Tag Archives: Tripel

Tasting some homebrews

This evening I thought I’d taste through a pair of homebrews I’ve acquired through trades. One is a mystery beer from my homebrewing neighbor Juhani, and the other is a Tripel from my colleague Ilkka. This should be interesting!

  • Brewery: Juhani’s Homebrewery
  • Country: Finland
  • Style: ?
  • ABV: ?
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer


First up is the mystery beer from Juhani. I have no information at all on this brew, as Juhani wanted me to guess what it has been brewed with. The cap has the number 49 on it, so this should be his 49th batch. This should be interesting!

[easyreview title=”Juhani’s #49″ cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a slightly hazy deep amber-copper color, and a cream-colored head is formed that quickly collapses.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma features tones of bready malt, sweet fruits, slight yeasty phenolics, and a slight presence of coffee. There are some alcohol tones present as well.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The beer features tones of bready and toasted malt, some caramel, dark fruits and red berries, some yeast tones, and the slightest roastiness. Not much hoppiness in this. The finish is quite dry, slightly watery, and with practically no bitterness at all. A slight warming sensation on the tongue after the beer has been swallowed, not sure if from alcohol or some ingredient.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The body is quite light and carbonation level is medium-low. The beer is quite easy to drink, but feels a little watery.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”An interesting beer without any major flaws. Not completely to my liking, but this is just my own taste preferences. I’m having a hard time guessing what is in this, but assume it could contain some of the following: caramel malt, dark candi syrup/sugar, a slight amount of heavily roasted malt (e.g. chocolate malt), low amount of hops, and Belgian-style yeast. I’m also having a hard time deciding whether I’m just imagining the slightly warming sensation in the after-taste or if it’s really there. If I’m not imagining, it could maybe be from an addition of chili or similar. It will be interesting to hear what was in this!”]

  • Brewery: Ilkka’s Homebrewery
  • Country: Finland
  • Style: Tripel
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Size: 500 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer


Next up is Ilkka’s Tripel (Note: He hasn’t removed the old label from the bottle in the picture). This I have some more information on, and it has been brewed with pilsner, rye and wheat malt, as well as oat flakes and cane sugar. The original gravity of the brew was 1.070 and the final gravity 1.014, giving it an ABV of 7.5%. It has been hopped with Bravo, Mt Hood and Saaz to an IBU of 33, and fermented with WLP550 (the Chouffe strain; same as used in my own Tripel). He warned me that it might be a little sweet, as he hoped for higher attenuation, and that carbonation might be off, as he has experienced both flat bottles and gushers, which indicates that the priming sugar wasn’t thoroughly mixed into the beer. Let’s see how it tastes!

[easyreview title=”Ilkka’s Tripel” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a hazy golden-orange color, and a fluffy off-white head is formed, that collapses leaving lacing along the glass. There seems to be sufficient carbonation in this bottle!” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is spicy and phenolic, and features some typical Belgian yeast tones. Behind the yeast tones, there is a slight sweetness coupled with a slight citrusy fruitiness. Very style-typical aroma, without any flaws.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor is similar to the aroma, with yeasty phenolics dominating. I get some tones of spices, grass, citrus fruits, biscuits and a slight amount of alcohol. The finish is quite sweet, with a slight bitterness and a minor harshness. The flavor is also style-typical, but slightly one-dimensional and with a minor harshness in the finish.” cat3rating=”3″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium body and carbonation level. Could be a bit drier, but otherwise very drinkable.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall a really nice Tripel, that I enjoyed drinking, even though I’m not a major fan of the style. The beer was mostly flawless, and you couldn’t tell you were drinking a homebrew. The aroma and flavor featured some really nice yeast tones, that could have benefited slightly from a drier finish and a more interesting malt backbone or hop profile. Looking forward to trying more of your beers in the future!”]

Trip to Amsterdam

I’m just back home from a great and relaxing trip in Amsterdam with my girlfriend. Had some great beers during the trip, and even managed to bring back home 10 bottles. I really fell in love with De Bierkoning, a small beer shop featuring some very nice brews from around the world (they even recently got some 1 month old bottles of Pliny The Elder, which I didn’t buy since I’ve tried it before and didn’t want to pay the 15€ for the bottle). The prices were mostly nice, but the American beers were predictably quite pricey. They had a large selection of Dutch microbrews, which was really nice.

The first beer of the trip was ‘t IJ Zatte, an Abbey Tripel by Amsterdam-based craft brewers ‘t IJ.

Zatte poured with a hazy orange color and a small off-white head. It featured some caramel and some nice spicy and fruity yeast tones in the aroma. Flavor is similar with tones of yeast, citrus and coriander. The finish was quite dry, with a slight bitterness. A nice attempt on a Tripel. I had the beer while we were at blue°, a cafeteria/bar at the top of a shopping center in the middle of the town.

