Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,149 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

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Reviews: 1,149
Hads: 2,439
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 169
Gots: 331 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,149 | Hads: 2,439
Photo of polloenfuego
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle bottled on 7/11/12 into a Westmalle chalice.

A: pours a dark brown with a decent two finger head. The head breaks somewhat quickly leaving a lovely amount of lacing behind.

S: Yeast and dark fruits come through on the nose. There is caramel and some chocolate, but the dark fruits dominate.

T: The taste is perhaps the best I have experienced in a dubbel. Wow, there is a world of flavor here...those fruits on the nose come bursting forth on the palate. The Belgian yeast, is fantastic. There are notes of chocolate and caramel that subtlety come in as the beer finishes on your palate.

M: medium body but fairly high carbonation.

O: I have a winner, I am bowled over by this dubbel. I will set all others by this example. It really impressed me. I can only hope that others enjoy this as much as I have. (842 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark and cloudy ruby/amber/brown hue with a very thick, 1-in. creamy off-white/tan head. The head stays thick for quite a while and laces the glass.

Smell: Has a wonderful and addictive aroma predominated by dark fruits, like cherries and plums. There are some malt undertones as well.

Taste: Full of rich, roasted malts and a somewhat bready flavor. The dark fruits pop to the surface every now and then, and there is a slight hint of alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and relatively heavy-bodied. Very nice feel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable; alcohol taste never gets too strong, and it doesn't knock you out either...

A very enjoyable dubbel! Not my most favorite of Belgian styles, but this is a really good one. If you haven't tried one before, this would be a good choice. And if you like Belgian beers, this is a must! (928 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Realized I'm coming up on 300 reviews, so I figured I'd out bust out some of my special stock, and what better place then the Westmalle Dubbel?

Poured from a 330ml bottle (two in a row in fact) into my 70s era Westmalle chalice, the dubbel is a dark garnet with a small but tight, long lasting tan head that leaves thick sheets of lace.

The aroma is soft and fruity, dusty trappist yeast and a bit of grape, masterfully understated and delicious. Of course it sweetens as it warms, but only gets more luscious and alluring.

There's no two ways about it, this has got to be my favorite dubbel. The original too, IIRC, and a benchmark of the style, and for good reason. I love how soft and easy drinking it is, yet complex and satisfying at the same time. All about the yeast here, spicy with dark fruit, with dry caramel malt and light phenols, with very little indication of the ABV. Still, this is generally my least favorite belgian style, and as well executed as this is, I just can't give it a 5.

The mouthfeel is exceptional, and has a crisp creaminess and a light body.

Drinkablity is supreme. Damn this is a great beer, why don't I always have a case of these laying around the house? Oh yeah, I'm a huge beer pig! (1,230 characters)

Photo of AaronHomoya
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark auburn-brown color with decent head size and good retention.

Great, complex aroma of malt and hops, sweet, roasted, fruity, spicy.

Taste is also wonderful and complex. Starts out with roasted malt, then malty sweetness, hops and a sweet, clean finish.

Mouthfeel is a nice medium body with good, but not too strong carbonation.

A great beer with delicious malt, roasty, hoppy flavor and aroma that is very smooth and easy to drink despite the good strength. (473 characters)

Photo of Ranz
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured in my manly goblet chalice, it created an inch-thick, creamy head floating above playful bubbles on the cup's bottom. Excellent deep brown color. Little lacing to be seen.

S: Like any good trappist, this thing presents layers of complexity: on first sniff, plum, figs, roasted malt, and herbal spice come first; with some warming, a nice dose of banana from the yeast pops up. This is what love smells like.

T: Robust tannins of wood--cherrywood?--fig, and hints of mottled yeast collide into a panoply of subtly. It ends with a nice, dry, and bitter finish.

M: Sikly-smooth mouthfeel helps the flavors shine here. It's an easy one to sip.

O: Just stellar. God blesses this brew. (693 characters)

Photo of hagbergl
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a couple 330 mL bottles of the venerable Westmalle Dubbel at the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA on Sunday for the Patriots game. Glad I'm finally getting around to reviewing this beer–it's one of my all-time favorites. I decanted the bottle into my trusty Dogfish Head snifter. Review is from notes.

