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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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3,970 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,970
Reviews: 1,618
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 310
Gots: 484 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,970 | Reviews: 1,618
Photo of goatherder
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pale golden with some yeast haze and a classic Belgian head which just won't quit. First impression on the nose is pepper, followed by malts and fruits which are different on every sniff. Complex, peppery malt flavours are followed by some warm alcoholic notes. The bitterness is crisp and leaves a dry finish, yet with a full mouthfeel. Yum.

Photo of domtronzero
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light copper with a frothy long-lasting 2 finger head. Only small chunks of lacing clung to the glass for a short period of time. Nice fruity aroma with some bready/yeasty notes and a slight alcohol detection. Flavors are full and rounded, balancing well. Fruity esters and a nice bready maltiness to balance. Some citrus, maybe oranges or tangerines. Slightly tart, making the back of my mouth tingle. Hints of alcohol also in the flavor. Hop bitterness also comes through, but in a pleasant fashion. Mouthfeel is medium viscocity, tongue coating and nicely carbonated. Overall this is an excellent sipping beer, with the flavors melding and blending so much better as it warms. A definite must-try for any Belgian fan.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light orange pour, slightly hazy with a big, off-white head. Great retention.
Smell is malt, yeast, spice (pepper & ?), orange & lemon, a note of smoke in the back.
Taste is yeast, hops, orange & lemon, spice and alcohol.
Warming after an initial tang & hop bite, spice note lingers nicely with the hops. Medium/full body.
Good stuff, Maynard. Feels like a stronger, fuller-bodied hefe-wiezen for lack of a better comparison.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 1999.

Appearance : pale golden color, nice head, disturbed by yeasts.
Smell : powerful aromas, but distinguished.
Taste and mouthfeel : full taste, fruity yeast, subtly spicy flavor and alcohol.
Drinkability: Beer bodied in the style Trappist triple, to discover absolutely.

Review translated from french 11-19-2008.

Photo of debaniel
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

you will drink most of this one with your nose...

served from a bottle, into a snifter glass...

Appearance is typical of the style, straw-colored, and cloudy

Smell is EXCEPTIONAL... As I said, you will drink most of this one with your nose... forget drinking it, pour it into your glass and put your nose in it... keep inhaling... lots of apples at first, followed by a whiff of menthol alcohol (not overpowering - just enough to enhance the rest of the nose) - followed by intense bananas and peaches... wonderful... layer after layer of smell... this beer's main strength is it's aromas....

Taste - Extremely dry and light - it makes total sense with the extreme nose of the beer... you smell it, enjoy the wonderful complexity of the nose, and then take a sip, and it is wrapped up with a perfectly carbonated, light, crisp and dry flavor.... heavenly...

Mouthfeel - very light... lightest of any tripel i've had...

Drinkability - Wow, I got this for about $5 per bottle... i wish I had a six pack of it... i could drink this forever... what a wonderful overall experience... as I said, don't expect this one to be just a flavor bomb - it is a nose bomb with an appropriate flavor...

edited to say - watch out for the hangover on this one... pretty harsh...

Photo of khiasmus
3.82/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Light golden color, very cloudy, with three fingers of creamy white head that, sadly, leaves minimal lacing. There are a few yeast floaties in there, just a bit of bubbling.

S- Mead-like honey sweetness initially, with notes of pepper and spicy phenols, some alcohol and a hint of sour belgian yeast.

T- The sour comes out a little more, and indeed dominates the malt sweetness. Slight piney hops come in but are muted by a strong fusel alcohol and more sour belgian yeast. A hint of grapefruit and sourdough along with a touch of clove, but largely yeasty and alcoholic. The taste does not do the nose justice.

M- Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Initially smooth, but then the alcohol and sourness leave an intense dryness and astringency at the back of the throat, but with little warming.

D- The dryness makes you want to take another sip, but this beer is better to enjoy with the nose than the palate. Had the flavor matched the aroma, it would have been a first-rate tripel. Still, an excellent beer and well worth a try, if not a trip to Belgium.

Photo of Biscuit033
4.73/5  rDev +10%
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.

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.

Photo of wanker
3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

Photo of soupyman10
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of sendsilk
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of geexploitation
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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!

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.

Photo of joe1510
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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.

Photo of softcough
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of BucBasil
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of shadow1961
3.72/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of cyrenaica
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle
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.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,970 ratings.