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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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3,567 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,567
Reviews: 1,572
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 237
Gots: 290 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,567 | Reviews: 1,572 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twelvsies


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

I just recently rediscovered the tripel, and I'm trying to hit all the big ones again and re-evaluate. Appears a cloudy gold color, with some yeast swimming around. Big white head that doesn't quite last. Smell is very grainy, full of yeast and a strong pizza dough scent as well as some almost tart grassy scents. Taste has a soft sweet malt backbone. Light grassy hops accent a spicy, yeasty, estery taste. A slight alcohol kick gives this beer a nice edge. Love the balance between sweet and spicy. Nice and subtly complex, and balanced enough to pull it off. Gotta hand it to the trappist monks once again.

11-10-2005 03:53:27 | More by twelvsies
Photo of Shovelbum


4.93/5  rDev +14.7%

Deep golden body with a creamy white head. Mild haziness. Decent head retention and gorgeous Belgian lace. Aroma of Belgian yeasts, vinous and citrus fruit, clove, sweet malts, candi sugar… ok already its complex. On to the taste. Sweet malts and Belgian sugar balanced with orange and clove spices. Mild alcohol presence, but well balanced with the Medium body and carbonation. Light bitterness and moderate carbonation. Crisp in the mouth with a slightly drying finish.

My favorite beer. Well-balanced complexity with nice warming alcohol presence that is noticeable but not overwhelming. Every time I drink one of these I notice something new in the layers of flavor and aroma. Never boring, always amazing.

11-10-2005 01:12:45 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of beertaster13


3.7/5  rDev -14%

Pours a beautiful goldne orange with a white froth head that rises and rises, setiments of yeast will fall into the glass. The smell is of apricots with a nice honey grain. A hint of banana yeast will water the mouth. Cloves and other spices will creep in. The taste is crisp, with a toasty banana liquor, a apricot sauce will add sweetness, exotic spices will warm the throat. Definetely a strong toasty beer.

11-09-2005 01:40:07 | More by beertaster13
Photo of tgbljb


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

bottle dated 02/09/06. Poured a hazy light yellow color with monstrous white head that left beautiful lacing on the sides of the glass. Smell is fruity, sugary, yeasty, and just absolutely fantastic. Taste is fruity, yeasty, with hints of lemon.Superb. Finishes soft and smooth in the mouth with a nice warming feeling from the alcohol. A too easy to drink beer for 9.5%.

11-09-2005 01:35:56 | More by tgbljb
Photo of LarryV


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours a foggy amber-yellow color with a fluffy, dense white head.
Head fades fairly quickly to a rocky layer of white fluff. Intense lacing from the creamy body of this brew. Nose is soft, yeasty, fruity, enticing. Mouthfeel is very creamy, coats the tongue with an explosion of flavor. Peppery, spicy followed by the sting of the alchohol. The taste lingers on the palate and continues to change.
This is a very nice, enjoyable tripel. Luscious.

11-03-2005 23:59:49 | More by LarryV
Photo of mynie


4.43/5  rDev +3%

Aged two years in my fine closet.

Pours a pretty dark gold like fried chicken with a shiny white head that seems awful proud to be atop such a beer.

Very intense Belgian yeast, plums, and banana on the nose. Spicy ginger like a stripper only without VD. Or that stripper smell. Or really that's a bad comparison but damn does this beer make you want it!

And unlike that bitch Ginger (call me baby, please!) you can stick your mouth on this stuff without having a guy who smells like an ingrown toenail kick the shit out of you by a dumpster.

Remarkable rush of yeast spice, ginger and white pepper, moving quickly into poppy seed banana bread, ending on a fireworks fizzle of flaming fruit and hearth warmed alcohol.

This is fine, fine beer. Perfectly balanced--immensely flavorful without being overwhelming.

