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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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3,901 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,901
Reviews: 1,601
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 289
Gots: 430 | 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: 3,901 | Reviews: 1,601 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RuudJH
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Westmalle is one of the easy available trappists around here.
Also the most reasonably priced.

This tripel is very clear, with pieces of yeast on the bottom of my glass. The head is fluffy, the lacing is good. Very good carbonation.
The smell has a lot of pleasant yeast and malts, some citrus, banana and spices.
The taste is very hoppy, bitter, with some spices, also a bit of fresh baked bread.
The brew is slightly dry and bitter in the aftertaste, but the alcohol, and with 9.5 % it's not a little, is completely masked by the flavours. All that remains of it, is the warming feeling it gives.

Classic tripel with bready, yeasty, hoppy and spicy notes.

Photo of Kadonny
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A: A hazy golden color with some yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Huge bubbly fluffy head that you have to be careful of even on a non agressive pour. Glass lacing sticks throughout.

S: Sweetness with hints of fruit, sugar and yeasty spicy smells.

T: Wow, I was overcome with the sweetness initially on this beer. Flavors of banana, lemon, honey, sugar, yeasty musty spicy flavors and a hint of hops at the finish. I have had a nice selection of tripels before, but I believe this is the sweetest one I have tasted. Finish is lingering sweet and the taste of alcohol.

M: Full and coating with lingering sweet, almost to the point of being cloying. Alcohol is fairly prevelant.

Overall I thought this beer was a bit sweet, but boy was it complex. I will give this another go as I can find it at a store in NJ in singles. I know this is a world class beer, but I just didn't get the uber sweetness.

Photo of BarrelO
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

50th beer review!

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. I pop the cap and...of course, it's a gusher. Luckily, only a little bit spills on the counter.

A: Pale orange with a huge gorgeous head that never quite goes away.

S: Dominated by grassy hops. It's difficult to make out anything else.

T: A nice mix of lemony tartness and clean noble hop bitterness. Bready aftertaste with a hint of fruitiness.

M: Light and effervescent with tons of carbonation.

D: Does this deserve its status as a world classic? I'd say so, especially considering that it set the template for all the BSPAs that followed. The only problem is that Duvel is even better and is available at significantly less cost. But if you can get this for free, it's a definite thumbs up.

Photo of Jeffo
3.66/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a medium-thick looking fluffy 1 finger white head. Colour is a golden yellow with almost zero carbonation evident. Lots of little floaties as well. Head fades to a decent film and leaves some lacing. A thin film stays to the end but leaves minimal lace down the glass. I'd call this pretty average for the stle.

SMELL: A decently strong nose of toasted malt, biscuit and lemon peel. Some spicy notes in there as well and a strong trace of yeast. An underbelly of alcohol ties it all together nicely. Probably the best part of the beer.

TASTE: Sweet malt up front with some raw honey and lemon peel again. Some biscuit again and a touch of hop bitterness as well. This soon give way to a burst of spicy and medicinal alcohol at the end. The mild long lasting aftertaste is bitter-sweet with some spicy alcohol as well. Enjoyable, but the alcohol is a little too present for my liking.

PALATE: Thin and lighter body with high end carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down surprisingly smooth but ends with a little alcohol bite and burns down the throat. Finishes rather dry on the palate.

OVERALL: An enjoyable triple, but in my view it is not as enjoyable a triple as their dubbel is a dubbel. This is a very aggressive triple, and the alcohol burst might be overwhelming for some. I'm more of a fan of the milder Chimay and St. Bernardus triples, but this one is interesting in its own right. Recommended for those interested in the style.

Photo of tedpeer
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce poured into a chalice.

A - Poured golden with a huge white head that subsided to a 1/4 inch head. Good lacing.

S - Smells of fruits, spices and sweet.

T - Spicey, fruity, and some alcohol warmth.

M - Very dry with high carbonation.

D - Pretty easy, alcohol would be a killer.

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

A - Pours light honey, somewhat murky, cotton, thick bubbled, 1 inch head.

S - Malt, biscuit and honey.

T- So many things. Malt coverts to slight perfumed honey, delicate and nice. Easy bitter at finish.

M - Medium body, good coat, carb and balance.

D - One truly quaffable beer.

