Saturday, November 17, 2007

Seeing Tripel

I cracked open the Long Strange Tripel last night. And I have to say, damn! Those corks are NO joke. It took several attempts to get the bottle open. When it finally popped out, there was just a small little vapor snake making an escape. Up front, I loved this beer. It is strong, though, and after one, I felt it.

I didn't buy a chalice or a goblet or a snifter or a tulip glass. I poured it into my trusty Boulevard pint glass. And while I am fully aware that I may have missed out on some key character of the beer by totally disregarding the directions, I feel that I still got as much of a good sense of it as someone with my limited beer snobbitude would anyway.

The head bubbled up with a tiny delay, making me glad that I poured the glass only slightly over half full. The clean white bubbly head simmered down quickly, however, leaving just this thinner layer after a minute or so. By the time I finished, there was just a small, thin ring of white lacing at the bottom of the glass. The smell was clean and fruity, with an earthy undertone, and a heavy reality check on the alcohol content (9%). *Clarification - when I say earthy, I mean something that reminds me of the smell of the earth when it has been freshly turned over, like they way my garden smells right after I have planted and watered something for the first time. * The appearance was a bright golden hue, cloudy and carbonated. The first sip was a knock out for me, not having had anything else to drink before hand. "Whoo, that's some strong beer!" came from the husband. (But he drinks Bud Light, remember?) The first sweet, fruity, malty hit on the tongue gave way to some peppery and slightly spicy sensations. This beer is not over-carbonated, but maintains a nice body throughout, and after the first initial sips, the alcohol-burn seemed to dissipate. I liked it. A lot. But like other abbey tripel style beers, I can't drink too many. They make me sleepy. :)