Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,284 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,284
Reviews: 1,131
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 142
Gots: 216 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,284 | Reviews: 1,131 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BFrost
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving: Center-poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a large snifter glass.

This beer pours a beautiful, dark chocolate brown color with a dense, foamy tan head which has excellent retention.

Aromas of caramel/toffee and fruit are very prevalent with the initial pour. As head slowly (and I mean slowly) fades, you cannot help but to keep your nose in it, further picking up the aroma of caramel, dates, and berries with some malt, but not as much as one would expect from a Trappist.

Still sniffing all the way up until it touches the tongue, one may taste the aromas described above, but also with a proper, mild bitterness. It feels smooth as it enters the mouth onto the tongue, then gently bites you in the back as you swallow.

The drinkabilty is superb, for it gets better and better with every sip and as it gradually warms, further enhancing the flavor. "Trappist" should be its own group on the food pyramid. Despite the cost and trouble to find it in the states, I wouldn't mind having one every day.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchasing this beer I knew good things were to come. I wanted everything to be correct before enjoying ie. temperature, glassware, timing...ect. I got the temperature down, suitable glassware, and I knew that everything was perfect, the stars were aligned. I put my first crack into the year old seal and foam started going everywhere. I was in shock and, as fate would have it, standing over a carpet, therefore the bottle neck went into the mouth. It's a laughable setback, one that I'll surely remember.
BB 03/02/11

Appearance:
The beer poured a perfect 1 inch light tan head that stuck around for approximately 5 minutes. A dense 1cm head was constant after that, the beer is clearly well carbonated. I observe fine particulate matter floating around the depths of a deep brown ale. The beer gives off a cola brown held up to the light, lacing is observable. The beer breaths life into my evening, it's makes me quite anxious for what's to come!

Smell:
The beer is different than your average Belgian. A different recipe or yeast character created a beer with complexity and a truly unique ale for my olfactory interpretation. I get notes of a raisin fruitiness and yeast culture funkiness. I am now wondering what to expect with the taste, but certain of its drinkability.

Taste:
Super rich and earthy with more intense notes of the raisin, tobacco, fig, and keytone. This beer is excellently balanced with a semi-sweet first sip and slightly dry finish. The beer is thick like a loaf of bread, yet light and airy like a slice cut from that loaf. The bread comes out more as you approach the yeast cloudiness lurking below. I appreciate the subtle changes in flavor as you work your way down, it gives the beer a smooth earthiness characteristic.

Mouthfeel:
The beer feels like a typical Belgian ale, it has richness with adequate funk to keep your senses guessing. I am still guessing as to what I feel in the beer's initial fruit presentation, but a semi-dry finish keeps me coming back for more. Well balanced flavors with a lot of intricacies that make it a definite palate pleaser.

Drinkability:
I have not experienced a beer quite like this, it is different than other dubbels I've had yet possesses recurrent similarities that make it unmistakably Belgian. The beer would pair nicely with a variety of foods because it offers complexity yet balance and therefore would not detract heavily. I liked the beer at a slightly cooler temperature (45-50 degrees Fahrenheit recommended), but I wonder how room temperature would have suited.

Photo of crnipeter
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml, BB date reads 12. November 2010, into 180 ml Chimay chalice. Up until today I've been waiting to open this one to enjoy the benefits of maturation. Pours effervescent, deep reddish coppery body with good clarity, topped by medium, beige dense head with good retention that gradually sets to a stable cloth. Nice lacing on the walls.
The nose is low maltiness dominated by fruity esters of plum, apple and raisins, light phenolic spiciness and apparent perfumy qualities probably originating from higher alcohols. Occasionally some extra sweetness emerges enhancing the perception of malt. The flavor is surprisingly unsweet, lacking prominent malt perception, estery with fruity tartness of plum, apple and raisins, light bitterness with moderately dry finish and some yeastiness. Light to medium bodied with rather high carbonation. A year of cellaring hasn't taken away much of the tartness (without diminishing the fruitiness) as I hoped for and which was the case with some previously tasted bottles.

In short: a rather dry, tart and estery dubbel with attractive reddish depth.

