If it wasn’t for the alcohol, 8,4% alc vol, this week’s beer, Tripel Karmeliet could be a liquid substitute for breakfast; cereals followed by toast and marmelade. A nice light gold colour with a good head. The malt and grain are immediately noticeable and not surprisingly were the first taste impression; a malt honey sweetness which slowly gives way just enough to bring in the taste of the unmalted grains; the creaminess of oats and the light grainy wheat.
Wait just a few moments longer and a bitter orange comes through. Not much hop taste but who drinks bitter beer at breakfast?! I liked this intense brew almost as much as Westmalle Tripel but for different reasons; the latter would be much too bitter for breakfast, though.
Tripel Karmeliet was first brewed in 1996; supposedly based on a recipe dating back to 1679. The label informs us wheat, oat and barley are used and that it originates from the old Carmelite monastery in Dendermonde. The modern version is brewed by Bosteels in Buggenhout, a village in East Flanders. Evarist Bosteels founded the brewery in 1791 and after seven generations it is still family run. The brewery is a member of Belgian Family Brewers an organisation which guarantees authentic and traditionally produced Belgian beers. To qualify every beer must be unique and brewed by an independant family brewery that has been making beer for at least 50 years. in Belgium. So brewers who make beers for a third party are excluded. Currently the grouping has 21 members – find out more about the Family Brewers here.
Apart from Tripel Karmeliet Bosteels also brews Kwak, probably best known for its unique tall glass in a wooden holder.