Appearance (5/5): Westmalle Dubbel's appearance is textbook Belgian Abbey Ale...this is the blueprint: dark chocolate brown brown with deep red highlights, opaque with some yeast particles hanging in suspension, and topped with a luxuriant two-finger head of pillowy, light tan foam. Its head of foam retains exceptionally well and reduces gradually to a 1/8" tall ring of foam. Beautiful.

Smell (5/5): One word: pungent. An incredibly fruity character, reminiscent to booze-soaked raisins or blackberries, rises from the glass. This strong–though not sugary sweet–fruitiness is no doubt imparted by the Westmalle brewery's extraordinary proprietary yeast (it flexes even more in Westmalle's Tripel ale). There's some light booze in the scent, and some woody characteristics as well.

Taste (4.5/5): Westmalle Dubbel is, as one can easily guess from the aroma, a very fruity and rich tasting beer. Some dark bready notes come on in the foretaste before blooming into dark fruit flavors of blackberry, raisin, and ripe plums. Complex and refined. Strongly yeasty, a little woody, and none of the alcohol hinted at in the smell to be found. The taste is rich without over-the-top.

Mouthfeel (4/5): Westmalle Dubbel is smooth and quite drinkable for a dark Belgian Abbey-style ale. It is also quite dry in the finish, something out of the ordinary for a beer of its style and something that I found to be nice (others have found this characteristic a little off-putting; I guess I'm a sucker for dry finishers). I must criticize Westmalle Dubbel's lack of body, however. It should, in my humble opinion, be a little fuller. This is a huge knock on the beer, overall, but a slightly fuller body would certainly give it a better mouthfeel.

Overall (4.5/5): Westmalle Dubbel is one extremely tasty beer. It packs a ton of great yeasty, fruity flavor into a relatively low ABV package (for the style). Despite being a bit flawed, it's one of the classics of the beer world, and it is a special occasion whenever it's in the glass you're holding. Superb! (2,369 characters)

Photo of Trentonator
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany, the head is nice and lacy, sticks around a good long while. Smell is exquisite, scents of currant, anise and chocolate, truly a decadent whiff. Taste is awesome, both full and spicy, creamy mouthfeel. An overall excellent beer. (250 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

330 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO, best before June 26 2016 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep, opaque brown colour with some reddish tinges under the light, topped off with slightly more than one finger of creamy, light beige-coloured head. Good retention - the froth remains in place for the better part of ten minutes, slowly seeping away into a lumpy cap and collar, along with some scant sea-spray lace left clinging to the glass. Fruity esters and malts totally dominate the aroma - grape, fig and plum, as well as dates, candy apple, pear, and a bit of banana. There is also a noticeable candi sugar sweetness, some floral qualities and some spicy, phenolic notes. It's one of the better dubbel bouquets that I can recall.

Very tasty, complex stuff, with a unique flavour profile for the style. It starts off tasting quite rich - lightly toasted bready malt flavours, molasses and candi sugar sweetness come through initially, but they are soon displaced by fruity notes of plum, fig, date and red apple. There is a muted hint of banana mid-sip, leading into a bitter appleskin flavour that transmutes into the spicy, phenolic, vaguely floral notes that characterize the finish. Ends with a bit of a peppery, yeasty bite, with lingering flavours of boozy sweetness and spice hanging on into the aftertaste. Dries the palate out quite effectively with each sip. Medium-bodied, with aggressive carbonation levels typical of Belgian abbey-style beers - zippy and assertive, prickling the palate and contributing to the lively, pleasing mouthfeel of this beer.

