St. Feuillien Brewery
Le Rouilx, Belgium
Imported by: Artisanal Imports
Available: CA, WA, IDAHO, CO, ARIZONA, ALASKA
Named for an Irish monk, Feuillien, martyred in the 7th century, this Belgian brewery has been operated by the Friart family on the site of the old abbey since 1873.
Alcohol (wt.): 6.8
Alcohol (vol.): 8.5
Color: 12 EBC
Bitterness: 28 EBU
Original Gravity: 1072
Malts used: Pilsner
The triple, or tripel, style is one of the most indefinable in Belgium, ranging from 6.5% alcohol, copper-colored and sweet to blonde, potent and hoppy. But if you take the original of Westmalle as a model, then this Wallonian interpretation is spot on the mark, with a fruity, anise-accented aroma and a body that ranges from sweet and pear-ish in the front to more bitter and spicy in the middle and warmingly alcoholic on the finish. Less an aperitif triple than a rewarding and full-flavored nightcap.
I’m reminded of the Belgian tradition immediately upon uncorking the bottle. A profoundly earthy, fruity, beery aroma fills my surrounding environment—even before I pour a yeast-infused, hazy, golden ale topped off with a rich, dense white head. There is a sweetness that is quickly clobbered by an immensely complex fruitiness and hop bitterness. If this seems confusing, never mind, the intensity of the alcohol will give cause for intense relaxation. A fine tripel in the Belgian tradition. Balance is towards bitterness, which leaves a slight unpleasant finish on my palate.
This tripel has a fine burnished gold color and raises a magnificent rocky head. The aroma is yeasty and spicy with notes of coriander, herbs, and tropical fruit. It’s dry on the tongue, but restrained hopping and warming alcohol allow an impression of slight sweetness. It’s clean and somewhat rummy in the center, leading to a dry finish. It has less finesse than some tripels, but makes up for it with enthusiasm. A fine accompaniment to many herbal dishes, especially those made with pesto.