Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,149 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

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Reviews: 1,149
Hads: 2,439
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 169
Gots: 331 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,149 | Hads: 2,439
Photo of merlin48
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very carefully into a goblet, still produces a large, billowy beige head on top of a mahogany body. Nice Belgian aroma of vanilla, prunes, bananas, coriander, and allspice. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, and silky. Taste begins with a spicy, earthiness. Plenty of dark fruits like raisins and figs are in a constant battle with the yeasty woodiness, and spice array. Sheets of Belgian lace are all over the goblet. Alcohol is concealed very well. Seems overly carbonated for a Belgian Dubbel, or maybe it's my imagination. Very nicely balanced, otherwise, and another fine, smooth, satiny, Belgian dubbel ale that is ideal on a cold winter evening. (656 characters)

Photo of Sixpack595
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highly carbonated, providing a huge head, and releasing a very nice caramel aroma with underlying dark fruits. The flavor is very complex begining with chocolate before a spicy middle and followed by a cherry finish. Very interesting with many more flavors than I can hope to name, but not nearly as good as I had hoped. (320 characters)

Photo of proc
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
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. (672 characters)

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

This beer exploded with a frothy head, I should have poured more carefully. I am new to this style of beer, but I am very impressed , as I should be for 5 dollars a single. Appearance is deep ruby with a yeasty haze and a thick, overwhelming head. Very bubbly. Smells fruity and intense. Taste is mostly of tart cherry, grape and raisin with a bit of nuttiness and alcohol warmth. Complex and bursting with great flavor. Mouthfeel could be silkier but altogether everything wet together to make a very enjoyable beer. I am hiding one in the basement to try in a few years. (572 characters)

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

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

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

Photo of Dogbrick
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark copper to light bronze body that seems occluded and yeasty. The finely packed foam head is a lovely ivory tone and laces quite beautifully. The nose is loaded with caramel malts, spiciness, and fruit sense; very nicely aromatic.

Flavors of caramel, light chocolate, fruity esters, and yeast sprites. Plenty of nice, coarse complexity. Smooth full body and crisp edges at the finish. Wonderfully drinkable and enjoyable. (429 characters)

Photo of Wildman
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark red color and formed an off white thick foamy head that left circular lace when it finally subsided. A medium amount of carbonation and some sediment present. An aroma of malt and fruit with a trace of bread/yeast. A flavor of malt, and some fruit, but the presence of the alcohol overpowers it. The finish is light for the style and sprite. Not as good as the tripel they make. (402 characters)

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

Pours very deep maroon with very bright highlights. Almost gelatinous it so thick. Small white head ebbs quickly but excellent carbonation is evident. Oodles of yeasties despite very careful pour.
Aroma is complex malts, raisins, figs, orange peel, coriander and spicy yeastiness. Flavor is so very Belgian, so very Trappist. Sweet malts, with toffee most dominant, loads of dark fruit, loads of spice, lightly bitter back end.
Mouthfeel is truly excellent, balance and variety is a treat for the palate.
Truly amazing beer, really sets the standards for dubbels to follow. (579 characters)

Photo of Andreji
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

to sum up my position here, a priori, If I were to choose between the two westmalles, this wouldn't be my pick.

It is a very good beer however. brought to me directly from Belgium by friends, it gave it even a more sentimental feel to it.

The pour, dark caramel/toffee coloured, with a thick white/tan head that, evidently yeasty, stays longer than expected and certainly leaves lots of lacing, dense lacing. The smell, nice and wheaty with some aged feel to it, is very suggestive about the taste

...or so I thought. The taste is a milder version of the Tripel which, sadly enough, leaves great blends of wheaty/malty tastes aside, on the background of an overwhelming alcoholy feel that, as for my perspective, really lets the experience a bit down when analyzing it thoroughly- if possibly in more than one bottle alone.

Nevertheless, a nice brew worth buying. (877 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i'm really starting to dig the abbey dubbel style more and more. this one pours a cloudy ruby colour with an off-white, moderate sized head that lasts but settles in quite quickly to a thinner head. smells of alcohol, caramel, grapes, cherries, all with a hint of maltiness. the malt is more dominant in the taste along with the caramel, but the other smells are present in taste here as well and present a nice balance which ends with a slightly dry hop finish. this is quite a smooth brew that is creamy but has a bit of a bite from the carbonation at the end. quite enjoyable. (579 characters)

Photo of saltydog
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
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! (290 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown color. Large head, foamy and rich. Aromas are malts, fruity, hint of banana, plums, yeasts and brown sugar. A medium bodied dubbel. Malts are rich and fruity, with chocolate and toffee tones. Yeasty and malty. Nicely balanced. A surprisingly dry dubbel. The dryness balances and highlights the fruity sweetness. Interesting effect. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. (421 characters)

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

Pours a dark brown, large beige head that mainly lasts and leaves good lacing. Aroma is lightly malty, some dough, banana, and some caramel and honey. Flavor is quite sweet at the start, more fruity in the middle, and ending is dry. Medium-full bodied. (252 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the tap room across from the Abbey.

There is something about being able to sample beer from a goblet on Sunday morning as Mass has just ended.

