Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,629 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,629
Hads: 4,113
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 348
Gots: 566 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,629 | Hads: 4,113
Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle, pretty neat one at that. Back label has numbers and months for a brewed on date, but they aren't notched.

Pours a hazy light copper with a monstrous head, almost looked like soap suds, with crazy large bubbles. As the head went down the froth clinged to the edges of my DT glass.

I can smell this beer from 2 feet away! Complex and fruity esters, vanilla extract, alcohol. When I first opened it I got a strong spiciness, very herbal. That went away quickly. The alcohol smell is really strong with this brew.

The alcohol is also strong in the taste. I can feel it burning its way down my to my gut. If I were to judge from the alcohol characteristics alone, I would guess this is the strongest beer I've drank, although I can think of quite a few I've tried with a higher listed ABV. This stuff hits my gut like a shot of whiskey. Super slick mouthfeel, with ample carbonation. After a few drinks I decided to pour the yeast, hoping for a rescue from the big booziness of this beast, all I got was a touch of nutty flavor. Lots of fruity green-apple-peel-tasting esters. Malt and hop flavors are present, but just get lost in a vat of pure alcohol dominance.

This is a first for me. I love tripels, and the other trappist beers I've tried have been top notch. There are some balance issues for me with this brew, way too much of a booze vibe going on. For $5 for a single 11.2 oz. bottle, this wasn't near as good as it should have been, unless you're just dying to drink really expensive, boozy beer. (1,531 characters)

Photo of Wonka
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 fl. oz.
9.5% Alc. Vol.
15/07/06
Purchased at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley, MD

Appearance – a bit murky orange-yellow body; nice thick white head early that goes away early; reasonable lace

Smell – grainy; orangey astringent; some light apricot

Taste – Yeasty; spicy; good tone of apricot; a bit of vodka alcohol and a bit of orange and grains

Mouthfeel – smoother as it warms; crisp carbonation; alcohol evaporates and dries at the end as it teams with bitterness

Drinkability – champagne-like burps are emitted; the crispness knocks back the drinkability a bit (591 characters)

Photo of HogHill
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured my Westmalle Tripel into my Rochefort Chalice (oh the sacrilege!), there was barely any head, just a white dusting, but that's probably due to my pouring skillz. The body looks to be a yellow golden haze with some orange highlights.
The aroma that comes wafting to my nostrils as I dip my schnauz into the chalice is that of esters, mainly of the banana variety.
Taste: a complex estery masterpiece. It's a spicy, but balanced, great blend of the esters and yeast, with a sustantially body for a light golden ale.
Feels very carbonated on the tongue, lots of bubbly action which lends to a dry finish. At 9.5% it even leaves me craving for more! I love the Westmalle Tripel, a true classic. (701 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer in the DBF for quite a few months and tonight's blustery and damn chilly weather seemed the perfect match for this lovely brew.

Poured a wonderful-looking cloudy grapefruit juice in color, but it's not about the color, it's about the pillowy, immensely thick, long-lasting, glass-coating, lip-saturating (I picture an ad in a beer magazine with someone drinking a glass of this with a thick moustache of head asking "Got Westmalle?") head that sits atop the beer. Dare I say...breathtaking. Aromas are quite yeasty, mixed with orange peels, bubble gum, a can of pineapple juice, and a dash of earthy funk. What was more surprising for me was how different the taste was from the smell. There was a pervasive "perfume" flavor to this beer. Not overpowering or unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but a very distinct flavor that mixes with the other flavors: fruit juices, peppery spice, malty sweetness. Finishes on the dry side, with a dose of bitter hoppiness arriving on the scene. ABV is up there at 9.5%, but is cloaked nicely by the rest of what's going on here. Not as thick or chewy as expected. Not as good as other tripels I've had, but it's very good. (1,193 characters)

Photo of amicar
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Really a wonderful golden- orange color with a beautiful white head that stays fluffy and full. The smell is nice and complex- delicate esters and slight spice. The taste is wonderful; well, actually a little better than that. Spicy alcohol bite (not too overdone), with a silky, smooth, full character; really womderful mouthfeel. Taste of wonderful pepper, a bit of citrus, complex malts. Easy to knock back one of these- but respect the ABV.

Overall, very nice. Getting a bit up there in the price to taste ratio, but still worthwhile. (541 characters)

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, honey gold with steady streams of bubbles travelling upward toward a thin but viscous, eggshell head.

Smelled somewhat skunky and farmy at first. As it warmed, some sweeter flavors exposed themselves... some honeysuckle, freshly cut apple, a hint of pineapple.

Tasted of crisp pears, sour apples, and sweet bananas up front. Prickly on the tongue and extremely smooth on the tongue. Finish is bitter, drying and consumes the entire mouth. Interestingly enough, this tripel's is more dry than sweet. It's tasty and highly drinkable. Even with the high ABV, it's hard to control yourself while drinking. Good stuff. (635 characters)

Photo of horndecker
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I first had this on tap in Antwerp years ago. I loved it then, but wasn't taking notes. So this review is based upon the bottles one gets here in the States.

I poured it into a Westmalle chalice, happily, and I got a gorgeous golden orange, peachy, glowing liquid; slightly cloudy with a fine luxurious head that had staying power and a lingering lace.
The nose is very clean and spicy; citric, yeasty and intense.
The taste is subtle malts, oranges, bread dough, spices, an herbal bitter finish that I want to call peppery, but that would be too specific. All with a juicy and concentrated mouthfeel - it's fabulous. How do they do this? Everything is perfect! (668 characters)

Photo of Weizenmensch
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My sister: This beer is EMANCIPATED!!! It's like honey with an aftertaste of utter beerness. Tripulent and succulent, with a gluey texture. Pretty colour.

My girlfriend: It's quite nice. Inspiring.

Me: Best triple ever. Pretty fresh and complex. Even good on a hot Aussie summer day. I'm getting more; much more. Only problem - its drinkability heightens majorly in the colder weather. Goes really well with pine nuts! (424 characters)

Photo of Paddez
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy, golden brew topped by a medium sized head wich dissapears after a short while after wich small, puffy circles of foam start appearing.
The smell is very convincing: malty sweet and fruity, with bananas and some faint yeasty, caramelly and metallic notes.

The taste is (malty) sweet initially, but there are also lots of spices along with some fruity and caramelly flavours. A yeasty undertone gives some woody aspects to the beer. Flows out in a pleasant, hoppy bitter finish. Some tardness in the background as well. There are lots of things going on in this beer yet somehow it manages to remain very balanced. Most excellent.
Medium body. The carbonation is a little too aggressive in my opinion.
The drinkabillity is very good, especially considering you're drinking a 9,5° brew.

An excellent and well-balanced triple. One of the best out there. (883 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle with a best before date of 12/08/05 into a Unibroue tulip.

Nice, healthy head of white that stays up for a long time. Lots of carbonation and some decent lacing down the glass.

Smells of bready yeast, citric hops. There's some clove and bannana in there too.

Tastes very dry with some citric notes. Long, warming finish, but I found the dryness to be a bit intense.

Nice full mouthfeel.

The dryness causes the drinkability to suffer, but I could see this as a wonderful brew to sip with a broiled chicken or pheasant. (561 characters)

Photo of Onceeven
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a honey gold, with a huge billowy head. Enjoyed this world class beer in my Duvel tulip glass, which is a treat in itself. The bubbles attached themselves to the etching in the bottom of the glass, creating an amazing stream of carbonation. There are particles of some sort floating all through the beer. Doesn't appear to be yeast sediment.
This beer smells amazing. Spicy alcoholic and fruity. Exactly what I'd expect from a tripel.
Hugely complex flavor.. apricots come to mind, but that is only the beginning. It's wine-like in its dryness. Seems to reduce the drinkability a bit for me.. but I can't seem to set this drink down! Stellar. (651 characters)

Photo of trancefishy
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mm, looks really good. light in colour with a healthy, well establish head. lots bubbles.

aroma is pretty nice. subtle, fruity, happy go lucky garden type of smell.

wow, kick in the pants with the taste. hearty healthy heaping amounts of malt with some alcohol to remind you this is real beer. bananas and clovers, pepper, and something unmistakeably belgian.

i want some more sips. gimme gimme.

good stuff. glad i found it. ever elusive these beers are. have fun drinking it, i know you will. i don't need to recommend this to you. i will anyways though. (568 characters)

Photo of Skidz
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out crisp, clear gold and sits a hazy golden orange in the glass with a monstrous, frothy white head that seems to hold on for ages, clinging to the sides of the glass, decorating it with streams of white lace.

Smells of lively fruits ranging from the ripest of pears to a dried, shrively date. Firm yeasty background brings with it wafts of sugar cookies and a light spicing of cloves. Light grassiness for a compliment. Moderate caramel presence, though it is fastly approaching sugar candy.

Taste is rich with fruits; apples, pears, starfruit, pineapple and passion fruit. Sharp, grassy hop bitterness takes a bite out of the sweet, malty flavors. Yeast begins to dry the tongue while being helped by a rather biting alcoholic presence. Crackery starch presence with bits of juicy oranges running down the sides. Finishes mildly bitter, leaving an abundance of dry grassy flavors and light hints of tropical fruit.

Soft, lively and delicate in the mouth. Medium-light body races up and down the mouth. Easy to handle and enjoyable at that.

A solid tripel all the way. Hits some high, spicy notes but it well balanced with loads of tropical fruits. It's hard to drink, as I know it will be gone too soon. (1,224 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden-straw color. I poured carefully and still ended up with an enormous head on this bad boy..possibly the largest I've ever seen on a beer. The aftermath of the head dissapating looks like a warzone.. Lacing spun on the glass in random patterns, the rocky head peaks in some areas and valleys in others, incessant bubbles stream from the bottom towards the top of the glass, and specks of sediment are found floating around this brew like flakes in a snowglobe...Stunning and downright impressive.

Smell: Take your pick...name a spice, flower, or fruit and it's probably in here. Sweet malts are evident as well as yeast, honey, and mild hops. Can't pick up any alcohol in the nose. Utterly too complex to fully describe.

Taste: here's the hard part...where do I even begin with this one? Spices are perfectly done..cloves and coriander (when overdone offend me greatly), but they are done in perfect proportion here. Fruit flavors are amazing...this beer almost seems artificial the way flavors appear and fade in the beer, one after the other..it almost seems orchestrated. The 9.5% abv doesn't distract a bit..it's hidden wayyy too well. The warmth is noticed in the stomach only, not in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. lots of carbonation, even to the last sip. Smooth, refreshing, and a treat if there ever was one.

Drinkability: As drinkable as any beer. it begs another sip as soon as your lips leave the glass. I'm impressed...

Easily one of the best Belgian's I've had. (1,536 characters)

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden-straw in color with a wispy, lacy white head and yeast suspended throughout.

The aroma is sweet, yeasty, sugary, and tart, with some fruit and other aromatics. There's a strong presence of alcohol up front in the taste, followed by more yeast, ripe apricots, honey, pale Belgian malts, a touch of pepper, and sweet nectar. It starts sweet and slick, then gets dry and crisp, fizzing on the tongue, before fading back to a soft aftertaste.

Very, very good. (469 characters)

Photo of pcblion
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is very much like a good wine. Wonderful color and a very pleasant smell. Very smooth taste, almost like a hefe. Surprisingly potent. It's a tough one to find, especially when you live in the Florida panhandle (read Bud/Miller country) , but this one is worth searching out. I wish I had another. (306 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma of this beer hit me like a Mack truck from the instant I opened the bottle. The beer smells wonderful, like a good wine with a malty background. The pour looks like a white wine until the massive fluffy foam starts to build, quickly filling the excess of the glass and slowly diminishing to about a quarter inch. The beer appears a hazy light golden color with a dark bronze core complete with an eruption of tiny bubble streams fizzing to the top.

From the taste, I can't believe I am not drinking wine; and if it weren't for the thicker yeasty body and the malts there would be no convincing me otherwise. The taste is fruity, like grapes and oranges, with a rather strong kick of alcohol in the finish.

On the first few drinks (probably a bit colder than serving temp), the mouthfeel was quite harsh; whether it was the cold, the alcohol, the carbonation, or a combination of any of these was unsure. Gradually I got used to it and I had to considerably bump up the mouthfeel and taste scores. That being said, I would highly advise not giving into the temptation of drinking this before it reaches the suggested serving temp.

By the time I finished the glass, I felt like I had just drank a few glasses of wine, which is somewhat different than I usually feel after putting back a few tasty brews. This is quite interesting, and in a good way. The drinkability is very high in the "Do I want another?" factor, but in the "Could I handle another?" I would say no for the time being, lest I wake up with a hangover or spoil the perfect buzz leftover from such a wonderful brew. (1,598 characters)

Photo of JackStraw22
3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First off, this beer has easily the largest head I"ve ever seen on a beer, big white, fluffy, foam. Good retention, some lacing too. Cloudy, deep gold body with lots of bubbles. I like the aroma, very sweet, but a light sweetness. I hint of floral hops hiding in there too. Can really taste the alcohol in this, a little too much. It has a very dry finish, that actually leaves me thirsty. Doesn't taste as sweet as it smells (425 characters)

Photo of IceAce
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured first 2/3 of the bottle into a tulip to reveal a body which was sunny yellow with a CO² enriched disposition resulting in a three finger collar of stark white foam. The composition of the head was of both impossibly large bubbles along the glass sides and tight, dense foam toward the middle.

