Thursday, October 2, 2008

Parallel Blog Tasting #4 - The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel

This is parallel tasting #4 between myself and my good buddy and fellow USC Alum (well, I'm almost there) The Baltimore Beer Guy. The idea is, on lame nights we go ahead and taste the same beer while we talk about it over AOL Instant Messanger. Tonight we try The Bruery's Trade Winds Tripel.

A little introduction about this beer: It is a Belgian style tripel brewed with rice to increase the alcohol content while keeping it light in body, and Thai Basil to give it a little spice. ABV 8.1%. The Bruery is a new brewery located in Orange County, CA -- Placentia to be specific. I have had this beer a few different times in the past so there's a reason why I wanted The Baltimore Beer guy to try it right away, since he only gets out here to CA so often.

Starting it off.. Appearance

BBG (6:17:03 PM): recommended glassware?
SOB (6:17:10 PM): I'm going to use my Bruery tulip
BBG (6:17:14 PM): Nice
BBG (6:17:31 PM): I'll go with Tulip as well, but I'll keep a backup Brewers Art chalice
BBG (6:18:08 PM): BA says snifter or goblet
BBG (6:24:12 PM): I poured Dad a tiny taster and it was frothy
SOB (6:24:37 PM): i'm pouring this sucker now so I can get my picture
BBG (6:24:56 PM): Tripels are sorta aromatic, like Saisons ... I'm leaning towards the wide mouth BA glass
BBG (6:25:07 PM): Get my nose in there each sip
BBG (6:27:27 PM): Oh man
BBG (6:27:35 PM): there's huge pockets of carbonation
BBG (6:27:37 PM): at the top
BBG (6:27:40 PM): most of the head is gone
BBG (6:27:45 PM): but just bubbly areas
SOB (6:27:55 PM): my head is still huge
SOB (6:28:00 PM): the bubbles broke up really easily
SOB (6:28:07 PM): still sitting there 2 fingers
BBG (6:28:18 PM): At most mine was like 1/4 finger
BBG (6:28:21 PM): maybe too safe a pour
SOB (6:28:24 PM): i get like a dark gold, orangish even, in my not-well lit room.
BBG (6:28:37 PM): darker at bottom
BBG (6:28:40 PM): this is clouuuuuuuuudy
BBG (6:28:51 PM): Hef-like
SOB (6:28:58 PM): fairly cloudy


BBG (6:29:08 PM): smells good
SOB (6:29:10 PM): yeah my head is about down now, breaks up real fast
BBG (6:29:10 PM): spicy
BBG (6:29:28 PM): Nothing driving me wild, but its nice, really enjoying the nose
BBG (6:30:05 PM): I keep dipping my nose in
SOB (6:30:07 PM): I'm getting a lot of that belgian yeast must, love that stuff
BBG (6:30:12 PM): I wish more beers carried good aromas
BBG (6:30:15 PM): YES
BBG (6:30:17 PM): exactly
SOB (6:30:25 PM): but there's a fair amount of candy sweetness behind it
BBG (6:30:29 PM): Perhaps
BBG (6:30:48 PM): Seems that yeast must is isolated to tripels and particularly BPA's/BSPA's sadly
SOB (6:31:03 PM): well, more concentrated yeah
SOB (6:31:07 PM): i get it in every belgian beer tho
BBG (6:31:10 PM): a bit floral


