Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

4,035 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,035
Reviews: 1,631
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 332
Gots: 532 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-06-2000

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,035 | Reviews: 1,631
Reviews by hanco005:
Photo of hanco005
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one in the cellar for about 6 months and decided it was time, 11.2 oz bottle, best before 03/01/08, poured into my St. Bernardus glass

A—pours hazy light orange with a 1 inch fizzy bright white head, fade away in about 3 minutes, leaving islands of bubbles floating on the top

S—orange and other citrus fruits are mild, some plum notes, alcohol is faint at first, then very strong as it warms

T—spicy and a little hot as it warms, some bready and malty tones, very mild citrus. Pepper on the exhale.

M—fizzy and dry, a little chalky, almost champagne like, light and crisp, lots of carbonation in this one

D—good, the flavors really get stronger as it warms…I think I started it off too cold. I would have it again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Jason
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

You can find this one just as much as the Double in Belgium and everywhere in Brussels. Sweet nectar of the gods I could not get enough of it ... it was so damn fresh even the bottles that I drank at 1:00 am in my hotel room to put me asleep were obviously ten times fresher than what we get in the states.

Photo of founddrama
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

And the heavens opened up. That Westmalle yeast. That bright, eye-opening flavor. Big decadent foamy head. Aromatics all over the place. This beer downright sparkles on the tongue. Those marvelous, characteristic esters.

Yep. Dangerously drinkable.

#MensJournal100Best2014

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is among the best of the trappist. Looks peachy and coppery. Highly carbonated and formed a rocky and persitant foamstand that laced well and shows good legging. Smells very sweet of honey, fresh fruits and berries, spices, alcohol, and that unique belgian souring. Tastes malty and candy sweet. Powdered sugar and honey. Sweet fruits of pears, peaches, and raspberries. Spices of clove, corriander, all-spice, ginger and pepper. Sweet alcohol becomes a bit harsh and phenolic in flavor. Remains firm in body throughout the session. High, sweet alcohol combined with the carbonation becomes numbing and playful through the entire mouth. Finishes dry and hot, leaving mild tartness, sourness and lingering hop flavor (noble varieties). This is a very complex and well matured, handled beer. I'm sorry that I have passed this one up so many times previously.

Photo of ENogueira
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

11.2 oz bottle in a chalice glass. Yellow in color, with a thin head of foam, little lacing. The Westmalle Dubbel is one of my favorite brews, so I had very high hopes for this one, and it didn't disappoint. The sweet aroma of fresh fruit is top notch. The taste hits with sweet, ripe banana initially, then rush of earthy spices and herbs that blends in with perfection. The carbonation is excellent and the finish is hoppy but sweet, and very crisp. The alcohol is surprisingly under control for a 9.5% ABV, and it seems to linger a bit in the background. It's an amazingly engineered trippel. It seems that every Trappist-style ale that comes out of Westmalle is liquid gold. A must for any beer aficionado.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coruscating gold with plumes of particulates so fine they nearly escape notice. The head is breathtaking in its magnificence. It's bright white, huge and hugely rocky. Scattered chunks of lace cling to the sides of the glass, although they could be more numerous. A second pour further animates the beer and breathes even more life into the beautiful crown of foam.

The nose is more spicy than fruity and falls just short of the bar set by the appearance. It's a little lacking in depth and breadth, but I'll reserve final judgment until more of the foam is gone. The aroma is of spiced pears and musky hops with an overlay of well-integrated alcohol.

Westmalle Trappist is an excellent tripel. While it's more boozy than most, that doesn't bother me a bit. The alcohol is so well-incorporated and such an integral part of the flavor profile that to lessen it would be to lessen the beer as a whole. Overall, I'd say it's less fruity and less sweet than most. The emphasis here is on spices (white pepper, cardamon, clove) and an almost arid dryness.

I prefer more candi sugar, but it's hard to argue with the bracing, snappy dryness. Westmalle Tripel isn't a training wheels tripel and it forces its drinker to appreciate it on its own terms or not at all. As expected, it opens up with warming and the various aspects of its personality become both better defined and more tightly interwoven. This is great beer.

The mouthfeel is medium-full. Like most Belgian beer, it feels lighter and more airy thanks to the abundant carbonation. The best word that I can think of to describe the mouthfeel is 'quality'. Less or more of anything wouldn't work nearly as well.

