Our third and final beer we are BrewViewing for JULY 2016 BREWERY OF THE MONTH is ST. FEUILLIEN TRIPLE. NOTE: The bottle date stamp indicated January 15, 2015.
BEER STYLE AND COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Style category: Belgian Abbey Triple
This beer has a white, smooth and very compact head. Its pale amber colour is very characteristic revealing a distinctive maltiness. It has a rich aroma with a unique combination of aromatic hops, spices and the typical bouquet of fermentation – very fruity. Secondary fermentation in the bottle gives it a unique aroma due to the presence of yeast.
St-Feuillien Triple has a very strong and exceptionally lingering taste thanks to its density and its long storage period.
Whether served as a refreshing aperitif in summer or savoured during the winter months, the Triple is a connoisseur’s beer par excellence.
Highly recommended Abbey Ale (Pale), World Beer Awards, 2009 (London).
OUR BREWVIEW OF BRasserie ST. Feuillien triple
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
8.5% ABV. We poured it at 45°F (verified with a VacuVin snap thermometer on the bottle) in the signature St. Feuillien chalice. It poured a deep golden color, with an SRM value around 6. It easily poured a voluminous, white colored, dense 2.5-finger head that was tightly bubbled. Rim color variation- pale gold, SRM value of 4.
The meniscus is medium to slow rising. The Brussels lacework the beer leaves behind as the head collapses, is even sheeted. (We ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass). After 7-8 minutes, the head does retain about a 1/4″ height, and during consumption time, it does sustain a 1/8″ height to the end.
NOTE: as usual, this BrewView is with the yeast dump, which is why you see the haziness in the picture. Also, the St. Feuillien chalice has a special etching at the bottom of the glass which resembles their Coat of Arms. This etching creates an aggressive center stream bubbling from the bottom of the glass. You can really “hear” the stream if you put your ear to the beer.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
By now, we have accustomed ourselves to the “St. Feuillien” bouquet- bready yeast, but more herbal and grassy than the Blonde. It has the classic “bubblegum” Triple aromas, but this go-round, the hop character shows through more than in the 2014 vintage, and slightly more than the 2012 vintage. The citrus aromas are similar to the 2012: lemon, grapefruit, but also have notes of the 2014 version: mature peach and apricot stone. There are also notes of Hibiscus honey as well; but make no mistake- 2016’s version has a bit more hop aroma than previous two. (This is to satisfy the beer world’s ever-changing palate for hoppier beers, perhaps? Who knows. It would be interesting to do vertical tasting experience someday…)
Classic Belgian Triple bready yeast flavors, more hop dryness than their Blonde, more citrusy. The spicy phenols are good, like the 2012 & 2014 versions, white pepper spiciness. There is a nice malt flavor to round it out.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
The first sip hits the tip of the tongue with it’s effervescence level, (more than the blonde). It does share a certain creaminess like the blonde, but not as much- there is more spiciness with the Triple. There is more of a hop bitterness in the finish, which does wake up the cheeks a tiny bit when swallowing. Those of you who drink hop forward beers know what I mean. The spiciness and bitterness does hit the back of the tongue and throat. Definitely invites you for that next sip!
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Since the Blonde and the Triple have somewhat similar flavor profiles, we’ll simply make the same food pairing suggestions.
APPETIZERS: Cheees- Bavikhove, Bleu de Gand, Gouda, Bouquet des Moines, Saint-Feuillien, of course! A good Charcuterie platter with assorted meats and pâtés.
ENTRÈES: Seafood dishes, for sure! The classic Moules-Frites, (cook the mussels with St. Feuillien Blonde) served with hop shoots (if you can get them) or white asparagus. Here are some other recipes from St. Feuillien’s website: Escavèche à la Saint-Feuillien, Fish Festival à la St-Feuillien. Chicken and veal pairs nicely too: Poulard à la St-Feuillien, Veal breast à la St-Feuillien.
DESSERTS: Three dishes come to mind- Liege sugar waffles (no syrup), Speculoos, and straight cheesecake.
St. Feuillien Triple is one the ales that the brewery markets the most. It is also considered by many beer enthusiasts as the brewery’s flagship beer. It is certainly the one we are most familiar with.
A true degustation beer, St. Feuillien is excellent to cook with, and to pair with a wide variety of foods (beyond what we have suggested in this BrewView). And since the brewery bottles it in Magnums (1.5 L), Jeroboams (3 L), Mathusalem (6 L), and Salmanazar (9 L) sharing one of these large bottles at your next event would be a true eye-catching showpiece (not to mention an instant friend maker!)
The St. Feuillien Triple is one of the best of the style in the market today. Seek this one out for sure, it is another world-class ale! And if you can’t find it in your area- you know what to do by now!
Santé mes amis!
BrewView author GORDON A. PONCE is the main driving force behind Belgian Beer Journal.com. Since 1983, Gordon recognized that beers from Belgium were special, set apart from the typical craft beer.
He views beers from Belgium (plus Belgian-style and Belgian Inspired beers from other countries) great examples of the brewer’s art. Gordon and his wife live in beautiful Northern California- a great place to enjoy Belgian beer! Ecclesiastes 8:15