I picked Duvel Tripel Hop because of the “triple hop”. My logic was that if hops are for bitterness, then more hops are even better. My expectations were pretty high.

Duvel Tripel Hop 2013

It has a big, solid head and a cloudy light straw body. Leaves persistent, bubbly lacing.

A fruity hop nose manages to break through the head, featuring citrus with pine notes. Then comes a yeasty, banana smell that is no surprise from a Belgian beer.

The first surprise was how thick the medium body was, and how light the carbonation was in comparison (even though it appeared strongly carbonated from the outside). It’s got a modest taste, definitely not as wildly bitter as I expected. I mean, it’s still definitely quite bitter, but the thick body, the Belgian yeastiness and the citrus-colored sweetness balances it well.

It’s also obviously strong. I’m not good at noticing alcohol, but just the mouthfeel of the Tripel Hop indicates its 9% ABV. It’s definitely all about the hops, but having three different hops in a single brew might have proved a bit of an overkill. The tastescape lacks a focus point, so the first thing I could catch on is the alcohol strength.

Apparently it’s an IPA, though at first I thought it was just a very hoppy Witbier. I expected a very bitter, super-hoppy IPA, but that this beer is not. Don’t be misled like I was: triple hop doesn’t mean triple amount of hops, just three kinds (in this case, it was the 2013 brew “dryhopped with Sorachi Ace”). I’m not a fan.