Name: Triple Bag
Brewing Company: Long Trail Brewing Company
Location: Bridgewater Corners, VT
Style: Strong Ale – American | Triple Amber Ale
A malt-forward, sweet, sipping ale with a nice hop finish
From Long Trail’s landing page for the beer:
Triple Bag is a small-batch beer brewed from a single infusion that uses only the first running of the mash. The resulting brew contains only the purest part of the grains, which yields a uniquely rich, dense flavor.
At 11% ABV, this brew is an example of brewing purity that is rarely experience by those other than brewers themselves.
Long Trail Brewing is one of the legacy craft brewers in Vermont. For many years, their beers were in constant rotation in my fridge and coolers. Their Blackbeary Wheat was a summer staple, I’d often grab their “Survival Pack” variety pack in the summer for poolside sipping. One of their elusive beers was this one, Triple Bag a “bigger” version of their flagship, Long Trail Ale, maybe the only flagship from a larger “craft” brewery that happens to be an Altbier.
A friend introduced me to this beer over a decade ago and that was the last time I had this particular weighty brew so it is with a bit of excitement, a bit of trepidation, that I open the bottle and pour it into my glass.
This beer doesn’t have a stand-out aroma, but there’s some element of roasted malt on the nose. The beer pours a deep amber, bordering on brown with a thin khaki head. It almost looks like a Barleywine, one that hasn’t sat in barrels.
First sip…the malts in the aroma follow through on the taste. There’s a sweet, fruit-like undertone in the body of the beer I find quite pleasing. The malt also evokes elements of toffee, lending an additional element of sweetness to the beer. Again, a pleasing element. The finish comes through quite strongly with the hop character. There’s a punch of aggressive hops that balances out the sweetness in the “middle” of the beer for me.
As I mentioned earlier, Triple Bag is a beer that has an interesting spot on my “internal” beer shelves. What surprised me the most is how aggressive the hops are in this beer. Ten years ago, I wasn’t as appreciative of a highly hopped beer as I am today so I’m a little surprised that my memories of the beer as as strong and positive as they are given the strong hop presence. Not that 65 IBU is overly hopped, but a level on par with an Imperial Stout or a Barleywine.
Speaking of Barleywine…the beer that this reminds me of the most, and I may be called crazy for this, is Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine. The color is quite similar the progression of flavors may even be parallel to each other. That said, there’s a more pronounced fruit/toffee element in Triple Bag. This is a beer to age, I had one from the four pack, but I think I’ll hold off on popping open more until at least a year passes.
This was a fun beer to revisit, it didn’t align with what I remembered it to be, but that isn’t a bad thing at all..
Recommended, link to 3.75 bottle cap untappd rating check in.