Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle
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Ratings: 3,570 | Reviews: 1,572 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +7.7%
Poured from a 330ml bottle (two in a row in fact) into my 70s era Westmalle chalice, the Tripel is a cloudy golden orange with a light, white 2-finger head that fades fairly quickly to a persistent skim leaving only a bit of scattered bubbly lace. It is well carbonated, with active streamers lasting the whole glass. The wonderful color and chill haze make this very visually appealing, although I'd like a rockier, longer lasting head.
The aroma is moderate, pineapple and banana with a slight spicy hop backbone and assertive yet clean alcohol.
The taste is also very nice and follows the aroma, grainy, fruity and spicy, and thanks to the high attenuation not at all sweet or cloying. The finish is very dry and clean, only a tad bitter, with noticeable but not overwhelming booze that increases as it warms, though certainly no fusels.
The mouthfeel is light and lively, yet still creamy and rich, and beguiles it's high ABV - masterful.
The drinkability of this is through the roof. It taste great, has superb depth, and is very clean with little indication of it's kick. Luckily, it is priced high enough that those that buy it will be savoring.
Westmalle was the first Tripel (at least by the Trappists, Drie Lindin's Witkap Pater is probably the originator), and is the benchmark of the style for a reason. This a fantastic beer. It has a very romantic old world history, yet it's execution is clearly indicative of their modern brewery and scientific approach. It's just too difficult for me to try to discern favorite beer, but Westmalle's Tripel is certainly high on my list. If you have a chance to get this, do so, take your time and savor all that it has to offer. And of course, don't serve it too cold!!!
03-24-2007 23:28:41 | More by ccrida
4.25/5 rDev -1.2%
Large corked bottle, "expiration" date 10/04/2008.
This is a bright yellow, hazy beer with a creamy head with good retention.
The nose is spicy and alcoholic, cloves and bananas, yeasty and malty.
Taste is similar, spicy and racy, powerful alcohol warming everything, followed by a dry, yeasty bitterness and hoppiness that cleanses the palate and leaves you ready for more.
Lighter body than I expected, easy to drink but dangerously high in alcohol.
I generally prefer maltier, less dry/less hoppy abbey ales, but this one is something to be enjoyed.
03-22-2007 01:59:10 | More by brdc
4.7/5 rDev +9.3%
Poured in a Brandy snifter to prevent the head from overflowing any other type of glass. Thick foamy inch head with tons of bubbling carbonation. Head became thicker like Vanilla ice cream as it reduced leaving very thick lacing. Exceptional color and head. Beautiful apple cider-like color with a slight haze. Yeast aroma with a sweet malt note. Aroma is a bit weak and is the only thing preventing me from giving this Tripel all 5's. Absolutely Superb mouthfeel in every respect. It is a bit more bitter than most Tripel's I've tried, but I like it. Slight Phenolic taste on the finish. Creamy with a rolling texture. Due to high ABV I cannot give it a 5 for Drinkability. Although the alcohol is well-hidden it is definately there and makes me wonder how I am going to finish this whole 750Ml bottle by myself, but I'm sure I'll manage. Bitterness is most distinguishable towards the end of your glass. A touch of spice and vanilla adds to the medium body. Overall absolutely exceptional. I'd bring a bottle of this to a nice dinner over a bottle of wine anyday. TRY IT!
03-18-2007 19:47:55 | More by kelticblood
4.4/5 rDev +2.3%
Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Westmalle chalice.
A: Clear, medium orange. Very active carbonation. Even with a very gentle pour, creates a nice billowy head that stays with the beer. Nice lacing. This is exactly what a Tripel should look like.
S: The aroma is very muted and rather disappointing. There is a bready, biscuity character and a barely discernable note of citrus. Very little there.
T: A malt and candi sweetness fades into a lemony finish. The beer is supported throughout by high carbonation that manages not to be prickly. Notes of honey, fresh citrus and bread are present as well, along with what I ultimately decide is apricot. A dry, earthy finish lingers after the last notes of lemon fade. Perfect expression of the Tripel style.
M: Medium bodied, with high carbonation dancing on the middle of the tongue.
D: The chalice is empty before I really feel like I've begun. Exceptionally easy to drink, but dangerous.
Overall: In many respects, this is the ultimate Tripel, the one against which to measure all others in the style. Yet, the nose is surprisingly restrained, even to the point of being nearly absent, and this is both a surprise and a disappointment. This is an excellent, world class beer, but it is not perfect. I wonder if the bottle has been improperly aged or stored before I purchased it?
