I mentioned in my last review that we went to a few beer release parties over Memorial Day Weekend, 2 to be exact. This would be the 2nd. As our lovely and patient wives were out shopping, we had a solid hour to kill before we could meet up with them. And thanks to our trusty GPS, we were not far away from Hardywood, so we ran in and scouted the place out, immediately getting ourselves into the line for this year’s version of Peach Tripel.
Peach Tripel, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Richmond, VA)
Belgian Tripel, ABV: 8.2%, IBU: 25
Presentation: Tap pour into plastic cup. This was not a day for tastings or formalities. A couple thousand people and swing dancing kinda put the day on single servings and we went with the flow.
Appearance: Slightly hazy dark yellow to golden, head was off white and not really apparent. I would chalk that up to presentation, but nothing about the appearance seemed off in any way.
Smell: Both the Belgian musty/bready/yeasty and array of faint fleshy fruits monopolized the aroma.
Taste: Strong first sip, with the tripel really taking over from start to middle, finishes with peach/apricot sweet dryness.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: You know that you are getting a higher ABV with this one. It is medium heavy and it carries the strength of the tripel and it’s 8.2% right up front. Not a tart finish, but more dryer as the fruit kicks in at the last moment, akin to taking a bite of a peach. No reset on this one!
Overall: I’m slightly torn on this one. Hardywood has always put out very assertive flavors in their Reserve Series: raspberries, blackberries, pumpkin, coffee, ginger. I find that the fleshy fruit does not push through this tripel as much as the other ones in the series did. That being said, it is a quality Belgian and the fruit notes are spot on. It is perfect for the cooler summer days in the shade, but with it’s weight and ABV, watch out after a few. You can find the 750ml in most stores now and it is a buy now, drink now selection.