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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,973 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,973
Reviews: 1,618
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 313
Gots: 488 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website
Belgium

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.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,973 | Reviews: 1,618
Photo of JoeMayo
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark golden color that appears almost cloudy in the center. The head is rich and foamy with a really creamy appearance. The lacing is intricate and goes down the whole glass.

S- Obviously lots of belgian yeastiness and a nice spice profile. Wheat, bananas, mild clove and a light easter aroma come through.

T- Wow, it's way smoother than it smells (not that it smells bad). It's complex, yeasty, very spicy, yet refreshing. It's slightly sweet with banana notes.

M- Creamy and refreshing with a slight alcohol warmth.

D- It would be way more drinkable if the alcohol was hidden a little better.

Photo of kirok1999
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light straw with tons of small yeasties floating in the glass. Lots of foamy head that lingers quite a while.
Smells very spicy, phenol, alcohol, clove and banana.
Lots of spice in the taste, nutmeg, clove, mild alcohol.
Well carbonated with a slick, smooth mouthfeel.
Nice sipper with some soft cheese and nuts.

Photo of TheBishop
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is off the hook, best Tripel hands down.

Poured into Chalice, good head, not thin like I've seen other reviews. Color is straw yellow and murky. Taste is complex and creamy. Alcohol is prevelant but not so much as to make it like cheap malt liquor. Mouthful is unreal, almost too much to describe, almost a shame to swallow. Drinkability I gave a 4.5, only because of high alcohol content, makes this a poor session beer.

Side note, I have been trying to get any trappist beer into this town for about 15 years, finally came through and was worth the wait (even if it set me back a few bucks)

A true representation of Tripel style.

Added note, after further review (drinking) I believe my hit on drinkability is unwarranted. This is the best in the style so there fore give it a 5 across the board. I have not found a better Tripel yet.

Photo of jeffmonarch
2.53/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle in a snifter glass.

A - Slightly orange brown cloudy color with a thin white head.

S - Grainy and almost like wet dog. I hate to day that but it does.

T - It tastes better than it smells at least although I am still not impressed. It is a little sweet and very grainy. A little bitter also.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Did not like this one at all.

Photo of jayb
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance
pours a orangish, light amberish, but clear, plenty of yeast sediment floating in the bottle. Two fingers of light tan head which settles down pretty quick. A second poor produce more of a cloudy brew. still attractive

Smell
citrusy, sour, tangy. Smells very much like a strong white ale. peppery, stings a little as i inhale.

Taste
Mmm. Look out! Tangy, sweet, fruity. Lingering mild bitterness. A spicy mother. There seems to be a lot going on here but the alcohol, spiciness and mild citrus tang are most apparent to me.

Mouthfeel
Smoothish. Very engaging as it is velvety at first, then the carbonation kicks in, giving it some zest and really bringing out the alcohol warmth.

Drinkability
Short of the spicy warmth that whacks you in the nose and mouth, its easy to keep after. The hop bitterness compounds as you continue which slows one down a bit, but be sure it will not stop you from finishing this glass slowly and enjoyably. A bold brew to be sure. I am working on this 1 pint, 9 oz bottle and enjoying it, although a smaller portion would be plenty for anyone. Enjoy!
Cheers.

Photo of changeup45
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a peach, orange, perhaps I could call it grapefruit color. Moderate head that tapers off pretty quickly. About a quarter of the way through just a patchy head remains that does produce some lacing. The aroma is pleasant consisting of fruits, some of the sweeter one's such as oranges and some nice yeast. Semi-tangy citrus flavor, yeasty and extremely easy drinking. There's almost a clean watery note mixed in with the fruits. I would never have known there was 9.2% alcohol in there if I didn't look at the bottle. Quite refreshing too but if you're drinking this you aren't looking for something to slug down while sitting in the sun. As the beer warms it becomes a little more spicy with a sour grapefruit flavor and a banana note I didn't get earlier but still, I can hardly taste the alcohol. This is a great beer but it didn't wow me.

Photo of KeefD
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Westmalle chalice a hazy pineapple color, somewhat orange in the middle and yellow on the edges. Not much in the way of foam or lacing, but that's probably due to the high ABV. Very sweet, boozy aroma. Hints of apple and spice, big hits of candy sugar, and citrus. Flavor is incredible. Orange juice, candied citrus fruits, slightly grassy and floral. Slight acidic wine flavor shows up as it warms. Alcohol is well-hidden on the tongue but a warming can be felt on the way down. Nice amount of carbonation, tingly at first, but a little thick on the tongue as it flows. A true delight and a true sipper. to be consumed in small, adoring amounts. Perfect tripel.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Normal brown 33cl bottle. This one has been hanging around my garage for a couple of years or so. It had been left with a few other goodies boxed up waiting for me to break open when my regular beer stock began to shrink a bit. Best before 30th Oct 2008, so fairly old I guess and ready to go!

