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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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3,899 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,899
Reviews: 1,601
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 289
Gots: 429 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website

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: 3,899 | Reviews: 1,601 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nsp73
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite of the Trappist ales.
Looks and smells just delightful. Tastes great too.
The alcohol kick is noticeable but not right in your face like some other beers with a higher ABV.
Tastes like it looks for the most part. Not heavy at all and very drinkable. You'll notice an earthy tasting malt right away with hints of fruit and flowers. One you want to let swirl in the mouth before you send it down.
Overall a great beer that I can drink at any time. Bonus: VERY reasonably priced everywhere I have seen it in stock. More bang for your buck makes it taste even better.

Photo of n2185
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Doing a side by side of a 2010 bottle and a 1985. Thanks Thijs for the chance to try a beer as old as I am!

1985--pours a clear orange-copper with no head or lacing. It seems the carbonation did not last the decades.
2010--pours a hazy straw yellow with four fingers of billowing white head that recedes into a frothy cap with good lacing.

1985--Oxidized beer aromas here. Some graham cracker-like aromas with notes of caramel, bubblegum, and candy sugar
2010--Light clove spice notes up front along with bubblegum and candy sugar. Light fruit aromas follow with notes of bananas and pears. The finish smells of sweet breads.

1985--Oxidation strikes again. Wet graham cracker flavors with some caramel notes as well. The finish tastes lightly of alcohol. Tastes kind of like a watery Scotch ale.
2010--Similar to the aroma, there are some spice notes up front followed by candy sugar and bubblegum flavors. Light fruit flavors follow along with a slightly bitter yeast/bread flavor.

1985--Medium body with no carbonation, this beer just feels watery and a bit oily as well.
2010--Medium-light body with high carbonation, this beer is very highly attenuated, giving it a light, crisp feel which I love in tripels.

1985--Unfortunately time has not been kind to this beer. I've had worse beers, though. Oxidation and loss of carbonation were the main downfalls in what was once a great beer.
2010--One of the best tripels out there. Flavorful, aromatic, and yet still light and crisp. Now if only it were cheaper, I'd buy a lot more of it.

My overall scores were for the 2010 bottle of the beer, not the 1985.

Photo of brewadelphia
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a bottle into a Stella chalice. Pretty good appearance with a nice cloudy golden yellow. I was surprised how much of a head I got and had to stop pouring to wait for it go decrease a bit.

S: pleasant with hints of phenol. Kind of almost reminded me of juciy fruit bubblegum.

T: pretty good, a little fruity with a little bit of a back of the tounge bitterness.

O: I'm still getting used to beglians but this was very good as I had expected it to be.

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

A: Pours a really hazy straw color with a big white head that disappears quickly, leaving just some film behind

S: Sweet malts, nice, spicy zest, a touch of orange, some honey, and a little hop bite towards the end

T: Lots of malty sweetness and brown sugar up front, the middle composed of a citrus tartness, and the end finishing with a bit of grassy hoppiness. Pretty damn good.

O: Not the best I've had of this style, but much better than the dubbel. A great ale, but not sure if I would buy again.

Photo of Intrinsic
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is a perfect example of how Belgium makes better beer than anywhere else in the world; this despite the fact that my favourite style is American IPA.

It looks beautiful, with a creamy white head sitting atop a slightly cloudy golden yellow body. The retention is perfect, and thick lacing surrounds the chalice (yes, I do have a Westmalle glass).

The smell blends all sorts of fruity tones along with a yeast presence that really makes itself known. Its understated, and yet tells you so much about what was put into this beer.

The taste is a great continuation of all the smells, with alcohol, fruit (banana) and yeast dominating. The malt character is interesting as it doesn't stand out too much but lets you know its there.

The mouthfeel is almost perfect; just a tad under-carbonated. It has a nice dryness and aftertaste. Overall, this deserves the trappist name. Simply amazing.

Photo of hiku7
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy cow those monks know what they are doing. I'm not worthy to review the tripel that started it all, but here goes anyway.

Pours a cloudy deep gold with an everlasting frothy white head that stayed around like an ice cream float. Sticky lacing.

