Tripel Reserve (Night Shift Brewing)

Style: Belgian Style Tripel fermented with Pinot Gris grape juice and aged in white wine oak barrels

8.7% ABV

Batch #1

Bottled On: 5/25/13

From: Everett, MA

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Brewer’s Note: “This elegant ale pours crystal clear and straw-colored, its aroma oaky with tropical hints of papaya and white grapes. It sips tannic and rich, profuse in tangerine, ripe apricot, and spiced banana flavors. It has a sweet, peppery finish that lingers well after the beer is gone. Resist temptation to drink immediately, and you’ll find reward in letting our Tripel Reserve grow and evolve over time.”

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The beer’s label is elegant and simple, with a nicely rustic-textured paper, but I don’t like it as much as the normal Night Shift labels.  The simplicity and austereness of the label leave me wanting more, and the beer’s title font is too flowie and too similar of a color to the background.  Overall, the label still has the awesome Night Shift logo and has the bottled on date and lots of nice information, but it feels cluttered and boring.

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The beer pours dark golden yellow-orange, like a fiery sunburst.  The beer pours with a big sudsy head of larger, white bubbles that fizzles away to a nice scrim.  In body, the beer is clean, but opaque, and full of tiny bubbles.  On the nose, the beer is sweet and funky with beautiful, sticky vinous notes of light lemon, and a nice brininess that smells slightly reminiscent of low tide.  Slight sweet leather notes can also be sensed on the nose.  On the tongue, the beer tastes vinous sweet with a nice acidity and a light tannic bitter that builds in the mouth.  In flavor, the beer begins as sweet, pinot gris with a touch of salt and oak.  Sweet citric grapes build in the mouth, becoming slightly cloying and honeyed in flavor.  Honeydew melon and light breadiness cross the palate in the finish, providing a light flavor of grape skins and tannic wood.  The aftertaste is lightly salty sweet.  In the mouth, the beer feels medium heavy in body with a viscous, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.  Carbonation is sharp and prickly on the tongue, leaving the mouth dry with but sticky with a nice bitterness on the back.  Overall, this is an interesting beer with some nice pinot gris notes.  Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of pinot gris, but I appreciated the nuances of it.  The beer is complex but suffers a little from the cloying sweetness, and a little too much bitterness from the oak.  It’s a good beer, but I think it would do well with a little more time in the bottle to smooth out the edges of this beer.

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3.76/5

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