Final Grade: 4.6, an outstanding A+. Westmalle Dubbel makes for an excellent introduction to this oft-lauded Trappist brewery. This is the first Westmalle product I've had the opportunity to try, and I'm already pining to try more. Its spicy, complex flavours are both enticing and wholly satisfying, making this definitely one of the better dubbels that I have tried over the years. Keeping in mind that this is probably my least-favourite of the major styles of 'abbey beer', I am still convinced that this is one of the best dubbels in the world - and it would be welcome in my glass to celebrate any occasion. (2,190 characters)

Photo of MagyarPuska
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy reddish brown, mostly brown, with light only making its way through close to the edges of the glass, which looks more maroon than brown. Anyways, the head is thick on the bad boy and sits at two fingers. The lacing is intense on the glass, which I like to see. Looking forward to tasting this I almost skipped the aroma section.

Smell: Smells of yeast, bread, sugar, malt, nuttiness, all out goodness.

Taste: Remember that all out goodness I smelled? Well it's in the taste too. Tastes of malt, yeast, cream, fruits (apples) and is quite forgiving in the sense of alcohol, but you will notice it after the initial flavors move along.

Mouthfeel: Very full and creamy feel with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Amazing. Not too heavy to prohibit one or two of these if you deem that necessary. Quite enjoyable and very smooth.

Notes: Quite an enjoyable Belgian ale overall. Probably the best Dubbel I have ever had. (954 characters)

Photo of jlandis
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a beautiful dark amber in color with a 2 finger tan head that slowly fades to a small ring. The aroma is a lot simpler than I would have expected. There is dark fruit (cherries, plum), sweet malt and a bit of spice. Having had overly sweet and pungent dubbles recently this one really goes in a different direction. The flavor is very dry with a strong bready character. There are some spices here and there along with an unexpected tartness. I can pick up some cherries, apples, and plumbs in the flavor. The body is solid with subtle carbonation.

This is nothing at all what I thought it would be. This is such a breath of fresh air to go back to the basics to realize what makes a classic dubbel. The dry finish keeps me coming back for sip after sip. I'll be sure to pick up more of these in the future. (824 characters)

Photo of botham
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a westmalle goblet. pours a hazy chocolate brown with a finger of tan head that is soapy in character.

aroma is very malty and yeasty at first, containing caramel and chocolate malts, with a decent ale yeast character, giving the aroma a fruity base. notes of floral yeast, caramel, and a touch of roasted malts give the aroma complexity, while remaining bold overall.

taste is of caramel malts up front, with notes of floral and fruity yeasts, pale malts, and a slight vinous feel to the base. finishes with a touch of apple and sourness, only to bring out mild hops in the aftertaste. very well proportioned and balanced. good concentration as well.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a creamy texture and a decent CO2 presence. could have been a bit thicker for the boldness of the flavors.

drinkability is good. the beer is not filling, nor has a high alcoholic presence. this brew is a solid example of a dubbel, and a great brew all around. cheers! (989 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A wonderful dark and deep mahogany color. The beer has a great big pale tannish head that leaves good lace.
S: There is something to be desired here. This is not very aromatic at all. Dark fruits and bananas come through if I put my nose in the snifter.
T: Wow, there it is. Whatever this beer lacks in the nose, it more than makes up for it with the flavor. Nice round flavors of plumbs, raisins, and bananas. Lots of dark malt and chocolate as well.
M/D: A great full body that is rich, creamy and soft. The drinkability of this beer is amazing. So smooth and easy to drink.

This is a wonderful beer. Treat yourself to a great Belgium Dubbel. (650 characters)

Photo of Henrich
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Rich brown to burnt orange, especially when held to the light. 2 inches of fluffy, tab foam, which lingers, eventually settling, yet never disappearing. Looks great in the chalice.
Smell: Sweet! Like effervescent brown sugar and plums. Absolutely fantastic!
Taste: Starts quite similar to the smell, then yields to a more complex malty flavor, which ends with a slight hoppy, yet delicious bitterness. This blew me away.
Mouth-Feel: Thick, almost syrupy. This lingers on the tongue for quite some time. It feels heavy.
Overall: This is in my top 10. This is the third time I've had this and it has been incredible each time. Obviously it is pricy, but then again it is not something I'd drink just any day. (719 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well since Azzurri looks like pure hell in the first half of the European Championships 2012, Im drinking. alot.

