La Trappe Tripel
The Best Dutch Tripel
January 13, 2002
Written by RateBeer
La Trappe Tripel
Rated as the best Dutch Tripel.
La Trappe Tripel is brewed by the Trappist Abbey "Our Honoured Lady of Koningshoeven". The Abbey is situated in the township Berkel-Enschot between the city of Tilburg and the smaller towns Moergestel and Hilvarenbeek. This is in southern part of the Netherlands where life is believed to be nicer and more quiet.
In the year 1880 the abbot of Katsberg (northern France) was worried about the faith of his monks. The French government was becoming more and more anti-religious. One of his monks - Sebastianus Wyart – was sent to find a refuge. His eye caught some small farms (hoeven in Dutch) and a sheep-fold (schaapskooi in Dutch) that used to belong to the Dutch king Willem II. Koning is Dutch for king so Koningshoeven means The Kings Farms and the name of the brewery was called De Schaapskooi, the Sheep-Fold. In order to provide for themselves, the monks in Koningshoeven started to cultivate the arid heath land. But it soon became clear that the costs outweighed any benefits. A solution needed to be found. The first father superior, Dom Nivardus, decided in 1884 to start a small brewery. This was the beginning of the only Trappist brewery in the Netherlands. Up to the present day, the single most important source of revenue for the abbey. From the seventies onwards, the influx of candidates entering the monastery dwindled. This and the increasing competition in the specialty beer market early 1999 forced the Monks and management of the brewery to start looking for a partner. Condition for an agreement was that the partner respected the tradition, recipes and authenticity of the brewery. Brewery Bavaria in Lieshout, Netherlands met these requirements and in April 1999 an agreement was signed. The monks of Koningshoeven remain brandowner of La Trappe and control the brewing process. Maybe you want to help them out and become a monk? Think before you leap! They rise every day at 4.15am and go to bed around 7.30pm. During the day they work and pray - about 8 times. Of course they have 3 meals as well, but I don’t know whether they have a nice La Trappe Tripel during dinner ;)
The type Tripel
No one knows exactly why a Tripel is called a Tripel. But this is the most likely story. When bacteria and hygiene was not yet heard off people used to drink beer as a daily fluid. No one knew why, but beer didn’t make you sick. Beer used to be of low alcohol and between 2 and 3 percent - otherwise it must have been a fun time back then. When hygiene became more popular and beer just a drink for the evenings and festivities stronger beer was brewed. So was the Double and the Tripel introduced with twice and three times the amount of alcohol. Nowadays the type Tripel is used for any top-fermented sweet, hoppy, golden or amber coloured beer from around 8 percent.
La Trappe Tripel
Just smell the beer while you pour it in a nice wide glass. The aroma is heavy and full of grain and hay. A light perfume hoppiness accompanied by a very light barnyard aroma. Maybe that’s the sheep-fold? A white frothy head that doesn’t last very long but leaves a nice lace in your glass. Orange amber coloured with nice small bubbles rising to the surface. The initial taste is sweet but within less than a second the hops come in. The finish is more bitter therefore and lasts quite some time. It has a medium syrupy texture and a moderate alcoholic finish.
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The aroma is heavy and full of grain and hay. A light perfume hoppiness accompanied by a very light barnyard aroma. Maybe that’s the sheep-fold?
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