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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,314 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,314
Reviews: 1,135
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 147
Gots: 241 | 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.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,314 | Reviews: 1,135 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Matthew
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my goblet a ruby brownish color with a nice fluffy whipped cream looking head, tons of sticky lacing around the glass.
Very nice sweet bready malt aromas. There is a sweet caramel overtone that covers the fruity esters that are best characterized as being date and fig like. Brown sugar and moist raisin like aromas pull through a bit more as the beer warms.
Smooth sweet flavors of carmalized sugar and similar fruity flavors to the ones noticed in the nose. There is a almost nutty overtone throughout this beer that overlaps with the malty sweetness and the fruity tones. Nice and smooth.
Medium to full bodied, smooth on the palate medium to low levels of fine carbonation.
This is a nice drinkable dubbel. Flavorful and smooth.

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A lovely reddish-amber hue, with a touch of haze. The head is thick and light tan, with good retention and lace that clings a long time on the walls of the glass.

S: Fruity esters are most noticeable. There's faint spicy hops, and just a touch of breadiness.

T: Sweet and fruity is the first and strongest flavor. Some caramel. sweetness eventually yields to mild tartness, but not citrusy. Hops bitterness and spice do make a late appearance, lingering on the tongue until the next sip.

M: Crisp, with medium carbonation. A dry, astringent finish with the faintest alcohol burn is noticeable.

O: My first Dubbel, and I am not disappointed.

Photo of cypressbob
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330m brown bottle, with raised glass stamped "westmalle" around the neck.

Upon opening, the beer froths out of the bottle in a volcanic like action, pouring a dark bodied beer with an amber head which last for several minutes.

Medium carbonation levels, carmelly taste with a light malty sweetness and warmth. Strong fruity esters of banana and dried fruits. Very drinkable.

Smooth, malty flavour with a nice alcohol kick.

One of the first beers to really turn me to the dark side (ie. dark belgians) All in all, one of my favourite beers, an almost flawless performance


---

Update 11 March 2004

Just to add, i've had many of these beers since then and they've all been up to scratch, amazing brews

I've increased my review slightly for this reason


---

Update June 29th 2004

Still a fantastic beer, after rochefort 10, st bernardus 12 and abbaye des rocs, it still impresses and holds its own



---

Update 12th July 2004

A bit blander than I recall, lack or flavour and aroma, too fizzy and not as smooth

Photo of hwwty4
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay Chalice. Poured a dark mahogany with ruby tones and a aggressive head. Probably two inches that gradually gave way and left heavy lacing on the glass. Aroma is fruits, sweet malts, raisins and a little alcohol at the end. Taste is mostly the same, but heavy on the fruits. Mouthfeel is medium body with a nice carbonation all the way through the sip. A highly drinkable beer.

Photo of GodOfBeer
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this shit is good. A nice dark reddish mahogany colour with a thick off-white head that sticks around.

Very complex aroma, caramel, dried fruit, raisins, grapes and a hint of alcohol.

A nice mouthwatering beer, very rich, caramely, fruity and a strong alcohol taste.

Velvety smooth

Photo of Premo88
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle (330 ml) poured into chalice
(best by 3/27/15 printed on back label)

L: murky brown, fully opaque, some orange highlights at bottom when held up to light; huge fluffy thick tan head that is sticking and lacing; the foamy collar is fantastic -- classic dubbel look

S: fruity, sour grapes, wine -- again, classic dubbel; lots of sweet grapes

T: follows the nose nicely, more fruity and sweet than yeasty

F: hard not to call it perfect; it might be (might) a slight bit watery, but in a way that only seems to be helping its drinkability; it's not heavier than midweight but solidly constructed with good carbonation

O: it's not the best I've had, but I love dubbels and I love this beer -- you can't go wrong with the authentic Trappists' work. I'm missing some of the yeasty flavor you often get from a good dubbel, but I'm not missing it much. I could drink this anytime anywhere and be 100% happy ... so much good fruity sweetness.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Blood red-orange color, some highlighting. Dark tan head, bounces up quite high in the glass and retains for days. Lacing is minimal.

Aromas of sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, and a clove-like spicing. A bit weaker than I remembered in power, but the subtleties are nice.

More sweet malt-driven action in the flavor; toffee, caramel, fig, dark spices. Fusel alcohol presence is noticed but blends nicely with the spicing and is not a hindrance.

The mouthfeel is thick and viscous, but is whisked nicely off the tongue by the wonderful carbonation. Finish is a bit hot but quite complex and lovely.

