tripels typically have a sweet and crisp richness that can overwhelm the palate. This is definitely different and tastes like a version of a Tripel that pre-dates the rest. Simple flavors and heavy yeast emphasis gives this a different body and complexion. Deep this is not, but not all beers need to be. This is a Tripel brimming with Belgian yeast that drinks like a boozy summer beer and avoids the traditional sweet, bubble gum or banana qualities. The lack of sweet is disconcerting at first, second and third, but this is a nice alternative for Belgian beer drinkers that might be tired of the traditional. For me, I’d have this as a change of pace Tripel, but it’s not my first choice.