Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings!

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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:
16.36%
 
 
Wants:
404
Gots:
773
For Trade:
5
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,705 | Ratings: 4,394
Photo of PoisonOakAdam
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Honey brown with small amounts of noticeable carbonation. a good amount of head at pour with a nice frothiness. Sediments are present.

Smell: Caramelized grain. Sharp dried fruit and alcohol smell that I find my nose to identify with most Belgian tripels and even dubbels.

Taste: Very little bitterness much more balanced with an almost light molasses taste. Finish is relatively dry but leaves my tongue with most of the small amounts of bitterness I taste.

Mouth Feel: Like a light naturally sweetened syrup. Heavier body then I expect while looking at it, but ends up being satisfying. It lingers on my taste buds for quite a while.

Drinkability: Totally drinkable, it seems like every sip makes me want to sip it again and again.

 749 characters

Photo of capeannbass36
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured an 11.2 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Hazy golden orange with a one finger white head that dissapated quickly. Light lacing throughout.

S- A little fruit, lemon, and a touch of malt

T- Lemon and spice. A little yeast. A little sugar. Hint of malt.

M- Medium carbonation. Dry and crisp.

O- Enjoyable. Easy to drink, but did not "wow" me. Potent. Expected so much more. Having bought it 7-8 months ago...perhaps I should have had it much sooner??!! Had a best before 01/03/12 date on it.

 502 characters

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

Bottle: purchased from Leura Cellars. A stylish and incredibly thick embossed 330mL brown bottle with a nice trappist label. Simple but elegant.

Appearance: pours a fairly viscous vibrant honey yellow with champagne-like fine carbonation. A big fluffing head bursts up to three-fingers even with a gentle pour (mind you my snifter is draining so I am using a tulip so fair enough) and settles to a half-finger thick white head. Not much lacing.

Aroma: quite muted on the nose, but what is there is a clean and fresh combination of Belgian yeasts and sour dough, orchard fruits and some spices. Some alcohol over the top but is not distracting.

Taste: more sour than your usual tripel - plenty of alcohol and Belgian yeasts, with some wheat, cloves, orchard fruits and a touch of malt. Not my favourite tripel flavour, but still pretty outstanding.

Aftertaste: the flavours last a good long while - quite dry all the way through thanks to the alcohol and the sourness.

Mouth feel: a thick body that really works quite well. Moderate in carbonation with a smooth yet dry feel.

Overall: quite a drinkable tripel, but probably not the best I have had, particularly since it is one of the dearest. It is more sour and tart than most which I like, but it lacks some complexity. That said, it does have a wonderful orchard fruit and spice flavour that pokes its head out between the alcohol and sour dough.

 1,405 characters

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

Pours a turbid mustard with a thin, foamy head. Great retention.

The aroma is fruity with a highly subdued toffee apple aspect. Some brown sugar. A hint of something grainy.

The taste is fruity and tart, nicely phenolic and spicy in a way that hides the alcohol well. Dry and yeasty in the finish. Good bready malt sweetness underneath.

Medium-light body, good carbonation.

Very drinkable, highly enjoyable.

 411 characters

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

Poured from the 350ml brown bottle into a tulip glass. The head produced by my pour was about 1" of loose off-white foam that shrunk quickly to a clumpy cap. The liquid was a honey color with some cloudiness due to some spent yeast in the bottle.

The aroma, was similar to a Hefewiesen ... in that there was a fruity sweetness. Although, there was a clear alcohol aroma too.

The taste was good... I think I'm getting used to these Belgian Ales. For me, most of these Belgian Ales have a taste like a robust Hefeweisen. This one had the yeasty/buscuit taste with some dried fruit followed by a pronounced alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel: Good for a Tripel. This one is still quite fizzy (seems to be common for the Tripels)... but not overly done. The body is rather thin and the clear alcohol presence make this one rather refreshing. It complimented my egg salad sandwich and fruit cup quite well (I wonder if this is an appropriate food pairing?).

Drinkability: This one is recommended... I've had some "Tripels" that I didn't like at all.... but this one is quite good. I couldn't see anyone pounding 4-5 of these, but this is a good, rich example for sipping.

 1,170 characters

Photo of amneziak
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The Westmalle Tripel pours a slightly hazy golden color - very similar to what you'd see from a wheat beer. As with most of the other Trappist beers, this comes with about three to four solid fingers of light head with minimal lacing that disappears pretty quickly. You can tell this has a lot of effervescence by the onslaught of small bubbles swimming swiftly to the top of the glass.