Westmalle Tripel is one of the best examples of the style that I've ever had, along with the outstanding De Dolle Dulle Teve. Even though it doesn't taste like what I've always thought was my preferred tripel profile (fruitier and sweeter), it's still more than impressive and is compulsively drinkable. Bottom line: this tripel is a home run.

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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 I’ve 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 I’d 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.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 I’ve had and certainly the most drinkable. A truly top notch beer.

Photo of ricke
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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!

Photo of PintPiner
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Clonies720
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of steelerguy
3.44/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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!

Photo of Dmann
3.84/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A very good beer but I do not think I got a completly fresh bottle. The pour was very good and this is easily one of the best looking beers I have ever seen with its excelent head, color and champagne like bubbles. The scent was hard to detect at first but then the tropical frutiness and doughy scents came through and were very nice. The flavor was very unique and not what I was expecting at all. The flavor was quite sweet but had a very dry off putting quality to it that made me think I got a bum bottle. There was not much flavor at all other than sweetness and dryness in the finnish. I will have to try another bottle for sure.

Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky yellow color. Smells of juicy fruit and maybe a little clove. Taste is wonderful, a little juicy fruit, a little yeast, with alcohol present, but not dominating. Despite that, this is a very drinkable brew (although I think I might revisit it in the summer months).

All in all, this one is darn good. Definitely a must-try.

Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a brandy snifter.
After all the hype, I had to try it and now I can say I did.
Appearance is good enough. Head retains well. Very effervescent with many flavors and feels to the palate. A citricy aftertaste. I'm a relative novice at appreciating complex beers so I may change my rating in the future, but so far, it's good, but not worth the very premium price.

Photo of dill
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 33cl bottle into a snifter.

A - a light orange, golden color with a nice, white head.

S - grapefruit and a bit of a nice funk

T - some grapefruit, passionfruit, and yeast. the alcohol is also detectable.

M - crisp carbonation. a nice one to sip on.

D - at 9% abv, this is a great beer to enjoy slowly over the course of an evening. that would give you time to enjoy all of the complexities of the flavor and aromas.

Photo of Beaver13
2.72/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy gold with a huge frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet corny malts with some lightly spiced grassy hops and some alcohol. It's almost malt liquorish.

The flavor is sweet malts with a decent grassy hop finish and some spices (coriander). The is some noticeable alcohol in the finish and becomes pretty hot as it warms. The mouthfeel is medium to full with decent carbonation.

Overall, I've had much better Tripels. This was too strong in alcohol, overly sweet, and pretty simplistic.

Photo of shapudding
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a full champagne-like eggshell colored head that stayed along for the ride! A+ for head retention. Very effervescent. Cloudy and golden, unfiltered cider appearance. Noted the interesting shaping of the bottle which is intreiging. Label all in german, so no knowlege to be gained there about this triple... Vineous scent, apple juice. First taste is more alcohol than anything else. Extremely high in carbination, but still smooth. Sweet apples and chardonay, but bitter background. Reminds me of when playing with food and peeling grapes and just eating the skin off of them. With such a high carbination I cannot see having more than one of these, and I am not one for high sugar flavors, I find the sweetness here to be a bit cloying. Decent with bread and cheeses though.

Photo of generallee
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a goblet. A best before date is printed on the back of the bottle.

Appearance: The body has slightly hazy appearance with a bright golden yellow color. Also there is some nice visible carbonation and lots of little bits of floating yeast in the body. On top sits a tall, stiff, white head that has great retention and make lots of slick lacing that coats the glass before slowly sliding down the sides of the glass.

Smell: The nose is full of fruity and funky yeast, sweet malt and fresh wet hay.

Taste/Mouth Feel: There is mild sweetness from the malt and fruity/funky yeast. There are notes of apple, pineapple, golden raisin and lemon zest that are wrapped up in a mild warming alcohol. Hops are very light and the finish gets slightly tart and dry with just a hint of hop bitterness. The body is about medium to full with a smooth rounded feel and the carbonation is in perfect balance to cleanse the palate for the next sip.

Notes: This is one of the finest beers that I have had in my opinion, and worthy of a perfect score as I can't find anything to improve on except for maybe the yeast sediment in the appearance but I like the yeast in Trappist beers.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 4,035 ratings.