Smell is lemony orange, plus phenols and peppery funk like overripe overripe pineapple. Taste is orange fruitiness forward with a noble hops bitterness present. Peppery phenols are strong in the finish and they, and the hops, leave a pleasant moderately strong bitterness lingering after each mouthful.

The beer is medium full bodied with high carbonation, but the carbonation is smooth and foamy and wonderful on the palate, and not prickly. Alcohol is pleasantly warming.

I love this tripel and will come back to it.

Photo of Jimmys
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes: 750mL bottled on 11/16/10

A: cloudy bright blond. orange in the middle but more of a pale gold on the edges. lots of visible carbonation. blond, champagne-like head diminishes to a more reasonable size.

S: smells like sourdough bread dough. as the beer warms, more fruit comes to play. a bit of citrus, lime, and the mild tartness of apples. nutmeg.

T: a gentle toast w/ a touch of sweetness. the grain begins to cloy and reminds me of biscuits. fruits come across on the palate as well. pear. definitely pear. a significant apple tartness as well.

M: super effervescent, champagne-like carbonation. full bodied, but drinks more medium.

D: a balance of fruity yeast characteristics w/ bready malt components. very drinkable tripel. the most champagne-like i have had thus far in my career.

Photo of vandemonian
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Westmalle Trappist Tripel is a tasty and acidic tripel that tastes darker than it looks.

A: Slightly cloudy yellow colour and an excellent 25 mm head that lasts. 5

S: Powdery yeast with a hint of apple. 4

T: Malty with some sharp caramelised flavours and an overall acidity. The maltiness is quite roasty and is not what I'd associate with a beer of this colour. The yeast flavour kicks in in the middle and the aftertaste is a fairly non-descript fading of flavours. 4

M: Foamy with a little bit of an acidic sting. 4.5

O: This is a tasty, if acidic, tripel. 4

Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Easily one of my favorite beers. Pours properly into a signature chalice, a golden-brown with tints of apricot, cloudy with a fluffy off-white head that sinks to about a quarter to half inch and retains as such just about to the end, leaving some attractive lacing behind. Complex aroma of yeast, fruit salad, alcohol-soaked wood, caramel and candi sugar. Good to let it warm up before tasting...don't want it ice cold. Nice cavalcade of flavors on the palate, with notes of caramel, toffee, bready yeast, bananas, pears, apricots, raisins, grape skins, lightly roasted nuts. Subtly hopped. Medium body, very distinguished and highly drinkable. You feel like royalty drinking from the chalice too.

Photo of McNealc31
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Lots of lemon and sweet malt in the nose. The flavor is an interesting mix of sweet malt and sour yeast followed by sweet grapes very late. The finish is long and dry. Very creamy mouthfeel before the hops cut through. As it warms, I'm getting a distinct lemon pepper flavor.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Westmalle Chalice.

A - Pours a beautiful cloudy yeloww colour with a pure White head that stays the course of the brew.

S - Plenty of herb, lemon citrus, pears, clove and phenols present. You couldn't expect much more.

T - Plenty of fruits such as pears, apricots, pineapple and lemon citrus,with a hint of spice before it transforms to a mellow dark fruit flavour with absolutley no burn. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

O - Along with the Chimay White this is the benchmark of the style. Nothing more to say.

Photo of Fulkrum78
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one helluva good beer. Pours a cloudy golden out of the bottle and the aroma is dry and malty. Nice creamy white head. Lacing sticks around for a while on the glass. Taste is dry and clean. Malt and hops at the end. Great beer. My favorite style and an excellent exemplar of it.

Photo of Voss
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is THE Tripel. The monks invented it in Westmalle in 1934 and, in my opinion, they still make the best tripel in the world.
Beautiful intense gold color, big thick head (even if I had bottles that made tiny heads), a wonderful fresh smell of lemon and other ripe fruits (apricot), a great body and a fruity, malty taste greatly textured with perfect carbonation. You can't ask for more.
The first times I drunk Westmalle Tripel I thought it was the best beer in the world. Now I prefer Quads, but this is definitely a terrific and elegant brew.

