Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,659 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,659
Hads: 4,220
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 16.39%
Wants: 371
Gots: 651 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Westmalle Trappist Tripel Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,659 | Hads: 4,220
Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy yellow pour into my St. Bernardus goblet with about a finger of white head. Large bubbly lacing runs down the side of the glass for only a fleeting moment before plunging back into the beer.

S: The aroma is full of clove and bananas, some booze, Belgian yeast and candied sugar. Pretty typical of a tripel, balanced, but not overly impressive.

T: The taste is really spicy and fruity. The booze is nowhere to be found, and the typical warming alcohol feeling seems to be missing, which is really surprising considering the ABV. Very sweet, the taste seems to be just not up to par with other Tripels I've had.

MF: A bit over carbonated with a light body. Dry finish.

O: This was good, and a pretty decent baseline for the style, but it just didn't blow me away. It just seemed too plain.

 799 characters

Photo of RedChrome
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color was a very light yellow with a slightly hazed appearance. Inch and a quarter high white head was pillow like and took a few minutes to fade. Tiny sized bubbles were in abundance. Lacing in rings.

Very sweet fruit aromas. Bananas, peaches and cherries are blended with strength in that order. Earthy yeast is light against the sweetness. Almost nothing bitter to detect.

Sweet taste with a very strong plastic presence. This had an apple taste hidden behind the initial flavor. Despite the fruit, this one falls short of expectation from the aroma.

Decent feel on the sides of the tongue. Carbonation tingles for a while on all surfaces.

Overall a decent brew. This one would work with a plate of lamb kabobs. A solid beer, that pales when compared to others in the style. Try it if you get a chance, but look for others to rule the style.

 857 characters

Photo of hammer09
3.54/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

 524 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.54/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: yellowish-gold hue with a tantalizing layer of pure-white head (creamy on top and spongey beneath), slight haziness, some varied-size bubbles rising quickly

Aroma: a big bloom of banana and malt initially, then clove and a bit of cotton candy, wisps of alcohol, bubble-gum, isopropyl

Flavor: peppery alcohol flavor is dominant (like a stiff drink!); the alcohol blooms in the palate and sort of disappears, leaving: a grainy maltiness and some over-ripe pear fruitiness followed by a terse bitter taste (not so sure if it's from hops, though); the finish is pretty dry with the bitterness lingering long in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, champagne-like carbonation, lots of alcohol warmth

 717 characters

Photo of red80go
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - pours a beautiful yellow orangish color with an inch head
s - fruity with a hint of pepper
t - start peppery upfront thin settles quickly into a fruity (pear, grapefruit) dry finish, lingering after taste of grapes
m - feels great with a lot going on, good carbonation up front
d- this is a very drinkable beer and i didn't taste as much alcohol as I thought by the abv, but one should sip a slow pace or it might bite you

I have seen this beer available at tons of stores nowadays.

 495 characters

Photo of Dawkfan
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just picked up the Westmalle gift pack that included 3 Tripels and 3 Dubbels plus a beautiful looking chalice that will probably rival my Duvel tulip, I just know it.

A- Pours a golden honey with a fingers width of white head. No real lacing to speak of which is disappointing although the thin cap that remains on top of the body is a plus.

S- Much mellower than I'm use to with Tripels. The first thing I picked up on was bananna peels followed by a fruity sweetness. Bready yeast in the background.

T- Different from the smell. I get a lot of bubblegum flavor and some spice. Sour apple bitterness in the aftertaste mixed with alcohol.

M- I found the body to be lighter than usual for a tripel and the carbonation was a bit to much. Finish is dry and the alcohol really sits in the mouth for awhile.

D- Although this isn't my favorite style, I just didn't think it stacked up against some of the other tripels I've had. I wanted to enjoy it because I really love trappist beers, but there is definitely better options out there IMO.

 1,040 characters

Photo of BierStein711
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice

Golden hazy yellow, much like a hefeweizen or Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde.

Three finger head that was reduced in ten minutes, and disappeared after twenty minutes.

