It had been an extremely long day at work, not so much in the temporal sense, just the nothing to do, bored shitless, lacking motivation sense. After successfully convincing myself that a gym session was not required that afternoon because ‘hey, I’m a fucking Adonis!’ (I’m not, by the way), I decided to drop by the bottle-o and get a six-pack instead. After all, this blog isn’t going to write itself.
Which brings me to Little Brewing Co’s Mad Abbot Tripel, which incidentally is only sold singularly or in a four-pack and probably for good reason.
According to the website the Mad Abbot ales (there’s also a Dubbel) are “made with finesse in true Belgian style with alcohol content well hidden beneath the complex flavour.” Flavour-wise, the site sets out pretty clearly what to expect:
Complex fruity esters, white stone and tropical fruit, and malty flavours. Sweet malt and citrus like characters with a bitterness and alcohol kick to balance in the lengthy finish. Mouthfeel is light/medium.
Similar notes for Colour and Appearance, Aroma and Suggested Food Match are also supplied. Though it’s time to judge for myself and after digesting the above I’ve got to say my expectations are pretty high so let’s hope it’s not an oversell.
The smell leaps out of the bottle at you, even before pouring: Tropical fruits? Check. Mango? Definitely. It’s not the only fruit aroma the ale’s emitting but it’s certainly the most discernible. There’s also a subtle maltiness to the pungent fruitiness and overall it’s sickly sweet but nevertheless inviting. It’s also not hard to discern that it’s not only pungent in the fruit stakes. Boy, oh boy, I think I’ll only need one of these.
Pouring it now and it’s quite heady but before too long all I’m left with is a mildly cloudy, golden-coloured brew.
To taste, it’s not quite what I was expecting. The alcohol content is fairly well masked (as promised) behind those fruit and malt characters. On the fore the sweetness is only slightly overbearing but I’m mostly distracted by the sheer numbers of fruits that are popping into my head; I can’t quite decide what I’m tasting here. The maltiness adds yet another depth and helps to dampen the sweetness of the fruits too. The mouthfeel is silky smooth right until the alcohol kicks in on the back palate, which signals me to slow down and take it easy.
Bam! Alcoholic pungency, come at me bro! Definitely, a nice one to warm you from the inside out on those cold winter nights. I generally dislike a beer that tastes like I’m having a spirit mixed half n’ half but this Tripel is not like that at all, even though, after half a glass, my head is telling me otherwise. It truly is very well masked until that final hit.
Overall, it’s pretty darn tasty and one of the best tripels I’ve had in recent memory, and the ancillaries are pretty on form too. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it for an extended period obviously but if you’re planning a big night in or out, a couple of these and you’ll be set.
- Genre: Belgo
- Regionality: Port Macquarie, NSW
- Strength: 9.5%
- Rating: 2.5 / 3 taste + 1.5 / 2 ancillaries = 4.5 / 5
- Plus: Unlike a lot of other Tripels it’s alcoholic strength is well masked.
- Minus: You can’t drink too many in the one sitting. It’s also a bit on the sweet side.