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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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3,900 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,900
Reviews: 1,601
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 289
Gots: 430 | 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.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,900 | Reviews: 1,601 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IntriqKen
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours the typical orange/amber of a belgium tripel with a nice half finger head that melts slowly to a full lacing head.
Aroma is unusual....apricots and alcohol....none of the typical belgium yeasts, breads, and sugars I am acustomed to in a triple.
Sweet front to the palette...soft bitterness that is sweetly aprocates, prunes, and then begium candy sugar and drying alcohol.
Mouthfeel is comfortably thick and creamy for this style.
Aftertaste only slighly sweet...nicely an apricot/alcohol aftertaste.
Not the usual tripel....lots of unusual fruits...slightly more cloying and less drying than I am used to, but still nice an drinkable.
Love the belgiums...hard to do poorly....wonderfully diverse.

Photo of geetlord
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer poured clear and golden with a tall foamy head, it smaeeld tart and hoppy.
The flavor was slightly smoky with crisp bitterness and hops, there as some mild tartness in the finish. As a tripel its characteristics in general supprised me more bitter and lighter in collor most specificaly. it wasnt a bad beer, but ertainly not my favorite.

Photo of brushpig
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a 330ml bottle at the Uncommon Ground Cafe in Chicago, served in a Westmalle triple goblet.

Cloudy golden appearance w/ a big thick creamy white head that did not diminish very much at all.

Sweet malts with a powerful hop scent with fruity notes as well.

Initial flavors are sweet bread malts, some citrus, A alcohol feel but not too much. Temperature is important, don't drink one too cold, when it got to about 50F the flavors popped out.

Great beer and very drinkable.

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

Appearance: Hazy lemon-orange kind of color. nice white head, good retention. bubbles keep popping up. Appearance is reminiscent of some hefeweizens. Not much in the way of lace.

Smell: I can smell it from a foot or more away! almost reminiscent of hefeweizen (this is my first tripel). fruity, some spice in the middle. As the glass warms you can smell alcohol, but it still remains in the background as far as flavor is concerned.

Taste: First sip... first thing that comes to mind - balance! It's sweet and fruity, but hoppy and bitter - simultaneously. The flavors pop up in order, and finish on a dry hoppy note that for me is a big plus when it comes to drinkability. Slightly acid, vinous character. Very clean finish. Nice complex beer! Alcohol is very well concealed.

Mouthfeel: No complaints. Carbonation perhaps a touch prickly immediately after pouring.

Drinkability: This is a consumately drinkable beer. Dry finish, complex flavor, well-hidden alcohol. Not a whole lot more to ask for.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks nice. Slightly cloudy straw colour, but you can still see through it. Sort of. Fluffy, airy white head. Sticky, too.
Smell was good, but a bit disappointing. Not as much complexity as I hoped for. The Dubbel smells better.
Taste is well balanced, but leans towards the sweet side. Alcohol is well disguized. But the mouthfeel is where it loses me. This bottle (which I assume is fresh - I'm only a few hundred k's away from the brewery) is way, way too carbonated. Champagne-like. And this hurts my drinkability.

Photo of egajdzis
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an orange yellow color, with a medium sized, rocky, white head that left nice lacing on the glass. The aroma seemed somewhat old, with oxidation, citrus fruits, toffee, yeast and alcohol. I found an initial bite in the taste, with some citrus fruits, white pepper, and an alcohol character in the background. Smooths out as it goes down.

Photo of Poser
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Trappist beer.

Appearance: A bright golden-blonde swimming with fine sediment topped with a white head. I think this is one of the most interesting-looking beers I've ever seen.

Smell: Spicy and just a little fruity.

Taste: Almost no hops or alcohol bitterness to the taste. Just a little too neutral, but there are distinct cinamon and fruit tastes in there.

Mouthfeel: Again, a little more neutral than I expected, but it was moderately creamy. Very smooth, but I prefer more personality.

Drinkability: Despite what I've seen from other reviewers, I felt this was very drinkable. Hardly any alcohol sting. Maybe they didn't cool it enough - I poured at 44 degrees.

Overall, great appearance, but I hope the other Trappist beers hold up to their reputation with the taste.

