Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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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: 2,436
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 168
Gots: 330 | 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: 2,436
Photo of Sammy
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strong carbonation and flavour. Residual spice, great lacing in chestnut brown. Sweet and spicy. Cocoa, berries that seem and smell like wine but only a small percentage.Had a bottle after three years and it was a good wine. Great yeast craftmanship. (250 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 5/18/12.

Pours a slightly murky dark brown with a 3 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a craggy cap. A nice pattern of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of bready malt, dark fruits (especially grapes), and sweet candi sugar. Taste is of slight candi sugar and dark fruits (plum, prune, grape, raisin) up front with a bready malt aftertaste. There is a slight earthy bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a very crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a fantastic dubbel and one of the best Trappist beers I have tried so far. (616 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single finger head with no real retention with some lacing. Cloudy maroon body. Nice sweet cherry and strawberry with yeast esters. More dark fruit in the flavor. Mostly raisin and cherry. Belgian yeast and mild spice. Medium body and high carbonation. I like how the aroma is more than a generic dark fruit aroma with individual flavors noted. (344 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured dark cloudy brown into a goblet with an impressive beige head. The head died down a little, but a layer of bubbles remained covering the surface. It looks like there is a medium level of carbonation from the bubbles rising near the edge of the glass.
S: Malty sweetness stands out in the gentle aroma along with some hints of fruits and spices.
T: It has a strikingly complex taste. There's malty chocolate sweetness in the initial taste followed by hints of fruits and spices. Meanwhile, the finish is dry, although this becomes a little sweeter as the beer warms up.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and carbonation lends some smoothness.
D: It's relatively easy to drink and the alcohol is completely masked. The beer becomes easier to drink as it warms up. (783 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a few reddish highlights. Off white head and good lacing. Smell is dark plums and raisins with a good amount of caramel and dark sugars. Taste is a bit less unrefined, with the yeast characteristics not coming through nearly as much. More of a bready-type flavor. Mouthfeel is fairly full and rich. Drinkability is okay; not nearly as impressive as their tripel. (386 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy auburn color with a big tan head that displays good persistance but leaves far less lacing than expected

Smell: Dried dark fruit, caramel, leather and candi sugar; as it warms it takes on a dark cherry aroma

Taste: Lots of dried fruit - predominately maraschino cherries and dates and a bit of prune, with a distinct hoppy cinnamon and sour balsa wood complement by mid-palate; after the swallow the flavors blend but are slightly astringent on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body; quite a bit of carbonation

Drinkability: Well-structured beer; complex and satisfying; would be better with a more complete finish (633 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to have revisited this beer after not having it for quite a while. Typical of all great Trappist beers. A prune-like colored hue with a yeasty murkiness, rocky foamstand, and great lacing. Seriously rich aroma. Full of fruits, candy, spices, and berries. Tastes the same as aroma, even moreso. A terrific blend of ripe-to-bruised fruits of apples, pears, dates, figs, and banannas. Candies of beet sugars, sweet malty, and a bit of a chocolate flavor. Spices up with a vineous-berry flavor, yeast, aged hops, and alcohol. Full and rich in the texture that falls short of thick. Finishes sweet, a bit tacky, and a bit dry. Worthy of the Trappist name. It's a very good beer. (678 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice chocolate brown color with a red highlight to it and a tan colored head. The lacing was light but stuck fairly well to the glass. The aroma is earthy, and slightly sweet. The taste of some earthy malts and dark sweet fruits take over in the mouth. The mouthfeel of this beer is really quite nice, it's very smooth, had a creamy body to it and goes down really easy. Overall this is probably one of my favorite Dubbel's, a style that I'm not overly crazy about but I find this one to be an exception. (530 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle – Poured a red/brown quite opaque brew with a huge head with standard retention. Great carbonation with strong body. Aroma is very spicy with no alcohol noticeable. Taste is great with the usual Belgian style mix of malts and hops with some added roastiness to that one. The spice mix is a bit stronger then expected but overall very enjoyable. Overall, this is a good beer but I was expecting something greater from this well known Trappist. (450 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Faintly transparent chestnut with an enduring cap of foam.

