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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

3,634 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,634
Reviews: 1,576
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 248
Gots: 312 | 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
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Ratings: 3,634 | Reviews: 1,576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viggo
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden, although very bright, nice white head forms, tons of lace. Smell is sweet and clean, very crisp honey, crisp hops, wheat, citrus, lots of malty goodness, very rich. Taste is Sweet malt, some banana, honey, alcohol, crisp finish. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is medium, slight alcohol burn, nice and smooth. Good trappist but there are better.

Viggo, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of gotbeer
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The presentation of this beer is golden with a head that diminishes to a thin lacing on the glass.

The smell is grassy and pugent. The taste comes through with hints of apricots, spicy pepper, and a little tart. A little hops at the nose, that fade in complex fruit and malt flavors.

At 9.5 ABV, it may not be a session brew, but it tastes like one. You would be lucky to have a steady diet of a beer this great.

I like pouring the yeast from the bottle right into the glass. I think it adds to the complexity of the beer, and improves it.

A great tripel that is worth trying and enjoying as an excellent example of the style.

gotbeer, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is among the best of the trappist. Looks peachy and coppery. Highly carbonated and formed a rocky and persitant foamstand that laced well and shows good legging. Smells very sweet of honey, fresh fruits and berries, spices, alcohol, and that unique belgian souring. Tastes malty and candy sweet. Powdered sugar and honey. Sweet fruits of pears, peaches, and raspberries. Spices of clove, corriander, all-spice, ginger and pepper. Sweet alcohol becomes a bit harsh and phenolic in flavor. Remains firm in body throughout the session. High, sweet alcohol combined with the carbonation becomes numbing and playful through the entire mouth. Finishes dry and hot, leaving mild tartness, sourness and lingering hop flavor (noble varieties). This is a very complex and well matured, handled beer. I'm sorry that I have passed this one up so many times previously.

BEERchitect, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium dark translucent orange, small dissipating head, and not much lacing. Smell is spicy alcohol, like I'm about to taste an after-dinner drink. Taste is biting (for a tripel) hoppy in the middle of a wash of alcohol and spiced fruit. Mouthfeel is ok, a tad thin, leaving an oily coating which contributes to a long finish. I like my beers to show their alcohol. This one does, though somewhat harshly. Still, I've got to recommend it. Use it as a digestif.

pentathlete, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i can't believe I never reviewed this one before. A recent sample on my road trip re-awakened me to how good this stuff really is! Important note: MUST BE CONSUMED AS FRESH AS POSSIBLE!. This one really loses it's lustre with age, big time! Anyways, Fresh bottle sampled somewhere in Wisconsin. Dark golden with a big pillowy head of white foam. This is really the benchmark look for this style of brew. Excellent head retention, fantastic Bruxelles lace. It's all here. Aromas of fresh baked Belgian bready malts, candy sugar, banana esters, other fruits notes, spices like black pepper and coriander come to mind as well and round out the fruity yeastiness of this brew. Taste is fruity and sharp, totally warming with just a small hint of alcohol. The heavily fruity taste and spiciness blend together with the bready malts and make for a very complex beverage. Mouthfeel is medium bodied>thick and drinkability remains very, very good. As I drink more and more beers, I sometimes forget about the "starter" beers that really got me into the whole good beer/Belgian beer scene. This is one of those beers, and it is as good today as it was back than. As I said before, just watch out for old bottles of this, I personally think Westmalle brews do not age too well and should be consumed as fresh as possible. If you can drink it over in Belgium, even better! I think I have seen singles for as cheap as about $1.20 in many Belgian super markets!

francisweizen, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of mentor
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle obtained from Total Beverage (Colorado) and consumed a couple evenings later in July 2005. Freshness markings are 15/07/06 and 3 015135. Pours a single finger of light tan head over a murky yellow/very light orange liquid. Smells yeasty with some belgian funk mixing in oranges and some clove. Honey sweet is dominated by a mildew hop/yeasty smell. Tastes funky sour with oranges and spices (clove and perhaps coriander) and some belgian candy sugar. By 'funk', I mean it tastes like cobwebs and white fluffy mildew smell. Some fruits (oranges, pears, green grapes) muck about in a honey malty sweetness before the alcohol and spice dry up the finish. The swallow produces a brief moment of chocolate. It's quikckly replaced by a yeasty flavor and mild alcohol sting. Green apple and funk aftertaste. How interesting...it's somewhat bitter, like it's been hopped to a level that competes with the other teams on the field (sweet malt, fruity esters, and spices). Medium body with moderate carbonation. Well, this is certainly a multi-dimensional beer. None of the flavors stand very strong, making for a gentle Now, I don't like funk, but this beer I actually enjoyed. Despite my dislike for 'funk' I will judge this beer to style.

