12 Best Belgian Tripels of 2021
A few weeks ago we wrote about Untappd's 6 Highest-Rate Belgian Quads of 2021. With its signature rich, malty flavor, medium bitterness, and impressive ABV, the Belgian quad is a beer which has stood the test of time. But it's not the only beer style that makes Belgium one of the best beer-making countries in the world. Belgian singels, dubbels, and tripels are equally as revered.
In fact, last year the Belgian tripel ranked as the ninth-most-checked-in style on Untappd in 2020 with 1,725,821 check-ins.
Historically, tripels gained notoriety under the Belgian Trappist beer tradition, dating back to the sixth century in Europe when monks brewed beers as a way to create potable water and generate income from the monastery and local community. Today, only beers brewed by monks at official abbeys designated by the International Trappist Association can be considered Trappist. Secular breweries that brew singels, dubbels, tripels, or quads often used the term "abbey-style" to respectfully reflect this tradition.
Famous Belgian Trappist beers including dubbels and tripels began to emerge in the mid-1800s from monsastaries such as Westmalle and Westvleteren (a monastery that makes one of the rarest beers in the world today).
Common lore says that monks marked their beer barrels with Xs to signify strength – three Xs meant an abbey's tripel and typically the monastery's strongest beer.
Considered a strong golden ale, tripels typically clock in around 9% ABV or even higher, making them perfect for the colder winter months. A simple grain profile provides the backbone for more complexity thanks to Belgian yeast. Typical tasting notes for Belgian or abbey-style tripels include layers of orange, citrus, and banana married with spiced or floral hops.
Fair warning: These beers tend to go down smoothly despite their robust alcohol concentration. Share one of Untappd's 12 Highest-Rated Belgian Tripels of 2021 with friends and family at the Thanksgiving dinner table or while playing games around the fire.
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