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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,640 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,640
Hads: 4,156
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 359
Gots: 593 | FT: 6
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,640 | Hads: 4,156
Photo of reebtaerG
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 11oz bottle best before 3/28/15 into New Belgium globe

A-Intense golden color with compact and highly durable creamy white foam. Great lacing!

S-Very fruity aroma, with citrus, herbs, floral, long hops, malts and wheat.

T-Fruity taste, with peach, orange, spices and sugar candy. Long finish full of floral and spicy yeast.

M-Body is medium as is quite effervescent. Finish is dry, with a fruity bitterness that stays. Awesome carbonation!

O-Overall this was perfect after a hot day. Very clean, crisp and refreshing beer that is very complex. 300th review, perfect! (579 characters)

Photo of janubio
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

330 ml. bottle poured in a Westmalle chalice glass. Good nice head with a lace that seems to last forever. Smell of frutis, lemon grass , alcohol, sherry wine. Spicy. Good carbonation, thick and creamy palate. Taste of fruits, maybe apricots, hints of tropical fruits, some citrus,almonds, spicy. Long dry finish. I understand why this is considered the classic example of a belgian tripel. Excellent. (401 characters)

Photo of DeanWormer
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's probably not for me to review this beer. I respect the Westmalle Trappist monks, I really do. They have made their own proprietary yeast for centuries, and I've come to love it through Lagunitas' seasonal "Little Sumpin' Wild" offering - an American DIPA paired with a distinctive Belgian yeast. The two come together IMO, to make magic.

So when I found a $6 bottle of the Westmalle Trippel at (of all places) a Kroger, I thought "this is a life experience that I should have." And then, OK, I had it.

The good news is that I can tell that this is a masterful concoction. It's sort of in the same way that I can tell that an operatic soprano is magnificent, though I really just don't care to listen to her. The fact is - I'm a hops guy. I'm an IBU guy. Westmalle Trippel is surely magnificent also, but it's just not me. My wife would like it - it compares more favorably in taste, color and mouthfeel to a champagne than most ales - but there's no bitter and malty interplay, less complexity. It's light, sweet, refreshing, and very, very fizzy.

So I struggled to give fair ratings to an ale that I don't happen to like, but whose achievements are just lost on me due to my own limitations. Nevertheless, I figure that there are probably some IPA aficionados out there who would be intrigued at the opportunity to try a world-class ale and are wondering if they'd like it. My advice - if you like champagne, you'll love this ale. If you love hops, probably not. (1,471 characters)

Photo of BeerDocT
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I read in this excellent book called "Belgian Ale" by Pierre Rajotte that the monks at Westmalle originated the Tripel style many moons ago. Thus, all other Tripels are brewed to try to mimic this one. Really looking forward to this brew. Poured into a chilled Piraat tulip.

Appearance 4.25: Poured out a hazy, honey color. HUGE 1 & 1/2" head slowly faded to filmy remainders on top. Excellent lacing for such a big beer.

Smell 4.25: Just gorgeous. Light, vinous and still almost overwhelming. I detect, light malt, pears, sultanas, spicy Belgian yeast, and a very pleasant hint of the cellar.

Taste 4.5: Front is lightly sweet and this level fades quickly and seamlessly into the Middle where there is the slightest hint of sweet malt, but the main taste is this almost inexpressible melding of yeast and malt. No, I don't mean alcohol; there is not a hint of alcohol at this level. I just detect something...unique here that I cannot fully express. Finish is smooth, slightly sweet and light. Aftertaste is short, semi-dry and a wonderful way to finish.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Silky smooth with just the right amount of conditioning for the style. Geez, you would think these guys invented the style or something! ;)

Overall 4.5: Excellent beer. Light, bubbly, refreshing and a real kick in the pants. Somehow, the monks at Westmalle have figured out how to up the ABV without altering the basic and delicious taste of a Belgian Ale. This beer is legendary for a reason and while it is not perfect -few things are-- it is certainly worth a purchase. In fact, if you are a fan of Belgian beers, you MUST try this Tripel! You will not be disappointed. (1,651 characters)

Photo of AMack11
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, best before August 20 2015, poured into a Leffe goblet.

A- Beautiful. Bright straw yellow with one finger of bright white head.

S - Not a whole lot on the nose. A light sweetness. Some yeast. Light citrus note, particularly lemon grass. Very little alcohol.

T - Sweet, candy sugar, syurp, with a pleasent spiceness, corriander. A tangyness at the end, like a marmalade. Long dry, spicy finish.

