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Old 02-12-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
UncleChuck
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Default Tripel Karmeliet

I picked up a bottle of Tripel Karmeliet tonight, after hearing quite a lot of good things about it.

I was not impressed. In fact I was downright disappointed. It tasted like extremely dry and cheap champagne mixed with Heineken to me. The skunk factor was pretty high. I really didn't get much flavor at all, other than a little spice note. Very little hop or malt flavor, just very bizarre.

Is Tripel Karmeliet supposed to taste like this, or did I somehow get a bad bottle? I've had several other Tripels before that I loved, this one just didn't seem right. I noticed the bottle is green, is it possible it was just exposed to far too much light?

On a more positive note, I tried Rogue's Double Mocha Porter and Oscar Blues Gordon, and found both to be excellent! I was particularly fond of the Gordon, I think it's definitely up in my top 5 favorite beers for now.

Anyway, just thought I would get some input as I really wasn't expecting it to taste the way it did.

Thanks!

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Old 02-12-2011, 01:10 PM   #2
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I love Tripel Karlmeliet. I have only a few tripels though (5 to 7). I really like the style. The majority of the tripels had a stronger flavor than Tripel Karmeliet. It seems to be more subtle. I have had it in the bottle only once. Usually I get it on tap. I liked it better on tap, but I don't know how old the bottle or the keg was.

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Old 02-15-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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Tripel Karmeliet really is the dog's danglies.

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Old 02-15-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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SWMBO brought it home last night for me for V day. I loved it also

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Old 02-16-2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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After not being too happy with the Karmeliet I re-corked it and threw it back into the fridge with about 3/4ths of it left.

Tried it again today, warmer, and with probably about 30% of the carbonation gone. Tastes much better to me now, still getting that skunky flavor, although just a faint hint. I'm also getting much more citrus fruit flavor, maybe some lemon or orange. Also a hint of corriander and clove.

Perhaps my pallet was just overwhelmed by the Gordon and Double Mocha Porter, and had a hard time picking up on the more subdued flavors of the Karmeliet?

Although two things I'm still not sure of, first of is skunky smell. Does anyone else notice this? I have the "1 pint, 9.4oz" bottle that's green, I think they also sell smaller bottles that are brown.. is it possible my bottle was oxidized?

Second thing is the carbonation. When I first opened this it was hands down the most carbonated beer I have tried in my life. More carbonated than some champagne I've had, the second I took a sip my whole mouth just burst into foam. Has the Karmeliet you guys tried also been so highly carbonated? If not, perhaps this bottle had an infection?

I can definitely give this more credit now than I did before, perhaps it was the high carbonation, drinking it super cold, drinking it after some strongly flavored beers, an infection, oxidation, or all of those things but the taste and smell I am getting now holds almost no relation to what I remember it tasting like on Friday (or saturday, not really sure when I tried it)

Thanks again for your input guys.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:42 PM   #6
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I find tripels to have a high corbonation level in general. I had my Tripel Karmeliet on tap, so I am sure it is quite different than in the bottle. I recommend finding it on tap if you can find it. Or maybe you can request it at your favorite craft beer pub. I don't know anyone who hasn't liked it on tap. It would sell.

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Old 02-22-2011, 03:13 AM   #7
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Tripel Karmeliet is an excellent Tripel, in my opinion. It is very highly carbonated, as are most tripels, but given the rest of you description it may have had some sort of problem. The bottles I've had have been pleasant, mild, and slightly sweet with good mouthfeel and complexity born both of an intricate grain bill (it includes various forms of barley, wheat, and oats) and a bit of yeast spiciness and fruitiness. Sort of a hybrid between a strong belgian wheat beer and tripel.

It should be served at a moderate temperature - colder than British ales but warmer than lagers. It should also be had as a first beer, or after other mildly flavored beers. Any strong roastiness or hop character would overwhelm its nice aromatics or mouthfeel. Also, it has to be in the cold for a while before being ready to serve; just cooling it down real quick and serving is a recipe for a cup-o-foam.

I would try it again, and serve it in a more careful manner. It is a really good tripel; it hasn't won international awards without reason. It may be that it's not really your cuppa joe, but at least give it a fair shake first.

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyforger View Post
It should also be had as a first beer, or after other mildly flavored beers. Any strong roastiness or hop character would overwhelm its nice aromatics or mouthfeel.
I'm betting that was a big part of my initial distaste for it, as I mentioned I had some Gordon and Double Mocha Porter prior.

After drinking the rest of the (then less carbonated) bottle it was far more pleasant, and did remind me of a Belgian Whit.

I'll have to grab another bottle before I make any final judgment, leave in in the fridge for a day, let the bottle warm up a bit, and have it be the first beer of the night.

Maybe I should re-try some of the tripels I've had before too, perhaps my taste has just changed as it's been awhile. Off the top of my head I know I used to really like St. Bernardus Tripel, Flying Dog Kerberos, and Chimay White. How would you compare these to the Karmeliet as far as how similar they are?
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:15 PM   #9
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St. Bernardus is a bit more traditional. It doesn't have wheat notes; just pure pilsener, most of the character comes from complex fermentation aromas. It has a bit more 'Belgian' character. Kerboros - it's been a while since I've had that. From my dim recollections, Kerberos is a bit more in the style pioneered by La Fin du Monde - sweeter, a bit more caramel, and lots of spice character. It's a lot more aggressive. The Chimay White is the most similar. It has a fair amount more fruitiness, however; the Karmeliet is fairly mild on the esters, and what yeast aromas are there are more spicy than fruity. And the Chimay is somewhat thinner, probably due to the lack of oats.
I would most readily compare it to the Chimay White. In contrast to it, Karmeliet is a bit less sweet and fruity, more spicy and mild; more rich-feeling in the mouth. All of the beers you listed are very good.

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
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CRAZY! Tripel K is awesome. The bottle you had was certainly not in a proper state. Tripel K is a very hoppy tripel almost akin to the (still relatively) new Belgian IPA's. The carbonation was correct though. This beer is extremely carbonated. Typically, I pour half of the small bottle into a Tulip and have to wait 3-4 min before pouring the rest. And if you have a dirty glass forget it - the bubbles will spew like a geyser from any nucleation sites in the glass. Give the beer another try. Try the brown bottles and pour into a clean, wet glass.

I have been a fan of this beer for a few years and started selling as part of my new job a little over a year ago. Make sure you're buying from a reputable source when buying bottles that don't display bottling dates or exp dates.

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