Brew Review: Velvet Rooster

13 Jun

Brew: Velvet Rooster

Brewed by: Tallgrass Brewing Co. (Manhattan, KS)

Style: Belgian style Tripel (8.5% ABV)

The Velvet Rooster came out with a fair amount of hype later on in 2011, I don’t really know why. Maybe it was the first tripel in a can, maybe it was Tallgrass’s first Belgian style beer? I couldn’t really tell you why this beer was so hyped up. Either way I passed it up the first few times I saw it but then I figured why not see what the deal was with this beer whose release was apparently a big deal. Didn’t really go into it expecting much as I was just sort of curious about it and didn’t know much more than that.

The Rooster poured out a clear straw color. A bit yellow which was surprising. I have seen tripels from Belgium like Rochefort that were brown and much darker because of the roasted grain bill. So seeing this tripel it was definitely not the color that I was expecting and definitely much clearer than I would have ever imagined. It also came with a thick 1.5 inch white head that billowed up and looked like a big fluffy cloud or pillow.

The aroma was more of a Belgian Saison in that it was peppery and earthy. Once again not the first smells I would think of when I thought of a tripel. However after minute of getting past the pepper I caught a glimpse of the sweet malts that I associate usually with a triple ale.

The taste was also not typical. I got a solid malty taste right off the bat, which I was figuring and hoping for, something that would bring this beer back to what it was supposed to be. However, as I kept drinking this beer was not very heavy or bold, it was more light bodied and tasted more like Cynic Ale from Surly than anything. It had the Belgian farmhouse funk and peppery characteristics. There were some light hops that graced me with their presence for a brief moment which left the beer crisp but then faded almost as quickly as they came.

While not going into this beer with many expectations as I didn’t really know what to expect I got nothing like what I figured would come at me because of the style it was labeled as. Produced or marketed as a tripel but really drank more like a saison. It was light and crisp whereas a tripel usually packs a serious malt sweetness and body. So it was different but I might have labeled the beer as something different so that it didn’t really take people out of the experience even before their first sip.

Final Grade: B-/C+

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