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Monday, June 16, 2014

Begyle Brewing's Tripel Stamp

  • Style: Tripel (excuse me, but, "duh")
  • ABV: 9.1%
  • Ease to locate: Most craft stores in the Chicago area or at Begyle's new(ish) tasting room.  Here's a link to their beer menu page.  My batch number was #53.
  • Color: Golden yellow and clear. 
  • Head: A slight, half finger white head with very little retention.  Delicate ring of shallow lacing leaving hazy film on the surface
  • Aroma: Bit of lemon, banana esters, some caramel & cereal sweetness layered with a hint of cinnamon. There is a slight boozey note on the very tail.
  • Mouthfeel: Full body with a syrupy tongue coating character.
  • Finish: Medium with very little dryness.  Begins sweetly & bright and ends with a hit of alcohol induced heat 
  • Food friendly? : Possibly.  The syrupy mouthfeel and lack of dryness (typical in a Tripel) can make pairing difficult.  Try it with something substantial such as red meat  (any sort really.)  I'd also be curious to see if it would play well with a creamy cheese such as Swiss.

Apple users link: I think that I just MAY know the most annoying sound in the world... 

                                                                                                  I have it on good authority that it is possible to triple stamp a double stamp, but it is not advised

OK.  I'll admit it.  I have never seen Dumb & Dumber all the way through.  I haven't even seen it half way through.  Fine!  I've only actually watched the YouTube video I just posted above.  And even with that I was really playing the dinner scene from Big Night in my head (Hey, Mambo...)  My point is that I had absolutely no idea why Begyle Brewing named their new Tripel "Tripel Stamp."  However, I'm pretty sure that they named their Dubbel "Dubbel Stamp" just so they could name the Tripel after the movie though.  In any case, once I finally admitted that I didn't get the apparently hilarious reference to the Carey/Daniel "classic" I was met with a look of such disdain that my toes curled.   I'm guessing that it's the same look I give one of my sister-in-laws when she fails to get my "Booby Trap!" reference (honestly, how could  anyone who grew up in the 80's  not have seen Goonies ever???  This just boggles the mind.)  Luckily for me, the good people over at Begyle do not suffer from boggled minds and have brewed their beer to be easily enjoyed by the Dumb & Dumber ignorant.

Tripel Stamp poured a rich yellow color, almost as pure gold as I've ever seen in a beer.  It was relatively clear with a syrupy quality and visible carbonation.  The head was rather miniscule, barely a half an inch with very little retention.  A shallow and delicate ring of spider web lacing was left as a band around the surface of the beer.  The aroma was nicely layered however.  The top notes of lemon, fruity esters and sweetness from caramel and cereal were extremely well balanced.  Under those scents was a hint of cinnamon and a hit booze (which was expected given the style and the 9.1%).  The taste was slightly sweeter than the nose.  The sweetness was upfront with elements of caramel and cereal grain (possibly Belgian Candi sugar as well, but I'm not sure if Begyle used this in their brewing of their beer, so it's mainly speculation on my part.)  Notes of fruity yeast esters helepd to give the mouthful a true Belgian character. The citrus note gave the sweetness some needed balance and brightness.  A bit of spice from the cinnamon and the taste of alcohol made sure that there was absolutely no mistaking this brew for anything but a Tripel.  Slightly syrupy and full bodied were the key words for the mouthfeel.  The liquid coated my tongue and I honestly didn't miss the lack of dryness at all (Tripel are not known to be dry anyway.)  The finish was typical.  Medium in length which began sweet and ended with a hint of booze.  Easy to drink, even easier for that 9.1% ABV to sneak up on you.

Tripels are not easy to pair well with food.  The fuller mouthfeel and lack of dryness hinder them from playing well with anything light or delicate.  I'd stick with something substantial, like a medium rare steak or a rack of ribs and a baked potato.  Try Begyle's take on the traditional Tripel with Fruit Jam Sweetened Bar B Que Ribs on the Grill .  What I love about this recipe is that the sauce, which is sweetened with apricot jam, will compliment the fruity esters of the beer (plus, it also calls for a bottle of lager.  Metropolotian's Dymano any one?)  Throw on a russet potato to bake (for the cooking novices, please poke a few holes in said potato.  We're going for baked here, not popcorned) and you have a hearty summer meal. I can pretty much guarantee that unless I get captured by some crazed Jeff Daniels fan I will never actually willing watch Dumber & Dumber all the way through (and if that should happen, I will be replaying an equally bad Daniel's movie, The Butcher's Wife, secretly in my head. Jack Bauer and his counter terrorism tactics ain't got nothing on me.)  But I will undoubtedly purchase another bottle of Tripel Stamp (mainly because I now really, really, REALLY want those ribs) and pretend to get the hilarity of the label's movie reference.  It worked in film school when we had to watch any and all Woody Allen movies.  It'll work again.