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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,158 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,158
Hads: 2,477
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 177
Gots: 363 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website

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: 1,158 | Hads: 2,477
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy brown color with some red highlights shinning through. Upon pouring there is a one finger creamy colored head that fades over a moderate level of time to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is of roasted malt and some darker fruit smells. The darker fruits are of a plum, raisin and cherry aroma giving a moderately sweet dimension to the smell. When mixed with a yeasty and slightly bready aroma the mix of smells produces a rather nice dubbel aroma.

Taste- The taste begins with a dry roasted malt flavor and a brown bread taste. There are some dark fruit flavors, but these are on the drier side only adding the fruit flavor without the sweetness. Some light yeastiness and a more bitter citrus flavor begin developing more toward the middle to the end of the taste. In the end with a little bit of a roasted/smoky flavor coming to the tongue, one is left with a dry roasted and dark fruit flavor to linger on the tongue with just a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly above average side consisting of lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. The combination of carbonation and thickness are nice for the drier flavors creating a very crisp feel overall.

Overall – It has a nice flavor profile, but is a little drier then what I was expecting for a dubbel. If you are looking for a crisp Belgian style with some good fruit flavors and nice roasted malt taste, then this is a good go too, but if you want something slightly more on the sweeter side then this is not what you want. It is certainly good and something to try if you are in the mood for something drier.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at From The Vine beer tasting Jan 9th, 2004: This brew is a dark brown color with a thick foamy light beige head. Very thin lacing. It has an aroma of fruit, malt and toffee. Medium-bodied and rather smooth with lively carbonation. The flavor consists of fruit (plum was very noticeable), malt, and nuts. The flavors did not seem to play very well together though. The finish has a nice dark fruit character to it though. This beer is decent but I have had better Dubbels.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, dark fruits and a small note of alcohol. In the taste, dark fruits, a small caramel like presence, and just a note of alcohol.. A small bite and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry and lightly sticky caramel in the aftertaste. Almost quad like, caramel is sticky sweet, and a nice coffee note, very nice.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Rochefort goblet.

A: Dark mahogany brown-red, opaque, many bubble trails. A thick, rich, chunky head. Some lacing.

S: Not particularly notable. Unexpected hop aroma with gentle malts and maybe a touch of alcohol.

T: Surprisingly light, carbonated, and hoppy. Mild nutty, malty flavour mixes with spicy hops. Very well balanced, such that the aftertaste is a nearly neutral combination of both flavours. Yummy!

M: Very stimulating. Light, somewhat chewy, with exciting carbonation and enjoyable spiced notes.

D: Unusually accessible and drinkable for a Trappist beer. Relatively light at 7% and quite pleasant. Not my favourite flavour-wise, but a solid choice and a beer I could drink lots of.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle marked 07/02/08, I have no idea how old it is. Appearance is a dark-reddish brown with a small head that sticks around pretty well but is not more than a centimeter high. The smell of this beer reminded me of grapes and red wine and me anticipate the taste even though I don’t drink wine…. The taste is delicious but doesn’t quite match up with the smell but that is ok. It is also thick and hard to describe. It’s dark and fruity but not really spicy at all, maybe some nuttiness. Good bubbly carbonation and very easy to drink, this is a nice beer. Both beers I have had so far from Westmalle have been delicious but I enjoyed this more than the tripel and I wish I had bought more than one.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle with 07/03/09 over 07/03/07 stamped on the label. Poured into a goblet, it was a medium brown color with some red highlights. A small head that dissipated quickly. It had a faint aroma of fruit (I think banana) and caramel. The taste was similarly muted, but there was some nice bitterness at the end. This was a pretty good beer, but I was expecting a little bit more than I got.

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Photo of cbutova
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure how I missed reviewing this one over the years but there is always a good time for a Westmalle Dubbel!

A- Poured into a stemware tulip with a dark brown body. A light tan head forms to a massive size with a foamy texture. Retention is good but it eventually ends up as a bubbly ring with a big cloud in the middle of the beer. Just a few small spots of lace.

S- The glass helps capture a strong yet balanced aroma. Yeast forward with some notes of malts. Belgian spice forward with some slightly phenolic dark fruit and brown nutty malts to balance.