Update 12-28-2010:
This bottle has been aged a year over the declared best before date (18.December 2009).
A gusher, although once poured exhibits less effervescence than a year younger bottle tasted previous evening. Pour into baby-Chimay chalice (180 ml) gives birth to a deep amber-coppery clear body with some haze, overlain by beige head that completely dissipates in a short time. The aroma is rich and complex yet discrete malty sweetness with faint chocolaty notes, hint of caramel and light toastiness, abundant fruity esters of ripened plum and raisins, port-wine reminiscent qualities, some spicy phenolics and apparent higher alcohol-derived perfuminess. The flavor is complex malty sweetness with light toasty notes, plums & raisins lacking the prominent, almost berry-like tartness of a young Westmalle, light bitterness, some phenolic spiciness and yeasty notes. The malty sensation persists into the semi-dry finish. Nearly medium bodied with rather flat carbonation.
A year past its declared BB date, the Westmalle Dubbel is mainly distinguished from his above reviewed younger brother by more pronounced sweetness enhancing the malt-perception, absence of fruity tartness and poorly sustained head with less carbonated body. The scores for this one are 3, 4.5, 4, 2.5, 4 = 3,75

Photo of xylophonica
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a chalice.

A - Very dark with a thick caramel/sugary looking head. Big finger of cream on top.

S - Dark roasted malts and sugars. Hint of nuts.

T - Combination of bitterness offset with some sugar. Smooth but very dark. Touches of burnt caramel coming through as it warms. Slight phenolic hit as well.

M - Mild carbonation, floats gently around the mouth. The lingering creamy head helps it go down a treat.

D - Flavour is rather stronger than expected - not nearly as sweet as some other dubbels. Definitely no chocolate-type flavours here, only a touch of sweet sugar but dominated by a darker bock-style taste.

Photo of ivanwatling
2.68/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: dark brown, froffy head that rapidly reduces to a thin layer of white.

Aroma: Subdued but sweet and tempting. Hints of fruit.

Taste: Initially faintly fruity, then predominantly bitter. Perhaps too bitter for me, and slightly metallic.

Mouthfeel: Too much carbonation, make the drink far too actibe and detracts from the taste. Aftertaste is somewhat astringant.

Drinkability: Happy enough to finish the glass, but will not buy it again

My first evidence that not all trappist beers are nectar from God.

Photo of Samashley
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After recently acquiring a job bartending at a Belgian Bar in New York, I have been delighted with my exposure to new beers and with a full immersion of the Belgian styles. I have since taken a new favorite, Westmalle Dubbel. Everything about this beer is amazing. I love the mouthfeel and could drink this beer alone, with food, on a cold day, or in an alley and I would be happy. I feel that the carbonation combined with the subtle notes of chocolate and malt just make an explosion of flavor that surprised me the first time I drank one. I was a huge fan of the Triple and randomly tried the Dubbel and soon found a new favorite. The proper pour in the proper glass just gives me a happy feeling every time I return to it. Combine this with the traditional Belgian Carbonnades Flammandes for an exceptional dinner.

Photo of browna71
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a dark red-chestnut brown, two fingers of thick cream colored head that dissipated into a thin bubbly layer.

S- nutty, caramel malts, toffee. Smell is on the sweeter side for a dubbel

T- balanced malt and nutty flavors, very subtle toffee. Not as sweet as the smell would lead you to believe

M- well carbonated, but still provides a pleasant smooth mouthfeel, moderate body

D- very drinkable beer, one of my personal favorite dubbels. Well balanced, no overwhelming flavors, could definitely drink a few of these in one setting.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Next in the awesome box sent to me by CaptinRedBeard.

Corked and caged 750.

Poured reddish-brown, slightly cloudy, small rising bubbles, one finger head that dissipated into a sheen, pretty good lacing.

Smelled of dark fruits, raisins, plums and figs, roasted caramel malts, and nuts.

Lovely tasting brew. Not that typical of the dubbel style but still very nice. The dark fruits from the smell all come through nicely in the taste. A lightly nutty flavor is just barely present. Spices are very understated. Sweetness is low.

Finishes dry. Medium bodied and rich. Moderate carbonation that provides a bit of tang. Low bitterness. Warming. Very nice dubbel.

Drinks very well. I'll definitely have this one again.

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown color. Cloudy. Excellent head retention, with big bubbles.
S: Nutty, bit sweet, caramel, toffee. Clean for a dubbel.
T: Malt flavors of caramel and toffee in center stage. No bitterness. Medium intensity. Clean finish.
M: Medium body. Sweet. A bit flat for style. Finishes somewhat dry yet sweet.
O: A great dubbel that lacks the sharp, often peppery, spiciness of others in this style. Very drinkable with mild, pleasing flavors and dry-moderate finish. Malt is accentuated due to low spiciness for the style. My favorite dubbel at the moment.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #100!

750 mL bottle at 48* into a La Trappe chalice.

A: This pours a deep, murky mohagany color with a rocky, two-finger head that leaves great lacing.