Very murky brown with a tan colored head. Loads of bubbles feeding what is a decent head. Just like Rochefort 8, loads of boozy cherries, but even more in this one. Just as much prunes and figs as well. I like how this smells.

More grains than Rochefort, but not as much as Westvleteren.This is much more slick than the others, with a nice prune and cherry sweetness. Carbonation really makes the flavors pop and disappear. Finishes exceptionally clean and smooth. (579 characters)

Photo of chanokokoro
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Westmalle Trappist branded chalice

Pours a deep, dark amber with lighter amber highlights. Fluffy, cream-colored one and half finger head. Candi sugar and a hint of almond on the nose. Complex flavors of caramel, chocolate, nutty grains, raisin, and date. Mild spice throughout. Drying from midpalate through the finish, crisp carbonation balances the syrupy medium body lightening it a bit. A fantastic representation of the style, a landmark brew. (483 characters)

Photo of dfried
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown purple in color, kind of a chestnut, peachy-rose when the light hits it right. Average size beige head. Deep fruity, plum and date aroma, with some yeast and banana, as well as some medicinal phenols. The taste revealed sweeter, fruity flavors like ripe raspberries and blackberries, red grapes, pears, and bananas. This beer really had a feel like drinking wine. A semi-sparkling, dry, and tart mouthfeel, with alcohol that was hardly noticeable except for some belly warming. So easy to drink, an awesome dubbel. (525 characters)

Photo of spointon
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been onto Belgian ales for 6 months and of course had been seeking out the Westmalle offerings. This dubbel is the first Westmalle I have had and it was outstanding. There was a high amount of carbonation (as there should be) and the color of this beer is something to write home about. It is hard to describe the color - sort of a reddish brown carmel malty color - very beautiful. The aromas coming off tis ale are very malty, slightly sweet, and intense. Of course you can smell the alcohol, but that's only natural for this style. As for taste, it is unquestionably great, but I can't help but compare it to Chimay Blue. The hardest thing is to call whether or not I like it better than the Chimay Blue. Chimay is a bit more intense in the flavors, but the Westmalle dubbel is more smooth. In any event it does not disappoint! (835 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A deep, rustic tone of scarlet red that turns ablaze when held into the light where it comes to much more closely resemble ruby; there is both great depth and radiance in the colour. The most creamy of mousses slowly deflates and will consolidate into a pudgy but firm mold of gluey foam. How elegant - I'm content just to look at the thing!

You know you're in for something delicious. The smell is grounded in dark, lightly toasted malts and earthy, finely chopped hops. It has a near herbal, almost cilantro like quality that underlines the dynamically effervescent yeast. Notes of raisin and plum, doused in brown sugar and nutmeg, are sure to peek one's curiosity enough to rush the first sip.

Crisp, hard husks of rye and barley exist along side their cracked, kilned, and boiled counterparts. The flavour may resemble a yeasty, fresh loaf of our daily bread but it also bears some similarity to a caramel coated cake that might be served as dessert. The taste of hops - green, lightly spicy noble varieties - is surprisingly present and contributes plenty.

The esters and phenols of the yeast are almost untypically restrained in this particular offering. That said, I've had the beer enough times to notice subtle hints of cinnamon and clove as well as fruity, over-ripe taste of dates, raisins and prunes. The beer is so rich with such a diverse cast of flavours that you will never loose interest in what you're drinking.

Sweetness and bitterness duel in a passionate dance. The beer balances rich maltiness with bitter hops and a phenolic yeast. The alcohol is scarcely noticed and plays absolutely no roll in effecting drinkability. This beer is quenching, hearty, and a wonderful accompaniment to stews, wild rices, or game meats - pair this with food! It is one beer to always have on hand.

Regardless of whatever level of appreciation I had for beer, the Westmalle Dubbel (and Tripel for that matter) has always impressed me. Before I could even understand why it was I liked it, I've always appreciated it for its wonderful appearance, rich flavour and delectable drinkability. Sure enough, the more beers I try the more I appreciate it - Westmalle Dubbel is a beer I'd recommend to everyone. (2,217 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark cloudy brown pour topped with a khaki tight merringue head cap and planty of bubbles and yeasty chunks.