Remarkable quality..seems to ooze gentility and patience. Get after it.

Photo of genog
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my goblet a dark mahogany color with a creamy thick tan colored head. The head dies down to leave a slim layer of foamy head. Smell is of belgian candied sugar and some yeastynes... Taste is dark malt, dried fruit, a little cocoa, and doughy yeast. A slight alcohol warming presence makes this a very rich drink. One of my top belgian darks, great trappist ale.

Photo of therica
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one went down easy, a lot nicer than most of the darker beers bottled for sale in the USA. I had this one in a beer-restaurant in Leuven Belgium on New Years Day 2006.

Head- a nice interesting taste to it, color off-white to yellowish with large bubbles, dissipating faster than I wanted it to go, because I was enjoying it a bit!

Color- sort of dark amber-brown.

Carbonation- just enough, I don't like over-carbonation and so I found this one very satisfactory.

Taste- interesting-- maybe a bit of an anise or hyssop overtone along with some more subtle tastes that I failed to identify before suddenly finding that I'd sipped all the way through the glass-full, darn....

As far as drinkability, I found this to be a lot more drinkable and smooth, going down and afterwards, as any of the more common darker beers mass-circulated in the USA, such as Beck's or whatever. I think that if you aren't a beer-fanatic and you like those darker beer-brands, you'd like this one a lot better.

Photo of Makkara
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 0.75 liter bottle of this brew, as my first trappist and was surprised in a good way.

Appearance is a hazy brown, and very (I mean very) foamy, definitely good to look at. Aroma of malts and wood mostly to my nose. Taste is very long-lasting, with dark fruits at first, ending with wood and dry notes. Mouth feel is not light but not heavy carbonation either, falls in between. The aroma is not as complex and nice as the taste, so don't let the first impression fool you. Definitely worth trying, glad I did.

Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark sludgy brown with rusty, tawny reddish edges, great cap of fluffy firm tan foam ever so tall and present, creepingly settling to an ever present murky skim and finely stitched lace sticks. Aroma is intially soft and ripe of fruits giving a blend of mango, grapes, passion, and pear skins. A nice earthy dusting of dry yeast and bread crusts settles across the top after a bit with ever so present gleams of candied sugars. Taste is plump and a bit overcarbonated which gets in the way for me with every sip, as soon as I begin to get something out of it taste wise, the carbonation wipes it away far to quickly. A bit too sharp for my tastes. Perhaps an aged bottle of a year or more would help as this was bottled 2004. What is there for tastes are some dullish fruity malts in a darker realm of plum, raisin, and dry figs, mixing a bit inbetween some pear and cherry pieces. Slight cocoa and a firm earthy yeasty dryness with just a pinch of spice and walnut skin dryness finish it out. Very nice finish. Body is full with a bit much on the carbonation scale which has a scratchy/chalky-like coat on the way down which sorta blends into the complex drying qualities in the finish after awhile, which I actually liked, so that made up for some of my dissatisfaction in the carbonation dept.. Overall, this is one to come back too, with age, I think this might round or smooth out and be one fun and fine ale to behold.

Photo of argock
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a Chimay chalice. Bottled on date 22/08/09 on back label. Single purchased at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Deep chestnut-mahogany with ruby edges and creamy, frothy 1-finger beige head with good retention and leaves craggy levels of lacing.

S: A bit underwhelming with fig-plum malt notes, spicy phenol character, and nutty yeast

T: Dark candi sugar, caramel, phenolic spicy herb, bright nutty and lightly bitter yeast, herbal, drying hops in the finish. Subtle and changes in character throughout the glass. I would love to side-by-side this with Ommegang Abbey Ale -- this seem softer and subtle while OAA is much sharper and aggressive

M: Incredibly creamy with a nice tingle of carbonation. Aftertaste is lightly phenolic and brown/candi sugar. Alcohol is undetectable.

D: A flavor that grows on you throughout the brew with nuance more than any dominant flavor. Feel is amazing and this will taste even better in 2-3 years when I try the other bottle I picked up.

Photo of flyingpig
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle from The Cave, Glasgow (£2.99):
Murky brown with a hazy appearance and a thin, one centimetre tall, light brown head that that turns to a patchy lacing

Rich and complex smell that begins with some dark fruits such as plum, raisin and cherries. There is a strong and sweet caramel malt aroma that follows this along with some sugar, prunes, dates and figs with tiny amount of alcohol.

