Community's Trinity Tripel Is A By-The-Book Gem.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we'll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it's local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Community Beer Company Trinity Tripel.

Fast Facts on Community Beer's Trinity Tripel.
• Style: Belgian Tripel.
• ABV: 9 percent.
• IBUs (International Bitterness Units): 42.
• Color: Light gold.
• Availability: Year-round.

Overview.
Community Beer Company certainly has had no shortage of good news to share over the last couple of months. But just last weekend, the company received its best news yet, taking home its very first Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Gold Medal for their Public Ale in the ESB (Extra Special Bitter) category. GABF is one of (if not the most) well-known and prestigious beer festivals and competitions in the country, so the win is no small matter.

But that's just some of Community's especially big recent news. Last month, prior to the festival win, Community released its first bottled brews into the North Texas wild: Trinity Tripel and Inspiration, two Belgian style beers that come packaged in 750ml bottles.

Today, we take a look at Trinity Tripel.

Background on Belgian Tripels.
While marketed mostly as a Belgian Tripel, the brewer calls attention to the fact that the beer is technically more of a Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale, which is a Great American Beer Festival style category. According to GABF guidelines, a Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale should be light gold to blonde in color, with low to medium hop flavors and aroma, as well as a low to medium malt presence. Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ales also generally boast 20 to 50 IBUs and fall within an ABV range of 7 percent to 11 percent. But what should stand out above all else is a complex fruit flavor and aroma.

Appearance.
The Trinity Tripel pours cloudy light gold with a thick, frothy and slightly off-white head. Since the beer is bottle-conditioned (it's refermented in the bottle), the cloudy appearance is to be expected.

Aroma.
Trinity Tripel presents a bouquet of pleasant black pepper, sweet stone fruits, hints of raisin and some alcohol. The brewer pretty much nails it here — the aromas are almost classic Tripel – and, although the scents are just a bit muted, that too falls exactly in line with the style guidelines.

Flavor.
There's a sweet and smooth upfront taste with a nice, balancing bitterness here, too. It's not as sweet as you might guess from the aroma, though. And, for a Belgian, the esters are somewhat contained. There's some spice and plenty of fruit flavors, but it's not as over-the-top as the style can sometimes be. After the initial sip, you may detect residual flavors of alcohol and yeast. Still, combined with the generous use of bittering hops, this is a very well-balanced beer.

Mouthfeel.
Very smooth, with medium to low levels of carbonation. A great mouthfeel for the style.

Overall Impression.
Trinity Tripel is a highly drinkable and approachable Belgian beer. For those not accustomed to traditional Belgian beer flavors, Trinity makes for a compelling entry point. While the beer does contain many of the classic Belgian flavors — spice, fruit, yeast and alcohol — they're all a bit more dialed=down than they otherwise might be if brewer Jamie Fulton had decided to create a more classic representation of the Tripel style. I'd recommend this beer to the experienced and non-experienced Belgian beer drinker alike.

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Trinity Tripel a 9.

What's happening in the area beer scene this week? (Powered by Dallas Brew Scene.)
• Friday, October 18. Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. tasting at Whole Foods (Addison).
• Saturday, October 19. Real Ale Scots Gone Wild tapping at Meddlesome Moth.
• Monday, October 21, through Friday, October 25. Pumpkin Week at Holy Grail Pub.
• Tuesday, October 22, and Wednesday, October 23. Smokin' Hot Beer Dinner with Franconia Brewing at Chef Point Cafe.
• Wednesday, October 23. Oskar Blues beer dinner at The Libertine Bar.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
• Peticolas' Royal Scandal: 10.
• Revolver's Blood & Honey: 9.
• Martin House's Imperial Texas: 9.
• Lakewood's Punkel: 8.
• Community's Texas Pils: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Zomer Pils: 7.5.
• Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
• Peticolas' The Duke: 6.5.
• Cedar Creek's Elliott's Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
• Lakewood's La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.

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