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Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

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Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
4,687 Ratings
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium
trappistwestmalle.be

Style: Belgian Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,018
Reviews:
1,791
Ratings:
4,687
pDev:
10%
 
 
Wants:
452
Gots:
948
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,687 |  Reviews: 1,791
Reviews by JimTeal:
Photo of JimTeal
4.99/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say that hasn't already been written? Every superlative applies, deep, complex brisk flavors emit from a wonderfully constructed and world class beer. Yes the Monks have hit it out of the park for 100 years with this one. In the last few days I've sampled Westvleteren XII, Rochefort 10 and just to spoil myself topped the trifecta with Westmalle's tripel. In case you are standing in front of the Belgian offerings at your specialty beer store, hurry up and pick one (or 2) up and get ready to enjoy. The other BA reviews of this beer are so accurate, I thought a little irrational exuberance was called for.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is among the best of the trappist. Looks peachy and coppery. Highly carbonated and formed a rocky and persitant foamstand that laced well and shows good legging. Smells very sweet of honey, fresh fruits and berries, spices, alcohol, and that unique belgian souring. Tastes malty and candy sweet. Powdered sugar and honey. Sweet fruits of pears, peaches, and raspberries. Spices of clove, corriander, all-spice, ginger and pepper. Sweet alcohol becomes a bit harsh and phenolic in flavor. Remains firm in body throughout the session. High, sweet alcohol combined with the carbonation becomes numbing and playful through the entire mouth. Finishes dry and hot, leaving mild tartness, sourness and lingering hop flavor (noble varieties). This is a very complex and well matured, handled beer. I'm sorry that I have passed this one up so many times previously.

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Photo of Jason
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

You can find this one just as much as the Double in Belgium and everywhere in Brussels. Sweet nectar of the gods I could not get enough of it ... it was so damn fresh even the bottles that I drank at 1:00 am in my hotel room to put me asleep were obviously ten times fresher than what we get in the states.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coruscating gold with plumes of particulates so fine they nearly escape notice. The head is breathtaking in its magnificence. It's bright white, huge and hugely rocky. Scattered chunks of lace cling to the sides of the glass, although they could be more numerous. A second pour further animates the beer and breathes even more life into the beautiful crown of foam.

The nose is more spicy than fruity and falls just short of the bar set by the appearance. It's a little lacking in depth and breadth, but I'll reserve final judgment until more of the foam is gone. The aroma is of spiced pears and musky hops with an overlay of well-integrated alcohol.

Westmalle Trappist is an excellent tripel. While it's more boozy than most, that doesn't bother me a bit. The alcohol is so well-incorporated and such an integral part of the flavor profile that to lessen it would be to lessen the beer as a whole. Overall, I'd say it's less fruity and less sweet than most. The emphasis here is on spices (white pepper, cardamon, clove) and an almost arid dryness.

I prefer more candi sugar, but it's hard to argue with the bracing, snappy dryness. Westmalle Tripel isn't a training wheels tripel and it forces its drinker to appreciate it on its own terms or not at all. As expected, it opens up with warming and the various aspects of its personality become both better defined and more tightly interwoven. This is great beer.

The mouthfeel is medium-full. Like most Belgian beer, it feels lighter and more airy thanks to the abundant carbonation. The best word that I can think of to describe the mouthfeel is 'quality'. Less or more of anything wouldn't work nearly as well.

Westmalle Tripel is one of the best examples of the style that I've ever had, along with the outstanding De Dolle Dulle Teve. Even though it doesn't taste like what I've always thought was my preferred tripel profile (fruitier and sweeter), it's still more than impressive and is compulsively drinkable. Bottom line: this tripel is a home run.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 33cl custom European-style brown bottle, with raised glass stamped "trappist" around the neck.

Appearance: Cloudy pale orange with a nice head! It's got the whole Brussels Lace going on with a creamy, bitty head that sticks a retains with little awakening (swirling in the glass).

Smell: Tart apricot, lemon grass, pepper, pale malts and alcohol all wrapped in a slighly pungent aroma.

Taste: A bit crisp upfront with a slick mouthfeel. Many layers to this brew: fruit (ripe passion/apricot), big burst of spicy alcohol, fresh cut hay flavour, dextrin sweetness, raw honey, yeast and a slight medicinal background flavour. Complex. Very complex.

