Breaking up the cascadian dark ales, I'm popping the top on a bottle from the all organic Eel River Brewing Co, Eel River Triple Exultation Old Ale.
Eel River Triple Exultation Old Ale was clear and cherry-wood red tinted brown with heavy carbonation and a thin head. The nose was sharp and spicy, with pine and floral hop aromas mixed with peppercorn and a faint hint of cloves.
Eel River Triple Exultation Old Ale opened with a big caramel malt sweet front and a subtle coffee background. Tripel Exultation sat creamy and oily in my mouth, and kept hinting at dried fruits without ever solidifying. Bitter notes persisted throughout the taste, and it ended on a toasty, almost burnt note. The 9.4% ABV showed through in the heat of the ale, somewhat undermining the sweet caramel-shake body of the ale.
Eel River Triple Exultation Old Ale is infinitely better balanced and more drinkable that the bottle of Eel River Organic Porter I tasted, but still falls a bit short of great. The sweetness, thickness, and high ABV exclude it from being a contender for a session beer, but it lacks the nuance and defined body to make it stand out from the crowd of sipping ales. It's worth a shot, and purportedly better out of the tap.