T- I wouldn't call the flavor abrasive but it has that edge that I love in stronger, yeasty Belgian ales. Like the aroma, the flavor is yeasty with dark fruits, raisins, figs, apple, spice and some phenolic qualities. Nutty malts, molasses and brown sugary hints make up a bulk of the remaining flavor. Very slight clove and banana quality.

MF- Carbonation has a nice bite to it at first but goes down rather smoothly in the end. The feel overall is creamy with a nice warmth from the alcohol.

With warmth and each sip, this one just opens up so nicely which I find is the case with great beers. Amazing example of the style and what I look for from a strong yeast Belgian beer. Has that nice edge but doesn't kill you with spice, esters and alcohol.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Nice, deep cloudy brown color with a decent tan head that shrank rather quickly without a trace.

Smell – Rich malt aroma with some spice and the classic burnt caramel tones.

Taste – Big malt, complimented nicely with banana, some kind of dark fruit (maybe plums, dates, or even tobacco – I like ADR’S, “raisins, grapes, and currents,” comment), and light chocolate undertones. This is a complex, well-balanced brew.

Mouthfeel – Excellent! The carbonation is just right, IMO, and the body is exceptionally smooth. Personally, I think that this is the beer’s strongest quality.

Drinkability – Something this smooth and this complex is awesome. It goes down easy and keeps one entertained.

Comments – I tend to enjoy beers that are smooth yet complex, so this one suited me just fine.

Update – This was the 14th beer that I reviewed on the site so figured it might be worthwhile to re-review in 2004.

I read one review that described it as, “bananas foster” and that hit the nail on the head for me. There are some light alcohol notes and burnt malt, but the chocolate and banana are in perfect harmony with this beer and cannot be ignored. This really is a terrific ale.

I stand by my ratings from the initial taste and didn’t actually change the score of this beer, but I will say after trying over 200 Belgian Ales since the first review it really is one of the best offerings of the style on the market.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes taken at the time of tasting.
A - Poured a deep purpleish brown with an explosive collar that soured above the lip of the tulip. There was a frothy white head with super clingy lacing.
S - Dark fruits, alcohol, more DSDA than a dubbel. Plum, grape, alc, sugar.
T - Perfectly balanced dubbel nothing too much in any direction. The alc is well hidden.
M - Smooth and even. On the money. Cooling aftertaste. If anything, maybe a bit too rich and filling?
D - Easiest dubble I've ever had. Smooth and perfect.

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Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been looking for this for a long time, and finally found it. It poured a muddy dark mahogany with lots of tan head. It smelled like very potent but light yeast, balanced with bitter chocolate malt. It tasted like citrus hops and tons of yeast mixed with earthy semi-sweet chocolate malt. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a lasting yeasty aftertaste. Overall this had a fairly intricate flavor, but wasn't as clean or delicious as I hoped.

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Photo of warnerry
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 2/3/12

A - Pours a deep mahogany with some suspended material and almost two fingers of tan head. Head has outstanding retention and leaves rings of lacing.

S - Caramel, candi sugar and dark fruit aromas, with raisin, fig and maybe a bit of cherry. Also has a decent bread aroma.

T - Starts off a bit sweet, with caramel, fruit and candi sugar, but a yeast spiciness soon takes over. Some bread malt near the finish and another shot of spiciness on the finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel with lively carbonation and a dry spicy finish.

O - Very good overall. Not too sweet with a nice bread and spice presence.

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Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet. Opaque brownish copper color with a light tan head that leaves fine Belgian lacing. Aroma is hearty with sweet bready malts, heaps of fleshy fruit, raisins, and peppery alcohol. Flavor contains a toffee maltiness as a basis for all the light and dark fruits and spices to accent. Medium-full body with very fine carbonation. At first it's overcarbonated but with a little time it settles down. A very good dubbel.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky dark brown with some ruby edges. Creamy off-white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Caramel dark malt, plums, grapes, nuts.

Taste: Dark malt backbone, raisins and plums provide a nice darker fruity flavor. Grapes add a nice lightness. There is a nuttiness in the finish, with some chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Full carbonation. Mild dry finish.

Drinkability: This is very easy to drink. A damn good dubbel.

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Photo of Rutager
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a murky brown with a little orange and two fingers of light tan head that lasts a while and leaves some great lacing.

