Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

4,081 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,081
Reviews: 1,641
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 343
Gots: 561 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,081 | Reviews: 1,641
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 9.5% ABV, Serve at 45° - 50°F, Best before end 27/01/10.

My thanks go out to Bnieman for this one, getting me one step closer to tackling the top 100 list, and for sharing an awesome brew!

A - Hazy, poured with sediment, it's a golden yellow color with a puffy white head. Dense bubbles deflate slowly and leave some thick blankets of lace on the glass.

S - Awesome nose of Belgian yeast and sweet, light candi sugar. Crystal malts and wispy spicy floral hops. Nice balance going on. Hints of clay and spice with a touch of white grapes on the back end.

T - Sweet, but not overly sweet, it's got plenty of crystal malts and candi sugar balanced with a touch of white grapes and spice from the Belgian yeast esters. Delish!

M - Medium-bodied and incredibly smooth, a well-balanced feel leads through the highly carbonated and sweet beer to a lightly dry finish.

D - The alcohol is nowhere to be found, making this beer trouble if you've got a 750 of it. It's very drinkable with great balance. Based on the date, I'm sure it's got some age on it and it's still terrific!

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a hazy amber, not impressive - but the thick, white, rather persistent head promises a great ale. Strong aroma is creamy, fruity, malty, and slightly sweet. Flavor is crisp, fruity, malty, very satisfying, not overly complex but rather mouth-filling. Texture is smooth but edgy, and leaves a fruity and slightly hoppy aftertaste. It does have quite a bite to it, so beware - it ain't for sissies!

Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark-ish golden color with banana tinted edges. Cloudy, hazy, and basically opaque, as I would expect any tripel to be. Super volatile - even a modest and careful pour produces a humongous, cloud-like white head that takes up more glass space than the beer itself. Surprisingly enough, no real lacing left behind, save for a bit of wet legging that doesn't last forever.

The aroma is unabashedly sweet, complete with an almost pickled/vinegar like aroma and plays along with the sweetness in relatively competent harmony. Ripe, sweet, candied bananas, coated in sugar and swimming in a sea of malt. Lots of Belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, and other various spices. There's no doubt that there's a lot going on here - a very complex orchestration of malty goodness. Phenol alcohol character builds up as the beer gets warmer, cutting through the sweetness a bit, somewhat expected at 9.5% ABV. A mild, musky hop ending closes things out.

I take a sip and the first thing I think of is sweet water taffy - banana flavored of course. This beer gives off a "candied" sort of flavor, which doesn't really come as a surprise after smelling it. There's a mild musky bitterness up front to help balance some of the sweetness overload. Each sip reveals more and more flavors; rotten mashed mangoes, clove, leaves, Belgian yeast, sugar coated plums. Definitely a lot to take in.

At first, the alcohol is very low, but even with moderate warming, the phenol characters bounce out and attack the senses pretty heavily - maybe almost a bit too heavily. Despite the beer's sweetness, the heavy alcohol warmth and front-and-center hop bitterness do a valiant job of keeping this beer from seeming too sweet. Somewhat dry finish, medium bodied and carbonated pretty heavily.

Very nice tripel, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. Most people have come to expect greatness from all of the trappist breweries, and why shouldn't they? Not my favorite tripel, but very good nonetheless.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark and cloudy orangish body with a mountainous head - took forever to die and left lace all over the glass. Smell is hearty, with some champange style smells coming through (partially due to high carbonation), including a hint of oak and dark fruits, along with light malts and spices, plus hints of tropical and citric fruits. Only a Belgian could pack this smell. Taste is more of the same, although a tad sour for my liking. The beer has a very crisp, almost biting feel to it, but still goes down smooth and there are flavors of fruits, figs, malts like caramel, some peppery spices and a hint of hops which leads to a quasi-dry finish (mostly fruity though). The ABV is hidden well, and this is a sipper over a session beer but this is one great beer.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle has a best by date of 06/11/10. Pours a cloudy dark gold color with a fluffy white head. Displays average retention and some lacing, pretty spot-on appearance for a tripel.

Nose is filled with tropical fruits...mangoes, papaya and maybe even a hint of banana. Fruitcake-like yeasty breadiness and a decent amount of cheesy hops (saaz perhaps?) and alcohol. Great nose on this beer.

