Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle
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Ratings: 3,584 | Reviews: 1,573 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,584 ratings.