Triumphant Are the Beer Angels
A Review of TriUmphant by NoDa Brewing Co.
Posted on 9/16/2013 by Chops
                   
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It is often said that true connoisseurs embody their passions. This same nugget of wisdom can be applied to the craft beer world. The more and more I learn about great beer, the more and more I want to partake in the world it lives in. I like to visit breweries and meet the brewers. I like go to beer festivals, pairings, tastings, tap takeovers, and other events. I like to home brew. I like to learn about brewing history. All of these things actually work to inform my palate.

Earlier this year I found myself mingling with North Carolina's finest brewers at the Bull City Food & Beer Experience. One particular highlight of the event for me was getting to meet Chad Henderson, head brewer at NoDa Brewing Company out of Charlotte, NC. We discovered that we shared very similar views on numerous brewing topics, which led to Chad and I hitting up a lot (and boy do I mean a LOT) of tasting booths together. It was a really fun evening that I look back fondly on.

So going into NoDa's TriUmphant Belgian Tripel, I cannot help but think back to that particular experience. Chad is a very talented brewer and I got to discuss his dedication to craft beer first hand, which of course informs my expectations of his products. It's a powerful connection, much like musing on inspirations with a painter or enjoying a backstage pass to a concert. But I digress, let's drink some beer.

In the glass, TriUmphant has a warm golden orange coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I found a base of sourdough bread infused with candied citrus and a touch of spice. There is a complex sweetness profile at work in this beer and the notes come from multiple angles, be it tropical fruits, caramel, alcohol, etc. Going into the first sip, I expected a big syrupy sweet Belgian with a hint of tang.

Unlike with most Belgians, the first note to grab my attention was the alcohol. Not in a bad way mind you, but more as a fascination. It's very crisp from start to finish and acts almost like a substitute hop profile. It adds both a tangy sweetness and a bitter-like spiciness to the mix, which I found to be just as baffling as it was intriguing. I spent probably half of the bottle just studying the alcohol warming. A sweet banana bread character acts as a fluffy foundation on which a layer of candied citrus rests. I also found notes of caramel, raisins, and mild spices. The beer has a solid medium body and drinks fairly smooth. The beer finishes warm and exits with a lengthy mild burn of sweet alcohol.

Overall, NoDa's TriUmphant Belgian Tripel is a delicious American version of a time-honored style. It has great flavor, lots of presence, and a zesty personality. It's one of the very few Belgian Tripels that I can recommend to any and all beer fans. However, I will caution novices because that hefty 9.7% ABV is very well hidden. Proceed with care and show this brew the respect it deserves. For seasoned drinkers, TriUmphant is an imperial treat that you can sip on all evening. This is a beer session you want to prolong because a triumph it most certainly is.

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TriUmphant by NoDa Brewing Co.
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