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Herevana – Mcleods – Smugglers Bay Tripel

This is an annual beer, and this is the second version, the first of which I wrote ” As good as anything I’ve had, possibly the best NZ Tripel”. It went on to win an award for being the best (Gold Medal Winner – Australian International Beer Awards).  – you can read my insight here.

It’s been renamed to: McLeod’s Smugglers Bay Tripel Belgian Style Trappist Ale – a pretty long name, but as it’s good it can probably carry it.

McLeod’s Brewery really do make the McLeod’s Smugglers Bay Tripel Belgian Style Trappist Ale, and they do that in 🇳🇿 Waipu, New Zealand, and surprisingly its in the style that is a Tripel  with an ABV of 8.6%  and with 38 IBU things. This is 3.4 standard drink units of beer..

Bottle 3,013 of 4,600 bottles. I says not to disturb the lees, I’m goign to at the end, because that is the kind of rebel I am. I opened the bottle and the initial aroma was one of a yeast, just plain old yeast.

Super Delicious

The pour is a lovely golden hazy orange, and I really didn’t expect to have a head and so am not disappointed with a film that sits there sullenly. The in-glass aroma is much better, more of that familiar Belgian yeast about it.

It might just be be me bat the very instant bitterness was a shock, but the lovely warming malty mouthfeel that follows was lovely. 38 IBU’s is about that of a good English Bitter, or even a Porter.

It has had time to breathe a bit in the glass and this is where this beer starts to come into its own, There’s a delicious and pervasive sweetness that carries this, and the familiar notes for the Belgian yeast dance their dance that become apparent/

But this really is the opposite of the beer the first time around, which had a big foamy head, the same yeasty aroma, but also, importantly for me, this does not have the dryness in the finish.

Curious. Despite that difference, and I went back and re-read about the last one (after I’d written most of this piece) this is still really nice beer. I’d like it to be richer and fuller, more malty, I’d love it to have some head, and I’de enjoy that towards a dry finish, but even without that this is a beer that you could easily sit and admire as being a proper work of a properly good brewer.

The Pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 on the arbitrary number scale, I think I’m being generous but it is nearer 9 than 8 I think. I don’t however think this is as complex of nuanced as the first rendition.

Our second ‘vintage’ of this delightful ale is brewed traditionally with Belgian malts & yeast along with our own ‘candi syrup’ to compliment. Our unique Belgian yeast adds inviting orange blossom & spice from the start with underlying notes of honey & soft, sweet bready malt with slight warmth that’s rich, complex & smooth. Has a long finish & is dangerously drinkable. Bottle conditioned, so open with care. Do not disturb the lees. Drink now or cellar for up to 3 years

Herevana beers are those I drink at home, I’m not at some beer festival, like, for instance, Beervana, but am just in my kitchen, usually, dining room table, sometimes, or outside, occasionally, where I can take an average picture and write in real time about the beer that I’ve invested in, both in a monetary and emotional way.

Philip himself.



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