Strong and sweet dark fruit taste to begin with all the same fruits from the nose making an appearance, particularly the figs, raisins and dates plus some cherries and sugar. There is some toffee malts and a warming, light alcohol taste next with a hint of yeast and some caramel malts.

Sweet & well carbonated, medium body and a rich, complex taste that has a very good balance. There is some nice spice towards the end and the alcohol, hidden for the most part, is only noticeable in places and compliments the drink well with a nice, warming finish to it.

Very complex yet well balanced beer that was quite rich from the get go and dominated by dark fruits and sweet malts throughout. A really nice one that takes a while to open up but once it does there is no looking back.

Photo of beermanbrian
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased 6 months ago.

Deep brown color with a slight mahogany note. Nice big fluffy tan head that sticks around to leave trails of lacing. Smell is very malty. Caramel, with a light chocolate note. Also some faint dark fruit, cherries and figs. As it warms a faint alcohol smell comes through too but it is very pleasant. Taste is a well balanced maltyness with enough other flavors to keep it interesting. Again, a light cocoa note and some dark fruits. Just a little bit thin on the mouthfeel but I'm not thinking that is a bad thing. This would be the Trappist I would turn to when I'm not in the mood for the high alcohol and big taste of some of the big boys. Finishes very smooth with no aftertaste. I really enjoyed this one. Will definately get it again.

Photo of grittybrews
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark, nutty brown into a chalice with at least three fingers of tan root beer float head. Somewhat mild aroma of sweet, biscuity caramel, raisin, and clove.

Moderate carbonation and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Taste mirrors the aroma with toffee and bread up front followed by raisin. dark fruit, and gentle spice.

Extremely solid dubbel, although for the price I'd usually pick a Rochefort 8 instead.

Photo of AlexLMS
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark brown colour. Opaque due to the dark appearance. The head is light brown, moderate in size and rich. Good retention and nice lacing.
Aroma: sweet malts, molasses, red fruits and port wine.
Taste: bitter coffee beans, red fruits, port wine, spices and some chocolate notes.
Mouthfeel: kind of dry, medium to low carbonation, not very high and well disguised alcoholic strength. Full body.
Finish: lingering bitter spicy aftertaste.

Overall: very complex and spicy dubbel. Pleasant and highly recommended.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Chimay chalice...3/4 out, swirled...then exit all the goodies that sticks to the bottom of these bottles!

Very nice size head, cream colored...and very long lasting. Nice thick lacing as well. Color is a dark brown and murky. Smells so good, like most belgians. Very sweet smelling, fruity and sugary. There's barely a scent of booze.

Taste at first is bland...that lasts about a second. The flavors then pop when it hits the back of your tongue. Booze is again well hidden, with some dark fruit flavors...and slightly carbonated but very smooth.

Photo of seand
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an official Westmalle chalice.

A: Pours a near solid dark brown, with nice red highlights. A slow pour provides about 2 fingers of light creamy tan head. The head does die down, but leaves a few millimeters covering the surface. It's quite a nice looking beer.

S: Sweet, with hints of spices and a bit of alcohol warmth.

T: Some sweetness, leading to a bit of fruity bitterness, hints of green apple. The taste is relatively subdued, but complex.

M: Very carbonated, relatively full bodied, slightly sticky, with a small hint of dryness on the finish.

D: Drinks very smoothly, though maybe slightly too much carbonation.

Quite a good beer, which I'll likely have again in the future, but I didn't enjoy it as much as Westmalle's tripel.

Photo of mattcrill
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ABV, brewed date, and serving temperature all listed on the bottle.

Appearance: A cloudy iced tea colored pour with a tight and perfect two finger head.

Smell: Figs, raisins, yeast, and dark bread notes. Delicious!

Taste: Alcohol, rum soaked raisins, figs, toffee, grapes, and a slight astringency on the back of the palate (not a bad thing...helps leave a long, lingering finish).

Mouthfeel: Medium to full and crispness noted due to the carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol punch is not hidden well. This inhibits the drinkability a tad and this is one to savor. Nicely done.

Photo of Morris729
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky deep garnet color with noticeable trails of yeast and with a mountainous beige head on top that slowly recedes into a thick and rocky lace. Nose is rather sweet with notes of sugar cookies and banana cream pie. Taste begins with sweet malt, ripe banana, dark plums, and brown sugar followed by some dry bready notes and dusty cocoa. Pretty nice dubbel here.

