1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,312 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,312
Reviews: 1,135
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 147
Gots: 242 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,312 | Reviews: 1,135 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chrysostom
4.88/5  rDev +17%
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.

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

If someone asked you to sum this beer up in one word, what would it be? For me: turtle. You know, those huge gobs of pecan, caramel and chocolate you get at roadside tourist stops and munch on the way to your real destination. Simple, right?. But if you gave me two words, well then, I might say smoked cherries. That wouldn't be enough though, would it? Then I would have to say cedar shavings and cypress knees and forest honey and Spring straw

berries.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.86/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Westmalle Dubbel has a thick, fizzy, beige head, and a dark, red-brown appearance, with lots of bubbles and nice lacing left behind. The appearance is not too hazy, until one swishes the bottom contents and pours in the sediment. The aroma is rich, fruity, candy-like, malty, and winy. The taste is sweet, fruity, herby, and somewhat bitter. Dark fruits abound with this. Mouthfeel is medium and not really thick, and Westmalle Dubbel finishes mostly dry, fruity, and even refreshing. The drinkability is pretty easy with this one. Overall, this is an outstanding beer.

RJT

Photo of AdamMY
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a remarkable beer, darker than I would normally expect a Dubbel to be, but with a lot to show for it. I guess let me talk about where I took off points, The appearance was a bit too cloudy for what I've come to expect. While the smell was good but slightly muted.

But the taste is wonderful with cocao and coffee notes, but not nearly as over bearing as Stouts and Porters usually are with those flavors. With an amazingly creamy mouth feel, and no off notes anywhere in my experience with the beer. Absolutely wonderful.

Photo of acevenom
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy reddish brown with a tan head that retains well. Plenty of lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is sweet and of chocolate and maybe a bit of fig. The first sip feels creamy. I pick up flavors of roasted malts, sugar and fig. The finish is a bit dry and there's a mild spiciness to it. The flavor profile is well balanced. It's not too sweet. It's not too dry. The carbonation is definitely present, but it's not overwhelming. This hides its alcohol content very well and the mouthfeel is medium. Overall, this is an excellent beer.

Photo of The_Grantula
4.84/5  rDev +16.1%

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

A: poured into a triple goblet glass with a hard pour at 40F, got a little head, and its lacing stuck to the walls and is lasting a long while.
Brown in color with some cloudiness because I poured it yeast and all.

S: plum like grapes, some leather overtones. sweet malt, rock candy sweetness, great balance with the hops, mild alcohol hits the nose as it warms up. Very complex what can you say its a Trappist they are all complex beers.

T: very rich and complex plum flavor, with rock candy sweetness, you get the malt and yeast flavors, great hop to malt balance, but none of them overpower the beer as it should be. not to sweet but it is a Dubbel. Great stuff

M: smooth and creamy, medium body, nice carbonation

D: easy to drink 3 or 4 of these but you will be a tad tipsy at the end, at least I was.

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

Westmalle Dubbel (AGED: circa 1980s) (Rating 9.5/10) - 6.5 ABV - 16 August 2007

2 days ago I had a Westmalle Dubbel which appears to be from the 90s and I felt that it was past its prime but perhaps that may not be the case. More important would be how the beer had aged over time. This Dubbel from the 80s (or maybe 90s?) had no label on the bottle;
in place was a extrusion of the "ABDU WESTMALLE" text. There was also no sludge and no sediments during the pour at all. The only sign of age is the little "ring" on the bottle neck where the beer level is before pouring. The underside of the cap was intact; the one I had 2 days ago had slight rust though not in the main area of the cap but still it was not looking too good. This aged Westmalle poured out dark ruby brown like any Westmalle Dubbel but without any head; all that was present was a nice ring lacing; no sediments at all. It smells of strong fruits (mainly plums and raisins) and also the typical Westmalle smell. It tasted strongly of plums, raisins and very subtle yeastiness and very slight bitterness on the finish. The entry had a certain alcohol strength which I could fully appreciate and it was backed with a strong dark fruity entry as well. The body was not as thick as I would have liked but this entry
strength as well as the very apt level of carbonation topped things out and it is not thin nor even the slightest watered down which was what I felt about the 1990s vintage which I tried 2 days ago. It was very smooth as well and I really enjoyed it. The after taste was lasting; way more lasting than the one I had 2 days ago and the fruits involved are again typical of the Westmalle Dubbel: Plums, dark grapes, Raisins and maybe other dark fruits like dates, etc; very fruity and tasty. Of course the entire package is all mellow and pleasant but not detracting from the strength and character that is of essence for a trappist ale. I think this
beer held up very well over the years and I can really appreciate it. Proper aging is of essence; seems to me the 90s vintage I had 2 days ago was badly aged.