S: The nose shows some medium-dark fruity esters, a mild roastiness, and some spicy earthy notes.

T: The taste consists of delicious candi sugar, sweet dark fruits, caramel, and a sinister blend of roastiness and eathy spice at the back end.

M: It has a medium-thick body with some prickly carbonation as well.

D: This is truly a gem and being the original "dubbel," it certainly sets a high bench-mark for what should be expected from the style.

Photo of AlexTheAleMan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is just good.

Poured into an authentic Westmalle Challice

Dark, dark brown with a good head that turns slowly to a tan layer on top of the beer. Not much lacing.

Smells slightly burnt and of caramel and chocolate. Molasses. call me crazy but i get a distinct sour cherry smell that i get from a lot of wines.

The sour cherry-esque smell is in the taste too and im ih heaven. There is a bit of a malty sweetness but this beer is pretty dry towards the end finishing with a slowly dissipating long lasting harmony of dark chocolate, fruits (dates?), and creaminess. In the middle there is a spike of an almost acidic fruity flavor of raspberries. Boozy considering it is only 7% It warms me up

Dang good mouthfeel. It has a creamy full feel in the mouth, very very rounded, nothing is poking at my mouth, just soft... oh so soft. Very carbonated, a massage of the tongue.

Pretty damn drinkable, i think i could handle a few more. this is however not a session beer.

Same yeast as westvleteren but a completely different beer, it would be fun to pick up one of these next time i get my hands on a westy and compare.

Photo of Snamnoum
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - murky dark brown in color. Two and a half frothy inches of beige head. Good retention and with substantial lace.

Smell - fruit, booze, and plenty of yeast.

Taste - big dried fruit up front and a hell of a lot of alcohol. Biscuity malt and bready yeast. Bananas. A touch of hop and bittersweet chocolate at the finish. Damn Good and perfect for a cold November day.

Mouthfeel - chewy/creamy, medium to heavy bodied with plenty of good carbonation.

Drinkability - pretty drinkable for the style. Not my favorite style but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth my purchase.

Photo of Swill5786
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with miles of rocky head. Lacing is spectacular. Fruity, citrusey hops dominate the nose. Dark fruit you'd expect in the style is there but subdued. Light waft of alcohol presence, but not at all overdone. Start is overwhelmingly carbonated. Sweet malt, fruity at the start. Alcoholic finish. Strong bready presence from the middle to the aftertaste. Not a bottle conditioned Trappist ale, but still strong yeast character. Medium to light mouthfeel - lighter than I expected. Highly drinkable!

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Stoffel in Tilburg, Netherlands. Served into Westmalle chalice. Ruby in color, pinky of foam. Thick, soapy lacing. Aroma is sweet with malts, dominated by raisin and molasses. Taste follows suit. Blends together many complex flavors and notes. Very easy to drink. An all time classic.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of albern
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was hoping for more from this beer. It certainly looks good. It pours a nice slighly hazy mahogany color with a nice creamy, slighlty foamy off white head. The beer laces like crazy. The nose is very Belgiany with candied sugars, sweet malty caramels, plenty of fruity esters.

The taste is just too coarse and prickly for my preference. I was hoping for a slightly smoother beer, but alas no. The yeasts really add a harshness that takes away the candied sugars, and Belgiany malts that I was looking forward to. The slighly burnt, coarse, prickly, banana and the slightly boozy pineapple flavors just don't blend all that well. The beer has a harsh cardamon spiciness that doesnt' play nice either. Where's the nice caramel malts, where's the candied sugars, where's the star anise? The beer settles in a bit as it warms and that helps. I'm still a bit disappointed with this beer.

Photo of shambeano
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip.

A- pours a dark ruby, with about 2 inches of thick fluffy head, that slowly dies down, lots of lacing.

S- sweet and spicy, whole bunch of pepper, clove, maybe a little cinnamon, also can smell a bit of alcohol mingling around in there too. nice!

T- first up you get the spice, again a bit peppery, a little bit of clove, and there's a touch of sweetness in there too. some yeastiness comes through pretty strongly on warming up.

M- very full and creamy, but then a prickly carbonation comes through, and the spicy end. Dry's the mouth out a tad at the end, but the spicyness lasts for a while.

D- given the full flavours and thicker creamy feel this one is suprisingly easy to drink, although best enjoyed as a slow sipper to allow all the flavours to come through and develop.

Photo of jlandis
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Westmalle Dubbel has a cloudy dark amber colour and an excellent head due to the excellent carbonation. The smell is nice: citrus and hops. The flavour is similar. You get citrus upfront into slightly bitter orange rind and hops. This beer is foamy and thick in the mouth. Nice, but not the best of this style.

