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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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3,432 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,432
Reviews: 1,569
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 213
Gots: 243 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-06-2000)
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Ratings: 3,432 | Reviews: 1,569 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam's Chicago

Westmalle's Tripel pours a slightly hazy apricot golden with handfuls of tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. A two finger dense white head formed on the pour that had incredible staying power. The rush of carbonation keeps the head strong. Leaves sticky spotty lacing after each swig. Really, a nice looking glass of beer.

The aroma is packed full of fresh ripe golden orchard fruits that are gleaming in the autumn sun. Yellow pears, slightly underipe peaches, and mildly tart green apples all smell fantastic. There's a hint of clove along with the pale biscuity like malt that makes up the canvas so the fruitiness of this tripel shines through. A sprinkling of candi sugar just sweetens the deal.

Flavor is pretty much in line with the aroma but as it warms I can't help but notice a sweet, but dry, wine like character. Big white grape flavors (not a big wine drinker so not sure of variety). The white grapes go nicely with the orchard fruits and actually take the front seat. Some alcohol warmth on the swallow. Very good.

Medium bodied with a lively carbonation that makes this beer creamy and somewhat frothy as it hits the tongue. Finishes extremely dry.

Good drinkability for such a high abv. brew. The alcohol will get in the way of this one though as it gets stronger as the beer warms.

An excellent tripel (one of my favorite styles). Up there with the best I've been lucky enough to sample so far. Unique and very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 00:23:38 | More by joe1510
Photo of belgbeerdrinker


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: cloudy gold color, huge head that settles to nice frothy layer, good lacing
s: slightly sweet honey and zesty, yeast aroma with light hops
t: sweet malts upfront with sharp bitter end and plenty of alcohol, also a nice sweet lingering aftertaste
m: a carbonation attack! medium body, alcohol warmth
d: very nice combination of sweetness, carbonation and alchol. an great tripel.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 11:02:58 | More by belgbeerdrinker
Photo of softcough

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml synthetic cork finished bottle.

An absolutely stunning Tripel. Always a classic, better every time I revisit it. This beer has all the complexity and firm dryness that are so often lost on imitators. It is spicy and vibrant. A perfect pairing for fatty foods that need something to cut through the flavor and refresh the palate. Then again, it is great all by itself.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 16:01:21 | More by softcough
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

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

The fairly nondescript and reserved label indicates is good until 10/04/09, but I would argue it would last longer at 9.5% abv.

Pours a hazy pale yellow with a large rocky egg shell white head. The two plus finger head is slow to fall and remains around one and a half finger height.

Smells of spice, which is different than I'd expect from a standard tripel. The focus is on spices such as clove and pepper rather than fruit and candy sugar sweetness.

Tastes just like it smells. Lots of white pepper, some clove and a sharp dry finish. Candy sugar seems nonexistent in this tripel as well as any fruity esters. Alcohol provides a pleasant warmth and works with the flavour rather than fighting against it.

Mouthfeel is not quite creamy, but smooth. A little too spicy to become drinkable, but I would argue the style warrants less drinkability. I do enjoy some more candy sugar prescense in my tripels, but this is a unique and interesting alternative.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 03:07:48 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of ArrogantB


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dated 060208, I wonder how old that makes this beer? Hazy, bright golden color with a fluffy, huge, white clump of a head. The smell is good but subtle, yeasty and spicy. The taste is smooth, spicy, delicious but not at all strong or sweet like many American tripels I have had. The fact that this is 9.5 ABV and I can’t taste it is impressive. This may be the best tripel I’ve had so far, more subtle than American tripels.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 15:03:52 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Pours a cloudy orange with a pure white 2 finger head that sticks around for a few minutes.

Smell: Clean hops with a sort of soapy note. There is also a sweet smell in there towards the end. Not my favorite, but not offensive in any way.

Taste: In a word, fantastic. A creamy mouthfeel exposes light citrus all over. Orange is big here, with a strangely pleasant lemon aftertaste (not sour). Spiciness abounds with hints of coriander... which may explain the soapy aroma. This is a great tripel that I would buy again and again if it weren't so expensive.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 01:34:32 | More by BucBasil
Photo of shadow1961


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Westmalle Tripel pours two fingers of dense foam over a cloudy
yellow brew. The nose is rich fruit (fig and banana) so typical of
the style. the flavor is bright malt with herbal hop notes and a more
grassy hop finish. Alcohol tang is an important part of the flavor and
mouthfeel both- at 11.2% it's strong without being too overbearing.
As the brew warms the alcohol comes back under control, but it's
still a bit raw. Very very dry. Well worth a try, but a sipper for certain.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 08:29:35 | More by shadow1961
Photo of number1bum


3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of NEPA BC split #2.

