Only one beer left after this one to ingest from my big Midwest beer trade with FRESH BEER EVERY FRIDAY blog; it’s some dark-as-ink imperial stout or something that I obviously need to wait for the onset of winter to quaff. This one, NEW HOLLAND BREWING’s BLACK TULIP, is a 22-ounce bottle of tripel that I dug into a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting to writing about. Here’s the deal: the bar has been set very high on tripels for me by the likes of UNIBROUE’s La Fin Du Monde, ST BERNARDUS Tripel and of course the standard-bearer for the style, WESTMALLE TRIPEL. The sole American “copy” of this classic Belgian beer that I’ve ever fallen over myself for was a local one, made by MARIN BREWING and called TRIPEL DIPSEA. I’m not sure if it was a fluke when I tried it 2+ years ago, but man was that a good beer. I’ve tried many a mediocre tripel, even those from Belgium, and I think it’s one of those beer styles that you’d best have your big boy pants on if you’re going to attempt to brew it.
So with that snarky dose of jadedness, let us dig into BLACK TULIP. It is still - very, very still, with little head and only the tiniest froth to speak of. My picture speaks volumes, OMG taken mere seconds after the pour!! Really carbonated and bubbling, with the ya-gotta-have-it-or-it-ain’t-a-tripel Belgian candi sugars and spices. This one has more of a luscious tang to it than most tripels I’ve enjoyed, yet less of that intense, yeasty flavor that I think makes the style stand up proud. Finishes quite dry, even a little effervescent. Oh man, the me of ten years ago would’ve just murdered the me of today for writing the word “effervescent” with regard to a beer. I guess I am what I am, and I guess NEW HOLLAND BLACK TULIP is what it is, which is a 6.5/10.