Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle
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Ratings: 3,584 | Reviews: 1,573 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.06/5 rDev -5.6%
Pours a dark-ish golden color with banana tinted edges. Cloudy, hazy, and basically opaque, as I would expect any tripel to be. Super volatile - even a modest and careful pour produces a humongous, cloud-like white head that takes up more glass space than the beer itself. Surprisingly enough, no real lacing left behind, save for a bit of wet legging that doesn't last forever.
The aroma is unabashedly sweet, complete with an almost pickled/vinegar like aroma and plays along with the sweetness in relatively competent harmony. Ripe, sweet, candied bananas, coated in sugar and swimming in a sea of malt. Lots of Belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, and other various spices. There's no doubt that there's a lot going on here - a very complex orchestration of malty goodness. Phenol alcohol character builds up as the beer gets warmer, cutting through the sweetness a bit, somewhat expected at 9.5% ABV. A mild, musky hop ending closes things out.
I take a sip and the first thing I think of is sweet water taffy - banana flavored of course. This beer gives off a "candied" sort of flavor, which doesn't really come as a surprise after smelling it. There's a mild musky bitterness up front to help balance some of the sweetness overload. Each sip reveals more and more flavors; rotten mashed mangoes, clove, leaves, Belgian yeast, sugar coated plums. Definitely a lot to take in.
At first, the alcohol is very low, but even with moderate warming, the phenol characters bounce out and attack the senses pretty heavily - maybe almost a bit too heavily. Despite the beer's sweetness, the heavy alcohol warmth and front-and-center hop bitterness do a valiant job of keeping this beer from seeming too sweet. Somewhat dry finish, medium bodied and carbonated pretty heavily.
Very nice tripel, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. Most people have come to expect greatness from all of the trappist breweries, and why shouldn't they? Not my favorite tripel, but very good nonetheless.
03-11-2013 11:55:41 | More by tectactoe
3.93/5 rDev -8.6%
Pours a deep hazy golden color with a huge blooming head that leaves a masive amount of lacing,I get a large dose of grassy hopps in the aroma with a light spiciness.Flavor has a smoky quality along with a big dose of grassy hop finishing big and spicey.A beer full of flavor just what I was looking for very well done.
04-16-2004 00:51:40 | More by oberon
4.88/5 rDev +13.5%
Appearance Large head with great lacing and a beautiful, cloudy orange color. The bubbles on the head are huge. You almost want to take a picture of it.
Smell Fruit and spice hit the nose along with the classic Tripel malt and yeast. This one has a huge bouquet, and the yeast and orange notes are perfectly balanced.
Taste This is hard core. The yeast is big and tight even after the ale warms. The spices are monstrous. I can pick up some heavy coriander and powdery white pepper and allspice.
The fruits are amazing. This is raw, organic, just bought at the local health food store kind of flavors. It really is something else. The alcohol evens things out. Everything is amazingly controlled and balanced. The finish is pale and hoppily bitter, but not overly so.
Mouthfeel This full-bodied Tripel has some of the best carbonation that Ive ever experienced. The complex and bitter finish is in a class all by itself.
Drinkability The amazing flavor of this beer, along with the terrific sensations that it creates in the mouth, makes this one a real classic.
Comments The say that this style originated right here at Westmalle. I can certainly believe it. There is a depth to this ale that I am failing to describe. This thing is awesome.
Update This was the 12th beer that I review on the site. Now, in 2004, over 1,000 reviews later, I thought Id re-write my rating.
I have had other Belgians that shared portions of these flavors, but nothing that brings them all together like this one. This really is the ultimate Tripel in my book and certainly sets the standards for all others. The balance is the key to this ale, IMHO.
08-08-2003 01:39:45 | More by RoyalT
4.63/5 rDev +7.7%
Starts out with a blistering apricot/tropical sweetness that makes its way towards the hops, then grapes, and finally a nice dry vinous finish with just slight notes of coriander and whiskey. The glowing orange appearance and healthy dollop of cream make it quite the looker as well. Perhaps the best tripel Ive had and certainly the most drinkable. A truly top notch beer.
