3rd December: Sharp’s, Connoisseureurs Choice Honey Spice Tripel. 10% ABV.
From: England. Type: Bottle-conditioned Belgian-style spiced tripel. Source: Sharp’s Brewery
I could put all three beers of the Sharp’s Connoisseurs Choice range in today’s window. The Quadruple won gold in the International Beer Challenge in September, and the Honey Spice Tripel silver. My tasting notes for the Quad and the Single Brew Reserve (bronze) were lost in The Great Krusovice Passport Robbery of 3rd July, so I’ll go with the Tripel as my choice.
All three beers are designed to compliment food, although when I paired the Honey Spice Tripel with some roast quail, it rather overwhelmed the dish. Purely the cook’s (my) fault.
The beer is intensely flavoured with biscuity malts and a suggestion of honey and coriander spice. You might think it would turn out cloying, but such is brewer Stuart Howe’s attention to detail with the complex fermentation regimen, the sugars are taken care of, and you are left with a dry-ish beer with floral hop aromas from Saaz and Styrian Goldings, and more aromas of spices and berry fruits from the fermentation.
If I failed with the quail there is bound to be a to be some fantastic festive fare at a Christmas near you to suit it better. You’d be a wise man or woman to try them all, though.