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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:
4,394
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.05%
 
 
Wants:
404
Gots:
773
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 1,705 | Ratings: 4,394
Photo of citan133
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Really nice, thick, fluffy two-finger head that just stays and stays. I poured this five minutes ago and it's still barely moved. Nice deep golden cloudy color, too. The head on this is really a beautiful thing.

Smell: Slight banana smell, almost a little skunky or funky. Kind of interesting but nothing too special. Basic tripel nose.

Taste:A little bit of spice, actually really heavy on the alcohol. Definitely comes through quite a bit. Almost a dry sort of finish. Not a whole lot of complexity coming through to me. I don't know if my bottle is just off but I'm not too thrilled with this one so far. It's pretty good but not great.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, nothing special. A little dry in the finish, flavor stays with you for a while. Not cloying or anything but just kind of a nice reminder that you're drinking a beer until your next sip.

Drinkability: I think flavor-wise you could definitely do a few of these, even with the alcohol bite but the alcohol would catch up to anybody. It's got a kind of creeping warmth to it that I really like. It hits you slow and kind of simmers. A pretty good beer overall, I've had some tripels I've been more impressed with (Allagash comes to mind). Nice beer but world class might be pushing it.

 1,250 characters

Photo of BWood
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: good head. Fluffy and white. Laces the glass.

S: some citrus. Not a whole log else I'm getting.

T: sweet fruit with honey on the rear.

F: smooth with a little heat. Nice tongue coating.

O: great beer. The ratings show it. Glad it's year around

 252 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy golden colour, the generous white head was quickly reduced, but produced nice lacing on the glass. Spicy aroma, doughy malt, light hops and a bit of alcohol. Smells pretty nice, but a little bit muted overall. Good combination of flavours, with fruit, cloves, and moderate sweetness balancing a drying bitterness. Short finish that is a little sweet with light peppery spice and alcohol warmth. Medium body, moderately high carbonation produce an initially light, airy texture.

 484 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was a bit let down when I tried the Westmalle Dubbel, so I'm hoping this bier makes amends! This baby has a peachy, golden color. It is somewhat hazy already, even with a careful pour. Some tiny yeasty bits (is that like naughty bits?) have already made their way into the bier and are hovering around aimlessly! The head is a whipped-cream white, nice and fluffy. There was some yeasty and fruity aroma-notes, but it was much too mild. Very pleasant mouthfeel comprised of medium-plus body and minimal-carbonation producing a decent smoothness. A bit of yeasty spiciness initiates the assault on my palate. The second wave is made-up of some fruity aspects (perhaps even slightly peachy). It is a good-tasting bier, yet nothing really shakes me to the roots. Better than their Dubbel, yet not earth-shaking, imho.

overall: 4
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

441

 906 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says best by 12/10/13 (or is that 10/12/13?).

Pours a cloudy tan with light billowy head that settles to nothing, only coming out with a swirl. Aroma is light with vanilla, coriander, and Belgian Pilsner malt. Once the yeast is poured to mix (recommended), all sorts of pungent, floral, and fruity esters pop out of the glass. The candied sugar is evident, but not overpowering as is the alcohol presence. That signature tangy Belgian malt is strong up front and sweet with some of the candied sugar surfacing for a bit before the bittering hops take over.There is some vinous, grassiness to it that stays on the back of the tongue. It's very barnyardish, which I appreciate. I'm sure this is to hide the alcohol content a bit, but it lingers just a bit too long for my taste. But wow, what a difference some yeast makes! The bitterness is assuaged by the yeasty body somehow and I don't get the stagnation in my mouth. Dry finish with slightly watery viscosity.

This is all about the aroma. Even when I drink it, I enjoy the beer better when it sits in my mouth and has time to get to the nose a bit. It's part of the experience, I get it, but the taste really doesn't live up to the first act. I'd stick with a St. Bernardus, which is cheaper and probably fresher. I'd like to go to Belgium to try this fresh to test my hypothesis. To Belgium! For science!

 1,367 characters

Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy honey colored with a two inch head of frothy and lumpy bright white foam.

Aroma of subtle yeastiness, some ripe fruit and floral notes, hints of lemon.

