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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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3,951 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,951
Reviews: 1,614
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 304
Gots: 462 | FT: 3
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: 3,951 | Reviews: 1,614 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sleazo
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchase at Union Sq Whole Foods. I swear to god this place is dangerous for a beer lover.

A-Beautiful Copper Orange with a fluffy two finger head that dissipates to a nice thick cap. Clingy lace. some sediment floats about.

S-Pleasant bread/yeast with an alcohol astringency to it.

T-This is clearly what a tripel should taste like. A mustiness followed by a wonderful dry bitter finish/ In between notes Definite all spice notes, pepper and a certain citrus sweetness when you let it linger. The alcohol is there but better hidden than in the smell.

A- Effervecent and pleasantly light

D-This is the quitissenttial Tripel. Very good.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.47/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to try this beer, as I've heard a great deal about the Westmalle brewery. I found this beer to be good, but to be honest found myself making unfavorable comparisons to some other tripels Iike Allagash Tripel Reserve and Tripel Karmeliet due to a very mild flavor and a bit of wateriness in the mouthfeel.

A bottle I picked up from a display at Consumer Beverage in Hales Corners. This beer pours a hazy dark yellow with lots of soft secondary-fermentation produced head. Smells tripel-ish with some clove notes and lots of coriander. Flavor is a bit like a white wine up front, with some spiciness on the back end. Not as full-flavored as other tripels I've enjoyed like Tripel Karmeliet, Allagash, and Victory Golden Monkey. Mouthfeel is quite soft, but a bit thin up-front.

Photo of udubdawg
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle

Pours a hazed orange. Two finger head that didn't last, despite quite a few rising lines of tiny bubbles. Quite a bit of sediment, but managed to keep most in the bottle.

Nose is full of sweet fruitiness and belgian yeasts aromas. Orange peel, apricot, and apple all make an appearance. Overall seems quite spicy, but alcohol is rather subdued - this bottle's been in the cellar a while so that could have mellowed out the alcohol some.

Taste just isn't quite up to par with the smell. Seems even sweeter, and the spiciness is more pronounced. Noticed the orange peel more than the other fruits, and some coriander. Alcohol isn't as strong as fresh thankfully, but still more noticeable than in the nose.

Medium body and expressive carbonation, especially in the dry finish. I like it - doesn't interfere with the flavors up front, but adds some kick going down.

Pretty drinkable now. I wouldn't rate this above a 2.5 for drinkability a year ago due to overwhelming alcohol.

Photo of woemad
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at Daanen’s Delicatessen in Hayden, Idaho for $4.95. Best by date on back of bottle listed as 11/05/08. Not sure if that’s supposed to be November 5 or May 11, but since both dates are over a year away I suppose it doesn’t matter.

This beer pours what initially looks to be a straw color, but once it sits in the glass it looks more of a honey color, with about 1 ½ inches of white foam. Lower down in the glass can be seen a fine layer of sediment. A slight agitation brings back the head once it has dropped. Massive sheets of white lace drip down the sides of the St.Bernardus glass leaving a sticky webbing behind.

The nose smells tart, but with a balancing sweetness. There are elements of citrus fruits like grapefruit, along with banannas, cloves, even a bit of pineapple.

The taste starts off with a tart, grapefruity citrus blast, which is then coupled with a subordinate honey-like sweetness that takes a backseat to the tarty elements. Is tarty a word? I don’t care. But one thing is clear – this doesn’t taste as complex as I thought it would based on the nose. Kinda bums me out, but there’s still enough going on so that this is a decent example of the style (at least as I have experienced it) but not a life changing one.

The mouthfeel is complex. It’s fairly light-bodied and dry, yet creamy.

A tripel that is very good, would be my description of this beer. My problem was I was expecting a truly great beer that could be considered a benchmark. Maybe mine’s a fluke, I don’t know, but I’ll be hitting other tripels before I come back to this one.

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

Poured from a 330ml brown bottle into a wide-mouthed goblet. Home.

A: Pours a nice pale, straw yellow to light amber. Nice creamy head that remains for the duration. Nice lace on the glass.
S: Lots of citrus fruit in the nose, as well as a fresh bread scent. Some notes of spiciness and hint of the strong alcohol.
T: Very complex. Sweet sugary spice in the front, some hint of vanilla, honey and pepper, as well as that sharp ester taste familiar to the strong Belgians. Hop bitterness in the end provides some balance. Not too dry. Finishes with warm alcohol. So much going on here, I will definitely need to come back and have another to see what other flavors are in this.
M: Not overly carbonated. Pretty smooth feel.

Pretty drinkable for a tripel. But still at 9%, I can only take one or two at a time.

