Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,631 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,631
Hads: 4,116
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 350
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.
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: 1,631 | Hads: 4,116
Photo of ianjsullivan
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

ST: 11.2oz poured into a chalice.

A: Cloudy orange with a huge towering white head that does not go away.

S: Apricot, lemon, pepper, herbal edge, lots of alcohol.

T: Crisp, spicy, apricot, very medicinal, lots of alcohol.

M: Heavy and round

O: Complex. The alcohol could be blended better, but the spicy, fruity flavor is very interesting and worth trying. (365 characters)

Photo of Chrysostom
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

As always, I review to style (ala BJCP) modified by personal taste (contra BJCP), or else certain beers, excellent exemplars of styles I do not prefer, would receive worse marks than poor examples of my favourite styles.

As always, this review is live, not from notes. Trendy. Hipster-approved.

This, Westmalle, is the original Tripel. All other Tripels derive from this. Now, without further ado, a review.

Presentation: 750mL corked and caged bottle, served at 50ºF, corked with Westmalle's notoriously hard-to-remove plastic/rubber cork. Poured in to Chimay chalice/goblet. This beer was aged for about one year before drinking.

A: Crystal-clear (after a year of aging) straw yellow colour, like unto an American Lager, with a two-finger, foamy head on a moderate pour which surprisingly slowly recedes in to a cap and ring, and which leaveth little lacing. Two The clarity is surprising, but to be expected after such aging. Trappist are just /supposed/ to be cloudy. Looks like a clear Duvel. Or, for that matter, a Budweiser. On second and third pours, has a slight cloudiness (rating increased), very similar to Duvel, with some white lees in the glass.

S: Citrus, apricot, apple, white wine (Chardonnay, this time), some wet dog or farm, some typical Belgian spice. Very minor alcohol. Sweet, malt, and hops come through all at once. Quite malty. Some noticeable Belgian funk. Mild alcohol.

T: Citrus, sour apple, Chardonnay (including the alcohol), fresh-cut grass and subdued Belgian funk. No spice apparent. No hops up front - malts dominate with a breadiness - but citrus-y hops hit pretty strongly on the mid-palate and finish. Clean finish, coats the mouth mildly, but there's obviously some hopping going on. Some crackers in the finish. Similar to the Chimay White but a bit bolder. Crisp.

M: Loose, spritzy carbonation with a bite. Pulls the beer together well.

D: High.

O: The quintessential Tripel. Try it.

To style: 98/100
To taste: 90/100 (1,970 characters)

Photo of Ilafan
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I saw this beer set off with a special section of "International Favorites" at my local liquor store, so I decided to give it a try. I also saw a clipped out paper stuck next to its label with the Beer Advocate's approval seemingly used as an endorsement.

WELL, dude and dudettes, I did not need to have my arm twisted!

The pour was unique. Its coloring is a vivid blond with a minimal head. In fact, at first glance, it looks like any old American lager. But my beer had some brown speckles in it. DTs? Maybe. But I saw them and liked them.

If you've read my other reviews, you'll know that I have a rotten sense of smell for beer. Basically, if I can smell the damn beer, I will rate it higher. And guess what? I could smell this beer. It was sweet and summer-like. Throw up a plus!

TASTE: the typical Belgian sweetness is tempered in this, and I find that refreshing. In fact, "refreshing" would be a good adjective for me to use to describe this beer. Mine was ICE cold and was very smooth. It had an ever-so-slightly sour aftertaste that was subtle. The high alcohol content (9.5%) was balanced well with an almost wheat-like , grass-like taste with an added sugar. I was delighted with its taste.

Overall, I like this beer. Is it worthy of its Top 250 status on our page? Maybe not. But you could do A LOT worse! (1,323 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy yellow, extremely carbonated, one finger head.

S-Grass, lemon, spice, banana, cove and pepper.

T-Nice balance of floral notes, spies, grass, lemon and pepper.

M-Light, extremely carbonated and dry.

O-The spice bite is great and at the same time it was balance. A great tripel. (289 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a: This was an almost perfectly clear, shining golden color. It poured with a massive, bright white head that was oddly made up of bubbles of various sizes.

s: Pears and apples sauteing in candi sugar with soft, dougie yeastiness. Absolutely sublime.

t: A bit drier than other classic examples of the style. Soft sweetness up front, tasting of very ripe pears, pastry dough, and some subdued candi sugar. The finish is a long, dry, pepeppery yeast note.

m: So soft and feathery.

o: A wonderful beer that took me way too long to try. Paired nicely with Cypress Grove's Purple Haze chevre. (591 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful hazy orange hue yields a tall fizzy bright white head. Tons of carbonation and an almost unfiltered appearance this is a gorgeous brew.

