The Little Brewing Company produce a strong monastic ale they call Mad Abbot in the tripel style. With most beers of this type, there is a tradeoff between flavour and alcohol, without being too sweet. The Mad Abbot mixes the 9.5% alcohol with a light fruit flavours without the sickly syrup of a strong beer.
This beer is lively, and also bottle conditioned, so each beer may be slightly different, but also full of flavour. It finally settled down in the glass, and still has moderate carbonation on the tongue, which distracts from the fruity alcohol, but not too much.
Being bottled conditioned, it is slightly cloudy. There is a light mango-coloured body with a white head which dissapates quickly at first, but lingers into a thin top.
The aroma of this beer is dominated by a couple of distinct groups, there is the alcohol sweetness, of course, but also a peach-like fruit, and to a lesser extent some hop aroma. For a heavy-alcohol beer, this is surprisingly light in aromas, it still has a good range and not heavy-handed in one particular type.
This beer is best served cold, or the flavours become too strong. Initially there is not much flavour, the beer is dominated by the carbonation, and the bubbles hit your tongue. Once these have dissapated, then the middle flavour strides out with a smooth body and the peach-fruit tastes that you can get from the nose. It is slightly flavoured with chewing-gum to go with the peaches, which can give you an odd chemical taste. On to the aftertaste, and this is where the smooth warming strong alcohol flavours come out. More fruit (not similar to a Belgian fruit beer, this is a subtle fruit taste), and finishing off with a slightly sweet hop taste.
Summary. A smooth and slightly fruit-filled monastic beer, which is best served cold and sipped slowly. Very good job from The Little Brewing Company.