11-03-2005 06:43:58 | More by mynie
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%

A 750ml bottle with a synthetic cork. Pours a hazy gold color and is topped by a frothy two-finger thick pale tan colored head. The aroma is quite yeasty, despite the beer resting unsettled for two weeks in my beer fridge. There is also lots of spicy yeast driven notes with pepper, ginger and lemon being most notable. As I get used to the aroma some fruit notes begin to pick up, with notes of green apple and tart pear being evident. The green apple note really becomes quite apparent after a bit.

The beer is full and peppery after my first sip. The beer almost has a creamy consistency and the spice notes give it a piquant sharpness that I like in a good Tripel. The spiciness hold throughout the taste profile of this beer, finishing with a sharp ginger like note at the end. This has a fairly full body to it, yet still remains quite dry on the palate, mainly I think because of the yeasty spiciness. As I mentioned this tastes quite yeasty as well, it gives it a sharp yeast bite to it. The beer has a light tartness to it that plays up the fruity aspects of the beer; mostly I get notes of green apple but there are notes of pear and a bit of tart plum as well, it also plays up the ginger note that is found in this beer.

10-31-2005 04:32:26 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of mgdeth


3.4/5  rDev -20.9%

Appearance - Beautiful golden color, slightly hazy, very fizzy. Good head retention.

Smell - The nose has a sort of a breezy sweetness, with a subtle spiciness in the background.

Taste - The initial taste is an appley sweetness followed by an alcoholic hotness. I also detect a fruitiness common to many ales. This beer is not as spicy as other tripels I have tried. It is also just not as tasty as other tripels.

Mouthfeel - Solid body, but not thick or overwhelming. A little deceptive, given the 9.5% alcohol.

Drinkability - The alcohol detracts a little from the beer's drinkability, but it is still very good overall.

Comments - Maybe I missed something about this beer, but I do not think it is as great as the rankings appear.

10-31-2005 02:19:04 | More by mgdeth
Photo of budsboy


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

750 ml screen printed bottle looks nothing like the picture here. Undated. Corked and caged.

Pours cloudy, pale straw, with a frothy white head that shrinks back to a 1/8 inch coating. Lots of little chunks of godly goodness suspended in there.

Spicy, fruity aroma. Mostly clove and banana, with a bit of ginger and a pinch of citrus thrown in. All-in-all inviting.

Clovey on the tounge. Banana flavor is there with some other ripe fruit. Apple, orange, lemon hints. Bitter, bitter finish, more tannin-like than hoppy. Warming going down. Vinous. Very complex, this. Hard to qualify.

Tight and light in the mouth. Highly carbonated, feels somewhat champaign like.

It is evident that this is a high-quality brew. Deep in complexity and warming for the soul. This may be a beer I will appreciate more as my palate develops, that is my gut feeling. It is simply one of the finest. Try some.

10-23-2005 22:41:02 | More by budsboy
Photo of sitbooboosit

British Columbia (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

pours a hazy pale orangey yellow straw type colour. the head is white with a tinge of baige and very rocky/pillowy. Aroma is primarily of hops, not a lot of malt coming through- a slight pale malt aroma maybe. Hops are tangy citrusy spicey.
Slight pale malt character up front that gets overwhelmed quickly by a strong hop bitterness. the beer finishes with a peppery heat and a creamy warming mouthfeel.

This beer is fantastically crafted and a very good beer. I've never been a huge tripel fan. this is one of the best and while I enjoyed it, the rochefort 8 in the fridge is more to my liking.

10-22-2005 05:02:07 | More by sitbooboosit
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellow golden color with an assertive head of tight mousy bubbles at first pour. It looked like this head intends to stick around awhile due to the copious amount of bubbles rising. Lots of lacing.

Aroma: I get lemony esters along with some grainy sweetness in the beginning through the foam. Some bready malt starts to show up a bit later after the head is just starting to give in.

Taste: Super effervescent with a lot of mouth washing carbonation. The citrusy notes dominate the beginning of the profile. This citrus fades a touch to give you a taste of the bready malt in the middle of the profile. The finish is rather dry due to (what I believe are) sugar additions. There is very minimal warming, which is surprising due to the ABV.