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.21/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bright golden yellow color with a three finger white frothy head. Good head retention, waiting and waiting for the head to die down but just doesnt. Great lacing clings all over the glass.

Has the tripel smell to it. Smells of apricots, banana peels, yeast, and lots of spices that i cant figure out.

Reminds me of Duvel. Slight bitter upfront with definite alcohol taste, lots of spices coming in and taste that I just cant figure out. Has like a semi-sweet taste to it also.

Mouthfeel is dry and high on carbonation.

As stoked as I'am to finally try this, since this was on my list to try as soon as I got started in craft. This was a little to dry for me. I'll definitely pick up the "Dubbel" instead of this one though.

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

Poured into my Westmalle chalice. It's the first time it's seen the actual thing, and I think it's as excited as I am.

Pours a deep gold with a thick, lumpy white head. Good retention, incredible lacing.

Smells very sweet and fruity. No hints of hops, and I can't quite finger the fruit that I'm smelling. I'm not experienced enough to distinguish the nuances, but it smells and looks a lot like Duvel -- which is obviously a good thing.

The spicyness of the taste was masked by the sweet smell. A fair bit of alcohol. It doesn't seem all that complex to me, but maybe that's due to my inexperience. Still reminds me of Duvel.

For the ABV, this is incredibly drinkable. Despite the not-so-subtle alcohol, it's not overwhelming by any means. I wouldn't have more than one in a sitting unless I wanted to stumble around, watch bad TV and eat junk food for the rest of the night.

Photo of citan133
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Really nice, thick, fluffy two-finger head that just stays and stays. I poured this five minutes ago and it's still barely moved. Nice deep golden cloudy color, too. The head on this is really a beautiful thing.

Smell: Slight banana smell, almost a little skunky or funky. Kind of interesting but nothing too special. Basic tripel nose.

Taste:A little bit of spice, actually really heavy on the alcohol. Definitely comes through quite a bit. Almost a dry sort of finish. Not a whole lot of complexity coming through to me. I don't know if my bottle is just off but I'm not too thrilled with this one so far. It's pretty good but not great.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, nothing special. A little dry in the finish, flavor stays with you for a while. Not cloying or anything but just kind of a nice reminder that you're drinking a beer until your next sip.

Drinkability: I think flavor-wise you could definitely do a few of these, even with the alcohol bite but the alcohol would catch up to anybody. It's got a kind of creeping warmth to it that I really like. It hits you slow and kind of simmers. A pretty good beer overall, I've had some tripels I've been more impressed with (Allagash comes to mind). Nice beer but world class might be pushing it.

Photo of sjclay00
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden color with lots of bubbles from the carbonation. A nice head with a good 2 finger measure
S- The alcohol is present in the smell but mostly plain with small amount of yeast
T- Great taste a little dry but very nice
M- nice mouthfeel with high amounts of carbonation
D- Easy to drink but the % of alcohol could put you down quick

Photo of unitas3
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably the culmination of every great beer I have ever had. It pours the most beautiful pale orange honey blossom body perfectly unfiltered and utterly gorgeous. The lacing is concentrated and creamy leaves a nice layer on the glass when swirled. The distinct aroma is hinted with roasted apricots, lemon peel and dry alcohol.

This is one of the most challenging beers for me to review on taste. The complexity is pretty astounding. Lots of dried lemon peel and spice/rich yeast with sweet honey nuances and a dry/slick alcoholic bite that finishes smooth.

Taking a sip of this beer, for me anyhow, is like the scene in the movie Beerfest where they taste the secret recipe beer for the first time. Yes, it is magical.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was in a stubby brown bottle, poured into a glass, clear straw yellow with yeast sediments.

The smell was of clean alcohol and belgian yeast.

Taste follows the nose, malt sweetness accompanied by a strong burst of alcohol. Some bubblegum is noted and just a whiff of belgian hop in there too.

Mouthfeel smooth and quite crisp.

Drinkability is good, this beer is kick arse in every way. Big strong belgian liquid love.

Photo of katan
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 mil into a pint

A - Pours a gold to golden brown color. Very strong carbonation leads towards a large pearly white head. Breaks down to a strong foamy film. Very cloudy, lots of yeast and other floaties.