Poured into my Westmalle Trappist Challice (what else would you use, if you had one?).

I tried to pour it without getting any sediment into the glass, but I got excited and the whole bottle ended up within the challice. A few bits floated around in a golden hazy cloud of beer. On top sat a thin covering of white bubbles, which were forever being replenished by a rising torrent of other bubbles.

The aroma is all about degrees of sourness and how your nose picks it out. Fruit smells range from Gooseberries to Grapefruit through the spectrum of fruity colours available to man.

The taste is a explosion of flavours, fizzy and different. A bitter sweet mix of the best Belgium has to offer in a glass of Tripel.

The alcohol is evident throughout, but it doesn't detract from the overal complexity and pleasure this beer seems to exude.

A very, very good beer. I have loved it for years and forgot about my little pack of Belgian beers stashed away, some more crackers to come!

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle, tulip

Tremendous, rocky white head, huge chunks of lacing. Some particle matter in the pour.

Cloudy golden amber color, lots of alcohol in the aroma, but some spice as well. Some peach in the flavor. Definite alcohol presence, but more mild than expected, imparts a certain light bitterness.

Getting sweeter over time. I was expecting a bit more resistance going down, but this is creamy and juicy, although lacking in a little pop or boldness to really set it apart.

Easy to enjoy.

Photo of philipquarles
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Cafe Trappisten across from the abbey. Pours a great-looking, slightly cloudy gold with a thick white head that gradually recedes into a film. Very nice lacing.

Smells of sugar, hops, light fruits, malt, and alcohol. This carries on to the taste, but the sugar ends up dominating, closely followed by the fruits (peaches, apples, apricots) and the alcohol, which is not masked very well at all. A bit of malt helps to balance it a bit, but it is still weighted heavilly towards a heady, sweet, alcohol character.

Mouthfeel is good and thick, with a creamy head. Slight carbonation and a bit of alcoholic bite--very interesting.

Overall a good beer, but too sweet to be anything other than an occasional sipper.

Photo of Nowhereman529
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very nice, hazy blonde color into the glass. It left a fairly large head which took a few minutes to dissipate.

At first I was not all that impressed with the smell, as it was a little skunky being cold right out of the fridge. But as this beer warmed to room temperature the natural aroma opened up into a spicy, nicely scented brew. It smells of a little clove, a little coriander and a background of fruit, maybe banana.

Taste is strong on alcohol and spiciness. There's also quite a bit of banana involved, it really is quite a remarkable beer. The flavors really work well together and make this one of the better tripels I've had the pleasure of tasting.

There's a high degree of carbonation in this one, almost champagne-like in mouthfeel. Keeps the beer very light.

I would definitely drink this again. It's a very tasty, well-balanced tripel. Would recommend to anyone with appreciation for good beer.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

It pours a cloudy orange-yellow with a massive and growing head of billowy foam. A delight to look at in my New Belgium chalice. Lots and lots of lacing is another plus.

The smell has notes of yeast, tart fruit, some banana, and a bit of clove.

The taste adds on to the pleasure of the smell, big time. First sip and I notice how pungently delicious it is. The yeast and tart fruit really work together nicely and make for a drying quality that makes me want to take more sips and yeah, being as strong as it is, sips are in order for sure but that doesn't hurt the drinkability much if at all.

There's some peppery and malty tones that I start to notice after the 3rd sip or so that bring in just the right amount of spice and sweetness to just trim the outer edge of the bitterness and that's all I want it to do. Me like the dryness factor here big time. ;^)

It has a medium thick mouthfeel to it that is just so silky smooth going down, it's scary.

I'm just about finished with this bottle and it's time to reflect on how great a drinking experience I just enjoyed. It's a hot summer day and I'm sipping on a brew that's 9.5%abv and I find it so damn refreshing! Go figure! This is truly a world class brew and I'm so happy I got a chance to drink this again after many years doing without. Thanks again, Joe!

Photo of maddogruss
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle of this into a snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy, straw colored body with a thick, silky white head with good retention and excellent lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A slight, malty smell with some banana esters.

T: A strong, alcohol taste that burns the tongue a little. Some banana esters are present in the aftertaste.

M: A fairly, light and crisp mouthfeel that was not exactly what I was expecting but pretty good overall.

