1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

3,651 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,651
Reviews: 1,578
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 248
Gots: 318 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Westmalle Trappist Tripel Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,651 | Reviews: 1,578 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of amicar
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Really a wonderful golden- orange color with a beautiful white head that stays fluffy and full. The smell is nice and complex- delicate esters and slight spice. The taste is wonderful; well, actually a little better than that. Spicy alcohol bite (not too overdone), with a silky, smooth, full character; really womderful mouthfeel. Taste of wonderful pepper, a bit of citrus, complex malts. Easy to knock back one of these- but respect the ABV.

Overall, very nice. Getting a bit up there in the price to taste ratio, but still worthwhile.

amicar, Mar 07, 2005
Photo of oxmasterscream
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, honey gold with steady streams of bubbles travelling upward toward a thin but viscous, eggshell head.

Smelled somewhat skunky and farmy at first. As it warmed, some sweeter flavors exposed themselves... some honeysuckle, freshly cut apple, a hint of pineapple.

Tasted of crisp pears, sour apples, and sweet bananas up front. Prickly on the tongue and extremely smooth on the tongue. Finish is bitter, drying and consumes the entire mouth. Interestingly enough, this tripel's is more dry than sweet. It's tasty and highly drinkable. Even with the high ABV, it's hard to control yourself while drinking. Good stuff.

oxmasterscream, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of horndecker
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I first had this on tap in Antwerp years ago. I loved it then, but wasn't taking notes. So this review is based upon the bottles one gets here in the States.

I poured it into a Westmalle chalice, happily, and I got a gorgeous golden orange, peachy, glowing liquid; slightly cloudy with a fine luxurious head that had staying power and a lingering lace.
The nose is very clean and spicy; citric, yeasty and intense.
The taste is subtle malts, oranges, bread dough, spices, an herbal bitter finish that I want to call peppery, but that would be too specific. All with a juicy and concentrated mouthfeel - it's fabulous. How do they do this? Everything is perfect!

horndecker, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of Weizenmensch
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My sister: This beer is EMANCIPATED!!! It's like honey with an aftertaste of utter beerness. Tripulent and succulent, with a gluey texture. Pretty colour.

My girlfriend: It's quite nice. Inspiring.

Me: Best triple ever. Pretty fresh and complex. Even good on a hot Aussie summer day. I'm getting more; much more. Only problem - its drinkability heightens majorly in the colder weather. Goes really well with pine nuts!

Weizenmensch, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of Paddez
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy, golden brew topped by a medium sized head wich dissapears after a short while after wich small, puffy circles of foam start appearing.
The smell is very convincing: malty sweet and fruity, with bananas and some faint yeasty, caramelly and metallic notes.

The taste is (malty) sweet initially, but there are also lots of spices along with some fruity and caramelly flavours. A yeasty undertone gives some woody aspects to the beer. Flows out in a pleasant, hoppy bitter finish. Some tardness in the background as well. There are lots of things going on in this beer yet somehow it manages to remain very balanced. Most excellent.
Medium body. The carbonation is a little too aggressive in my opinion.
The drinkabillity is very good, especially considering you're drinking a 9,5° brew.

An excellent and well-balanced triple. One of the best out there.

Paddez, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle with a best before date of 12/08/05 into a Unibroue tulip.

Nice, healthy head of white that stays up for a long time. Lots of carbonation and some decent lacing down the glass.

Smells of bready yeast, citric hops. There's some clove and bannana in there too.

Tastes very dry with some citric notes. Long, warming finish, but I found the dryness to be a bit intense.

Nice full mouthfeel.

The dryness causes the drinkability to suffer, but I could see this as a wonderful brew to sip with a broiled chicken or pheasant.

ypsifly, Feb 23, 2005
Photo of Onceeven
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a honey gold, with a huge billowy head. Enjoyed this world class beer in my Duvel tulip glass, which is a treat in itself. The bubbles attached themselves to the etching in the bottom of the glass, creating an amazing stream of carbonation. There are particles of some sort floating all through the beer. Doesn't appear to be yeast sediment.
This beer smells amazing. Spicy alcoholic and fruity. Exactly what I'd expect from a tripel.
Hugely complex flavor.. apricots come to mind, but that is only the beginning. It's wine-like in its dryness. Seems to reduce the drinkability a bit for me.. but I can't seem to set this drink down! Stellar.