02-03-2006 17:48:47 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.05/5 rDev -5.8%
Serving date: 2009-03-01. Served in snifter.
Presentation: 330 ml bottle with the Trappist collar around the neck. Freshness date (best before 2010-06-30) and glassware recommendations printed on the label.
Appearance: The pour is orange colored with a two finger ivory-colored sparkly head that settles after a short while but leaves a nice coat of foam.
Smell: Pleasant sweet fruit aromas (apricots). Earth and dry hay. Pepper, yeast and a gentle sting from the alcohol. The smell is somewhat reminiscent of white wine - very nice.
Taste: All in all a rather crisp taste with decent amounts of malts. Plenty of fruits - apricots, some banana, citric notes mostly in the form of lemon, and a vague taste of grapes that strengthens the resemblance of white wine I got from the smell. Rustic honey flavors. Big taste of peppery alcohol and spices. Subdued flavors of earthy yeast. The finish is rather bitter, more so than expected, and has a bold spicy alcohol character that seems to linger on forever.
Mouthfeel: Medium body that feels a bit sharp due to generous amounts of carbonation that feels very lively in the mouth.
Drinkability: A very good beer and as most Trappist beers, it showcases a very well balanced complexity. The alcohol is perhaps just a little too present, though. The white wine character I got, mostly from the smell but also to a lesser degree in the taste, was very pleasant.
03-02-2009 15:16:24 | More by ricke
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
First review! Let the merriment begin...
Appearance: Poured into a deep red wine glass. Huge, slow retreating, 3.5 finger head that had a beautiful, snow-white hue. The beer has a beautiful golden color, almost transparent. Tiny strands of carbonation crept up the sides of the glass.
Smell: Very fresh and sweet, with hints of peach, mango, and caramel right off the bat. Not much alcohol detectable in the aroma, just a wonderful yeasty fruitiness. Other aromas hinted at include cherrywood and white grape.
Taste: A rich, semi-sweet, syrupy caramel-vanilla flavor. Fruit flavors on the palate include golden raisin, crisp apple, and peach. A nice, long, dry finish complements the rich, fruity taste.
Mouthfeel: Very creamy, with a warm boozy feel on the palate. A much fuller feel than I expected from this style. Very well balanced with a good medium carbonation that waltzes on the tongue.
Drinkability: A very smooth brew. Perhaps a tad too sweet with a sneaky-high alcohol content for much than one or two in a sitting, but I will definitely enjoy one of these as a treat from time to time.
Overall, I thought this was a phenomenal beer. I am just getting into to Belgian ales and this was a truly delicious brew. Highly recommended.
01-15-2010 22:45:46 | More by TCHopCraver
4.88/5 rDev +13.5%
look ~ pours a straw color and is fairly hazy. actually, it looks a lot like a wit. The head is good: two fingers of white moussy head off a hard pour, falls very slowly, and leaves some nice lacing. No real visible carbonation in the glass.
smell ~ really, really nice. belgian yeast is front-and-center for this one: bubblegum, spices (mostly pepper rather than clove), and fruits (banana and citrus). not a lot of the malt character comes through. some nice hop crispness, which falls into the same spicy-fruity range as the yeast and is hard to pin-point exactly in relation to the yeast.
flavor ~ also exceptional and very well balanced. pretty much the same characters as the i got on the nose, but with a bit more of the grainbill coming through. malt-wise, i get some light breadcrust and a bit of wheatiness. The yeast character is the same balance of spices (pepper) and fruit (banana and citrus). hop bitterness is medium-high and has a bit more of a floral and herbal character than on the nose, which plays well into the finish. not as much heat as i'd expect from the abbv, but some nice high-alcohol floral notes. finish is fairly dry.
feel ~ light body and higher carbonation support the lighter flavors (i think it would feel more 'muddled' with a heavier body). the higher carbonation also dries out the finish and plays well with the hops.
a real treat. complex without being muddled: the flavor has a lot to offer and explore with each sip. highly tasty and drinkable, this one is really sneaky given the abv.
i really love trips and this one is quite literally the grand-daddy of them all!
