Belgian brewery Duvel Moortgat may be best known for their namesake pilsner, but it’s their abbey beers that have won my palate. Licensed from the monks of Maredsous Abbey for the last 50 years, the company produces a Blonde, Brune, and Tripel ale, the latter is a high fermentation brew containing 10% alcohol by volume. Maredsous is only one of 18 beers recognized as a Certified Belgian Abbey Beer by the Union of Belgian Brewers.
The Tripel is a heady beer that insists upon a careful pour. Beneath its creamy surface, though, waits a rich, orange-gold yeasty brew that grows more complex with each sip. The first bite on the tongue has a fresh, newly-fermented taste with a hint of sweetness, as if one happened upon an aged pot of honey. Mouthfeel is smooth and perhaps a bit uneventful.
Deeper into the glass the hints of spice and hops manifest, as does a not unwelcome bitter finish.
As the pint disappears, one can’t help but notice the lacy remnants of the head clinging stubbornly to the glass. And speaking of the pint: Bring a friend. At 20 proof, a full pint of Maredsous Tripel is a challenge for even the most seasoned beer enthusiast.
Brewery: Duvel Moortgat and Maredsous
City: Denee, Belgium
Style: Belgian tripel