Originally Posted by Dr. Robinson
I was disappointed. The head on this beer was incredible...it was almost like a whipped cream consistency that floated on top. I don't really have any "fru fru" language or anything to describe it, but I tasted like I was drinking a malt-liquor. After my first sip, the first thought that popped into my head was Mickey's. The aftertaste was too bitter for my taste and although it had a nice fruity aroma, it had overtones of strong alcohol.
I am not going to say it was bad, and I would drink it again if it were offered to me, but I would never spend money on it again.
Compared to La Fin Du Monde (my last purchase), I would call it a letdown & unenjoyable.
I found Duvel on sale at Wegmans for like $7.50 for a 750 mL bottle. A penny per milliliter is OK by me to try, even if it's still a little more expensive than the LFDM. 8.5% ABV, obligatory pics:
The head on this may rank 3rd all time among all beers I've tried behind the La Chouffee Tripel/IPA and Alesmith's Yulesmith. It's pretty impressive and persistent, but not quite as creamy.
I disagree with Dr. Robinson's overall evaluation, but I see where he's coming from. This isn't a tripel at all. It's much more like a Saison, but it's probably more at home in the very broad "Belgian strong pale ale" category, which encompasses all manner of things that don't fit into a more defined genre. This is a beer for sauvignon blanc drinkers. It's got a mild, subtle flavor rather than the fruity, yeasty bombast of a tripel. If you love that bombast like I do, and that's what you're expecting from an expensive beer, then yeah, you'll be disappointed. Wine drinkers, though, are more likely to appreciate subtlety. The malt on this is milder and lighter than most tripels, and while it claims to be bottle conditioned, it has a much lower yeast content than most bottle conditioned tripels. The bottle advertises a Pilsner malt, so Dr. Robinson characterizing this like Mickey's isn't as far off as a Duvel lover might think. The flavors I get are a light grassy hopping, a flavor much more often found in European beers than American ones. It also has a light sweetness, apple, pear, and a light spiciness. But yeah, it's subtle and mild, so if you're looking for something as sweet, spicy, and fruity as a tripel, you'll pass on this one. I'll give it
with the qualifier that I generally go for the bolder beers, but it seems to hit the spot tonight. It does what it's designed to do well, but that goal is different from a tripel.