D: A pretty good tripel overall. Ok drinkability, but the alcohol seemed a bit much (started to burn my mouth and throat as I drank more of it). I am not sure how much of it I would be able to handle, but if a tripel is your style, this is a fair example of one.

Photo of SickBrew
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: This confirms my new found love of Belgians! Just a few wifs and my mouth is watering. I loved the fruity aromas which are complicated with some peppery tones.

Appearance: I'll just say...effervescent, and with a beauty of a head and long lasting. Viagra?

Flavor: It tastes like it smells! It's definitely complex and sooo nice. I think I'll need another bottle.

Mouthfeel: Crazy. There something awesome going on in there.

Overall: Great! This is what Belgians are all about.

Photo of JEdmund
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance
Cloudy, yellowish orange body; head settles fast

Smell
Mild aroma of banana and lemon

Taste & Mouthfeel
Mouthfeel is crazy! One little swirl and it ignites into a full mouth of creamy goodness; refreshingly citrussy and fruity; however, the heavy malts give it some weight

Overall
Complex and really enjoyable

Photo of PhxHorn
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep yellow with a big fluffy white head. Smells of apples, pears. Taste is an excellent blend of apples, pears, white grape, and some other miscellaneous stuff that really hit the mark. Carbonation was just right, and I could have sipped this stuff all night.

Photo of KaiMiller
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have two different bottles of this of two different ages. From their website, I understand that the best-before date is three years after the brew date, so they are one and four years old respectively.

I don't have two identical glasses, so the younger beer was in a Leffe glass and the older was in my dear Duvel glass. Served at about 5 degrees - 45 for yanks - and allowed to warm up to more civilised temperatures as we went.

Younger:
Appearance: sparkly, thick smooth head, small bubbles. yellow-gold, nice lacing
aroma: peppery, fruity, yeasty notes. good. as it warms, grassy hops coming out mildly - saaz? becomes sweeter and even spicier; becomes less balanced, but richer
flavour: light, peppery, balanced yeast notes. flavour develops well as it warms.
mouthfeel: light, sparkly effervescent


Older:
Appearance: Darker, amber-gold, practically no head, thicker, cloudier. soapy film of head would disappear if not for etching in the duvel glass. no lacing
aroma: heavy, floral, almost cloying. not as nice as the new bottle. as it warms, syrup and floral, candied, gaining a hint of peppery phenolics, nice balance, port-ish now. less cloying than when it was cold. the hops come out more now that its warm, very mellowed, not grassy at all. english?
flavour: sweeter, thicker. not as peppery or sparkly. the fresh-fruitness of the first has become heavier, brandied, syrup. like a nicely aged cream sherry. opens up as it warms. black pepper notes. yeastier. alcohol comes through.
mouthfeel: thicker, heavier, chewy.

In short: a well-crafted, beautiful tripel, enjoyable for different reasons at different ages.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Clouded pale amber/orange thick two inch head that persists. Generous, consistent lacing all the way to the end.

S: Tart, sweet fruit, maybe apricot then malts and spice (almost pungent).

T: Lots of tastes - took several drinks to get at them. Apricot is first, followed by spicy alcohol, sweet (malt?). Slightly yeasty alcohol finish. This is a very complex beer - a lot going on.

M: Very big beer. Warms and coats the mouth.

D: Interesting drink, but with fullness and 9% abv, won't drink a lot. Not in a bad way.

Photo of Choppr
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my mouth. (I know...)

A - I am sad to say that I didn't have the option to pour this into a glass to see what it looked like. I am sure the head/lacing would have been extreme as it bubbled out the top as soon as I opened it (no I didn't shake it up).

S - unmistakably Belgium... sweet, malty

T - sweet up front, fruity and effervescent then dry finish

D - Beautiful Belgian tripel. Sold by the bottle where I got it... buy more than one if you are in the same situation.

Photo of TheViceBlog
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The smell is fantastic, as good as it gets. It actually smells like Belgium. There's no way any beer aficionado could sniff this one and not know immediately that it was a glorious Belgian Trappist brew.

The absolute first taste was great but fairly normal and I got a bit concerned, but by the time the gulp hit the back of my throat I could see how goddamn special it is. Nice bite, good warmth. Very alcoholic. In fact, Trappist beers are always going to be quite strong as they were originally crafted to sustain the monks through Lent, acting as "liquid bread." Right up my alley.

I can truly say I have never really tasted a beer like this before. It is unbelievable and glorious. Bottle-fermented it is absurdly creamy, just a little bitter, very fruity with prominent tastes of banana, and a whole lotta hops and malts.