Photo of Glory
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aah ! Trappist beers... the secrets and the cult behind every bottle...I heard Monks are the ones making the beer for their own consumption and for the community...Come on, really ? There's just no way Cistercian Monks are responsable for the massive production of Westmalle beers. The word on the street is that laities (professional Brewers) are the ones making the beer under monks supervision so they can reach production needs. I mean Westmalle is so big in Belgium, you can find it easier than Leffe ! Still is a good beer though.

So here I am again back from work and drinking beer and tonight I chose Westmalle. Poured in a trappist chalice glasse with a good healthy looking 1 centimeter head, this is a dark brown beer. A few bubbles rushing to the head and alot of sendiments du to the bottle fermentation.
This beer smells delicious. I get dried prunes and figs, notes of caramel and cardamom.

Before having a sip I think you should let it rest in the glasse for a few minutes and let some of the carbonation disband, this will help you appreciate the taste rather then having it hidden by to much carbonation.
This Westmalle dubbel is quite sweet at first but then you get the roasted grain bitterness that kicks in just right, my bottle has a good year of aging so I get a sort of rusty metalic taste on the tip of the tongue.
This is a good beer but not my favorite Trappistenbier.

Cheers lads

WS

Photo of trevorjn06
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red/brown with a massive off-white head of pillowy and tight bubbles. The head just sits there, it doesn't recedes for a few minutes and when it does it leaves heavy lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dark, rich fruits such as figs, raisins and blackberries, dark and burnt caramels, mild spice and herbal qualities and a very mild alcohol presence.

Flavor is not what I expected from my previous encounters with Dubbel. Overall it is brighter than I expected with a mild tartness on the finish. It does follow the nose a bit with sweet malts, bread, dark caramel, lots of fruitiness as peaches, berries, figs and some mild citrus. Toward the finish there is a mild tartness that cuts through the overall sweetness. Lingering flavors are cherries, plums, peaches and caramel.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation.

Overall this beer is very easy to drink and has a wonderful complexity. I can't wait to drink this again.

Photo of pburland23
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had Westmalle on tap in Belgium several years ago, but am trying and reviewing a bottled version.

Poured from a bottle into a chalice.

Pours a deep, dark reddish-brown color with a subtle off-white head with good retention. Leaves a pleasing amount of lacing.

The smell is all Belgium. Malty and spicy. The taste follows suit. I'm picking up some fruity flavors...apricots and pears as well as some spices...cloves maybe? Regardless, this beer tastes great. It's well balanced and the carbonation holds through the serving producing an enjoyable drinking experience.

At 7% abv, you can definitely enjoy a few of these in a sitting. All in all, an exceptional world class beer that can drank and enjoyed over and over again.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep brown with garnet hi lights. A big foamy head like merange and appears to be nicely carbonated.
Sweet malt with a nice fruitiness about it.
Sweet malt taste like the aroma, with candied sugar, plums and dates. I'm not picking up much in way of hops. Bitter at end with a dry finish.
Body wise I thought it felt a little thin around the edges but I'm not overly concerned.
A very good tasting beer that gains in flavor as it warms. Nice lacing from the always present head.
Cellar worthy
I deem this beer good to the last drop.
Drink well my friends.

Photo of emsroth
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sample 1 of my tour of dubbels

330ml bottle

App: Dark brown with some ruby that is completely opaque. Huge frothy head.

Smell: Caramel, dark honey and berries, chocolate, and a touch of licorice.

Taste: Certainly something good going on here. Not overwhelming, but firm and full. Strong carbonation does cover some of the flavors present, but the taste is still good. Some fruitiness, some toast and husk. Ends dry and herbal, but a bit of the tobacco flavor I do not love.

Full body from the strong, tight carbonation. A bit rough going down. I do love high carbonation, but this stuff is intense.

Photo of RustythePelican
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice with a dark brown, almost maroon, hue with a tight but small head. I made the mistake of cooling this one too much - it is definitely under the 45-50 degree recommended serving temperature, so I warmed it by holding the glass for a while. The smell is sweet, but not "sugary", if that makes any sense. The smell is not overwhelming, quite subtle, actually, with hints of ripe figs and dates.

This tastes, as expected, like a dubbel, with a slightly smokey or peaty finish that betrays its sweet scent. The 7% ABV remains well hidden, with the exception of a slight alcohol bite on the finish as it warms up. It's solid, yet doesn't quite measure up to my favorite dubbel, St. Bernardous Pater 6.

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
93 out of 100 based on 2,284 ratings.