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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel | Brouwerij Westmalle

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,189 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,189
Ratings:
2,621
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
10.6%
 
 
Wants:
197
Gots:
459
For Trade:
2
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

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Reviews: 1,189 | Ratings: 2,621
Photo of BarryNL
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

A - Dark brown body that produces a very fine mass of bubbles. A brown spume of a head can form if the ale is poured too fast. The head is light brown, stands up well and creates deep-pocketed lace on the rim of the goblet.

S - Light malt nose with a light hoppiness. I'm not good with the olfactory, so I might be off here.

T - Currants (not raisins) and coffee-like coating on the tongue. A little alcoholic warmth on the end.

M - Well, maybe a dubbel is not for me. With a brew this dark I'm expecting a little weight to the body. But for the style it's probably in the correct range. The monks must have enjoyed this during the summer days.

Overall, a good Belgian ale to drink in the warmer months.

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Photo of Beelzebeer
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, served in a chimay goblet. Best before May 27, 2012

A - Dark coffee mahogany colour, with 1" dense head. Quickly dissipated, no lacing

S - Brown sugar, dark fruits. All very subtle.

T - Medium-high carbonation off the top, leading into fig, low percentage dark chocolate, a little burnt malt. Mild astringent/sour aftertaste which is not pleasing.

M - Full bodied, but not too thick. Clings to the mouth.

Because I really enjoy dark Belgians of all kinds, I feel the bottle I had must have been past it's prime, as it's very close to the best-before date on the bottle. I've never had it before now, but will give it another go if the opportunity arises.

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Photo of anarchia
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thick & frothy white head sits on top of a dark red/brown beer that is almost opaque. Nice lacing on the glass. I smell white wine, citrus, raisin bread, some cinnamon. Flavor is out of this world: caramel, grapes, more of that raisin bread, brown sugar with a perfectly balanced but slightly chocolatey-bitter finish--a lot going on! The carbonation is really nice on the tongue. Slight warming from the alcohol. Exceptional.

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Photo of n0315
4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice foamy head and a great sweet smell. Pours a dark amber with a tan head. First taste is just...WOW. Where have you been all my life? fruity with a nice long bitter finish but nothing overpowering. Great balance. Motuhfeel if soft, not too think, but not too thin. Goes down smooth, this is a beer I could dirnk a lot of. Drank it too fast to be honest. Amazing.

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Photo of ZagZagg
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle Poured into a Westmalle goblet

A: A rich deep brown that presents a velvety red hue with the light. Visible medium level carbonation, frothy with decent lacing, solid and well balanced, hazy ruby smokiness with some light sediment

S: Chocolate and malty, almost a caramel, good earth inspired pumpernickel, banana is upfront and quite forthcoming (hey, these Westmalle monks love their Banana). A faint spiciness with a bit of clove and ginger?

T: Definitely sweet upfront with a toasty fruitiness that progresses into a smoky blend of spice that is even a bit boozy. The dominant fruitiness is not overwhelming and blends politely with the bready yeast notes. Absence of any bitter character, but well-balanced complexity that isn’t too malty

M: Well bodied, a bit creamy, carbonation’s presence tingles the tongue, smooth almost soft. Has a heaviness that is quickly evident and fills the mouth.

O: A handsome brew that is excellent for sipping. I can’t comment on the availability, but something I would like to enjoy again. A good winter beer that is warming and highly delectable. Something I am looking forward to drinking again.

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Photo of Chrysostom
4.86/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

PRESENTATION: 750mL corked and caged bottle, brown glass. Price: $10.99. Bottled 09/30/10, best by 09/30/12, drank on 10/02/12. The plastic cork is hard as hell to get out of the bottle; I fumbled with it for about 5 minutes, probably bruising my thumbs in the process, and I was sober. Bought from the local package store that hosts beer tastings all the time, and has a massive selection of craft beers and imports. Thank you to Blacklick Wine and Spirits in Columbus, OH.

APPEARANCE: pours nicely in to a large lowball glass (my own choice - I think these styles shine in the straight-sided, wide glasses - dark brown (not black, nowhere near a stout or porter) with strong red ruby highlights when held to the light. Looks like a cola, from what I remember. I don't touch cola, nor anything caffeinated. I stick with alcohol. Darkness hides sediment well.

With a gentle pour, there is little head, but what head is there sticks around. With a vigorous pour, there is a one-and-one-half finger to two-finger head, which dissipates rather quickly while leaving the same ring of head as a gentle pour. It laces the glass decently, but not as well as the Westmalle Tripel I had the other day.

It is quite cloudy from yeast, with a bit of yeast particles congregating or flocculating at the bottom of the glass after the liquid is downed.