S: Barley, alcohol, and wheat

T: Wheat and barley malts, hop bitterness, and a subtle bite

M: Heavy, but not as heavy as some Russian Imperial Stouts or some other Belgians

Overall, this is a beer with a prestigious name that I would not seek out due to both price and the fact that I didn't care for it that much.

 534 characters

Photo of BeelzeBrew
3.56/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A cloudy yellow, dark straw-like color. When poured slightly aggressively, the head was huge at nearly 4 fingers, but dissipated into a full glass lacing with about a centimeter of height. Nice to look at.

S: Twangy, fruity and alcoholic. Not the most inviting scent. Sweetness and fruits, a tidbit of hops.

T: Sweet, full-bodied and heavy on the banana. It's hoppy, but not reaching Pale Ale proportions. The most prominent taste here is the alcoholic blast, it's a pleasant burn...but for a Tripel, it could have been masked much better. It does seem to smoothen out and become more complex as the beer warms, great taste by the time you're 2/3rds finished.

M: It is thick in your mouth, creamy as well.

D: Not so good on the drinkability, the alcohol can be harsh...overall I'd easily drink a few of these, but not something I can claim to drink all night.

 866 characters

Photo of Converge
3.56/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a 14.9oz goblet.

A - After a long, tedious pour, this brew literally yields a mountain of frothy white foam for a head. Once in the glass, I'm left with a hazy, pale-golden beer with small bubbles of lively carbonation flowing up the glass. Fantastic rocky head retention and decent enough lacing.

S - Sometimes smelling a beer through a thick, dense head after the pour can be a bit off putting, but it doesn't look like this head is leaving any time soon... The aroma I get is rather peculiar however. Lots of pale barley malt and bready wheat, with some apricot, pear, peach, honey, and light grassy hops. The yeast presence is minimal and the spices seem to be completely AWOL. What I'm left with is a simple but fragrant aroma, with an understated sweetness. Almost reminds me of a blonde ale, or dare I say it, some sort of imperial lager...

T - Much like the aroma, a pronounced backbone of both pale barley malt and bready wheat leads the way, with subtleties sprinkled on top. Apricot and peach flavors are nice and some slight honey and candi sugar notes add some sweetness. Gets more and more bready as it warms. The finish is where this one gets strange for me, and seems to be quite out of style. The usual spice on would expected from a tripel is toned way, way down, and this coming from a guy who doesn't usually care for the spice in tripels. Next up, the hop presence is overdone for the style, with some borderline herbal notes coming through. And lastly, and worst of all, I'm left with the overbearing flavor and warmth of alcohol in the finish. I definitely did not expect this from such a highly rated beer, and a Trappist one at that. The flavor profile just feels muted and even boring, and the alcohol is just too obvious for only 9.50% ABV. Still a half decent brew, but nowhere near the reputation it carries.

M - Medium bodied, with a touch too much carbonation. A little sticky, but really quite oily and warming. Not so good.

D - Definitely a different tripel than most, but this just isn't for me. The profile feels too simple and uninteresting and the blatant alcohol presence just kills it for me. Brewing a tripel that doesn't rely heavily on spicy and yeasty qualities seems like a fair enough idea, but don't make it 9.50% ABV with no significant flavors to mask the alcohol.

 2,342 characters

Photo of fisherman34
3.57/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gold in colour with a floatie or two, and well carbonated. Pleasing aromas of MacIntosh apple, pear, and a bit of spicy yeast. The fruit flavors become more lemon like on the palate, and mix well with the light malt and mild grassy hop notes. Surprisingly bitter finish, with notes of lemon rind at the end. A bit too dry for the style IMO (if that’s even possible). Not bad, but could be better.

 397 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Huge, bubbly, dense bright-white head on a hazy, burnt/dirty gold colored beer. Lively carbonation without being effervescent. Big chunks of lacing. Retention is crazy.

Smell: Banana, ester, spicy Belgian yeast, and some sweet pale malts. Bready and snappy. Big ripe fruit with apple coming through the back. Nice building clove spiciness. Backing alcohol. Vaguely waxy.

