1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel - Brouwerij Westmalle

Not Rated.
Westmalle Trappist DubbelWestmalle Trappist Dubbel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,063 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,063
Reviews: 1,113
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 114
Gots: 150 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,063 | Reviews: 1,113 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewMan82
BrewMan82

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber/orange. Nice 3 finger off-white head. Aroma is grapey and alcohol, without much detectable malt or hop character. This one is very highly carbonated - went crazy in my mouth - very light and fizzy on the tongue. Tasted fruity and sugary, with an alcohol tinge. Finished smooth and easy - took me more than a few minutes to drink this to try and unravel the flavors.

*this is one of my first belgian brews - excuse my lack of experience in this area.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 20:31:49 | More by BrewMan82
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond

Oregon

3.05/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like I get to be a party pooper on this one, but not everything brewed by trappist monks in Belgium is worthy of high praise. The Dubbel starts out teaming with a volatile effervescence. A tall tan head on a ruddy brown body yields a delicate aroma of lager-like malts and garden herbs. Of course, this brew is otherwise not remotely lager-like.

The taste is frail and simplistic, not the complex tapestry of exotica I frequently anticipate from the monks. The flavor never reaches any dominant culminations of the customary brewing dimensions. There are no great overtures to sweetness, bitterness, citrus, or spice. The finish is actually somewhat drab.

I drank this beer within the posted freshness date and noted no telltale signs of spoilage. I can only conclude that on the whole this is a rather ho-hum brew from the good brothers at Westmalle whose reputation for excellence is not upheld by this rather uninspired twice-fermented ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 03:44:34 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of oggg
oggg

California

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

Sampled from the 330ml bottle. Date 19/08/05 on the back label.

Poured into my red wine glass with a boldly cascading tan head that grew to 3 inches with a nice pour. It subsided with crackles and pops to a thick creamy luxurious delicate layer over the beer. The beer is ruby tinted deep brown.

The mild aroma is of generic fruit, raisin, cinnamon, and a soft spiciness (the hops?).

As I sip away at this lovely brew, it tries to defy my attempts to put it down on paper. It's so ephemeral and subtle and different. Where to start? It begins with thick and chewy, loud and plain chocolate. It's fairly sweet to start, but a dryness crescendos into a bitterness that isn't quite hop bitterness nor burnt astringency. The dryness is tailed by warming alcohol, but then it fades to leave a syrupy coating in the mouth. This is earthy with generic fruity esters, maybe of melon. As I sip on, the bitterness lingers a little bit longer and cuts down on the syrupy finish. Carbonation level is on the mild side, which is perfect (the Belgian bottles I've been trying have been on the high side).

These Belgian ales are all so different. The dubbel and trippel classifications don't even tell you that much. Just be ready to sit and sip and enjoy. This one is definitely a winner.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2004 03:42:02 | More by oggg
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a huge frothy beige head with a translucent reddish brown body.

The nose was a mix of phenols, sugar, brown sugar, raisons, plums, chocolate, earth, grass, very light alcohol and soft fruit. There was an overall sweetness to it, but simply a classic dark belgian aroma.

The taste starts soft and very mellow. Medium bodied, smooth and rather creamy. It continues with a more pronounced bitterness. It’s in your face but perfectly mellowed at the same time. Tastes of brown sugar, wheat, rich malt, phenols, soft caramel, chocolate, earth, cork, wood and some grass. There’s no pronounced alcohol to this beer, but it really sneaks up on you quickly after a few minutes.

Really a superb dubbel. This is simply the blue print by which all other dubbels are based. I could drink this all day long.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2004 08:51:28 | More by taez555
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.05/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The packaging may have set me up to expect too much. Raised embossed bottle, with paper label overlay probably to meet export label standards - the hallmarks of a quality imported Belgian ale. I suppose I've come to expect all Belgian Trappists to be really good beers, so this was a letdown when it came in at a bit above average. The flavor was rather blunt and simple - not much in the way of spicyness or depth of the malt and yeast interplay. Some rough, dark orchard fruit and a bit of caramel to the malt. Sharply fizzy, with good head retention.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2004 14:49:32 | More by Brent
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle – Poured a red/brown quite opaque brew with a huge head with standard retention. Great carbonation with strong body. Aroma is very spicy with no alcohol noticeable. Taste is great with the usual Belgian style mix of malts and hops with some added roastiness to that one. The spice mix is a bit stronger then expected but overall very enjoyable. Overall, this is a good beer but I was expecting something greater from this well known Trappist.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2004 17:55:26 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

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

This beer pours a dark brown color with a nice fluffy head and leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma was yeasty with fruits and caramel. The flavor was quite sweet and filled with caramel tones. I had higher expectations for this. It's a great beer, but it can't hold ground against others in the same category.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2004 20:02:07 | More by clvand0
Photo of chaduvel
chaduvel

Massachusetts

4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We finally can get this again in the US. The last time I had this was on tap in London. Anyway. This one is a nice dark brown color with a dense tan head. Smell is dense and of bready malts and fruity esters mixed with some yeast and sugar. Taste is incredibly smooth with touches of vanilla, chocolate, and great Belgian yeasts. Amazing. One of my favorite beers. Goes great with moules and frites.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2004 23:03:52 | More by chaduvel
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy ruby brown, a soft chocolate color. A swift two fingers of white head slips away almost instantly. Brussels lacing graces the sides of the glass as it drains.