S - Leads with the belgian tripel yeast strain - spicy and earthy. A small amount of phenolic notes are hiding in the background, as is the malty sweetness.

T - Starts off with the malt sweetness. Very quickly starts getting some bitterness and a biting edge from the yeast. Alcohol starts to dominate towards the end. Finishes with the very dry sweetness - very much the typical tripel for me.

M - Very carbonated - lots of bite. Edgy and stinging. Little aftertaste or cling. Beer itself is fairly thick based on its heavy sugar content.

D - Moderate to low drinkability - tripels just don't go that way, and this beer does nothing to change it. ABV is potent and the higher than average carbonation leaves me very full.

An excellent tripel - probably one of my favorites from Belgium. I hope that their philonthropic efforts are supported well by my purchase.

Photo of Asgeirr
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Westmalle Tripel pours a opaque and cloudy orange colour along with a amazingly thick and fuzzy egg white crown which leaves a circle marked of lacing along the glass.

Smell: Fruity, pineapple, a subtle yet clear scent of yeast. Fresh. Sweet. Simple yet distinct.

Taste: That which strikes me first concerning this beer is that for a trappist, it is surprisingly bitter, dry might be a word better apt (but then again, that's more likely to belong in the category below). Not all that sweet - as one would expect from a trappist as well - either, but a certain sweetness similar to that of cardamom occasionally pops up. The aforementioned dryness, however tends to dominate the other tastes.

Mouthfeel: Round and smooth towards the palate, with a warming finish (due to the alcohol content).

Drinkability: I find this trappist interesting, but sadly a bit too unbalanced (or incoherent if you like) in the primary category, namely "taste" and thus it renders the - once again - for a trappist, rather mediocre score.

Photo of GodOfBeer
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep golden colour with a nice foamy white head, lots of carbonation.

Smells of alcohol at first, some light fruit, pear, apple, mango, some clove spiciness, too much of an alcohol smell though.

Tastes yeasty, fruity, some spiciness. Some sort of lager taste also, and nice hop bitterness. This does not hide the alcohol well at all, perhaps with age...too alchoholic tasting.

Nice frothy mouthfeel, pretty drinkable for 9.5, except for the alchohol. La Fin du Monde puts this to shame..

Photo of diamondc
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass, the head is enormous, fluffy, sticky lacing, the foam just won't quit.

Aroma is of pears, melons, a little bit of mustyness.

The taste is a fruit extravaganza - grapes, pears, pineapple, & passion fruit. Ginger, cloves and banana bubblegum flavors come out after a few swigs. The hops come out quick though to tame the sweetness. The aftertaste is a bit dry, a bit like tasting the inside of a pecan shell by accident.

Mouthfeel / drinkability: Very smooth, low carbonation suprisingly for a tripel. Very easy drinking here, which you wouldn't expect for a 9% abv beer, either. Expensive, but definitely worth buying.

Photo of snaotheus
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fine (as in not coarse) carbonation, apple cider yellow in color. Almost no head, no lacing.

Smells fairly plain, a little hint of fruit, mostly yeasty.

No bitterness or hoppiness, strong clove flavor, lagerish flavor in the background. Not very sweet at all for the tripels I've tried. Surprisingly strong lager aftertaste.

Feels light or effervescent -- the fine and steady carbonation is very noticeable. Not thick or sticky.

Pretty drinkable -- it's like a supreme light beer.

I'm pretty surprised -- maybe I'm too used to American tripel-styles, but I'm not a huge fan of this beer. The lager flavor is not very flattering.

Photo of jsapunor
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Your search for the perfect Tripel could end right here.
It pours a beautiful opaque gold into the chalice and has layer upon layer of complexity in the aroma. This is nice but the taste is magnificent. Smooth, spicy, multi-layered, smooth, complex and did I mention smooth? Lots of fruits as well. The mouthfeel is silky with just the right amount of carbonation. This is so smooth and wonderful that you will be tempted to drink more than the ABV would allow.
Try one of these and a La Fin du Monde in a blind tasting. You can't lose.

Photo of amneziak
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The Westmalle Tripel pours a slightly hazy golden color - very similar to what you'd see from a wheat beer. As with most of the other Trappist beers, this comes with about three to four solid fingers of light head with minimal lacing that disappears pretty quickly. You can tell this has a lot of effervescence by the onslaught of small bubbles swimming swiftly to the top of the glass.