Taste: Clove laced banana and esters. Belgian yeast for days. Ripe banana, apple skin, clove spiciness with some bubblegum thrown in for good measure. Earthy and slightly dirty. Building alcohol warmth as the beer warms. Bready. So much yeast. Pale malts add some sweetness. Toasted malt backing is unique. Cloyingly Belgian. Raw honey edge. Phenolic, especially as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light with a solid, yet moderate carbonation. Lingering spiciness coupled with a moderate dryness.

Overall: Find "yeast bomb" in the dictionary. It's a picture of this beer.

So much yeast it's distracting. Each sip is a sharp punch of yeast aggression. Nice malts and carbonation make it drinkable, but the yeast hits so hard for so long it loses out overall.

 1,145 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light, but very hazed yellow colour, with an extremely voluminous head of crackling whit bubbles. Some dissipation as the head collapses, but the lacing is reasonably good, sticking in the same patterns as the large bubbles cracked. Lots of streaming carbonation, but that gives it rather a refined look. Looks very decent overall.

Nose is rather bready, but with a good, slightly funky crushed citrus leaf character. Plenty of Belgian yeas, but a lot of refreshment to be had throughout, and a little bit of classic spice and phenolics to remind you of the style. Very decent.

Taste is sharp and peppery, and extremely phenolic on the finish, with a big bitterness that wells up throughout. Front is thin with a slight yeast overtone, before the phenolic spice comes through with a vengeance. Feel is very light, but gets cut with the astringency on the back.

Wow, compared to the St Bernardus I had earlier in the evening, this is a far more raw and far harsher beer, and it suffers for it. Not a huge amount of complexity, and a ragingly raw back palate that truly hurts drinkability. As much as I'm reviewing it, I know it's not my place to tell the Trappist monks what to do, but this was not my cup of tea. There are other examples I've enjoyed a whole lot more.

It's not a bad beer by any means, but it's below the baseline for the style in my opinion.

 1,376 characters

Photo of seabass87
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in corked-and-caged 1 PT 9.4 FL OZ bottle. Bottled on 16/11/10. Poured into chalice.

A- Glowing light orange body. Incredibly cloudy. Pour reveals 1 1/2 fingers of fizzy head that dissipates quickly.

S- Banana bread and orange peel form the base. Sharp notes of pepper and clean alcohol. Unsure of where this one is going.

T- Bananas, grapefruit and some other bitter citrus esters. Alcohol. The yeast is lively and spicy, as opposed to the bread-y taste one might expect. Not a mild taste. The alcohol is not hidden. A fair amount of pepper and spice. Bitter and slightly metallic in transition, and a bit medicinal. Some pine-y hops come at the close.

M- Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Finish is very dry.

O- I know this beer is pretty much universally lauded, but I found it to be just OK. It does have a stronger, more complex taste than many tripels. Not bad, but I'd take a Chimay White or a LFDM over this any day.

 950 characters

Photo of jhubeifc
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to try another of the Trappist Ales but was quite disappointed with Westmalle Tripel to be honest. Perhaps I got a poor bottle....
It poured with no head whatsoever and left only minimal lacing. It was a beautiful pale amber and had a decent enough waft. Fruit notes, slight banana and a mild alcohol, perhaps whiskey.
It had very little carbonation and tasted flat across the palate. Fruit followed by some sourdough bread which was a nice surprise. A mild bitter finish.
Not as complex as either of the other Trappists I've sampled this week and in truth was my least favorite of the bunch. Still worth a try and I know I'll give it another go to see if I did indeed get a bad bottle.

 701 characters

Photo of jmasher85
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one at my Beer Club meeting where we sampled almost every available Trappist Beer, so some tough competition that night. Even with that said, this one tasted a bit flat and one-dimensional compared to the Westmalle Dubbel, so between the two, and for the same price, I'd go for the other. Still though, a pretty damn tasty beer, if you can get a good deal.

 369 characters

Photo of Yesac
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Peachy golden color, small bright white head quickly settles to a small foamy layer.

S- Light fruits, Belgian yeast,

T- Reminds me of a white wine or dry champagne. Sweet, citrusy, dry and that's about it. Flavors are all bunched together. Makes a great sipper.