Taste is grainy maltiness with a light fruit yeasty profile (think pears and other light fruit) and a rather unique, earthy feel to it. Alcohol and a decent dose of hoppy bitterness provides a nice drying effect. Mouthfeel is just short of medium. This is a very nice rendition of the style, probably not my favorite, but there is alot to like and great balance here.

Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 fl. oz. bottle served in my Gouden Carolus goblet. Bottled on 05/08/11 indicated on the bottle. Poured a slightly hazy, pale, orange-gold with a half-inch, fizzy, bright white head that eventually settles into a fairly consistent, soapy skim. Some spots and strands of lacing revealed during the tasting. Copious tiny bubbles effervesced in solution from the stem to the underside of the cap. Nose is somewhat subdued but aromas are well-differentiated - spice, coriander, orange rind, light, toasted wheat. Taste follows nose - not as sweet as many of the tripels I've tried. In fact, there is a definite grassy, hops bittering that dominates the middle and finishes with a light, lingering herbal/medicinal bitterness and some citrus astringency. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a fizzy carbonation that is also somewhat prickly across the tongue. I have to be honest - I'm not sure what the hype is all about with this beer. It was decent, but the flavor profile was a little lackluster, and the carbonation was way too aggressive.

Photo of stcules
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange apperance, lightly veiled. A very beautiful, white, creamy head, very long standing.
Fresh malty smell, bread crust, yeast, with a bit of white flowers in the back, and some fruitiness. And the bitterness.
Full malty taste, a strong bread crust note, and a long lingering bitterness. Hint of pear, and a bit of alcohol, too.
Again malt and white flowers in the aftertaste, along witrh a good and strong hoppiness, balancing the beer.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours the color of honey. Quite murky. The head on this beer is staggering. Looks like someone stuffed a muffin into my glass. The head is nearly solid. It retains its stature in legendary fashion.

S-A lot to decipher. Beligan yeast and Belgian hops first and foremost. Tons of spice. Bananas and cloves. The nose of a finely crafted Belgian brew.

T-This is a stalwart Tripel. Belgian hops and yeast are vivid. Fruits and spice pop up continually. Sweetness and bitterness match each other well. Wheaty and bready. Very intricate.

M-Full bodied. Carbonation is soothing. Understated bitterness. Alcohol is downed out by the feel and flavor.

O/D-Tripels generally don't excite me very much but this one is obviously special. So deep and multidimensional. This is one of those beers I shouldn't have skipped over when I first started out. Perhaps I would enjoy the style better if I had this Tripel when I was still a gumshoe.

Photo of champ103
3.24/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours a lovely cloudy golden/orange color. A huge foamy head forms and leaves tons of sticky lace down my snifter.
S: A very strong aroma, but I don't find it very appealing. It is fruity with a bit of apricot, but it is also very pungent and funky.
T: Very tart, sweet, and kind of syrupy. Alcohol comes through as the beer warms. This is not the best tasting triple I have ever had.
D: The high alcohol content comes through and makes this hard to drink.

Overall, an average triple. This is not my favorite example of the style, but it is still worth a try.

Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Chimay goblet. Poured a nice golden color with tan sediment. A nice three-finger white head was formed but slowly subsided to a one-finger. The lacing was excellent throughout. The aroma was comprised of mainly fruit and alcohol. The flavors found were fruit, malt, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice and smooth brew. If it had other flavors on top of the ones already present it could be great. It was very enjoyable, however it was not overly drinkable in large quantities.

Photo of ZAP
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Glowing golden colored...perfect fluffy 1/4 head

S-Great aroma....Bubble gum, apples, apricots, some spicy alcohol notes...

T-Great taste....the fruitiness is up front, baked sweet apples, apricots, peaches, some bubblegum, and finally a nice spicy splash of alcohol.

M-Phenomenal...Creamy texture....no harsh alcohol sting....the alcohol adds a perfect element of spiciness...carbonation is spot on.

D-Wow..this lives up to its rep....wish I had about 4 more of these for tonight as this has the "it" quality to it. I want more of this and I want it now...that is the "it" quality. Unfortunately this is the only bottle I have but I can rationalize buying a few more of these despite its lofty price based on its level of brilliance.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at From The Vine beer tasting Jan 9th, 2004: The beer is a hazy golden orange color with a thin white head. Thin lacing and a little sediment was noticeable. The aroma is very fruity, along with some yeast. Nedium body with a lot of alcohol initially, and it gets smoother very quickly. There is a nicely complex blend of fruit, spice, vanilla and hops. The finish is dry and fruity. I liked this one more than the Dubbel.

