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Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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1,649 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,649
Hads: 4,186
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 368
Gots: 623 | 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
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Reviews: 1,649 | Hads: 4,186
Photo of Trentonator
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We are under a tornado warning here in Kansas City. As such, I jokingly told my drinking companion that if we were going to die tonight, then we were going to go out whilst drinking good beer. Perusing my selections, I passed over the ubiquitous Chimays, the standard Samuel Smiths and both a Celebrator Doppelbock and Sierra Nevada. All great beers, without question, but I wanted the best of the best. Towards the back of the fridge, I spied the coveted Westmalle Tripel, which appeared like some sort of heavenly apparition (cue the choir music).

In an almost ritualistic pouring, with lightning flashing above and tornado warnings on the sirens and all over the TV, I poured the Westmalle into my chalice like wine into the Holy Grail. If this was to be my last "supper", then so be it. This is BEER as God intended it to be. The Trappist Monks know God, and they know beer.

After the pour, a thick white head appeared, resembling the ominous clouds on the Kansas horizon. As the ample head dissipated ever so slowly, outdoors the crescendo of thunder and display of lightning was complimented by a lacing and bubbly countenance fit for this most momentous occassion. I held my chalice to the erupting skies and entrusted my fate to the monks that crafted this legendary nectar.

Appearance is AWESOME, and the smell is intoxicating even before the heavenly brew touches your lips. Taste is complex, changing every few minutes depending on the temp of the beer. It is at once yeasty and bready, hoppy and thick. The mouthfeel is soft, but also candy-sweet and chewy. Hard to put a finger on, much like the concept of religion itself. But you KNOW it is right, and you know it is righteous.

Make no mistake, this is the Mona Lisa of beers. It is exquisite, breathtaking, stunning, mysterious, delicious and all encompassing. You don't just quaff this brew, you savor it, cherish it, and behold it as the nectar of the gods. A true masterpiece.

Thankfully, the tornadoes passed. But I am forever a changed man after my religious experience with this beer.

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Photo of claytri
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a cloudy effervescent gold with a tannish head. There is also plenty of sediment. The aroma is of malt and fruit, and quite pleasing. The taste is almost a malty fruit punch. So many sweet tastes I can't pick them out, with a pleasant alcohol bite. The feel is a medium textured beer with a creamieness to it. This is a very good sweet beer with a nice bite to it. When in the mood it will be one I look for.

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Photo of rdrummer
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best of the Trappists in my opinion. I love the Westmalle Dubbel well, but the Tripel is my favorite. It pours a medium amber color with a cloudiness that is pleasant. There is a large white head with really long lacing. It is lightly carbonated and has a complex aroma of the yeast, citrus, and maybe banana. The taste is an amazing combination of sweetness and tartness with hints of clove, anise, citrus, figs, raisins, and an hint of hops at the end. There is a definite kick of alcohol but it is ameliorated by the sweetness of the malt.

It is heavy in the mouth for the lightness of the beer and is very clean and refreshing. Despite the alcohol content, I very much wanted another. I revisited this a day later with a similar experience. A great beer.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a huge frothy white head. Very lacy. Big white chucnks of lace throughout. Smlells lemony, peppery. Spicy and fruity, maybe nutmeg or allspice?

Taste is also lemony and spicy. Hints of cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg. Yeasty. Some serious alcohol bite. Lightly fruity with bitter finish. A tripel with a distinctive hop profile? Very dry. Body is big and bold. Bitter, peppery aftertaste and damn dry on the tongue. Lots going on here and probably needs to smooth out with age a bit but a really bold beer.