Photo of KroMagnon
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer has a lovely head, rocky, light tan, with a nice brown beer that is slightly cloudy. The aroma is nice, too, with a light bubble-gum ester and some other fruity aromas, along with a slight malty note and a light, almost raisin quality. I think I'd like those last two to be a little more prominent. The flavor is great - full, fruity, somewhat malty sweet and a little toasty. The alcohol is present but not overpowering, and the body / mouthfeel is kind of spritzy, which is fine for style. Delicious!

Photo of Duke
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(From a champagne goblet)

Appearance: Westmalle Dubbel pours a lovely mahogany-burgundy colour with a cloudiness that renders it almost completely opaque. I didn't see much head, but what was there dissipated quickly, leaving the thin cap of light white bubbles on top.

Smell: The scents are fruity, very fig-like with some red grapes in there, and some cherry at the back, and they're all admirably bold. There's a bit of yeast in the nose too.

Taste: Slightly bitter hoppy beginnings before the fruits take over. I'm getting a bit of that yeast too, but the big thing for me is the grape, and the beer tastes winey, but there's a bit of caramel in there too. All the flavours in this beer are big - nothing hides.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium body with a bold fizz. That well-carbonated finish is arguably a little too much.

Overall: The smell and flavour of the Westmalle Dubbel leave me wanting more and more, but dubbels are easy to come by here in Vancouver so there's a lot of competition for it. I'd usually pick a dubbel with a less aggressive fizz.

Photo of kaseydad
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I made a huge mistake of drinking this before it warmed a little and almost had a bitter beer face moment. I highly recommend you let it warm as it gets better when it does.

A small thin layer of foam is present throughout the experience. A carmal dark brown appearance.

A complex aroma with hints of plum, raisins and pineapple stand out.

A nice creamy taste with hints of pear on each sip. Majorly dry finish! For me it's a sipping beer but an ejoyable experience.

Again, just let it warm a little to get the max enjoyment. Very good beer!

Photo of dasenebler
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful pour, copious head, deep chestnut color. Subtle nose of malts, some alcohol. Great lacing on the way down.

First taste was good, and I was actually surprised at the level of bitterness in this brew. Dubbels I've had in the past have been much more malt-forward and sweeter, I guess it just depends on the brewer. Nevertheless, this is a tasty beer. Definite hop presence, with a tart characteristic. A lot of coffee flavors afterwards, full roast. Smooth mouthfeel, fine carbonation. No strong alcohol taste, though it's 7%.

One of the classic Dubbels. Fantastic dry drink.

Photo of bobsy
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This ones a bit of a head scratcher for me - its quite a complex beer that makes you think, and it also defies our attempts to categorise it.

Pours a dark mahogany with resplendent red tones, and a huge creamy head that billows over the top of the glass and lays down some good lacing. A heavier retention would be my only criticism, but that aside, this looks like a tasty treat. As you would expect, the aroma goes long on the malts. I find that theres a lot of caramel, ripe dark fruit and sweet, spicy yeast on the nose. Its definitely a cut above average, but doesn't quite punch with the big boys, because for all its niceties it lacks the complexity of the best examples.

Spicy dark fruits take the form of dates, figs and raisins, while candy sugar combines with caramel to provide a sweet backing track. Hints of oak and a spicy onslaught of yeast provide the depth that was lacking in the aroma. There's a lot going on, occasionally I pick out chocolate, and then sometimes an earthiness jumps in and out. Alcohol is barely discernible. One of the most marked aspects for me is the emphasis on over-ripe fruits, particularly pears and (surprisingly) bananas. A nice light breadiness backs everything up, and while its not as pronounced a flavour as it is in the St. Bernardus dubbels, it certainly helps to provide a bit more heft and depth.

The mouthfeel is something that gives me trouble. While Belgian carbonation often errs to the high side of things, this is more often than not tempered by the softness of the bubbles when they hit the palate. I don't really get that with the Westmalle and the carbonation feels harsh and distracting until it dies down half way through the beer. While mouthfeel has a relatively small weighting on BA, its one of those categories that can make or break a beer, and it certainly hampered my enjoyment of this one for a while.

So, Westmalle Dubbel has its faults, but its still a classic for the style. Actually, in some respects it defies the loose style guidelines and strays over to a class of beers that include Rochefort 8. Mind you, who cares about style that much? All you need to know is that this is a decent beer and worthy of your investment in it.

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
93 out of 100 based on 2,314 ratings.