Monks’ Tripel Ale Reserve is brewed by the Benedictine monks of The Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico. The monastery began brewing in 2005. The Tripel Ale was introduced in 2013. The monks market their beer under a separate company to ensure that proper taxes are paid and so that they can run the business as needed. The beers are marketed as Abbey Beverage Company. The beer is available in a 750ml swing-top bottle.
The big difference between the Monk’s Tripel Ale and the Reserve is that the Reserve is brewed using their house grown native American hops which are from the neomexicanus subspecies. Sierra Nevada Brewing will be releasing a beer using this subspecies in their Single Hop series later in 2014.
Appearance: Lightly hazy light gold, beige head, solid retention.
Aroma: Earthy, herbal, sage, mossy, grassy, grape/white wine notes.
Taste: Honey, biscuit, herbal notes with a spicy finish.
Overall Impression: The neomexicanus hops definitely give this beer a different character than their regular Tripel. It adds a much more herbal and grassy tone to the beer. With a medium-long finish, this beer is balanced a bit towards the sweetish side. Again, this is another interesting and tasty Benedictine brewed, American interpretation of a Belgian classic. Worth the taste if you can find it.
Availability: Select Southwestern States and Mid-Atlantic States. You can view their website for a more detailed list of what states they’re in with which products.