Photo of SupaCelt
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one displays a sort of sunburst pattern when eyed whilst it rests in the goblet glass. The center of the half circle is more of an orange colour than the golden hues that flourish on the edges around this darker core. Yip. A matress of luscious white presides over the event and is continually fed from plentiful springs of gas. The nose is a bit blunt. It smells of a dull spiciness. The sweet tones are not as prevalent as I had expected. This smells quite raw and earthy. If you want to know what earthy is: earthy is a more poetic way to say it smells like barks and rind and other organic debris and natural shit have been introduced to the mixture by some means. Raw varies by degree. Raw is a facet of earthy that denotes level of perceived rotten ambiance. This one is low on raw, but it is a bit raw. Some degree of rot is always suitable and needed for character. So you see, earthy and raw sound better as such than do the aforementioned descriptives. Thin layers of banana and sugar lay underneath these assertive rough textures. In time a more acidic and fruity nose crops up and becomes noticeable. The taste shows the sweet and fruity aspects boastfully. It has a tang to it that reminds me of some acidophilus barrel dweller. She is sweet up front moving purposefully to a sudden bitterness that is again overtaken by sweet in the finish. It unfolds like the tortoise and the hare. The mouthfeel projects a creaminess to bolster the lighter qualities of the liquid. The end result is another stellar Belgian beer. Otherworldly in a sense. Right on you Jean Claude Van Dammes.

Photo of Solomon420
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle smuggled back from Belgium by me :)
the pour was nice, very nice colour, very characteristic of its style. The smell was fruity and airy, with spicy notes popping up from within. First swig I noticed a nice taste of citrusy pleasure followed by a small bite of alcohol in the aftertaste. Not overpowering and very expected from a Tripel. This one is easy to drink and a very well made beer. Its reputation preceeds it very well and I will jot this one down of beers to bring back from Europe during next years business trip.

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

Best before 11/07/07.

Huge pillowy white head atop a hazy light orange body with some particulate strewn about.

The nose: spicy, vinous, alcoholic, light fruit.

Big time spice, firm bitterness, and a combustible effervescence combine for an active but focused feeling on the palate. Bitterness grabs and hold the attention into the finish, where yeasty notes perk up as well.

Its carbonation may be a touch on the high side for my tastes -- but then again, this one seems like maybe its been bottle-conditioning for a while now -- but even so that's an issue that's easily taken care of by a few extra swirls of the glass.

The finish and aftertaste are suitably dry and spicy to ensure the glass isn't away from the lips for too long.

What a wonderful beer. Lively, flavorful, alluring, unique -- commands your attention.

Photo of bonbright7
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I shared two bottles of this in a beer tasting on LI this evening and I was impressed by the generous bubbly head as well as elastic webs inside the poured bottle: very fresh. This reddish-golden ale flowed majectically into my cup and the first taste was immense with a snappy ending I couldn't quite describe.

This would have been great to serve at Thanksgiving with the dark meat of the turkey, stuffing, wild rice, and gravy.

By the way, if you are looking for this on Long Island, NY, Whole Foods in Manhasset on 25-A/Northern Blvd has this (among others) and that particular store is one of the three regular retailers to have it in metro-NYC.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Big, white, Belgian head, mountainous and snowy with thick, cloudy lace. Body is a bright orange-amber with tiny bits of sediment in evenly-distributed suspension. Bold and classy.

Smell: Apple tartness, cinnamon spice, earthy yeast, sharp grain alcohol, pear and pineapple juice sweetness. Very fresh, bright, and invigorating. You can tell it's a strong one, but the alcohol does not overwhelm. Burnt sugar and grassy notes emerge as it warms.

Taste: Snappy, slightly astringent alcohol along with a very vinous and fruity malt character, finishing with an orange rind bitterness and a dry, yeasty tartness that sticks to your tonsils.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, sticky, and medium-bodied. It could be creamier, but at least the alcohol doesn't scorch the palate (as it does in some other tripels).

Drinkability: This a powerful beer, both in flavor and in alcohol, but it is still quite drinkable. It has all the depth, flavor, and boldness of a red wine, making it a great pair for beef.

Photo of elricorico
3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale golden colour with an abundance of foamy white head. Lots of visible carbonation and good head retention.

The smell is dominated by candy sugar and alcohol spiciness. Some citrus base, and a touch of soapy aroma in there as well.

First impression is that this is a sweet and fruity ale, with a notable alcohol finish, though the alcohol waits until the bitter end to show itself. As I drink further, alcohol becomes more and more the defining taste. Fruity citrus flavours up front that can't quite keep up with the alcohol burn of the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, light but not watery, with just a bit of stickiness to it. Well carbonated but not abrasive.

Drinkability suffers from the alcohol burn, but it isn't bad in the end. A decent triple, but I wouldn't call it one of my favorites.

