Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ninkasi Brewing Company - R&D Tripel Belgian-Style Tripel Ale

Tripel your pleasure, tripel
your fun...
When I want a Belgian tripel, my go-to is always St. Bernardus. It's virtually flawless. What a fantastic beer. It truly deserves to be sipped from a chalice. It's also not easy to find. And it's expensive. Wouldn't it be nice to have a tasty Belgian-style tripel in my supermarket's cold case at a price that is fairly reasonable? Yes, I think that would by very nice.

The other day, while I was perusing through the beer aisle at my local Green Zebra, I spied a bomber of Ninkasi Brewing Company's R&D Tripel. $8.99 for the 22 ounces. Not exactly cheap, but much less expensive than an actual Belgian tripel of the same size...

Major digression alert! Years ago I found 750ml bottles of Koenigshoeven Trappist beers--three varieties--at Big Lots for a dollar a bottle! I bought three cases. What a deal! Two bottles were flat when I opened them, but otherwise, they were perfect.

Could this locally brewed Belgian-style tripel ale be the answer to my prayers and beer budget woes? Let's Find out!

The beer poured into my St. Bernardus goblet a clear golden orange color with a bubbly white head. The head rose up to about a 1/2 inch tall and dissipated quickly. A thin cap and small ring of foam were left behind. Delicate lacing formed on the glass as I  sipped it down.

Aroma was spot-on Belgian tripel. Belgian yeast. Light grain. Somewhat bready. Banana and clove. Indistinct citrus. Over-ripe fruit--apple and pear. Floral notes. Lots of nice things going on in the nose.

Taste followed the nose. Sweet and fruity, but with a spicy hops bitterness. Not at all cloying. DANG! This beer comes really close. Probably the best Oregon brewed Belgian-style beer I've ever had.

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. Crisp finish with no hint of alcohol burn in this 9.2% ABV beer.

Overall, this is a wonderful beer! A legitimate representation of the style that I will purchase whenever I find it in the cold case. I'm giving R&D Tripel a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans but with one extra 1/2 can--for a perfect rating--because it's such a unique local find. Thanks, Ninkasi!

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