Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boulevard Long Strange Tripel

Type: Tripel
Origin: Kansas City, MO
Price: $8.99/750 mL
ABV: 9.0%
NSP: 7.51 (unscaled)

Back in Colorado for my brother's wedding. Drinking galore, so expect lots of reviews. The first is from Boulevard, from which I reviewed two beers previously, Double Wide (which was decent) and Tank 7 (which was quite good). This one's got a great name. Apparently it's a tribute to their longest-tenured employee. His picture is on the front of the bottle, and he kind of looks like a zombie. I was in such a hurry to crack a beer that I completely forgot to take a picture, so credit to BR Beer Scene for the photo.

The head's interesting- large fizzy bubbles like a lager, rather than the usual fine-bubbled frothy Belgian head. Turns out that's sort of a harbinger. It smells fairly Belgian-yeasty, quite fruity with a whole bunch of apple aroma and citrus in particular. But it's not particularly Belgian-spicy, nor does it have much in the way of hop aromas. It's really fizzy, tastebud-stinging fizzy, and that's not usually a good thing. The flavor's fruity and fairly bitter- at least the hops aren't entirely missing. But, as with the nose, I don't get many of the Belgian spiciness (cloves and such) on the flavor that one would expect in a tripel. It's also pretty sweet, clearly the yeast didn't get the gravity down. The alcohol punch is pretty strong, but whatever, that's no big deal.

All in all, I'm not too impressed with this. The carbonation is way too dominant, a lot of the Belgian flavors are muted or absent, and it's too sweet. It actually ends up tasting more like a wheated imperial lager or pilsner than a tripel. Not to the extent of the infamous and totally heinous Lion Imperial (or Imperoal in Andy's lexicon), but it still moves a bit in that direction, and that ain't a good thing since it's clearly not the intent.

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