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Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,705 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-06-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,705
Ratings:
4,392
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
16.36%
 
 
Wants:
401
Gots:
774
For Trade:
5
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,705 | Ratings: 4,392
Reviews by bigbubba:
Photo of bigbubba
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a bright gold beer with lots of head and carbonation. It smells like white wine, with some additional fruitiness and a bit of musty yeast. The taste starts out friuty and becomes very spicy. There is just enough bitterness to balance it. The alcohol is not real obvious. The mouthfeel is very nice. Drinkability is ok.

 326 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.92/5  rDev +15%
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.

 306 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 1,984 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

 784 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 861 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 2,023 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 1,680 characters

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.86/5  rDev +13.6%
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!

 1,615 characters

Photo of jtaylord
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 161 characters

Photo of founddrama
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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

 274 characters

Photo of breakingbland
4.41/5  rDev +3%
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)

 417 characters

Photo of RobbDogg
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

 728 characters

Photo of ENogueira
4.75/5  rDev +11%

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.

 721 characters

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep hazy golden color with a huge blooming head that leaves a masive amount of lacing,I get a large dose of grassy hopps in the aroma with a light spiciness.Flavor has a smoky quality along with a big dose of grassy hop finishing big and spicey.A beer full of flavor just what I was looking for very well done.

 319 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Starts out with a blistering apricot/tropical sweetness that makes its way towards the hops, then grapes, and finally a nice dry vinous finish with just slight notes of coriander and whiskey. The glowing orange appearance and healthy dollop of cream make it quite the looker as well. Perhaps the best tripel I’ve had and certainly the most drinkable. A truly top notch beer.

 375 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of ricke
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-03-01. Served in snifter.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle with the Trappist collar around the neck. Freshness date (best before 2010-06-30) and glassware recommendations printed on the label.

Appearance: The pour is orange colored with a two finger ivory-colored sparkly head that settles after a short while but leaves a nice coat of foam.

Smell: Pleasant sweet fruit aromas (apricots). Earth and dry hay. Pepper, yeast and a gentle sting from the alcohol. The smell is somewhat reminiscent of white wine - very nice.

Taste: All in all a rather crisp taste with decent amounts of malts. Plenty of fruits - apricots, some banana, citric notes mostly in the form of lemon, and a vague taste of grapes that strengthens the resemblance of white wine I got from the smell. Rustic honey flavors. Big taste of peppery alcohol and spices. Subdued flavors of earthy yeast. The finish is rather bitter, more so than expected, and has a bold spicy alcohol character that seems to linger on forever.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that feels a bit sharp due to generous amounts of carbonation that feels very lively in the mouth.

Drinkability: A very good beer and as most Trappist beers, it showcases a very well balanced complexity. The alcohol is perhaps just a little too present, though. The white wine character I got, mostly from the smell but also to a lesser degree in the taste, was very pleasant.

 1,412 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First review! Let the merriment begin...

Appearance: Poured into a deep red wine glass. Huge, slow retreating, 3.5 finger head that had a beautiful, snow-white hue. The beer has a beautiful golden color, almost transparent. Tiny strands of carbonation crept up the sides of the glass.

Smell: Very fresh and sweet, with hints of peach, mango, and caramel right off the bat. Not much alcohol detectable in the aroma, just a wonderful yeasty fruitiness. Other aromas hinted at include cherrywood and white grape.

Taste: A rich, semi-sweet, syrupy caramel-vanilla flavor. Fruit flavors on the palate include golden raisin, crisp apple, and peach. A nice, long, dry finish complements the rich, fruity taste.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, with a warm boozy feel on the palate. A much fuller feel than I expected from this style. Very well balanced with a good medium carbonation that waltzes on the tongue.

Drinkability: A very smooth brew. Perhaps a tad too sweet with a sneaky-high alcohol content for much than one or two in a sitting, but I will definitely enjoy one of these as a treat from time to time.

Overall, I thought this was a phenomenal beer. I am just getting into to Belgian ales and this was a truly delicious brew. Highly recommended.

 1,251 characters

Photo of BRB1978
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of brownbeer
4.75/5  rDev +11%

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Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,705 ratings.
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