Monday, March 15, 2010

What You Should Have Drinked...Drank...Drunkeded #2

From the website: “Lately it occurs to us that if, back in 1989, you planned on starting a brewery in the back of your carpentry shop, you’d have been wise to seek out someone like Harold “Trip” Hogue. A collector of ancient Volvos, Trip was well qualified for the make-do engineering required to coax recalcitrant equipment out of retirement and into making the first Boulevard beers.

The Tripel style originated in the Trappist brewery of Westmalle Abbey in pre-war Antwerp province. It’s numeric moniker results from the old Belgian practice of naming beers based on the amount of malt used in the brew. A “Simple” was the lightest-bodied brew. Doubling the malt bill resulted in a “Dubbel,” while a “Tripel” contained three times the amount of malt (and, as a result, three times the amount of alcohol). True to style, our Long Strange Tripel is a golden ale with estery aromas, a dense, creamy head, and a long, sweet finish.”

I’ve had this sitting in the fridge for…I don’t know how long, a few months at least. It’s 750 mL, so it’s been daunting to attempt to drink it by myself. But I’m cooking tonight, so I can start early and drink slowly. I also decided to drop ½ a cup of this into the chicken noodle soup I’m making tonight, so we’ll see how that ends up.

First off, this beer has an excellent head and a wonderful aroma. I need to get some training under my belt, or at least read a beer for dummies book, and figure out what it is that I’m smelling.

This isn’t as strong as I was expecting it to be, both in alcohol content AND taste. I expected more from a tripel, but I’m not necessarily disappointed. It makes drinking such a big bottle all by my lonesome an easier task. You can definitely taste the alcohol on the backend, but it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the beer, so that’s good.

I’ve really become a fan of Boulevard’s beers, and these Smokestack Series offerings definitely rank among the top of their brews.

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