Weizenbock vs.Tripel: Side-by-Side

sensory analysis Oct 25, 2022

In this episode of the Beer Scholar "Classic Style Side-By-Side" series Advanced Cicerones Chris Cohen & Chris Crowe sit down to taste and discuss the differences between classic BJCP commercial examples of German Weizenbock and Belgian Tripel. We went with the lovey St. Bernardus Tripel, an Abbey ale, vs. Weihenstephaner Vitus, a relatively pale Weizenbock. These are both widely available around the world, so you should be able to do this one at home.

We thought these beers would be more obviously different than they turned out to be. They share several similar characteristics, they're pale, yeast flavor forward, and fairly strong. Their yeast derived ester (banana, apple, citrus) and phenol aromas (clove) and surprisingly alike. The giveaway is that the tripel has a much drier body and is more effervescent. The weizenbock has a much denser chewier body, is a touch sweeter, has a longer lingering finish, and has some vanilla and doughy wheat flavors not found in the Tripel.

Remember, NEVER rely on visual cues in a blind tasting! Practice and get familiar with it, do your reps!

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sensory analysis