Notes: The quintessential triple in our humble opinions. An exceptional beer, blissful to taste. Roughly 9% abv.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark-ish golden color with banana tinted edges. Cloudy, hazy, and basically opaque, as I would expect any tripel to be. Super volatile - even a modest and careful pour produces a humongous, cloud-like white head that takes up more glass space than the beer itself. Surprisingly enough, no real lacing left behind, save for a bit of wet legging that doesn't last forever.

The aroma is unabashedly sweet, complete with an almost pickled/vinegar like aroma and plays along with the sweetness in relatively competent harmony. Ripe, sweet, candied bananas, coated in sugar and swimming in a sea of malt. Lots of Belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, and other various spices. There's no doubt that there's a lot going on here - a very complex orchestration of malty goodness. Phenol alcohol character builds up as the beer gets warmer, cutting through the sweetness a bit, somewhat expected at 9.5% ABV. A mild, musky hop ending closes things out.

I take a sip and the first thing I think of is sweet water taffy - banana flavored of course. This beer gives off a "candied" sort of flavor, which doesn't really come as a surprise after smelling it. There's a mild musky bitterness up front to help balance some of the sweetness overload. Each sip reveals more and more flavors; rotten mashed mangoes, clove, leaves, Belgian yeast, sugar coated plums. Definitely a lot to take in.

At first, the alcohol is very low, but even with moderate warming, the phenol characters bounce out and attack the senses pretty heavily - maybe almost a bit too heavily. Despite the beer's sweetness, the heavy alcohol warmth and front-and-center hop bitterness do a valiant job of keeping this beer from seeming too sweet. Somewhat dry finish, medium bodied and carbonated pretty heavily.

Very nice tripel, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. Most people have come to expect greatness from all of the trappist breweries, and why shouldn't they? Not my favorite tripel, but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of theIPAman
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must start with a disclaimer that neither Belgian ales, nor triples of any kind are my favorite styles of beer. That said, a good friend was gracious enough to bring me several back from a trip to try.

Poured a cloudy golden straw with a thick fuzzy head that dissipated quickly to a thin but lingering one. The scent is sweet, and dominated by cloves. At first sip it is quickly apparent there is much more going on however. While clove persists, it is joined by subtle hints of banana and gingerbread. I detect some booziness, but it is cut quickly by a late lingering bitterness. Not as heavy as some triples I've tried. While not my style, it is obviously a well crafted beer and worthy of anyone's time to give it a try.

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Photo of breakingbland
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is of funk, sweetness and a slight spice. The taste follows with sweetness and spice in the front but with a nice balance of funk/barnyard. But the real highlight is the mouthfeel: Though the carbonation might seem a bit high, it is smooth with medium fine bubbles that complement the aroma and taste very nicely. And the body is just right for this style. Overall, a real winner!

(in a bottle at Knight's)

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Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Large head with great lacing and a beautiful, cloudy orange color. The bubbles on the head are huge. You almost want to take a picture of it.

Smell – Fruit and spice hit the nose along with the classic Tripel malt and yeast. This one has a huge bouquet, and the yeast and orange notes are perfectly balanced.

Taste – This is hard core. The yeast is big and tight even after the ale warms. The spices are monstrous. I can pick up some heavy coriander and powdery white pepper and allspice.

The fruits are amazing. This is raw, organic, just bought at the local health food store kind of flavors. It really is something else. The alcohol evens things out. Everything is amazingly controlled and balanced. The finish is pale and hoppily bitter, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel – This full-bodied Tripel has some of the best carbonation that I’ve ever experienced. The complex and bitter finish is in a class all by itself.

Drinkability – The amazing flavor of this beer, along with the terrific sensations that it creates in the mouth, makes this one a real classic.

Comments – The say that this style originated right here at Westmalle. I can certainly believe it. There is a depth to this ale that I am failing to describe. This thing is awesome.

Update – This was the 12th beer that I review on the site. Now, in 2004, over 1,000 reviews later, I thought I’d re-write my rating.

