Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,641 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,641
Hads: 4,159
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 360
Gots: 596 | 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.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Westmalle Trappist Tripel Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,641 | Hads: 4,159
Photo of cjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy pale orange / straw color with a nice three-finger-width head that likes to last. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

Smells fruity, spicy and yeasty. Apricots and bananas are present, as well as some darker fruit smells.

Sweet and just a little bit spicy with a bit of an alcoholic bite, but not overwhelming. Very strong banana flavors.

Pretty medium-heavy bodied mouthfeel. Kind of creamy, but very well carbonated which makes this quite drinkable. (462 characters)

Photo of KaiMiller
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have two different bottles of this of two different ages. From their website, I understand that the best-before date is three years after the brew date, so they are one and four years old respectively.

I don't have two identical glasses, so the younger beer was in a Leffe glass and the older was in my dear Duvel glass. Served at about 5 degrees - 45 for yanks - and allowed to warm up to more civilised temperatures as we went.

Younger:
Appearance: sparkly, thick smooth head, small bubbles. yellow-gold, nice lacing
aroma: peppery, fruity, yeasty notes. good. as it warms, grassy hops coming out mildly - saaz? becomes sweeter and even spicier; becomes less balanced, but richer
flavour: light, peppery, balanced yeast notes. flavour develops well as it warms.
mouthfeel: light, sparkly effervescent


Older:
Appearance: Darker, amber-gold, practically no head, thicker, cloudier. soapy film of head would disappear if not for etching in the duvel glass. no lacing
aroma: heavy, floral, almost cloying. not as nice as the new bottle. as it warms, syrup and floral, candied, gaining a hint of peppery phenolics, nice balance, port-ish now. less cloying than when it was cold. the hops come out more now that its warm, very mellowed, not grassy at all. english?
flavour: sweeter, thicker. not as peppery or sparkly. the fresh-fruitness of the first has become heavier, brandied, syrup. like a nicely aged cream sherry. opens up as it warms. black pepper notes. yeastier. alcohol comes through.
mouthfeel: thicker, heavier, chewy.

In short: a well-crafted, beautiful tripel, enjoyable for different reasons at different ages. (1,632 characters)

Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A: Beautiful soft golden orange with a slight banana hue to the body. Extremely hazy to the point of being totally opaque; unique given the relatively light color. Pours 1 inch of fluffy, ivory/eggshell head, which remained for literally the entire 20 minutes it took me to drink this miraculous ambrosia. I rarely get excited rating the appearance of a beer, but 5 is frankly an understatement.

S: Very gentle, summery aroma of wheat and ale yeasts with a floral hop bouquet. Notes of citrus. Not an overwhelming smell, which really belies the robust flavor experience ahead. On a positive note, I barely smelled the alcohol, despite the high ABV.

T: First reaction: this is one complex freakin’ beer. Rich malts, wheaty sweetness, baked fruits, summery spice, and notes of brown sugar and banana provide enough strong flavors to hide the 9.5% alcohol (until you get to the back). Yeasty citrus matches the aroma nicely. Surprisingly, all the tastes going on in this beer actually work together in perfect concert. And THAT is what separates a true Trappist, the product of generation after generation of monks perfecting their craft, from well-intentioned imitators. Whereas a lot of “abbey-styles” can come close to reproducing the wide range of flavors, only the real deal can make them come together so flawlessly into a unified, concentrated taste experience.

MF: Smooth and luscious. Silky texture fills the mouth without coating it. Makes its presence known, but then goes down easily. Not nearly as syrupy as some heavy abbey-styles. Once again: this beer excels where others try and fail.

D: This is, frankly, beer the way it was meant to be. I gave it a 4.5 for S, because I wish there was more of it. Rated it a 5 for A, T, MF, and D, only because I couldn’t give it anything higher. 5 is too low. Show some damned respect. Full body sits surprisingly light. While the ABV is fairly well masked, it will eventually catch up. That said, I received a single bottle as part of a gift basket, but could easily see throwing back a four pack. Do yourself a favor and drink this beer right now. (2,143 characters)

Photo of guinnessman
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this one in a wesmalle Trappist chalice. It poured with a frothy white head and a golden yellow huge.
With smells of citrus, vanilla, and a musty barn like aroma made it intriguing to me. The alcohol does prevail but does not overpower. There is also a hint of mint that I noticed after a few sips. The mouthfeel is a pleasant texture and a very smooth. A faint tickle as it flows over the palate.
A fine Tripel! (428 characters)

Photo of timobkg
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip, the beer was a clear golden color beneath a thick white head.

The aroma was a mix of bananas, cloves, and other spices, with a slightly sweetness.

The taste mirrors the aroma, providing a mix of bananas and spices, slight sweetness, along with the great complexity and depth that comes from the Belgian yeast.

The mouthfeel was effervescent and vibrant, the carbonation feeling playful on my tongue.

Tripels are not my favorite of the Belgian styles, but this beer completely blows me away each and every time I have it. It is the epitome of world class, and the absolute best Tripel I've had. (624 characters)

Photo of aussielars
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy, golden coloured with a big head that leaves lacing on glass.

Slightly pungent, smelling of caramel, grass, plums and spice.

Tastes of (omg I'm in heaven) caramel, spice, peach and plums with a dry finish. Gets better and better as it warms up with a nice after-taste of alcohol.

Medium to full-bodied with lots of carbonation.

Unfortunately, I only bought one bottle, and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. Yes, I want MORE! (438 characters)

Photo of GeoffW
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice copper color with a 1 inch head that styed around for quite awhile.

Smelled awesome, very complex. The alcohol was readily apparent.

Taste was again very complex with a little sweet and notes of all kinds of stuff coming through. I'll stick with 'delicious' for the sake of brevity.

Mouthfeel was exceptional despite the obvious presence of alcohol in the beer.

I could drink this stuff all day. (413 characters)

Photo of bilbobrewer
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

330 ml bottle purchased at grocery store in Brussels. BB: Jun 25, 2017
Chilled and poured in a tulip glass
Spoiler alert: This is about the 4th or 5th one of these I've had....finally getting around to reviewing it. Needless to say, I really like it.

Pours a cloudy, pale straw colour. Lots of creamy white head that dissipates fairly quickly but does leave some lacing on the walls of the glass.
Taste is bold and substantial, a nice blend of bready malt and yeasty phenols. Very assertive. Alcohol is there but not nagging or hogging the moment.
Aftertaste is dry and resiny, but not astringent. At 9.5% abv, this is a notable accomplishment. A subtle, well-balanced, dangerous brew. Excellent stuff....really a treat, and a true bargain here. (759 characters)

Photo of Doppel07
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark honey-lemon and yeasty body with swirling carbonated jets and a thick spumous white head. Yeasty aroma of oranges, coriander, mellow esters, and honey. Certain flavor characteristics specifically remind me of Orval, oddly. Great malt-sour-bitter balance here. Darkened sugar flavor and sweetness. Nice even palate. This beer has great synergy... the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. My favorite tripel. (418 characters)

Photo of goatherder
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pale golden with some yeast haze and a classic Belgian head which just won't quit. First impression on the nose is pepper, followed by malts and fruits which are different on every sniff. Complex, peppery malt flavours are followed by some warm alcoholic notes. The bitterness is crisp and leaves a dry finish, yet with a full mouthfeel. Yum. (342 characters)

Photo of jwheeler85
2.76/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into tulip glass-

A- Poured a nice orange/gold with a head on fine white lacing

S- There wasn't much going on at all in the aroma department. I was a bit disappointed.

T- Spices definitely stand out here and are backed by some fusel alcohol notes and a slight burn

M- Had a very bubbly mouthfeel

D- Average drinkability, but I really wasn't too impressed by this one. Probably wouldn't pay for it again. Maybe it was just an off batch. (461 characters)

Photo of TheBishop
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is off the hook, best Tripel hands down.