Opinion: This is a fantastic beer! Hands down...quality stuff! Since this is the hallmark of the style, I hate saying that I like another one better, but I think that I prefer the St Bernardus Tripel to this one. That is a stretch, but if you put both in front of me, and I only got to choose one... I would recommend this beer ANY day of the week!

10-19-2005 22:34:38 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Melchizedek


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours murky gold with a monumental head. Smell is somewhat yeasty, almost cheese-like, with a coffee-like bitterness present behind its fruitier notes.

Taste is initially dominated somewhat by alcohol, but this fades before long, yielding to yeasty breadiness and a lovely fruit assortment of apricot, plum, and wild berry. It finishes juicy, not too dry at all despite the notable alcohol. This has the best aftertaste I've ever run into in a beer, a lingering apricot-and-citrus fruitiness.

Yum--this is a delectable tripel, without question my favorite to date. I could sip this stuff all evening if the bottle wouldn't run out...

10-15-2005 20:39:53 | More by Melchizedek
Photo of Zorro


4/5  rDev -7%

Pours a hazy golden ale with a minimal head.

Smell is sweet pineapple and guava fruit with requisite dose of coriander. Spicy black pepper and spearmint are the next scents I can detect. Sweet honey and flowers make up the malt part of the scent. Hops make themselves know only as a little woodiness. Noticeable alcohol but it doesn't detract from the scent and serves as a carrier for other scents.

Taste is malty and slightly sweet. Honey and fruit are the first flavors to come out, then coriander and flowers. Spice is subdued here except for black pepper.

Mouthfeel is not bad.

An OK triple but I had expected more from this one compared to its little brother the Dubbel. Worth a try. This is a beer I will try again from another source and see if it has a bit more wow factor to it.

10-13-2005 02:31:07 | More by Zorro
Photo of Morris729


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a hazy golden color with a very tall bright white head that dissipates in segments leaving a rocky and bubbly lace. Nose is sweet bubblegum and spicy yeasts along with a bit of lemon grass. Taste begins sweet with candied sugar and a touch of honey along with some tropical fruit. There are some yeasty and doughy flavors that follow and some of the warming alcohol is noticeable. Refreshing and quite enjoyable.

10-12-2005 00:03:17 | More by Morris729
Photo of bigbubba


3.93/5  rDev -8.6%

This is a bright gold beer with lots of head and carbonation. It smells like white wine, with some additional fruitiness and a bit of musty yeast. The taste starts out friuty and becomes very spicy. There is just enough bitterness to balance it. The alcohol is not real obvious. The mouthfeel is very nice. Drinkability is ok.

10-11-2005 22:30:46 | More by bigbubba
Photo of HochFliegen


4.6/5  rDev +7%

Wow! 9.5%ABV It sure doesnt seem like it.
A brilliant orange color with a massive rocked top white head. That never ends and is quite creamy. Just like I would expect a Tripel to be.
The smell was most amazing, truly impressive. It was dominated by an orange peel scent and other assorted fruits. Very sweet. Also a hint of spice and...yeast and doughy, very complex. Maybe even a hint of nutmeg. Wow!
The taste blew me away. Amazingly smooth! Very sweet with a strong fruit presence and a bite of spice in there with a dry finish. Slight taste of alcohol with a nice warming inside. Well hidden the 9.5%. A myriad of flavors well balanced and blended to create a beer unlike any other Ive tried. Tart, Sweet, Alcohol, Dry, Fruit, Zest, Spice, Bitter, but yet very light and quite tingly in the mouth with the right amount of carbonation.
Im hooked!

10-09-2005 02:30:52 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of battlekow


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

West-mall-eh looks really amazing, an opaque orange capped by a brilliantly white head that's creamy and muscular.

