Ding Points: 80.50
Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00
Into the Terrapin snifter it goes.
Modest head and modest lace on opening and pouring and virtually neither remain after 2 minutes of sitting (all to be expected given the ABV). Bright, profoundly orange/golden body with some delicate carbonation.
Bready nose with some fresh, sinus clearing alcohol. A small, green, herbal element if you try hard to pick it up – not obvious but present.
Quite sweet up front with both Tripel and Belgian Strong Pale notes. The spice is there but not strong, so the sweetness tends to initially send this into Tripel country for me. A little yeasty, and gives more spice in the aftertaste and final flourish and this is where the BSPA character comes through more.
Nice level of warming alcohol throughout the beer. Sweetness drops away after a while, and gives way to more champagne like elements. It seems to get drier for me as the bottle is consumed. Mouthfeel is spot on, with a interesting light slickness to it, but it works with the alcohol level. There seems to be a honey element in the beer as it warms. This surprising, and it dulls the beer a little for me.
Frankly I’d like it even more if it were drier, and had a little less alcohol, but this is still a nice beer.
It feels a little like a Belgian Strong/Tripel/Braggot combo to me, and it pretty drinkable. The best thing that Terrapin has done for ages (not that I’m in love with it), but the total package seems somehow greater than the sum of the parts.
Other: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, 10% ABV, $7.99, 22 oz bottle.
More notes, 08/05/12 on a second bottle. Still $7.99. Pour is still, still! A little more aggression up front than I remember from 3 months ago. Plenty of alcohol and the mild honey element again comes through.