750ml bottle with an October 08 best by date poured into a tulip glass is a hazy golden color with a foamy off-white head. A good 2 fingers of head fill the glass and the retention is excellent, with a nice lace.

Smell is of lemon and orange, yeast, some spice and grassy hops.

Taste is subtly sweet with some pale, bready malts and yeast. Again some spices and then citrus flavor, along with a grassy and bitter dose of hops in the finish. It finishes very dry with some bitterness, but is very clean. The mouthfeel is somewhat overcarbonated, and the spritzy nature of it detracts a bit from the smoothness of the taste. It's quite drinkable, though, and obviously a very good tripel.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2007 02:26:56 | More by number1bum
Photo of Beerbuddha


4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Poured a golden color with a huge frothy white head. Nice retention and lacing

Smell- Spices and citrus such as orange.

Taste- Wonderful fruitiness and spice flavor. Finish is semi sweet and dry.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, nice crisp and dry finish.

Drinkability- There is a reason this beer scores a 90 on this site. This beer was great I'd love to try it aged.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2007 02:03:00 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of cyrenaica

Ontario (Canada)

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

330 ml bottle
The beer poured a murky gold colour into a chalice glass with a thin white head that dissipated quickly. The aroma was very yeasty, with some malt and cloves. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, and slightly champagne in nature. The flavour was that of yeast, malt, and cloves with a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 02:01:25 | More by cyrenaica
Photo of stereosforgeeks


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly cloudy orange color. Full creamy white head. Good retention.

Smell: Herbal spiciness (sage?), orange peel and othe citrus, grassiness, yeast.

Taste: The backbone is some doughy light malt. The spices and fruit (lemon/orange) mix with a nice amount of earthiness. It is sweet but not overpowering allowing all the flavors to shine.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Creamy. Finishes crisp and dry.

Drinkability: Easy to drink. Delicious. Great example of a tripel.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 13:52:58 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of joeysmokedporter


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet, served at 45-50 deg F.

A: orange-gold color, pours good foam, tight small bubbles, lacing. A bit cloudy in appearance.

S: bready, grainy, with some dried fruit and clove spice.

T: starts with dried fruit (berries?) and clove-like spice flavor, moves into a light caramel/bread malt flavor, and ends with a bitterness that lingers for a short while in the aftertaste. No noticeable alcohol flavor.

M: Light and effervescent, lacks heaviness of a big beer. Carbonation level makes a refreshing drink. Almost gentle.

D: Dangerously drinkable. No indication of the power it packs until I stood up afterward. A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 13:38:52 | More by joeysmokedporter
Photo of beals


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Wow, this is totally different than the dubbel! Pale... almost whitish-pale. Thick white--very clean white--head. Beer is cloudy (slightly) from a bit of yeast.

S: Fruity, estery -- like a hefeweizen. Actually, almost like a farmhouse ale. Spicy, clean.

T: Very spicy. Boozy... bit of a bite. Seems stronger than 9.5%.

M: As sharp as the dubbel. Bit easier to handle, though, because of the alcohol. Actually works together very nicely.

D: Tasty, but too strong to be repeatedly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 15:01:21 | More by beals
Photo of jmalex


4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trappist brewery #4 for me. I've delayed drinking this one long enough. Time to drink!

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Trois Pistoles chalice a very hazy golden color. A one finger head forms on top and holds essentially forever. Lacing is present but in small amounts. A glorious picture of a beer.

SMELL: Smells slightly yeasty, a bit pungent, heavy on citrus fruits, and has an almost candy-like sweetness. Apricots begin to come out as does a slight alcohol burn. I think I could keep going and get a million more flavors as it warms, but I want to drink. Suffice to say, this beer smells incredibly complex.

TASTE: A pungent and bitter beginning gives way to a sweetness high on a dry sugariness and flavors of golden raisins and sweet oranges. The sweetness combined with traditional abbey yeast flavors last to the very end and then some. A slight bit of alcoholic heat comes out at the end, but seems to add to the beer's complexity more than detract from it. The sweetness of the beer is a bit high, but this is a taste to behold.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly below medium bodied with a fine sharp carbonation. Light and smooth.

DRINKABILITY: I'm beginning to understand just how special a beer I'm drinking. And that was before I peeked at the ABV. 9.5%?! Yeah, you can't tell AT ALL. Stunning.

