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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,639 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,639
Reviews: 1,576
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 248
Gots: 314 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website
Belgium

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,639 | Reviews: 1,576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Biscuit033
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a gold/pale orange with plenty of head that slowly diffused and left lots of beautiful lacing.

S: There is an immediate but brief golden raisiny sweet smell, then spices like coriander and some white pepper and finishes with an earthy strawlike/hay scent but not funky. There is a lot of depth in the nose and more and more aromas emerges as the beer warms.

T: Begins with hints of orange peel and honey and then the spices kick in: corriander, white pepper, some juniper berry, and then green grassy notes with a bitter hop finish. Perfect Balance of sweet and spice.

M: Great Carbination and nice light to medium body that carries the flavers very nicely.

D: Though the alcohol is not as forward as I would think there is a definate warming of the body and soul that makes this a great digestif.

This beer is how I enjoy tripels perfect balance and a good handle of the sweetnees.

Biscuit033, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of timtim
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hazy golden orange with a white head that crackles and fizzes like it's really alive. not too much lacing and not too great a retention, but these are not qualities that really matter to me in a beer. i smell musty, earthy hops, some mildly sweet pale malt and spicy yeastiness (clove, pepper, and cardamom to name a few). alcohol taste is boozier than most other tripels i've tried, but i love it. i taste everything that i smell, and also detect a hint of pineapple. call me crazy, that's what this one gives me. medium mouthfeel tastes lighter than it is because of the carbonation. i would drink this all day if i could.

timtim, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of wanker
3.1/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Boy, I was disappointed in this one. Of course, I had high expectations going in, after reading the reviews here.

First the good news. The mouthfeel is outstanding. A fairly high amount of carbonation, but I like that. Very crisp finish. The appearance is also nice, a light amber with just a touch of cloudiness. A gentle pour generated almost no head, which is also fine with me, because I don't like to wait for a head to subside before I can start drinking.

Now the bad news. The alcohol taste is way too harsh. I know that alcohol can be masked better in 9% ABV Belgians, because Unibroue does it with theirs. No alcohol masking with this beer. To me, it tasted like a Duvel with a shot of Everclear poured into it.

This booziness destroyed the drinkability for me. If I want a boilermaker, I'll order one. Also, drinking just one 330 ml bottle gave me heartburn and a slight hangover, which never happens to me when drinking a similar size bottle of other 9% brews.

wanker, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a pale straw color with three fingers of frothy white head on top. Very limited lacing. Opaque beer. A good bit of yeast floating around. Nose is really strong citrus (lemon, specifically). Lots of really sweet malt, and some spiciness. Flavor is really good. In no particular order: spices, warming alcohol, citrus. A touch of orange as the beer warms. Nothing to complain about here. Body is really good, sharp carbonation that's spicy and refreshing on the tongue. Medium to full body. I really liked this one. A tasty, refreshing tripel - not weighty, like some. Actually, a bit like a saison. Overall, definitely recommended.

soupyman10, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of sendsilk
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Clean but much lighter in color than I would expect from a tripel trappist. Poured with about a 1 -1/2 finger head that dissipated rather quickly. No sediment or residue in my bottle.

S- Clover and some orange and spice. My sense of smell is not the best but it definitely smelled of citrus/orange.

T- Surprisingly clean as I have grown used to St. Bernadous 12 which is far heavier (but an awesome beer). I am pleasantly surprised by the lightness of this. Completely satisfying and a great body to it but not overwhelming. Orange and clove taste with the alcohol being covered over for the most part. Delicious and refreshing. I will have to check out more trippels as I have become accustomed to quads.

M- Don't really know how to rate this. Very nice. No lingering aftertaste. Clean but with substance. Do yourself a favor and try it.

D- Absolutely!! One of the top 5 beers I have ever tried (and I have tried a lot). Would definitely recommend this to everyone I know and will be picking up more tomorrow. I bought 25 or so singles to give them a whirl and this is my third on and the best so far.

sendsilk, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a bit of cloudiness and suspended yeast particles, with a glorious, slightly tarnished gold color and perfectly white head that leaves some nice lacing. Aroma of honey and bananas, along with spicy continental hops and raw alcohol. Perfect for the style. On the palate, incomparably smooth, with great complexity. Things start out with juicy bananas and sweet malts, then switch over to increased hop bitterness and a finish that's almost entirely dry. Mouthfeel is rich, with medium thickness at the beginning, then things thin out a bit and introduce a bit of alcoholic burn. This is a classic beer, the best tripel I've come across. Outstanding.

geexploitation, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of LittleCreature
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 4.5
Poured a bubbly, frothy three fingers of white head. The colour is a hazy golden orange, which looks to be highly carbonated.

Smell - 4.5
Absolutely heavenly, sweet, fruity and spicy. Aromas include ripe pear, apricot, orange peel, lemon, vanilla, mixed spice and the clear alcohol whiff, which plays second fiddle to the other tantalising smells.

Taste - 4.5
I am not sure I could imagine a tripel tasting any better than this! The 9.5% ABV is extremely well hidden, tastes more like 7%. The sweetness is perfectly balanced with the tartness, bitterness and alcohol bite. Flavours include citrus fruits, pear, burnt sugar, some spice, and a finish that is slightly bitter and dry. The aftertaste is warmly alcoholic and moderately sweet.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
The level of carbonation changed dramatically as the beer warmed, getting steadily flatter. However, it always felt, thick, almost chewy, yet moderately weighted and quite crisp at the same time with lots of tiny bubbles.

Drinkability - 4.5
Remarkably good for a beer with an ABV this high. I wish I had a second, it's quite evil how drinkable this is!

OVERALL - 4.5
This was once the highest score I had given any beer. I was close to giving it a 5 for taste, which would have bumped the score to a stratasphoric 4.7! Sometimes I wanted it to be a little sweeter, but then I remember the over-sweetness of certain tripels that reduce their long-term drinkability. So close to perfection for the style, and certainly the best tripel I have ever tasted. It is double the price of other tripels on offer, but definitely worth it, if not for regular drinking.

Edit: I've had Westmalle Tripel several times since the above review, which was my first time drinking it. For reasons unknown, it has never impressed me nearly as much since. Still undoubtedly an excellent beer, though I have marked down drinkability to a 3.5, altering the overall score to 4.4.

LittleCreature, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of joe1510
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml
$9.99
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.

joe1510, Sep 16, 2007
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.

belgbeerdrinker, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of softcough
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.

softcough, Sep 08, 2007
Photo of Jmamay22
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.

Jmamay22, Sep 08, 2007
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.

ArrogantB, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of BucBasil
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.

BucBasil, Sep 05, 2007
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.

shadow1961, Aug 31, 2007
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.

number1bum, Aug 29, 2007
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.

Beerbuddha, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of cyrenaica
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle
9.5%
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.

cyrenaica, Aug 22, 2007
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.

stereosforgeeks, Aug 21, 2007
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.

joeysmokedporter, Aug 19, 2007
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.

beals, Aug 18, 2007
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.

jmalex, Aug 14, 2007
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.

botham, Aug 11, 2007
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.

TheBierBand, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of JustinBathurst
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.

JustinBathurst, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of grub
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.

grub, Aug 10, 2007
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,639 ratings.