Westmalle Dubbel (AGED: circa 1990s) (Rating 9/10) - 6.5 ABV - 14 August 2007

This is an aged Westmalle Dubbel, with the older cap as well; this is probably my first old beer. I estimate that it is from the 90s but I am not too sure. The bottle was a little hard to crack and when I got it off I immediately smell a strong fruity aroma comprising of dark fruits like plums, grapes, etc. The pour left a slightly less than 1 finger stable creamy head which stayed for quite a bit. The smell was a very strong fruity smell and so was the taste but it was not as strong as I would expect it to be. Fruity notes like plums and grapes are definitely more pronounced with its age and the yeasty notes on the finish were really light and subtle. The taste is very mellow and soothing and generally very identifiable as the Westmalle taste from my previous experiences with the Westmalle Dubbel. I think the fruitiness may be a little stronger than the 2003 or 2004 vintage version that I had but in terms of mouthfeel it seems to be falling short as the body has became thin and is probably between medium to light body which makes it feel a little watered down. Had the body been thicker, it would probably have been lovely but I guess at this age, this Westmalle may be a little past its prime but I
am not really sure, to be honest. The after taste was strong and fairly lasting but not as lasting as I would like it to be. Something that made me feel a little uncomfortable was the sludge that formed in the bottle itself along with the sediment flakes. I had the flakes scooped up before I drank the beer. I guess it is normal to have these flakes around specially at that age but I guess I would do without it. :)

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 TheBishop
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It took me more then a year to get this beer (and the Tripel) here in central Montana, finally got the local distributor to deliver. Maybe other places one can go out to the local store and get one, but not here. So here we go.

My first one that I tried, foamed out over my counter, ended up with about 5 ounces of drinkable beer (clearly mishandled). The second one however poured perfectly into my Chalice.

Good head, fairly dark, in appearance not that spectacular but good. Smell was exceptional. Taste was nothing else I have tasted, smooth but complex. Nothing short of incredible, worth the wait. I would give up sex to drink this beer.

Photo of jneiswender
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours is very cloudy brown body and a nice tan head

The smell is of orange marmalade and Clay

The taste is smooth chalky earthy with some nice malt and fruit

Very will carbonated and somewhat full

A wonderful beer well-crafted and keeping with its style very enjoyable for flavor yet thirst quenching

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

It's a runoff between the Westie and the St. Bernardus Abt 12 in my book, but I think the Westie eeks out ahead. It is perfectly balanced, with subtle fruit tones in the bouquet. Unlike Corsendonk's wine-like aftertaste, the Westmalle leaves you savoring its complexity and wanting more. Be sure to air it out, as it gains more character just below cellar temp. Also, be sure to serve it in the proper glassware... presentation and aroma are everything with a beer this good. Definately a cost-wise alternative to Abbaye des Rocs' offerings.

Photo of boldcity2008
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured into a triple goblet glass with a hard pour at 40F, got a little head, and its lacing stuck to the walls and is lasting a long while.
Brown in color with some cloudiness because I poured it yeast and all.

S:plum like grapes, some leather overtones. sweet malt, rock candy
like, no hops, mild alchol hits the nose as it warms up

T: very rich and complex plum flavor, with rock candy sweetness, you get the malt and yeast falvors, little or no hops, but its nice and balanced out. not to sweet but it is a dubbel.

M: creamy, medium body, nice carbonation

D: easy to drink but the abv does sneak up on yea.

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

The bottle says 7% ABV and is good until 8/19/05. Of course, it won't survive until then... ;-)

Pours out to an explosive head that threatened to overflow like a volcano into a reddish, almost mahogany color in the glass. The head is a light brown and is looks good enough to eat. The aroma is light with a fruit smell present. What a fantastic taste. The spice level is just right, with plums, raisins and malt coming to the forefront with just a twinge of spice. The yeast used must be interesting, indeed. Not as strong or "heavy" as I was expecting, but seeing as its 7% ABV and not 9 or 10+ tells me why, which leads to its incredible drinkability.

World class.

Photo of Dandub33
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of bluesfan1181
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a goblet.

A - Has a dark brown, ruby red color with an eggshell color 2 finger head. Lots of bubbles streaming from the bottom.

S - Dark fruits and cherries with yeasty, bread notes. Some fig, cloves, and toffee detected. Alcohol is in there too.

T - A slight hop bitterness on the front, The middle is all plum, raisins, cherries, figs, and yeast. Blends together beautifully. The back has a slight alcohol burn with a red wine dryness.

M - Medium mouthfeel, that is very creamy. Carbonation is very good due to bottle conditioning.

Overall, a trappist monastery in Belgium shines again. This is one of my new favorites for the style. Second behind Rochefort 8 for me. Haven't had Westy 8 to compare so this is second in my book.

Photo of Pisstank52
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a very drinkable Trappist and I enjoyed it very much. Excellent head and lacing. Aroma reminded me of a warm summer day laying in a field of summer flowers. Fresh and pure and thanking God your alive. It has spirt and lets you know your not drinking some light beer of ordinary taste. It will awaking your tastebuds and make you feel like the warm sun is shinning on you. Can't say enough about it , just try it and see.