F - Tons of carbonation. A real zingy mouthfeel.

O - What can I say about Westmalle? It is the quintessential Belgian tripel in my opinion. This is the beer that started my love affair with Belgian ales. In the winter I always have a stock of Chimay Blue, and the summer is always westmalle season in my house. Nothing better than a westmalle triple with some irish style BBQ. (783 characters)

Photo of horshamguy
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice glass.

A--Hazy gold with a bit of an orange tint. Large, creamy head that lasts forever and leaves perfect lacing. As good a head as I've ever seen.

S--Sweet & yeasty. Some fruits, like apricot. Mild but still complex with a lot going on.

T--Sweet & malty. Apricot & yeasts are the upfront tastes to me. A little bit of hops follow to balance it out. Damn near perfection.

M--Wow, creamy & mouthfilling. Plenty of carbonation to spread out the flavors. I'd have to call the mouthfeel perfect, at least to my tastes.

O--This one is awesome. I've tried countless American Belgian style tripels. This is the one that they're all trying to be when they grow up. Absolutely as good as it gets. (736 characters)

Photo of Guess2814
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer has to be one of my favorite Tripel style beer.. This beer is so smooth.. I wouldn't drink this beer with an IPA or something that's very hoppy.. If u drink this beer.. Stick with it and enjoy the smoothness lol.. Nice golden look with a Belgian type wheat taste .. "Tripel" (292 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Tipples. Pours cloudy yellow with a huge fluffy white head that pokes out of the top of my tulip glass. Aroma of dry hay, yeasty banana esters, a bit of grassy hop, light spice. Flavor is hay, banana, yeast, lots of spices, dry grassy finish. Very much on the dry spicy side of the style, and I like it. Full bodied but finishes dry with high carbonation. Overall solid as expected, though not my favorite in the style as I like a tad more sweetness. (462 characters)

Photo of Mavigo
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Meijer had this on sale. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a cloudy gold color that is complemented by an effervescent off white head that lasts a few fleeting moments before degrading to a thin white ring.

S: Smells of white grapes, yeast, malts, honey, plums, wheat

T: Incredible. Sweet and balanced at the start. Tastes of grapes, cherries, wheat, yeast, malts, honey, herbs, hops

M: Medium carbonation, full bodied, very sweet, coupled with a kick of bitterness at the end, most from the booze but a little from the hops.

O: Overall this is one of the best tripels I have ever had. Granted, it is quite expensive and I only bought it because it was 30% off but still, even at full price, it's quite an experience. I highly recommend. (741 characters)

Photo of PopTheTop
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this beer in Belgium at Beer Planet and decided to try it out with my father-in-law. I put the beer in the fridge so it was nice and cold when it was time to try it out.

Upon pouring the beer we noticed that it had about 1 to 2 fingers head on the top. The color of the beer was golden and bright. At first glance, it looked like a very refreshing beer.

Considering the relatively high ABV, this beer didn't smell too much like alcohol. It had a very nice smell that masked the alcohol content very well.

We both assumed that the taste of the beer would be pretty strong due to the high ABV as well. That wasn't the case. The brew was very smooth and had very little aftertaste.

I highly recommend this beer because of it's amazing smell and the fact that it drinks very smooth. (797 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy golden color with a two finger head with good retention and leaving an eternal lasting plate.
Nice aroma of peaches, mild cloves, Cointreau liquor, pineapple, a mild Belgian yeast and biscuit malt.
Tart citrusy flavor with notes of green grapes, core of pineapples, herbal hops, mild banana and vanilla, clear white peppers, bread malt and sour green apples. Dry and long aftertaste, elegantly spiced, bitter and a bit acid.
Medium body with effervescent carbonation. Alcohol of 9.5% abv is there, but incredibly well hidden considering its magnitude.
Surprisingly unsweetened and relatively hoppy, which is compatible to the experts estimates of a little below 40 IBUs. The last one I had was somewhat different, which indicates this is a beer that does mutate over time; this one is 9 months to the expiration date. A vertical tasting should be nice.
This one has definitely to be drunk at room temperature. Outstanding Tripel that does not carry some characteristics of some Belgian beers that bothers me a bit, such as being overly sweet or completely neglecting hops when not necessarily appropriate. Amazing this is so old and still one of the most modern Tripel around. (1,190 characters)

Photo of Ed_from_Ohio
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Favorite beer in the world. Delightful, young or old. Rich, golden, hazy appearance. Light, lacy head. Full of flavor, rich and full, then finishing crisp with nice bitter profile, not overwhelming alcohol. Would buy over and over again. Drank a few that had aged 12mo+, and a more complex, robust flavor was experienced. (321 characters)

Photo of Mongrel
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours like sparkling apple cider. Thinner appearance than you would expect from a 9.5% ABV tripel. Mine's cloudy with some floaters.