Photo of rfgetz
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed golden yellow color, nice cap of small dense bubbles, long lasting and some sticky lacing. Scent starts light and bready with a touch of peppery spice, kiss of lemon zest, sweet watery pear and fresh malted grain. Taste is lighter than expected, but components of scent come together nicely. The yeast is more muted than in other beers of the style and the alcohol is well hidden. Lots of nice sweet watery fruit flaors, floral touches and nice zing of lemon zest with some bitterness behind it. Medium bodied, quite dry with active carbonation. A nice Tripel with unique components, well hidden ABVs and a toned down "belgian" profile (yeast, sugar, spice).

Photo of cpetrone84
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a light yellowish amber color, quite a nice haze to it, lots of pure white fluffly head leaving a good bit of lace.

S-the nose is solid, lots of lemon up front, hints of honey, hops set in lightly with notes of grassy hay and a bit of alcohol with some white peppery spice in the back.

T-the taste is quite a bit spicier. the lemon grass is strong up front, the honey lies underneath. a good malt body, yeasty and spicy, hints of alcohol with a fair bit pepper in the back. the hops are grassy and hay like with a light hop bitterness.

M-good feel, highly carbonated and ctive but not biting, lighter in body with a grainy crips finish and slightly juicy.

D-this is a well balanced complex brew that is quite good. the flavors are rich and the complexity is quite nice. this is a great brew!

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellow color with a big white head. In the aroma, dry candy sugar, hints of fruit and a nice yeast presence. In the taste, candy sugar and fruit notes, all mellow and a dryness that rides all the way through. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hint of fruit. Best representation of style ever.

Photo of tavernjef
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is of melted lemon or banana popsicles, thickly set and murky with a largely tall, whipped smooth white frothy foam on top. Lacing all over the snifter in thick sheets and a very hefty skim (basically a small cap of smoothened white foam) remains present the entire glass. Impressive cap and beautiful thickset color.

Aroma is simple yet delicate with a pleasingly dry yeasty edge darted with some lemon peels and sugary sweetness.

Taste is well mannered with a soft fruity front, well rounded and pleasant to the buds. Drops of lemon, maybe some tidbits of white or green grapes skins in there add some interesting little drying additions to the finish where the yeasty dryness floats off any reminiscent fruityness left over. Nice fading dry finish thats a bit complex and softly yeilding.

Feel is nearly full with a soft well rounded fluffyness thats really nice. A bit of sparkle in the carbonation and yeastyness really keeps a great attraction to thee lips. And the drying finish is alluring with very late spices making an appearance across the far back of the palate.

One finely put together triple. A trifecta, or trifold, if ya will, of an ale. Has a soft pleasing presense in each sip with just the right amount of everything to keep it interesting.

Photo of RBorsato
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Orange-ish gold with a decent off-white head - Color may be off a bit due to the large amount of suspended sediment (age?). Decent carbonation and lace but not as much as expected. Very aromatic ! Yeasty, fruity, and light hoppy, spice and alcohol notes. Nice balanced flavors of all things found in the aroma: Perfect balance. Medium bodied and smooth but also lively; alcohol is hidden well.

Excellent but need to try a fresher version.

Per M.J. - G.B.B.: 20P (1080); Color 12-13 EBC; 35-38 IBU; 9% ABV

Date on Label: 10/05/02 (not clear but prob Drink By)
Tasted: 04/02/04

($3.99 / 11.2 oz) (old)

Photo of sweemzander
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a Unibroue Tulip. Best by 17/07/10?

(A)- Pours a cloudy orange yellow color. Giant head diminished to a 1 finger constant white head of super thick foam that was even thicker right in the center of the glass. Sticky lacing in a few places on the glass.

(S)- Tons of cloves on the nose with bananna, lemon and clay. Some creamy yeast.

(T)- Agian, like the smell, there is tons of clove up front that makes way for sweet lemon/bananna fruits with a hay&clay funk. The finish is rather wheaty and dry with a dare I say, a light hoppy bite.

