Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Abbey Triple

Sprecher Brewing Co.
Glendale, WI

Style: Abbey Tripel
ABV: 8.4%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Whoa... what is this strange space? Is it? Could it be? Why, yes... it is! It's the beer review section of this fine website, and Nigel has finally figured out how to use it after being in a coma for the past three weeks. I'd like to personally thank all zero people who sent Nigel their sympathy during this trying time. It's ok- I know Nigel as a vegetable is far less annoying than Nigel at full brain capacity (relatively speaking), so I totally understand.

Seriously though, Nigel, like the rest of us Beer Dorks, has been very busy with other tasks that at times makes it difficult to find new craft brews to write about. For example, the past three weeks have found Nigel trying to find a new apartment/mansion in a new city with a new job and a new Sugar Mama. As for Eddie, the past three weeks have found him on a new (ok, perhaps slightly used) futon in his parents basement with a boatload of new porno movies (you're welcome, by the way). The past three weeks have found Jill and Baby-Boy volunteering at a hospital in Malawi, trying to prevent Madonna and Guy Ritchie from buying- er, uh, adopting- anymore native children. As for Franz? Well, in addition to getting married in a few months, he's been spending many hours in his lab trying to build a car that runs on beer, thus making the cost of fuel much, much cheaper. Finally, the coroner's report says that Jug died face down in a bathtub full of homebrew. Deputies say it was a scratch batch gone horribly wrong, though something tells me he'll get an IPA IV and spring back to life real soon.

So alas, here we are with a new review, and what better way to start it than with a Belgian Triple Ale from one of Milwaukee's finest, Sprecher Brewing Co. As we know by now, Nigel loves his Belgian Ales, and I was very hopeful of this one. Like the Barley Wine from Sprecher I reviewed a few weeks ago, this is a limited edition release in the Brewmaster's series, so yes- I spent another 15 bucks on a liter of beer. While ya'll finish snickering, let me just say that a fine brew has no price tag... except for this one, which had a price tag that read $14.99. While there are three more brews in this series to review, Nigel's wallet just fled to Scotland, so I'm guessing the rest of them will have to wait awhile until proper funds- and stupidity- are attained on my part.

You may recall that Sprecher's Barley Wine received three mugs from yours truly, though it easily had the potential to go higher if aged properly. As for Abbey Triple, well... it's barely three mugs, and has no potential of going higher. I'm very disappointed, especially given the price, but it's not the worst beer I've ever had (Nigel went to college, after all). It's a fair attempt at a Belgian Triple, but by no means should it be considered a "Brewmaster's Special". Put it in a four-pack of stubby bottles and price it at $5.99, and brother, you've got yourself a decent bargain. Put it in a liter and charge the price of a filet mignon, and, well... screw that! Nigel has seen this in the past in the four-packs, and would damn sure like to know why the liter is supposedly so much better.

Abbey Triple pours a light golden brown color with a thick white head on the pour that dissipates quickly into a flat brew, with only a slight white trace at the top of the glass. There is some cloudiness along with the nice specks that accompany an unfiltered Belgian. All in all, a nice looking brew in the glass. The smell is very good, with a nice amount of fruitiness, dominated by banana. Orange zest, grapefruit, and a bit of spice (typical Belgian aromas of corriander and cloves) are also detectable to a lesser extent, along with a hint of yeast. The taste is what soured me a bit on this brew- it's not bad, but should be better. Nice and sweet due to the fruity ingredients, Abbey Triple has a decent hop bite at the end, but not enough to rescue this from the depths of mediocrity. A sting of alcohol is detectable which is never good in a fine Belgian, despite the high abv. The banana, apricot, and zesty citrus flavors are tempered a bit too much by that nasty flavor, much like you experience after a shot of sugary Carribean rum. Nigel's suggestion is to lighten up on the sweet and tart fruits, add a bit more hops, and boom- you got yourself a decent Belgian ale. The aftertaste is far too strong for the style, and it goes down a bit too rough. A medium-bodied brew that should be easier to drink than it is, I would have a hard time ranking this in the upper half of Belgian-style American micros. Sprecher has the necessary innovation to make a quality Belgian Triple, and should be ashamed for putting such an average brew into the category of "Brewmaster's Series". All in all, I'd recommend sampling it if you can find it in the stubbies, but DO NOT spend a huge amount of jack on a liter of a very average brew. Nigel is now off to Glendale to file a formal compliant.


Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on May 30, 2007.
Agree with this review?
Happy anniversary, Lakefront Brewery!

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...