This beer was quite dry and at first not nearly as complex as I was expecting. The color was solidly amber without much in the way of haze. As it warmed up a bit it began to open up and show what it had to offer. It picked up a hint of sweetness which helped to boost the malt perception. There was a bit of raisin the mouth as well as a finish that was sweet from the alcohol. The aroma too had an alcohol component to it as well as a bit of woodiness. Quite estery tasting without being particularly fruity tasting. There seemed to be some higher alcohols in here as well. (734 characters)

Photo of Admiraldinty
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Pours a deep mahogany with a gigantic frothy tan head. (I used a brandy snifter since I don't have a chalice). Caramel, fruity aroma. The one thing that struck me about the taste of this beer is that it's extremely comforting for some reason. Figgy, fruity taste with understated chocolate tones. The mouthfeel is out of this world. It's just so smooth. While this isn't one to pound down night after night, this beer is just so drinkable. I'm seriously in Heaven drinking this beer. Spectacular. (501 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I managed to resist temptation somewhat successfully and age this bottle for about one year before succumbing. Right from the crack of the cap, the beer gives off a pleasant sweet prune-like aroma, undergirded by a distinctively Belgian yeasty maltiness. This dubbel is quite an attractive beer -- deep mahogany in color with a thin, light tan head. The flavor starts off quite sweet, characterized largely by a deep, figgy fruitiness. Combined with the bready body, this gives me the (not unpleasant) impression of Fig Newtons. Toward the end, light chocolatey and toasty notes are noticeable in the background, and the beer finishes with a mild alcohol spiciness. Quite full and body, and luxuriously creamy in mouthfeel. Very, very yummy. (741 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (1,455 characters)

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

Small brown bottle. Neck stamped 'trappist" Cool beans. An agressive pour yeilds a glug glug glug exit from the bottle, and an murky brown color, with a fluffy bubbly biege head that settled to a thin covering very quickly. Lots of candied fruits on the smell, carmelized like the bottom of bananas foster. Super smooth taste, more candied fruit, carmel and bananas. Rum soaked cherries. Little hints of spices, cinammon, etc. Very good, flavor soaked yeasty belgian goodness. Hints of bitterness on the finish, just ever so dry. Very smooth and drinkable. A real treat. This one came compliments of the BelgianBum ! (616 characters)

Photo of ADR
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A good one to rate right after the New Belgium Abbey...best before May 05, 2004...

Opaque cinnamon brown, big head of fine carbonation and dark yeasty patches. String and punctuation mark laces. Slight red wine aroma, mixed with a semi-sweet chocolate and yeastiness. Quite complex and less sweet than many Dubbels -- raisins, grapes, and currants are noticeable and subside into a smoother maltiness to finish. Nice yeasty mustiness lingers past the swallow. Fruit is astringent (i.e. not peach or pear like) and this one is as dry a brew as I've had in this style. A really fine example with great variety, and a different and impressive take on the style.

Source: Liquid Solutions (689 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 8 March 2003 at Pizza Port's Belgian beer fest. I am writing this review from my notes. This is a dark brown beer with a lot of fizz in the head. The aroma is full of chocked fruit with notes of chocolate & brown sugar. All in all an enjoyable trappist. (275 characters)

Photo of Jon
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby-brown color with a huge beige head. Excellent head retention leads to excellent lacing down the glass. Nose includes hints of sweet malt, spices and chocolate. Notes of the sweet malt, very subdued hops, yeast and raisins introduce themselves to the palate. This is a very well balanced dubbel, perhaps the best I've tried so far. The alcohol is definitely there, but hard to pinpoint. Definitely worth seeking out. (428 characters)

Photo of daledeee
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice distinct bottle. Pours a beautiful dark brown and a nice tan head. The head goes away. Not much lace. Some vanilla and malt in the nose. Good carbonation malt, chocolate, hint of fruit. More hops than a lot of Belgians. The finish is different and overall the beer comes off as a little watery. Musky, hoppy. This is very good beer. (337 characters)

Photo of drewbage
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Bottle 11.2oz Brown Bottle with collar)

Beer pours deep leather brown with rubyish highlights and a low tan head that remains despite the alcohol.

Aroma is dense with chocolate covered cherries and plums. Cinnamon spices mingle with the alcohol to finish.

The flavor mirrors the aroma with dried cherry and chocolate and some leather tones in the fore palate. The beer quickly transitions into cinnamon and clovey spices. The beer finishes with a brown sugar smack and a warming glow of alcohol in the throat. (519 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
2.05/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I paid 99 Euro cents for this in Amsterdam:) Just bought a bottle here in 2010 for $5.99. Re-reviewed 8/10 because I'll soon be brewing a westy 12 clone with the Westmalle yeast (Wyeast 3787)

Lightly cloudy dark brown brew forms a HUGE head, despite a very careful pour. When heads are this obnoxious I start subtracting points. Even after the pour, the head continues to rise for a few minutes. The head is airy, with a sea-foam consistency, and is dark beige in color atop medium-sized bubbles. Retention is excellent (there is a delicate espresso crema atop the brew at the bottom of the glass) and lacing is sparse. Carbonation is very strong, forming streamers of bubbles. Aroma is pungent with rotting cherries, Belgian Dark candi sugar syrup, cola, clove, bananas, musk-melon, and eternity for women eau du toilette. Mouthfeel is spritzy and cloying and ends in a wet newspaper oxidized mustiness. Medium body. Taste begins with strong phenols, which become stronger over time, morphing into a menagerie of semi-harsh alcohols. There is a brief glimpse of earthen malts about halfway through. The finish is unpleasant...the odd alcohols are actually bitter in the finish less so than the oxidized bittering hops and there is a ruddy, chemical mouthfeel. There is a lingering buttery sweetness on the gums. The alcohol warms the gullet, but gives me a sick feeling to my stomach. The brew is tolerable after sitting to room temperature, mellowing the carbonation and alcohol, and accentuating the malts. Despite this, the beer is at odds with itself and is not very enjoyable. It's hard to finish this brew.

If I had to sum it up, it tastes like spritzy newspaper soaked in cola and smeared with butter and cherry jam. I love dubbels and have had hundreds of them, but honestly, this is probably one of the worst that I've had. (1,836 characters)

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