I drank it as slow as possible, savoring ever sip, not wanting it to be over. I was sad when I was through, knowing my next drink would pale in comparison. I'll need to always have this in stock and I look forward to cellaring some.

Yeah, when I retire I'm either going to move to a giant compound in Louisville with my 24-year-old trophy wife where I'll golf all day and drink bourbon, smoke cigars, and eat fatty southern foods drenched in gravies all night or to Belgium where I will renounce my Judaism, eliminate my Atheism, put on a comfy brown hooded robe cinched with a rope and begin peacefully making-and secretly get loaded on, shhh-tasty Westmalle beer all day long.

Simply one of the best beers I've ever had.

Aaron
www.theviceblog.com

Photo of scoobybrew
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from the bottle into a Chimay challis.

A - clear, light golden straw color with a thick foamy head that just won't quit; leaves a nice lacing as well

S - sweet malt aroma accented with fruity yeast character and spicy hops

T - sweet malt flavor up front, the yeast fruitiness and hop flavors are present after the initial sweetness, finishes dry due to the alcohol and leaves a nice hop aftertaste

M - light to medium body with high carbonation

D - This is a great Belgian tripel and totally defines the style. I had the privilege of having this beer close to the source last summer. This tasting brings back those memories well. (It goes extremely well with spicy marinated grilled shrimp also.)

Photo of jbsteiny
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Browsing the beer selection at The Wine Corner in Paia, I spied a few bottles I hadn't tried yet, but seeing a very decently priced Westmalle for the first time since I moved to Hawaii, I couldn't resist.

Poured in a strange 22 oz. glass that has a tulip top to trap the aromas, the beer was a cloudy gold topped with a massive pile of sticky bubbles. Nice chunky retention fading to rings and lace. A beautiful beer in the glass.

Mmm... the aromas... Lots of golden, bready malt. Belgian yeast -- spicy. I get some preserves (apricot?), light brown sugar, herbs, phenols. Complex and delicious.

Maybe I have a hard time finding the sweet spot of temperature for drinking Belgians, but I couldn't taste everything that I could smell for this one... Still, amazingly delicious, and one of the classic Trappist ales. The carbonation gives it a creamy mouthfeel which lightens up the whole drinking experience -- one can tell that it's a stronger beer, but I'd never imagine it was nearly 10%.

Well worth it, and deserves its reputation. Hope the monks keep up their high standards!

Photo of cvstrickland
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle with a best before date 25/02/10 poured into a chalice yields a hazy blonde body crowned with a thick two fingers of fine, creamy white foam with excellent retention that leaves rings and patches of fine lacing.

Smell is sweet and fruity with a hefty and pleasing note of freckled bananas and light dry malt.

The flavor is a touch malty and crisp with the same mellow banana presence and a bit of bitter citrus. The smooth, creamy texture of the drink matches its flavor profile exquisitely--soft and mellow, round and a bit juicy, with just the right amount of dry bitterness to balance it perfectly. Decorated by carbonation that is fine and divine-- a tidy zip of bubbles helps unlock more flavors and in lightening the drink to just about perfect feel and drinkability. Nice earthy hops in the finish.

Super, super, super...but you probably already knew that. The reputation of this beer is well earned.

Photo of hops4me
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved it. Great balance between the 9.5% and the drinkability that goes along with a great tripel. Plenty of the fruity esters you would expect from it. I detected bananas, cloves, peaches, and pepper. The color was a cloudy gold. It tasted much as it smelled with the huge head you would expect. I had it with a roasted chicken and mashed potatoes and it went perfectly. Pick up a bottle or two for Thanksgiving.

Photo of santa109
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 52 degrees. Best before date on the bottle is 15/10/2009.

A: Poured a nice golden color with a finger of thick foamy head into a chalice. Head retention is really good thanks to a healthy supply of bubbles. It leaves lacing throughout.

S: Wow, this is the quintessential tripel aroma for me, oozes with citrus. Pale malts are also noticeable and Belgian yeast is also very apparent.

T: Delicious citrus twang accompanied by a hint of spices. Yeast is apparent and there is also a slight medicinal character. Quite the interesting brew. When it warms up a little, the medicinal character becomes even more apparent and this beer truly becomes something special.

M: Slightly crisp at first and then it feels much more creamy and mellow. The thick head accentuates this creamy effect.

D: Alcohol is barely noticeable and the incredibly addictive taste make this a very drinkable beer. It's a good thing that the label states the alcohol volume because it's very well hidden.

Overall, this beer defines what a tripel should be. It goes down so smoothly and each sip is more enjoyable than the previous one. I'm so glad to have 10 of these left.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,973 ratings.