SMELL: very nice aroma, a bit boozy, with strong hints - more like already-solved puzzles - of berries, especially blackberry and currant (and red gooseberry and raisin and raspberry[?]). Esters. Like booze-soaked raisins and currants. Almost like a very watered down Sailor Jerry's without the cherry - and I love me some o' the ol' Sailor. It's an excellent smell for the style, but is a little alcoholic, and a bit low on the caramel-like smells that I feel should emanate therefrom; it has no smell of spice which emanates from Rocheforts, and which I have grown to dislike. This smell is almost a five.

MOUTHFEEL: high carbonation for the style, I think (although I've had few Dubbels, and "dark beer" generally is my preference, I've had many Tripels, Belgian Strong Dark and Pale Ales, and Quads), with a somewhat dry astringency on the palate, starting off bubbly, with notes of brut champagne - both in the carbonation and in the flavor itself. It is, according to my preference, a most smooth libation. The carbonation is excellent, but the body is a bit weak in comparison to it; this is a little thinner than I would prefer - although I may be reading too much stout in to this Dubbel - so I subtract 0.5 points.

TASTE: not so much like the aroma. There is no taste of alcohol in this beer - not like the aroma and the 7% ABV would suggest - just an excellent, fruity, brut-champagne-like flavor - that's right, it's fruity without being sweet. Although there seems to be, on some sips, a hint of sweetness, I can't pin it down. There are notable components of yeast, although this yeast lends no "bready" flavor to the beer, contra most other reviewers: I can taste the bread in Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout: I can not taste the bread in this. It is on the rich side for the thin mouthfeel. There is a pronounced, while subtle, grape character: if I did not know otherwise, I would Christen this a "barleywine", as it has more characteristics in common with certain grape-based drinks than any exemplar of that style which hath ever crossed my palate. Not exceedingly complex, but not simple; it is quite drinkable, but not a session beer, although by this point in my review, 5/6 of the way through a 750mL bottle, I'm quite tipsy.

OVERALL, 5/5: I really don't see how this could be improved, even if it's a little low on body and high on carbonation for my tastes, any permutation altering the body and carbonation that I run through in my mind's palate somehow isn't quite as good. This is one of the best beers in the world, to my palate; St Bernardus Abt 12 is easily the best, this being in second place for Belgians, and the top 5 overall.

As a previous reviewer noted, if this is in your glass, this is a special occasion. Drink it daily! I paid $11 for this bottle; it was worth it. I recommend letting it warm for a little before drinking it; my last half-glass out of the bottle was better than my first, which was served around 45ºF or so, maybe 50ºF.

Final verdict: if you haven't had this ale, buy it: it won't let you down. It is more like champagne in consistency and in flavor than any beer I have had otherwise; I'm not a large fan of champagne (I once bought a bottle of Dom Perignon and Moet et Chandon White Star to see if it would make a difference: it didn't), but this isn't a putdown of the beer: it does what champagne could not.

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Photo of saltydog
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a bottle from 1972 (!) Tasted at Kroegske in 2001. Appearance: Reddish brown, light head, very clear. Aroma; Sherryish, malty, some oxidation. Flavor:rich, sherry-ish old ale flavors; rum, dates, etc. Mouthfeel: light bodied, with mild carbonation. Sherryish finish. Pretty unique!

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Photo of kylesobrien
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with orange-red hue when held to light; rocky and dense, thick head with plenty of lace around the glass. Head is a light shade of maple cream color.

Smell: A bit spicy -- some clove fragrance, toffee, with rummy notes. A faint yeasty aroma, almost like fresh dark bread. The scent is far more intense as the ale warms to drinking temperature and thoroughly pleasant.

Taste: Very malty, subtly warming; a touch more bitterness than I was expecting, but this produces a very nice crisp finish. Flavors of brown sugar, toffee, slight suggestion of caramelized fruits. The malt character is intriguing. I have heard malt bills for Belgian dubbels are not often as complicated as it would seem, but the grainy taste is complex enough that it's hard to believe there are only two or three malts in this brew. I cannot taste the alcohol at all, short of the aforementioned slight warming sensation, in spite of the 7% ABV. Wonderfully balanced overall.

Mouthfeel: Very, very smooth. Almost creamy. Carbonation is very fine, and not at all intense. Medium body. Not heavy at all.

Drinkability: This is really, really drinkable. The first time I enjoyed this beer, I thought it was an awesome choice for a winter night by the fire. Now it's July, and the beer is just as delicious. Very smooth, and keeps the palate guessing until the last drop.

Overall, this is one of the most balanced, tasty beers I've had the pleasure to enjoy. It's definitely one of my favorite dubbels, and one I'd recommend to anyone looking for a nice beer to sip slowly on a quiet evening.