Onceeven, Feb 17, 2005
Photo of trancefishy
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mm, looks really good. light in colour with a healthy, well establish head. lots bubbles.

aroma is pretty nice. subtle, fruity, happy go lucky garden type of smell.

wow, kick in the pants with the taste. hearty healthy heaping amounts of malt with some alcohol to remind you this is real beer. bananas and clovers, pepper, and something unmistakeably belgian.

i want some more sips. gimme gimme.

good stuff. glad i found it. ever elusive these beers are. have fun drinking it, i know you will. i don't need to recommend this to you. i will anyways though.

trancefishy, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of Skidz
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out crisp, clear gold and sits a hazy golden orange in the glass with a monstrous, frothy white head that seems to hold on for ages, clinging to the sides of the glass, decorating it with streams of white lace.

Smells of lively fruits ranging from the ripest of pears to a dried, shrively date. Firm yeasty background brings with it wafts of sugar cookies and a light spicing of cloves. Light grassiness for a compliment. Moderate caramel presence, though it is fastly approaching sugar candy.

Taste is rich with fruits; apples, pears, starfruit, pineapple and passion fruit. Sharp, grassy hop bitterness takes a bite out of the sweet, malty flavors. Yeast begins to dry the tongue while being helped by a rather biting alcoholic presence. Crackery starch presence with bits of juicy oranges running down the sides. Finishes mildly bitter, leaving an abundance of dry grassy flavors and light hints of tropical fruit.

Soft, lively and delicate in the mouth. Medium-light body races up and down the mouth. Easy to handle and enjoyable at that.

A solid tripel all the way. Hits some high, spicy notes but it well balanced with loads of tropical fruits. It's hard to drink, as I know it will be gone too soon.

Skidz, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of hero27
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden-straw color. I poured carefully and still ended up with an enormous head on this bad boy..possibly the largest I've ever seen on a beer. The aftermath of the head dissapating looks like a warzone.. Lacing spun on the glass in random patterns, the rocky head peaks in some areas and valleys in others, incessant bubbles stream from the bottom towards the top of the glass, and specks of sediment are found floating around this brew like flakes in a snowglobe...Stunning and downright impressive.

Smell: Take your pick...name a spice, flower, or fruit and it's probably in here. Sweet malts are evident as well as yeast, honey, and mild hops. Can't pick up any alcohol in the nose. Utterly too complex to fully describe.

Taste: here's the hard part...where do I even begin with this one? Spices are perfectly done..cloves and coriander (when overdone offend me greatly), but they are done in perfect proportion here. Fruit flavors are amazing...this beer almost seems artificial the way flavors appear and fade in the beer, one after the other..it almost seems orchestrated. The 9.5% abv doesn't distract a bit..it's hidden wayyy too well. The warmth is noticed in the stomach only, not in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. lots of carbonation, even to the last sip. Smooth, refreshing, and a treat if there ever was one.

Drinkability: As drinkable as any beer. it begs another sip as soon as your lips leave the glass. I'm impressed...

Easily one of the best Belgian's I've had.

hero27, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden-straw in color with a wispy, lacy white head and yeast suspended throughout.

The aroma is sweet, yeasty, sugary, and tart, with some fruit and other aromatics. There's a strong presence of alcohol up front in the taste, followed by more yeast, ripe apricots, honey, pale Belgian malts, a touch of pepper, and sweet nectar. It starts sweet and slick, then gets dry and crisp, fizzing on the tongue, before fading back to a soft aftertaste.

Very, very good.

RockyTopHeel, Feb 07, 2005
Photo of pcblion
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is very much like a good wine. Wonderful color and a very pleasant smell. Very smooth taste, almost like a hefe. Surprisingly potent. It's a tough one to find, especially when you live in the Florida panhandle (read Bud/Miller country) , but this one is worth searching out. I wish I had another.

pcblion, Jan 28, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma of this beer hit me like a Mack truck from the instant I opened the bottle. The beer smells wonderful, like a good wine with a malty background. The pour looks like a white wine until the massive fluffy foam starts to build, quickly filling the excess of the glass and slowly diminishing to about a quarter inch. The beer appears a hazy light golden color with a dark bronze core complete with an eruption of tiny bubble streams fizzing to the top.

From the taste, I can't believe I am not drinking wine; and if it weren't for the thicker yeasty body and the malts there would be no convincing me otherwise. The taste is fruity, like grapes and oranges, with a rather strong kick of alcohol in the finish.

On the first few drinks (probably a bit colder than serving temp), the mouthfeel was quite harsh; whether it was the cold, the alcohol, the carbonation, or a combination of any of these was unsure. Gradually I got used to it and I had to considerably bump up the mouthfeel and taste scores. That being said, I would highly advise not giving into the temptation of drinking this before it reaches the suggested serving temp.