Smell: Dark chocolate and spices, a bit of citrus, very bready.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Light citric/fruity sweetness, roasty and slightly nutty. Very dry and hoppy in the finish, a bit herbal. Medium-bodied, perhaps on the lighter side of the scale, but with a slight creaminess.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the style. One of the best dubbels out there. (428 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery dark orange that takes on a blood orange hue when backlit. Multiple, active streams of bubbles hurry upward to a fabulous looking head that's toasted khaki in color, has a majestic nature and resembles a desert rock formation that has been smoothed and shaped by millennia of unceasing wind that... sorry, where was I? I'm disappointed that there isn't more lace. A few vertical fingers of thin, sudsy foam is about it.

The nose is malt-dominant, but lacks other distinguishing characteristics. I can appreciate dark fruit (overripe, bruised apples and pears) and a little mild spiciness. It isn't very deep, complex or aromatic. While above average is an easy call, it's a disappointment for such a well-regarded beer.

We're back on track. Westmalle Trappist Dubbel seems a little light in the flavor and mouthfeel departments, but then I'm still trying to get my mouth and my brain around the style. The flavor profile favors dark caramel-toffee more than chocolate or cocoa. It's still fruity (now figs and raisins) and is spicy (cinnamon and nutmeg). While alcohol is noted, it's part of the beer's DNA and is essential to making the flavor as appealing as it is.

The finish is the best part of the entire mouthful. It's there that the various members of the flavor profile separate, come into stark relief and are better able to be appreciated. I love the fact that the beer is getting better and better as the ounces pass. I'm finding new and varied flavor combinations as it warms. Dubbel is so damned composed and so Old World complex that I've been won over in spite of myself.

The mouthfeel is a perfect match for the flavor. By that I mean that it feels light on first blush, but is actually substantive. At bottom, it's medium in heft with a wispy silkiness and active carbonation. Like the flavor, the mouthfeel has grown on me over the course of the bottle.

Westmalle Dubbel oozes quality. Patience and focus is required to plump the depths of its beer soul, but the effort will be rewarded. This is a more than worthy member of the canon of great Belgian dubbels. (2,101 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.

This beer pours a hazy, rather dark ruby amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, bubbly, silken foamy beige head, one which leaves a broad array of fuzzy patchy lace around the glass as it lolls about, eventually receding at a pretty tame pace.

It smells of semi-sour candy sugar, over (or under?)-whelmed caramel malt, subtly spicy cloves, and a light red wine grape fruitiness. The taste is tangy, dark bready malt, pithy green apple, lesser dark bittersweet fruits, somewhat edgy yeast, and simmering woody alcohol.

The carbonation is a bit on the high side, with a tendency toward the frothy, which detracts from the already kind of weakly weighted body, and any equally expected smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the malt still in for the long haul, with some inherent herbs and soft booziness lingering.

Pretty spot-on, I suppose, but not nearly as heady as one might have been expecting, the beefed up malt just a little too lacking, and weirdly so. An otherwise agreeable tipple, even more so when we New Worlders bring our lofty expectations back down to earth. (1,088 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour was perfect, what else can I say. Rich dark brown in color and nearly opaque. Nice reddish notes on the sides and bottom of the glass coming through quite nicely. Huge head of tan that reached a height of at least three inches before settling down over the top into a thin layer maybe a quarter of an inch and staying with us throughout the entire session. This was a perfect dubbel.

The aroma was nearly spot on as well. Rich notes of spice, dark fruit, plums, raisins, mostly in the front as a nice grainy and bread like aroma started to peak through as it really warmed up, along with a light hint of a spiced pear or apple. At the first sip I was in love. I am not normally a fan of the style as it is usually rather plain for me, sitting somewhere between the sessionable and the extreme, but a whole new life was brought forward for me here. Key word in this beer was smooth, it was simply breathtakingly smooth and subtle. Rich notes of raisins and plums, hints of light spice, pears, great yeast notes here. There was just such a smooth, subtle flavor here. I really am at a loss, as I rarely find a beer this drinkable. The long aftertaste was rich with a ripe fruit flavor that left an almost funky note that was only detectable after a few minutes after the sip. Just a wonderful expierence. (1,312 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a tan, one-finger head. It left very nice lace.