Very clean flavor, a bit yeasty upfront, met with spicy pepper notes, moving to lemon and grassy flavors.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp, tingly and bubbly, slight warmth in the cheeks. Tasty beer, pretty drinkable for the strength.

 388 characters

Photo of Globetrotter
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 750ml bottle with a yellow and white label featuring a bell tower, presumably from the monastery. My bottle came in a cardboard cylinder similar to what you get with single malt whiskies. The top was corked and caged. The bottle had no info on ingredients, while the best before date was stamped on the cork. I could read the month and day (Sept. 2), but not the year.

Poured cloudy pale orange under a two finger thin white head that settled quickly to thick film. There is very little lace. The nose is surprisingly mild, even when warm, with just a touch of sweet and spicey. The mouth is light and very, very prickly. The taste is extremely smooth, with lots of malt, a bit of apricot, plenty of coriander and yeast. There's also a nice hoppy bite in the finish that adds bitter to the sweet and spice. The bitterness lingers long into the aftertaste, mixing well with the fruit and yeast. While I can't say it was worth the almost $30 I paid for it, this was a very enjoyable beer.

 995 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks nice. Slightly cloudy straw colour, but you can still see through it. Sort of. Fluffy, airy white head. Sticky, too.
Smell was good, but a bit disappointing. Not as much complexity as I hoped for. The Dubbel smells better.
Taste is well balanced, but leans towards the sweet side. Alcohol is well disguized. But the mouthfeel is where it loses me. This bottle (which I assume is fresh - I'm only a few hundred k's away from the brewery) is way, way too carbonated. Champagne-like. And this hurts my drinkability.

 520 characters

Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle, pretty neat one at that. Back label has numbers and months for a brewed on date, but they aren't notched.

Pours a hazy light copper with a monstrous head, almost looked like soap suds, with crazy large bubbles. As the head went down the froth clinged to the edges of my DT glass.

I can smell this beer from 2 feet away! Complex and fruity esters, vanilla extract, alcohol. When I first opened it I got a strong spiciness, very herbal. That went away quickly. The alcohol smell is really strong with this brew.

The alcohol is also strong in the taste. I can feel it burning its way down my to my gut. If I were to judge from the alcohol characteristics alone, I would guess this is the strongest beer I've drank, although I can think of quite a few I've tried with a higher listed ABV. This stuff hits my gut like a shot of whiskey. Super slick mouthfeel, with ample carbonation. After a few drinks I decided to pour the yeast, hoping for a rescue from the big booziness of this beast, all I got was a touch of nutty flavor. Lots of fruity green-apple-peel-tasting esters. Malt and hop flavors are present, but just get lost in a vat of pure alcohol dominance.

This is a first for me. I love tripels, and the other trappist beers I've tried have been top notch. There are some balance issues for me with this brew, way too much of a booze vibe going on. For $5 for a single 11.2 oz. bottle, this wasn't near as good as it should have been, unless you're just dying to drink really expensive, boozy beer.

 1,531 characters

Photo of westweasel
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from an 11.2 ounce bottle from Family Liquors in Homewood, IL.

Appearance: Hazy, bright tan/yellow color. Huge white head. Tons of Belgian lace.

Smell: Scents of floral, spice, clove, and orange.

Taste: It has flavors of orange and spice with very low bitterness or hop taste.
It has a very dry finish with little aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable which is scary. This beer has a high alcohol content (9.5 ABV) that is not apparent when drinking. It would be very easy to drink two or three of these before you realize what's happening.

 609 characters

Photo of PBBC
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow with a ample head...

Smells bready, yeasty, and tart.

Taste is surprisingly simple... but opens up after a few sips... light, bready, highly carbonated. Tart, with tinges of apple, and sweet, buttery, candied pear... light hop bitterness paired with interesting yeast flavor tones make for a great beer.

Goes down smooth, the high level of carbonation plays the flavors off the tongue in a very sporadic way... the beer is simple, but never boring... doesn't feel 9.5% until you are most of the way through the bottle. Great drinkability, not overwhelming.

 579 characters

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and caged bottle into a snifter. Pours a golden apricot color with a nice size frothy head...although the head dissapates pretty quickly to a thin ring. Light, yet sticky lacing.

Aroma is full of fruit. I'm picking up apple and grapefruit, and musty like a lot of Belgian Tripels. Booze is also detectable slightly.

