Abbazia delle Tre Fontane - Tripel
- Alcohol by Volume: 8.5%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 46-53° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Snifter
Brewed with the abbey's signature eucalyptus, this tripel pours a bright, hazy, copper amber color, with a rocky head of khaki foam that persists well before dropping to a lasting collar. Tripels, like Belgian ales in general, are known for their very yeast-driven character, and we get that here in spades. Look for distinct herbal, spicy, and earthy notes of clove, pepper, and mild eucalyptus, joined by fruity impressions of stone fruits, apple, and light citrus, all underpinned by a honeyed bready character. On the palate, we picked up prominent fruity notes of apple, pear, and citrus, shot through with a wealth of yeasty herbal, phenolic character conjuring coriander, clove, and cracked pepper, augmented by a eucalyptus contribution which, to us, seems more prominent in the flavor than the aroma. The spicy notes offer an intriguing counterpoint to the malty backbone which comes through with some bready and light toasty character, and just a touch of sweetness. A dash of spicy booze, hop bitterness, and effervescent carbonation add plenty of lift and a drying bite. For pairings, don't be afraid of bold dishes. Roasted fowl, spicy Thai dishes with basil, margherita pizza, a bleu cheese sampler, or a peach, citrus, or apple-based dessert sound like winners to us. Salute!
The Abbey of the Three Fountains, as we would call it in English, is an ancient monastic site built at the location where St. Paul is said to have been beheaded in the year 67. Legend has it that his head bounced three times and from those spots sprang three fountains which flow to this day.
The abbey is one of three Trappist abbeys in Italy, and in 2015 became the first and only one to brew beer commercially. More formally known as the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, Trappists are well known among fans of Belgian beer, as many of the finest ales in Belgium – and the world – spring forth from the Trappist abbeys of Westmalle, Orval, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Achel and, most commonly encountered, Chimay. This brewing tradition provides an important income source for several Trappist abbeys around the world, funding operation of the abbeys and supporting their charitable works.
When the Trappists were first granted control of Tre Fontane in the mid 19th century, the area was so filled with malarial mosquitoes that it was virtually uninhabitable. Around 1870, the monks set about draining the area and planting eucalyptus trees, which are thirsty and useful for drying swampy areas, and the threat of malaria eventually disappeared. In 1873, the monks began the sale of eucalyptus oils and extracts, and this connection has continued all the way into their present day brewing techniques, with the monks employing eucalyptus as a unique addition to their beer. We're excited to have the opportunity to bring you this special ale this month. Cheers!
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