Photo of dogger6253
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At first, this beer pours out a clear, golden yellow, but it settles into a beautifully hazy, amber color with particles of yeast and lots of carbonation. The pour leaves a thick, white head that leaves gobs of lace behind.

I smell citrus hops, grapefruit balanced by a spiciness and a malty sweetness. Hints of pineapple and lemon.

Taste was fruity, with plums, grapefruit and pears. Slight presence of hops, and slighter presence of honey. Despite these things, there is something else to this that I don't like, I can't really pick it out though. Perhaps it's less something I don't like, and more not enough that I do. The flavors are great, just slightly subdued.

It's light-bodied and very easy to sip however. A slight creaminess to it as well. The carbonation doesn't attack like I'd think from the bubbles, but is definitely noted.

Photo of ccrida
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330ml bottle (two in a row in fact) into my 70s era Westmalle chalice, the Tripel is a cloudy golden orange with a light, white 2-finger head that fades fairly quickly to a persistent skim leaving only a bit of scattered bubbly lace. It is well carbonated, with active streamers lasting the whole glass. The wonderful color and chill haze make this very visually appealing, although I'd like a rockier, longer lasting head.
The aroma is moderate, pineapple and banana with a slight spicy hop backbone and assertive yet clean alcohol.
The taste is also very nice and follows the aroma, grainy, fruity and spicy, and thanks to the high attenuation not at all sweet or cloying. The finish is very dry and clean, only a tad bitter, with noticeable but not overwhelming booze that increases as it warms, though certainly no fusels.
The mouthfeel is light and lively, yet still creamy and rich, and beguiles it's high ABV - masterful.
The drinkability of this is through the roof. It taste great, has superb depth, and is very clean with little indication of it's kick. Luckily, it is priced high enough that those that buy it will be savoring.
Westmalle was the first Tripel (at least by the Trappists, Drie Lindin's Witkap Pater is probably the originator), and is the benchmark of the style for a reason. This a fantastic beer. It has a very romantic old world history, yet it's execution is clearly indicative of their modern brewery and scientific approach. It's just too difficult for me to try to discern favorite beer, but Westmalle's Tripel is certainly high on my list. If you have a chance to get this, do so, take your time and savor all that it has to offer. And of course, don't serve it too cold!!!

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

Large corked bottle, "expiration" date 10/04/2008.

This is a bright yellow, hazy beer with a creamy head with good retention.
The nose is spicy and alcoholic, cloves and bananas, yeasty and malty.
Taste is similar, spicy and racy, powerful alcohol warming everything, followed by a dry, yeasty bitterness and hoppiness that cleanses the palate and leaves you ready for more.
Lighter body than I expected, easy to drink but dangerously high in alcohol.
I generally prefer maltier, less dry/less hoppy abbey ales, but this one is something to be enjoyed.

Photo of kelticblood
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a Brandy snifter to prevent the head from overflowing any other type of glass. Thick foamy inch head with tons of bubbling carbonation. Head became thicker like Vanilla ice cream as it reduced leaving very thick lacing. Exceptional color and head. Beautiful apple cider-like color with a slight haze. Yeast aroma with a sweet malt note. Aroma is a bit weak and is the only thing preventing me from giving this Tripel all 5's. Absolutely Superb mouthfeel in every respect. It is a bit more bitter than most Tripel's I've tried, but I like it. Slight Phenolic taste on the finish. Creamy with a rolling texture. Due to high ABV I cannot give it a 5 for Drinkability. Although the alcohol is well-hidden it is definately there and makes me wonder how I am going to finish this whole 750Ml bottle by myself, but I'm sure I'll manage. Bitterness is most distinguishable towards the end of your glass. A touch of spice and vanilla adds to the medium body. Overall absolutely exceptional. I'd bring a bottle of this to a nice dinner over a bottle of wine anyday. TRY IT!

Photo of MCDuhamel
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Westmalle chalice.

A: Clear, medium orange. Very active carbonation. Even with a very gentle pour, creates a nice billowy head that stays with the beer. Nice lacing. This is exactly what a Tripel should look like.

S: The aroma is very muted and rather disappointing. There is a bready, biscuity character and a barely discernable note of citrus. Very little there.

T: A malt and candi sweetness fades into a lemony finish. The beer is supported throughout by high carbonation that manages not to be prickly. Notes of honey, fresh citrus and bread are present as well, along with what I ultimately decide is apricot. A dry, earthy finish lingers after the last notes of lemon fade. Perfect expression of the Tripel style.

M: Medium bodied, with high carbonation dancing on the middle of the tongue.

D: The chalice is empty before I really feel like I've begun. Exceptionally easy to drink, but dangerous.