03-18-2007 19:13:47 | More by MCDuhamel
3.95/5 rDev -8.1%
Pours a lovely orange/light amber with an absolutely billowing white head which is so dense it forms its own weird shapes & semi-permanent structures which hold up regardless of the shrinking amount of beer upon which they stand
Aroma is hoppy & yeasty. Seems particularly fresh to me. Flavour is sweet maltiness at first, but only for a quick half-second. Soon a perceptable hop bitterness kicks in and mingles with a luxurious creamy body. Creamy. Smooth proteins roll over the tongue & whole mouth, coating you in happiness. At the end some hop aromatics become noticable.
Slight alcohol warmth.
03-16-2007 19:53:44 | More by lawrence76
4.18/5 rDev -2.8%
This beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet. The beer was lightly chilled.
Appearance: The beer poured a cloudy peach yellow coloration. The head was a fluffy off white coloration. The head had major retention and remained during the session. Thick lacing remains on my glass.
Smell: The beer has a sugary, spicey and fruity nose. The beer has a pear and fresh bread smell. Wrapped around this is a spicey alcohol and hops aroma. The fruit suggest apples and pears. Weirdly I think I smell bubble gum in the beer.
Taste: The beer delivers a mixture of the smells in the flavor. The beer is malty sweet at first but alcohol and spices dry the beer out.
Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The carbonation is perfect. The beer drinks very smooth. This is a very easy to drink tripel. I will have this beer again.
03-14-2007 14:08:23 | More by nlmartin
3.55/5 rDev -17.4%
Appearance is a cloudy, blonde with vigorous carbonation and a thick, white, foamy head. Smell is of the typical champagne-like yeasty aroma associated with many Belgian ales out there; mild and sweet. Taste is sweet with a definite citrus flavor that, unlike other reviewers, I wasn't able to detect in this beer's aroma. Taste was good, but not as flavorful as I had anticipated; still a very good beer however. Mouthfeel is warming and alcoholic with crisp carbonation. Overall, a very good brew that is easily drinkable.
03-14-2007 11:37:01 | More by hammer09
4.88/5 rDev +13.5%
Served a hazy straw colored yellow with a decent sized frothy head that was rather slow to diminish. The aroma was of sweet citrus with some peppery spice. There was a great balance of hops and sweet malt with a good yeast bite that combines nicely with the hop bitterness. There was a creamy feel to the beer with decent carbonation. This beer was just about perfect!
03-09-2007 15:40:07 | More by atsprings
3.98/5 rDev -7.4%
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet. Head is huge and snow white. Cloudy, glowing golden yellow. Smell is spicy, fresh, but somewhat phenolic. Delicate malts and citrus notes linger with mild diacetyl butterscotch and fruity esters.
Taste is very strong. You can definitely taste the booze, and it's somewhat harsh, but somehow balanced well by the sweet lemon-pepper malt and bouquet of aromatic fruits and flowers that smell of roses and light white-chocolate cherries. Very spicey too, with some caramel and apple acetaldehyde that could use some conditioning. All in all very pleasant brew. If I had a good cellar I'de let it mature for a year because it would be a real treat.
03-03-2007 01:16:49 | More by uberabr
4.38/5 rDev +1.9%
Yellow gold, with a rocky creamy foam that laces the glass as it dissipates. This brew smells leathery and spicy, perhaps this is the quintessential belgian smell? There is a strong sweetness to the taste, but the it is cut by the carbonation, which lightens the mouthfeel. Alcohol is just noticeable to taste and smell, but it sneaks up on you as you drain the glass.
02-25-2007 01:36:40 | More by pweis909
4.28/5 rDev -0.5%
330ml bottle into snifter.
Clear golden hue with a thick bursting white head that slowly settles to a thick cap. Lots of carbonation quickly rises to the surface. Stacked solid lacing along the glass. The beer gets cloudier as you get closer to the bottom (unless you have a big enough glass to pour it all at once).
Light pale malt scent with a mittle bit of melon and slight tartness. Warming alcohol can be detected in the background.
Crisp malts meet green grape flavors. The taste has an overall tart and phenolic characteristic to it. Bits of creaminess washes over toward the end. The alcohol is well hidden until the finish. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation, giving it a fizzy feel. A touch of hip bitterness makes itself known.
Another superb Trappist Ale, this one a Triple. Complex in flavor and aroma, with a fanstastic presentation. Highly recommended.