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Photo of tjd25
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful soft and silky head, smooth and lasting. Great. Opaque orange color body, with some light mahogany and golden notes. Fresh and yeasty notes of fruits. Bananas and grapefruit. Maybe vanilla and light sweet hints of strawberry. The taste starts with fruity and yeasty notes; then, the citric character remains, but a thick hoppiness appears, which combines flavors of citrus and a dark chocolate bitterness. A very warming alcohol character surrounds the mouth with some peppery notes. The mouthfeel is very interesting, very smooth and complex, with a hoppier character than other trappist brews.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled 8/5/04 from a bottle marked "Best Before 5/16/04." After a medium pour, a good half of the chalice fills up with a huge, pure white head with small, persistent beads; almost a meringue-like quality. Vigorous carbonation currents rise through the center of the glass. Unfortunately, lacing is not as spectacular as the head itself would suggest. Color is a bright, brassy, golden-orange. Very subtle in the aroma department... grassy hop smell plays well over sweet--rather than dry--champagne aroma and sums up with a citric pithiness. Herbal (sage, basil (?)) elements are found yet deeper in the nose. Nosefeel is almost ethereally light, airy, and dry. Flavors are also firmly balanced: initial light, honeyish sweetness; main body of citrus peel and a barely bitter grassiness; finishes something like mandarin oranges and herbal tea (?!). (Trying to search for individual flavors... could this almost be too delicate?) Mouthfeel is warm without being alcoholic, smooth other than a touch of carbonation, and utterly dry in the finish. A superb sipping beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Westmalle Trappist Tripel is a comprehensive envisioning of the style. There are (what has now become) typical tastes of bread and sharp, yeasty spice that front for a transcendent fruitiness that is itself religious in scope. This oft boring, singular style is emboldened in a way I expect dubbels and quadruples to be, but never their pale counterpart.

Vinous with an almost glyceral yet refreshingly carbonated mouthfeel. Full and chewy at times, mild and quaffable at others. Repressed alcohol adds a good deal of structure, but no interference of flavor. Passion fruit, citrus reduction.

Needs age. Sharp, phenolic, and too hoppy when fresh.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.63/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First of all, was not impressed with this beer. It tasted sour and unpleasent. I might have got a bad bottle of this Belgium Ale. It drank sour and had no flavor what so ever to be rated high. I wouldn't even consider it an average beer in the state that it was in. Sorry, pass on this one.

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Photo of BierManVA
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this tripel that has not been said?...

It's nose is amazingly crisp and clean...yet complex. Fruity earthy esters and alcoholic overtones. The fine carbonation greatly aids the somewhat tart and dry flavor. Light wood is here.

This Belgian is world class. Not to be missed. If sent to purgatory and given the choice of one bier to drink, this could well be my choice.


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Photo of inebrius
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of very few reasons to get religion.

I like chewing wood, I sit around the campfire drinking beer, whittling a piece of cedar and drinking beer. When my friends and family have abandoned me for the warmth of the indoors and television or a game of scrabble I sit on the picnic table chewing wood, drinking beer, poking embers and musing. You may not want to know all these little personal things about me, but when a beverage transcends water, malted barley and hops, there is only one context in which it can be described: feeling.

That's right. As I sit in a shitty hotel room passing time I'm consoled by a sense of peace, because this little beer in front of me and I'm draining fast has put me in another place. It's golden hue. It's egg-creamy cap. It's aromas of backwater marsh reeds, anise cookies, sunblock at dusk and perfectly toasted marshmallows. It's spicy alcohol warmth that tastes just like chewing on a cedar shaving while drinking a carbonated pilsener reduction. They may just be monks, but they know a damn thing about spirituality.

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Photo of Roderick
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The pour was a absolute delight! A fine golden hue with tiny bits of sedimented floating about in the bubbles of a GRAND head.The smell of citrus and maybe the hint of alcohol along with the very subtle spices of fine trappist work.
The tastes is exquisite with malt and little honey taste that matures into a lemony-orange citrus. Very smooth and rather crisp.
It was truly worth the $4.99 I paid for a 330ml bottle, its a nice relaxing-cheese eating kinda brew. I'm gonna stock up!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 330ml bottle and poured into a wide-rim goblet. The result was a view of a cloudy pale yellow beer sporting a large white head, some chunks of sediment and lots of vigorous carbonation that kept the sediment from ever settling to the bottom.
The aromas of yeasty malt, floral hops, citrus, spices and a mild nose-tweaking sourness all rolled around and blended together for a pleasant, enticing nose. The taste had an immediate tart bite and herbal flavor. Some coriander and other spice, maybe white pepper, hit the front of the palate. Then a light honey taste smoothed things out a bit. Yeasty malt added in the balancing act. Lastly, the citrusy, lemon/orange flavor brought up the rear along with a mild alcoholic bite, leaving a stinging acidity on the tongue. The feel was full, creamy and dry.
Man, that was a pretty fine tripel, very well crafted, and easy to drink. The rather high ABV limits the number of these I'd be willing to drink in a night but then I would be happy sitting back and sipping one. It gets better as it warms. A fine Trappist brew.

