Kasteel Tripel – 11% ABV
I had the opportunity to pick up an interesting Belgian beer named Kasteel Rouge one time not long ago and review it. More on that another time. This time around I want to focus on their beer I had most recently – Kasteel Tripel, their entry in tripel category. This selection is brewed by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. which is located in Inglemunster, Belgium. On their label you may notice a castle-like edifice in the background. The name Kasteel is actually Dutch for castle. Anyway, I decided it was time to stop looking and start drinking.
When poured into my giant Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass, what comes forward is a golden honey amber-colored brew, with almost two fingers of small-white-bubble head which would fade at a decent pace to a thin film and white ring around the glass. Even before burying my nose in it, I could smell the aroma of banana and light fruit. Upon further inspection, banana was definitely present, as was pear and other light fruit like light grape or apple.
My first thought when I took a pull was that it wasn’t quite as fruity as I imagined it to be. It’s got plenty of light fruit aroma, and some booze of course, but I was expecting a little more of that fruit notation in the taste. Not to say it wasn’t there, but the driving flavor in this was a sweet caramel with some honey in there. It’s a little bitter in the end, not overbearing though, but enough to counter the super sweet fruit and malt onslaught. This is 11% after all, and believe me, you notice that boozy warmth very quickly after a couple pulls.
I’ve been a fan of Belgian tripels and have even brewed one of my own. Kasteel Tripel is a solid representation of that style. Is it the best? Hard to tell. Must do further research. I’ve had some excellent tripels and only head to head competition will determine the ultimate victor. Future smackdown maybe? We’ll have to go over that one at the next Board of Directors meeting. In the meantime, if you want a solid authentic representation of a Belgian tripel that hits the spot, get after this one. Cheers!