Friday, 17 June 2011

Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

The phone rings in the middle of the day: an emergency call from the wife.

“Hi, what’s up? Everything OK?”

“I’m in the supermarket. You’ll never guess what I’ve found!”

“What?”

“Chouffe IPA.”

“Really?”

“Yeah”, says Fiona. “How many bottles should I get?”

It’s wonderful how, after 19 years of living side by side, two minds become one...

“How many can you carry?”

We had no idea Chouffe made an IPA. Actually, we didn’t know that any Belgian brewer was really concentrating on this style. And with our recent IPA proclivities, this is big news.

So, not wishing to waste any time at all, we tried it this evening.

It pours a gorgeous cloudy gold, with loads of fizz and a robust head. The taste is immediately hop-rich, for sure, in that way of all IPA goodness, with strong floral and citrus notes. We think it’s creamier and more buttery than other IPAs -- that's the tripel part, the Belgian shining through -- and it’s also quite strong at 9%. And very bitter.

“It’s almost too bitter,” says Fiona, “almost too harsh.”

Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel is very good. An excellent find, though it’s powerful and almost intimidating stuff. For a hoppy Belgian session beer, we’d still prefer Taras Boulba. But for special occasions and dedicated tasting sessions, Chouffe IPA is very much worth picking up if you ever see it in your supermarket.

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