Semi-carbonated and great fruit flavor. Light, crisp, and refreshing. Although most Belgian style beers are better as they warm, this one is the opposite. As it warms, the booze gets a bit heavy and a dryness takes over. There's also a slightly sour aftertaste. Bottle was only aged about 6 months...atleast from purchase.

 665 characters

Photo of oggg
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a bottle from Plumbjack in SF. Best before date 12/05

This beer pours with high carbonation, and the white head foams up nicely, but retreats quickly to about half a centimeter and holds for a bit before receding more. The lace is pretty weak, and I handwashed/rinsed my wine glass. The beer initially pours a crystal clear, orange/peach color, which gets cloudy at the end from the yeast. Really a beautiful color.

The aroma is ephemeral, and gives me, surprisingly, a soft hop floral aroma and some honey. The taste has a surprising amount of hop bitterness for what I was expecting; it's mild but it's definitely a part of this brew. Michael Jackson says it's Saaz hops, and I can sense the lingering spiciness of it. I get a lot of fruit -- orange, plum, and raisin. There is a nice malt taste that has more honey than sugar with it. I almost get some chocolate, but that can't be right, can it? The finish is a bit syrupy and medicinal. The alcohol is muted. Full bodied.

Overall, I don't think this one is worth the price of admission at 6 or 7 bucks. It just doesn't give me that sense that I'm really being indulgent.

 1,149 characters

Photo of Beersignal
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden yellow with peach highlights capped with a ferociously thick and lasting head. Firm aromas of green apples and citrus fruits dominate hints of cereal and yeast finishing on notes of vanilla and hops. A respectable bead rises from the glass and expresses itself in the first sip. Round and heady body gives the impression of thickness in the mouth. Butterscotch and vanilla combine with powerful malt flavours to usher in a sweetness that is eventually overpowered by a drying and long bitterness. Long finish to this beer. Looking forward to having an older bottle.

 577 characters

Photo of rec
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Immediately I recognised a distinct difference between the Leffe Tripel and this, specifically a positive difference. Straight off the bat, it was just better. It poured better, looked better, smelt better and tasted better than the Leffe Tripel.

After pour, the head of this brassy-coloured beer sticks to the glass and leaves a beautiful lacing as you continue to drink, which adds nicely to the presentation.

You can clearly taste some fruity undertones which I recognised as pear and apricot. At 9.5%, the alcohol is definitely not disguised, but does nothing to distract from floral scent and taste with hints of clove that work deliciously well with the high carbonation and the dry yeasty finish.

It’s definitely one to drink at cellar temperature, as it proved far less enjoyable while colder and is easily the nicest Tripel I’ve had… although I still wish I had found the Dubbel, as I must admit that despite the complexity and near perfection of this brew, I did prefer the Leffe Brune I had prior to it, and am generally a sucker for the malts present in Belgian dark ale brews.

 1,101 characters

Photo of Chapter40z
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Slightly pale hazy (even after the beer settled it seemed there was still suspended sediment) yellow, very little head that dissipated rather quickly.

S. A very upfront alcohol smell, also an acidic citrus smell.

T. First taste had a strong sharpness with a light fruity profile and a light hoppy finish.

M. Crisp, light almost a creamy delicate beer with some body.

D. It was a good beer not extremely drinkable not something you have to force down. I'd personally drink 2 or 3 of these and enjoy every moment.

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Photo of beeragent
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice from a bottle. The beer pours a light gold, forming a massive fluffy 1 inch white head that slowly fades. Medium lacing remains on the glass. The aroma is a mix of sweet malt, fruit and sugar. Taste begins with the malts, followed by dark fruit flavors and candy sugar sweetness, and ending with a hint of alcohol. Medium bodied beer and smooth medium finish. Highly drinkable. Overall, nice full flavor. Good but not the best triple that I've experienced.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

excited to try this one have been meaning to pick up a bottle for a while.

poured from bottle into my tulip glass. one of the most beautiful pours i've seen in a long time. golden haze with a billowing amazing overflowing pillow of white foam. waiting for the beer to warm up to the temperature i want and there is still a massive pillow of head guarding the beer.

smell is spice and a unique menthol smell like i have never got from a tripel, let alone a beer. not sure i like this nose.

taste is a bit different than the smell and a bit better. nice hint of funk with a clean bittering coming through. spice is there too. nutmeg and pepper.

mouthfeel is interesting on this one...i dont say this often about beers, but there was a bit more carbonation than i would like. tingles on the tongue. medium bodied.

overall a very clean drinkable tripel. the large amount of carbonation hurts my ratings for drinkablity.