Photo of uawildcat
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Bordeaux wine glass. Had a nice inch, inch and a half head. Nice cloudiness from yeast.

S: Smells fruity like apricots, pears, and other fruitiness behind a malty veil.

T: Tastes similar to it smells. Upfront very acidic, tastes of pears, lemony, and like there is a peppery spiciness somewhere in there too. It ends with a floral honey sweetness and leaves an aftertaste of bread.

M: Too acidic and overly carbonated for my tastes. This is my third triple and they all have a similar mouthfeel (Unibrow Fin de Monde and Deschutes The Stoic). Personally I don't like it, but seems to be average for the style.

O: This is the best tasting triple that I have had, also probably the best looking. Favorite of this style so far.

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

A: 1/2" soapy white head that left a nice lacing over cloudy honey coloured liquid.

S: Yeast and floral tones.

T: Bitter floral tones and pear upfront which transitions into grains and a slightly dry finish reminiscent of white wine. A very nice and clean taste profile.

M: Medium viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation.

O: An impressive representative of the style.

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The beautiful, soapy head swells to three fingers and looks extremely sticky, which is eventually verified by the lace that clamps onto the side of the glass as the head slowly degrades.

The body is a bright lemon meringue with particulates suspended amid the storm of of unending carbonation.

Smell: A combo of herbs and ester scents. Through the cratered head notes of pear, cinnamon, vanilla, clove, and brandy alcohol are escaping. It is complex, but it could definitely be bigger.

Taste: The fruit esters are much stronger than in the nose. Pear is still coming through, but there is also apricot, raisin, and lemon. The clove starts to kick in about middle of the drink to the finish, which is joined with the brandy and stewed cherries taste.

The aftertaste is where the spicy herbs and slight booziness come into play. Very complex, and oh so very good.

Mouth feel: The feel is medium to full, which is a quality in Belgians I am really starting to appreciate. Obviously, there is some warm alcohol, but it is incorporated well with the beer, and with out it, this beer would not be near as fun.

Overall: The beer is a delight to drink, a real wonder to look at, and feels complete. The nose could certainly be more pronounced, but the thick head might have something to do with that. You already know it is a great Tripel, so what are you waiting for exactly?
This is the review for the 86-87 vintage of the Westmalle Tripel.

Appearance: The white, two finger head bubbles quickly, but fades at about the same rate, leaving only a film behind. The body is a cloudy, darker amber, with a considerable amount of dark particulates. No carbonation to be seen. 3.5

Smell: The nose is all about alcohol flavors up front. It really smells like taking a whiff of a brandy. There is also a honey sweetness to it. Under the alcohol, there is clove, some esters, mainly raisins and dates. No sniff is quite like the last one. So complex. 4.5

Taste: The brandy comes through strong on the palate too. There is also an oakiness here, like it was barrel aged. A honey sweetness starts to show about mid drink, as well as an almost whiskey like leather taste.

What is incredible though, is there is no burn at all. Instead, it is very sticky sweet. As the beer finishes, the esters are back in full swing: mainly a raisin and pear quality comes through, also a buttery caramelness. Just like the nose, this is incredibly complex. Oh yeah, and good. 4.5

Mouth feel: This is what really blows my mind about the beer. First, the stickiness of the brew is really pronounced, and this lends to a very full mouth feel, almost a chewiness. Finally, even though this beer has the smell and taste of being boozy, there is absolutely no burn in the swallow, really, incredibly smooth. 5.0

Overall: It was really exciting that this beer was not damaged after such a long period of cellaring, and the process has only made this beer all the more impressive. The flavor profiles are still robust, and seem different with each sip.

While the body and head certainly have not aged well, the taste and mouth feel are probably not things that I will ever experience again, unless I take the great care to age more bottles, and hey, if they turn out like this, it will definitely be worth the wait. 4.5

Photo of Filosoof
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Am I cursing calling this Westmalle a Duvel-like Tripel?