I have had other Belgians that shared portions of these flavors, but nothing that brings them all together like this one. This really is the ultimate Tripel in my book and certainly sets the standards for all others. The balance is the key to this ale, IMHO.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing tripel! Poured from bottle to Westmalle chalice. I honesty can't believe I haven't had this one before, or at least I haven't written a review.
Classic tripel pour: clear, dark yellow, and effervescent. Lots of soapy foam. Big aromas of banana and bubble gum, bread and yeast cake.
Flavors explode: bubble gum, banana, clove, spice, bread. Sharp and clean. Prickly carb feel on the tongue.
Favor tripel ratings: Tripel Karmeliet, Dragonmead Final Absolution, Unibroue Fin Du Monde, then Westmalle.

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Photo of jkblr
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle bb 6/26/2020 poured into a Westmalle goblet at just above fridge temp 9.5% ABV. The beer pours hazy light amber with an orange tint and and a fair amount of yeast particulate. The head is nearly white in color and rises quickly with a gentle pour. It recedes to a thin cap of tiny bubbles leaving a full lacing. The aroma is banana and bubblegum with some spicy notes as well. The taste is candy like malt with immediate peppery notes and a finish that fades toward dry with a clove kick. Very little bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with well above average carbonation. It's never cloying or sugary sweet and the finish is amazingly dry for the initial feel. No perceptible alcohol in the taste or aroma. Overall, excellent. Fantastic beer and a standard for the style. I should have been even more gentle on the pour so I won't dock for the floaties.

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Photo of princessbay710
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pour is a pleasant cloudy yellow with sporadic lacing. Smells of unique foresty yeast. The mouthfeel is frothy, I expected it to taste a lot more like it smells, but instead I'm getting something more lemony, zesty, and floral. This beer is both dense and fluffy in texture while maintaining a light and refreshingly satisfying taste that doesn't remind me much at all of any others I've had in the style.

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Photo of threeviews
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl bottle (Best By Date: 28 June 2019...bottled on 14-16 June 2017) into an Affligem signature, short-stemmed chalice.

A - The beer pours a beautiful, slightly hazy golden color with a full 2-fingers of a frothy white head with strong retention. (5.0)

S - Flowers, Peach, Pear, Orange, Banana, Honeysuckle and a slightly spicy note in the background. Absolutely no hint of alcohol. (5.0)

T - Confectionary sweetness up front with that floral and fruity notes found in the aroma to finish things off. The flavors dance on the palate after each sip, yet the beer finishes quite dry. (5.0)

M - Full body with creamy carbonation with a dry, hoppy finish to make this the perfect aperitif to a full-course meal. The drinkability is remarkable with absolutely no hint of alcohol. (5.0)

O - There are absolutely no faults with this Tripel. This is the gold standard by which to measure all others who call themselves Tripels. Having the opportunity to have it both fresh (up to 6 months) and aged (6+ months), both are stellar but fresh is the best for Westmalle Tripel. At 1.85Euro a bottle in Belgium (grocery store price), it should come as no surprise that the employees are restocking the shelves regularly. (5.0)

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pour is a hazy yellow orange with a beautiful foamy head. Smells of light citrus and hops with fruit notes. The taste is very smooth with full fruit and citrus creamy flavors that just melt on your tongue. The beer is so smooth and creamy that it is hard to stop drinking it, this ranks as one of the best tasting beers I have had. The entire feel of this beer from start to finish is pure enjoyment, top favorite.

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Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

look ~ pours a straw color and is fairly hazy. actually, it looks a lot like a wit. The head is good: two fingers of white moussy head off a hard pour, falls very slowly, and leaves some nice lacing. No real visible carbonation in the glass.

smell ~ really, really nice. belgian yeast is front-and-center for this one: bubblegum, spices (mostly pepper rather than clove), and fruits (banana and citrus). not a lot of the malt character comes through. some nice hop crispness, which falls into the same spicy-fruity range as the yeast and is hard to pin-point exactly in relation to the yeast.

flavor ~ also exceptional and very well balanced. pretty much the same characters as the i got on the nose, but with a bit more of the grainbill coming through. malt-wise, i get some light breadcrust and a bit of wheatiness. The yeast character is the same balance of spices (pepper) and fruit (banana and citrus). hop bitterness is medium-high and has a bit more of a floral and herbal character than on the nose, which plays well into the finish. not as much heat as i'd expect from the abbv, but some nice high-alcohol floral notes. finish is fairly dry.

feel ~ light body and higher carbonation support the lighter flavors (i think it would feel more 'muddled' with a heavier body). the higher carbonation also dries out the finish and plays well with the hops.

a real treat. complex without being muddled: the flavor has a lot to offer and explore with each sip. highly tasty and drinkable, this one is really sneaky given the abv.

i really love trips and this one is quite literally the grand-daddy of them all!