Photo of westweasel
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from an 11.2 ounce bottle from Family Liquors in Homewood, IL.

Appearance: Hazy, bright tan/yellow color. Huge white head. Tons of Belgian lace.

Smell: Scents of floral, spice, clove, and orange.

Taste: It has flavors of orange and spice with very low bitterness or hop taste.
It has a very dry finish with little aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable which is scary. This beer has a high alcohol content (9.5 ABV) that is not apparent when drinking. It would be very easy to drink two or three of these before you realize what's happening.

Photo of GClarkage
3.24/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

06/21/06- Purchased at Jackson's Wine and Spirits in Lafayette, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle. Date strip on the side, but unnothced..although there is a date stamped on the bottle that says Dec 2005. Assuming that this is the best by date as I have had the bottle aging for about two years. Didn't really think much of it as I'm assuming a good tripel should be able to age that long with no ill effects. Poured into my Westmalle chalice.

Appearance- Peachy-orange colored pour. Whoops, a bit to much on the pour as a huge chunk of yeast dropped in my glass and then broke apart into little protien balls and yeast flakes. None to appetizing right now. Head was only a 1/2 inch as first which shrunk to a rim in no time flat. Lacing was very minimal.

Smell- Light alcoholic esters. Lots of spicy goodness. Sweet smelling tropical fruits.

Taste- Sadly I am disappointed. This one is all alcohol. From sip one that's about all I got. An overwhelming taste of alcohol. Made this 9% beer taste like a 15% beer. Also seemed a bit watered down at times. Beneath all that there was a tropical fruity base with some spicyness.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation...alcohol aftertaste. Your friends will think you are a drunk after drinking this one.

Drinkability- Past it's prime? Not sure. Other people think the same about the alcohol. Maybe just not my cup of tea for a tripel. I still have a bomber of this stashed away within it's best by period. I'll have to bust it out real soon for comparrison.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.62/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A very aggressive head on this one, took me 3 stages to get it all out of the 330 ml brown bottle. The result is a merrengue-like ethereal head, and as it slowly drops I was rewarded with a half-moon shape embossed in it. Aw shucks... Almost a creamy-like lacing left over. The body is a hazy apricot with lazy eddies of carbonation and a bit of suspended particles, since I gave the bottle a quick swish before I poured out the remaining contents.

A bit of sugary sweetness greets the nose first, along with citrus rind, before the spice really hits. Difficult to dissect the spice profile at this point though, it tends to play cat and mouse.

The alcohol steps forward quickly to shake my hand upon the first sip. It warms the mouth while everything else in the flavour subtely slips by, and then its all over. Some grains and spice in the middle, and a hoppy, rind-ish finish. Balanced and subtle, but overwhelmed by the alcohol content. Seems to me at times more like a high-octane English Bitter than a tripel.

The mouthfeel is light, but smooth and velvety, it compliments the aesthetics of the head. It's a small pleasure to roll over the tongue.

However the mouthfeel alone isn't enough to bring me back for another one of these any time soon. A lower abv% may have helped to compliment the subtlety of the flavour profile more, as the two aren't jiving particularly well for now, since I'd much rather be dancing with the wallflower rather than the boozy partner that keeps rubbing up against me every time I turn around and take a sip.

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

Poured from the unique brown glass 11.2 oz bottle into my straight sided tumbler. A stiff rocky head was noted that laced down the sides of the glass. A dark golden cloudy color with lots of carbonation. Smell is primarily citrus, with raisins, bread and yeast tones as well. Taste is combination of smell components with a slight hop finish. Mouthfeel is lighter than most other Trappist tripels, as is the color. Drinkability is better than most in this style. The best Trappist to start your jouney with.

Just a thought,


Photo of jmz62565
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear gold with a giant white foamy head. The smell is strong with coriander, floral,malt, candy sugar, and apricot. The taste is very good with all the aromas mentioned along with fruit, pepper, and some citrus,lemon. The m/f is light and smooth,perfectly mixed making this one of the truely great beers in the world.

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

$11.20 at Downtown in Davis Sq.