Photo of Bytor31
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tja0422
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

lots of flavor (mostly fruity)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Hazy dark brown with a large tan head that gives you a good lace
S-Spices light pepper, banana sweetness, roasted malts and caramel
T-sweet roasted caramel at first with a spice background that gives you a nice hop bitterness in the aftertaste, then finishes with a warming and great balance of all the flavors
M- full carbonation
O-The balance makes this one of the best I have had this year, I always enjoy dubbels

Photo of Shiredave
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Best before date on bottle : 10 / 07.

The color is dark amber with a light tan colored head that kicks up easily when the ( Westmalle) chalice is swirled. Head receeds quickly to a whispy film leaving small spatters of lace.

Sweet, subtle malt aromas of chocolate and dark candy sugar, ripe melon and raisins along side some faint phenolic yeast notes and a hint of alcohol that all blend perfectly - wonderfully clean and subdued. Not at all pungent or cloying.

Rich fruity flavors of cherrys and figs and dark candy sugar flood the mouth. Smooth, medium bodied with soft carbonation, absolutely delicious grain flavors of sugar glazed brown bread crust balanced by an earthy hop spiciness in the background. Alcohol lingers even further back in the shadows, adding to the lush complexty of taste sensations.

Balance, balance balance. Predominantly a malty beer, the balance is still exceptional, with just enough bittering hop stepping forward in the finish to be pleasingly dry, just enough alcohol to be mildly warming and exceedingly drinkable.
Those Belgian Monk guys sure know what they're doin!

2-22-08 - Vintage review.
7-20-06 best before date.

Huge 3 in. tan head over a clear garnet brown beer. Slow, tiny carb bubbles rise from the etched "D" in the Duvel glass. Slumps to volcano of dense, sticky foam with sheets of lace. *4.5

Aromas are sweet and phenolic - smokey alcohol notes behind burnt chocolate and cooked figs. Not as rich and fruity as a fresher bottle.
*3.5

Flavors are all but washed away - somewhat watery light fruity notes are in the background - not up front as in a younger bottle. Faint chocolate notes and a firm and tasty grassy hop flavor dominates with a pastey oxidized sharpness. Warm, mildly alcoholic bitter finish. *4

Body is remarkably light - certainly less than medium bodied with a quaffability not found in a richer, more full bodied fresh bottle.
* 3.5

Overall, still a very nice beer with excellent drinkability and delicious hoppy finish. less complex and fruity than newer examples but still a great beer - just a little less so. My lesson learned is dont age this one ( only 7%) too much longer than the bottle date suggests.
*4.5

Overal I think this scores a 4.0.

Photo of liquidnoise
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the first trappist beer I've tried. Had it today.

Poured out dark, with an unusual brown head. I could see the yeast swimming around at the bottom of my glass as I chose not to filter it.

The smell was the only thing less than magnificant. It didn't really have much of a smell. But the faint smell was fruity and very appealing.

It tasted like fruit and maybe some chocolate thrown in the mix. Nothing low quality about this one.

The mouthfeel wasn't too watery, wasn't too heavy. It was just perfect.

This is definately a premium beer for the connoisseur, appropriate to be enjoyed with a gourmet meal or on a special occasion.

Photo of AlexJ
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. The beer pours into my Achel chalice a ruddy, chestnut brown. A mighty dome of craggy, wheat-hued head holds it's ground for a long time, gradually settling into a thin cap, lacing all the way down.

Aromas of creamy malts, raisens, dates, yeasty bread, and vineous grapey must tantilize my senses. There is an underlying sense of barnyard funkiness that I find immeasurably appealing.

Initially sweet tasting with dark, ripe fruits, malty creaminess, and sweet, yeast bread. Clove and cinnamon spice from the yeast further the complexity. There's a bit of banana and bubble-gum in here too. Alcohol is smooth and undetectable.

Body is medium and thirst quenching, easy carbonation, creamy texture. Finish with some dry, oaky sherry notes and spicy hops. A delightful dubbel in every respect. A benchmark of the style!

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy, super dark chocalte amber. Phenomenal head never goes away.

Smell: Very tempting mix of caramel and lavender, with very spicy undertones.

Taste: Complex as hell. Sweet and port-like. Caramel, lavender, plum with a little anise on the finish. Floral notes come in as it warms. Incredible.

Mouthfeel: Really creamy. This is a very rich beer that has better legs than most cabernets. On that same note, it did get a little sticky after the swallow.

Drinkability: Great brew, phenomenal with dessert. Offers many surprises as she warms up.

Photo of joesc230
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this tasty Trappist on tap in Brussels and also get it bottled in NJ. In either case, it is one of my favorite beers. From the taste to the appearance, I love this beer. Smooth and very drinkable, not very strong but not weak either (the perfect medium). Highly recommended!

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
93 out of 100 based on 2,312 ratings.