Beer is all about the subtle art of deception. You don’t want to find yourself thinking about a sweaty brewhouse whilst chugging on a crisp pilsner on a summer’s day. Equally, although we are all well aware of beer’s initial ingredients - the final product should shine in its own right like a nugget of gold crafted by a alchemist, leaving us bamboozled as if we’ve just witnessed a rabbit pulled from a hat.
And if there was one beer style to epitomise this art of subterfuge, the beer to catch us all off guard - it’s got to be the Belgian Tripel.
This style, given to us by the Trappists of Westmalle, is all about improbably big flavours and giant abv packed into something that still retains its lightness and drinkability. It’s the Doctor Who’s Tardis of beers; somehow bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Just look at the Brewing Judges Certificate Programme definition and you’ll find some funny comments that allude to just how cunning this beer is…
”...a surprisingly drinkable beverage considering the high alcohol level.”
“High carbonation and attenuation helps to bring out the many flavours and to increase the perception of a dry finish.”
“The alcohol content is deceptive, and has little to no obvious warming sensation. Always effervescent.”
“The best examples are sneaky, not obvious.”
Brings a whole new meaning to crafty - right? Which brings us to today’s Belgian Style Tripel from Garage Brewing - let’s see whether it delivers…
Pours a scintillating amber gold with a lacey white head. The nose is quite divine with fruity esters and lager notes combining cleverly with cloves and green bananas. The gravity defying palate is rich, clean and concentrated but somehow light, ethereal and godly… with all the notes found on the nose plus some confected hints of Brighton rock.
What can I say? A magic beer whose sleight of hand will leave you simultaneously confused and amazed. Grab one and enjoy it in all its splendour, but just keep your wits about you, it’s so sneaky that by the time you finish the can, you may just find your wrist watch gone…