BBG (6:31:44 PM): Ok first taste YES I get that basil
BBG (6:31:49 PM): wow is that unusual
SOB (6:31:54 PM): really? i dont know if i even know what basil really tastes like alone
BBG (6:32:17 PM): The Thai basil is pretty unique in aroma and taste
SOB (6:32:47 PM): if anything I think I can get it in the aroma, without actually knowing exactly what it smells like
BBG (6:32:56 PM): Theres the slightest bit of it in the aroma
BBG (6:33:20 PM): I can taste the rice too, score. Sometimes I cant taste the extras, but this time I do
SOB (6:33:41 PM): this starts out sweet for me, ends with that earthiness and peppery... but with a "juicy" type of aspect to it
BBG (6:33:46 PM): Famille Rue, you're on the clock ...
SOB (6:33:58 PM): you better be joking about the rice
BBG (6:33:59 PM): Mild sweetness here
BBG (6:34:07 PM): I taste the rice
SOB (6:34:14 PM): rice dont give any (or barely any) flavor to beer
BBG (6:34:20 PM): I get it
SOB (6:34:21 PM): unless it's maybe spanish rice haha
SOB (6:34:37 PM): is it jasmine rice or sticky rice?
BBG (6:34:38 PM): I feel it in my nose
BBG (6:34:53 PM): Im thinking sticky
BBG (6:35:06 PM): Jasmine has a beautiful aroma
BBG (6:35:10 PM): This is more mundane
BBG (6:35:28 PM): Jasmine and Basmati smell great

Final Impressions

BBG (6:35:48 PM): So the tripel aspect ...
SOB (6:36:36 PM): ok back to the tripel
BBG (6:36:43 PM): Yes
BBG (6:36:49 PM): The alcohol is present here, in smaller sips
BBG (6:37:02 PM): We've got the golden color: check
BBG (6:37:04 PM): aromatics: check
BBG (6:37:09 PM): floral notes: check
BBG (6:37:18 PM): Now is this a great tripel?
SOB (6:37:25 PM): the main thing I'm trying to ask myself is, how does this differ than traditional tripels, ie st bernardus, something of which I haven't had in a while.
BBG (6:37:35 PM): Great question
SOB (6:37:37 PM): cause it definitely does, i'm just trying to see how much... in what way
SOB (6:37:56 PM): i know tripels have a sweetness to them, this seems to have a bit more
BBG (6:38:07 PM): To me it's not as maybe um ... clear?
BBG (6:38:27 PM): There's like this hit, this whoosh of air and aroma in the back of the mouth with some tripels I try
BBG (6:38:38 PM): sweet sometimes, most of the time in fact
BBG (6:38:44 PM): but floral too
BBG (6:38:47 PM): this is a bit less floral
BBG (6:39:06 PM): but it doesn't avoid the floral notes in the nose or taste, they're just pushed aside mostly by the basil (in my interpretation)
SOB (6:39:14 PM): i think just the fact they used some rice in place of the barley to create alcohol without adding more body/flavor.... it changes the dynamics/balance up a bit
BBG (6:39:16 PM): That basil is strong here
BBG (6:39:19 PM): the force is with it lol
BBG (6:39:28 PM): Its very distinctive
BBG (6:40:06 PM): I love thai basil taste, and this is fun right now ...
SOB (6:40:15 PM): really peppery to me, i guess you can call that "spicy".... wonder if that's the basil at all, or just yeast by products
BBG (6:40:24 PM): but there's a limit to everything, can it still be enjoyable 750ml in, or is that too much volume?
SOB (6:40:27 PM): and to think there's still more than 1/2 a bottle left
BBG (6:40:31 PM): Heh
BBG (6:40:40 PM): There's a certain bite
BBG (6:40:50 PM): I assume thats more alcohol than basil
SOB (6:40:57 PM): probably
BBG (6:41:42 PM): Back for a few more sniffs, yeast funk ahhhhh mmmmmmmm
BBG (6:42:14 PM): I think this is a remarkably unique beer
BBG (6:48:07 PM): Its a bit bitey, not the smoothest thing ever which fights with the flavor a bit
BBG (6:52:45 PM): Im impressed, this is a really unique beer for Orange County
BBG(6:53:08 PM): Really well crafted
BBG (6:53:15 PM): This guys no 2nd rate brewer

1 comment:

Rational Realist said...

This beer is wonderful. I think it is only a summer release, I'd like The Bruery to make it a regular release. I shared my second last week after tasting three strong ales, which was a mistake, but the quality of this beer held up well.