mentor, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) brown glass bottle that has a very noticeable thick raised ring around the collar which has the words Trappistenbier molded into it. Cream colored classic looking Westmalle obverse label lists the Tripel at 9.5% ABV; the crown cap is a matching color coded affair. Reverse label indicates that this is a part of the new batch of Westmalle now being imported by Merchant Du Vin, the Best Before date is 02/09/06. Accounts for 60% of production at Westmalle and is only available in bottles (unlike the Dubbel).

Appearance: Soft peach infused pale golden body has turbidity that is hazy but which lends a powerful look. White head rises and stays at ½” thick throughout. This one looked incredibly impressive when served into a Chimay goblet (as I broke my Westmalle one). Conventional looks for the style, but impressive head retention and the lovely soft golden body just set this one off in the goblet, I could stare at this one for hours.

Nose: A damn fruity nose which has a lot of spiced hops in the middle. Peripheral smells whiff of bubblegum, toasted malts and yeast fight for centre stage with the lesser detectable aromas of freshly skinned Satsuma oranges and freshly baked white bread that seemingly appears at higher temperatures.

Taste: A reflection of the complex nose in parts, the profile is clearly temperature dependent, like a distillation column the serving temperature seemingly dictates which of the distillate flavors is promoted to the front. Rounded toasty malts, breaded dough and fruity yeast traits make way for an assault of sharp spices and soft yet bitter hops in the back end, the intensity of each changing as the Tripel warms to room temperature. Alters from a the initial profile of soft and fruity at the freshly released chilled 45°F (7.2°C) to a sharper richer and hoppier offering as it approaches 55°F (12.8°C). The finish is exceptionally clean and very rewarding.

Mouthfeel: Marvelous, full-bodied, bold and big on the palate - the carbonation is utterly perfect, sheer silky feel on the tongue and on the cheeks. Warming in the swallow, the 9.5% alcohol is there but it is tamed and only comes through when needed to give you a gentle reminder that you may fall foul of this one if you have a few too many of these!

Drinkability: It is rumored that the Dubbel and Tripel styles evolved from Westmalle. And as with the Dubbel, I do always tend to think of the Westmalle Tripel as the guardian of the style, particularly because of its sociable quaffability. Again, as with the Dubbel, this one is equally satisfying on its own, or with food. I could drink this one all day, if there is such a thing as a 9.5% “session” Tripel – this is it. A dangerously attractive libation that has kicked my ass more times than I care to recall. Drinker beware.

Overall: A fantastic fresh example of one of my all time favorites. If it *does not* say Imported by MdV on the reverse label put it back on the shelf and go seek some of these fresher examples that MdV are now importing.

Easily my favorite of the brace of Westmalles. So much better when fresh in my opinion, I wouldn’t even bother aging these.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a light golden with a small head. Little lacing left behind. There seems to be an awful lot of sediment in the bottom of my glass, making this a tad questonable with the appearance.
Smell is of soothing vanilla, cream, spice, pepper, warm alcohol and ripe pear.
Taste is of all the aforementioned aromas, blended into a warm and inviting concoction.
Mouthfeel is slightly stinging and dry due to the alcohol. A bit of a bitterness and sourness fizzes towards the back and sides of the mouth. Lacks the sweetness desired to become worldclass IMHO.
Drinkability is good for a triple. Not great, or overly appealing. ABV makes it slightly awkward but expected.

Finger licking good.

weeare138, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of Sixpoint
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a great beer.

My sample poured with a head that emerged well above the rim of the glass.

The aroma was of fruit, esters, spice, clove, and bananas.

The color was a murky yellow; kind of a golden straw color. Seemed to have a yeast and chill haze.

The carbonation was heavy but not spritzy; felt like the soft natural carbonation of proper bottle-conditioning.

It's amazing how fast you can drink this one, even though it's 9.5% alcohol. What danger!