Smell: Just as I had imagined, there is a lot of spice going on in the glass. There is an immediate blast of beautiful honeycomb that hits you first, and then it is quickly followed by banana and clove components on the back end. For me, the real joy comes out of feeling like I've just stuck my nose in the middle of a fresh honeycomb. On top of what is immediately noticeable, there is a very faint amount of funk that sits way in the back of the nose. This becomes more evident as the beer begins to warm.

Taste: I guess one of the best things a beer can do is taste like it smells, and this certainly does just that. Surprisingly enough the honeycomb component I get on the nose translates into the taste very well. I also taste the yeast along with the banana and cloves. In terms of the alcohol, I don't taste it as much as I thought I would but I certainly feel it about halfway through the bottle. And it's a small bottle.

Mouthfeel: Overall this is an extremely well-balanced beer in the mouth. Because of the style, the Westmalle has a lot of bite due to the sparkling qualities and the enormous amount of head. There is a perfect amount of bitterness, too, which is paired with a vigorous amount of acidity. Normally a beer like this would lean more toward the lighter side, but this one is easily approaching medium body.

Overall: Let's be honest, this isn't a mind-melting beer. However, it is classic in just about every way. I really love the honeycomb component the most and really like the way this baby smells. I am also a really big fan of the bitterness levels that I get from the Westmalle. It's not as unique as the Orval (which is still my favorite Trappist ale), but it is definitely a staple and quite enjoyable. It's proof that consistency is a very good thing.

 2,194 characters

Photo of krberg
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Almost forgot about the giant belgian head phenomenon. Golden with a pure white head. Lots of CO2.

Smells pretty standard for a tripel. I love 'em, but they all smell about the same.

Light, tart, sweet, grainy. Hints of alcohol fade to the back of my mouth and coat my tongue with a spreading warmth. The sweetness hovers on my tongue and the roof of my mouth - very strange. I actually get a tiny bit of hop bitterness. Certainly a first for me. Standard yeast characters.

Smooth, creamy and the bite of CO2. Par for the tripel course.

Very easy to drink. I find tripels to be very comforting and this is no exception. I think I could get very comfortable with this beer.

A great tripel. Nice sweet to grain balance that I find sometimes lacking in American versions. Not particularly challenging, but just right. For a bunch of bible-thumpers, they make a pretty damn good beer.

 895 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

October 3, 2014

25.4 oz bottle, tulip

A – Dark yellow with orange tint, extremely high carbonation with tons of bubbles in the beer itself. Four inches of craggy, rocky white foam that seems to last forever. About ½ inch left when all is said and done.

S – Citrus, reminiscent of nectarine, orange peel, curacao. Peppery and tangy. Some alcohol warmth in the background. Maybe some banana, bubble gum.

T – Foamy, dense, orangey and slightly peppery. Some earthiness, mushroominess. Very mild, floral hop flavor, just a touch of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. A lot more banana, some bubble gum.

M – Foamy and effervescent. Somewhat thin, but the bubbles coat the tongue and leave a sweet finish. Thinness seems to be from the alcohol, is not a flaw. Slightly syrupy on the finish.

O – Not quite the knockout tripel I was expecting based on the reputation, but a very good example of the style.

 926 characters

Photo of rkinsella
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Golden orange, cloudy. I left the yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle. I decided not to drink it separately. Head was amazing! Thick like meringue, hung on the whole time. Great Guinness like lacing that left a nice pattern. 10 out of 10 for head and lacing. The total appearance was stellar!

Smell - Grass field, hops, a little earthy, doughy, bit of floral from the hops, definite alcohol whiff.

Taste - Smacks your forehead...hard! Spice and alcohol kick, followed by bitter hop finish. So intense I didn't taste much of anything else, maybe just a little lemon zest. Although the taste is very complex, it's hidden behind the alcohol and hops. But it is there. Tastes a little like a super strong Czech Pilsner. Dry finish as well.

Mouthfeel - Huge! Full, round and sparkles on the tongue.

Drinkability - Can't imagine having another because of the high ABV, but the flavor and mouthfeel suggests it.

 931 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep gold in color and hazy with some tiny particles floating around, despite a fairly gentle pour and leaving the yeast behind. The head dissipated quicker than expected and minimal lacing on the glass. Fruity and spicy aroma. White wine notes with a big bready character to it. The spice is still there in the flavor and it finishes dry with soft alcohol. Highly carbonated and effervescent. Medium bodied with a slight warming quality.

My expectations were high for this beer given its high ratings and my love for the style. But, somehow it just fell a little flat for me. I will certainly be revisiting it again soon.

