Vicaris Tripel Gueze

Choosing a beer to drink on my birthday is serious business.  My wife took me to our local beer shop and told me I could get whatever I wanted…and spend whatever I wanted.


Apparently my life is lacking in important decisions, because faced with a monumental task like this, I got visibly nervous and anxious…like I was stepping on to the starting line of a huge race.

I think I probably picked out, carried around, and put back a half a dozen other beers (a black IPA from Montana, a local Imperial Red, a few Belgians, some unmarked bottle of blackmarket pilsner, a Wild American Ale from the East Coast) before settling on a tripel Gueze from the Brouwerij Dilewyns in Belgium. I generally enjoy tripels, most guezes are pretty interesting, and I’d never even heard of blending them.  Let’s give it a go.

vicaris$21 for a 750mL is a hefty price, especially since it’s only 7%ABV (which leaves it woefully short of Eric’s-ABV-per-ounce-ratio-calculation-thingamajig) but what the hell, it’s my birthday!

First, a bit of history on the beer. As the story goes:

“…at the Zythos Craft Beer Festival in Sint Niklaas, the Dilewyn’s booth happened to be right next to that of the Girardin Brewery, which makes some of the finest Lambics in Belgium. While tasting each other’s wares, they accidentally ended up with a mélange of Vicaris Tripel and Girardin Gueuze in a glass. This combination proved to be so delicious that Vincent Dilewyns decided he had to make it an official beer.”

Pour: A nice dark golden honey with a hefty bit of white head sitting on top. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Malts and grains, typical Belgian spices, lemon, definite funkiness, ammonia.  A bit more complex than typical minerally guezes.

Taste: Definitely more effervescent than I’m used to. Dry with some chamomile. Not boozy.  No hint of tripel at all.  No fruit at all, and only slightly sour. More tart than anything.  It had a nice long finish, but the whole beer was rather thin and lacking in…something.  Some definite funkiness helped round it out a bit, but not enough in my opinion.

Halfway through the bottle my wife noticed I wasn’t enjoying the bottle and asked what was wrong in a “I just saw a dog get hit by a car. Is it yours?” tone and it all went down from there.

More sour profiles came through towards the end of bottle, but that could have been me hoping them to come through more than anything.

All said, quite a let down.  For the price, I was expecting more from the triple and more excitement. I wanted more quality. This was like a subpar gueze with some extra sugar thrown in.

Would I drink it again? Yeah, I guess.  Buy it? I’d spend a few bucks on it to give it another chance, but wouldn’t spend anywhere near what I paid.

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