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

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades. The aroma is good. It has a pale malt scent with the addition of spices and that fruity Belgian yeast. It seems a bit dry. The taste is good. It has an intense amount of malts and a warm aftertaste. It goes down smooth and finishes dry and with a fruity Belgian yeast flavor. It has wonderful mouthfeel. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine tripel. It has excellent aroma and flavor; a good drinker.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Anam Cara Publick House in Brookline, Mass. My second Trappist beer after Chimay, huzzah! I love monks! Bottle is clearly labeled March 24, 2006, but I’m not sure if that means ‘to be consumed by ____’ or ‘wait until ____ to consume’.

Enjoyed in a big ass .33ml goblet. Pours a golden, hazy solid color, with a light and lacy creamy white head. Smells of orange peel, pepper, and hops. Taste is big pimpin, baby! Meaty and complex, starting off slightly sour and then evolving into a hoppy spiciness with big bold malty overtones and other spices, before finally cooling with an alcoholic aftertaste. This brew’s big flavor hurts it’s smoothness and drinkability, but hey, that’s what you get when you are 9.5% ABV.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a honey-straw golden color with a large 2+ inch head that gently settles down to an inch, then to a nice covering of the beer as time passes. Left 3/4 inch of yeast-beer mix in the bottom of the bottle. The beer has a steady carbonation stream throughout the session.

Aroma is strong- from a foot away I can smell the standard Belgian yeast aroma, with a semi-sweet profile, some horseblanket earthy sourness and hoppiness, with a slight citrus tingle (sour orange). Not as sweet smelling as a number of other tripels.

Flavor- the first thing that hit me was a strong alcohol profile coupled with hops sharpness. No sweetness at all at the beginning. After this first assault on the palate, it calms down as it warms, and then the complexities start coming through. Orange and other citrus, floral notes, and other complexities are here. Flavor nirvana (or near to). Mouthfeel is creamy and clean. Very nice.

Overall- at first, I didn't think this was to my liking (I don't like strong alcohol profiles- the ABV can be present, but it should be well hidden). But as this warmed, the flavors really started poking through the alcohol, and this became marvelous. This beer stands up well to some strong cheeses and spciy rice crackers. I would love to try it with some Belgian cheeses some day.

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Photo of granger10
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the standard that all tripels should look up to. It might not be the best but it is definitely the standard. The pour on this beer left me with a huge foamy white head that took a few minutes before I could actually drink the beer. The color was a beautiful light golden peach color. Little sediment but there was some. Lots of lacing along the glass. The smell is yeasty, woody, and bubblegum like, it's sharp on my nose. The taste has a light complexity that one tries so hard to find in true Belgians yet struggles to aquire. Light honey hits me first but that sweetness is quickly offset by a tart granny smith apple taste. The alcohol seems more apparent in the middle and fades towards the end. The yeast provides another complexity to this. The finish has citric notes and is very sharp. Quite a great beer to sip and savor. Pairs amazingly with good cheese and crackers. This was a great beer but I could not have more than one or two at a sitting.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The head is white, foamy, dense but pillowy. It dies fairly quickly. The beer is a mostly clear, orange-gold. Nose is very vinous. Grapes, sweetish. Really, this smells like white wine. Pepper and bubblegum in the front. More white wine, some orange. Middle is foamy, fruity and spicy. Some nice caramel with temperature. A huge alcohol finish, quite bitter with some pencil lead. This is very, very good: spicy, strong, bitter. Delicious even if it didn't absolutely floor me.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

when i opened it, the first thing i thought was, did i open a cider by mistake? the smell was overwhelmingly tart apple and apple skin. even once poured into my ommegang goblet i detected a lot of sweet and tangy green apple as well as herbal and flower smells.

color was a slightly hazy but perfect hay color. nice head that fell to a slight lace as i drank.

first taste was a knockout--from cider it seemed to have morphed into a super strong ESB. the first taste was strongly english aley-- very bready and earthy. then came a sharp pepper bite mixed with some sour/sweet apple flavor and a bitter herbal aftertaste.

i find this an amazing beer. highly drinkable, imminently complex with flavor profiles from different styles and a strong 9.5 abv, its quite a beer. i only wish i could afford it more often.

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Photo of shapudding
3.67/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a full champagne-like eggshell colored head that stayed along for the ride! A+ for head retention. Very effervescent. Cloudy and golden, unfiltered cider appearance. Noted the interesting shaping of the bottle which is intreiging. Label all in german, so no knowlege to be gained there about this triple... Vineous scent, apple juice. First taste is more alcohol than anything else. Extremely high in carbination, but still smooth. Sweet apples and chardonay, but bitter background. Reminds me of when playing with food and peeling grapes and just eating the skin off of them. With such a high carbination I cannot see having more than one of these, and I am not one for high sugar flavors, I find the sweetness here to be a bit cloying. Decent with bread and cheeses though.