S - Milder smell than I expected. Just light Belgian spice, honey and maybe some pineapple.

T - Hits the palate bright and prickly like you would expect a Belgian pale to, but quickly delivers on buttery sweet richness. Banana, ginger, light clove and white pepper take center stage. Tart apples and pineapple make an appearance. Gets a little boozy as it warms up, but that only adds to the interest. A creamy vanilla profile also comes trough in the back half of this bottle.

M - big, creamy mouthfeel as it warms up. Long, semi-dry honey finish.

A very nice tripel, but I'm not sure it lives up to the hype. I prefer a couple new world tripels like Long Strange Tripel and La Fin du Monde. (832 characters)

Photo of FFreak
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pale hazy golden yellow with overflowing head. Yeasty and slightly alcoholic and sweet on the nose with a tiny bit of spice. Very well balanced sweetness to bitterness, with great carbonation and body. This is my first try of a Trappist beer and this one is super. (264 characters)

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden, brassy in color with a slight haze and a towering frothy white head that mellows nicely to a layer of bubbles.
S: Fresh dough and yeast with layers of toasted malt, caramel, light candy sugar and delicate esters reminiscent of fresh apricot. A touch of grassy and spicy hops are noticeable but not strong.
T: Sweet but not overly sweet layer of candy sugar over a smooth, toasted grain profile that is clean and slightly drying. Light caramel, apricot and hay with a balancing push of hops that are both grassy and spicy with a white pepper character. Unique yeast has complexity without any clear distinction of fruit or spice but a definitive player in the taste nonetheless. Alcohol remains well hidden into the finish which is on the dry side.
M: Medium body beer with moderate carbonation and a smooth clean, dry finish. Alcohol is well hidden for it's strength.
O: Delightful beer with flavors that keep unfolding as this warms up. Top notch yeast and fresh clean tasting ingredients play credit to meticulous brewing practices and a stand out beer! I have passed this up many times but glad to finally sit down and taste it. (1,146 characters)

Photo of holtlandon
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A small German restaurant the went into the basement of my old high-school in an aged victorian gold-rush town served this. I had to try it.

I was pleased at how simple the packaging was. The beer really spoke for itself. Look was great, and the foam (which I always love) was generous. It had a look of straw gold. The scent was sweet.

Tasting was an interesting experience. I expected to really taste alcohol due to the high abv - to my surprise, there was no bite, the level of alcohol taste was minor are balanced well. The taste reminds me of a hefeweizen toned down and not as murky. Banana & vanilla, maybe apricot.

I enjoyed this beer very slowly before dinner, and didn't dare eat any food with it to muddle the taste. It was well worth the money. (761 characters)

Photo of Premo88
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz. poured into chalice
(best before: 1/30/15)

L: straw yellow ... very pale ... just a hint of gold at the bottom up to the light and some gold when you look down on it as it sits on the table; up to the light, pale yellow; not much of a head, enough foam to cover the top, white; not stick or lace; keeps a loose collar, big soapy bubbles; a little bit of debris, not much, floating in the bottom -- and the entire brew looks thick like a dubbel or quad, almost like Jello; not clear but not 100% opaque

S: white wine; sour grapes; sweeter as it warms up

T: sweet white wine; lots of sour grapes; starts off VERY sweet but is drying out just a bit as we go; no major alcohol taste, but just a few sips in you can feel that 9.5% ABV warming down the throat; if you take a bigger swallow, there is just a hint of alcohol in the taste

F: solid, bubbly, easy to drink ... it looks thick but feels much lighter than the appearance; dry

O: very enjoyable with enough sweetness up front to get me into it then dries out as you go, making it a super drinkable sipping beer -- and sip I am. again, that 9.5% ABV is not a missprint.

LOVE the fact that this seems just a hair different from the other triples (and Belgians in the pale family) I've tried. there is NO banana, no bubble gum, nothing cloying about it ... (1,320 characters)

Photo of papat444
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this at Bistro des Bieres Belges last night.

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle, didn't really look for the date.

