Solo contemplation, by which I mean solo or near-solo drinking, is key for a dork like me to carefully examine & capture the nuances of the beer he’s imbibing. Trying to take detailed notes or seriously think about the wherefores of a given beer is pretty tough when you’re sitting at a loud table in a loud bar with 3 other individuals, making merry and socializing. So it was last night at LA TRAPPE in San Francisco. Yes, I did enjoy three very good beers, but I didn’t exactly do my small HBJ readership any justice by taking immaculate notes, since I barely took any. Let me tell you about the unratables, then about the one I did get to peck a few short notes about into my phone.
First, a bottle of KEYTE DOBLENNEN TRIPEL was ordered for the table. This is from BROUWERIJ STRUBBE – that’s right baby, Browerij Strubbe!! I think we were intrigued by a “double tripel”, and much mirth was made over the idea of how cool it would be if some brewer just started labeling his beers past the point of ridiculousness – “Imperial Double”; “Double Dubbel”; that sort of thing. Anyway, this was a very earthy, caramel-laden Belgian beer of some sort. I didn’t get enough to give you a true score, but the number hovering in my head was 7/10. Good enough to explore again. We also ordered a big bottle of DE PROEF ZOETZUUR FLEMISH ALE, which you may recall is on the Hedonist Beer Jive 75, and which I totally loved again. It keeps its 9/10 score for sure.
Then there was the LA RULLES TRIPLE, which was on draught and which I didn’t have to share with anyone. Check this out, it’s from BRASSERIE ARTISANALE DE RULLES from the south of Belgium. One person at our table had actually been to the brewery and reported it to be a great place. They certainly make a great tripel. It’s really dry and thin, and has the fruit “profile” of a saison. This isn’t your glistening, yeast-heavy WESTMALLE-style tripel, at least not to me – far more easy-drinking than that, and a good one to use to open the doors of perception for your non-Belgian beer-drinking friends. Pale malts, floral hops and a real clean taste to it. I tapped out an 8/10 into my keyboard while the other guys were busy ogling the waitress. With that – we’ll see you next week. Got a lot more beer to tell you about.