Hints of pear, apple, clove, wine and honey are found in the nose. The wine like smell gives a Chardonnay like scent.

The taste is tangy, sour and almost vinegar like. Some citrus or fruitiness but the tanginess is overbearing. A bit acidic and metallic there's hints of pear in the backdrop. Just too tangy for my palate, perhaps this is not my cup of tea, but I must say I'm disappointed in this Tripel. (553 characters)

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

My first review on this site.
I had this beer on bottle. It might be my favorite trappist triple.
Lovely mouthfeel, full body, an average carbonation and a nice long bitter finish.
This beers has a great appearance. A golden color and a nice white frothy head.
It is not a beer that I always wants to drink cause of the quite high ABV. (336 characters)

Photo of artdob
3.61/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Super meringue head.

Initially found it difficult to nose through the intensely thick head. Even after subsiding, still having difficulty getting much off the aroma. Mainly getting yeast esters. I recall the dubel from the same brewery being much more intense in this category.

Tastes of champagne laced with honey, chamomile tea with undetyong bitterness.

Warm and slight carbonation on the mouthfeel. (405 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (1,984 characters)

Photo of herman77
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Best by 12/10/13

A: Somewhat hazy golden yellow with some orange hues to it. Huge bubbly eggshell white head. Lots of soapy lacing

S: Pear, white grapes, lemongrass. A tiny bit of clove, yeast and just a small hint of hay/barnyard.

T: Very complex, new flavors with each sip. Lots of lemon citrus with some spice yeast, white grapes, more pair. Some Champagne like tastes as well. A bit of medicinal flavors on the backend (in a good way).

M: Medium body. Judging by the huge head when pored, I thought this would have really high carbonation, it is actually pretty average. Maybe the age reduced the amount of carbonation.

O: Very nice world class Tripel. Not quite as good as La Fin Du Monde, but pretty close. Good drinkability and the ABV is hidden well. Would like to try a fresher bottle, this was probably sitting at room temp for a long time at the liquor store. (875 characters)

Photo of Sam21
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

11.2oz bottle poured into tulip at cellar temp. Best by 5/2014.

A- The beer pours with a slightly hazy golden body and a quick expanding head that is beautifully white, soft, light, and creamy. The retention is outstanding and is being constantly fed by a very active carbonation. Big thick bands of lacing are left on the glass all the way to the last sip. 

S- The aroma is both softly spicy and fruity, which speaks to the yeast's influence. Soft sugary bubblegum, overripe banana, and cloves spice are nicely balanced by lightly tangy citrus malt tones. As the beer warms, the aromas show soft tropical fruit notes. 

T- The palate carries the same balance. Subtle citrus, overripe banana, and clove open up. The sweetness (reminds me of lemon peel, mango, and papaya) builds into a crescendo for the finish, which hides a touch of alcohol that is so well integrated that I feel like I am reaching by even mentioning it. The finish is dry and lively as the carbonation cuts though the sweetness leaving nothing but a lingering memory and a touch of bitterness. The hops are in perfect balance to the sweetness and add an overwhelmingly refreshing zip. Really well done. 

MF- Effervescent, light, and possessing of a nice juiciness as it rolls around the palate. It accentuates the flavors in the best way possible and really showcases this beers innate beauty. The carbonation is very full, extremely soft, and smooth. 

O- This beer is a real experience for those that enjoy Belgian/Belgian-style beers. The balance, complexities, and approachability are expertly done. At 9.5%, this beer is big, but is so soft and smooth. The integration of sweetness, yeasty spice, and hop bitterness is a work of art deserving of meditation, contemplation, and conscious enjoyment. I'm a big fan of Belgian beers, so take that into account, but this is one of the best Tripels I have come across thus far.  (1,905 characters)

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

A: Beautiful pillowy head, showcasing great retention and obstinate lacing. The color is amber to light gold with noticeable yeast haze.

S: Medium to medium high intensity. Rounded, elegant and complex. Upfront: Banana, Clove and Orange Blossom. Back: Roses and Bubblegum.