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Photo of Redteketed
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown coloured beer, not much of a head.
A very complex noise, contains candy-sugar, raisin and other fruits (can’t quiet describe it), spices and roasted malts.
Initial taste is light bitter-light sweet, with spicy and roasted malts.
Full body, normal carbonation, little dry mouthfeel. Nice spicy, light bitter lasting finish.

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

Poured into my DFH snifter. Nice balsa like head about 500 mils high. Tiny bubbles ascending around the periphery forming a ring of tiny bubbles floating on top of larger bubbles.

Aroma is full of dark fruits, very ripe, and very very sweet.

Tastes perfectly balanced. Sweet, ripe, tart, crisp, warming, walnuts, fruitcake, the whole bit.

Perfectly conditioned. Bubbles tickle the sides of the tungue.

Very drinkable however I only have a single.

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Photo of oldhippie247
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours chocolately brown with a soft off-white/light tan head.

Nose is relatively faint when poured in the Westmalle chalice, but occasional wisps of chocolately malts and dried fruits do appear. I was expecting a little more on the nose.

Chocolate and dried fruit follow through on the palate with a nice medium, but round mouthfeel. Carbonation is less active and fine than the Tripel, which I feel is more appropriate. Nice lingering malt-driven finish.

Overall a very well-balanced beer that should please any Belgian beer fan.

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

Pours from a little bottle into a goblet. Great color that is hard to nail down. Brown, sure, but with enough red and black to keep you looking back. Massive rocky off-white head lingers for a while. Decent lacing.

Smells Like: Malt and prunes, some plum and perhaps a bit of alcohol just to cut the sweet. No hop or spiciness whatsoever, which is fine.

Taste: Fruit everywhere. I get raisins and plums and a bit of toffee. Not overly sweet. Quite flavorful. Warmth from alcohol and the tiniest bit of solvent (fusels? Sulphur?). Yummy is a good descriptor.

Mouthfull: Medium full. Drier than you might expect, but very coating at the same time. Complex and interesting, especially as it warms.

Overall: A very fine beer. The key here is the depth of flavor as it starts doing somersaults down your throat and the lingering tastes on your tongue go through their motions. Not a "wow!," but a very drinkable beer and a classic example of the style.

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Photo of Reed415
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark amber color with a pretty impressive head

S - Dominated by malt and fruity citrus notes

T - Tons of fruit, citrus, caramel malt, some alcohol warmth

M - Medium body, Moderate carbonation, very smooth

D - Very nice smooth fruity beer, that is not overwhelming

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Photo of carpezytha
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark nutty brown body. Huge head with large bubbles. Surface undulates like a suffle. Finally after a spell settles and creates a little island surrounded by a thin foam that barely covers the surface.
S: Tanbark, pee, hay. Rustic.
T: Dried pit fruit. Burnt brown sugar, lapsang souchong, bread and sour apples. Cedar.
M: Prickly and full. Hangs out.
D: Very drinkable but a once-in-a-whiler.

Trappist ales are sort of like boxing champs in the old days. When someone contends for the title, even if it's a draw, you have to give it to the champ.

Oh damn. I poured the spent yeast into the glass. I don't want to drink that. crap.

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Photo of McDiddyPop
3.21/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz brown bottle. 'Westmalle' engraved around the neck. Pretty badass looking. Poured into a Unibroue tulip.

It should be noted that this one foamed up when I opened it, leading me to believe it became contaminated before bottling. I hope for the best.

It pours a deep mahogany with ruby hues around the edges. Nearly black in the center, when held up to the light it reveals decent clarity with moderate haze from a sturdy pour. A one finger head quickly disipates into a small cap with a few scattered bits of lace. The smell is lacking. Very faint grain, with a hint of sweetness. Apples, maybe? The taste leaves a lot to be desired. It barely fills my mouth. Very dry with a sweet/tartness on the back of the tongue. I have to smack my lips after each sip, because it almost completely dries my mouth out.

I will definitely give this one another chance, but as for my first look I was anything but impressed. Hopefully round two brings me a bottle with no added contaminants.

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Photo of jpiper
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at cellar temp into Westmalle chalice.

Tootsie roll brown with some amber notes and a substantial off-white head which turns to lace.

The smell is apples, apples, apples: green, fresh, and sour. Also, a sweet biscuity yeast is present. Delicious.

First is that green apple, though less sour than on the nose. Then there are sweet malts, and it's complex with an almost nuttiness and yeasty goodness. Very interesting and impeccably balanced. Just a touch of bitterness carries more green apples through the finish. The final finish is bready yeast.

Medium-bodied, dryish, airy, and effervescent. A very nice clean feel.