Quite a dense, complex smell, though well-balanced and not at all overpowering. There's doughy yeast, some citrus and sugar, a bit of pepperiness, and just a hint of the alcohol. The flavor, while equally complex, is different than the nose. The alcohol is more prominent, and lurks alongside the surprisingly bitter finish, making the finish a bit intense. On the other side of the sip, you get the expected yeastiness and a lot of sweetness. An estery, tropical fruit flavor lingers on your lips long after you've swallowed.

Mouthfeel is light and playful, and the only problem I have with this overall lovely and interesting beer is the intensely bitter aftertaste.

10-05-2005 21:38:10 | More by battlekow
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured this from an 11.2oz bottle into my Watou chalice. Poured cloudy orange-yellow, with yeast clumps included, and sticky white head which formed into islands within several minutes.

The smell is awesome, bready yeasty tripel aroma. Of course this is the original, so you'd expect this to fit the profile...

Taste is out of this world. Fruity esters and some very mild alcohol bite compete with the bready aroma.

This is very easy to find in Northwest Columbus, but on the expensive side (generally $4-$5 per bottle). Even so, very good and I will not hesitate to buy more. If I ever get to Belgium, I'll try to taste some fresh bottles.

10-02-2005 20:17:38 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of Dmann


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%

A very good beer but I do not think I got a completly fresh bottle. The pour was very good and this is easily one of the best looking beers I have ever seen with its excelent head, color and champagne like bubbles. The scent was hard to detect at first but then the tropical frutiness and doughy scents came through and were very nice. The flavor was very unique and not what I was expecting at all. The flavor was quite sweet but had a very dry off putting quality to it that made me think I got a bum bottle. There was not much flavor at all other than sweetness and dryness in the finnish. I will have to try another bottle for sure.

09-29-2005 10:24:41 | More by Dmann
Photo of waldowin


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Served in an authentic Westmalle goblet (purchased with the beer).

Pours a light golden color, pale yellow near the edges. Extremely dense white head about a finger thick, that stuck around for a few minutes, and then faded to a haze in the center.

Smells of golden raisins, brown sugar, oranges, limes, cloves and nutmeg. Wonderful.

Tastes even better. A bit dry, and not unlike champagne. A short burst of wheat sugars, and then the carbonation and spices take over, tangled together. It's very hard to pick out flavors on this one, they've mingled so well. Finishes with a bit of white grapes, cloves and coriander.

Mouthfeel is a bit dry, but wonderfully carbonated (just foams as you drink it), tingles of CO2 and alcohol trail along the tongue, and leave your mouth feeling like a white grape explosion. The alcohol is extremely deceptive, with very little effect at all.

I could drink this stuff all day. Tart, tangy, spiced, sweet, dry, juicy, this beer does it all, and so well. Extremely glad I can buy this locally, but wishing I could try it fresh off the taps in Belgium.

09-28-2005 05:52:27 | More by waldowin
Photo of fromage


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

I've had trouble getting into Belgian beer until this one... I heard that Westmalle would soon stop exporting, so I picked up a few 330's from the store a month or two ago, saving a tripel for my girlfriend's risotto.

Appearance was nothing special. Huge, rocky head, but quickly dissipated and was soon nowhere to be seen. It's got wheat in it, right? Where's the head? Killed by the alcohol? Golden haze with a glowing aura, some small bubbles rising to the top.

Smell was amazing... so complicated I should probably have a few more to figure it all out. I smelled strong plums and black currant, slight smell of alcohol, but just barely. Cloves and corriander, a bit of citrus and pine.

Taste basically matches the smell. Subtler fruits, pears, a spicy bite. Slight bread in the background.

Aftertaste is clean, slightly dry, mostly corriander spice. Mouthfeel is medium, not too sticky. Cuts through fat. Definitely try it with a rich, rich risotto--with prosciutto and mushrooms!

Deceptively drinkable, no alcohol cringe. Quite complex. Keep count, though!