S - It smelled of clove, spice, dried fruits and malt.

T - It was fairly spicy at first sip. It also had a good malt flavor with clove, yeast and dried fruit.

M - It was fairly soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A very good beer. The complex flavors are outstanding. (373 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker shade of brown with a nice fluffy/sticky head you can tell this well made by the pour alone.Anyways I get a deep brown sugar aroma a red wine hint almost like a port wine.Taste of spiced cake and raisins,very rich tasting.A little harsh in the mouth though wasnt as smooth and creamy as expected.Aroma and flavor wise a real top notch brew but in drinkability and mouthfeel it lacks in my opinion. (412 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a big tan colored head.

S: The nose is good, but not amazing. Some dark fruits in the form of raisins, plums, and figs with plenty of sweet malt notes: molasses, caramel, and toffee.

T: A lot more intensity to the flavor. A great malt character that's bready with excellent but balanced sweetness that provides some molasses, toffee, caramel. The fruits are over-ripe and sweet, mostly cherries, plums, and figs.

M: Medium in body with very ample carbonation, as you would expect for a Belgian ale.

D: Really a delicious and easy to drink beer. One of the better dubbels I've had in awhile. (633 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, brown body strewn with fine yeast particles and topped by a full, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Quite fruity with strong notes of plums and dried bananas. Hint of chocolate. Spicy yeast character. Malts are less prominent.

Taste: Dry, slightly bready dark malts with a restrained sweetess. No more than a touch of chocolate. Light spice. More bananas and less plums in the flavor. Mild hop bitterness. Dry finish with a tangy fruitiness and lingering yeast note.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid, though somewhat subtle Trappist ale. (602 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short but dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, spices, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and complex with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, spices and Belgian yeast. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a beer that will hold your interest and your taste buds for a long time making it a good beer to drink for an evening. (837 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very easy to find around Belgium, even in the grocers ... it seemed like this stuff was everywhere. Very smooth and even better on tap in the proper Westmalle glass at the Circo cafe in Brussels. (195 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BBD of Nov 06

Pours a slightly turbid deep red/brown with a 1" tan colored head. Slight lacing & good filmy heady retention

S: choclate & a hint of alcohol& then breadyness/shortbread as it warms. I also get a little oakyness

T: Chocolate & little iron up front. Then I catch some earthy hops & hunts of licorice. Oakyness & alcohol as it warms. Finishes dry & fruitty with winey/acidic notes

MF: Medium bodied, slightly prickly & good balance

Drinks pretty easy, by far my favorite style of trappist/abbey ales. This would go great with roast beef or stew IMO, or any thing a burgundy type wine would pair with. Well worth the $ 3.70 for 11.2 ozs. superb version of the style (681 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Pours a dark brown, variably cloudy depending on your pour, with a cap of foamy, off-white head that retains well and laces moderately well. Dark sugars and dark dried fruits in the aroma. Taste is woody, bready, yeasty, with notes of brown sugar, caramel, dried fruits: raisins, figs, and the like. Some banana and spice moments slip in once in a while. Medium-bodied and very nice to drink. Though I prefer its elder sibling, the Tripel. (480 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

33cl brown glass bottle with classic pressure cap served into a La Trappe goblet in Nijmegen, Holland. Reviewed live.

A: 1.5 finger head of nice cream lacing and good thickness. Excellent retention for the relatively high ABV. Overall, the head is soft and delicate. I'd say it's about six minutes. Dark solid brown colour. Nontransparent.

Sm: Cream, nutty hops, and maybe yeast. A very mild strength scent; it's difficult for me broken nose to detect individual distinct notes. All apologies, lads.