Overall: In many respects, this is the ultimate Tripel, the one against which to measure all others in the style. Yet, the nose is surprisingly restrained, even to the point of being nearly absent, and this is both a surprise and a disappointment. This is an excellent, world class beer, but it is not perfect. I wonder if the bottle has been improperly aged or stored before I purchased it?

Photo of lawrence76
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely orange/light amber with an absolutely billowing white head which is so dense it forms its own weird shapes & semi-permanent structures which hold up regardless of the shrinking amount of beer upon which they stand

Aroma is hoppy & yeasty. Seems particularly fresh to me. Flavour is sweet maltiness at first, but only for a quick half-second. Soon a perceptable hop bitterness kicks in and mingles with a luxurious creamy body. Creamy. Smooth proteins roll over the tongue & whole mouth, coating you in happiness. At the end some hop aromatics become noticable.

Slight alcohol warmth.

Dangerously quaffable.

Photo of nlmartin
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet. The beer was lightly chilled.

Appearance: The beer poured a cloudy peach yellow coloration. The head was a fluffy off white coloration. The head had major retention and remained during the session. Thick lacing remains on my glass.

Smell: The beer has a sugary, spicey and fruity nose. The beer has a pear and fresh bread smell. Wrapped around this is a spicey alcohol and hops aroma. The fruit suggest apples and pears. Weirdly I think I smell bubble gum in the beer.

Taste: The beer delivers a mixture of the smells in the flavor. The beer is malty sweet at first but alcohol and spices dry the beer out.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The carbonation is perfect. The beer drinks very smooth. This is a very easy to drink tripel. I will have this beer again.

Photo of hammer09
3.54/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a cloudy, blonde with vigorous carbonation and a thick, white, foamy head. Smell is of the typical champagne-like yeasty aroma associated with many Belgian ales out there; mild and sweet. Taste is sweet with a definite citrus flavor that, unlike other reviewers, I wasn't able to detect in this beer's aroma. Taste was good, but not as flavorful as I had anticipated; still a very good beer however. Mouthfeel is warming and alcoholic with crisp carbonation. Overall, a very good brew that is easily drinkable.

Photo of atsprings
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served a hazy straw colored yellow with a decent sized frothy head that was rather slow to diminish. The aroma was of sweet citrus with some peppery spice. There was a great balance of hops and sweet malt with a good yeast bite that combines nicely with the hop bitterness. There was a creamy feel to the beer with decent carbonation. This beer was just about perfect!

Photo of uberabr
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet. Head is huge and snow white. Cloudy, glowing golden yellow. Smell is spicy, fresh, but somewhat phenolic. Delicate malts and citrus notes linger with mild diacetyl butterscotch and fruity esters.

Taste is very strong. You can definitely taste the booze, and it's somewhat harsh, but somehow balanced well by the sweet lemon-pepper malt and bouquet of aromatic fruits and flowers that smell of roses and light white-chocolate cherries. Very spicey too, with some caramel and apple acetaldehyde that could use some conditioning. All in all very pleasant brew. If I had a good cellar I'de let it mature for a year because it would be a real treat.

Photo of pweis909
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yellow gold, with a rocky creamy foam that laces the glass as it dissipates. This brew smells leathery and spicy, perhaps this is the quintessential belgian smell? There is a strong sweetness to the taste, but the it is cut by the carbonation, which lightens the mouthfeel. Alcohol is just noticeable to taste and smell, but it sneaks up on you as you drain the glass.

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

330ml bottle into snifter.

Clear golden hue with a thick bursting white head that slowly settles to a thick cap. Lots of carbonation quickly rises to the surface. Stacked solid lacing along the glass. The beer gets cloudier as you get closer to the bottom (unless you have a big enough glass to pour it all at once).

Light pale malt scent with a mittle bit of melon and slight tartness. Warming alcohol can be detected in the background.

Crisp malts meet green grape flavors. The taste has an overall tart and phenolic characteristic to it. Bits of creaminess washes over toward the end. The alcohol is well hidden until the finish. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation, giving it a fizzy feel. A touch of hip bitterness makes itself known.

Another superb Trappist Ale, this one a Triple. Complex in flavor and aroma, with a fanstastic presentation. Highly recommended.