A toasted malt note takes first watch in the aroma, then stands next to a distant chocolate impression. A light berry undercurrent holds hands with a yeasty doughiness at the finish.

On first sip, a roasted malt grain character makes the initial assertion, complete with a baked-crust biscuit presence. A gentle, somewhat vague fruit note builds in the middle along with a distant yeast tartness and a mild current of spice. The sturdy malt backbone surfaces again toward the end, along with a mellow cooked grain earthiness that carries through to the finish.

Medium bodied, the maltiness lends an almost tangibly chewy texture which slides away slowly after coating well.

The flavor here is a simple smooth blend of basic tasty elements. The malt goes through a progression of flavor phases, and they end up leaving a very good impression overall. At the same time, and in a smaller way, the simplicity doesn't do a lot to make it stand out. Drinking it is easy enough, and certainly not disappointing, yet I'm just okay with the idea of having another, not all moony faced and ga-ga. In a nutshell, I'm not floored, but there's nothing that puts a true black mark on its permanent record, so let's face it, it's not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2004 18:02:01 | More by Foxman
Photo of Boilermaker88
Boilermaker88

California

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Carlsbad Pizza Port 12 Hour Belgian Beer Festival. Had a cloudy brownish color and a creamy light tan head which left behind spidery lacing. The nose was sweet mainly; of raisins and plums, caramel, bready malt, and a slight spiciness.
The taste was sweet throughout, with little counterbalancing hops. Lots of candy sugar, caramel, overripe plums and raisin flavors up front. A decent yeasty malt backbone. A mild herbal hops finish. Just a touch of spice but nothing to impact the heavy fruitiness that’s prevalent from start to finish. The feel was medium-bodied and creamy.
Westmalle’s dubbel is a nice brew that’s pretty easy to drink but the rather heavy sweetness wouldn’t have me drinking much more than one before I’d feel kinda full. All in all, a good beer but I expected a bit more balance.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2004 20:41:07 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark burgandy / brown color with a 3" thick head. The head receded to the surface in a few minutes. The aroma was great as caramel, yeast, bread, and light fruit were leaping from the glass. The flavor was also great as the what was sensed by the nose was matched by the tongue with the addition of raisins and plums.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a dry finish. The caramel and bread tones last long on the tongue after swallowing. The alcohol not noticebale at all. This is an exceptional drinking dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2004 00:20:28 | More by Gavage
Photo of mickeymac
mickeymac

California

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Lucky Baldwin's Belgian Festival. It's a somewhat murky brown with traces of red. Ripe fruit is present in the smell and taste. Althought it's a very nice beer, my expectations were a bit elevated and the taste didn't quite come through like expected. Everything works nicely together, but it's not a world-beater.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2004 06:23:35 | More by mickeymac
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330m brown bottle, with raised glass stamped "westmalle" around the neck.

Upon opening, the beer froths out of the bottle in a volcanic like action, pouring a dark bodied beer with an amber head which last for several minutes.

Medium carbonation levels, carmelly taste with a light malty sweetness and warmth. Strong fruity esters of banana and dried fruits. Very drinkable.

Smooth, malty flavour with a nice alcohol kick.

One of the first beers to really turn me to the dark side (ie. dark belgians) All in all, one of my favourite beers, an almost flawless performance


---

Update 11 March 2004

Just to add, i've had many of these beers since then and they've all been up to scratch, amazing brews

I've increased my review slightly for this reason


---

Update June 29th 2004

Still a fantastic beer, after rochefort 10, st bernardus 12 and abbaye des rocs, it still impresses and holds its own



---

Update 12th July 2004

A bit blander than I recall, lack or flavour and aroma, too fizzy and not as smooth

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2004 16:31:09 | More by cypressbob
Photo of moulefrite
moulefrite

Massachusetts

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

A rage of activity here. Intense carbonation produces a volcanic like oooze of foam as it rests in glass awaiting tasting. The head is stiff and alive-it has taken on a soft serve ice cream appearance, and it seems I will have to lick my way to the beer. Aromatics are difficult to peg through the mountain of thick foam. Some warm malty banana, raisinet, creamy dark chocolate, blue cheese-quite fruity. The mouthfeel is crisp, dry, rather complex, full bodied, and quite creamy. Malty flavors and fruity dark chocolate flavors dominate. Much like eating a very fine dark chocolate with a raspberry filling. Bitter chocolate, dusty malt notes and a very fine champagne like bubble make for a charming and memorable finish. I'll try this one again fer sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2004 01:58:37 | More by moulefrite
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.13/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2004 00:50:40 | More by merlin48
Photo of Sixpack595
Sixpack595

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 08:36:54 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of proc
proc

Michigan

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 01:05:57 | More by proc
Photo of yeagerbm
yeagerbm

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2004 02:36:35 | More by yeagerbm
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 08:24:04 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2004 03:12:23 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of AtLagerHeads
AtLagerHeads

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2004 23:35:06 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2004 05:44:42 | More by Wildman
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2003 02:26:52 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Andreji
Andreji

Colombia

3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2003 10:53:45 | More by Andreji
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2003 19:28:22 | More by guinness33
Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij Westmalle
93 out of 100 based on 2,063 ratings.