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Beer #94 – April 7, 2010: Houblon Chouffe IPA Tripel

April 13, 2010

Beer: Houblon Chouffe IPA Tripel

Brewery: Brasserie d’Achouffe, Achouffe, Belgium

Style: Belgian IPA / Tripel (hybrid style)

Serving Type: 11.2 oz bottle

Price: $3.99 / 11.2 oz bottle

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Goblet

Strength: 9.0% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Enjoyable but big and complex… one goblet is great, but this is definitely not a session beer.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellow-golden with huge frothy white head.  The bottle foamed over when I opened it!

Aroma: Green, spicy, yeasty

Mouthfeel: Medium thick with fizzy tiny bubbles of carbonation.

Taste: This one starts like a Granny Smith apple, simultaneously tart and sweet.  The complexity is even more pronounced in the middle which is somehow both sweet and dry at the same time.  Flavors of oak, green grass, citrus rind, and herbal notes of lemongrass are all in there.  The yeasty finish is lightly spicy, with a little hop bitterness.  A very distinctive and unique brew.

Pairing: With so many interesting flavors in the beer itself, just enjoy this one all on its own.  Or pick up the larger 750 ml bottle to share with a friend.

Trivia: Hybrid styles are nothing new in the world of brewing, and can sometimes result in the birth of a new style of its own.  The Belgian IPA itself is based on recipes for American IPAs (which in turn are stronger, hoppier versions of traditional British IPAs but brewed with American hops) fermented with Belgian yeast, lending a fruitier and spicier flavor.

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