This is Brew By Numbers’ fourth version of the traditional Abbey beer, hot on the heels of 14/01 Mosaic, 14/02 Wai-Iti and 14/03 Ella. This reincarnation of the tripel uses the German Hallertau Blanc hop which produces notes of white grapes and, for me, a crisp refreshing bite to balance that classic Belgian sweetness.
Hazy amber-gold on the pour with a just off-white foam which lasts nicely throughout, plus fine to moderate carbonation.
Fresh and sweet with some soft sweet fruits thanks to that Hallertau Blanc hop – there’s an almost candied orange peel feel to it. Sweet caramel and toffee are interspersed with subtle spice for nice balance.
The first thing you notice is that it doesn’t get too sweet – a bit of a signature (and smart) Brew by Numbers manoeuvre to keep it drier and more bitter than usual – the hoppy finish keeps it nicely crisp.
There is still of course a lot of grape and fruit sweetness, including jam, fruit peel again with some light spice and stewed fruits, plus toffee and caramel.
Sweet but not cloying and surprisingly refreshing for a tripel. If this doesn’t make you want to move to Belgium and become a monk, not much will.