Monday, April 06, 2009

Urthel Hibernus Quentum - Tripel

As I continue my series of Belgian beer, I am again struck by the completely unique and distinct character of Belgian beer. More than any other type or style of beer, Belgian beer can be identified immediately as a representative of the style. Where other beer have hybridized from area to area and sometimes it is hard to discern a California Steam beer from and English IPA. A blindfold and nose plug would still not provide anonymity to a traditional Belgian beer.

Today’s beer is from a small brewer in Flanders, Belgium.

Hibernus Quentum
Tripel Ale
9.0% ABV

The brewery is owned and run by Bas and Hildegard van Ostaden. A husband and wife.
The Gnome on the label is carried through out with the fairy-tale theme of the breweries web site. I wish I could read what it said, being written in (I assume) Flemish? The imagery on the web site look like they are from Middle Earth.

The beer is bottle conditioned and unfiltered, although my bottle has been treated very well. The yeast lees have settled firm onto the bottom and it took a few real good swirls for the final pour to get any haze in the glass.

On first pour, it was a striking, pretty golden blonde.
significant carbonation and a nice creamy head with good retention
Lacing lingered a while

It had a delicate nose with citrus and clove overtones
Mouth feel was good, not too thin at all, but not coating
A medium body with good balance.
Apricot and citrus, clove were all evident, even a hint of banana.
It was dry, but the flower aroma teases out a sense of sweetness.

It was not overly bitter on initial taste but with a hop bitterness mid palette on the finish.
As the beer warmed up, the alcohol become more prominent, it is a tripel after all!

By the final pour, it had come to a cool room temperature, and with the yeast coaxed out into the glass, it brought out more of the clove and even cardamom spice.

Oh, it was very good. I wish I had a second one.

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