 623 characters

Photo of Premo88
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz. poured into chalice
(best before: 1/30/15)

L: straw yellow ... very pale ... just a hint of gold at the bottom up to the light and some gold when you look down on it as it sits on the table; up to the light, pale yellow; not much of a head, enough foam to cover the top, white; not stick or lace; keeps a loose collar, big soapy bubbles; a little bit of debris, not much, floating in the bottom -- and the entire brew looks thick like a dubbel or quad, almost like Jello; not clear but not 100% opaque

S: white wine; sour grapes; sweeter as it warms up

T: sweet white wine; lots of sour grapes; starts off VERY sweet but is drying out just a bit as we go; no major alcohol taste, but just a few sips in you can feel that 9.5% ABV warming down the throat; if you take a bigger swallow, there is just a hint of alcohol in the taste

F: solid, bubbly, easy to drink ... it looks thick but feels much lighter than the appearance; dry

O: very enjoyable with enough sweetness up front to get me into it then dries out as you go, making it a super drinkable sipping beer -- and sip I am. again, that 9.5% ABV is not a missprint.

LOVE the fact that this seems just a hair different from the other triples (and Belgians in the pale family) I've tried. there is NO banana, no bubble gum, nothing cloying about it ...

 1,320 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle to a snifter, the liquid is a pale straw yellow, cloudy very good carbonation. The head is smallish white and leaves some lace.

The smell is good fruity yeast, sweet with orange peel.

The taste is good as well hints of orange and lime with some spices, pepper, clovers allspice, over a wheaty malt. Very interesting. At first I did not think I liked it much but it really seems to be growing on me. But still glad it is a smaller bottle. Alcohol seems to be well covered.

The mouthfeel is light body, and well carbonation with small champagne like bubbles. I guess it is in style but I don't care for that much fizz.

The drinkability is ok, not stellar but not a bad beer at all.

Prosit, MK

 723 characters

Photo of JoeyV
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass chalice

A: Cloudy golden with a substantial, persistent head

S: Mostly yeast and grain, slightly sweet

T: Quite sweet, but not overbearingly so - initial overtones of banana and kiwi followed by a number of spices, nutmeg in particular. I can definitely taste the high alcohol content.

M: Relatively thin compared to other similar beers I've tried in the past. Pairs nicely with the flavor.

O: It has the complexity of flavor that I've come to expect from Trappist beers, but it doesn't feel overly intense - instead it's quite refreshing and drinkable. Definitely one of my favorites from Belgium so far.

 628 characters

Photo of WHROO
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden yellow with rocky head that holds nicely. Not filtered with particles floating around, & attractive sudsy lacing. A little carbonation, counted around 10 stream floating up the glass taking their time.
I got some lemony citrus in the aroma but not too strong. Could also smell the alcohol...but strained to get a definate malty nose.
The taste was more middle to back of the tongue & the ABV shone through - high in warm alcohol to finish. Also found it a lingering bitter & dryness. It was spritzy & dancy on the tongue.
But the whole high ABV taste reminded me of a spirit drink, & hence I am not sure how many of these I could have in one session (not that you'd want a heap)
I imagine this being a really nice cosy winters night drink.

 760 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad offering. Kind of pricey. Poured out to a cloudy tarnished golden colour with high carbonation. Well formed head remained consistant to the bottom of the glass. Aroma of fruits and light sugars were most noted, as was alcohol, being as it has a rather high ABV. Very good mouthfeel, with a smoothness that was crisp and direct, with the carbonation making tastebuds come alive and pay attention. Flavor was quite spicy, with a strong complexity of pears, bananas and grapefruit. Very complex beer. Finished well, with a sour-like aftertaste. Not a bad beer at all. As far as Tripels go, this is probably the best I have had. Recommended.

 647 characters

Photo of guinnessman
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this one in a wesmalle Trappist chalice. It poured with a frothy white head and a golden yellow huge.
With smells of citrus, vanilla, and a musty barn like aroma made it intriguing to me. The alcohol does prevail but does not overpower. There is also a hint of mint that I noticed after a few sips. The mouthfeel is a pleasant texture and a very smooth. A faint tickle as it flows over the palate.
A fine Tripel!

 428 characters

Photo of John
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden appearance...big foamy white head. An ever so gentle swirl dislodges some chunky yeast. The aroma is fruity, sugary and alcoholic. In fact the first few sips are predominately alcohol. Once the beer warms the fruity (white grape, pear) complexities become evident but are subdued. A slightly sweet finish is quickly overtaken by a semi phenolic sensation. Hmm...curious given the stellar reviews here so far. I didn't think the alcohol was blended well with this one. Perhaps it was too fresh/young with a best by date of March 2004. Purchased in Europe, 33cL bottle, 9.5% abv.