Next, I tried a couple of bottles I bought from Bierkoning at the hotel. First up was Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA.

This IPA was bottled 23.06.2011, so it was around 7 months old. It poured with a slightly hazy golden-orange color and a fluffy white head, which collapsed leaving some nice lacing along the glass. The aroma featured tones of caramel, resin, grass, citrus, and flowers, and was mostly hop-dominated. The flavor begins with slightly sweet caramel tones, that were joined by piney, resiny, and grapefruit tones from the hops. The beer ended with a quite dry and biting bitter finish. The beer features lots of hop flavor. This was a really crisp and smooth IPA. Overall a very nice American IPA, with some huge resiny hop flavors with a bitter finish. Would really like to try this one fresh. Score: 4/5

Next up in the hotel was The Kernel’s India Pale Ale Simcoe Centennial. The Kernel are a London-based microbrewery, that I’ve been hearing some great things about.

This IPA had a BBE of 27.07.2013, so guessing it was bottled 27.07.2011, making it about 6 months old. The beer poured with a slightly hazy golden-orange color (very similar to Jai Alai) and a slight white-colored head, that collapsed leaving minimal lacing along the glass. The aroma was very hoppy, with fruity, resiny and citrusy tones. Really liked the aroma. The flavor begins with a minimally sweet and caramelly maltiness, that is overtaken by hop tones of grapefruit, tangerine, resin and grass. The flavor ends quite dry and a nice bitterness. I thought the flavors were nicely balanced, and the hop flavors were especially nice. The beer had a smooth and medium-full body, making it easy to drink. A great American IPA, that in my opinion was slightly better than Jai Alai. Great hop flavors in a better balanced package. Simcoe and Centennial are amongst my favorites hops as well. Score 4-4.5/5


Next, it was time to head to Beer Temple, a quite small and cozy bar focusing on American craft brews, located right next to De Bierkoning. They had 30 beers on tap, with the majority being from the US (e.g. Great Divide Titan IPA, Rogue OREgasmic Ale, and Flying Dog Kujo Coffee Stout), the rest being from different European craft breweries (E.g. Mikkeller and Brewdog). They had an awesome list of bottled beer as well, and the first beer I ordered was Founders Breakfast Stout (since I brewed something similar a couple of weeks ago):

The Breakfast Stout was fantastic, and poured thick and black, with tones of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts in the aroma and flavor. Hopefully my latest homebrew inspired by this tastes at least half as good. After the stout, it was time for both an Imperial IPA and an Imperial Red Ale: Weyerbacher’s Double Simcoe IPA and Rogue’s Imperial Red Ale (from tap):

Unfortunately I only took a picture of the Weyerbacher brew. Both beers were very nice, with the Double Simcoe IPA being my favorite of the whole trip, and probably one of my favorite IPAs ever. Fantastically balanced Imperial IPA, with truckloads of resinous and tropical fruity hop flavor and aroma, and a pleasant bitter bite. The Imperial Red offered a nice combination of caramelly maltiness and citrusy hoppiness. Great beers and a great bar. Definitely worth the visit if you are after tasty beers in Amsterdam. The place got quite crowded when we visited it again on a Saturday, so come early. On the second visit I had some Brewdog/Mikkeller I Hardcore You from tap, which tasted very similar to what I remembered, but with even more hop aroma. After our first Beer Temple visit, we headed to ‘t Arendsnest, a bar serving only Dutch (craft) beer. They had tons of De Molen and Emelisse beer, and of course other beers from other nice breweries such as SNAB, ‘t IJ, and La Trappe. I played it safe and ordered a bottle of De Molen’s Tsarina Esra (Imperial Porter) and some Emelisse Triple IPA from the tap (note the fantastic drapes of lacing along the glasses):

The Tsarina Esra was a very Imperial Porter, with sweet roasted malt tones, chocolate, licorice and hops in the aroma and flavor. Really nice beer to sip on. The Triple IPA had a sweet caramelly maltiness, combined with grapefruit and resin tones. A nice Imperial IPA, but there are better beers in the style available. ‘t Arendsnest was also a cozy bar, with a great selection, and definitely worth a visit if you’re after some great local brews.


The beer selection in the largest (?) supermarket chain in Netherlands, Albert Heijn, was quite bad, but at least they had something else than bulk lagers. La Trappe Dubbel and Tripel 6-packs were available for 6 euros (which is fantastically cheap for Trappist beer), as well as Duvel, La Chouffe and Mc Chouffe for around 1.40€. I had a La Trappe Dubbel, La Trappe Tripel (sorry no picture) and La Chouffe in the hotel:


I liked the La Chouffe best of the trio, with it’s spicy and lightly hoppy finish, and really disliked the Dubbel, which in my opinion had too much alcohol presence, and an unpleasant estery fruitiness with tones of banana and raisins. The La Chouffe has recently become available at Alko as well, so you can try it out at home.