04-02-2012 01:30:49 | More by Rijtjeshuis
4.83/5 rDev +12.3%
A wonderful spicy/fruity aroma.
Lively head at first pour that subsides somewhat but remains to the bottom of the glass.
Beautiful golden honey color.
Highly carbonated, almost champagne-like mouthfeel.
Complex malty flavor with lots of spicy depth.
12-12-2010 04:52:13 | More by PintPiner
4.8/5 rDev +11.6%
Appearance: The beer pours a hazy golden color with LOTS of carbonation. A 1-inch head forms immediately and is staying put about 10 minutes after the fact. That's impressive head retention. It leaves some nice lacing as it goes down, but don't count on it sticking around.
Smell: It smells of sweetness, light-colored fruit that I cannot put my finger on, and a boozey-smell that reminds me of champagne. I cannot really smell hops, but let's see how it tastes.
Taste: Clove, banana, spices, esters, and a boozy flavor that warms up along with the beer.
Mouthfeel: Bitter hops are almost non-present at the beginning, but you'll experience them around the end of the beer's flavor. Westmalle Tripel ale has the dry, spicy finish that I crave.
Overall: I could have written another 2-3 paragraphs about this beer, but it's so darn tasty that I hit the major points and skipped the nuances. This is a tasty, fine, and EXPENSIVE beer (Think it was $4.50 or $5 for that one bottle) that one might only buy for a special occasion
01-14-2013 00:58:35 | More by Clonies720
4.78/5 rDev +11.2%
A: Poured from a 750ml into a Westmalle chalice style glass; fantastic golden orange colors with near white head and excellent lacing.
S: Pleasant spice and citrus nose
T: Initially somewhat fruity with spicy notes in a relatively quick dry finish. Definitely warming but not in an obtrusive way.
M: Medium bodied with good carbonation
D: Smooth and enjoyable, especially for the alcohol present; A tripel to measure all against.
Easily my favorite Trappist and an absolute favorite in the Abbey style Tripel catagory. If it wasn't so cost prohibitive I would enjoy it much more often. Classic.
01-25-2008 21:29:37 | More by SIRIUS2
4.83/5 rDev +12.3%
Presentation: 33cl custom European-style brown bottle, with raised glass stamped "trappist" around the neck.
Appearance: Cloudy pale orange with a nice head! It's got the whole Brussels Lace going on with a creamy, bitty head that sticks a retains with little awakening (swirling in the glass).
Smell: Tart apricot, lemon grass, pepper, pale malts and alcohol all wrapped in a slighly pungent aroma.
Taste: A bit crisp upfront with a slick mouthfeel. Many layers to this brew: fruit (ripe passion/apricot), big burst of spicy alcohol, fresh cut hay flavour, dextrin sweetness, raw honey, yeast and a slight medicinal background flavour. Complex. Very complex.
Notes: The quintessential triple in our humble opinions. An exceptional beer, blissful to taste. Roughly 9% abv.
11-06-2000 00:00:01 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.43/5 rDev -20.2%
A - Opened and it was a gusher, had been sitting in refrigerator for over a week and was opened like normal. Lost about 3 oz. of beer. Poured with a two finger head, extremely cloudy, with lots of yeast and junk floating in it. Extremely carbonated, most carbonated beer I have ever had.
S - Clean pilsner malt smell, slightly sweet aroma with some phenolic spice.
T - Some residual sweetness, very spicy phenolics, alcohol, with a somewhat tart and harsh finish.
M - Too carbonated, I like a nice carbonated Trippel but this was ridiculous. Light and dry when you can get past the C02 assaulting your mouth.
D - One was more than enough for me.
I can't even describe how disappointed I was in this beer. I was expecting something extraordinary and what I got more like a decent home brew Belgian Strong Ale. I have two more and am hoping that this was just a bad one. I have never had a gusher like this and the over carbonation was just insane. This can't be the same beer everyone loves so much, especially since I really like Belgians!
04-29-2009 23:47:45 | More by steelerguy
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,584 ratings.