M- Medium body, high carbonation.

D- Great Belgian sipper over all. Slightly to dry for my liking and not as complex as I'm used to with this style.

 421 characters

Photo of IrieJackalope
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Belgian style goblet. Lots of carbonation and the head foams up to about two inches right away and slowly drops back down. Ultimately, there's a think layer of head and some pretty thick lacing left down the side of the glass. Color is a golden, yellow-almost-orange, tone. Very inviting. The smell is almost completely dominated by the Belgian yeast strain that we've all come to admire in Trappist ales. The taste is delicious, with a smooth sweet malty taste. The yeasty smell is consistant in the beer's taste as well with spicy notes of clove throughout. There's a pretty viscous body, but not as full as I would expect from a Triple. Pretty drinkable, overall, but I would say that it fails to compare with other Trappist greats...especially Chimay's Triple.

 798 characters

Photo of mothman
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

TOP 100 Tick FTW!!!

Poured into unibroue snifter.

Pours 1.5 finger of white head. Nice retention, but no lace. Color is a hazy pale gold.

Aroma: Dried apples and pears are the dominate fruit flavors here. Some cloves and spice notes. Belgian yeast shows with some bready malts. Herbal floral hop profile.

Taste: A bit of booze shows, coriander and spices are big, dried apples and pears again. Yeast, bready malts. The taste follows the nose fairly identical.

Mouthfeel: Very fizzy and dry. Medium bodied with a very high amount of carbonation. A bit hot as well with more alcohol showing than I would like.

Overall, a decent tripel, but too much carbonation and a bit too much alcohol showing. Somewhat drinkable. I dig a bit of it.

 740 characters

Photo of artdob
3.61/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Super meringue head.

Initially found it difficult to nose through the intensely thick head. Even after subsiding, still having difficulty getting much off the aroma. Mainly getting yeast esters. I recall the dubel from the same brewery being much more intense in this category.

Tastes of champagne laced with honey, chamomile tea with undetyong bitterness.

Warm and slight carbonation on the mouthfeel.

 405 characters

Photo of descartes
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Murky light orange color with half finger of head.
Smell: Rich malty aroma, hints of apple and a whiff of alcohol.
Taste: Slight fruitness in the middle, otherwise the hop/carbination combo overpowers anythinge else.
Mouthfeel: Feels thin and wattery.
Drinkabitlity: Not my thing, could tone down the hops and have a slightly thicker body.

 384 characters

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big white head that takes up half a tulip glass, then settles to a half inch of meringue. Body is dark yellow with some wit-like cloudiness. Smell is "clean," with a citrus and yeasty highlight. Alcohol is very upfront in the taste, and low level carbonation gives it an asti spumanti feel. Sweetness is vinous rather than malty. As others have suggested on the forums, this may be a hard style to understand. I certainly like it, but I keep expecting more of a "big beer" taste. But with this, I finally got to celebrate Easter with some beer made by monks (Oooh... I coulda had a Salvator, too!)

 605 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a very cloudy yellow orange with a tons of bright white head, while big peices yeast can be seen floating freely about and settling to the bottom. Takes a long while to pour and for the head to settle.

The scent is very sweet and lemony, but not particularly strong.

The taste is a great combination of Sweet and Bitter both showing up in high doses. You can taste some citrus, honey, butterscotch, and some minor alcohol notes. The taste seems very complex and lingers nicely on your tongue.

It has a very nice crisp and satisfying mouthfeel, even a little almost tingles a little. Very nice.

This is a very drinkable beer as long as you plan on enjoying it, very much a sipping beer, almost like a fine scotch or whiskey. I could drink this all night and probably find several nuances in the flavor I'm missing.
Great stuff.

 858 characters

Photo of goz
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy medium golden/orange, large white head which laces decently. Aroma is vinous, lot's of grape, sugar cookie dough, and honey. Flavor is sweet (candied sugar?), doughie, and vinous, with alcohol also playing a decent part in the flavor front. Medium-full bodied, too much alcohol present, IMO.

 306 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

 1,559 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

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,659 ratings.