I managed to bring home some really nice beer I bought at De Bierkoning to Finland. A nice blend of Pilsner, IPA, Imperial IPA, Imperial Stouts and of course a bottle of the famed Westvletern 12:

Back row, left to right: Alesmith Yulesmith (Summer), Port Brewing 3rd Anniversary Ale, Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Hoppin Frog DORIS the Destroyer, and De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis 666
Front row, left to right: De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis, De Molen Vuur & Vlam, De Molen Winterhop, ‘t IJ Plzen, and Westvleteren 12


Overall, it was a nice and relaxing trip. One week was a bit too long for a small city as Amsterdam, as we ran out of things to see and do after a couple of days (we were not interested in the coffee shops), but my travel companion was great, so we were never bored. For a shorter weekend trip, I would definitely recommend the city though, especially if you want to see canals, crooked houses, windmills, or want to try some nice beers.

Below are some random photos taken during the trip:

Homebrew: Update on the Lusty Leopard Tripel

Today I racked my Lusty Leopard Tripel to a keg for conditioning and force carbonation. Will probably bottle the batch in a couple of weeks. The gravity had dropped to 1.015, so the ABV should be around 8.4%, perfect! The sample tasted promising as well, with a nice spiciness, coupled with tones of belgian yeast and a slight fruitiness. There was a bit of alcohol warmth, but I think this one will be great in a couple of months, with carbonation, conditioning and a slightly colder serving temperature.

Tomorrow is brewday again, and I will have a go at brewing a Breakfast Stout, i.e. an Imperial Stout with Oats, Coffee, and Chocolate. Hopefully everything goes well! I also have plans to oak-age half my Black Panther batch, which (the non-oak-aged portion) will be hitting bottles in around 3 weeks.

Homebrew: Lusty Leopard (Tripel)

Today I brewed up a small batch of a Belgian Tripel. I’m still having some problems with efficiency, even though I crushed really fine this time, so there are probably some problems with my techniques as well. Will have to try to search the web for some answers. I ended up with around 9 liters of beer, with an OG of 1.082. I mashed quite low, and am using Wyeast’s WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast, so hopefully this doesn’t turn out super dry. I added 8 grams of crushed coriander seeds and 15 grams of sweet orange zests, to add some extra spiciness and fruitiness. I’m gonna let this one ferment at room temperature for a month, and then condition it a couple of months before I start drinking it. Sorry no pictures this time either, has I was quite busy the whole brew day (I kegged the ‘Christmas’ Amber Ale (Bold Bobcat), which was smelling and tasting great straight from the fermenter (FG had dropped to 1.012)).

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Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel


  • Brewery: Brasserie d’Achouffe
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Belgian IPA/Tripel
  • ABV: 9%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: Germany, 1.99€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

    The Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel is a blend of two different ale styles, Tripel and India Pale Ale, and is available in both small (33cl) and large bottles (75cl). The beer is hopped with Saaz, CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus) and Amarillo, and features an IBU of around 59 (varies with source).

    [easyreview title=”Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a yellow-golden color, and is slightly hazy, with a foamy white-colored head, that quite quickly collapses leaving loads of lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is mostly belgian yeast, with tones of fruit, grass and slight maltiness. The yeast tones definitely dominate over the hops. I would say the aroma is much more a Tripel than a IPA.” cat2rating=”3″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”Slightly roasted malty tones, that are quickly overtaken by some flavours of citrus and spice, ending in a dry and slightly bitter finish. There are also some tones of earthy hops as well as alcohol in the flavour. The yeast aroma present in the aroma, was not at all as present in the flavour, contributing just slightly to the fruitiness and spiciness. The hop flavour seems a little on the low side.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a light body, with moderate-high carbonation, which makes the beer a little difficult to drink. Alcohol is detectable, but otherwise quite well balanced.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”An OK beer, that I am a little disappointed with. Was expecting more IPA and less Tripel. Don’t know if this was a bit old (BBD 06/2012), or if it just wasn’t my type of beer, but probably won’t be buying again. The price wasn’t bad though when bought from Germany, but it is way more expensive from Alko.”]

    Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel


  • Brewery: Flying Dog
  • Country: USA
  • Style: Tripel
  • ABV: 8.5%
  • Size: 355 ml
  • Bought from: Germany, 2.79€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

    [easyreview title=”Flying Dog Kerberos” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a golden-orange color, is slight hazy, with an almost non-existing white head.” cat1rating=”3″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The beer has a fruity, banana-like, slightly spicy aroma, along with some fusel alcohol smell.” cat2rating=”2.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The initial taste is sweet, malty and fruity (prunes, apples, banana?), with typical belgian yeast flavors. Slight alcohol taste.” cat3rating=”3″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”Smooth with almost no carbonation.” cat4rating=”2.5″ summary=”Nothing spectacular, but not a great fan of Tripels myself. Probably wouldn’t buy again.”]