 921 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh my beautiful full and thick head. frothy and lush with tightness, this is what a head should look like! over an almost clear light golden body. Great attractiveness.

Aroma seems subdued, really just faint belgian yeasts and bready pre-baked doughs with faint fruits.

Ah the flavor picks up the aromas slack and comes full force with a spicy kick! Pepper and salt on crisp baked bread with light oils from olives come though and leave with a qucik dry finish, its a very refreshing tripel and leaves you reaching for the glass again. Some lemon and orange notes come through with a light zestyness also.

Chad

 613 characters

Photo of masikon
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Orval goblet, this was a hazy lemon juice color with plenty of bits floating around. Nose was pleasant, soft and fruity with a bit of alcohol sting on the sinus' as well. Hits the palate with a distinct belgian crispness, tingly and somewhat medicinal but extremely complex...a hard beer to review really due to the different flavors mixing with each sip, it's hard to pick things out. Definite fruitiness with apples/pears along with some herbal and floral accents as well. A really nice beer to crack after the Seahawks NFC Championship win tonight.

 566 characters

Photo of BGDrock
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: yeast particles create a haze; pale gold colour; thick head has length

Aroma: white grapes; floral; boozy

Taste: fruity, lightly spiced yeast curls around the tongue and alcohol level plainly evident in sting that gathers in the back of the throat; finishes with pleasant and fairly strong spiced hops; some apple, grapes; overall the indiscernible combination of fruity and spicy yeast, hops, malt is not incredibly complex, but nonetheless enjoyable

Overall: a great balance of elements, but not quite as exciting as had hoped for

 547 characters

Photo of kpantz
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: After hearing so much about this beer, I finally decided to pick one up for myself. I'm very glad I did. It's a great tripel, and begins to convince me that the US tripel brewers can't really hit this with any authenticity (not that they need to try, of course).

Appearance: Pours a beautiful hazy golden color into my chalice. Bright white head hangs tough, but eventually reduces to a solid coating. Lacing is wonderful - almost reminds me of how some DIPAs hug the glass.

Smell: Bananas, even some tartness (apple, pineapple) and a slight estery aroma.

Taste: Sweet malt to start and finishes with a spicy alcohol flavor coupled with hop bitterness that follows down the throat. It's strange, but the flavor almost completely disappears just before the spiciness hits at the end. I'm going to guess that's an indication that there aren't many flavoring hops here, but I'm no expert.

Mouthfeel: Spot on for the style. Slightly sticky, but it doesn't linger. Carbonation is light to moderate - doesn't distract from the nature of this beer.

Drinkability: It's no session brew, that's for sure, but for something over the 9% plateau, this goes down very nicely.

 1,195 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle, best before end: 09/04/11. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a cloudy golden/orange color with about an inch and half off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is bready malt, yeast, orange peel, and some fruit and spice (it just smells fruity and spicy in general, I couldn't pick out any one particular fruit or spice). Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also a bit of pear and an earthy taste noticable in the brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth but has a little too much carbonation for me. Drinkability is decent, but would be better if the carbonation was lower. But overall, I liked this beer. I'd buy it again in the future.

 708 characters

Photo of djura
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Found it here in Serbia, bottle 0,33l

A - Dark orange with decent white head. Medium carbonation. Very Trappist :)
S - Weak biscuit aroma, with some warm alcohol in the back.
T/M - As expected, highly carbonated, natural, warm pleasant finish. Creamy and aromatic.

O - Trappist, try it.

 289 characters

Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted this on 03.03.06, a 330ml bottle best before 04/07/07. 9.5% ABV. I have had this several times over the last few years, but never got around to reviewing it.
Poured into a Chimay goblet, a nice amber brew with some haze and a good white head. Head diminished, but easily returned with a swirl of the glass.
Without going into too much detail (this is a well described beer on this database), I would say that this is a fine beer and an excellent tripel, though not my all time favourite one. It is very consistent and ages well.

 537 characters

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