02-19-2007 06:21:22 | More by BeerSox
District of Columbia
4.35/5 rDev +1.2%
the head on this bad boy is like woah. it's tall, persistent, and creamy. nice lacing is the outcome
the beer itself is extremely pale. pils pale
the label promises spice, and delivers. the aroma boasts a large hop contingent, too
the flavor is excellent. malt, hop, spice...it's complete. i'm not sure where to start, actually. we'll go chronologically: first is hops. the bitterness is strong, but not overwhelming. a less dominant sweetness follows, but is shortly replaced by spice
i'm not a huge tripel fan...yet, but i do dig this one. alot
update 9/13/10 (and some editing)
good head: check
spicy, hoppy aroma: check
assertive bitterness, spice: check
i didn't really get to the sophistication of this brew in 2007 (my palate has learned!). around the hops and spice is a complex malt and yeast profile. i think i might have sensed this without the capacity to articulate it, as a scored flavor a 4.5 to begin with. a touch of cork (but an artificial cork!) and vinosity; honey and apricots. i should say, too, that the bitterness is certainly not passive but not particularly strong, either. pepper, but no lemon, which i might have expected. also, i do not think the aroma is as interesting as it ought to be (what's wrong with a normative review?)
02-19-2007 04:01:22 | More by bruachan
3.75/5 rDev -12.8%
Semi transparent value of copper/gold in color. Very tick head of off white and not lacy. Good triple blend of yeast ,candy and bitter citrus like. The triple alcohol is apparent so let it warm a bit before tasting. If you like triples this Belgian will present itself will a an interesting blend with added spice and fruit in the background.
02-15-2007 00:23:24 | More by browner
4.1/5 rDev -4.7%
11.2 oz bottle
Pours a hazy golden straw color with a fluffy white head that thins, but maintains. Thick lacing on the glass.
Aroma is very bready and yeasty with a sharp peppery spiciness. Zesty!
Taste is malty upfront with nice bready and yeasty flavors. Leads into a medium bitterness and hop flavors that create a nice peppery spiciness. Finishes quite dry with a lingering yeasty taste.
Medium-full body, solid carbonation.
A very nice tripel, deserving the recognition it receives. Easily consumed the bottle and could drink more, although the ABV would soon slow me down. Kind of pricey at $5 - $6 for the bottle, but still worth a try.
02-08-2007 04:21:41 | More by MaltyGoodness
3.33/5 rDev -22.6%
Presentation: Poured from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a Duvel chalice. The bottle is short and stubby, with a raised ring of glass aorund the neck. The side of the label has places to motch a date, years and months, but nothing is notched. Imprinted on the back is the date 03/01/08. I assume that is a drink by date.
Appearance: Pours with about 1 inch of almost pure white head. This settles slowly, leaving a ring aorund the glass and a decent skim coating of foam. Lots of lacing. The beer itself is a beautiful honey color and very hazy.
Smell: A subtle sweet smell, citrusy and somewhat syrupy. Definite wheat tang. Slight smell of molasses or brown sugar.
Taste: Alcohol taste is fairly strong, maybe it would settle with some aging. Sweet malt undertones, with a bitter fruit aftertaste, not really pleasant. A slight hint of honey.
Mouthfeel: Average level of carboantion. A great creamy finish.
Drinkability: A little bit disappointed. The appearance is great and the smell is pretty good. The taste however, I found unpleasantly bitter, not a hop bitterness, but an unripe fruit finish. Maybe this would benefit from some aging. Something I will definitely revisit.
02-06-2007 21:34:42 | More by beveritt
4.28/5 rDev -0.5%
This is a great tripel.
Appearances are as good as it gets. Huge frothy head that laces the whole way down. Golden hazy orange and white, beautiful head.
Floral hoppy smell, with a fruity sweetness on top. No obvious alcohol in the smell.
Taste is superb and one of a kind. Fruity and hoppy and a wonderful alcohol warmth combine to make one of the best tasting tripels, period. It's worth every penny.
Feels great with a bit of carbonation and medium to heavy body. It's sweet, but not cloying at all. Good to the last drop.
I don't know how drinkable it is given the high abv, and strong complexity, but I would definitely return to this. Pick one up if you haven't already.
02-05-2007 00:24:35 | More by SaucyA
4.35/5 rDev +1.2%
From a 11.2 oz bottle...with different labeling than shown.
Pours a hazy golden color with a clean white head that is being kept alive by visible effervescence.
Smells aggressively citrus, sweet lemon and a subtle earthiness.
The taste is a very light fruity flavor with a slight bitterness leftover. Hard to notice any of the 9.5%, except for a bit of warmth in the chest.
Different and easy to drink.
02-04-2007 17:51:44 | More by jjayjaye
4.13/5 rDev -4%
Appearance: Hazy, golden brown color. Thick head made up of solid, clingy off-white foam.
Smell: Hops are floral and assertive. Delicately grassy, even. Spicy alcohol punctuates the mellow, candied smoothness of the malt.
Taste: Less rustic than most Tripels. Subdued. Lightly sweet honey and butterscotch flavors mixed with slight hints of citrus, distinctive but not intrusive stings of alcoholic burn, and herbal hop flavor. Smooth and refined.
Verdict: Less in-your-face than many of its brethren, but certainly an enjoyable sipping beer.