My 4th Trappist experience has proven to be the best yet. And I'm fully convinced that Westmalle Tripel is the tripel to end all tripels.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 00:36:43 | More by jmalex
Photo of botham


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice. pours a semi-hazy mix between light amber and straw colors, with a medium head that is frothy and white. no lacings to speak of.

smell is very vinous up front, with a moderate alcohol presence and some pale malts added in. the yeast is floral and bready, adding a good dynamic to the mix.

taste is very carbonated up front, with the same vinous character and strong alcohol presence following close behind. finishes with dry hops, much more pleasant and less acidic than the beer itself.

aftertaste is still of grapes, with light hops and a semi-dry mouthfeel.

mouthfeel is smooth, but harsh due to the levels of carbonation and alcohol.

drinkability is alright. this brew has a high alcohol presence, a strong bite from the carbonation, and will leave a novice beer drinker with a buzz. all in all, the brew is well balanced, it just overdoes the bite. cheers.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 03:30:27 | More by botham
Photo of TheBierBand


3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 350ml brown bottle into a tulip glass. The head produced by my pour was about 1" of loose off-white foam that shrunk quickly to a clumpy cap. The liquid was a honey color with some cloudiness due to some spent yeast in the bottle.

The aroma, was similar to a Hefewiesen ... in that there was a fruity sweetness. Although, there was a clear alcohol aroma too.

The taste was good... I think I'm getting used to these Belgian Ales. For me, most of these Belgian Ales have a taste like a robust Hefeweisen. This one had the yeasty/buscuit taste with some dried fruit followed by a pronounced alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel: Good for a Tripel. This one is still quite fizzy (seems to be common for the Tripels)... but not overly done. The body is rather thin and the clear alcohol presence make this one rather refreshing. It complimented my egg salad sandwich and fruit cup quite well (I wonder if this is an appropriate food pairing?).

Drinkability: This one is recommended... I've had some "Tripels" that I didn't like at all.... but this one is quite good. I couldn't see anyone pounding 4-5 of these, but this is a good, rich example for sipping.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 01:37:21 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of JustinBathurst

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy apricot with a big white head. Lots of lace with this one.

The aroma is electric hops in great, bushy abundance, and faint traces of lemon peel, pennies, and whiffs of alcoholic danger.

The taste is intensely coriander and cloves, with doughy malt, zingy citrus tang, celery, and the ever-increasing bitterness of the hops (which are not as intense as this tripel's smell would make you think). The aftertaste was coppery and a bit menthol-like due to the higher alcohol content, but at no point did I ever feel that I was drinking something 9.5%. Commendable, and, perhaps, dangerous.

While I quite enjoyed this tripel, I felt that it lacked much in the aroma department and merely came across as an okay example.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2007 03:28:17 | More by JustinBathurst
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this one from jaxon53 as part of the Brews N' Tunes Summer Tour '07. thanks jason!

330ml bottle, best before 03/01/08.

pours hazy deep yellow with a big fairly dense white head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is nice. bit of honey sweetness. bubblegum. very light non-clove spice...can't quite pick it out, but it doesn't smell like clove. big bready malt. hint of alcohol. bit of tangerine fruitiness. bit of floral hops.

taste is great. light alcohol. big bready malt. light honey and caramel sweetness. light toffee and butterscotch. more bubblegum. cardamom, and maybe a little clove lurking in the edges. medium-low bitterness level. some earthy hops, and a bit of floral character too.

mouthfeel is good. fairly high carbonation level. fairly light bodied with a nice dry finish.

drinkability is good. the carbonation level is just a touch high for my liking, but it is very well balanced and quite enjoyable. a good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2007 02:13:54 | More by grub
Photo of ColoradoBobs


4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On sale at Liquor Max in Loveland, CO for $2.99.

Slow pour into a 0.4 liter goblet yields a huge off-white bumpy frothy head over hazy light amber body with plenty of carbonation. Could not get all the bottle 330 ml bottle into the glass by a long shot. Head fades to a solid thick lid. Pretty beer.

Aroma is yeasty, earthy, funky, with lots of malt as well. Leather, horse blanket, bread dough. In the background are some dark-chocolate coated sweet dark fruits: dates, raisins, even some cherries(?!). A very complex aroma. Mmmmm.

Taste is, well, fascinating. All the yeasty-funkiness is there, but so much more. Bread dough, leather, baker's chocolate, a hint of the above-mentioned fruits. Nice long dry metallic-bitter-floral hops finish. There is a lot going on here.

Mouthfeel is much richer than I expect for a Tripel. Great carbonation (expected) spread around a round-mouth fullness (unexpected). There must be a lot a residual malt-protein in this baby.

Drinkability is high. The alcohol is completely hidden in the taste. This feels like maybe 6%, but certainly not 9.5%. A sessionable Tripel? Maybe so.

One more example of a fine genuine Trappist Ale. Once again, believe the hype. Well worth the $2.99 sale price. Can't wait to try the Dubbel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2007 04:25:44 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of ghostwalker


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Highly carbonated light-orange body with a frothy finger of head.

Smells lightly of fresh citrus, malt. Maybe a hint of spice.