Sixpoint, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold with no almost head. What little head it had didn't make it to my seat. Could be a flat bottle, but cant tell for sure. Future reviews with determine that. Very little smell to be had, but some sweet fruitiness and that belgian scent peaks it's head out for a bit.

Nice belgian flavor with spicy, sweet fruit flavor. Spice is not overpowering as I've experience with other triples. A bit of alcohol is present, but works great with flavor. I've found a near perfect triple flavor. Smooth warm mouth feel with very light carbonation (but again lack of carbonation may be related to flat bottle).

This is a very satisfying beer. One of the best flavor of it's type.

Notes: this looses big for appearence.

NiceGuyMike, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of steinlifter
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured a hazy yellow-golden...foamy head that retained, and left broken lace all the way down...smell was citrusy, and mild, taste was outstandingly citrusy, fruity, complex...mouthfeel light bubbly, and creamy...drinkability is high!...not a session brew, due to the abv, but just wonderful...God! I love Belgians!!!

steinlifter, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of mdagnew
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl Bottle from www.onlyfinebeer.com - drunk from Westmalle glass...

Poured a golden / yellow colour. Quite white head - creamy, with small beading. Nice thin layer stayed until the end...

Aroma of pear. Peppery, spices, hint of lemon and other citrus.

Taste – quite noticable alcohol taste. Quite peppery with hints of honey, vanilla, maybe some banana

Feel - Quite sharp on the tongue... turns creamy quite soon after the initial sharpness...Acidic notes...

Overall - probably the best tripel i've had.. and exceptional beer...

mdagnew, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of Sephiroth
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am quite familiar with this lovely ale. It is a deep yellow with a creamy looking head.The nose is of pears, apples, and alcohol.

The taste is of earthy, bright fruity malt. The hops are enough to make this a clean finishing beer. The sweetness is not cloying. The mouthfeel is one of the best I have ever encountered. It is ultra creamy and medium bodied. I have somehow put this beer down in about thirty minutes. It took no effort. I most definitely want another one.

Sephiroth, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 silkscreened bottle with plastic cork.. wtf?!

murky golden peachy color with lots of bubbles and random yeast sediment particles despite a careful pour. velvety pillowy white head, hilly and littered with bubbles. nice crusty lacing. smell is also rather yeasty. hot with alcohol and light, citrus spikes full of lemon and orange (nosewise). candi sugar and ginger snaps.

taste starts smooth and vanilla, kicks into an alcoholic coma and exits with a pleasant hop bitterness. like a trappist rollercoaster. monk-made tripels are not anything extraordinary in my opinion, since there isnt much room to maneuver above the abv. ranks up there with unibroues but no uitzet. as a matter of fact, slap a unibroue label on this and i wouldn't think twice about it.

good beer though, and especially nice in 95 degree weather.

goodbyeohio, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of andjusticeforale
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Firstly, in my opinion, this is a must try beer even if Belgian Tripels are not remotely your favorite category.

I split a 750 ml with a friend on his deck at about 5pm on a 90 degree day this week. This is the ultimate warm weather sipping beer. The color is beautifully light. The foam is tremendous. The nose is beautiful, trappist smelling with faint fruit.

The most amazing thing about this ale is that there are two levels working here. There is a wonderfully fruity-citrus spicy hop level(apparently the most hopped trappist beverage) that cascades briliantly above a lower-warming alcohol level. This creates an astoundingly complex beer. If Trappist ales are all famous for hiding the alcohol content to some degree, perhaps Westmalle Tripel does it the best, and achieves the perfect balance.

andjusticeforale, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of medic25
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange/brown color, with a little bit of a white head. Sweet, quite malty odor. The taste is a complex balance of flavors; raisin, candy sugar, very faintest trace of hops. For 9.5%, the beer goes down amazingly easily. Drinkability is tremendous; much lighter and crisper than some of the other sickly sweet tripels out there.

medic25, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of DrJay
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy golden colour, the generous white head was quickly reduced, but produced nice lacing on the glass. Spicy aroma, doughy malt, light hops and a bit of alcohol. Smells pretty nice, but a little bit muted overall. Good combination of flavours, with fruit, cloves, and moderate sweetness balancing a drying bitterness. Short finish that is a little sweet with light peppery spice and alcohol warmth. Medium body, moderately high carbonation produce an initially light, airy texture.