Smell: Just as I had imagined, there is a lot of spice going on in the glass. There is an immediate blast of beautiful honeycomb that hits you first, and then it is quickly followed by banana and clove components on the back end. For me, the real joy comes out of feeling like I've just stuck my nose in the middle of a fresh honeycomb. On top of what is immediately noticeable, there is a very faint amount of funk that sits way in the back of the nose. This becomes more evident as the beer begins to warm.

Taste: I guess one of the best things a beer can do is taste like it smells, and this certainly does just that. Surprisingly enough the honeycomb component I get on the nose translates into the taste very well. I also taste the yeast along with the banana and cloves. In terms of the alcohol, I don't taste it as much as I thought I would but I certainly feel it about halfway through the bottle. And it's a small bottle.

Mouthfeel: Overall this is an extremely well-balanced beer in the mouth. Because of the style, the Westmalle has a lot of bite due to the sparkling qualities and the enormous amount of head. There is a perfect amount of bitterness, too, which is paired with a vigorous amount of acidity. Normally a beer like this would lean more toward the lighter side, but this one is easily approaching medium body.

Overall: Let's be honest, this isn't a mind-melting beer. However, it is classic in just about every way. I really love the honeycomb component the most and really like the way this baby smells. I am also a really big fan of the bitterness levels that I get from the Westmalle. It's not as unique as the Orval (which is still my favorite Trappist ale), but it is definitely a staple and quite enjoyable. It's proof that consistency is a very good thing.

Photo of JBogan
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy peach color with a one finger white crown which left minimal lacing.

Smelled of yeast and pear and a hint of banana. No real sign of the alcohol.

Taste was also along the same lines as the aroma. Had a bit of mustiness to it as well.

Mouthfeel was nice. Smooth and with a good tingle on the tongue.

This is a nice tripel, although the taste just wasn't quite up there with my favorites of this style. Perhaps a little too much on the musty side. I would have liked a bit more bite to it.

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

Poured from 750 ml bottle into goblet.

A- Bright golden color. Massive head. Head does not stick to inside of glass.

S- Smells different than most Tripels. Slight alcohol scent.

T- Taste is dry with nice finish. Rather bland compared to others of the style.

M- Light and clean.

D- Definitely very drinkable.

Overall there are several others in the style that I prefer to the Westmalle Tripel.

Photo of joshuadlight
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Chimay goblet and had to slow down to keep the head contained, it practically jumped out of the glass. Golden yellow, head is white and not all that sticky.
Fruity sweetness along with some earthy notes in the nose. However, I got way too much funkiness and sourness combined with a weird bitterness in the flavor. I know this is a world class beer with tons of history, but this Tripel just isn't for me. I was able to drink the whole thing without a problem, but I don't think I'll be going down this road again.

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

A: Warm, mildly sweet spices (pepper) and potent, freshly cut into banana.

T: The aroma belies a pungently smoky/bitter flavor. Prominant in-your-face bitterness contrasts against the smooth body. Not very sweet. Bitterness lingers on the tongue long after swallowing. Individual flavors don't leap out, but hay and spicy pepper are definitely blended in there.

Smells, looks, and feels great! Taste, although rounded and interesting, didn't feel the most balanced. Enjoyably complex and fun to drink but flavor didn't provide as much inherent pleasure...

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

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a tiny one finger head. Poured into a wine glass.

The nose has a lot of sugary candy aroma. Some definate fruity notes as well, lemon, orange, as well as apple and pear.

Taste is initially quite sweet and sugary, like toffee or caramel. This is blended with a pronounced sour note. Fruits are sour tasting and the bitterness is held back. Not much alcohol gets through the complexity of the flavour.

Creamy and thick mouthfeel with a medium carbonation works incredibly well here. The creamy mouthfeel is what I noticed right away.

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet. Hazy gold color with streaming columns of carbonation. Fluffy white head leaves quintessential Belgian lacing. Aromas of pears and apples with some coriander and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is lightly fruity with accents of pepper and coriander. Significant alcohol blends nicely behind the fruits and spices. Warming mouthfeel with delicate carbonation and medium body.

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,901 ratings.