Duvel Tripel Hop

Duvel Tripel Hop

In the third instalment of our four-part blog series, we present another heavyweight of Belgian beer- the Duvel Tripel Hop blonde IPA. The hops in this exquisite beer are Saaz-Saaz, Styrian Golding & Citra. Personally speaking, this is one of my favourite beers due to its taste and colour. It is available from the The Belgian Beer Shop.

About Duvel Tripel Hop (

Colour: Blonde
Alcohol by volume: 9.5%
Character, taste and aroma: An elegant but pronounced bitterness with a dry finish. Its citrusy fruitiness and hoppy bitterness are well-balanced by its alcohol content, and combine to make a complex and refined marriage.

Belgian Beers
Origins and process of Duvel Tripel Hop (

Whereas the classic Duvel is traditionally brewed with two varieties of hops, the Tripel Hop (as its name indicates) involves the addition of a third variety of aroma hops. The Duvel Tripel Hop was produced for the first time in 2007, but only as a one-off limited edition.

After a bet with Michel Moortgat, and an associated Facebook campaign, the Belgian beer tasters’ association called “Lambiekstoempers” (presided over by Johan Madelijns) collected 12,000 signatures, leading to the beer being taken back into production in 2010.

This beer has now been part of the standard Duvel-Moortgat range since 2012. Although the basic ingredients are the same as those used for the traditional Duvel, each year a new aroma hop is selected to become that third hop variety.

2010 saw Amarillo hops used, in 2012 Citra hop was selected, while in 2013 the brewery plumped for a Japanese aromatic hop variety called Sorachi Ace. In 2014 head brewer Hedwig Neven chose Mosaic hops. In 2015 the third hop chosen was Equinox. For Duvel Tripel Hop 2016 the third hop selected was so new that it was just a number; HBC 291, an experimental hop variety hailing from the Yakima Valley.

After putting the six different Duvel Tripel Hop blends into a limited edition Duvel Tripel Hop tasting pack in late 2016, fans got the chance to vote for their favorite. Citra came out on top and will be permanently used as the third hop variety from 2017.

The Tripel Hop is based on the dry-hopping technique, where the bells of the aromatic hops are added, not only during the cooking stage in the brewing room, but also during the maturation phase.

This adds to its pronounced aromatic flavour, giving a richer taste palette, additional hop aromas and a more powerful bitter flavour. The Tripel Hop also packs more of an alcoholic punch than its elder brother.

About Belgian IPA (

Inspired by American India Pale Ales and Double IPAs, more and more Belgian brewers (like Chouffe & Urthel) are brewing hoppy pale colored ales for the US market. There’s been an increase of American brewers making Belgian IPAs, too. Generally, Belgian IPAs are considered too hoppy by Belgian beer drinkers. Various malts are used, but the beers of this style are finished with Belgian yeast strains (bottle-conditioned) while the hops employed tend to be American. You’ll generally find a cleaner bitterness versus American IPAs, and a pronounced dry edge, akin to an IPA crossed with a Belgian Tripel. Alcohol by volume is on the high side. Many examples are quite cloudy, and feature tight lacing, excellent head retention, and fantastic billowy heads that mesmerize (thanks, in part, to the hops). Belgian IPA is still very much a developing style.

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