Smell. Sweet ripe plums and light fruits, brown sugar, and some fruity belgian yeast.

Taste. Brown sugar, plums and apples, some light earthy bitterness, caramel and some smooth malts.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with fairly strong and fairly soft carbonation.

Overall. A quality beer but maybe bot quite on par with other trappist offerings.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) brown glass bottle that has a very noticeable thick raised ring around the collar which has the words Trappistenbier in molded into it. Dark brown classic looking Westmalle obverse label lists the Dubbel at 7% ABV; the crown cap is a matching color coded affair. Reverse label indicates that this is a part of the new batch of Westmalle now being imported by Merchant Du Vin, the Best Before date is 20/07/06. Accounts for 40% of production at Westmalle and is also available on draft as well.

Appearance: Served into a Chimay goblet as I broke my Westmalle one a long ago. Middling deep polished chestnut brown body with a light milky haze that tends to disappear given time. A smooth uniform creamy beige head readily forms into a super looking head but settles to a rather thin covering from the bottle (quicker than on draft I recall). Finely dissolved carbonation forms slick uni-bubbled sheets of lacing as the goblet is poured towards the mouth.

Nose: Lovely rich fresh malts abound, so good to get a fresh sample of this again. The aromas are a mixture of dark malts and toasted malts with some light spicy hints and a flash of caramel with burnt Devon toffee.

Taste: A fantastic mix of a variety of malty aspects melds together extremely well. It can tend to taste more complex than it actually is - I find it to be a rather ‘simple’ brew that somehow projects a finely attenuated smooth front that is supported by many complex tastes such as malt, plums, dates, raisins and chocolate with flashes of coconut, banana and red grapes at times. Needs a little warmth, but not too much, to reveal all of its best characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Fresh and straight from the bottle, it has a rich creamy feel, that archetypal smooth silky mouth so often associated wit Belgian Ales. The carbonation is the key here. I find that the Dubbel is by far at its best when fresh.

Drinkability: It is rumored that the Dubbel and Tripel styles evolved from Westmalle. I do always tend to think of the Westmalle Dubbel as the guardian of the style, particularly because of its sociable quaffability. Equally satisfying on its own, or with food. And to think I see drinkers as for a splash of grenadine to be added to this brew when I am Belgium <shudder>.

Overall: At Last!!! Fresh Westmalle is now available in the USA, I had experienced way too many old bottles in the past over here; old, musty, aged, mishandled and poorly transported – this alone has the been the single reason why I never submitted a Beer Review for either the Westmalle Dubbel or Tripel since joining BA - simply because I knew how good this could be. I find Merchant Du Vin are a little pricey at times, but that said I had no problems paying a little extra for a good fresh bottle. In short, in the US, if it doesn’t say MdV on the reverse label, my advice would be to put it back on the shelf, if it *does* say Imported by MdV on the reverse label – pick it up and remind yourself how good this one is. I think I’ll pick up another Westmalle Goblet when I see one to celebrate the return of fresh Westmalle.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a firm quarter inch cap of firm foam. Lacing is thorough. The aroma is of anise, bubblegum, figs, and dates. The taste is full of soft anise, figs, and bubblegum. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is awonderful beer. I will surely drink this again.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nutty brown with, I swear, vague pink highlight and a puffy, cratered taupe head that's going nowhere. Bubblegum nose with forest humus, cherry skin and cinnamon candy.
Irish brown soda loaf, fig, red plums, sultanas and soil, a clove hit, then gingerbread spice finish.
Carob, maple syrup and tobacco finish with long lingering minty tingle. Medium, lively, some chew, sticky, no burn.

Dark and deeper than I was expecting, even given it's rep. I find a lot of dubbels too light and fizzy but that's no problem here. Complex, layered and compelling.

Probably the best dubbel out there, definitely my new favorite.

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Photo of Gmann
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with an average off-white head, not much lacing. The smell is of roasted malt, some dark cherry, a bit metallic, not particularly strong. The taste is of plum, sour cherries, a nice roasted malt backbone. The feel is moderated and fizzy, perhaps a bit too carbonated. Despite the carbonation, this is a damn drinkable dubbel, not too sweet or bitter, hides the alcohol, and goes down nice and easy. One of the better dubbels that I have had.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle split with two friends at Delaney's, into mini-nonics.