Taste: Medium to medium low intensity. Clove, Banana, Bubblegum. The holy Belgian trinity in perfect harmony.

Palate: Low bitterness. Small yeast bite. Medium bodied. Medium low to low carbonation. Chewy Texture. Velvety finish. Short lingering yeasty, banana gum aftertaste. Wheres the alcohol?

Overall: To try this is a must. It's super complex and elegant. This is definitely one of if not the best Triple I've had and one of the best beers overall I've had. And this is coming from a guy who isn't even into Tripples that much. (808 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

330 ml bottle with freshness date poured into a wine glass, produced a lovely soft head, really great retention. Colour is a bright medium gold. Leaves a nice film and good lacing.

Smell has some exotic fruit, pineapple. A lot of juicy fruitiness. Biscuity malt, nice florals coming through. Some hidden hop bitterness, all flows so inextricably together, changing all the time. Fantastic.

Taste is a fruity start some sugar/honey sweetness, nice really firm bitterness, fruity malt, biscuit, pineapple. So much going on, yet very few of the flavours stand-out too much, fruity apple, some fresh citrus hops. Some dry hops toward the end. The finish is dry and malty. The balance is pretty spot-on. It seems to be constantly developing, great complex flavour.

Mouthfeel is great, a classic tripel. Unbelievably drinkable for the 9.5% without any hot alcohol, just a noticeably big body feel to it. A hefty beer, yet performs exceptionally. Warming on the way down.

Lovely Tripel. Crazy drinkable and delicious. It flows together pretty seamlessly, I wouldn't have objected to the taste being a bit more aggressive on the palate, but it tastes great, the alcohol is hidden and has a good complexity. I quite like this beer, bit of a pricetag but its definitely worth trying. (1,278 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a St Bernardus chalice.

A- pours a hazy light orange with a ridiculous off-white head (poured 3/4 head and 1/4 beer!). 1 finger head remains with thick walls and clumps of lacing higher up on the glass.

S- big citrus aromas (lemon and orange), bready notes, honey and lots of spices.

T- light malts, homey, lemon, spices, and bitter lemon rind with slightly metallic taste.

M- medium body and high carbonation. Fairly light and smooth at 9.5%.

O- nice tripel, bitter citrus rind grows on you or mellows as it warms. (555 characters)

Photo of tastyville
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nicely, Head is bright and frothy. Aroma is buttery and maybe a little spicy. Taste is complex and does not develop instantly, which I love! Flavor develops from front to back slowly and reaches it's peak at the back of the throat and leaves a little bit of dryness (not too much). Very good balance. I like that it has a high ABV while not overwhelming the balance. I want more!!! (387 characters)

Photo of ProblyAboutBeer
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The odor was of butter and pepper. You can taste the alcohol at first sip, but it is contrasted with a malty sweetness and full body which distracts from any potential unpleasantness. Hops could be the origin of the spicy flavor and odor, as their bitterness floats above the malty blonde brew. When eaten with cheese, it is reminiscent of hop candy: sweet and floral. (368 characters)

Photo of intensify
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-* 11 month old bottle. Bottled on 5/11/11, poured into a Orval Chalice on 4/17/12.

A- Golden yellow body. 2 finger, creamy head with dips and hills which make it look like the Rocky Mountains. Retention was a 8/10 with decent lacing.
S- Mango, crushed bananas, hops in the background, candy sugar.

T- This is where this beer is unique and entirely isolated from its other Trappist friends. Oh so sweet throughout the whole sip, leaving an almost sweet/bitter finish. Finishes with a sour and bitter taste. Mangos, bananas, cracked pepper, candy sugar, bready and biscuity, finishing with a slight taste of booze. Well balanced.

M- Carbonation was surely tamed a bit in the 1 year this beer was kept in my basement. Medium bodied, with a clean, crisp and filling finish.