01-30-2007 20:05:03 | More by bearrunner44
4/5 rDev -7%
330ml with best by date of 26/01/08 poured into a chimay goblet.
a: poured a dark golden, lots of carbonation (could not see though it when up to a light), nice head that quickly goes away but, forms somwhat white islands on the top due to all the carbonation. bubbly lace hands on the side of the glass on each drink.
s: very fruity; definetly a strong "pear" scent surrounded by a floral bouquet.
t: citrus and spice and everything is nice including the slightly bitter aftertaste.
m: imagine drinking a very dry champagne.
d: very smooth and alcohol content is masked very well. very easy to over do it with this one.
01-30-2007 08:01:41 | More by koolchas
4.38/5 rDev +1.9%
A- Very slightly cloudy golden color with a nice fluffy white head. The head finally recedes to just a creamy looking covering.
S- Sweet, fruity, the slightest bit of bubble gum.
T- A fruity sweetness hits you up front, someone else used "pear" to describe it and it is quite fitting. A little bit spicy, due to the carbonation and alcohol I would assume. Pretty complex, I love letting beers like this warm in my mouth.
M- Very light on the palate, very smooth. A little bit of dryness at the end.
D- Very good, and did not disappoint. I know my bottle was not extremely fresh, but it was well ahead of its "Best By" date. I would absolutely love to try this fresh.
01-28-2007 17:36:25 | More by david131
4.72/5 rDev +9.8%
This beer poured beautiful golden color with an admirable head that stayed around for about half the glass. The fragrance was a light fruit or floral. The taste was clean with nice fruit sweetness.
Simply put, a wonderful beer and a pleasure to drink.
01-28-2007 05:34:47 | More by beerbrains
4.38/5 rDev +1.9%
Appearance - clear dark golden with thick bubbly white head.
Smell - mmm, floral honey, slight pineapple, little coconut, quite the forplay!
Taste - WOW, fizzy freshness turns into big taste and warms up the mouth.
Mouthfeel - very comfortable, alot of carbonation, less would probably make the beer too heavy.
Drinkability - this beer does a good job at hiding the alcohol. Makes it all too tempting to have a few too many!
What can I say, one amazing ale!
01-27-2007 20:09:25 | More by stulowitz
3.9/5 rDev -9.3%
Immediately I recognised a distinct difference between the Leffe Tripel and this, specifically a positive difference. Straight off the bat, it was just better. It poured better, looked better, smelt better and tasted better than the Leffe Tripel.
After pour, the head of this brassy-coloured beer sticks to the glass and leaves a beautiful lacing as you continue to drink, which adds nicely to the presentation.
You can clearly taste some fruity undertones which I recognised as pear and apricot. At 9.5%, the alcohol is definitely not disguised, but does nothing to distract from floral scent and taste with hints of clove that work deliciously well with the high carbonation and the dry yeasty finish.
Its definitely one to drink at cellar temperature, as it proved far less enjoyable while colder and is easily the nicest Tripel Ive had although I still wish I had found the Dubbel, as I must admit that despite the complexity and near perfection of this brew, I did prefer the Leffe Brune I had prior to it, and am generally a sucker for the malts present in Belgian dark ale brews.
01-21-2007 04:30:16 | More by rec
4.58/5 rDev +6.5%
Best by 06/02/08
Pours out a brassy gold with a 2 finger head that slowly settles to a 1.5 finger head. Head clings to the glass and leaves sheets of lacing. Lively carbonation keeps the head fluffy. Has a great mix of pale malts, cracker-like grain and spicy yeast without letting things get overboard phenolic. I get some light apricots and alcohol heat in the nose. Taste is bready malts accented by mild grain and candi sugar notes. There's some refreshing wheat cracker like flavors as well as a drying mild tartness and some alcohol notes. Finishes with some herbal hop flavor and a perfect dryness. Aftertaste lingers on with fruits and bread. Mouthfeel is light enough from the dryness, but has a slight slickness from the alcohol. Carbonation is of tiny uniform bubbles that ends up being kind of smooth. Drinkable, but the alcohol can get to be a bit much. Without a doubt, this is the best tripel I have ever tasted.
01-19-2007 04:12:46 | More by goochpunch
4.4/5 rDev +2.3%
appearance: urine yellow/golden, with a nice 1 inch fluffy head. great head retention throughout.
smell: flowery, fresh grass, sugary, ripe fruits
mouthfeel: light, silky, with generous carbonation, but balanced well.
taste: hoppy, light sweet refreshing honey/clove, acidic alchohol present but complementary, delicous pear, ripe plum
overall: well balanced, very drinkable. nectar of the gods for sure. these monks are serious about beer.
01-16-2007 08:39:42 | More by OutlawJoseyWales
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,570 ratings.