DrJay, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of scriabin
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The unique cloudy, golden appearance is a site to behold, creating a sense of anticipation of what's to come. The smell is something special indeed, a great mix of of caramel sweetness that I found myself lingering over for quite some time. The rich flavor is sweet with caramel and floral overtones. Highly recommended.

scriabin, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saw this bottle sitting on the shelf and it was calling to me (a 750mL bottle poured into a chalice).
The first time I tried this was from a couple samples and I recall being stunned by the quality.
This time around the impact isn't as shocking.
However,
This may be my favorite tripel.
It looks, smells and tastes the ways it seems a tripel should and does all those things very well.
It has a bitterness that I've found in other tripels, but it doesn't spill over into a sourness that turns me off. There is some grapefruit flavor without that grapefruit sourness.
Still tart.
Still dry.
Smells smooth and mild with a flavor of an impact that the nose only hints at.
The only major flaw I can find with this is the price and availability.
Though I suppose if it was cheaper and more available it might not be as good.
Ah well.

ommegangpbr, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of 3Vandoo
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I am doing this review with a bottle that I am not sure if it was good, I had one last week and it wasnt tasting the same, maybe my palate is playing trick who knows!

The Triple has an orangish color, cloudly, very carbonated, the head came and dissapeared quickly. Her smell is very fruity with shy notes of hops and malt. Taste is spicy, alcoholic, esthylic, and carbonated, actually way too much carbonated, it was like I had a Westmalle that when diving too deep and went up too fast, bubbles in my mouth that didnt feel right.

3Vandoo, Jun 18, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its been a while since I had this brew. Worth checking out again. This beer pours a nice hazy peach color with a finger of head that falls to coat the liquid. The nose is raisiney, caramel, and spicey. I can pick up the candied sugar that was used for certain. The flavor is pretty nice as well. The raisin is not so sweet as the nose says. There is a little more graineyness as well. The alcohol plays nice and spicey as well. Not bad. The feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation. The alcohol is somewhat apparent, rendering the drinkability a bit less than it could be. Overall, I like it, but I can think of other brews I would have before this one.

kmpitz2, Jun 15, 2005
Photo of edchicma
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gorgeous dark lemon with a pillowy head and champagne like bubbles.
Smell: lemon, yeast, malt...less harsh as it warms

Taste:lemon, citrus, alcohol esters, slight fruity undertone, some vanilla...complex.

Mouthfeel: smooth as it warms

Drinkability: Very nice...has a pleasant bite on the finish

edchicma, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of 99bottles
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the better tripels out there with great availability. I had this at a bar in PA in a Chimay chalice, allowing for a nice presentation. Served a bit too cold, this is definitely better when allowed to warm and breathe a little. The smell is of soft bready malts, tinged with a nice banana sweetness and other carmelized sugar notes. The fruity esters are clean and pleasingly sweet, never cloying. The 9.5% is not surprising though well suited to the malt profile and slight bitterness of the hops. This remains an immensely drinkable beer at that high abv. This is a good benchmark for tripels to go by.

99bottles, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of TPSReports
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served at 49 degrees from a 11.2 oz bottle. No date.

Very slight, say 1/8 inch head that disappears quickly leaving a pretty lacing across the surface.

Cloudy straw color with yeast floaties.

My allergies are acting up, so not too sure about the nose of this brew. I can't notice much.

A delicious, light, crisp and refreshing trippel. Very little hoppiness, which I like. Slight carbonation, alcohol tingle. I nice lingering floral flavor with a final hint of hopps.

A medium bodied brew with a silky feel on the palate. This beer drinks way too smoothly for its high ABV. I could easily polish off several of these -- and get multiple frowns from the wife if I did so.

TPSReports, Jun 12, 2005
Photo of gimmehead
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the newly distributed 750 mL bottles. Good move, that. Pours hazy yellow orange with a huge pillowy white head. This is what beer should look like. Lots of bubbles and the head will not die. Smells very vinous off the pour, grapy and spicy. Some spicy hops and lots of esters; yeasty, grassy, and somewhat musty. Tastes of noble hops up front, becoming more grassy and grainy as more malt profile comes through. Lots of yeasty banana orange peel notes along with fruity esters and a bit of a sour vinous quality. Not a whole lot of sweetness. The alcohol is well blended into the flavor, very inconspicuous. Light and foamy on the tongue, dry and a lingering sourness at the finish.

gimmehead, Jun 05, 2005
Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 3,634 ratings.