Relaxed aromatic vanilla scents.

Smooth almond and vanilla ice cream. Butterpecan pie, like dessert. Nutty profile. Banana & kiwi palate. Caramelized sugar lingering aftertaste.

Smooth feel. Soft, sudsy carbonatyion. Sweet dessert like style.

Last swigs: Here is the brown suar pastry like delicate offering.

Beer is good. Happy beering. (461 characters)

Photo of BarryNL
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is deep brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. There is the slight cloudiness you expect from a bottle conditioned ale, though the yeast seems to clump nicely in the bottom of the bottle and so doesn't find its way into the glass if you're careful. The head is tight and long, long lasting with a tendancy to lacing.

The smell is perhaps the weakest point (which is just nitpicking) of this beer, it's hoppy and musty/yeasty with a touch of the high carbonation giving a slight CO2 twang to the nose.

The taste is - wonderful. Not especially complex, but perfectly balanced; each mouthful is a journey which begins with the malt, progresses to bitterness and ends with a pleasant yeasty aftertaste.

There's a big mouthfeel - high carbonation can turn the beer to foam if you roll it around your mouth too much,

Drinkability - well, if I could only drink one beer for the rest of my life I wouldn't mind it being this one.

Overall, this is my favourite Belgian beer - I'm always tempted to try and homebrew a clone myself, but I doubt I could do it justice. (1,092 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Best before date is 27/07//12.

Appearance: Pours a dark and cloudy brown with a hint of amber. A little bit of sediment and lots of bubbles. Big four finger off white head which slowly fades into a thin layer. Good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Rich aroma of fruits. Sweet bready caramel malts with some Belgian yeast and clove spice. Big smell of dark fruits. Hints of alcohol soaked raisins, plums, prunes, and dark grape juices. Also a hint of banana and a good amount of candied sugar. Hop presence is very subtle. A very juicy smell.

Taste: Like the smell leads, a big fruity taste with some good spice. Starts with some Belgian yeast and spicy cloves. Rich taste of dark fruits with notes of raisins, plums, grapes, prunes, and a little banana. Moderate amount of candied sugar and a subtle presence of earthy hops towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very juicy and slick. Fairly sweet but finishes dry. Very smooth.

Overall: A great authentic Belgian Dubbel. Great fruity taste with a nice spicy kick. (1,125 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured to a nice dark brown and ruby with a huge head. The head diminished quickly and didn't leave much lace.

The smell is nice, containing candy sugars and hints of alcohol. Its only weakness is that it's a little too weak. The taste is quite good. Flavors bring malt behind more candy sugar. Alcohol is barely detectable. The mouthfeel is fairly full while the drinkability is outstanding. (400 characters)

Photo of bowersdm
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cL bottle poured into a pilsner

A - dark brown, lots of head (it foamed right out of the bottle after opening)

S - malt, yeast, fruit, spices

T - malt, fruit, spices, yeast, hops, and a little hint of alcohol

M - pretty good, a tad on the carbonated side

D - very good beer that is very easy drinking for a moderately high ABV (333 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark burgandy / brown color with a 3" thick head. The head receded to the surface in a few minutes. The aroma was great as caramel, yeast, bread, and light fruit were leaping from the glass. The flavor was also great as the what was sensed by the nose was matched by the tongue with the addition of raisins and plums.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a dry finish. The caramel and bread tones last long on the tongue after swallowing. The alcohol not noticebale at all. This is an exceptional drinking dubbel. (522 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At homebrewing meeting, part of style of the month.

A - Poured a fairly solid brown color, with 1 finger of capuccino head, which dissipated fast, and leaves little to no lacing.

S - Toffeee, Caramel, Dark Belgian sugars, with bread, and spicy hops.

T - Same as the smell, but with some added coriander. Wonderful beer.

M - Full mouthfeel and well balanced between the subtle spiciness of the hops and the malt flavors.

D - A very good beer indeed. (453 characters)

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
92 out of 100 based on 1,149 ratings.