By the time I finished the glass, I felt like I had just drank a few glasses of wine, which is somewhat different than I usually feel after putting back a few tasty brews. This is quite interesting, and in a good way. The drinkability is very high in the "Do I want another?" factor, but in the "Could I handle another?" I would say no for the time being, lest I wake up with a hangover or spoil the perfect buzz leftover from such a wonderful brew.

neonbrown82, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of JackStraw22
3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First off, this beer has easily the largest head I"ve ever seen on a beer, big white, fluffy, foam. Good retention, some lacing too. Cloudy, deep gold body with lots of bubbles. I like the aroma, very sweet, but a light sweetness. I hint of floral hops hiding in there too. Can really taste the alcohol in this, a little too much. It has a very dry finish, that actually leaves me thirsty. Doesn't taste as sweet as it smells

JackStraw22, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of IceAce
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured first 2/3 of the bottle into a tulip to reveal a body which was sunny yellow with a CO² enriched disposition resulting in a three finger collar of stark white foam. The composition of the head was of both impossibly large bubbles along the glass sides and tight, dense foam toward the middle.

The nose is sweet with rich malt...bubblegum almost...with gentle assistance from the barnyard-like yeast. The first taste is strong with concentrated malt dominating the tongue while CO² scrubs the inside of the cheeks. The midtaste is bright, chewy, and complex enough that no two sips seem identical. The finish is comprisedof a fresh crisp hop bite quickly overridden by the wonderful yeast promised by the nose.

This beer is very, very good...and adding the final 1/3 bottle (and subsequent yeast) only made it that much better. Definitely the best bottled Tripel I've had the pleasure of consuming.

IceAce, Jan 19, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A golden yellow beer with a slight haze. Has an enormous bright white head. There is astrong sweet and spicey aroma. The sweetness hints at fruit and candy. The spiceyness is a good robust hop invitation. The flavor has a soft fruit sweetness to it carried along by a prickley carbonation. The finish is a nice spicey hop finish. If you pour it to the bottom of the bottle you will get a much more cloudy appearance. The alcohol does not have a strong presence in the flavor but does make it's self apparent in a warm glow in your stomach about half the way through the bottle.

ybnorml, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of proc
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a bright gold in the glass with an explosively, large head. Quite a bit of cloudiness follows the initial pour. The aroma reminds me a bit of bourbon. The taste is very good, and maintains a slightly spicy, peppery, Beligian profile. As the beer warmed the ABV seemed to come out more. This beer definetely needs its "happy" place, temperature-wise. Too cold or too warm detract from its quality.

proc, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of joecast
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

large fluffy white head sits above a slightly cloudy, deep gold colored beer. plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the top.
full yeasty, banana aroma.
very strong flavor contributions from yeast, and alcohol. heavy maltiness thought not sweet. has a good level of bitterness, but cant tell if its coming from hops as there is no real obvious hop flavor, or if its coming from the high abv.
mouthfeel seems rather harsh which may be helped from some aging. this bottle is dated BB 8/06.
so this is what those monks spend all their time on. not a bad line of work if you can find it. myself, i would need time to get accustomed to a beer like this. it doesnt make any appologies for being as strong as it is, and possibly because of its youth, came off a bit rough around the edges.

joecast, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of SilentSabre
3.43/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This first thing I noticed right away with this one was a monstrous banana smell. There may very well be bananas in this one. A bit of cloves. Cloudy yellow orange in colour. Thin fizzy head than hangs around for a bit. Par for the course with Belgians. You know the drill. As much as it pains me to say so, this stuff really has a bitterness to it that I just totally do not care for. Very disappointed indeed. I have been looking forward to tasting this for quite some time now. The texture, or mouthfeel, is quite nice. Smooth and just heavy enough for the style. Again, I don't know what the hell is going on with the taste, but it seems offensively bitter. I am, however, just now getting over a sickness that has incapacitated me for last four days or so. Perhaps my sense of smell and taste are still a bit impaired. I certainly hope so. I should re-review this in about a week or so. Until then, tonights review stands.

SilentSabre, Jan 06, 2005
Photo of RedBaron
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer of '05. Wow.

