Monday, June 3, 2013

Forgotten Coast Belgian Tripel - Grasslands Brewing Co.

This is a recurring monthly series in which I taste and share my thoughts on a different beer from Grasslands Brewing Co. as they progress on their journey to open their doors to thirsty craft beer lovers (2014).  Grasslands is an up-and-coming brewery out of Tallahassee, Fl. that centers their philosophy on making quality "earth first ales." I will taste pilot batches and share my thoughts with the BeerApostle community. You can read past posts about Grasslands beer in the archive section of this blog. 

Brewery:  Grasslands Brewery
Tallahassee, FL
Style: Tripel
ABV: 8%

I am incredibly excited about this review as this is the first of three beers in this series that I will be reviewing. All three brews are a variation of a Belgian Tripel-style ale. Today's brew is a 1st batch recipe from Grasslands and a brew they anticipate will eventually be a seasonal release. 

Forgotten Coast was brewed in January, bottled in February, and now being consumed in June.

Appearance: This is on the darker side for the style. Tripels are generally slightly darker than your average Pilsner, but still golden in color. As you can see from the image, this pours a yellow-red in color and is slightly cloudy. This resembles a Belgian dark ale more than a Tripel, but I'm not complaining. I like 'em dark. The only critique I have of the appearance is the quickly dissolving head. I definitely would like to see more presence here.

Aroma: Tons of spice! I have always been drawn to the amazing scent that comes from strong Belgian beers, and Grasslands doesn't disappoint here. I got a lot of dark fruits and malt on the nose with a subtle sting of pepper and alcohol on the back. The aroma is really spot-on for the style.

Taste: The flavors follow suit with the aroma. The malt base is prominent and nicely balances the spices that I pick up on the front of the palate (cloves, pepper, coriander). Despite the spices, Forgotten Coast has a decent sweetness that brings an enjoyable, clean finish. I am actually pretty shocked that there isn't a stronger aftertaste given how strong the initial flavors are. This beer is well-balanced and very easy to drink (which would be dangerous if I didn't have just one bottle!).

Mouth: This is a medium body beer with carbonation that packs a punch at first and quickly fades to a smooth finish on the tongue.

Overall: Great beer. Honestly, this reminds me a lot of St. Sebastiaan Dark, which happens to be one of my favorite Belgian beers. That is, however, my greatest critique of this beer. Forgotten Coast looks and tastes like a Belgian Dark...but again, I am not sure this is all that big of a problem. Regardless, the Belgian profile is well done here and I could see this becoming one of my preferred Belgians once this is on the shelves.

Price: Because Grasslands is up-and-coming, they have asked me to share my thoughts on a recommended price-points for their brews. For a pint, I would anticipate paying around $5 given the gravity, alcohol, and seasonal nature of this eventual release.

Interested in becoming a Grasshopper?

If you're interested in getting your hands on any of Grasslands' brews before they open, register for their Grasshoppers Club which is your ticket in to getting exclusive releases from the brewery before they open. As a Grasshopper, you'll be eligible to enter the monthly lottery drawings to sample beer and provide critical feedback that may contribute to the final product. You can also check out Grasslands on Twitter and Facebook for more information.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks a ton for this, Brian! Yeah, I definitely understand that Tripels should have more of a straw to burnt gold color and the head will likely be more persistent with a lower ABV. My major flaw: I love caramel - and it shows with how our beers are slightly darker than the typical style. This one adds in a few different flavors you don't expect in most tripels (which you hit on: dark fruit, caramel, etc.). We add turbinado to the boil and get a little extra caramelization, which contributes a bit to the darkened appearance.

    Can't wait to see what you think of the other two experiments! :)