09-28-2005 00:55:30 | More by fromage
Photo of kwakwhore

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%

11.2 oz bottle pours a really nice, ample head into a Duvel glass. Citrusy, fruity, hoppy scents. A really sparkly, carbonated mouthfeel. I'm kind of new to Tripels but this is really something I'm going to explore a lot more if they're like this one. The flavors are complex with citrus and hops going along with the spice. This is like Duvel on the most refined, gourmet steroids, a lot more interesting to taste and very refreshing to drink. For the alcohol content this is an extremely drinkable and enjoyable beer, I only had one but I'll be looking for more.

09-16-2005 00:59:29 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of Chadbrew


4.3/5  rDev 0%

Wow... What a really beautiful fluffy white head. Underneath is a hazy tannish beer with decent carbonation.
There is a big malty aroma with a nice touch of bready yeast and hints of clove.
The taste is really enjoyable. If there were a little less clove it would be excellent in my opinion. There is definately no shortage of body in here.
This was a nice treat, overall a truly enjoyable beer.

09-14-2005 23:58:40 | More by Chadbrew
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a wine glass (I swear I'll be getting proper glassware soon, as it's starting to bother me).

Appearance: For a basic wine glass, the lace is sticking insanely beautifully and well. The head still is above the beer, not huge but above it, as it's close to the last swallow. Hazy yellow with lots of bubbles pushing their way to the head of the beer.

Smell: Kind of a heart-stopper. It's a clean and beautiful aroma: lemon, slight grass, slight candi sugar, a bit of pepper and spice, and a bit of tart fruit (apricot and banana are discernible). Complex without being insane, and done almost perfectly.

Taste: I was hoping this would be as amazing as it is. And still it's surprising. It starts sweet, turns slightly toward some spice, turns faintly to some hops, and then turns to a malty, lip-smacking aftertaste. Through the swallow there are so many flavors it's hard to discern them all. Without a doubt, though, this is definitely perfect. Honey, tart fruit, and lemon grass come through the most it seems. Just perfect.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bubbly without being overly carbonated. Medium to full body. Very very nice. This is love and care for sure.

Drinkability: I rarely give a 5 to drinkability, but this is just so beautiful in almost every way that it's impossible not to.

Beyond amazing, and completely worth the $5.40 I paid for the small bottle. I saw the caged and corked bigger bottles for around $10, so I'll definitely be picking up at least one next time I see it.

09-09-2005 03:39:10 | More by asabreed
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Coruscating gold with plumes of particulates so fine they nearly escape notice. The head is breathtaking in its magnificence. It's bright white, huge and hugely rocky. Scattered chunks of lace cling to the sides of the glass, although they could be more numerous. A second pour further animates the beer and breathes even more life into the beautiful crown of foam.

The nose is more spicy than fruity and falls just short of the bar set by the appearance. It's a little lacking in depth and breadth, but I'll reserve final judgment until more of the foam is gone. The aroma is of spiced pears and musky hops with an overlay of well-integrated alcohol.

Westmalle Trappist is an excellent tripel. While it's more boozy than most, that doesn't bother me a bit. The alcohol is so well-incorporated and such an integral part of the flavor profile that to lessen it would be to lessen the beer as a whole. Overall, I'd say it's less fruity and less sweet than most. The emphasis here is on spices (white pepper, cardamon, clove) and an almost arid dryness.

I prefer more candi sugar, but it's hard to argue with the bracing, snappy dryness. Westmalle Tripel isn't a training wheels tripel and it forces its drinker to appreciate it on its own terms or not at all. As expected, it opens up with warming and the various aspects of its personality become both better defined and more tightly interwoven. This is great beer.

The mouthfeel is medium-full. Like most Belgian beer, it feels lighter and more airy thanks to the abundant carbonation. The best word that I can think of to describe the mouthfeel is 'quality'. Less or more of anything wouldn't work nearly as well.

Westmalle Tripel is one of the best examples of the style that I've ever had, along with the outstanding De Dolle Dulle Teve. Even though it doesn't taste like what I've always thought was my preferred tripel profile (fruitier and sweeter), it's still more than impressive and is compulsively drinkable. Bottom line: this tripel is a home run.

09-03-2005 14:45:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,567 ratings.