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Photo of DPMomutant
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gonna take me a while to get this 330ml bottle in here, the head is huge and my pour was not particulary aggressive, headed straight over and out of my pint glass if I'm not careful. It's a combination of creamy and soapy. As it (very slowly) subsides, there is lots of thick lacing. The body is a cloudy golden color.

The smell is surprisingly subtle. That is a good thing, with smells of fruit, spice, and a bit of alcohol all evident at the right levels.

The alcohol is a bit more evident in the taste. The spice and the fruit are still there and still good, but I'd like to have a bit less of the alcohol heat.

The alcohol makes the mouthfeel a bit harsh, but the carbonation is well done and makes it ok in the end.

This is good for the bottle, but a bit much for a whole session. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of jackndan
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Westmalle Trappist Ale, Tripel: Poured from the thick, ring necked brown bottle. Gorgeous beer, thick rocky white head that lasts and leaves plenty of Belgian lace. The beer is a hazy golden color, and particularly when held up to light, it almost glows.

Great aroma, very nice banana/cloves and a whiff of new mown hay.

The taste is sensational. Extremely complex, and flavorful, I knew this was something special as soon as it hit my lips. Orange zest like flavors, coupled with spices and a bite of Saaz hops, and a bit of raisins and other dried fruits as well.

Smooth, creamy, rich mouthfeel.

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

Appearance: Slightly hazed golden sunshine tone with a large two finger sized head leaves nice evenly dispersed rings of lacing around my chalice. Aroma: Rich fruit undertones slight spiciness touch of pineapple/tropical fruit notes, not bad candi sugar sweetness bready yeast tones. Taste: Alcohol presence is strong in the forefront, rich syrupy malt profile candi sugar subtle spicy flavors with a touch of herbal hops. Seems a bit brash and one dimensional right now with aging I think this beer will be the classic it once was, but the new Merchant du Vin importers get this one to the US fresher than ever, however I think it will only improve with some aging maybe three months or so to come together as a classic triple. Mouthfeel: Alcohol tickles the nose and back of the throat, fine carbonation very effervescent medium bodied triple ale. Drinkability: Excellent the great sipping brew, complex but still a tad green the bottle says it's good to age well into 2005.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 330 mL bottle, into a snifter. The color is a fuzzy golden, with a nice foamy white head. The smell is a nice yeasty, estery mix. The taste is a good estery, candi sugar sweetness, with a strong yeasty taste to it, and some actually noticable hops in the brew, and almost no alcohol to be found. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability-wise, this is one that I could have for quite a while (price aside).

Well, I've finally had the chance to have my final Trappist brewery, and I'm glad I did. A very enjoyable tripel, with a good mix of sweetness and estery notes, and one I'll certainly have again!

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Photo of rkhaze
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly hazy golden orange with a big active off white head and lots of carbonation.
Smells of malt, ripe tropical fruit, bubblegum and that Belgian yeast tang.
Tastes of sweet bready malt, golden raisins, sugared yellow and orange fruits, honey and tart yeast. There was a nice hop bitterness but the alcohol really came through in the finish.
Medium bodied with a full tingly/creamy mouthfeel brought on by the carbonation.
The alcohol really came through at the end. It warmed the belly but hurt the drinkability a bit.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 750ml bottle with a yellow and white label featuring a bell tower, presumably from the monastery. My bottle came in a cardboard cylinder similar to what you get with single malt whiskies. The top was corked and caged. The bottle had no info on ingredients, while the best before date was stamped on the cork. I could read the month and day (Sept. 2), but not the year.

Poured cloudy pale orange under a two finger thin white head that settled quickly to thick film. There is very little lace. The nose is surprisingly mild, even when warm, with just a touch of sweet and spicey. The mouth is light and very, very prickly. The taste is extremely smooth, with lots of malt, a bit of apricot, plenty of coriander and yeast. There's also a nice hoppy bite in the finish that adds bitter to the sweet and spice. The bitterness lingers long into the aftertaste, mixing well with the fruit and yeast. While I can't say it was worth the almost $30 I paid for it, this was a very enjoyable beer.

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,649 ratings.