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Tripel Horse Belgian-Style Tripel Ale

Tripel Horse Belgian-Style Tripel Ale
Max Jaeger

ABV – 10%
A Confession: As your faithful Northeast correspondent, my beer selection has been decidedly New York-centric.

An Act of Penance: 10 Hail Mary’s and I promise to start reviewing beers from the Tri-State area.

This week’s offering comes from River Horse Brewing Company of Lambertville, New Jersey. River Horse has been brewing under its current owners since 2007, when the self-described “finance geeks” up-and-quit their number-crunching gigs and started making beer.

The guys behind the reins at River Horse aren’t your average booze jockeys, and don’t know whether they came to the races with recipes in hand or had some outside help, but it tastes like this isn’t their first derby.

The Tripel Horse is River Horse’s take on a Belgian-style Tripel Ale. This troika is a smooth ride, but at 10% ABV, it ain’t short on horsepower either. It pours up opaque with a short, medium-thickness head. I found light passed through the stuff, but struggled to in the center of the glass. As it goes down, Tripel Horse leaves light lacing.

The Tripel horse Tripel Ale’s aroma is lighter than a jockey and only half as fruity. Expect a creamy, honey-sweet start with hints of banana out of the gate and earthy notes at the finish line. Pilsen, White Wheat and Caramel 15 flavor this beer up front, and Coriander and nutmeg lend their flavors to the back end, while Belgian Trappist yeast adds a hint of vanilla. There’ almost no bitterness, and based on the flavor, there’s little indication the Tripel has any alcohol in it. I assure you; it does.

A Note:  In the face of contrary evidence, I can only assume River Horse’s white blob of a mascot is none other than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. While New Jersey’s recent credit outlook downgrade  leaves it in sub-Dubel-A territory, I’m giving this brew a Tripel-A rating – it’s a surefire bet. If you live in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Eastern Pennsylvania, you can probably find this horse running year-round.

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