 589 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Mokafe, Brussels. For a tripel, it's rather light in color: a cloudy, peachy-lemony color, denser in the middle than on the edges. There are light streams of bubbles, too. Head is bright white, with small bubbles and a dense texture. Aroma is a bit sour, definitely loaded with oranges and yeast. Body is noticeably thick, and the taste is dominated by oranges. I was surprised; I expected something less fruity and more bready. ABV is well hidden, as this does not have any traces of heavy alcohol. This was very good but I've had other tripels that I've enjoyed more.

 576 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 fl. oz. bottle served in my Gouden Carolus goblet. Bottled on 05/08/11 indicated on the bottle. Poured a slightly hazy, pale, orange-gold with a half-inch, fizzy, bright white head that eventually settles into a fairly consistent, soapy skim. Some spots and strands of lacing revealed during the tasting. Copious tiny bubbles effervesced in solution from the stem to the underside of the cap. Nose is somewhat subdued but aromas are well-differentiated - spice, coriander, orange rind, light, toasted wheat. Taste follows nose - not as sweet as many of the tripels I've tried. In fact, there is a definite grassy, hops bittering that dominates the middle and finishes with a light, lingering herbal/medicinal bitterness and some citrus astringency. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a fizzy carbonation that is also somewhat prickly across the tongue. I have to be honest - I'm not sure what the hype is all about with this beer. It was decent, but the flavor profile was a little lackluster, and the carbonation was way too aggressive.

 1,038 characters

Photo of pentathlete
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium dark translucent orange, small dissipating head, and not much lacing. Smell is spicy alcohol, like I'm about to taste an after-dinner drink. Taste is biting (for a tripel) hoppy in the middle of a wash of alcohol and spiced fruit. Mouthfeel is ok, a tad thin, leaving an oily coating which contributes to a long finish. I like my beers to show their alcohol. This one does, though somewhat harshly. Still, I've got to recommend it. Use it as a digestif.

 460 characters

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge 3" white head with great retention and thick lace. Hazy, gold peach color. Aromas of fruit (apples, apricots), yeast, and floral notes. Pineapple and apricot . Alcohol. Well hopped bitter finish. Crisp, high carbonation. Dry finish. Full mouthfeel. Creamy, rich and warming. Good drinkability...will drink again.

 317 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow pour with a large, pillowy, white head. The aroma is delicately floral with some light apple, pear and lemon notes. It's a bit musty and yeasty as well with soft esters, a light honey sweetness, and some bready malt backbone. The flavor is delicate a dry with a fair btt of honey sweetness, some lightly floral hops, touches of banana and bubblegum are interspersed with a bready body and notable alcohol. The mouthfeel is dry, medium in consistency with lots of carbonation.

 482 characters

Photo of Dmann
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A very good beer but I do not think I got a completly fresh bottle. The pour was very good and this is easily one of the best looking beers I have ever seen with its excelent head, color and champagne like bubbles. The scent was hard to detect at first but then the tropical frutiness and doughy scents came through and were very nice. The flavor was very unique and not what I was expecting at all. The flavor was quite sweet but had a very dry off putting quality to it that made me think I got a bum bottle. There was not much flavor at all other than sweetness and dryness in the finnish. I will have to try another bottle for sure.

 636 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Hazy orange body with an ample white head. Smell is strong yeast manifesting as banana and light spice. Alcohol as well. Taste is less sweet that I would have expected based on the aroma. Hefty banana taste with some sugariness, but it quickly drops off leaving a bitter yeasty finish. Very dry finish. Seems like high carbonation because of how quickly it drops off. Deceptively light tasting, but the alcohol never subsides. Tripels are not my style, but this is about as good as it gets from a tripel.

 541 characters

Photo of Dreizhen
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Light, clear, bubbly. If I didn’t know better, I would say this is champagne. Good head that dissolves somewhat quickly.

Smell: Light, a little hoppy, white grapes. At this point I’m wondering if I’ve been misled by the bottle’s packaging.

Taste: Bitter, hops, no grapes but just a hint of grapefruit. A little floral towards the end. More crisp than flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Light, carbonated, again very close to champagne.

Overall: Not bad. Not my favorite Trappist beer, but pretty good. The alcoholic content is well masked. Pairs well with some good Belgian frites. In fact, I started eating some between writing this and posting it. The beer is exponentially better with the fries.

 710 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Quick Navigation

    Open the Quick Navigation

  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe