What’s the difference between a triple and a Tripel?

Answered by Robert Flynn

When it comes to the world of beer, there are countless styles and variations to explore. One such style that often piques curiosity is the Tripel. But what exactly sets it apart from a regular triple? Is it just a matter of spelling? Let’s dive deeper into the nuances of these two terms.

To begin with, the term “triple” can be used to describe a variety of things in the beer world. It is often associated with beers that have a higher alcohol content compared to their regular counterparts. For example, a triple IPA is typically hoppier and stronger in alcohol than a standard IPA. Similarly, a triple bock would be a bock beer with a higher alcohol content.

On the other hand, the term “Tripel” specifically refers to a style of beer that originated in Belgium. It is typically pale in color, strong in alcohol, and has a complex flavor profile. Tripels are known for their fruity esters, spicy phenols, and a dry finish. They are often brewed using a large amount of pale malts, which gives them a light color and a rich, malty sweetness. The alcohol content of Tripels is usually around 7-10% ABV, but can sometimes go even higher.

So, the main difference between a triple and a Tripel lies in their origins and the specific characteristics of the style. While a “triple” can refer to any beer with a higher alcohol content, a “Tripel” refers to a Belgian-style beer with specific flavor profiles and brewing traditions.

It’s worth noting that the term “Tripel” itself does not actually indicate that the beer has been tripled in any way. The name is more of a historical reference to the strength and potency of these beers compared to their more common counterparts. In fact, Tripels are not necessarily three times stronger than other beers, despite the name suggesting otherwise.

In my personal experience, I have had the pleasure of trying various Tripels from different breweries. Each one had its own unique character, but all shared the common traits of being flavorful, aromatic, and deceptively strong. The delicate balance between the fruity notes, spicy undertones, and the high alcohol content makes Tripels a delight to savor.

To summarize, the difference between a triple and a Tripel lies in their specific styles and origins. While a triple can refer to any beer with a higher alcohol content, a Tripel is a Belgian-style beer known for its complex flavors, pale color, and higher alcohol content. So, if you’re looking to explore the world of strong and flavorful Belgian beers, don’t hesitate to give a Tripel a try. Cheers!