Mother Earth “Tripel Overhead” – Belgian-style tripel aged in bourbon barrels – 9.0% ABV – 20 IBU (my best guess)
Mother Earth Brewing out of Kinston, North Carolina, tries its hand at a Belgian-style ale, and I must say they nail the flavor like Ron Jeremy nails… any vagina that gets in his path, to be honest. I’ve had many American attempts and most of them are good, and none of them have ever replicated the flavor of Belgian yeast like the Trappist monks until this one. And to add a touch of the “good ole’ US of A”, Mother Earth has aged it in bourbon barrels (a very popular craft beer trend here).
But to be 100% honest I have to grade this one a little lower than I probably should, due to what I believe may be a bad bottle (or one I did not store properly). The carbonation died on me halfway through my first over-sized wine glass of what seems to be an otherwise magnificent beer. So please take heed: my rating on this would be likely to go up if I had a fresh bottle that yielded the right texture. From what I have gathered in my research, my experience with this brew is not the status quo. This review is based solely on one bottle, but I cannot in good conscience tweak my review by incorporating an extrapolation of popular opinion.
The liquid of Tripel Overhead is opaque, copper brown/honey in color. The head is bright white, tight, and rather thin but interesting: it maintains an even film across the top of the liquid for almost the entire session, which is impressive considering this is a sipping beer that takes a while to finish. The aroma is poignant with phenol, medicine and sweet whiskey. The flavor is a perfectly smooth and balanced rush of clove, banana, oak, bourbon, sweetbread, and that signature spicy, medicinal, phenolic flavor from the Belgian yeast. The aftertaste is pure satisfaction: warm pancakes with a dab of bitterness and booze.
The lacing in this brew is thick, clear, sticky and glossy, with small foamy splotches. When I drank my first glass I made the mistake of attacking it and guzzling like Johnny Weir and Clay Aiken in the 69 position, and the phenolic flavor bothered me. So I dropped it down a few gears and slowed down to a sipping pace for my second glass. At that point I gleefully hit my beer g-spot, sprung a beer boner, and engaged in some beer auto-eroticism.
And now it’s time for the frowner: the texture of this beer was disappointing. About halfway through my first glass it went rather flat. It was at first well carbonated and smooth, but then it became like a warm soda. The flavor carried me through with plenty of beer happiness and I trust the texture was due to a fluke. Because of this, drinking this particular bottle felt like getting a 7-10 split in a game of bowling. Son of a BITCH! But still, due to all its other achievements I felt victorious in the end.
Did you see Looper? Great movie. Piper Perabo appears topless in it. That broad is smoking hot. Her personality and her looks are both boner-inducing. And I was excited to see her topless in Looper. I had a box of tissues ready for the reveal (“Mom, go in the other room, please”). But when she did in fact put those tiny little titties of hers on my television screen I thought I was staring at a hairless cat standing on its fucking hind legs. It made my jaw drop and my bottom lip protrude from my face as if it was outfitted with a tribal lip disc. But I got over it. The rest of her is still stunning. That is what drinking my bottle of Tripel Overhead felt like. Because at the end of the day… I still saw Piper Perabo’s titties! I win!
Style: 8/10 (would be a 9.5/10 if it didn’t go flat)
Overall: 7.5/10 (would be a 9 if it didn’t go flat)