A: Pours a densely hazy golden color with yellow hues. Huge foamy frothy white head. Good retention and nice spider-web lace on the glass.
S: Phenolic aromas with some banana and fruit like notes also. A bit sweet and spicy also.
T & M: Tastes of bananas and sweet fruit hit the palate first. Slight bitterness detected in the aftertaste, mostly on the tip of the tongue and roof of the mouth. Good level of carbonation has a big presence up front. Very sweet tasting, but definitely a good tasting tripel. Creamy, but light on the palate with a smooth some-what dry finish.
D: Drinkable to a point. High abv like all tripels. I do love the style, but I think there are better ones out there for cheaper. I would assume the higher price is based on it being a trappist and travel costs, etc. A good one to try though.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1997
Best before 5/3/99

Pours hazy orangy gold, with moderate carbonation revealing a modest white head.
Densely packed froth is short-lived and settles into the goblet, leaving behind edging and a whispy skim-coat.
Aromatics are filled with dried hard fruit candies and hints of vanilla.
Tangerines, apricots, cherry bubble gum, with some light caramel notes.
Nose finishes slightly sweet with a wink of juniper and white pepper.
Body on the thin side of medium, mildly creamy and slightly sticky.
Pallet starts off with honey drizzled dried fruits dusted with spice.
Malt character is small with a light husky note under the peppery fruit.
Warming and slightly hot on the back of the throat.
Finishes dryingly, with some residuals and a light bitterness in tandem with spice.

Nine years old and only showing some subdued character with a lower carbonation level. Some slight oxidation shows itself in the quanine-like wince in the nose, and a hint of wet paper in the finish.

Photo of CreamAle128
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pure white head, small bubbles, and very creamy looking, decent lacing on the glass. Nice yellow hugh to the beer.

Smell:Can smell some apricots, bit of citrus and hops, a bit of honey somewhere in the middle, behind all the other aromatics. Not too bad, not as good as the Achel though for smell. Just needs more of everything, too subtle.

Taste: Hops! this is by far the hoppiest Triple i have had. Tarty, slightly acidic, some soft fruits, that briefely come up, little alcohol, slightly pepper-like. Finshes with a quick, sharp, and strong bitterness, and lingers for a little while, with dryness. It seems as though there are many soft fruit complexities that are hidden behind all of the strong hop flavor/characteristics, its nice to try and be able to see if a person can find them. Makes the mouth water! P.S as the beer warms, the hop sharpness decreases.

Mouthfeel: Fairly creamy, coating, slight, and i mean very slight astringancy. Not bad!

Drinkability: A Joy to drink, i see this as a powerful triple that is to be respected for its strength, and is one to have on occasion. Can't have too many of these, for its intense flavour, not because of its alcohol.

I will revisit this again in the future

Photo of Drew966
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Westmalle Trappist Tripel pours a luminescent copper with a small off-white head from a brown 33cl bottle. Aroma is dominated by an apricot like smell which is quite nice, a bit of alcohol is noticeable too. Sparkly carbonation. The alcohol is quite noticeable to me. Also, fruit is present, but the finish is definitely spicy. Very interesting beer. I'm going to have to revisit this one. Recommended.

Photo of pootz
2.73/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle poured a slightly clouded sparkling orange-gold ale into my trappist chalace. Discreet fluffy cap and wonderful lacing. Lively champagne-like effervescence.

The nose is greeted with an earthy-spicey-honey-apricot aroma..alcohol not overly obnoxious to the nose.

Medium body. Mouth feel is peppery from the carbonation/alcohol decernment.

Flavor is not overly complex with malt mixture, the dominant sweet brewer’s sugar mingles with caramel malt to give a sweet spiced cider tone, the hops are there but sit in the background providing a tartness reminiscent of sour apple with yeasty-earthy undertones...then the slap in the face... a short, dry, harsh alcoholic finish where the alcohol becomes very apparent and literally obliterates the flavor profile of the ale.

Not my cup of tea....not very drinkable and too sharp/harsh to be savored slowly. Perhaps a year or two in cellar will mellow it, but drunk fresh it's pretty harsh like a high classed euro strong beer. I echo Oakes sentiment: " what the hell is so special about this?"

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

Poured a deep gold with a huge white head. Lots of visual action, almost like staring into an aquarium. Fountains shooting up from the bottom of the glass.
Very nice extensive floral aroma with the expected alcohol presence.
Full of flavor which fills the entire mouth to the back of the tongue. I was expecting a little more variation to the taste. I had a Westmalle double at a restaurant recently and remember being more impressed with the flavor of that.
A smooth ride considering the alcohol content. You can definitely sip the night away with as many of these as you want.

Photo of mcowgill
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange yellow with big creamy head that leaves a thin lacing around the glass. Sediment floating around.

S - Yeast aroma with lemon and spice

T - Citrusy, hoppy, nice belgian yeast taste

M - Full bodied, perfectly carbonated

D - Very drinkable potent tripel. One of the best I've had.

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,900 ratings.