Poured into Chalice, good head, not thin like I've seen other reviews. Color is straw yellow and murky. Taste is complex and creamy. Alcohol is prevelant but not so much as to make it like cheap malt liquor. Mouthful is unreal, almost too much to describe, almost a shame to swallow. Drinkability I gave a 4.5, only because of high alcohol content, makes this a poor session beer.

Side note, I have been trying to get any trappist beer into this town for about 15 years, finally came through and was worth the wait (even if it set me back a few bucks)

A true representation of Tripel style.

Added note, after further review (drinking) I believe my hit on drinkability is unwarranted. This is the best in the style so there fore give it a 5 across the board. I have not found a better Tripel yet. (852 characters)

Photo of pourmeup
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured into my Westmalle Chalice, pours a hazy golden orange, with a THICK white head that remains for the entire glass
S- smells very yeasty and break-like, some light alcohol on the nose
T- has a light alcohol flavor, tastes of fresh cut hair, peppercorns, has a light hop falvor on the end
M- very light and fluffy, slight creaminess, heavily carbonated
D- goes down well, but i can only drink one in an evening (417 characters)

Photo of noslenwerd
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: A shade lighter than the gold medal at the olympic games... The head on this is amazing..still 1/4 thick 20 minutes after pouring

S: Smells much like other tripels, zesty malty clean and refreshing.

T: Wow, light but powerful. First taste is almost tart like lemon, zesty type of flavor. Very creamy mouth-feel...Tastes much like other Belgian tripels... What sets this one apart is the citrus type flavor, and it is a bit stronger than other tripels.

Summary: Very good tripel and on par with most others I have tasted. I will for sure be drinking this one again. (571 characters)

Photo of IrieJackalope
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Belgian style goblet. Lots of carbonation and the head foams up to about two inches right away and slowly drops back down. Ultimately, there's a think layer of head and some pretty thick lacing left down the side of the glass. Color is a golden, yellow-almost-orange, tone. Very inviting. The smell is almost completely dominated by the Belgian yeast strain that we've all come to admire in Trappist ales. The taste is delicious, with a smooth sweet malty taste. The yeasty smell is consistant in the beer's taste as well with spicy notes of clove throughout. There's a pretty viscous body, but not as full as I would expect from a Triple. Pretty drinkable, overall, but I would say that it fails to compare with other Trappist greats...especially Chimay's Triple. (798 characters)

Photo of edchef1850
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoy sitting down and savoring a westmalle every now and then. Its got a wonderful sweet and earthy aroma, nice head retention, and great legs. It has great balance in the mouth , and the high abv doesebnt really come through at all, aside from that initial warm feeling i get when i take my first sip. This is a great beer, sometimes overshadowed by Westy and Rocheforte, but for me never a disappointment (409 characters)

Photo of bigreduw64
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an awesome golden color. There was not much to the nose, just some yeast that I could pick up. The taste was very light and slightly sweet. It had a bitter finish that lasted quite a while. There was a good creamy mouthfeel that had a good carbonation as well. Overall, really enjoyed this one and would get it again when in the mood for a Belgian. (355 characters)

Photo of fbinla
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from the bottle with a huge thick head that sticks around long enough to enjoy. Light golden color, with a vibrant carbonation.

Huge Aroma, funky farm smells, with fruit and yeast that just explode in your nose.

A nice medium mouthfeel with spicy, grainy, tart apple, a mild sweetness and mild bitterness.

Each smell and taste gives you a different experience as it warms up and oxygenates.

This is an amazing beer, controlled flavors that keep on giving, it's a piece of art. Reminds me of the quality and flavor of an aged $100+ bottle of wine. I need more and more then more. So easy to drink, with a 9.5% ABV it can creep up on you quickly. (657 characters)

Photo of mjord23
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(from notes, 3/26/12) Poured from a bottle into a Westmalle Trappist glass.

Happy Birthday to me! Looked up all the beers that they had, and it appeared this one was not to be missed... and it didn't let me down!

A: Pours a beautiful hazy golden straw, with a light foamy head. The massive carbonation level keeps the beer from settling and just gives it a great appearance.

S: Sweet and citrusy, with subtle floral notes. Bananas and belgian yeast also are really prominent. Definitely makes you want to drink it!