The nose is sweet with rich malt...bubblegum almost...with gentle assistance from the barnyard-like yeast. The first taste is strong with concentrated malt dominating the tongue while CO² scrubs the inside of the cheeks. The midtaste is bright, chewy, and complex enough that no two sips seem identical. The finish is comprisedof a fresh crisp hop bite quickly overridden by the wonderful yeast promised by the nose.

This beer is very, very good...and adding the final 1/3 bottle (and subsequent yeast) only made it that much better. Definitely the best bottled Tripel I've had the pleasure of consuming. (912 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A golden yellow beer with a slight haze. Has an enormous bright white head. There is astrong sweet and spicey aroma. The sweetness hints at fruit and candy. The spiceyness is a good robust hop invitation. The flavor has a soft fruit sweetness to it carried along by a prickley carbonation. The finish is a nice spicey hop finish. If you pour it to the bottom of the bottle you will get a much more cloudy appearance. The alcohol does not have a strong presence in the flavor but does make it's self apparent in a warm glow in your stomach about half the way through the bottle. (577 characters)

Photo of proc
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a bright gold in the glass with an explosively, large head. Quite a bit of cloudiness follows the initial pour. The aroma reminds me a bit of bourbon. The taste is very good, and maintains a slightly spicy, peppery, Beligian profile. As the beer warmed the ABV seemed to come out more. This beer definetely needs its "happy" place, temperature-wise. Too cold or too warm detract from its quality. (409 characters)

Photo of joecast
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

large fluffy white head sits above a slightly cloudy, deep gold colored beer. plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the top.
full yeasty, banana aroma.
very strong flavor contributions from yeast, and alcohol. heavy maltiness thought not sweet. has a good level of bitterness, but cant tell if its coming from hops as there is no real obvious hop flavor, or if its coming from the high abv.
mouthfeel seems rather harsh which may be helped from some aging. this bottle is dated BB 8/06.
so this is what those monks spend all their time on. not a bad line of work if you can find it. myself, i would need time to get accustomed to a beer like this. it doesnt make any appologies for being as strong as it is, and possibly because of its youth, came off a bit rough around the edges. (794 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
3.52/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This first thing I noticed right away with this one was a monstrous banana smell. There may very well be bananas in this one. A bit of cloves. Cloudy yellow orange in colour. Thin fizzy head than hangs around for a bit. Par for the course with Belgians. You know the drill. As much as it pains me to say so, this stuff really has a bitterness to it that I just totally do not care for. Very disappointed indeed. I have been looking forward to tasting this for quite some time now. The texture, or mouthfeel, is quite nice. Smooth and just heavy enough for the style. Again, I don't know what the hell is going on with the taste, but it seems offensively bitter. I am, however, just now getting over a sickness that has incapacitated me for last four days or so. Perhaps my sense of smell and taste are still a bit impaired. I certainly hope so. I should re-review this in about a week or so. Until then, tonights review stands. (927 characters)

Photo of RedBaron
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer of '05. Wow.

Appearance: Hazy golden brew with spritzy, sustainable head.
Smell: Banana-y, slight clove and a nice, subtle dry hop aroma.
Taste: Complex malt and fruit flavors up front, a great yeastiness in the middle, and a wonderfully dry finish. Nice attenuation.
Mouthfeel: Bulky and divine! A nice, taut tripel that packs a solid punch. So much complexity with each sip.
Drinkability: A 'must sip' brew. This is one global great to be savored. I appreciate the yeasti-ness to this beer above all of the wonderful characteristics, and the fact that this beer is bottle-conditioned makes it quite evident and appealing. Outstanding. (656 characters)

Photo of MrBen
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice, sweet, and fruity tripel that doesn't hold back. Nice presentation, nose, and color. It scores high in my style points, though I did give slightly lower marks on mouthfeel and drinkability. Yes, I expected to find the alcohol on the nose and palette fairly quickly -- it is 9.5% ABV, after all -- but I felt that in combination with what I perceived to be a little too much carbonation at times, those two categories couldn't break the 4.0 mark. That said, it's still a fantastic beer. However, I prefer others in the same style, such as St. Bernardus Abt 12, Pater Lieven Tripel, etc. (601 characters)

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,629 ratings.