(M)- Has a thick texture in the mouth with a fairly strong body then most Tripels. Sweet, crisp and plenty of carbonation

(D)- Despite its 9.5%abv, this goes down pretty easy, even if you might feel it later. Its still a sipper though due to its complexities.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.49/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale amber with a ridiculously large head despite very careful and slow pouring.
Bready yeast dominates the aroma, with some white wine, soft alcohol and sweet clean malt showing underneath. That doughy yeast is way too strong!
Flavours are pretty sweet! Add to that the very noticeable alcohol and you end up with a extremely cloying beer. In the background there's more of that overwhelming yeast and it all ends with a sharp finish that seems to be from the alcohol rather than the bitterness.

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

Dated 060208, I wonder how old that makes this beer? Hazy, bright golden color with a fluffy, huge, white clump of a head. The smell is good but subtle, yeasty and spicy. The taste is smooth, spicy, delicious but not at all strong or sweet like many American tripels I have had. The fact that this is 9.5 ABV and I can’t taste it is impressive. This may be the best tripel I’ve had so far, more subtle than American tripels.

Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Large head with great lacing and a beautiful, cloudy orange color. The bubbles on the head are huge. You almost want to take a picture of it.

Smell – Fruit and spice hit the nose along with the classic Tripel malt and yeast. This one has a huge bouquet, and the yeast and orange notes are perfectly balanced.

Taste – This is hard core. The yeast is big and tight even after the ale warms. The spices are monstrous. I can pick up some heavy coriander and powdery white pepper and allspice.

The fruits are amazing. This is raw, organic, just bought at the local health food store kind of flavors. It really is something else. The alcohol evens things out. Everything is amazingly controlled and balanced. The finish is pale and hoppily bitter, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel – This full-bodied Tripel has some of the best carbonation that I’ve ever experienced. The complex and bitter finish is in a class all by itself.

Drinkability – The amazing flavor of this beer, along with the terrific sensations that it creates in the mouth, makes this one a real classic.

Comments – The say that this style originated right here at Westmalle. I can certainly believe it. There is a depth to this ale that I am failing to describe. This thing is awesome.

Update – This was the 12th beer that I review on the site. Now, in 2004, over 1,000 reviews later, I thought I’d re-write my rating.

I have had other Belgians that shared portions of these flavors, but nothing that brings them all together like this one. This really is the ultimate Tripel in my book and certainly sets the standards for all others. The balance is the key to this ale, IMHO.

Photo of barczar
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a frothy inch and a half ivory head that lingers.

Belgian yeast, pear, tangerine, and mango form the initial aroma. There's an underlying confectioners sugar sweetness, along with coriander and a hint of wheat. Somewhat musty.

Flavor is fruity and sweet initially, but it dries out considerably at the finish. Pear, belgian yeast, green apple, pineapple, ginger, and coriander underlie a slightly sweet, light bready malt body, becoming peppery at the finish. Very delicate, but complex.

Body is moderate, creamy, with fairly high carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Very nice belgian yeast ester character, and an excellent balance of sweetness and dryness.

Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a big fluffy white head that shows excellent retention, sticky to the sides of the glass and leaving a patchwork of lacing.

The aroma is nice combination of light fruity esters, grassy notes and spices. There are apples, dough, and a hint of alcohol burn in the nose as well.

The taste is a little less sweet with the spices really coming out - peppery. The alcohol presence is noticeable but not off-putting with the fruits lingering in the background with the light bready malts. The finish is very dry and peppery.

The mouthfeel is lively with strong carbonation and dry effervescent finish.

An excellent and very drinkable tripel that leans more on the dry and spicy side of things, which I like. Highly recommended.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, hazy, gold in color, high carbonation

Smell: funk, apricot, and Belgian spices

Taste: funk, apricot, alcohol, and Belgian spices

Mouthfeel: sweet and funky with a bit of sourness in the middle, light bodied with high and prickly carbonation

Overall: A nice and clasic apricoty tripel that I am glad to say I have had. This is one that I would go to if I wanted an imported tripel. That said, although classic there are still at least a good five tripels that I can count that I would turn to before this one, especially with the higher than market price point.

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet. Hazy gold color with streaming columns of carbonation. Fluffy white head leaves quintessential Belgian lacing. Aromas of pears and apples with some coriander and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is lightly fruity with accents of pepper and coriander. Significant alcohol blends nicely behind the fruits and spices. Warming mouthfeel with delicate carbonation and medium body.

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
96 out of 100 based on 4,081 ratings.