Flavor of chewy yeasty malt. Spice and light citrus. Sweet with some candi sugar hints. Holds it's ABV remarkably well. Very delicate, but chock full of complexity.

Mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy, and slightly thick without being syrupy.

Drinkability is very high. The ABV is not noticeable at all. This is quenching and tasty. A master work of brewing!

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2007 22:43:43 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of nickfl


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Large rocky head, hazy saffron color.

S - Phenolic spyciness and herbal hops. Earthy and a bit fruity.

T - Grainy and spicy with solid hop bitterness on the back of the tougue. Long, medicinal/ herbal finish.

M - Quite dry with high carbonation. Fairly astringent as well.

D - The carbonation helps the drinkability, but I have a hard time wanting more than one of these. Much spicer and less fruity than other beers of a similar style and it is very medicinal, which I can't say I enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2007 04:06:11 | More by nickfl
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In the mood to indulge myself a little I pulled this gem from the cellar, after letting it sit for nearly two years. The best before was 20/07/07 but I am drinking it 04/08/07... let's see how this one ages.

The first portion of the pour would reveal as much head as it would beer. Pearl white in colour, it stayed in equal proportion to the beer until about the half way point. While it would remain thick at its base, the head would thin out in some places, leaving a landscape appearance of soft, rolling foothills. The colour is peachy golden. It's almost an optical illusion trying to differentiate the bubbles from the yeast particles, both crowd the body from top to side to bottom.

A cascading aroma that literally "unwinds" the senses. A graceful and unimposing alcohol overcoats all. A lightly spicy yeast yields soft esters. A faint suggestion of fruit. A hard swirl excites a damp, phenolic wheat component that contrasts the otherwise dry character of the beer. The yeast, the esters... so lovely.

The 9.5% is quietly tucked away somewhere, most likely snugged behind the layers of lovely flavours. The carbonation has mellowed suitably over the last 2 years, the mouthfeel is nothing but smooth and graceful on the palate. It seems to dry out for an instance but a presence of flavour quickly resurfaces.

What a wonderful recipe! The yeast is most predominant, again carrying with it countless esters. The flavours all seem "suggestive" rather than upfront. It's a fusion of spices (I'd start with guessing cardamom and pepper), all so subtle but combine for a curious complexity. The inclusion of candi-sugar is very apparent and quite sweet. The taste finishes with the a lingering note of ripened fruit.

A marvelous tripel. Certainly one of the best examples of the style anyone could ever try. I'm not sure which I prefer - aged or fresh. It has held up well - perhaps improved, perhaps not. Either way, this is still something incredibly fantastic and I have savoured every single drop. I will always savour every drop. A wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 04:29:06 | More by biegaman
Photo of pmcadamis


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this at Sunsinger (which is actually a wine bar) in Champaign IL after looking at rehearsal dinner spots with my parents and my fiance's parents.

A - Cloudy but vibrant gold hue with pepper flake yeast chunks at the bottom of the glass. This is topped with a small but tight one finger white head that eventually reduces to a thin cap and leaves quite a bit of lace on the glass.

S - Light honeyed hop notes with some zesty grassy qualities and some nice yeast aromas. Not as intersting or assertive as I expected. Smells good though.

T - Sweet honey up front with some waffle-like malt flavors and a bit of astringent alcohol noticable right up front. A nice metallic aspect reminds me of the way that blood tastes.... odd, but interesting.

M - Vibrant carbonation and medium bodied with some drying astringent alcohol on the front of the tongue. Swishing it around your mouth produces a foamy and lush feel, and a warmth from the alcohol shows up during the long-lasting dry finish.

D - Great! 9.5% be damned...this is a session beer! (A really short session).

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 13:23:11 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of OKCNittany


3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet

A: Poured a 1/2" white head that thinned to a coating. Minimal lacing. Deep dark golden body.

S: Spicy aroma. A bit hoppy as well. Alcohol appears as it warms.

T: Not as sweet as expected. Alcohol a bit too present. Complex - spicy w/ coriander, pepper, and more, plus tart fruit and yeast, with a hoppy finish.

M: High carbonation. Medium body, but very dry. Also, a minimal alcohol burn.

D: The alcohol is too pronounced to allow me to drink too many. It's a bit too bitter as well.

I'm not a huge tripel fan, but I do enjoy them. Considering the ratings of this one, I was disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 03:55:44 | More by OKCNittany
Photo of HossMcGraw


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Last bottle I reviewed was bad I believe from improper storage. This is certainly a very tasty brew worthy of its Trappist designation. A bit hoppier than other tripels, but that adds to its character. Effervescent and full in the mouth, peppery nose, and ripe fruit taste make this a lovely experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 02:02:01 | More by HossMcGraw
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,432 ratings.