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Photo of ENogueira
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

11.2 oz bottle in a chalice glass. Yellow in color, with a thin head of foam, little lacing. The Westmalle Dubbel is one of my favorite brews, so I had very high hopes for this one, and it didn't disappoint. The sweet aroma of fresh fruit is top notch. The taste hits with sweet, ripe banana initially, then rush of earthy spices and herbs that blends in with perfection. The carbonation is excellent and the finish is hoppy but sweet, and very crisp. The alcohol is surprisingly under control for a 9.5% ABV, and it seems to linger a bit in the background. It's an amazingly engineered trippel. It seems that every Trappist-style ale that comes out of Westmalle is liquid gold. A must for any beer aficionado.

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Photo of founddrama
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

And the heavens opened up. That Westmalle yeast. That bright, eye-opening flavor. Big decadent foamy head. Aromatics all over the place. This beer downright sparkles on the tongue. Those marvelous, characteristic esters.

Yep. Dangerously drinkable.

#MensJournal100Best2014

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Photo of jtaylord
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Hazy golden with a thick inch head that slowly disdapates. Fragrant smell with a smooth follow through. A plus Belgium.

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Photo of arizcards
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 750ml bottle in late May at Cost Plus for $8.59.

Beer poured a dark golden color with a long lasting white head. Nose is very pleasant as it improves as the beer warms. Hints of sweet fruits including pear and apple are prevelant with a slight hint of alcohol. Taste is of pears, apples, finishing with a lingering hop bitterness. Moutfeel is pure Belgian bliss, extremely smooth when it first hits the palate. Lingering hop bitmerness remains afterwards. Overall drinkability is good. This is a nice representation of the style and certainly worth a try for Trippel fans.

Update 4.4.17. Beer is tasting awesome, pears and apples with a nice bitterness in the finish. Moving rating from 4.0 to 4.25.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Clear gold with a big poofy white head. There are a few small bits of yeast (I guess) floating around, and a constant stream of small bubbles maintains the head. Lots of lace sticking to the glass as the head fades to a thin layer.

Smell:
Big, alcoholic smell. Fruity, grassy. Medicinal. Smells fresh and delicious.

Taste:
Somewhat sweet, lots of bitterness up front, and in the aftertaste. Complex flavours I can't really describe. Slightly nutty, banana chips.

Mouthfeel:
Feels light, with the carbonation attacking the tastebuds quickly. Turns creamy with a slight drying later on.

Drinkability:
Too high. Feeling a bit lightheaded already. But so good, I could drink this all night long. (All night would be something like an 1 hr, then I'd fall asleep)

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Photo of assmasterson
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just by the luck of the draw, I picked this one out of a long beer list last night.

Pours out with a slightly burnt orange color and has a modest, light head. The smell and taste have some strong fruit flavors and the carbonation is tight enough to leave it with a clean finish. The amount of alcohol in this brew is pretty high, but does not overpower the senses.

Overall, one of the finest beers I have come across. Given the chance, I would pick this one again in a second.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light copper with a frothy long-lasting 2 finger head. Only small chunks of lacing clung to the glass for a short period of time. Nice fruity aroma with some bready/yeasty notes and a slight alcohol detection. Flavors are full and rounded, balancing well. Fruity esters and a nice bready maltiness to balance. Some citrus, maybe oranges or tangerines. Slightly tart, making the back of my mouth tingle. Hints of alcohol also in the flavor. Hop bitterness also comes through, but in a pleasant fashion. Mouthfeel is medium viscocity, tongue coating and nicely carbonated. Overall this is an excellent sipping beer, with the flavors melding and blending so much better as it warms. A definite must-try for any Belgian fan.

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Photo of ribbit
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of BrandonWardlaw
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden-caramel, with lots of particulate. Off-white one-finger head. Served in a chalice.

S: Malt, caramel and a very light note of citrus.

T: Pleasantly bitter. Very earthy.

M: Quite carbonated.

D: Pretty high, but definitely a beer to savor.

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Photo of Scott414
4.96/5  rDev +15.3%

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 4,687 ratings