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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,640 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,640
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: 3,640 | Reviews: 1,576 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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.

ColoradoBobs, Aug 07, 2007
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!

ghostwalker, Aug 06, 2007
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.

nickfl, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of biegaman
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.

biegaman, Aug 05, 2007
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).

pmcadamis, Jul 29, 2007
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.

OKCNittany, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of HossMcGraw
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Update
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.

HossMcGraw, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of skizziks
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml into a Duvel tulip. The hazy golden beer shows lots of streaming carbonation building a huge, dense, meringue-like white head with excellent retention as the head holds onto itself and the glass almost all the way down.

Mild fruity aroma with pears, a little banana, and some phenolics.

The body is light and crisp with plenty of carbonation but not overpoweringly so. A distinct flavor of honey candy with pears and herbal hops mixes with some spicy phenolics. Nice clean finish.

Apparently this is what a tripel is supposed to be but it's not my favorite. Not that it's bad, it is very nice and very very easy to put back. Something everyone should try and try again.

skizziks, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Straw yellow, slightly hazy appearance. Huge, rocky, white head. Good lacing as I drank. Legs with a swirl.

Scent was earthy and some Belgian funk. Spice - coriander perhaps. Sweet - candi sugar. Touch of citrus and some alcohol.

Sweet more than bitter. Citrus notes. cotton candy. Spicy/herbal at the finish. Bitterness increased some as it warmed, but still sweet overall. Alcohol was quite hot.

Medium - in body. Medium + in carbonation. Dry. Alcohol warming quickly noticeable.

Good, but would probably benefit from some aging. ABV a bit too hot at this point, IMHO.

, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of BarryNL
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Golden with a lacy white head which lasts well and produces some lacing. The beer is, like many tripels and strong golden Belgian ales, rather hazy.

S: Musty, cellar like yeasty aromas. Mild grassy, floral notes.

T: Some sweetness from the malt, which balances but doesn't obscure the alcohol. More bitterness than many Belgian beers, nicely balances the malts.

M: High carbonation, big fluffy beer. Slightly sticky. Good body - not too thin unlike some tripels.

D: Excellent - considering the strength you could really get into trouble with this one!

BarryNL, Jul 07, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The tripel is a brew of pale gold color, with some orange highlighting. Head is ivory white, and extremely active. Lacing is persistent, leaving trails of the foam continuously down the glass.

Aroma is powerful, attractive, and slightly musty (as if the recipe was hundreds of years old..) Notes of tart fruit with a little peppery alcohol, Belgian yeast is apparent and pleasant. Malt profile is pale and less prevalent.

In the flavor the malt is sweet, offering only the bare minimum of backbone to offset the other flavors. Alcohol is noticeable, and slightly warming. The minimal hopping introduces a grassy farmhouse feel, while the yeast offers up ripe fruit along with a depth of flavor that hints towards dextrin, medicinal clove, and pepper.

Mouthfeel is crisp, if somewhat slick. Not a firm style, Westmalle's example is right on par. Finish is smooth, very easy, leaving behind a vinous fruit character along with the dregs of the alcohol and yeast. Drinkability is wonderful sip to sip, but definitely be wary of the nine point five.

All around, a terrific beer, archetypal tripel. Generally easy to find, a must have in any case.

BretSikkink, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of MurphysIrish
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden pour that keeps a 1/8 inch head. Lots of debris in the pour, but that's my fault. Smells of cut grass, dried dark fruits and yeasty notes. I smell very little hops.

Alcohol presence felt immediately on the palate but fades very quickly. Soft mouthfeel that is very pleasant. Almost metallic aftertaste. This is not a session beer, obviously, but a nice after dinner tipple.

MurphysIrish, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of basica
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first official bottle of Westmalle Tripel was purchased from Oosters and the first thing
I noticed was the diamond shape label; that is probably the new label as opposed to Brauhaus'
old Westmalle's which uses the rectangular labels. Basically, the Westmalle Tripel is one of
the not-so-common blond strong ales I am fond of; I am a Belgian strong dark ale person and
blonds are generally not enticing to me as they are usually lacking in fruitiness and place
more emphasis on the yeast component. The Westmalle Tripel pours out with a most gorgeously
looking hazy golden color with a thick, luscious, white foamy head; average head retention.
The smell is light but sufficiently fruity and yeasty; it could have been stronger but it was
not, unfortunately. The taste is rich, fruity, yeasty, slightly bready and slightly malty; fruits
includes fresh plums and grapes and a subtle sweetness to balance it all. Some floral aroma on
the nose and I really enjoyed that. The finish and the after taste was the true party; strong
fruity tones including grapes, fresh plums, apples and maybe starfruit and other fresh fruits
started showing up with floral aromas amidst it. Heavenly maltiness crept in occasionally and
the after taste was not just strong but very lasting, lingering for more than 15 minutes with
subtle sweetness in the pellates. The mouthfeel was pretty full bodied and topping things up,
was an apt amount of carbonation. Silky smoothness was the way I would describe the feel and
there is nothing short of a high level of drinkability despite going strong at 9.5 ABV. The
alcohol is masterfully hidden yet not discounting the great character of the beer. I have true
respect for the Westmalle Tripel though I may prefer the Chimay Blanche.. maybe.

basica, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of Reed415
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky dark orange color with a very large head

S - Sweet and fruity in the nose

T - Taste is very fruity with some mild hops, semi acidic,

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation

D - Very good Belgian with complex flavors with well hidden alcohol

Reed415, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of sterstar1
1.73/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I hate to give a beer (especially a Trappist) a bad review but this beer was not very good at all. I had a few sips and then poured the rest of the 750 down the drain. I may have gotten a bad batch but I found this beer to be quite bitter and sour and not what I would expect from a Tripel.

sterstar1, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of red80go
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - pours a beautiful yellow orangish color with an inch head
s - fruity with a hint of pepper
t - start peppery upfront thin settles quickly into a fruity (pear, grapefruit) dry finish, lingering after taste of grapes
m - feels great with a lot going on, good carbonation up front
d- this is a very drinkable beer and i didn't taste as much alcohol as I thought by the abv, but one should sip a slow pace or it might bite you

I have seen this beer available at tons of stores nowadays.

red80go, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of markaberrant
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - hazy orange, big white head. Good lacing.

