14|04 – Tripel – Hallertau Blanc – ABV 8.5%

BBNo’s Abbey tripel uses the Hallertau Blanc hop which produces notes of white grapes and a refreshing bite to balance that classic Belgian sweetness.The fourth version of the traditional Abbey beer comes hot on the heels of 14/01 Mosaic, 14/02 Wai-Iti and 14/03 Ella.

Look: Hazy amber-gold on the pour with a just off-white foam which lasts nicely throughout, plus fine to moderate carbonation.

Aroma: 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.

Taste: 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.

Verdict: 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.