O- Westmalle has always had a special place in my heart. It's a beer to sit down, relax and just enjoy. (879 characters)

Photo of HabiMendes
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The pale amber tricks you right from the beginning. "It''s beautiful", you say. The aroma is potent, but the taste is powerful, both with apparent floral tones, that, surprisingly, let you glimpse a little bit of taste of candy. The sensation is dry, bitter, alcoholic, but it couldn't be otherwise. The aftertaste is fast, and leaves you perplexed. (349 characters)

Photo of DenverLogan
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large corked bottle...cork popped about 10' distance! Bottled March 2012.
Pours a large cloudy head that shrinks but hangs around with a full layer in my tulip glass. Some lace.
Golden color...very clear, clean.
Aroma of sweet amber malts, melon rind, black pepper, slight banana esters.
Significant carbonation...big mouthfeel.
Flavors of candy sugar, amber malts, grass, peppercorns, currents, citrus hops.
Let's let it open 15 minutes....
Ahh...this is a tripel with a bite! From what I recall Westmalle devised the Tripel style of beer. I remember 10 years or so ago doing a blind tasting with 23 Tripel-style brews. Ten of us chose our top three beers. The Westmalle came in around #8 or so, with St Bernardus, Watou and Triple Karmeliet taking the top three spots.
So much of a Belgian beer is in the yeast, and I think the esters of this Westmalle include some bitter notes, a burst like peppermint candy, a pungent herbal spritzer & spicy finish. Big, bold and tasty. (978 characters)

Photo of starrdogg
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really nice looking beer, a hazy yellow-orange with a fairly fluffy white head. Smell is really nice fruit and Belgian yeast - exactly what a tripel should smell like. Flavor follows the nose - it's slightly sweet with a nice light fruit character up front, but the finish is more earthy and bitter than expected and a get a hint of alcohol as well. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a nice tripel, but the earthy/bitter finish kind of throws off the balance to me. I know it's the original, but I think there are other tripels I like more. (583 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into tulip. Pours a slightly orange golden with amazing fluffy white head and perfect lacing. Great banana and Belgian yeast with ever so slight hop aroma. Sweet yeasty flavors with some banana and clove flavor. Its all about the yeast and malt balance here...its amazing. Perfect example of a triple. (328 characters)

Photo of Morpheus
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Here goes. I poured a 330mL into a tulip glass. A surprisingly higher than average level of carbonation - it has been a few years since I let a beer foam over! The brew wasw a lighter color than I expected - similar to a cloudy Americam Lager. It is a color I grew up on.

Inhale the nectar, and I sensed a floral bouquet, sweet cereal smell with a late hoppiness.

Taste: It starts with a bitter hop, replaced by a complex flavor profile, in turn returning to the bitter hop essence.

Mouthfeel: a very balanced texture, not unpleasant at all.

Overall, a very good beer but perhaps a smidgeon too much emphasis on hops. (621 characters)

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle. Pours a bright yellow with a big white head. Massive fruity, bubblegum (juicy fruit) aromas climb out of the glass even before you get it near your nose. The taste has a lot of those same flavours, along with a crisp grassiness from the hops. For as sweet as this is, it is nicely balanced by a tart finish. This is an iconic trappist tripel for a reason. Near perfection. (401 characters)

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

Corked and Caged Bottle. Sythetic cork (last one I had was a real cork...??) Poured into a Tulip-style glass.

A - Pours a big, white, bubbly head which quickly settles down. Lacing is good but it doesn't stick to the glass like an IPA would. Carbonation apparent, mostly clear.

S - Tart Citrus and Funk, mild esters (banana). Impressed that the slight funk is there. It was not expected. When I think of Belgian, this is what I imagine.

T - citrus flavor with a bit of biscuit in the finish. Not too sweet (a good thing in my opinion).

MF - Probably the best thing about this. It's a strong beer but it is lighter tasting and feeling than the ABV. It has a dry finish and is crisp. So impressed here.

Overall - I know it is one of the top 10 trippels of all the world. Just needed a reminder. Dangerously easy to drink, interesting mix of flavors, presents well (corked and caged). Awesome. Definition of the style. (921 characters)

Photo of sevenarts
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pale, cloudy yellowish orange, somewhat opaque with sediment floating towards the bottom. Good-sized white head that leaves behind a bit of lacing.

S: Smells yeasty and slightly musty, with subdued sugary aromas and hints of sharp, fruity flavors.

T/M: Sweet and sugary up front, with lots of sweet fruit, with the yeast base gradually taking over towards the back end for a dry, moderately bitter finish. Very crisp and refreshing, and the alcohol is very well hidden, just giving it a bit of a warming bite in the back of the throat with each sip.

O: A very good tripel, the originator and benchmark for the style, and it's easy to see why. Big, sweet, and very tasty. (676 characters)

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,631 ratings.