I'm staying in Belgium today because Christmas is not complete without a Belgian tripel. This particular one is from the Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck. I know nothing about the brewery or this particular beer so I've done some reading. The brewery has been owned and operated by Xavier Van Honsebrouck, the fifth generation of Van Honsebroucks in Ingelmunster, since 2009. The history of the brewery dates back to 1865 but it was in 1900 when Emile Van Honsebrouck, the son of the founder (Amandus) moved to the current location in Ingelmunster where they built the Sint-Jozef Brewery. It was renamed to the family name in 1953.
Plenty of history behind the name then and this particular beer, a potent 11.0% ABV Tripel, was launched in 1995 although the recipe has recently been changed to include more aroma hops and there is certainly a strong aromatic aroma with fruity and floral notes to the fore. The tripel is my favourite Belgian beer style but this one doesn't really grab me as much as I was hoping. My wife thought I was giving her a strong cider to drink. It is probably a little too carbonated too.
The beer is a pleasant looking blonde and after experiencing the strongly aromatic aroma and remembering I am not drinking a cider the first thing I detected was a sweet malty base which was a little biscuity. The fruity notes consist of apple and oranges with some pear drops in there too. In the finish there is a gentle floral bitterness but this never takes control with the fruit maintaining a strong presence throughout. Not a bad beer but there are better Belgian tripels for sure. This one would get a 7.5/10 from me I think.