Photo of bruachan
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the head on this bad boy is like woah. it's tall, persistent, and creamy. nice lacing is the outcome

the beer itself is extremely pale. pils pale

the label promises spice, and delivers. the aroma boasts a large hop contingent, too

the flavor is excellent. malt, hop, spice...it's complete. i'm not sure where to start, actually. we'll go chronologically: first is hops. the bitterness is strong, but not overwhelming. a less dominant sweetness follows, but is shortly replaced by spice

i'm not a huge tripel fan...yet, but i do dig this one. alot
update 9/13/10 (and some editing)
good head: check
spicy, hoppy aroma: check
assertive bitterness, spice: check

i didn't really get to the sophistication of this brew in 2007 (my palate has learned!). around the hops and spice is a complex malt and yeast profile. i think i might have sensed this without the capacity to articulate it, as a scored flavor a 4.5 to begin with. a touch of cork (but an artificial cork!) and vinosity; honey and apricots. i should say, too, that the bitterness is certainly not passive but not particularly strong, either. pepper, but no lemon, which i might have expected. also, i do not think the aroma is as interesting as it ought to be (what's wrong with a normative review?)

Photo of browner
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Semi transparent value of copper/gold in color. Very tick head of off white and not lacy. Good triple blend of yeast ,candy and bitter citrus like. The triple alcohol is apparent so let it warm a bit before tasting. If you like triples this Belgian will present itself will a an interesting blend with added spice and fruit in the background.

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

11.2 oz bottle

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a fluffy white head that thins, but maintains. Thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very bready and yeasty with a sharp peppery spiciness. Zesty!

Taste is malty upfront with nice bready and yeasty flavors. Leads into a medium bitterness and hop flavors that create a nice peppery spiciness. Finishes quite dry with a lingering yeasty taste.

Medium-full body, solid carbonation.

A very nice tripel, deserving the recognition it receives. Easily consumed the bottle and could drink more, although the ABV would soon slow me down. Kind of pricey at $5 - $6 for the bottle, but still worth a try.

Photo of beveritt
3.36/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a Duvel chalice. The bottle is short and stubby, with a raised ring of glass aorund the neck. The side of the label has places to motch a date, years and months, but nothing is notched. Imprinted on the back is the date 03/01/08. I assume that is a drink by date.

Appearance: Pours with about 1 inch of almost pure white head. This settles slowly, leaving a ring aorund the glass and a decent skim coating of foam. Lots of lacing. The beer itself is a beautiful honey color and very hazy.

Smell: A subtle sweet smell, citrusy and somewhat syrupy. Definite wheat tang. Slight smell of molasses or brown sugar.

Taste: Alcohol taste is fairly strong, maybe it would settle with some aging. Sweet malt undertones, with a bitter fruit aftertaste, not really pleasant. A slight hint of honey.

Mouthfeel: Average level of carboantion. A great creamy finish.

Drinkability: A little bit disappointed. The appearance is great and the smell is pretty good. The taste however, I found unpleasantly bitter, not a hop bitterness, but an unripe fruit finish. Maybe this would benefit from some aging. Something I will definitely revisit.

Photo of SaucyA
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great tripel.

Appearances are as good as it gets. Huge frothy head that laces the whole way down. Golden hazy orange and white, beautiful head.

Floral hoppy smell, with a fruity sweetness on top. No obvious alcohol in the smell.

Taste is superb and one of a kind. Fruity and hoppy and a wonderful alcohol warmth combine to make one of the best tasting tripels, period. It's worth every penny.

Feels great with a bit of carbonation and medium to heavy body. It's sweet, but not cloying at all. Good to the last drop.

I don't know how drinkable it is given the high abv, and strong complexity, but I would definitely return to this. Pick one up if you haven't already.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 11.2 oz bottle...with different labeling than shown.
Pours a hazy golden color with a clean white head that is being kept alive by visible effervescence.

Smells aggressively citrus, sweet lemon and a subtle earthiness.

The taste is a very light fruity flavor with a slight bitterness leftover. Hard to notice any of the 9.5%, except for a bit of warmth in the chest.

Different and easy to drink.

Photo of bearrunner44
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy, golden brown color. Thick head made up of solid, clingy off-white foam.

Smell: Hops are floral and assertive. Delicately grassy, even. Spicy alcohol punctuates the mellow, candied smoothness of the malt.

Taste: Less rustic than most Tripels. Subdued. Lightly sweet honey and butterscotch flavors mixed with slight hints of citrus, distinctive but not intrusive stings of alcoholic burn, and herbal hop flavor. Smooth and refined.

Verdict: Less in-your-face than many of its brethren, but certainly an enjoyable sipping beer.

Photo of koolchas
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml with best by date of 26/01/08 poured into a chimay goblet.

a: poured a dark golden, lots of carbonation (could not see though it when up to a light), nice head that quickly goes away but, forms somwhat white islands on the top due to all the carbonation. bubbly lace hands on the side of the glass on each drink.

s: very fruity; definetly a strong "pear" scent surrounded by a floral bouquet.

t: citrus and spice and everything is nice including the slightly bitter aftertaste.

m: imagine drinking a very dry champagne.

d: very smooth and alcohol content is masked very well. very easy to over do it with this one.


Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,951 ratings.