Appearance: Hazy golden brew with spritzy, sustainable head.
Smell: Banana-y, slight clove and a nice, subtle dry hop aroma.
Taste: Complex malt and fruit flavors up front, a great yeastiness in the middle, and a wonderfully dry finish. Nice attenuation.
Mouthfeel: Bulky and divine! A nice, taut tripel that packs a solid punch. So much complexity with each sip.
Drinkability: A 'must sip' brew. This is one global great to be savored. I appreciate the yeasti-ness to this beer above all of the wonderful characteristics, and the fact that this beer is bottle-conditioned makes it quite evident and appealing. Outstanding.

RedBaron, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of MrBen
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice, sweet, and fruity tripel that doesn't hold back. Nice presentation, nose, and color. It scores high in my style points, though I did give slightly lower marks on mouthfeel and drinkability. Yes, I expected to find the alcohol on the nose and palette fairly quickly -- it is 9.5% ABV, after all -- but I felt that in combination with what I perceived to be a little too much carbonation at times, those two categories couldn't break the 4.0 mark. That said, it's still a fantastic beer. However, I prefer others in the same style, such as St. Bernardus Abt 12, Pater Lieven Tripel, etc.

MrBen, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of Citadel82
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fine trippel. I really am enjoying it.

Pours a hazy amber gold with one finger of thick creamy ... very creamy head that leaves copius lace in the withdrawl as the beer is consumed.

Smell is fruity yeast and some maly with faintly discernable alcohol.

Taste is fruity malt with some hop bitterness developing as the sweetness fades. A little alcohol is there along with apples and plums.

Mouth feel is thick and slightly gassy.

Very drinkable for such a high gravity ale.

Citadel82, Dec 26, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured to a bright and light shade of gold with a medium head that lasted well. It's some nice globs of lace.

The smell brings alcohol and esters. The taste adds citrus and fairly light malt. Malts take over, then alcohol and hops take the finish. The mouthfeel is bright and unique. The drinkability is outright dangerous.

watermelonman, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of Cwrw
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Trappists never disappoint. Westmalle Tripel poured golden, somewhat yellow, tangerine, or bright honey. There are definite orange and yellow hues, giving a dense appearance. Off-white, thick head, leaving patches of creamy, slow moving lace. The head started large, and kept at a very consistent cm of foam. Without the lees poured, this is a clear, translucent beer. The aroma is definitely malty, with some soapy yeast. When first poured I smelt massive fruity yeast and salty ham. Fruit and burnt candy; sugary once it warms. Buttery smells, nuts, chemical leather. Dried nectarine or grapes above the rim of the glass. Flowery a little, and definite salinity, or tangy acidity. Balanced, with sweet malt and yeast, and some faint spice. I smell also candied apples and red licorice. I tasted dry muskiness in the middle of the tongue, and a finish of caramel malt. Burnt leather also in the middle, giving a chemical tang. Up front, dry, dusty and sweet with fresh bananas. caramel, grassy hop, some sesame seed oil, some vanilla. The aftertaste is slightly hoppy, dry yeast, but mostly lightly roasted but delicious malt. Superb balance. No excessive dryness or must feel in the mouth. There is some citrus, akin to a witbier. Roasted nuttiness. This beer is not as alcoholic as expected for a 9.5%; indeed, there is little alcohol in the taste, only asserting itself by a warmth on the tongue. This is perfectly balanced betwixt the malt, sugar and yeast. What really impressed me was the mouthfeel, which was delectably CREAMY! This beer hits the tongue and becomes creamy like ice-cream, exceptionally smooth in the mouth. And this certainly does not suggest 9.5% alcohol, which means drinkability is incredible. Well-masked phenols. The lees were pea-soup green, and extremely milky looking. They tasted heavy and dusty, with less aftertaste. You will find new tastes and aromas every time you lift the glass with this tripel, yet, as complex as it is, it is quite approachable, for a Trappist tripel. Perfect with sharp cheese or pasta.

Cwrw, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of ghurux86
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

it's good.
appearance: color is a cloudy orange. a light orange. and the head is pretty nice. creamy and mostly whjite. at least a little stayed around most of the time. it does leave some decent lacing but nothing that stands out.
smell: very good. as always i could be completely wrong but i smell banana, orange and maybe some lemon. it smells sweet and great.
taste: it's good. the citris comes through slightly on the taste, but hops come through more. there is a definite taste of alcohol due to the 9.5% ABV. aftertaste is mostly alcohol.
mouthfeel is ok. not bad, not the best. it's pretty good but at times it seems like the carbonation could be cut back.
drinkability: it's good, too bad i don't have another! the overly alcohol aftertaste takes away from this one slightly.

overall a great great brew. would be a 5.0 if the alcohol wasn't so prevalent.

ghurux86, Dec 13, 2004
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,651 ratings.