A: Clear reddish-brown body beneath an inch of dense tan head; decent retention and light lace.

S: Very sweet, fruity malts - apple, red grape, cherry. Some yeast. Appealing.

T: Rich array of smooth, malty goodness - all the fruit of the nose, plus some rich caramel sweetness. Amazingly smooth and balanced.

M: Very smooth medium body with moderate, lightly prickly carbonation.

D: Incredible. No trace of alcohol, and it somehow manages to be thoroughly sweet and malty without being cloying in the least. As much as I like my friends, I kind of wish I'd ordered this bottle just for myself. Awesome.

Notes: By far my favorite dubbel to date, this is simply a paragon of its style. Those monks know a thing or two about brewing. I can't wait to have this again.


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Photo of cokes
3.13/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Gotta say I'm disappointed here.
Pours an attactive reddish-amber. Large, puffy tan head that settled slowly. Pebble-like sediment into the glass. Gravel black floaters.
Fruity aroma of apples, figs, and prunes. Carmel sweetness also . Alcohol is noted.(strange, as it doesn't show up in the taste).
Taste seem muted, and uninspired. Fruitiness is here, with apple, tart grape and ever-so-slight banana. Carmel is present, but the malt body is somewhat thin. I keep getting strange impressions of a vienna lager....and not a particularly good one. Very faint chocolate hues.
Thin, boring body. Lacking of any heft, or any spirtz. Dull, blunt, lifeless. Thickens as it sits, but never attains anything noteworthy.
Maybe this is too young (bb: 13/05/04). Nevertheless, I just don't see the flavors here to hold out much prospect.

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Photo of Suds
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this one on a Sunday afternoon, from a large tulip glass. The color is a deep, mysterious chestnut brown, topped with an astounding, off white head. There’s not so much lacing, as a thick growth of foam trailing down the sides of the glass. The appearance of this brew is exceptional. The aroma is of sweet sugars, toasted malts, yeast, and spice. Taste is grain, ripe fruit, sugar, and malt. Esters and spice and sweetness…at times it seemed almost cola-like, a characteristic that I didn’t really enjoy. Full mouthfeel, with a creamy texture and only moderate carbonation. It’s a fine brew, but somehow not up to expectations.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Tipple's in Gainesville. Pours a deep purple brown with a one finger off white head. Aroma of figs, raisins, spice, yeast. Flavor follows with big fig and raisin flavors, some light pears, spicy yeast, sweet brown sugar. Medium to light mouthfeel, medium high carbonation, with a slightly dry finish. Lingering sweet dark fruit on the palate. Only complaint is that I'd like a little more body on this one. Very nice beer!

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Photo of scottfrie
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: Slow pour yielded very dark maroon brown liquid beneath a finger and a half solid layer of very dense foam that took forever to slowly fade into a very thick and well retained head that lasted the whole beer through. Great streaks of thick lacing were left down the glass.
S: Sweet candied fruits come through along with caramel and spicy yeast. Not potent smelling but good.
T: Sweet fresh, dried, and candied fruits dominate including red grapes, dates, raisins, pears and figs. There is a touch of sweet caramel and candied sugar in the finish, and the aftertaste is full of peppery spices and Belgian yeast. The finish is drying and lightly bitter.
M: Body is on the thin side of medium, but the carbonation is very creamy and smooth. Good mouthfeel.
O: A classic dubbel. This wasn’t the best one I’ve had, but I can’t really find anything that wrong with it either. I would drink this again any day.

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Photo of FLima
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with a beige thick head with good retention.
Delicious aroma of grapes, prunes, wood, and probably slightly toasted malts.
Matured fruity flavor, good presence of condiments, prunes, apple, pears, toasted malts, caramel, grapes and a woody and cinnamon touch. Later I got some citrus, orange peel type.
Dry, fruity and mild bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is in harmony with the other ingredients and gives a mild warming feeling.
Full body with low to medium carbonation, though effervescent giving the sensation of bigger bubbles.
A beer that evolves as you drink it. Loved both the Dubbel and the Tripel, I will chase more brews from Westmalle.

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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
93 out of 100 based on 1,158 ratings.