A life just as ordinary

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Beer – #1039 – McLeod’s – Triple

McLeod’s Tripel. Part of their limited Smuggler’s bay series, numbered bottles and everything. This is bottle 968 of 1500. I’ve had this beer before, this vintage, but I never wrote it down. Spoiler Alert – it’s very good.
Back in November, when I was taking a few weeks off  the writing I was of course still drinking, and I noted that this was possibly the best Tripel in NZ.  Turns out it is the best in Aus/NZ winning the only gold in Class at the AIBA beer awards.

I know about this award for this beer because of the run-in I had with wth the brewer over my comment on the Barley Wine that I didn’t care for and I still think was a rogue bottle, and I was copied into a tweet about this win. So I’m taking that. You can tell however that that particular interaction did really upset and unsettle me, and I will eventually let it go, but for now,  how’d you like those apples brewer man?

Pour carefully.

This is a 500ml bottle of a beer that is 9.3% on the ABV, and has the 20 IBU things, which makes it around that  282 calories a serve size. A pilsner is around 25-40 ibu things as a bitterness indicator. This would be 3.7 standard drinks in NZ.

McLeods Dubbel is brewed in the style that is a Tripel and is brewed by McLeod’s Brewery  who are inWaipu, New Zealand

It’s good as I look

Belgian Trappist style ale.

Our first Tripel. A strong ale fermented with a special ale yeast.
Bready, spicy, with hints of clove and banana. Balanced hop and malt.
Dangerously drinkable.
Bottle conditioned.
Pour carefully..

So, What could possibly go wrong? Once again I find myself at the measure of the temperature stick as the label indicates a temperature range, and I know that either this isn’t cold enough or the measuring thing is wrong.

The initial aroma is bready yeast when I open this.

Pour is an orange gold with a head that just keeps growing and getting bigger, not enough to top out the glass and spill over but it looks like an ice cream soda. It’s very lovely in the glass with all sorts of bubble action going on.

Hard to get an aroma let alone taste from foam, but I tried, and eventually got that full sugary malty taste with that intense and very familiar yeasty note that make this style of beer amongst my favourites.

There’s something really satisfying about the delivery of an expectation, and this has that.

A high level of sugar sweetness really bounces off that Belgian yeast which elevates this from the ‘on style’ to giving it that subtle and understated lift into ‘great at style” beer.  I thought it was the best Triple that NZ had, and I think that there is possibly only one brewer that would be a serious challenge, Craftwork, and I’ve got those in the fridge so I’ll be able to at least pontificate on their respective merits.

I like this beer a lot, I’ve not mentioned that mustiness that I get from the yeast that intrigues me, and I like that this has bitterness as an adjunct, it’s there, you don’t notice, you’d not notice if you didn’t notice, I like the way this looks, and that the head stays there for the whole beer, and I love the aroma.  I like the dryness level that this finishes with that, again , if you didn’t notice you’d never notice.  I like the way that this is has a lovely lingering note in the mouth.

I like best that this is kick-ass, for me, the best Tripel from a New Zealand Brewer. I did when I had in from a keg, I did when I drank the bottle and I’m reminded again now why this is something special.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 10 of its things from the thing. Outstanding. There’s no other way to describe a beer that blindfolded you’d pick for style, taste and excellence, and then get wrong about the country of origin. I wasn’t wrong about this being, for me, the best Tripel in NZ that I’ve had. You might get all about the 4.1/4.2/4.5 rating on untappd or the other apps, calm you farm, this is all that, but this blog isn’t that. The pdubyah-o-meter says 10 handle the jandle.

Properly good quality beer

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Liquorland local to me had them
  • Am I enjoying it? Yes
  • Would I have another?  This is the third time I’ve been to this well, and it’s glorious
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Share! mad to, but yes absolutely yes.

Music for this:   I Am Easy to Find by The National on the Spotify player  – if you want to play along, I’m playing this on the vinyl version that I just brought.

I discovered that this ia triple album with only 5 sides – there’s a whole side to a vinyl LP that isn’t printed. What trickery is that!


Like other abbey ales, Tripels are strong, yeasty-malty beers. But they are also pale, and have a notable hop profile. Hop bitterness may be higher than a typical abbey ale, up to 35IBUs. But the finish is where the hops really shine, as tripels should finish fairly dry. Otherwise, maltiness is still essential to the style, and the assertive yeast note typical of all abbey ales will be more apparent in tripels, since they do not have the rich dark malts to distract the palate. Alcohol flavours feature more prominently in Tripels that in just about any other style.


2 comments on “Beer – #1039 – McLeod’s – Triple

  1. Pingback: Beer – #1,057 – McLeod’s – Smugglers Bay Quadrupel | A life just as ordinary

  2. Pingback: Herevana – Mcleods – Smugglers Bay Tripel | A life just as ordinary

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