T: Lovely cream undertones stay consistent (and welcome) throughout, a wonderful effect. Lightly nutty. Some date fruit notes, but I wouldn't call them esters. I don't get any caramel, as noted in other reviews - or even any caramelized malt. Maybe some figgy touches, but if so they're buried. Exquisite. Brilliantly spectacularly balanced. Some sort of wood is present, but not in the barrel aged sense of that description. Incredibly well built, but not as complex as it ought to be.

Mf: Creamy, smooth, and wet. Perfectly complementary of the flavours in the body.

Dr: Relatively high ABV, very fairly priced, and incredibly easy to drink. It's very commercially available and it's high quality. It's a shame people may try to make counterfeit Westvleteren with the bottles, but the beer isn't to blame. She's certainly worth a go if you like beer. (1,362 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An eagerly anticipated sampling, a bottle set aside for many months to mark a special occasion...
Appearance: huge froth, to start, foamed everywhere, even over the keyboard, and 'scuse me while I mop up for a sec, will you, please?
Okay, the beer's calmed down a bit, and now we can judge it more suitably, perhaps...gorgeous garnet hue, nearly violet, deep ruby may be more like it, with a generous layer of foam atop, thick, plentiful, creamy, soupy, a dream to watch dwindle down...
Aroma: like sticking one's face deep down in a nest of ripe late-harvest fruits, and a bit from the vegetable side, too...a cornucopia in the nose, rich in cherries, and berries, grapes, and dates, and more that merely waits in the wings behind these major players...a deep, heady aroma, uplifting, otherwordly, luxurious! Damn, but it's well past time to drink, isn't it?
Taste: smooth, mellow, but oh, so much flavor, too, too much going on, too, too delicious, and I don't know where to start, actually, ...a rush of warmth, earthy fruitiness, plump and ripe and ever at home in the mouth. Mouthfeel? To capacity! Spices swim in, too, and envelope the senses, and dart about and add to the general sense of well-being felt everywhere that this brew touches. Another good gulp and I feel it again, this warm, spicy, earthy, deep, magical, tasty, fruity, magnificent....oh-my-goodness, sort of feeling...the malt is a wonderful buttress, and flavor-leader, too, but the hops, are a major contributor,as well, leading me to say, "screw it all, this is a perfectly integrated blend of all that's great in beer-land, isn't it?"
I have more to drink from this bottle, too, and could more, possibly, be gleaned from the last remaining drops that may color my perceptions before this sampling is done? Did I leave out minor notes of nuts and cocoa and coffee, just a stitch? But the point's made already, that this is among a rare subset of sublimity, and is so gorgeous that one is better off encountering it on rare occasions to make the meeting more special every time, I says.

Cheers to monks at Westmalle for creating this masterpiece! (2,130 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/24/11 notes. Picked up a bottle of this at Spirits in Middletown, NJ. Poured from an 11.2 bottle into my Duvel tulip. Bottles on 29/9/11.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a reddish tint to it, moderate carbonation evident, and one finger of off white head. A minute or two of retention and some spotty lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of Belgian yeast, dark fruits, bready malts, spices, wheat. Pretty ncie with the fruit and yeast.

t - Tastes of Belgian yeast, bready malts, spices, toasted malts, and very light dark fruits. Less fruit than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a nice Belgian dubbel, and very good for the price and availability. Some nice dark fruits in the nose, and something I'd certainly buy again if I was in the mood for a dubbel. (832 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Matt last night. One of the beers that I'm shocked and appauled at myself for having never reviewed this wonderful Trappist beer.

Beer served in a tulip at cellar temperature. Beer is brown and hazy, dark, forms a giant head of medium and small off white / dirty yellow bubbles that leaves lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet like raisins and carmel and bready with great yeast esters and a wonderful bouquet.

Beer is medium bodied with good carbonation in the mouth. About the most drinkable dubbel I've ever had. Good dark fruit notes in the midpalate and a good non-dry finish. I love this beer a lot. (625 characters)

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