Hazy light gold body, thin foam that doesn't last long but the lacing makes up for it a bit. Nice fruity esters in the aroma that are reflected in the flavor. Great feel in the palate, just wished is had more retention for the head. (346 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle, stamped best before 28/03/15

hazy bright straw yellow color, with huge foamy bright white head. lacing clings to glass in clumps. herbal earthy aroma, typical Belgian yeast esters. pale malt. taste is actually more mild, a bit of a peppery aftertaste though. medium body, higher carbonation. overall pretty nice, definitely to style. (349 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

hazy yellow-orange pour. huge aroma of grape, citrus, apricot, sweet fruit filled pastry, bit of farm. flavor hits with the spice, lemon zest. so much zing, and bite. very intense. gonna have to try this at a later date and re review, only had one small bottle (260 characters)

Photo of msquared36
3.43/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bright yellow gold with a crisp white, billowing head. One of the softest foams I've ever seen, leaving thick lacing down the glass.

Scent is yeasty with a hint a sweetness and alcohol.

Taste is malty and sharp. A little sweetness and alcohol, similar to the smell.

Nice refreshing carbonation yet still smooth.

Complex but drinkable. (338 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 750 ml bottle to a Westmalle chalice.

Bottled on 12/02/2013 and enjoyed on 14/02/2014.

A: slightly cloudy hay/gold colored with a fluffy white head that lasts for quite a while. When the head finally does break it leaves nice lacing and a thin film of foam.

S: cloves, spices, Belgian yeast and some fruits like banana.

T: spices, cloves, a peppery taste, yeast, and a bookings that sticks around.

M: higher carbonation with a medium body.

O: a very nice tripel with a lot of character. I really liked the spice and pepperyness of this beer. I found this beer got even better as it came to room temperature. All the cards on the table, I prefer the dubbel over this, but it is still a damn fine beer. (718 characters)

Photo of BVukelich
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy, golden color with a creamy, thick head. Nothing unique in the aroma, typical (or maybe this one sets the standard) for Belgian Tripels. Personally, I thought the alcohol came across stronger than the 9.5% stated but it was still smooth and balanced. Viscosity was a bit thicker leaving an obvious coating on the roof of my mouth. It didn't last long and the aftertaste was earthy and a bit fruity. I love Belgian Tripels so it is rare that I can score one average or lower. (481 characters)

Photo of Spiral517
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated best by 30/01/15 into a tulip glass. This is only my second Trappist brew and I'm pretty sure it's my first tripel.

Cloudy, light copper color with a decent sized, bubbly head that dissipated pretty quickly leaving a very thin head afterward with some lacing on the glass. Good amount of bubbles floating up. Held up to the light I can see some floaties of some kind in there.

The initial aroma really surprised me because it immediately brought back memories of stroh's beer that I drank back in the 80's. It surprised me because I was expecting an exotic aroma but instead was reminded of some cheap beer I drank in high school and college. It actually worried me a little about what the taste was going to be like. Now that it's poured the smell has evolved some and is getting nicer. Sweet with a little funk poking its head out.

The taste is wonderful! I am not great at picking out flavors but I am getting a very nice, light sweetness and some barnyard funk. Really delicious.

The mouthfeel is great. Just the right amount of carbonation and a creaminess without being heavy that suits my palate just right.

Overall I like this much better than my only other Trappist brew which was Orval. I highly recommend this one and would buy another in a heart beat! (1,282 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: purchased from Leura Cellars. A stylish and incredibly thick embossed 330mL brown bottle with a nice trappist label. Simple but elegant.

Appearance: pours a fairly viscous vibrant honey yellow with champagne-like fine carbonation. A big fluffing head bursts up to three-fingers even with a gentle pour (mind you my snifter is draining so I am using a tulip so fair enough) and settles to a half-finger thick white head. Not much lacing.

Aroma: quite muted on the nose, but what is there is a clean and fresh combination of Belgian yeasts and sour dough, orchard fruits and some spices. Some alcohol over the top but is not distracting.

Taste: more sour than your usual tripel - plenty of alcohol and Belgian yeasts, with some wheat, cloves, orchard fruits and a touch of malt. Not my favourite tripel flavour, but still pretty outstanding.

Aftertaste: the flavours last a good long while - quite dry all the way through thanks to the alcohol and the sourness.

Mouth feel: a thick body that really works quite well. Moderate in carbonation with a smooth yet dry feel.

Overall: quite a drinkable tripel, but probably not the best I have had, particularly since it is one of the dearest. It is more sour and tart than most which I like, but it lacks some complexity. That said, it does have a wonderful orchard fruit and spice flavour that pokes its head out between the alcohol and sour dough. (1,405 characters)

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,640 ratings.