Before Christmas I wrote about the expensive Duvel Triple Hop which was available in Sainsbury's stores for a month or two. I stated at the time that the expense had to be risked as experiencing the beer was something which had to be done, and not to buy would be to regret.
Well, last month I tried it, and to be perfectly honest, it wasn't particularly special. To look at, it was very similar to Duvel in that it was golden with that huge rocky white head, but its aroma and taste were different, and not an improvement on its stablemate. To my palate it didn't taste any hoppier; I think the extra alcohol came through but the hops were perhaps unbalanced in their complexity. I didn't get any Amarillo at all, instead feeling the beer was dominated by the European hops. I felt a little ripped off to be honest, not so much by the price, but by the idea of the beer and the hype around its supposed extra hops. I felt the same when I sampled Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel last year.
Given a choice over Triple Hop and regular Duvel even at the same price I'd choose the regular. Allowing for the fact I can buy 4 750s for the price of one Triple Hop though, it's a complete no brainer.