T: Wow. All that was there in the smell really stands out in the taste. Malty, floral, honey, citrus... it's really flavorful and interesting. I keep going back for more. Definitely get the yeast, with some grassy notes and grapefruit towards the end. Finishes slightly bitter, but I like that, given the sweetness.

M: Highly carbonated, which I think works well for this beer. With such strong flavors, the high carbonation really keeps them moving and delivers them well. Drinks far to easily for a beer with this ABV!

O: Outstanding. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed the beer. I think the rest of the comments speak for themselves. If you can get your hands on it, do it. (1,206 characters)

Photo of BeerBoss
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is average with Belgium hops very apparent.

Very smooth start with hints of fruity notes.

Feels good on the tounge with not to much bitterness.

Has a slightly spicy and bitter finish.

Alcohol content well hidden. A good beer for sipping any time of the year. (270 characters)

Photo of cujocon
2.36/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

9.5% ABV
11.2 oz Brown bottle $5.95 State Street
Appearance: Hazy amber honey color
Very tall head sticks around a while
Bubbles coming from glass like champagne, but not strong
Smell: Beery, sweet fruit, a little yeasty
Flavor: foamy, coats the tongue,long lasting bitter aftertaste
Too much bitter for me, like grapefruit pith
Overall: 2/5 Not to my liking at all. It tastes like what I expect a beer to taste like, which is why
I don't like beer. Bitter and sort of bland. (479 characters)

Photo of Hopfist
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The gold standard in Belgian Tripels. For the money, a 750ml bottle is the best way to introduce yourself to the league of world-class ale. Consequently, it's also a sure bet to find disappointment in a good portion of every tripel you have for the rest of your beer-drinking life. Trying a couple of lower-rated tripels would be a great lead-up to enjoying this one for the first time. It's not the most complex or bold beer on the planet, nor is it particularly exciting, but it's fine-tuned balance and subtle nuances paired with a certain sentimentality makes this my favorite "everyday luxury" beer. (604 characters)

Photo of deeplennon
3.28/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours nicely with an appetizing golden appearance. Aroma is possibly Saaz with some alcohol, and is good not great.

Taste has too much alcohol for me with not nearly enough sweet to balance. Very dry overall. Yeast character seems funky, though that could be the hops (again Saaz?) what it is is definitely a spicy characteristic that I want to attribute to the yeast. The amount of fruity yeast esters is lacking for the style.

While far from terrible I really don't like the flavor balance of this beer which leans too far towards alcohol. Might be my least favorite triple of the trappist and major abbey brands. Has always seemed overrated to me. (657 characters)

Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: urine yellow/golden, with a nice 1 inch fluffy head. great head retention throughout.

smell: flowery, fresh grass, sugary, ripe fruits

mouthfeel: light, silky, with generous carbonation, but balanced well.

taste: hoppy, light sweet refreshing honey/clove, acidic alchohol present but complementary, delicous pear, ripe plum

overall: well balanced, very drinkable. nectar of the gods for sure. these monks are serious about beer. (452 characters)

Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is truly a delight to drink: poured into an oversized wine glass, given a hard pour this had a sizable head that eventually shrunk to a decently sized layer that retained really well. The bubbles are very small and stuck to the glass. The color was a glowing opaque yellow/golden. The smell had some lemony bite to it, along with some alcohol - there's more to it, I swear, but I just can't pick it out. Same story with the taste - I always find it difficult to specify what fruity flavors I'm picking out with belgian beers - here I taste a bit of lemony-tartness, granny smith apples?, and asian pear. It slip slides around...Also, there is some alcoholic bite to it, along with a balanced hop spicyness! That's why I love belgians, they balance the flavors oh so delicately... The carbonation was a bit weak, but still enjoyable. It was medium bodied and went down easy: the alcohol sneaked up on me. I was telling my friend while I was drinking this that I wish it came in six packs...or even 24 packs! I could have had at least 3 more of these bottles and still loved it. Truly a delight! (1,103 characters)

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,641 ratings.