L: almost perfect, nice foam, but in my opinion could be a littlelittle bigger.
S: not too complex; overripe bananas, a touch of orange, vanilla and cinnamon;
T: very nice hoppiness; the alcohol is an important element of the nice round taste, ending with a nice hoppy bitter aftertaste;
M: a 5,0! What do I need to say more.
O: a great tripel (I'm not the first to say this, I know); classic ofcourse.

Great to use in batter/bakery (fried vegetables).

Photo of midworken
3.64/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an extremely large, feather-light head. A hazy, straw colored body presents itself once the head dissipates.
The astringency and hoppiness present themselves in the aroma as onions and paint. It is such a lovely smell (sarcasm), and it is hard to get past it. There is a malt backbone, as well, but it is overwhelmed by the astringency and smell of alcohol.
Thank God you don't taste whats in the aroma. Alcohol is still there, but it isn't paint or onions. There is, however, a great balance between the hops and malts.
Mouthfeel is a bit syrapy, but still very good. The taste lasts just long enough on the tongue, without leaving any weird aftertastes. It is a good beer, but doesn't make you yearn to take another sip that great beers will do.

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly turbid yellowish orange. Generous one inch head. Yeast sediment floats around reminding me of a snowglobe after you shake it.

Smell is exactly what I expect from a good Tripel, yeasty biscuitty malt and Belgian yeast. Citrus notes as well.

Taste was also what I want. biscuity malt offset by a slightly astringent feel that plays well with the yeast. The malt backbone feels almost chewy on the back of the tongue. Surprisingly not boozy at all for 9.5%. I dont where the funk came from, but I really like it, unexpected for a Trappist!

The bite floats back along your tongue until it eventually fades.

What a Tripel!

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every Trappist I’ve had has been awesome; especially the Tripels. It really is becoming one of my favorite styles. Here we have Westmalle, a beer brewed in a monastery that’s right outside of Antwerp, in northern Belgium. A classy, tradition label and a bottle that has a special indent in the neck reading “TRAPPISTENBIER” set the stage for this one; let’s see how it compares to its tasty Belgian counterparts.

A: Very, very foamy. The head conquers most of my glass as I pour, fizzing wildly and coming down into a white bubble-bath after only a few seconds. Some foam-forward lacing sticks around, as the head rapidly disintegrates to less than half an inch. The actual color of the body is a pale yellowish-gold, though it’s hard to focus on because of all the fizz rising through the body.

S: This is a mild one, for sure. I’m picking up mostly bright fruits – lemons, apple juice, bananas, pears. It’s the usual Belgian treatment, but without anything bold. The alcohol doesn’t even put up a big front in this 9.5% brew. There’s still complexity, though – you can pick out a slight essence of mixed grains, though they show up just in time to fight against the yeasts scents. Frankly, neither come out looking very strong. I’m not too sure about this one…

T: This palate starts out with a strong, lemony tang. It’s much more flavorful and enjoyable than the nose made it out to be mixing with some spice to create a familiar lemon-pepper character. Some skunk beneath makes its way out very delicately, laying its flavor across the tongue in a mild yet impressive way. Fruity grains move independently beneath the rest of the flavors, leaving just enough room to let some earthy hops come in for the aftertaste. Wow, this is great. The alcohol isn’t even detectable in the slightest, so watch out: this one can and will sneak up on you. The aftertaste is a combination of lemon and grassy hops, both of which provide some nice puckering sensations.

M: Smooth, thick, perfect. It warms on the way down (the ONLY indication of the 9.5% ABV), sometimes so much that it clears my nose. Fantastically chewy.

O: I’d really like to have this fresh; it has so many bright, complex flavors. I love how it threw me for a loop with a so-so look and smell, only to save itself by nailing the most important aspect of all: taste. And in spite of those slight imperfections, this really is a great Tripel that has done nothing but put me in the mood for more. The Trappists have done it again!

Photo of dsprainman
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Excellent Tripel.
Pours a lively head of 2 fingers with a light straw colored body that is brilliantly evanescent. Smell brings to memory apples, pears, peaches. Taste is much more tart, an explosion of light fruit flavors. Mouth feel is very carbonated, complimenting the flavor nicely. Overall, one of the best tripels I have had, outstanding beer.

