Saturday, May 7, 2011

Zax & Urthel Hibernus Quentum Tripel

I was getting restless in Killeen so I decided to take a daytrip to Austin.  Stopped in the REI in Round Rock and later saw a movie in a giant art-deco theater on the south side of the city.  For dinner, I decided on the Zax Restaurant and Bar after a Google search told me it was one of the best places in Austin to have a pint.  It's a pretty upscale place with bistro-style menu and pricing with a fairly impressive tap and bottled beer list.  I don't know; I expect "great place to have a pint" to be more like Zeno's or Gene's Place, but this was sparsely filled with upscale, older patrons drinking wine and cocktails with their meals.  Maybe the crowd changes later in the evening, because I actually arrived early enough to see the most overrated 2 minutes in sports.  After that spectacle I got a tasty steak salad with crumbled blue cheese and a very nice discontinued Tripel.  Strangely, they wouldn't accept my Military ID as proof of age, but then I got an awesome 50% military discount (not including tax) on both my meal and beverage.

I don't know why De Leyerth Brouwerijen would stop brewing their Urthel Hibernus Quentum Tripel when so many folks seem to have liked it.  Maybe the high-end sources for their ingredients dried up and they didn't want to compromise in finding substitutes.  The last bottles were capped in 2008 and the one I tried had a different label that what shows up in an image search, so it had probably been aged for at least 3 years.  I want to call it a Kolsch or Blonde-like Tripel because of the lighter golden color, thin head, and grain/bread flavors.  It had a medium body compared to the Dark Belgians I usually go for with an unobtrusive 9% ABV to let you know it's still a Tripel.  I picked it out of the list because it was a Tripel I had never heard before and I got lucky that it was so was good.  I'm noticing a drift in tastes towards the brown ales and dark Belgians so I probably wouldn't have chosen this from all the others in their stores had I known it was so light.  I would get it again if I ever see it since it was pretty good, but only going to get more scarce as time marches on.

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