Posted 5 years ago | Beer , Reviews Virginia Beer

Lickinghole Creek Three Chopt Tripel Ale

Lickinghole Creek Three Chopt Tripel Ale photo

Apparently, this has become the American way. Take a traditional style, toss in an extra few pounds more of hops than would be typical and release it as if that is how it’s always been done. This seems especially prevalent with Belgian-style ales — a style which I usually lean heavily toward the more traditional. Many times, what we end up with is a beer that is still pretty decent, but too hoppy for its own good. Every now and again, however, we get that rare gem that utilizes additional hops to compliment the base style.

Lickinghole Creek Three Chopt Tripel is sort of in the middle of that spectrum — it’s got a good Belgian-style quality, but just a tad too much of a hop character. In the brewery’s own words:

“LCCB’s Tripel is a non-stopped hopped version of a European classic. We use American grown sterling and New Zealand Grown Motueka Hops that help impart a lemon and lime characteristic with a hint of tropical fruit. Multiple hop additions throughout the boil create a textured, full flavor.”

As you can see, Three Chopt Tripel is going to be a fairly hop-forward brew. As a fan of more purist forms of Belgian ales, I shouldn’t really like this brew, but in reality, I quite enjoyed it. I wouldn’t call it a favorite, but I certainly wouldn’t mind cracking open another bottle at a future date. The combination of Belgian yeast and a lemony, herbal hop presence makes for a beer that is flavorful and refreshing, as well as, what I think may be my favorite from the brewery.

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Appearance

Three Chopt Tripel pours a golden amber in color with a large stack of creamy, off-white foam that left behind a solid crown of lace as it dropped.

Aroma

Grain, lemony zest, honey, grassy hops, light peppery yeast and herbal notes combine for a pretty enticing aroma.

Taste

Well, it’s certainly got a good amount of hop character as lemony, herbal notes lead the way for grain, soft spices, honey and distant yeast. The 9.3% ABV leaves a glowing warmth in the chest as a moderate amount of hop bitterness lingers. Three Chopt Tripel has a zesty and lively character.

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Overall

I know this review started off as a sort of rail against overly hopped, non-traditional takes on Belgian ales, but this is one version of tripel that I particularly liked. The lively nature of this beer, moderate bitterness and hop character were all very enjoyable. I just wished there was more of a true Belgian tripel at the beer’s core. It’s a surprisingly layered beer that’s full of flavor and one that I will more than likely have in my fridge again in the near future.

Rating: 4/5

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