Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reviews: Green Flash Trippel & Grand Cru

Alright, two more beers from Green Flash Brewing (@greenflashbeer), a microbrewery out of Vista, California which is really close to San Diego.  I reviewed their barleywine as part of a trio of reviews recently and this time I have the Trippel and Grand Cru to check out.  Both are Belgian-style ales, which is a little bit of a departure for a West coast brewery, but the barleywine was great, so here's hoping these deliver as well.

First up, the tripel.  True to the style, I poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet... and if lives up to the Chimay name then I'll be one happy camper. It's a bright orange color, hazy with a small white head.

This beer has a very floral aroma, with hints of honey and citrus. Not bad, and a typical flavor profile for the tripel style.

The taste is about the same but a little bitter with the floral hops coming through. The honey notes aren't as strong, but it's still a pretty good beer.

All in all a decent tripel. Not the best American version and not as good as the Belgians but I like it and would have another.  

My rating: B

Second beer on the menu... the Green Flash Grand Cru.  "Grand Cru" is a non-technical beer term typically used with Belgian-style ales, indicating a more elaborate and usually stronger version of a beer.  Oddly enough, in this case the Tripel was 9.7% abv while the Grand Cru weighs in at 9.00% abv.  Still though, both are pretty strong beers, so watch out!  This one is listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale (BSDA) which is a very similar style to the quadrupel ales. 

Just like the tripel, this one was poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet. It's a dark Brown, a little hazy with minimal head.  A very typical color for a BSDA and such a high alcohol content lends itself to less head.

The aroma is faint but what I pick up is good. A little chocolate, followed by some plum notes.  The taste also has a bit of chocolate in there. A little odd for a BSDA but it's not bad. Theres even a little roasted note on the end. Double checking... yep this is the grand cru.

It's very drinkable and I like it but it's just a little out of character.  The chocolate and roasted notes were a little odd for me, and I see a lot of BA reviewers were getting similarly odd flavors.  Despite all that, it's not a bad beer, just different.

My Rating: B-

In conclusion, neither of these are bad beers, but for my money there are much better Belgian style ales out there, including the real things from across the pond.

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