It is the easiest Trappist to drink. Well, maybe the Westvleteren Blonde, but that's tough to compare given the lack of availability.

An incredible, perfectly balanced, versatile beer. I love this offering from Westmalle.

http://foodbeertravel.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/westmalle-dubbel/

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

Served in a Chimay glass at 10°C (~50°F)

A: Dark, almost entirely black liquid. Quite clear, reddish coppery around the edges of the glass. Tan head which stays fluffy for a long time.

S: Yeast, raisins, plums. Surprisingly estery and yeasty.

T: Yeasty taste, again very estery. It's very fruity, reminding me of raspberries, strawberries or even lingonberries. It's a bit tart, but not unpleasantly tart. It's sweet and sour at the same time - in a good way.

M: Thick and full, but not VERY full. I'd expect it to be fuller and thicker actually. Fluffy and creamy on the palate, smooth on the throat. I'd like it even more if it was more roasty or chocolatey than berryish and fruity.

D: Surprisingly drinkable for a trappist. I'd probably drink it at a higher temperature next time, I think maybe 15C (60F). The recommended 45-50 is too cold IMHO.

Conclusion: Black beer with a fluffy, tan head. Raisins, plums and estery yeast aromas are prominent in the nose. Fruity, berry-like flavor with a nice balance of sweet and sour. Would go great with fruit salad, dates or raisins, meat dishes served with berry jelly or just as an aperitif. All in all - a good beer

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Photo of joerodiii
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Translucent brown with hints of amber.

S - Figs, raisins, slight alcohol

T - Alcohol noticeable, a little bitter for me...kind of reminds me of Westvleteren's bitterness. Less yeast characteristics than other Trappistes or even other Dubbels in general. Dry, but the residual flavors of the dark belgian sugars are de.finitely there.

m - just as it should be thin from complete attenuation and highly carbonated

D - Very drinkable even though it's not my favorite of its style

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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Style/abv: Trappist dubbel/7%

Smell: pears, 65% dark chocolate, pralines, and subtle piney notes

Taste: ripe barley pears, tart plums, pure cacao, walnuts, almonds, and malty-bitterness; despite the malt, it is impeccably bright and clean along with an effervescent body

Pairs well with street tacos, dark meats, and ice cream, especially pralines and cream ice cream; it's a damn good dubbel

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Photo of Trentonator
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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

A: Poured with a huge, foamy head with some Belgian lace. Quite dark and rather cloudy.

S: Pleasant malty flowery hop nose with a little cherry.

T: Initial taste was cherry with a tiny hint of smoke. Then a fruity note hit, almost like a sour red. Lastly I caught some estery notes I couldn't quite place, and a fruity, lingering finish. Good, complex, very enjoyable.

M: Bright and sparkly, just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable for its 7% alcohol content. A good beer to savor with dinner or dessert.

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Photo of abar22
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a DFH Signature Glass

Westmalle Dubbel poured dark brown with lighter browns and reds when held to the light. Massive cream colored 3F head that settled into craterous 2F cap. The head on this beer didn't want to go away and left massive lacing all around the glass.
The nose sports sweet malts, pepper, hints of clove, and floral hops.
The carbonation comes in full force at first sip then gives way to a fruity center(prunes?). The ending brings a hint of bitter floral hops with a dry finish.
This brew comes off a bit light and watery, sports good carbonation and leaves a bit of metallic after taste.
Good if not simple flavors combined with lighter makes this beer quite drinkable for the style.

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Photo of Rocko
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To begin with my bottle had an abv of 7%, not the 6.5% it says in the title. Anyways...this beer was recommended to me so I gave it a shot. I'm very happy I did because I liked it alot.

Darkbrown/red color with a light brown growing head, the head faded quickly though. Rich pleasant smell of caramel and fruit.

Initially quite modest taste but after a few sips it grows on you. Fruity bready taste with touches of raisin and roasted nuts. It also had a slight hint of citrus in it together with a medium bitterness.

I was very pleased with this brew, I recommend it to everyone who haven't tried it. I will most definately buy it again! :))

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Photo of Nowhereman529
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a light brown color from the bottle leaving about 2 fingers worth of head that dissipated in a few minutes to a nice bit of lacing around the rim of the glass.
S: Very fruity with hints of malt, yeast and just a little bit of alcohol. Fruit smells are summery, maybe berries or cherry.
T: This dubbel tastes of raisins, malt and just a faint hint of red wine. A very interesting mix that really works well on the palate.
M: Mouthfeel is medium in body and modest in carbonation. Really this is a pretty good example of what a dubbel should feel like going down.
D: This is an exceptionally drinkable beer. In fact, it's likely in the top three that I've every had the pleasure of trying. Very recommended!

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Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
93 out of 100 based on 1,189 ratings.