Photo of Beelzebeer
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best-before date of 16/02/13, 331ml bottle, young bottle

A - Generous amount of thick-in-places head, cloudy golden colour with perfect amount of carbonation. High amount of lacing and great head retention.

S - Apricot and peach, with a hint of alcohol. Sweeter, sharper wheat, light malts.

T - Medium-high carbonation. More round, less sweet wheat than in the wheat, hiding the high ABV quite well. Apricot and mild yeast. The ideal Trappist Tripel.

M - Medium body, very drinkable. Smooth with alot of flavour, and a well-hidden amount of alcohol.

Photo of ShanePB
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After hearing from a co-worker how this beer was all he drank when he lived in Belgium, I had to seek it out here. A bit on the pricey side for an 11.2 oz bottle but I just had to try it. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy golden-orange colored body, with a big rich, fluffy and creamy white head. The retention is outstanding with a fairly thick cap lasting the entire time. The lacing is splotchy, sticky and bubbly. This is certainly the most gorgeous looking Tripel I've seen, and compliments the style perfectly.

S: Lemon zest, ripened banana, orange flesh and some profound yet still restrained, Belgian yeast notes. A touch of the spicy character you get from the style is here, also. It's very accurate to the style, nothing is jumping out or overpowering.

T: Light yeast and doughy malts come through first, giving this a grounded base to work from. A certain bitter citrus sweetness from perhaps lemon or grapefruit skins comes through mid-palate. Slight touches of honey and white grape come through in the finish, with nothing other than some spices into the linger. Very delicious, very balanced.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated but still retains a medium body. It's creamy, almost silky on the palate after the bubbles settle. Again, for the style this is exactly what you should be looking for.

I must say, this might be one of the best Tripels I've ever had cross these lips. Coming straight from Belgium, I'd really expect nothing less, but it goes to show that taking the traditional style and mastering it, showcases everything in the best possible light. That's not to say American brewers can't put their own twist on it, but if you want something true to style, this cannot be touched.

Photo of younger35
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I’ve had this lying around for quite some time. Decided tonight was the night. Watching the PGA Championship and some preseason football upcoming. Drank from my Russian River tulip.

Appearance- Pours a light yellowish orange with a gigantic two finger bright white head. The beer is just permeated with bubbly goodness and the head is thick and gorgeous the entire beer. An absolutely PERFECT cap and collar are maintained along with loads of ringed up lacing.
Smell- Definitely no mistaking what style this beer is. Full of spicy yeast that’s fruity and bold. Hints of raisin and pear with that deceptively dark fruitiness that you don’t expect form a straw colored beer. That always blows my mind. Maybe a touch of grainy malt with a light sweetness but let’s face it, the yeast dominates.
Taste- Starts with a light pruney fruitiness that is deceivingly warm and almost brash. That’s not a putdown though as the hoppiness and dryness really work well with the boozy bite. I hate sweet beers and thankfully this isn’t at all. The hops seem more front and center than most Tripels which is okay in my book. Spicy at times with a sort of gingery/pepper note. The finish lingers with a sort of burnt brown sugar thing.
Mouthfeel- Aggressively crisp carbonation with a very sharp feel from the fine carbonation. Full bodied though like you’d expect from a Tripel which is always odd considering the alcohol.
Drinkability- Pretty nice beer as it’s much different from most other Tripels. I LOVE how the sweetness is severely subdued and those burnt, cloying candied sugars aren’t running rampant. The hops have more of a presence here that I really appreciate. Super nice beer that is easily available and will be my go-to Tripel when the mood strikes.

Photo of capeannbass36
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured an 11.2 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Hazy golden orange with a one finger white head that dissapated quickly. Light lacing throughout.

S- A little fruit, lemon, and a touch of malt

T- Lemon and spice. A little yeast. A little sugar. Hint of malt.

M- Medium carbonation. Dry and crisp.

O- Enjoyable. Easy to drink, but did not "wow" me. Potent. Expected so much more. Having bought it 7-8 months ago...perhaps I should have had it much sooner??!! Had a best before 01/03/12 date on it.

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,899 ratings.