S - sweet lemons and honey malt. Some low level spice too.

T - pretty much follows the smell. Very smooth alcohol

M - Light, yet smooth. Alcohol warmth is quite pleasant, but pretty strong.

D - Each sip is to be enjoyed. The alcohol is fairly prounounced, so you need to take your time with this one.

I really enjoy the sweeter tripels like this. Superb.

markaberrant, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of deeplennon
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours nicely with an appetizing golden appearance. Aroma is possibly Saaz with some alcohol, and is good not great.

Taste has too much alcohol for me with not nearly enough sweet to balance. Very dry overall. Yeast character seems funky, though that could be the hops (again Saaz?) what it is is definitely a spicy characteristic that I want to attribute to the yeast. The amount of fruity yeast esters is lacking for the style.

While far from terrible I really don't like the flavor balance of this beer which leans too far towards alcohol. Might be my least favorite triple of the trappist and major abbey brands. Has always seemed overrated to me.

deeplennon, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of RedChrome
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color was a very light yellow with a slightly hazed appearance. Inch and a quarter high white head was pillow like and took a few minutes to fade. Tiny sized bubbles were in abundance. Lacing in rings.

Very sweet fruit aromas. Bananas, peaches and cherries are blended with strength in that order. Earthy yeast is light against the sweetness. Almost nothing bitter to detect.

Sweet taste with a very strong plastic presence. This had an apple taste hidden behind the initial flavor. Despite the fruit, this one falls short of expectation from the aroma.

Decent feel on the sides of the tongue. Carbonation tingles for a while on all surfaces.

Overall a decent brew. This one would work with a plate of lamb kabobs. A solid beer, that pales when compared to others in the style. Try it if you get a chance, but look for others to rule the style.

RedChrome, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of saintwarrick
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another chance to taste a true Trappist beer. Great pour, it comes out a straw and cloudy gold, lots of carbonation and a good head make this a perfect looking beer. Aroma is peaches, pears and tangerines with a nice hint of whiskey in the background. Taste is citrusy with some berry in there, a not-too-sweet taste with a nice bitter dry aftertaste and a warming alcohol sensation as it goes down. Not my favorite Trappist brew, but a good beer nonetheless.

saintwarrick, Jun 23, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From my notes 5/28/07 - Pours a one-finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy, pale amber color. Slight malty nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is balanced to slightly sour. Finish has some alcohol and sourness. Not nearly as good as bottle. On-tap at Summertime Restaurant Scheveningen, NL. €5 ($6.85) for a 330ml glass.

jdhilt, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle while in Aruba on vacation, poured into a large wine glass.

A cloudy, golden orange colored tripel fills the glass with a thin, white head on top. The foam recedes quickly, leaving a small amount of lacing. The aroma is spritzy, bursting with fruits such as pear, pineapple, and banana, as well as a citrusy hint. I'm lovin' the vanilla fragrance, very enticing.

The flavor doesn't stand as well on its own as I had hoped. It's a bit on the bland side for a tripel, and requires the help of some gouda cheese to tease out the true nuances of its taste. Some sweet vanilla notes pair with a touch of spice and hop. The 9.5% is masked well at first, but a dominating alcohol note warms through eventually. Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated with a light body and a nice alcoholic bite to the aftertaste. Very drinkable, surprisingly so for a tripel, there's enough complexity to go around, but the flavor was just a bit off the mark.

wagenvolks, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of meadhead
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a hop leaning tripel
with nice earthen spice
tart fruit and mild sugars
that balance out nice

hints of pepper pear clove
field grass and sweet bread
nothing over bearing
has very crisp edge

pours a hazy lemon-orange
with a tight refined lace
good carbonation
lip pucker in taste

drinkability is exceptional for the
high ABV
goes down quick
and all too easy

an excellent tripel
that departs from
the overly sweet style of some others
very nice.

meadhead, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged bottle, 2 year old bottle yanked from the cellar

Poured into it's appropriate Westmalle Chalice

Smell, apples and grapes dominate the smell, notes of oak(?), and pear round it out

Taste, very sweet apple flavors really come through, notes of grape, and I swear hints of oak. Definite vanilla flavors as well, pretty strong, might be where I'm tasting oak. No identifiable bitterness, no alcohol as well, I taste nothing but sweet nectar.

Overall, I'm glad I pulled this bottle when I did. I don't have much experience cellaring Westmalle, as I try to only cellar 750ml bottles of Belgians whenever possible, and 750's of Westmalle are hard to come by in my parts. But the complexity of this one really came through, I have never tasted such a strong oak/vanilla flavor in this beer before. I can't wait to see how the other bottle I have tastes after another year.

leftmindedrighty, Jun 15, 2007
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,640 ratings.