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RATINGS: 664   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7/5   SEASONAL: Series   IBU: 23   EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%
Lately it occurs to us that if, back in 1989, you planned on starting a brewery in the back of your carpentry shop, you’d have been wise to seek out someone like Harold "Trip" Hogue. A collector of ancient Volvos, Trip was well-qualified for the make-do engineering required to coax recalcitrant equipment out of retirement and onto making the first Boulevard beers.

The Tripel style originated in the Trappist brewery of Westmalle Abbey in pre-war Antwerp province. Its numeric moniker results from the old Belgian practice of naming beers based on the amount of malt used in the brew. A "Simple" was the lightest-bodied brew. Doubling the malt bill resulted in a "Dubbel", while a "Tripel" contained three times the amount of malt (and, as a result, three times the amount of alcohol.) True to style, our Long Strange Tripel is a golden ale with estery aromas, a dense, creamy head and a sweet finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
emacgee (4585) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - NOV 20, 2008
Thanks to turdferguson for sharing. Pours a hazy golden orange with a creamy 2-3 finger off white head. The nose is earthy, spicy, mild Belgian yeast character, fruity, mild rummy notes, some esters. The flavor is spicy, fruity, some phenol, yeasty, earthy/Belgian characters, citrus peel bitterness. The palate is crisp and well carbonated.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - NOV 2, 2008
Bottle, received in a trade. Orange / blond pour with white head. Aroma is sweet bubblegum, banana, and spices. Flavor is the same, good amount of sweetness with a tiny bit of citrus and medium amount of spicing / pepper. Good triple, enjoyed it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
IDunno19 (89) - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 31, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 17, 2009 Excellent brew, VERY DRINKABLE. Hoppy warm toasty flavor with a charming wheat and citrus note. Toasty golden color with an aroma of hops, wheat, and yeast. Delicious beer. Only got the Saison and I’m done with the Smokestack series!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - OCT 31, 2008
750 ml bottle - Sometimes the lights all shining on me; Other times I can barely see!! big thanks to brewczar for the trade; pours mostly clear and light orange; huge, fluffy white head; rich aromas of raw yeast, lemon peels and slight spice; faint pepper too; slight zing at first zip; light carbonation and a little fizzy in the mouth; great name and a very nice brew

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ilherps (248) - Carbondale, Illinois, USA - OCT 30, 2008
poured from a 5th. A very fizzy beer, with a yeasty, malty aroma. Flavor is herbaceous, spicy with clove. There is a sweet honey note. Pretty drinkable beer, but compared to the rest of the smokestack series, this one is lacking.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kramer (5770) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 29, 2008
25 oz bottle. Pours a mostly clear dark gold body with a very fizzy bright white head, lots of carbonation. Big sweet doughy malt nose with some yeast, honey, and light alcohol. The flavor is spicy and has lots of bready malt. Not a whole lot of yeast influence, light honey, hay, and alcohol. It does dry out a bit on the finish. Mouthfeel is full, but not especially engaging, it just kinda sits there and feels heavy and doughy. Moderate fizzy carbonation. It doesn’t make me want to roll it around in my mouth. I suppose that this was OK, but it’s not great and it doesn’t do it for me cause it’s not a favorite style of mine to begin with anyway.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Butters (4038) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - OCT 27, 2008
Pours a nice golden yellow with some particulate due to te dregs of the botte, and a billowing near-white head that falls to a fair topping. Aroma is sweet vanlilla and alcohol. Flavor is largely vanilla with a hint of banana. Mouthfeel is creamy but bubbly at the same time. Pretty good for a stateside triple, but not as good as the real thing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - OCT 26, 2008
750ml bottle: Pours a slightly hazed golden body with a fizzy white head thatv evaporates in pops. No lace. Fruity pear & apple aroma supported by floral scents and a dash of black pepper. Too carbonated. The flavor sees the addition of honey, pale malt, quiet spices, and a light bitterness. Honey sweet, fruity finish. Okay.

Friar Tuck, Bloomington, IL

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gregis (1281) - Shawnee, Kansas, USA - OCT 26, 2008
Pours a hazy golden-amber with a quickly diminishing, fizzy, off-white head, some settling sediment and a lot of fine rising bubbles. The nose is bright and yeasty with fruity, yeasty esters of apple, pear and a faint phenolic white peppery spiciness that smells a bit like grains of paradise. Nice. Medium-bodied, with fine assertive carbonation that scrubs your tongue into a mildly dry finish; a touch of astringency and some alcohol heat on the exhale. Apple, pear, white pepper and alcohol drive toward a spicy, moderately dry finish. This is an interesting tripel, one that you can tell started a bit sweeter when it was bottled (this past winter). I would guess that now it is about half-way on its journey to a much drier beer. Not too shabby.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bhensonb (13854) - Woodland, California, USA - OCT 25, 2008
Bottle, c&c, from South Bay Drug. Brassy gold color with a foamy, multi-finger beige head. Aromas of pale malt, light fruits, and maybe a hint of floral hop. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation. Flavor is just a slight bit funk, with a touch of kandi, and something suggesting spicey noble hop. Hot bits. Definitely seems clovey. All the flavors are well blended, with nothing taking over. It’s warming. It gets rather floral in the finish. Might have been wrong about the funk. Or not. Nice ale.

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